Round em’ up…

Our baby chicks are getting big and are out in the big coop with the big girls full time now. At first we had to teach the babies to go into the coop each night. In order to do this hubby, our dog Chase, and I had to basically “herd” them in each night.

Rounded chicks 2

After a few nights of “herding”, one night we went out and they were all in there. A couple of my New Hampshire’s were even roosting with the big girls. (Another reason my chicks are smarter the hubbys ;) )

Rounded chicks

Now two of mine and one of hubbys Columbian Rock crosses  are roosting with the big girls and the others have found their respective spots in the small hutch in the coop, on those roosts. And one of each kind has found the new roosts we put in the coop for them. Over all it was a good transition for our now 10 week old chicks :)

Born Free…

So the baby girls had their first day out in wide open spaces yesterday. At first they stayed close to their chicken tractor…

babys

But eventually they took off testing their wings and exploring…

Babys 3

At one point something must have scared them as the crowed back towards the fence…

Baby 4

But eventually they just had fun exploring, under hubbys and my close observation.

Babys 2

This is our third time letting a group of chicks out to explore and we learned it is best done when you have two or more people to help keep an eye on your chicks and to keep an eye out for predators as girls this size are still easy bait. You also have to watch out for the older chickens in your flock. If they want to the big ladies will pick on the younger birds. We haven’t had too much of a problem with this since the big ladies are used to the young chicks in the chicken tractor.

Babys 5

We usually let them out in the afternoon or early evening after hubby has gotten home so we can watch them together. They still spend the majority of the day in the chicken tractor. As they get older and bigger they will get more time out in the great outdoors “free”.

Growing Chicks

Our baby chicks are not baby’s anymore :(

Chicks

They are big enough now that they can be outside in the chicken tractor every day and learn to be chickens.

chicks three

The big chickens are exploring around the chicks enclosure more and more…

Chiks n Chikens

Its funny to watch them interact, or not interact, and sometimes just ignore each other.

chickn tractor

The baby’s are also learning to eat pellet food, not just crumbles, and from the big girls feeder.

Chick eats

The stages they go though… funny, interesting, and sometimes odd, but always fun!

Poor Chicken

One of our Buff Chickens has a hurt leg…

Buff chicken

We don’t know how it happened and only can assume it may have happened when she jumped off her perch one morning. She has been hobbling around some, she is eating, and drinking so I’m not sure what we should do…. or if we should leave her alone to heal ? We can’t see anything wrong and when we press on her leg and the joint above she doesn’t peck at us or show pain, but who knows. Any ideas?

Adventures for Baby Chicks

Our baby chicks are growing and as you know from my last post are able to regulate their body temperature enough where they can be out in the yard on nice warm days.

Chick pen

As you can see from the above photo when they go outside they are placed in our newly built chicken tractor so they are safe to explore and birds or other things can’t get to them.

chick pen white

At first they were very timid and huddled together when they went out. But now they jump, run around, explore, peck at the grass, and act almost like a big chicken would.

Chick pen 2

Its really funny to watch them fight over spaces even though they have a big chicken tractor to be in. Their favorite space is a laying box we put in there for them to get used to.

chicks

This white baby chick thinks she rules the roost sometimes…

chicks box

But she usually gets pushed out of the box after a while.

chicks box2

They are also learning to use a big girl water feeder…

Chick water

They got used to that pretty fast.

Chicks water

For the most part the big chickens ignore the baby’s in their pen. Maybe because I haven’t planted my garden yet so they get to go into that to scratch in during the day…

Big Chicks

Still they are pretty close together, yet enjoying their own unique spaces I guess.

Chick yard

The baby chicks just enjoy each day they get to be out and right now they are fast asleep back inside and in their heat lamp area. Night Night baby chicks :)

 

 

Mother’s Day

A very happy and beautiful Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there, but especially to my Mom and Grandma :)

Light Purple flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love my mom and grandma and all they have taught me. My Grandmother started me on my love of baking and encourages me to stick with my faith when my fears set in. She is helpful to others even when it inconveniences her and she is just fun to spend time with. Our favorite activity outside of baking together, is playing cards (watch out she cheats ;) ). My mom showed me many parts of the world letting me travel a lot when I was younger and always told me I could do whatever I set my mind to. My mom and I like to do projects together, sew together, go shopping together, and just like to hang out and have fun. Speaking of fun… since it’s mother’s day I thought I would share a few photos of our baby chicks first day out in the real world…

Baby chicks

The other day we took them out while we built a new chicken tractor (more on that later). We put the baby chicks near the house as there was plenty for them to hide under and allow them safe space for sunning….

baby white

or Shade…

Baby red

Exploring…

Baby white chick

or Resting…

white chick

We kept a close eye on them to make sure they didn’t get into anything that would hurt them, but they did really good :) Overall they got used to being outside and their adventures since have been easier for them (more on that later too). ;)

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! Hope your day was a blessing :)

New Baby Chicks 2015

We broke down and got some more cuteness this year in the form of 10 new baby chicks…

Baby Chicks 4

We have been debating getting new birds, but since we lost a few more of our oldest chickens this year we decided it was time to get new ones… especially since our egg production is down. We got them when they were one day old and they are so tiny.

