33 posts categorized "Chickens"

happy hatch day

Sorry this photo is a bit blurry, I was too excited about the hatching plus these babies were not staying still long enough so that I could focus on them, so this was the best I could get.

Newlyhatched

 

2021 baby chicks

I stand corrected in the video, I said "Happy Birthday".  I was corrected that it's actually Happy Hatch day!  Any way, we have chicks, 19 to be exact out of 22 eggs that were incubated.  So our hatching odds were pretty good for the first time ever incubating our own eggs.  They started showing signs of starting to hatch on Wednesday and by the time we woke up on Thursday we had 3 baby chicks and by late evening there were 19 total that hatched.  The last 3 eggs I checked after leaving them in the incubator for a few more days just incase they are late hatchers.  I'm sad to report that one wasn't fertilized and the other two for some reason stopped developing. 

It's starting to get hot here again in the 90° range which I don't mind too much.  So far though we have faired pretty well not putting our AC on, the nights have cooled down enough that sleeping hasn't been too unbearable.  It's also been pretty dry here and I have been having to water some of my plants.  One thing about the hot weather, we haven't had to run the chick brooder too much that keeps the chicks warm when they go under it.  We do plug it in later in the evening as the nights get a bit cool for them, not for us but definitely for them.

I love getting new chicks on our homestead here and it's especially exciting that we hatched chicks from our own flock.


what's been happening here on the homestead

I don't think I will be able to update you on all that's been happening here without having photo overload, so I'll just do the best I can.  Since sugaring we have been so busy here on our homestead.  We got pigs this spring and friends came out to help us put up the fence before they arrived which was a HUGE help and we appreciated it so much.  The pigs are definitely getting big since the day we got them.

J&r

J&J

Had to get a photo by Jim's old ford tractor which has been such a work horse here for him.

Ro

Pigs

I've been growing herbs and trying to dry them out but it's been so hot and humid lately it may take a bit longer than I would like.  I'm also making some infused herb oils that I will be making into salves when they are ready.

Herbs

Infused oils

I started incubating eggs from our hens on July 1st and we candled them last night and it looks like all 22 eggs may have something happening.  I'm crossing my fingers that we will have chicks by the 21st or 22nd of July.  Our rooster Rudy is such a good boy and really takes care of this girls.  He has 23 hens to look after and does a tremendous job.

I know some may think that is too many hens for one rooster and we did try out another rooster to see how it would work and maybe have two flocks going but Rudy would  have none of it, so this guy had to go, and he was such a beautiful guy too.

Roo2

So Rudy in the man around the coop.

Rudy

This is the first time we have hatched eggs on our own, we have always gotten chicks from the feed store in town.  We'll see how many hens vs roosters we hatch out.  I'm hoping to get some roo's so I can process them in the pressure canner instead of freezing them. 

Eggs

The gardens are doing great now that we finally have gotten rain.

Weeding

Coop and vines

Grapes

What's a homestead without barn cats or kittens :)  Meet Smoky and Noki.  Noki is a Finnish word for soot.  Jim started calling the top one Smoky and I thought the black one looked like soot so I looked up the Finnish word for soot and it was Noki (pronounced No-Kee).  They are both girls and just so cute.

Smoky

Noki

There is nothing like taking a break with some coffee, haymakers punch also known as switchel and wild berries that are growing in the back yard.  I add lemon juice and maple syrup in place of the molasses and brown sugar.  I use either Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar or my homemade ACV, just depends on my mood at the time.   Believe it or not the haymakers punch really does refresh you on a hot day, especially when you have been working outside in the hot weather.

Berriesandhaymaker

Acv (2)

My flower garden is blooming so nicely.  I look at this lily and always think of my blogging friend Ann who sent it to me after my dad passed away.  When it blooms I think of them both.

Flower

I think I have covered most of the stuff I wanted to share with you, like I said there is just so much that has been happening here I'm not sure I could cover it all in a blog post so I just gave you some highlights.

I hope your days are going good where you live, take care.


hello

Thedonald

How are you all?  We are well into the month of January and it's been a few months since I've posted.  We stayed home this winter instead of going to Texas, Jim was hit very hard with pneumonia this past October and it actually had taken a few months to finally get his strength back and is finally almost 100%.

