Farm Update

We’ve rescued quite a few farm animals over the past year or so. We still have lots of chicks and chickens (Silkies, Americaunas, brahmas, red sex links, Rhode Island reds, buff Orpintons and more.) We’ve added more rabbits (giant Flemish and more mini Rex), mini pigs (mostly Juliana) and Nigerian dwarf goats,

Patch and Salt, both rescues. Salt came to us pregnant and is expecting August. Patch is the dad. He’s a Juliana mini pig.
Rosy, rescue. We thought she was fixed but it turns out she wasn’t and is now expecting this September.

This is Billy, a total lover. He came with the name.

Next week many mini donkeys and a few mini horses our being re-homed to our farm. I was praying for 2-4 and God provided abundantly! He also provided a large live stock trailer to transport everyone!

Mini horses and donkeys, I don’t know their names yet. I will update when they arrive and I have more info.

We started a partnership with Cudabears Lair Animal Sanctuary in Sebring, Fl. Fifty percent of each Beer Burro rental will be donated to the sanctuary.

We were also led to start a nonprofit, Sanctuary de Beaucoup (Sanctuary of Abundance.) Some of the animals we get love to participate in activities with the public; however, many don’t and deserve to live a happy life full of peace and love. These are the sanctuary animals. We strive to help and love as many farm animals as possible and share this love with underprivileged and foster kids in the surrounding areas. Up to this point, we’ve been blessed to be able to home many animals through land donations. The sanctuary website will be live soon. Our supporters and community partners will be listed. If you feel led to give, we always have a need for hay, feed and a farrier.

We Think It’s Turkey Time

So, we’ve been wanting to get into turkeys for quite a while now and this Spring is the time. We are pretty much starting from scratch with chickens and why not get a couple of turkeys. We’ve been doing some research and there’s a turkey where the chicken coop is. Here’s a list of breeds we are interested in:

Blue Slate Turkeys are so beautiful. (Actually, I think all turkeys are beautiful – not sure what it is about them that I love but I love watching them.) What we’ve learned:

  • domestic turkey breed
  • slate gray color plumage
  • lighter birds
  • sometimes called Lavender turkeys
  • may be any number of shades between white and pure black
  • heritage turkey breed
  • Adult Blue Slate hen can weigh about 14 pounds
  • adult tom can weigh about 23 pounds.
Blue Slate Turkey
Blue Slate Turkey

Bourbon Reds are another beautiful breed. This is what is on the property where our chickens and rabbits are. Henny, she is a li’l neurotic but I’m hoping this is not a common personality trait. What we’ve learned:

  • very attractive birds for their beautiful red plumage
  • known and popular for a full flavor, delicious meat and are considered as one of the best tasting heritage turkey breeds
  • came from their origin in Bourbon county, Kentucky
  • first bred during the 1800s
  • mature Bourbon hen weights about 12 pounds
  • mature tom can reach about 23 pounds
Bourbon Red Turkey
Bourbon Red Turkey

Royal Palm turkeys have beautiful coloring. What we’ve learned:

  • very beautiful, striking turkey breed
  • bred for their good looks
  • They have white and black plumage
  • breed not for commercial purpose
  • smaller in size than most other heritage varieties
  • mostly raised for exhibition or enhancing beauty of home or farm
  • suitable for meat production for family consumption purpose (NOT our family!)
  • active turkey breed that forage extensively
  • can control insects well
  • good flyers
  • hens weigh about 10 pounds
  • toms weigh about 16 pounds
Royal Palm Turkey
Royal Palm Turkey

Lastly, really like the Standard Bronze turkeys. Here is what we’ve learned:

  • one of the largest heritage turkey breeds
  • most popular turkey breeds in American history
  • originally a cross between the native wild turkeys (discovered by Europeans) in America and the turkeys brought to the colonies by Europeans
  • Broad-Breasted Bronze is the most commercially raised variety and
  • most have been bred by artificial insemination since the 1960s
  • an adult hen weighs about 16 pounds
  • a tom can reach about 25 pounds
Standard Bronze Turkeys
Standard Bronze Turkey

Turkeys are not found locally as easily as chickens. We may have to order online. What ever we do, we will update you!

It’s Been a While, But We’re Back!

So, it’s been quite a while since our last post. Life has been challenging to say the least, with a lot of lows, but I am trusting God and I am still standing. And, I never quit posting on Instagram @beaucoopfl. It’s hard to believe it’s only been 2.5 years, it seems like so much more time has passed. I’m not sure if this is comforting or not…

Moving on…

Spring is almost here. Fresh new beginnings.

