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.”

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Shake Your Tail Feather (4/5/16)

This post is a little late, but (no pun intended) the pics were so cute we had to share. The pics were taken April 5, 2016. We should have taken the pics after we cleaned under the coop, which we had to do daily (btw.) When the chicks started getting their tail feathers…

The yellow chicks are a few days older than the other 7 chicks.
Americauna, no tail feathers yet- but super cute!
Just the beginning 1
Just the beginning 2
When they drink, they always put their head up like this.
We had to over expose this photo to show the li’l black tail.

To Be Free (Range) It Is

So we’ve just been letting the chicks out when we are around, usually late afternoon until dusk. It’s been going very well. Gathering 13 chicks has been fun and challenging. However, the other night we decided to leave them out longer since we were working in the yard and all of a sudden the chicks were all in bed- by themselves! We couldn’t believe it. So, now we leave them out until they put themselves to bed and then Beau locks the coop up. 

Last night we forgot to close and lock the nesting door and this morning most of them had flown the coop and were out in the yard already. I came out to this…


Five of them stayed in the coop until we opened it. It appears they have a new favorite hang out in the corner of the yard, not far from the left side of the coop…


Beau and I are in agreement to leave the chicks out all day today and see how it goes. They’re still on the smaller size and we do have Hawks (and a pit bull next door trying to dig his way under the fence), but “may the force be with them.”

Goddy, Beau’s BFF (best feline friend), loves the entertainment! He’s an indoor cat, so he thinks this is great!

Chillin’ at the Back Window

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have been a huge issue in our yard and around the coop. We went to Come See Come Save the other day and bought Grandpas Diatomaceous. We sprinkled it all around the coop and in the nesting area… I will let you know how it works. Here’s a valid link to save $2 right now:


We also use Doterra essential oils for everything! So here are the oils we are using for bug/insect control:

http://www.A2Zessentialoils.com

We are not applying oils directly to the chickens; however, we have created a spray. Feel free to message us for more details. The spray works amazing to keep mosquitos off of the chickens, the powder works great to keep away from the coop area. We are also going to plant marigolds and herbs for a more natural repellent.

To Be Free or Not to Be

Now that the chicks are bigger we’ve been trying to figure out the best and safest way to give them more room. We went to Come See Come Save on Saturday to look at chicken runs. This was a very informative visit. We learned that we don’t need a run for the coop. Chickens stay close to where they are fed, and since the yard is already fenced the chicks (most likely) won’t leave. We were told to start training the chicks now with dried meal worms. So, yesterday was our first day trying this out and it went well. It took the chicks a while to step out of their comfort zone, especially the second batch we got (which have also been handled a lot less.) Eventually, all 13 chicks ventured out. The chicks didn’t leave the immediate vicinity of the coop, they actually hung out under the coop most of the time.
We left the chicks out until late afternoon. Then we had the fun challenge of collecting 13 chicks… I should have videoed this LOL (but I had to assist by corralling them.) This really was a lot of fun and we laughed a lot! We are working on training the chicks to get back in the coop with the meal worms. They must be locked up at night for safety. We have chicken Hawks, possums, raccoons and lots of “community cats.”

All is Well at Beau-coop

We were told to expect to lose one or two chicks. I am happy to say that all is well at Beau-coop. All chicks are still alive and kickin’. It’s been about a month since we started this journey and we have learned so much! Here are some of the things we’ve learned:

  • Brown eggs are not better for you than white.
  • Brown eggs cost more because the chickens eat WAY more LOL… Something to keep in mind if you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum.
  • Brown eggs do have SLIGHTLY more Omegas but very minimal.
  • White, blue, green, brown or pink eggs doesn’t matter when selling- as long as they are fresh.
  • Chickens start laying eggs in 4-6 months. 
  • Chickens must always have water.
  • In order to have organic, non-gmo eggs all you have to do is feed them organic non-gmo food. 
  • Chicks only need 6 sq in and chickens need 1 sq ft… So if you have a coop that is for 6 chickens, you can just add a run (most manufactures sell these.) We will talk more about this in our next post.
  • Be careful introducing new chicks, even if they are only a few days apart. 
  • Zoe, Beau’s French Bulldog, LOVES chicken poop.
  • Once you start, it’s hard to stop LOL.

Beau is obsessed with their feet LOL
Check out her beak, they are really changing!

The Coop Got a Lift

Lift kit: 2 1x4x6 treated boards, 2x8x12 (cut in 3 38.25″ pieces), 12 L brackets, chicken wire 3’x10′.   

   
We stapled the chicken wire to the bottom of the coop. We cut it (after stapling the wire on the left side and top, then stapled the rest. Then we screwed the 1x4x6 boards to the 38.25″ pieces (which ended up being too long and we had to cut more.) I got the dimensions from the Farm House details online, the base of the coop was not even 3′ deep, nor 73″ long LOL… But everything worked out and it turned out awesome 👍🏻   

 We do not have to use wood chips on the bottom anymore (of course we do in the nesting area) and the poop will drop through the wire so we can rake it out now. I think eventually we will paint the wood white. 

This was super easy and feel free to contact us if you have questions or want more detail. We don’t have the heat lamps on the coop now since it so far from the house. However, we are still covering it with a blanket.

Black Sex Links, Black Giants and Ameraucanas – Oh My!

I think we are addicted LOL. Friday we added 2 black sex links, 2 black Giants and 3 Ameraucanas, giving us a total of 17 at the moment. 

   
  

 We now have 5 breeds and a very happy family. However, they weren’t all happy at first. When we first introduced the new chicks, the RI Reds were not being very nice and pecking at them pretty aggressively. Since I knew we were selling 4 of the 6 RI Reds I decided to go ahead and pull 4 out. I kept them separated for a few hours. When I finally put them back in the coop, everyone had blended well and they just joined the group without any issues. The RI Reds are noticeably larger than the golden sex links so it was easy to tell them apart, and most of them  have reddish heads.
  

Teachers Visit

How many teachers do you know that visit their old students over spring break?! Well, Beau’s two most favorite teachers stopped by Monday and got to meet his chicks. Of course Beau couldn’t just show Ms. Dianna and Ms. Joy his chicks… 

 
We are so blessed to have these two wonderful women in our lives. We are really going to miss them next year 😢