We got 15 chicks this past September and they are doing awesome and are 17 weeks.  When we got the 15 chicks Jim was hoping that one of them would be a rooster.  Well sure enough, I informed him after feeding them one morning that I think he got his wish, one was indeed a rooster, one of the Delaware's was a roo and he seems like a very nice fellow and should work out just fine.

Donald

We have gotten down to 0° during the night a few times and they did just fine.  I actually think raising chicks in the fall/winter months is much nicer.  We do not heat our chicken coop and don't believe in doing so, it's just how we feel about it.  If you do that's fine you have to do what works for you and your chickens. 

Feedingtime

We plan to integrate both the "bigs" and "littles" as we call them.  Right now they are separate, but they have been able to see each other on a daily basis looking at each other through the fence.

Feeding2

Last spring when we got our batch of chickens we got 6 roosters but one of the hens ended up being a rooster.  Our plan was to pick a rooster to keep so that we can hatch our own chicks and the others we would butcher and put in our freezer.  After seeing how the roosters did one-on-one with the hens we ended up with the rooster we have now and we named him Rudy.  Long story short, we cut up two of the roosters (they weren't that big) and I made chicken stock with what was left of the carcass.  There is nothing more tasty or nutritious than stock you make yourself.

Canning1

Chickenstock

Let's see what else has been happening since I've posted last.  Our cook stove isn't looking so new anymore and I will say it makes an awesome woodfired pizza.

Cook stove

I wanted to grow pumpkins so that I could either can or freeze the pumpkin to use later in the year.  I ended up with only 2 pumpkins and probably got 6-7 cups of puree, but I was able to make a couple of pies with it over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and still have some in the freezer to make something else with it.

Pumpkinpie

Back in August we drove to Iowa to pick up this beauty.  The top of the cabinet needed some work on it, and Jim with a little bit of help from me got it looking pretty nice.  We cleaned and oiled it and she runs like a top.  I couldn't believe how nice she sews and I can't wait to start sewing on her.

Treadlemachine2
Life is treating us pretty good here.  We have totally embraced winter and even read a Little House on the Prairie book called The Long Winter, out loud to each other.  That was quite nice and I couldn't imagine going through a winter like they went through.  I recently bought a t-shirt from The Prairie Homestead which is a place I love to visit, but the shirt reads Old Fashioned on Purpose, and that is how I live my life now, I'm Old Fashioned on Purpose.

You all have a wonderful day.


stepping into fall

The other day it was raining leaves, it was very windy and there was a bit of a mist in the air.  The wind was blowing so hard it actually looked like it was snowing only it was leaves floating in the air.  Summer has truly come to a close.

Yellow tree

I finished up canning the last of our peppers.  I'm so excited to try them come winter.

Hotpeppers

We took a drive and bought some honey and garlic up by Black River Falls.  It was a beautiful drive and a perfect way to enjoy the day by taking a drive.

Honey

Garlic

A new stove entered our home.  We sold our old one, she served us well for 10 years, but we were wanting something more.

Woodstove

The chickens are doing great and we ended up getting a second batch of chicks this fall.

Chicks

Nursery

It's just been absolutely busy around here, trying to get all our gardens harvested and put up for the winter, but all the hard will be so worth it come winter.


todays happenings

I don't usually use sugar in recipes, so when I find a recipe that uses not only maple syrup, but only has 4 ingredients in the whole recipe I just have to try it. These are called Blue Dory Cookies. I have to say these are a pretty good cookie. I did cut the recipe in half, figuring that we didn't need to have 40 cookies around the house tempting us.

Maplecookies

Are you getting tired of seeing eggs or chickens on the blog yet? LOL...Today Jim found the tiniest of eggs in the chicken run this morning after letting them out of the coop.  It was the absolute cutest egg I had ever seen.  I did crack it open and the whites were there and just a little bit of what was the yoke.  I had researched why it happens that a hen lays a very tiny egg and it just happens.  One website called it a fairy egg.

Small egg

Still on our lock down over here.  Just read tonight that we had one death in our county.  I'm not sure if it was related to Coronavirus or not the details of the death are not released yet.  It's starting to hit pretty close to home, especially when we live in such a small location.

