Tag Archive | chickens

C’est La Vie

Sorry for my absence. Life has been zooming by. I don’t even know how long it has been since my last post. . . .

Did you all have a good Thanksgiving? We did. My mom and her husband came down for a visit. We had dinner at our house, so my in-laws came over as well. I think Munchkin was in his glory, he had all his favorite people under one roof. We took the boys to go see Wreck-It Ralph that Saturday. They did great and it was a cute movie.

I have been working on my WIC peer counselor training the last few weeks. It is exciting. I get to talk about breastfeeding with pregnant mamas. The boys have been spending a lot of time with Grandma as she has been watching them for me while I do the training and when I clean that house once a week. I am very grateful to have her so close. The boys enjoy going over there. Peanut has an easier time with my leaving then Munchkin does. As soon as I get back to bring them home though, Peanut wants his milkies (which he calls “mine”) immediately.

Peanut has been talking up a storm and repeats everything he hears. Luckily he hasn’t repeated any of the less than nice words that have escaped my mouth on occasion. It is cute listening and watching him copy everything his big brother does.

Munchkin is still in the in-between phase where he wants to be a big boy, but whines and cries because he wants you to help him do everything too. It keeps things interesting. 🙂 I love it when he tries out new words he hears and new gestures too. Today he gave me a thumbs up when I asked him if something was good.

On the animal/homestead end of things, we lost two chickens. I am not sure if it was Lily, who I caught eating them, or if it was the neighbor’s dog that Hubby had chased out of the yard when he caught him going after a chicken.

Lily went into heat and we tried to be diligent, but said neighbor’s dog managed to get hold of her and so now we should have puppies around Christmas. *sigh* Not especially happy, but “c’est la vie”

I was telling Munchkin that Lily has babies in her belly so he needs to not be so rough with her. Tonight he was talking about the babies in his belly. He has 5 or 6 of them in there. We are going to be busy 😉

My sister’s rabbit is hilarious. Nothing phases him. He quickly adjusted to the chaos that is our life. He gets free time in the house when the dogs are out. He hops onto the couch, pushes open doors if they aren’t shut tight, steals food off the kid’s table, begs when you are cutting up vegetables. He acts like a one of the dogs or the cats. I got this cute pic of him washing his face. Looks like he is saying “Oh no, what have I done” Bandit

As usual, things have been crazy around here.

Hubby started a new job working as a mechanic.

I started cleaning a house once a week. The boys stay with my mother-in-law, aka Grandma, while I clean. I got called back to WIC for the Peer Counselor position! I am very excited about this job. I won’t start for a little while yet though. I have also really started the process to become a LLL leader.

K is still working at the Montessori School and loves it.

The boys have been crazy 😉

Peanut’s vocabulary has been growing in leaps and bounds.

Munchkin has been very clingy yet very independent at the same time. It is rather frustrating. When we need him to do something like get dressed, he won’t and wants help. When we don’t need his help, that is when he wants to.

Georgia, one of the golden comets, went missing a few nights ago. We thought she was a goner as she still hadn’t turned up the next day. We went to a big flea market and ended up getting a couple more golden comets/red sex link to replace her. I like getting them in pairs so they have a friend while they adjust. Well, when we got home, guess who was standing in the middle of the yard? Yup, Georgia. She was a little sniffly and limping on her left foot. I kept her in the kitchen for about 24 hours and then brought her back outside yesterday afternoon. She seems ok aside from the limp. I am keeping an eye on her foot to make sure she doesn’t develop bumble foot.

K fell in love with a California Rabbit while we were at the flea market. I told her as long as she was taking care of him, I didn’t care if she got him. So now we have Bandit the Rabbit living with us as well.

Hello

I figured I would say “Hi” to you all while I wait for my cup of tea to finish steeping. I should be going to bed because sleep has been hard to come by with this stupid cold making the rounds. But, I seem to have a frog in my throat that just doesn’t want to move on. So tea and Hello it is. 🙂

We found Rocky a new home. He is living happily on a farm. He has his own little flock of Barred Rock hens to look after. Before we left the farm I picked up two Australorp pullets. I have no pictures yet because the girls, who we have named Dorothy and Rose, have been a little on the shy side. Yes, we have Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose. We just need a Sophia now.

