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!

Chicken lice…

Violet had caught a huge case of chicken lice. That meant a huge cleanout of the coop, and spreading some diatomaceous earth and some pymethrin dust. The other hens seem to be doing fine, and are dust bathing in the new bath i gave them. This weekend will involve another huge cleanout, and refreshing the bath materials. I also have to check the other girls. In their dust bath, they have wood ash, diotamaceous earth, and a small pymethrin dust mix. 


This was definitely not something i wanted to deal with. And you can’t eradicate them, you just control them. 

Any tips? I pray you don’t ever have to go through that!

Death on the homestead.

Not a great topic, but something everyone has to deal with. 

Violet, my beloved hen has passed. I am sure part of it was from anemia from the chicken lice we happened upon in the coop. I tried as much as i could to nurse her back to health, but it was coming, and she got to live out her days eating treats and did not suffer. I knew it would happen while i was on vacation. I was talking to the hubby one night checking on the homestead and he told me she didn’t make it. 

One of the sad things we have to deal with, but it is life on a farm. It doesn’t mean it’s any easier. 


RIP Violet, she was my most pet like hen!

Chicken Coop Additions

So we had bought a chicken waterer that had nipple waterers on it. The girls did not like it at all- they had a harder time learning how to use it. So while at Tractor Supply I saw the cup waterers. We are going to do a PVC one with the other coop since there is no where to hang one. If there is one thing I worry about with animals- it is water!  There is 2 to a pack, and so we bought 4 to switch out the nipples on the bucket. One of the holes split the bucket- luckily we had another bucket to use! Hubby drilled the holes and we got the bucket ready!

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It just involves the girls pecking at it. If it wasn’t summer I would remove the other waterer so they could learn to use the other- but I am paranoid. On the package it states to remove all other water sources- and they will learn quickly how to use it. I think we may have to move it to another spot- and see if they will use it there! Right now it just gets pooped on!

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I scrubbed the other smaller waterer and feeders so I can leave some extra when we go on vacation. I do have someone coming to take care of them- but I will worry less if there is more for the babies and the girls to use! Scrubbing these was some work- but I will have to scrub the bigger ones this weekend. I don’t want my girls to have yucky stuff!

DIY- Goat Hay Feeder

Hubby and I have been talking about a hay feeder for the goats, and finally got one built!

Pinterest is where I get all my good ideas y’all! So to whomever originally posted this- thanks! I have to give credit where credit is due- this is not my idea- I just executed it!

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Goaties need hay- and they don’t want it wet- or if it has touched the ground! I never knew goats could be so picky- mine are y’all- mine are! I tried to feed them corn on the cobb- they don’t like it. They don’t like strawberry tops either!

To make the feeder- we used an old plastic tote that was warping. It can hold 2 to 3 flakes. We nailed a 2 x 4 piece that we had laying around to the pallet wall- and then screwed the tote on. If you look at the back- it has a little of an angle because I need to be able to place the lid on and off- you don’t want the hay wet!

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It took a minute to figure out what it was!

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We absolutely love it!

Mini Farm-

 

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Hey, what are you looking at?

 

So I wholeheartedly believe I am starting a mini farm! I absolutely love my animals! The Golden Comet girls have really come into their color- and they are all 3 different feather patterns- so I am about to name them! The cherry eggers look the same- but they are beautiful- so I may have to color band their legs so I can name them! Be prepared for the list! If you have the same breed and they all look the same- how do you tell them apart? I love the pictures of Spaz and Violet- and then a goatie update! It makes me happy to take their picture! It appears they are photogenic! Help me with some Farm names yall!

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New Addition to the Homestead-

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See the speckled looking one? That is my rare breed! Any one can tell what it will be?
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Look at those colors!
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This one is my favorite! What are you doing crazy lady?

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Here is what we received in the mail on Wednesday May 10th! I am so excited! I ordered 5 Araucana/Americauna’s, 5 White Jersey Giants, 5 Delawares, and 5 White Cochins. They sent a rare breed chick as well. Sad to say they did fine- but when I woke up on Thursday morning, we found one had passed. I think it was one of my Cana’s, and I am so sad, because that is what I really wanted! We will have to see how this goes! The rare breed is the speckled one- and I am very interested to see what it is! Any guesses? I am also supposed to have all females, so I need more names! I am thinking about buying the color bands so I can tell some of them apart!

I can’t wait to watch these babies grow! I will be posting weekly updates!

Goat Update-

This will be a picture happy post! MJ and Kevin are doing well. They are more lovey and vocal with me when no one is around. We had to do some rearranging in the pen- we added a piece of plywood to the inside of the house- so 3 sides are covered fully and it should leave them a decent amount of dry space. I had to move the non-tippable food bucket to in the dry spot as it was full of mush- and I have picky goats- they won’t eat it!

MJ is pretty funny- she will look up at the leaves on the tree- and mah at me- so I ask her what she wants and she does it again. I love our conversations! I mostly get onto Kevin- he is less than a month younger- but a definite bully!

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