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Well first spring hatch is here. March 26, 2014

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We have had 30 chicks hatch so far. Might have a few more, incubator holds 42. All that have hatched are doing great. Hubby was kind enough to buy me chicks water and feeder. The upright type as I already had the lay down type. But since we are putting chicks into a plastic tote upright works better.

These chicks are for sale on a local level. I also am selling hens from last year hatch that I do not need in my breeding program. I will Not ship either hens or chicks. But if you are with in driving distance you can contact me either here or facebook or email me threw farm website http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/ We also have the farm page on facebook as Blue Moon Valley Farm https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Moon-Valley-Farm/447088522062904 you can reach me there also.

Speaking of facebook. We have a number of groups for East Tn on there related to farm stuff. So make sure to look for them as we have one now for selling goats in East TN and farm barter and farm livestock. Just getting the word out there. Hope everyone spring is going well.

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New farm dog December 26, 2013

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On Christmas eve hubby I got the news of the tests results on a male from the litter I posted. Do to Sky’s MDR1 being M/N I had to get a male that was N/N. We are now proud owners of the blue male in Middle Trees Farm litter. This was a Christmas present for hubby. His name will be Blue Moon’s Winter Knight of Middle Tree. He will be standing at stud here. He has already being working on ducks and will be our primary herding dog.

Middle Tree still has two males available that would be great farm dogs. They have videos up on Face Book of them herding under Middle Tree Farm face book page. So if you are looking for a great farm helper please check it out.

I will be putting a page on Knight on our farm website. We will be picking him up just after the new Year. It shall be a long day as the farm is 5 hours one way from us.

On the chickens, we have been getting a dozen eggs a day right now. I am now offering for sale a few hen local only that are laying. If interested contact me at akewastar@yahoo.com and put in chicken hens as a subject. Chickens are doing great free ranging every day. We have only lost 2 this year thanks to Sky doing her job of keeping the hawks away.

We will be breeding Sky this spring to a wonderful English Shepherd male that is also a working farm dog. If interested in a pup from her you can email at above address or contact me on face book. We have a farm page list as Blue Moon Valley Farm and my facebook name is Tamara H Baughman.

We are wishing everyone a very happy and safe New Year.

Winter time broodies November 21, 2013

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Well, as you can tell from the title today we have our first broody of the new hens that I hatched this year. This will also be my first time having a winter broody. She is in the outside nest box that is attached to the new hen coop. I will have to move her later but for now she is OK. Wondering how many more will do that this winter. Since I have 25 hens we shall see.

Plans are to move her into the new red chick coop. That is if she hatches any. I have my doubts for I have yet to see many fertile eggs. I have 5 roosters I am holding back that are running with the hens. But it has been so cold some night most are low on fertility right now. Since I can not pen up hens yet with one rooster, due to the fact all pens are full, we will just hope for the best on the hen hatching.

We have 4 rooster to process that are in the chain link pen with A frame coop. That will be this weekend. Next and last batch of roosters is 7 and they are still in the red coop for now.

Breeding pens will be built this winter. But right now a cow pen is being built and hubby bought our steer and we will soon have our heifer. Heifer will be a Jersey and we will be keeping her for breeding. We are still doing the goats for more than one reason now. Turns out to keep pink eye away from cattle you need a goat to eat the plant that causes it for them. Local farmer found that one out when he lost his goat that was in the cow field. All his cows starting coming down with pink eye after goat died. As soon as he replaced the goat the pink eye went away. So goats are a need here now more so than before.

I am now working on a farm website. Featuring our farm dog Sky and all the other animals. This blog will be kept just for the chickens. I will have a farm blog on the website and a members forum so questions can be asked. I will post it here when I have it up and running.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

The girls are now out. October 3, 2013

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Well, it has been just over a week since we moved all the new pullets and the two older hens. I did some early out with them but only a few hours before sunset. I had a few try to go back to their old coops. So I kept them locked up a few extra days in the new coop.

For the past two days I have left them out late with no problems. So today they got to be out for 4 hours instead of two. Tomorrow they will be out all day and then from now on. This should make the cockerels very happy. They have been after each other a bit since I locked up the girls.

Letting the girls out causes total chaos. Which was not helped by BIL feeding the pigs. Which in turn got Sky all worked up keeping the pigs off the trough, as well as hens that were screaming. But now when we let the girls out it is not as bad as the first couple of times.