Today Hubby and I started digging out the drainage culvert that divides the property. It was almost flat in some areas. We got about 40 feet of it cleared out today. There is still a lot more to go though. I am already pretty sore, I am hoping tomorrow won’t be too bad.

Munchkin has been super whiny for the last 24 hours. He hasn’t been able to verbalize why he is feeling so sad or angry. Everything has been setting him off though. I’ve been doing my best to keep my cool, it is hard at moments though. I am hoping tomorrow is a better day for him. I hate to see him having a difficult time.

Peanut started saying “sorry” today. Then when we were having some silly time before bed he started saying “I love you”! It was so sweet. That really made my night.

Blah. My throat is getting scratchier by the moment. I don’t want to be sick again! 😦

The goat quarters

Hubby and I worked on the goat (and now chicken) shed Saturday evening.

It sits in a really bad spot on our property. All that rain that we just got (sorry to all the folks experiencing drought right now), the shed ended up with an inch or so of water in the bottom of it. Luckily I had a good layer of bedding in there (I have been using oak shavings and hay) so Hazel and Willow didn’t get their feet wet.

I cleaned it all out and then we laid down some pallets that we picked up at the electric company’s warehouse. We had some peg board lying around that wasn’t being used, so we laid that down on top of the pallets so that the shavings and hay would stay on top and we wouldn’t fall through the pallets and have injured legs.

I put down fresh shavings and hay. We moved the goat’s bowls to the back of the shed. We realized hanging them on the door where the rain can come in, wasn’t really that smart of a plan. Doh!

Then we took one of the smaller trees that Hubby had cut down and trimmed that up and stuck it inside for the chickens to perch on. Yeah, they have officially moved into the shed. I guess they feel safe with the girlies and they have more room. The chickens have been crowding Hazel and Willow up on their shelf, so I thought a perch would be nice, that is where they are supposed to sleep, right? Not my chickens. They like snuggling up with the goats apparently. We even put a nest box in there for them, but Claudette and Georgia walk back to the old coop and still lay their eggs in there. Still nothing, as far as I know, from Rocky and Buffy. It has only been a few days though, so maybe they will come to like their new perch and nesting box. I still feed the chickens back there though because I haven’t figured out a better solution so that Hazel won’t raid the chicken food.

Everyone seems pretty happy with the set-up.

The shed

What kind of set-up do you have for your goats and/or chickens? I am always interested in getting new ideas for them.

Happenings around the homestead.

One of the strangest things I discovered when we moved to Mississippi was crayfish wandering around the yard. It wasn’t something I had ever seen before. Hubby and I thought it was hilarious. We still do. Except for the giant holes and chimneys they leave around the yard.

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Crayfish chimney. This is a really short one.

Last night Hubby was walking around the yard hunting for them. He likes to play with them. You know, poke them with sticks and make them fight with him. 😉 This one was one of the bigger ones, probably about four or five inches long.

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Crayfish

 Lily likes to try and dig the crayfish up. She actually got one the other day. She thought it was a tasty snack.

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Lily searching for crayfish

 We also have mushrooms galore after all the rain too. These white ones have been popping up and growing to massive sizes

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Big white mushrooms

 Then there are these little brown ones. They are growing up in the middle of the lespedeza.

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Little brown mushrooms

My calendula are continuing to bloom and attract pollinators to the garden.

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Calendula with a bee and ?

  

And so are my sunflowers.

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Pretty sunflower with a giant bee

I have a new sunflower opening up this morning.

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New sunflower opening this morning

The girlies are happy to have the sun out.

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Willow and Hazel hanging out, happy for no more rain.

Eggs from the Reds this morning and the loaf of bread I baked last night.

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Yay for fresh bread and eggs!

Still waiting on Buffy and Rocky to start laying. If they haven’t all ready started. . . .I keep checking around, but haven’t seen any.

The chickens have started sleeping in the shed with goats. I can’t get the back doors on their coop closed. The wood has swelled considerably from all the rain.

