Egg-citing news!

I may make you wait for it- but I just can’t! I am like a little kid opening a gift- I have to tell you the egg-citing news! Our ducks and the younger set of hens are laying! I screamed with joy when I found out!

Saturday I checked the coop- which we really haven’t been able to do- since it has been so dark- and look at the glory I found! I did bust one egg- oops! But shortly after discovering the girls were laying- Sheldon discovered duck eggs!

Some nesting box love- Do you see the light green/light blue! That makes me so egg-cited! I am going to have to freshen up the nesting boxes a little more often in this coop. My Easter Eggers are laying and the Buff Orpingtons as well. I only have 5 Easter Eggers- and 2 Buff’s. That poor Buff pretty much lays anywhere in the coop. Poor gal- so I will be freshening the coop- and I may have to try the golf ball trick to see if I can make sure they lay in the boxes.

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The ducks did just lay anywhere- which is still a possibility. But I added some hay to their coop- and look- one made a nest- we are getting 1 egg a day. So I hope that means they will start laying more. I have 3 hens and 3 drakes. I am hoping one eventually will go broody and try to hatch out some babies! SSH- I actually think they heard me talking about if they didn’t start laying soon- they may go to freezer camp! But alas- no worries for now!

The plethora of eggs we have now. And I am loving the colors. We do mark the day on the egg with a pencil so that we can eat the oldest first. I love my egg basket that my momma bought me- it is now coming to great use!

I can’t wait to expand and get more chickens so we can have more different colored eggs!

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Smashing Pumpkins

The girls had some fun- we use our pumpkins to feed the animals as a natural dewormer. The newer hens were not so sure about it- but once they figured it out- then yes- it was a wonderful treat. Tooty and Sheldon got to half and smash the pumpkins with a sledgehammer- they had such a good time. It was warm enough that Tooty even wanted to run the sprinkler- so while we were putting up the sprinklers from the garden- she got to have a little fun.

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Sunshine-

Sunshine is still alive! No eggs for awhile- I am trying to figure out if she is done or not. I really need to get some more friends for her- but I am afraid she has been alone for too long. I think the ducks disturb her- their pen is right next to hers. I have to clean her pen a little- and she doesn’t take much food or water- so right now- she is a pet!

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Chickens like what?

The girls have been laying a steady 4 eggs a day- although it is molt season so I can’t tell who is and isn’t laying. There is 7 in this coop- and poor Spaz hit her first real molt- she looked horrible and there are feathers everywhere!

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We feed them a little sunflower seeds in the shell every day!

Did you know you can be frugal and feed your chickens your mums? I bought 3 from my daughter’s fundraiser for music for school- and boy did those girls enjoy them!

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The littles are not laying yet- but I keep my eyes peeled every day for eggs! The coops got cleaned out last month. I should show you an after picture if I can- they ate everything down to the stems.

I also found out something was digging- may have been my pooch- near the coops- so I filled in the holes so I don’t step in them. And in the meantime- also got covered in ants from an ant bed! Gracious- we are a hot mess!

Enjoy some pictures below!

Goat Update-

So I finally found something the goats will eat…. you do realize I have some picky goats.

We had some pears about to go bad- and MJ enjoyed nibbling!

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In the meantime- I had to chase Kevin around because of this…

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We have to winterize and work on the goat hut some for this winter- but I did put a fresh batch of hay in there so it wasn’t so muddy! Enjoy!

Guess what we added to the homestead?

Hot Mess Homestead now owns ducks! That’s right we have gone Quakers!

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We have 6 Cayuga Ducks- 3 male and 3 female. Sheldon has named one of the females Priscilla- and a friend of mine has name one Donald- and then Sheldon said we needed a Daffy. So we do have names for 3 of them. They are so cute- and funny and exciting! They are laying- but not right now as they are going through the Summer molt. Stay tuned for a DIY duck pen post!

20170820_191345My camera did not take a good picture- but they sure are enjoying their new home! And it is fun to hear them quack. They are starting to learn that I bring the food and water and talk to me when I go out there. I am hoping they learn to trust me soon- they have only been here for 3 days though!

How many chickens?!?