Longfeather is not happy since he is locked up all day but for two hours. BIL tends for him not to be upset for much longer. On a better note I have marked his 4 replacements that I will be using for next year. Since we have 24 hens/pullets 4 to 6 roosters are needed. Probably this winter we will be thinning the hen coop some too. There are a few that I do not want to included on next years breeding.

I might rehome a few but most will end up in the freezer since they are not worth breeding. Since I am trying to bred up my line to the Standard of Perfection I can not let those not worthy of the breed go to others if they are too far off from the SOP. If I did I would not be a good breeder.

Having goals in one breeding practices is a must. This year I am working on tails. Since my original stock came from a hatchery I have a pinch tail problem. Thanks to the hens I got from NC I have many offspring much further along to fixing that problem.

Hatching chicks June 12, 2013

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Well, as of this morning we are now down to 2 hens and one rooster. I gave my neighbor his trio and kept our main rooster Longfeather and the two broody hens. The hens have chicks they have hatched plus some I have hatched. Right now total of hatched chicks is 52. I still have some in incubator and they will be the last. We have built another coop for chicks that will go to the ducks and geese when we get them.

Good news is we have lost none of the hatchlings this year. We have 24 in the first chick pen. I have 16 here still in the house waiting for the other coop to be finally set up today. One hen has five chicks and the other I am not sure but I took out two and I saw one she just hatched. I have no idea how many of her eggs will hatch or of those I collected last time. Well, hubby said to hatch alot, he got what he asked for and then some. 🙂

Warning to all May 8, 2013

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For all of you that have free range chickens or open pens this one is for you.

I free range my hens. Neighbor has stray cats she was feeding. But has not been doing since she is now going with hubby to work. As a result cats are hunger and chickens make easy catching. Their son lives between us and them and they lost a hen a few weeks ago. Did not think much on it since they are light egg production chickens. Last week mine were out and sounded off. i went out on back pourch to see a cat in the woods. Scared it off and shot off some firecrackers to make sure it was gone.

When hubby was home later in week we were walking in our woods only to see the other cat neighbor had been feeding. Dogs chased it off. Two days later I opened the coop to find my real nice hen in trouble. She was not coming out of coop and felt hot too touch. Thought she might have been egg bound so cleaned of her bum with the hose. I was holding her and hubby was holding hose. That was when I found the deep gashes on both sides. I have had cats all my life and know cats scratches when I see them. Hen died a few days ago, there was nothing I could do about it.

I am not taking dogs out in area where i have seen both cats and chickens are locked up for a bit. The good is I have eggs from her and chicks hatched now from her. But we will be watching for those cats and either catching them or killing them I we see them.

Right now I have 15 chicks hatched and another incubator full. BIL comes down this month and a new chicken coop and pens will be built then. We will also be getting a male English Shepherd pup either late this year or early next. We plan on breeding Sky. She has been a real help here. She is 8 months now and has made her first vole kill when 4 months. Chased off lots of rabbits, deer and hawks. She even told me when hubby was being not so smart during butcher time. When hawks are around she is herding chickens back to safety. So glad we have her.

First Hatching done May 1, 2013

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Well, actually second as I put in 27 eggs for first and 17 for second. I only got half of first batch to hatch and only 12 made it. Of the second batch I am now waiting on last two if they hatch. But all the rest have so that is 15 from that one. Total is 27 so far. All are doing well.

I had a computer crash for real. My laptop feel of my table and broke it’s hard drive. Just got it back but lost all my old stuff. Luckily I keep all my password of line so have a list of all my links and stuff. Luckily non of the photos ere effected..

So far temps here have still been coolish. Chicks are inside for now but we will be finishing chick coop and pen this weekend. Sky is keeping a close ye on the chicks. She even checks the eggs to see how many have hatched. Such a good dog. Luckily temps are warming up so after we get pen done I hope to get chicks out in their coop and pen. Unfortunatly we have no broodies yet this year. I am not sure we will have any either. I think all my broodies got killed off so do not know if any of the newer hens will go broody. Time will tell.

New pen April 4, 2013

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Well, do to hubby haveing time off from work we got alot done here this week. Back east old fence is now gone and almost ready for us to put up new fence. MIL is moved in and all that stuff sorted. The big one we have a new chick pen.