Stay healthy everyone.


the natural way

The chickens that we adopted didn't seem like they were in the best of shape when we got them.  I don't mean that they weren't taken care of, it's just that there were so many hens and roosters that I believe it was too much for them.  We have gathered almost everyday an egg or two, but the other day one of the hens Carmel, finally laid and egg.  Though it was pretty small compared to Vanilla Bean whose eggs are very large, I was so proud of her.  Carmel was in pretty bad shape as far as her feathers go, because this breed doesn't move very fast she was getting hit hard by the roosters.  But here on our farm she seems pretty relaxed and they all are settling in pretty good, even the rooster.  I have figured out how to deal with him and I think he's figured it out that I'm not another rooster and that I bring food to him.

Small-big

I have been reading Lisa Steele's blog Fresh Eggs Daily since getting these chickens and chicks and I love her approach on raising chickens.  Lisa ferments her feed that she gives her chickens, so I started some and yesterday I was able to give some to our chickens and they loved it.

Fermentedfeed

Eatingfeed

These chickens we got had mites so I have been working hard at getting rid of them and Fresh Eggs Daily had some really good tips and ideas on how to deal with them. 

Growing herbs around the chicken coop, run and even putting herbs in the nesting boxes is something I plan on doing and herbs are so good not only for the chickens but for my cooking as well.

Mint

I totally love the idea of raising our chickens and chicks in the more natural way.  I don't consider myself a natural freak so to speak, but I do like knowing where my food is coming from and what my food (meat) has been eating and eating eggs is no different. 


main coop

Looking out our front door it's so nice to see a pile of lumber waiting to get nailed into a chicken coop.  We are fortunate enough to have a neighbor who has a small sawmill.

Lumber

The foundation getting dug and the forms getting nailed together.

Himshoveling

Himshoveling2

I've been doing my part and helping a bit.

Mehammering2

Mehammering

Himmeasuring (2)

It's raining today so there will be no working on the coop.


chicks and chickens

Our chicks arrived and also 5 adult chickens we adopted from a neighbor who was getting rid of them, 4 hens and 1 rooster.  They are a Cochin breed and are not the greatest layers but we average 1-2 eggs a day, which is really nice to have at least that since the chicks won't be laying eggs for many months yet.

Eggs

Jim had to scramble to make a "temporary" chicken coop for them.  The farm where we got the chickens from had a lot of chickens and these girls were getting pretty hammered from the other roosters and they don't move that fast, so I made some shields for the girls backs where their feathers were gone.  When the girls start molting the feathers should grow back just fine and I will remove the shields from their backs. 

Chickens

5chickens2

Here they are waiting to get back into the coop.  I had to go run and get something as I was cleaning the coop out and had to close the door because they kept wanting to go back in there.  They are really adjusting well considering all their friends are over on the next ridge. The rooster has been a great guy up until today when he started to show some dominance with us, flogging like he wanted to fight us.  We'll see if he keeps it up because we're not putting up with a flogging rooster.

Chickens and coop2

Our chick breeds are from left to right...Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red and Barred Rock, for a total of 18 chicks, 12 hens and 6 roosters.  Not sure what we'll do with all those roosters, we'll probably keep 1 out of the bunch, the others will be raised for meat.  We went from zero to 23 birds on our little farm here in less than a week...whew!

3chicks

Perching2

The main chicken coop Jim started today and that is exciting for us.  I am breathing a sigh of relief having chickens again on our farm, especially with the way things are at with everything that's been going on lately. 


chickens 2016

Making sure the brooder is all set before we bring the chicks to their new home.

Chickens1

Chickens2

Well everything with the brooder is okay so it was time to get the chicks.  I could hear them chirping as we opened up the truck door.

Chickens3

Chickens5

Chickens

The feed store owner recommended for us to give them warm water when we got them, so the little things wanted to hang around the water cooler for warmth.  I had to keep taking them out of the water and after awhile I would take them and put them near the warming area to get warm, and finally they figured out where they could get warm.

Chickens4

Chickens8

Chickens9

Chickens6

Standing back and watching the chicks check out their new home.

Chickens7

When I went to check on them later they were doing great and seemed to be adjusting the their new home pretty good.  When chicks are stressed they will do a lot of chirping, and walking into the barn I hear only a few chirps coming from the brooder.

All is good :)


chickens

Chickens

Tho we don't have laying hens at the moment I wanted to share with you a wonderful blog that is a guide to raising chickens.  It's The Happy Chicken Coop and the author of this blog has some really wonderful writings on how to keep chickens and recently blog posts on how to keep chickens in the winter.  Check out this link The Definitive Guide to Keeping Chickens in the Winter.  If you are wanting to get chickens or have chickens and want to learn more about raising them check out the links.