Currently I have 2 coops, and I have 2 separate ages of chickens. We have a friend that has a batch I am going to get shortly- but that means building another coop. Now I am trying to decide where to put it and how to build it.

In my one coop- which we are expanding the run on soon- I have my lone first chicken Spaz and I have 3 Golden Comets, and 3 Cherry Eggers. Spaz is about a year old- and the other girls are right at reaching 6 months old. Right now we only get one egg almost every day from Spaz, I hope the others start laying soon.

Spaz is still queen of the coop- although they are getting along better now. Once we expand there should be some more room for some more girls in here, once the reach a bigger size.

In the smaller coop that we just expanded with run space- I have 18 hens. Well I may have 17 hens and a roo- I am not sure yet.

They are loving their space, and I did take 2 pictures of my “rare” breed from the hatchery. He/She is so beautiful- has 5 toes and is tufted. It has gray-white feathers up top and then the back is red/green and black, and some feathers on half of it’s feet. So beautiful. I have 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 Rhode Island Reds, they are the ones I may move to the big coop when they get a little bigger. Then I have 3 White Cochins- 2 passed on me right before we expanded the run, 3 White Jersey Giants- and 5 Easter Eggers, and then my rare one. I am thinking I may keep the Easter Eggers on their own and get a roo next spring. I am hoping to breed out and have babies and then be able to sell them. But in order to sell them, they will need to be separated so they don’t have barnyard mixes. We will see what the future holds- for now I just love them all the same!

 

DIY- Trim Goatie Hooves

So this weekend, I attempted to trim both the goat’s hooves. Now this was quite the job and took Sheldon, Hubby and I to get this done! Sheldon had to watch to make sure that we did not get disturbed by the loose goat. I need to plan a little better- and make a separate area to do this- also a milking stanchion, but to later plans. For now I know the goats needed to be trimmed. A friend of ours has goats- and some people I know do not trim them at all! But it is like fingernails- I know they had to feel better after!

To plan- I bought a pair of these from Amazon- (Sorry Y’all- I did not get many pictures!)

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They worked wonderful- and look at all those uses!

I did watch a few YouTube videos and read some articles from other bloggers- maybe next time I will get more pictures and be able to post more. I did not want to take too much off- goats have quicks- so if you cut too much- you can make them bleed. Therefore they will need to be done again in about 4 weeks or so. Most of what I heard- you need to trim them every 6 to 8 weeks. It can prevent hoof rot- and more. I think this is more for show goats- BUT I know I don’t want them to get sick- and it looks like it almost hurt to have to walk on funky hooves- so maybe more for me than them.

They both seemed to be happier a little after- although they did not want to come near us for awhile. They don’t hold grudges long y’all. I found the easiest way to trim was Hubby helped catch them- one at a time- and then we rolled them onto their backs on his lap. It worked really well as they did not scream as much and they got loving as I was messing with their feet. I did the front first and then the back. I trimmed little by little and they probably needed more- but I started to see what looked like part of the quick/foot. So I will trim them again in 4 weeks and each time I will get better and soon become an expert!

They do seem to be happier when they walk!

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Look for that post soon! Also look for a goat expansion post and update- we may be adding more to the herd since Kevin and MJ are half brother and sister and really can’t breed together! I may let them have one set- BUT MJ is 7 months old, and Kevin is 6 months old.

What to do with cut grass?

So Monday, we had to cut the grass. It was getting long, and we knew it had to be done to do the fireworks, and for the kids. I don’t like it to be kept long because of the bugs especially. Hubby borrowed his dads sweeper so we wouldn’t have grass flakes everywhere. Well what do you do with all of the cut grass? We have 3/4 of an acre, and most of it is grass, it was pretty long, so we had about 3 loads to do something with.

The first load got taken to the chicken pens, the girls freaked when we added it- but learned very quickly what it was. They were very happy after, as I’m sure it had a couple crickets- and yummy bugs as well. We are hoping it will cut down on the mud some- and reseed the area. The next 2 loads got taken to the goat pen to try to regrow the grass in there as well. The last load went into the compost.

This was right after, and I am hoping that it reseeds the ground. It is all dead and brown now- but at least it is in there preventing some more mud.

The goats were a little unsure- and they did not eat it- so that is a good sign!

I will have to let everyone know how well this works!