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Free-range chickens

 We had a fun filled puddle jumping day on Saturday. We have an issue with flooding in our yard. We are trying to figure out the best course of action to fix this, but until then, we will continue to have fun running through the giant puddles. It is Munchkin and Peanut’s favorite activity. 🙂

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Love the expression on Munchkin’s face

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Peanut is concentrating really hard on not falling

Hooray for Rain!

We finally got some rain this evening. Yay!

The plants and trees are thirstily drinking it up. Not quite fast enough though. Our backyard still managed to flood some.

I wasn’t prepared and so the goats got stuck on the other side of the yard and hid out in the dog house during the deluge. By the time the rain subsided some, it was dinner time for the goats. They braved the rain and gigantic puddles to run across the yard to the shed. They are much happier now.

The chickens are funny. The Reds have no problem with getting wet. Aside from hiding under the table during the worst part of the storm, they have been strolling around the yard. They are soaked through and their feathers are quite mottled looking, but I think they really enjoy the rain. Buffy and Rocky quickly took shelter in the goat shed. They are keeping the goats company now.

The boys played in an earlier rain shower. At first they weren’t quite sure if they liked it. They eventually decided they liked it and ran around and played. It wasn’t enough rain to create puddles, but Munchkin still had to put his new, red rain boots on. He loves his rain boots and wears them quite a bit, even when it isn’t necessary. Then both boys napped through the major part of the storm. . .I think it may be a late tonight.

I wish I had some pictures to share, but you know, it has been/is still raining. The camera would get wet. It would stop working. I would be sad if that happened. I could take an umbrella out, but it is also lightning, so I don’t really imagine that ending well either. Instead I will leave you with a pic of the Girlies (the goats) playing on the porch the other day.

Hazel and Willow playing “Queen of the porch”

 

Have a great evening!

 

The Garden vs The Chickens

As most of you know, this is my first year for gardening. I’ve done some reading, asked some questions, but mostly I am learning as I go along.

My garden isn’t very big. I have a couple of tomato plants, one big zucchini plant, a couple of yellow squash plants, a couple of cucumber plants, a couple of watermelon plants, a few pepper plants, some basil, some mint, some oregano, some marigolds and some Calendula. All of my plants, aside from one tomato plant and the zucchini plant, have stayed fairly small. I am not sure if it is due to the soil or the really hot weather and/or lack of rain.

My Garden

The plants are all very happy looking though. I laid a down a decent layer of hay in the garden to help preserve moisture and it really seems to have made a difference. We also just tilled another patch of earth. I covered it up with a nice layer of hay, grass clippings, and goat manure. I have high expectations for when I can finally plant in that spot. It is too hot right now though.

My tomato plants are finally starting to produce fruit. The buds kept getting chopped off. Then the chickens discovered the garden. For the tomato plants, this has been great. For the rest of the garden, not so much. The chickens keep helping themselves to the squash. I haven’t been able to enjoy any from my own garden. They have been plucking off the tiny watermelons when they pop up. If I am not fast enough, they start in on my zucchini. They even pecked at my green peppers enough to make holes in them and then walked away. . . .

We are working on getting the fence up around the garden, but it has been slow going. Hopefully we will get it finished soon. Until then we try to keep a close eye on things and shoo them away when we catch them in there.

I also have a little flower bed at the corner of the house across from the garden. Nothing is actually blooming yet. I have sunflowers, more Calendula, more marigolds, and some other stuff that I don’t remember. It is supposed to be a bird and pollinator mix. I had replanted some sunflowers that I started in pots, but the chickens took the freshly dug dirt as an invitation to dig around and ended up digging them up. . . .

I know we will find the balance with gardening and free-range chickens. Until then, we will have to deal with a few frustrations.

Happy chickens

Rocky’s rocky day

We had a bit of a scare with Rocky yesterday.

The dogs had been out in the yard for about a half an hour when Hubby went out for a cigarette.

The sight he saw? The dogs had Rocky. Hubby yelled at them and got them in the house. He told me what happened, I was upset, poor Rocky. Hubby finished his cigarette and I went back inside. Neither one of us had actually gone over to her yet, we just assumed she was a goner.