The past 2.5 years in a nutshell: we were supposed to be on Coop Dreams with Rent the Chicken but had to cancel due to life, got involved with Hatch the Chicken and Silkies which was amazing, moved our animals out East, rescued some mini pigs and a goat named Billy (who has been in rut since the day I picked him up,) and then lost all of our chickens to something vampire-like and hatched the eggs that didn’t get broken, were given a couple of hens and 5 chicks, and eventually gave away the two hens and 3 chicks. Now we have 2 silkies, 1 of the chicks (just gave away one,) Rosy a Juliana mini pig, Bleu a Lionhead rabbit, Cupcake and Brownie mini rex bunnies, Billy the Nigerian Dwarf Goat and Beau got a couple of Nigerian Dwarf Does for Valentine’s Day which are named Coco and Mara (after an adorable girl in his class.) The goats and Rosy are at a friend’s property with their chickens and, Jesse, their Nigerian Dwarf doe. The two silkies, Tiger and Bella, and Red and the rabbits are at another friend’s property. We are going to start over with the chickens this Spring, and a couple of turkeys.

Initially, we had mostly Rhode Island Reds and loved them! They were so loving and were such amazing egg layers. Hurricane Irma took down the fence between our home and the neighbors; as a result, their dog kept getting in our yard and attacking the chickens. After three attacks, we only had a couple of Silkies left. It was a rough time. This time around I think we are going to do some Polish, Buff Orpingtons, RI Reds and Americaunas. Eventually, by summer, I plan on having separate coops for each breed. Summer is our goal for purchasing a farm, it’s time. We want to have all of our animals in one place again, OUR PLACE… OUR FARM.

So, stay tuned. God is doing a lot of work in our lives and a supernatural rainbow is upon us!

This is the blessing God gave the priests. It is a beautiful promise of God’s love, protection, and blessing; authored and spoken by God Himself.

Today I am asking that you apply this three-fold blessing to your own life because:

1. We need God’s protection in the unsafe world we live in. So “May the LORD bless you and protect you.”

2. We need God’s grace because we are all sinners. Without Him, we are lost. But when we accept God’s gift of salvation we can receive the blessings intended for us. So, “May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.”

3. We need the inner-peace that can only be found in God in order to navigate life. So, “May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.”
God never calls any of us to do anything without the peace and protection of His presence. So don’t be shy or afraid to ask God for His blessings. Recite today’s verses as well as the LORD’s Prayer (Matthew 6:11-13) and claim them for your own…because they are.
Prayer: Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace, so fill me with Your peace and let me enjoy every moment of my life knowing You are there. In Your name, I pray, amen.

Eggs, eggs and more eggs… No more eggs

So, the other day we got well over a dozen eggs. Then yesterday we didn’t get any! Then today, so far, we got one. I had heard that chickens stop laying for a couple of months toward the end of the year; well, I guess it is true.

The molting process has begun. Shorter days and cooler temperatures…For chickens, it’s a sign that it is time to renew their feathers. Losing feathers and re-growing them is called molting and occurs every year when the days get shorter.

So, here’s what we’ve learned…

During molt, chickens typically stop laying eggs and use this time to build up their nutrient reserves. Even though they are not laying, it is critical that your chickens have a high quality diet during this time.

Feeding a high quality ration during molt will help your birds get through the molting process and back to laying eggs as quickly as possible. Elevated levels of protein as well as a mix of vitamins, minerals and amino acids will help maintain healthy skin and develop strong and beautiful new feathers.
Top tips for feeding through the molt:

  • Feed a high protein feed that is a complete feed, so you don’t have to worry about feeding other protein supplements to feed along with layer feed during molt.
  • Make feed available free choice
  • Limit scratch to 10% of diet during molt so you don’t dilute the protein content of the rationHen Scratch Grains Illustration

Molting and growing new feathers requires a lot of energy. Feathers are 85% protein… so be sure your birds’ diet includes a highly nutritious feed that consists of at least 16% protein.

Just as your chickens have individual personalities, they will go through molt differently as well. Some lose a few feathers and grow them back in as quickly as 3-4 weeks. Other chickens lose a lot of feathers and take 12-16 weeks to grow them back.

Other tips for helping chickens get through molting:

  • Reduce stress as much as possible, avoid bringing new birds into the flock if possible
  • Chickens should act normal during their molt – if they seem sick, something else is wrong
  • Both roosters and hens go through molt
  • Avoid handling your chickens during molt, it is painful for them and increases stress

Chickens will lose feathers in a sequence starting with the head and neck and then down the back, across the breast and thighs and finally their tail feathers. The new feathers that emerge are called pinfeathers and will grow in following the same sequence they were lost.

So don’t panic when your chickens start losing their feathers and stop laying eggs. Molting is a normal and natural process of shedding feathers and re-growing them that all chickens go through. The best thing you can do to help your chickens through molt is to feed a high quality, high protein layer feed and lots of love.

We’ve got eggs!