Hubby got hold of the old dog kennel up North and brought it down. It need a little bit of repair which did not take long. So after that and buying the bottom fence for keeping chicks in we moved it to the chick coop. We moved the chick coop a bit further over from where it was to an area that had alot of broken block in the ground. Brought down the panels of chain link and put two sides up, then realized we had those mixed up. LOL We were able to have small coop that is an A frame that I bought a few years back outside of pen and have door open inside. That way chicks will have the whole pen to be in. It is a 5x 10 dog chain link kennel. We are putting on the bottom 1/2 wire to block holes of the biger chain link to keep chicks in. We are going to put a top cross bar so we can cover the top also so that hawks do not get chicks. That should help alot with loosing baby chicks this year. I will be using the old pen that came with it to keep Sky in during the day some so she bonds with chicks.

We are now down to 5 females all laying and I am putting eggs in incubator today. Have not done it sooner as eggs were not fertile. But they are now with longer days. Weather today is rain so hens are locked up. Which is good for the last time I let them out they went off property to the 2 acres to the east and layed in some brambles. I had Sky with me on leash so I sent her in to flush them out. Which she did and brought to hubby our one real big hen that I am wanting to keep alot of chicks from. She is not the smartest by a long shot but is very good in size and body type. She is from another breeder out of state so a total outcross for me to breed on this year. I look forward to seeing her chicks but hope they have dads smarts not hers.

Where is the rain and Lots of chicks. April 17, 2012

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Hubby got grassed mowed. It just took him two weeks. Lots of repairs on the mower. It is an old John Deer that is geer driven. We can not use the newer ones due to the slop of the property. Have to say it looks great now. Now we just need rain and I bet now that I said that we will get too much. LOL

We lost one of the hens the other day. So that leaves me with 6 and the 3 roosters. One hen is brooder but I doubt her eggs will hatch for one of the roosters keeps getting her out of the nest box. That is OK since I have alot of chicks hatched now. This last batch is almost done and most hatched. Now I have a problem. Not big enough space inside. I will be moving this buch outside this week to the small coop since temps are good here now. I will see if broody will take some after tomorrow. I will be getting the 4 in there out so she can be moved in with chicks. That will slove that problem for now.

What this has shown me is I need to get better set up. So I am looking into pro incubator and brooder now. I like what Dickey has for a cabinet incubator and have heard good things about it. The brooder I am still looking into too but I think I might have found one I like. I would be much happier getting this whole thing outside in a building but we do not have electrcity going to another building yet. That is in the works. Hopefully later this year we will have coop expanded and another built just for chicks and hatching. That is the plan anyways. Just do not know when right now as other stuff just came up.

As far as the hatching this is the largest of the 3. I have at least one more to do as most of this one is sold also. Last one will be only for us. I hope I will not need more than that last one to stock us up.

acceindents happen March 23, 2012

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We are hatching out again. Started yesterday afternoon. I went to be last night thinking everything was OK. Woke up to dead chicks that I had moved out of bator. Only one survived. It was a off heat issue and has been taken care of.

On a good not I found 5 alive in bator with more hatching. I was worried that we had more infertile eggs than not. I crack one last night for yesterdays collecting and it was infertile. Seems a few of the hens are avoiding the roosters. Since we are setting up small coup on sun or mon I might be putting hens in with roo so they get the job done on thos 2.

I am also looking now at getting rid a 2 hens for color reasons. Got a neibor who is interested maybe. I know they are laying as I am getting 8 eggs a daay with 7 hens. Yes, we have one laying 2x a day. Rare but it happens. She must be from last years hatching.

So far this years has been interesting to say the least. Chicks are bigger much bigger. Now that can be from what I have been feeding but legs do not change that much. Legs on these chicks are large what I would call roo large. Only thing is their tails came in on many and those I know are females. Also combs are not growing like they do on the roos. The first batcch are 4 weeks old now and I think I have mostly pullets in it. This would be interesting because Longfeather is an Alpha son and he threw lots of pullets too. I do have a Beta son here that I might tet this theory with ths week. I also have another Alpha son. Who know who I will pait those two hens with that need a lesson. One thing is for sure they will not get away from them when locked in with them.