A few minutes later Hubby calls for me to come outside. Sigh. I walk outside and there is Rocky sitting up looking around! She had been lying there motionless for at least 5 minutes. I started walking over to her and she got up and walked into the pen to get some water. I let her get a drink and then picked her up and looked her over.

She had no wounds. No blood. She was missing a few feathers and was a little dirty, but she was okay.

We watched her closely for the rest of the day and she continued to return to her normal self.

This morning she is acting as if nothing happened.

Rocky is living up to her name. Image

As for the dogs. . . . I am not pleased with them. We had been tying Lily up because of her tendency to chase the chickens, but she had been doing much better with that. Sawyer hasn’t really bothered with the chickens since the first few days we got them. They walk around with him and hang out. So I am not really sure what spurred this.

We did have a buck here for 24 hours. Image He was in rut. (He was way too much goat for us, so he went to a better suited home.) The testosterone was high and Sawyer, who is neutered, wasn’t sure what to do with the whole situation. Maybe that got him riled up and he still hasn’t come down from it.

Speculation won’t get us anywhere though. So we will be keeping a close eye on the dogs again.

Busy, busy, busy

Let’s see, what has happened since my last post?

We got another goat. She is a four-month old Pygmy/Nigerian mix. We named her Willow. She is a sweet little thing. She was pretty nervous when we brought her home. She’d yell at the top of her lungs when we picked her up. She and Hazel hit it off right away. They are best buds.

Willow (left) & Hazel (right)

We had another puppy show up at our house about 20 minutes before we were to leave and get Willow. He was a cute little terrier mix. I decided to call him Charlie. He was only with us for five days. We found him a really great home.

Charlie

I applied for a job as a peer breastfeeding counselor with WIC. Sadly, I did not get the job 😦 They said I was qualified, but they didn’t have the funds available for travel and so were looking for someone more centrally located. . . I am pretty disappointed about not getting the job. I was very excited about it.

On the topic of breastfeeding, Peanut has been a complete boobie monster. He has been cutting his one-year molars and his eye teeth, so all he has wanted to do is nurse. It’s been rather hard to get anything accomplished. He has slowed down a little bit and I have been making him wait a few minutes when he asks.

Munchkin has gotten really good at riding his bike. He zooms all over the backyard. He goes to the store and buys bags of fruit and toys and fills up his bike at the gas station 🙂

Munchkin on his bike

We spoil our chickens a little. The Reds (Claudette and Georgia) are our best friends. Whenever we step out the back door they are right there to see if we have any treats for them. It’s pretty funny. One of them stole a carrot right out Peanut’s hand last night. Buffy and Rocky still keep to themselves. We can’t keep any of the chickens in the pen anymore. As soon as we open the coop, they climb up on top and hop over the fence. .  . So the pen is open during the day and they have free range of the yard all day. The Reds at least go back to the coop to lay their eggs. Buffy and Rocky haven’t started laying yet, I think.

Claudette & Georgia enjoying a dust bath

Buffy & Rocky searching for tasty bugs

Peanut has started saying words here and there. It is very exciting. He is also turning into a little Eval Kneval. Not so exciting. He belly flops from the couch to the over-sized ottoman we use as a coffee table and back again. He also “jumps” off the ottoman onto his and Munchkin’s little Spiderman couch. Oy. Now I have two stunt children to worry about.

Peanut on his new slide

Last, but not least, we had a dog here for the day on Wednesday. She was a little thing and just standing in the middle of the road. A few people were outside their houses and said they had never seen her before, so I put her in the car and headed home. She had milk, so she had puppies and as the day went on, I got worried about where the puppies might be. I had been posting about her all over Facebook and Craigslist trying to find her owners. Finally we drove back down to where we found her so we could ask around. Some kids were walking down the street and I asked them if they knew where she might belong. Thankfully they did. She had been right outside her house when I picked her up. . . .I knocked on the door and the woman didn’t even know she had been missing. . . Whiskey, that was her name, was happy to be home. She had three puppies waiting for her.

Whiskey. She didn’t even weigh 5lbs. Such a sweet girly though.

Whew! That was a  lot to catch up on. Time for a nap!

Peanut conked out on my lap