Today is the third day an egg was found. They are brown, organic and the chickens are cage free. I think only one hen is laying, but she’s giving one a day right now. 

The first egg was found in the laundry room with the hen! Not sure how she got in there, but she sure was ready to get out! She ran straight for some water and was very thirsty. 

The first day Goddy, the cat, swatted it and cracked it. The second day’s egg is still in tact. And today’s egg one of the chickens pecked a hole in it. We are going to have to do some reading on this, learn some tips and tricks!

Her are several photos and a video…

Day 1, in the laundry room 💗💕
Day 1
Day 1. What is that?!

Day 1, 2 and 3 💗💕
Day 3, found it outside the back door in this condition 👎
Day 3- organic, brown and fresh!
Day 1 and 2, day 2 is on the keft.
Day 2, found outside the kitchen window under the Bird of Paradise 💗💕
Day 1, after the cat got a hold of his new “toy.”

Arcadia Small Animal Auction

This post is a little late. We ended up with a couple of roosters, two out of our three Anericaunas and my favorite “hen.” Anyway, we couldn’t keep them so we started exploring our options and decided to take them to the Arcadia Small Animal Auction (suggested by Come See Come Sav.) There is guy, one guy, that they refer everyone to that needs to get rid of a rooster or roosters; however, he takes them all to the auction. So, we decided to take a trip to Arcadia for our Friday night date night. The auction is every Friday at 7pm, drop off starts early in the morning. 

It was an experience… And I couldn’t go through with it. We ended up pulling our roosters out and leaving. The entire time we were there I was trying to get on the “Florida Chicken Swap” Facebook page to find someone that would take our roosters and give them a good home… I finally did at the last minute. The boy that started the group page responded and we ended up meeting up that evening. The next morning he sent Beau pics of the roosters out in their yard with a bunch of chicks. I was so relieved and everyone was happy!

(Pictures will follow, new phone.)

O’Possum

So the others morning, bright and early, I heard a bunch of noise outside my window- it startled me awake. Then I heard the chickens. I jumped up and ran to the back door, I was kind of hesitant since we were told there’s been a coyote around- but I looked out and didn’t see anything large and the chickens were flying out of the coop one crazy bird at a time. I was so scared to open the nesting area but wanted to make sure all of the chickens were out. I opened the front access and there was an opossum. When I knew for sure all of the chicks were out, I locked the opossum in the coop… I didn’t want to let it out since it was still dark and I was afraid it would go after the chicks again (and I couldn’t find one.) 

When I came inside I couldn’t go back to sleep right away so I started researching opossums and chickens. Here is what we learned about opossums:

  • They do kill chickens. Sometimes they just bite their necks and drink their blood! Usually they eat the chickens bum first. They eat eggs and chicks…. They will eat anything and everything so don’t leave anything out and keep your property clean.
  • They don’t carry their prey away, it’s left where they kill it. 
  • They can open standard coop locks.  I read to put nails behind the sliding/hinge locks so they can’t be pushed open. Raccoons are much better at this. 
  • It’s a marsupial, like a kangaroo they carry their young in a pouch.
  • They do not carry rabies nor other diseases, their body temp is too hot. I did not fact check this.
  • They hunt until just before sunrise. 
  • If you have a fenced yard and a dog, the poop will attract them. Opossums literally will eat anything. I read multiple times not leave any food/water out at night.
  • They travel solo unless they have babies.

When the sun rose we went outside for Beau to see the opossum, and to my total surprise-the main entrance of the coop was open and the opossum was gone!

When Beau got out of school we proceeded to the Tractor Supply Store. We got 3 more nesting boxes, feed, meal worms, a scoop and a water bucket for the yard. Then we came home and cleaned, rearranged and rigged the coop (along with the rabbits’ house.) I couldn’t get the chickens to go in the coop at dusk so I had to catch them one at a time LOL. It took a while. The first one I out in went crazy and got out, but she calmed down. I had some calming alfalfa hay that we put in each of the boxes. I think everyone slept well, definitely no unwanted intruder in the coop 🙏 prayers the chicks get in the coop on their own tonight since they were safe last night. 

We disnt use the 409, but B was so cute how he came out sonprepared to help. I dont know where he found thise gloves LOL, I dont clean like that 💕
You can see the screws we used to keep the locks from being opened 👌
The top part is the nesting area. We added 3 nesting boxes below, hoping to make the coop more comfortable. Theres room for one more box, so we will be getting one more. Our chickens have never been caged, but I dont feel comfortable not locking them up at night now. We open the coop at 6am and they free range all day 💓

Retraining the Chickens (and Beau) with Food

Whenever I go ousted the chickens come to me; however, when Beau comes out the chickens run. I’m hoping by having Beau hand feed them they will start trusting him again. We will keep you posted!

Has anyone had an issue with their toddler always wanting to chase their chickens?​​