Baby chick 5

I forget every time how small they are. I know they have to fit in an egg… but serious small cuteness here…

Baby Chicks 2

Chase is beside himself wanting to play with this new flock of babies, but has been resisting and trying to sit patiently as hubby and I handle the baby’s and maintain their living area right now.

Chase chicks

Baxter could care less… he has been though this so many times and is such a laid back pup, that once he smelled them and looked at them he was over it and was back in his chair. I love to check on the babies every day when I get home and just watch them.

Baby Chicks 1

I change out things in their box every few days and on their first change they got a mirror added… They seem to love the mirror and often are caught looking in the mirror or sleeping in front of it… It’s hilarious ;)

Baby Chicks 3

We ended up getting 5 New Hampshire chicks and 5 Columbian Rock Cross chicks. It’s nice to have babies in the house again and hear their little chirps :)

First Day of Spring… or was it?

On the official first day of spring it looked like this at my house…

1st day spring

And the snow just kept coming down, until poor Chase had a hard time getting around…

Chase

But finally it looks like this week spring is defeating winter as there are buds on the tree and a flower or two blooming.

sun

Its still cold, but warming up. I can’t wait for all the spring flowers :)

Chickens and Snow

We have had more snow the past couple of days and I have been trying to keep up with the animals. There are some things I have learned about chicken keeping in the snow, so I thought I would share some of them. You may know some (or all) of them, but maybe you will learn something new :)

1. Chickens don’t like to walk or be in the snow typically. So we have a large run for them to spend time in when the weather is bad. Our run is 8 ft tall, 8 ft wide, and 16 ft long. We are down to 13 chickens now, but have had upwards of 18 chickens in our run and they all have space.

Chicken coop

2. Chickens will eat the snow if they can get their little heads out to reach the snow with out having to step in it. (Even if they have fresh water inside the coop) ;)

Chicken snow

They just gobble it up.

Chickens two snow

3. Chickens are sensitive to the snow so if your chickens do walk in it you will need to watch their feet, wattle, and comb for frostbite. If your chickens do go out in the snow you may want to consider putting petroleum jelly on these areas to help prevent frostbite.

4. If your chickens are in their run all day they will create quite a mess depending on the type of bedding you have in your coop. Sand creates the least amount of dust, but we don’t have access to that much sand so we use wood chips and pine shavings so our coop gets quite dusty. I tell you this as when it is not actually snowing we open the door of the coop to let fresh air in and allow some of the dust to get out. We also try to clean the coop a little between snows to get more of the dust and cob webs out of there. ( We also do a deeper clean in the spring and fall but that’s another post).

chik snow

5. Its important to give your chickens something to do while they are stuck in the coop. We usually give them different types of treats, scratch, and feed blocks to peck at and forage for.

6. We also want to give our girls a place to dust besides in the dusty wood chips and shavings, so we have a kids size swimming pool in the coop and we have a few bags of sand we dumped into it. We try to clean it out every few days as well, but the girls like the sand ‘bath’.

Chicken coop sand

7. Its important to check your water as when its cold the water can freeze (sometimes more then once a day) even with a heated bucket like we have. We tend to pull out the frozen parts as we can and then leave them in the coop as the girls like to peck at it.

Chickens snow

8. Its good to have chicken coop protectors to check things out a couple times a day to make sure no predators get too close ;)

Chase protectBaxter coop

The (Not) So Big Snow

It snowed last night and into early this morning, but we didn’t get as much as expected. I couldn’t get to work so I got to stay home with the boys. We went out this morning in the snow to check on the chickens and to let the boys play.

Dogs run

The snow was deep enough it was fun, but not so deep they couldn’t run and play.

Dogs run 2

I let them run all over the property and I got some exercise too following them around…

Dogs running

They really loved checking out the stream that runs along one side of our place…

Chase Stream 2

Chase just had to figure out a way across…

Dogs stream

And he eventually did get across and had some fun with his brother.

Chase stream

Did you and your pups have any fun in the snow today?

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