Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Coop

We have now had the boys for a little over a week, and they were not using the coop.  This totally frustrated me!!!!!  My hubby said that he has seen them in there but I didn't until yesterday!  I still don't think they are using it at night because I've gone out with a flashlight to check and they are no where to be found.  I guess I won't worry anymore seem to be able to take care of themselves through out the night.  Louie is still scared of me he sprints away when he sees me.

Blue on the other hand is warming up to me. I can get about 2 - 3 feet from him before he bolts.  I really think I can get him to come to me before the summer is over.  Louie, not so much.  He is so flighty.  I hate to tell them that they are going back when the weather turns cold I am NOT taking care of two coops in the winter!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Boys Are Home!

I got the coop done moved Louie and Blue to our house and they are doing fine.   I have one problem, they will not go in the coop they have been spending the night outside which worries me because they could get eaten by predators.  They have survived the past two nights and I'm hoping that we can get them to go into the coop tonight.  I can't believe they don't know how to walk up the ramp and go to bed at night!

We shall see how this goes....if they don't use the coop I might be forced to take them back and put them back in the mix and hope the pecking order is established with them on the bottom of the list, since they were the two bullies to begin with!  Only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Finally Done With The Coop!

Finally I got the coop at work done!!!  I got the roost raised, the board in for pooping, and the sand on the floor!  Even got the nesting boxes put back in all clean and fresh, the only thing I have not done is get the curtains on the nesting boxes which will happen this weekend.  Now that it is getting hot out I will need to invest in a fan for the coop and make sure the chickens aren't over heating.  With the cool sand on the floor I think that they will be spending lots of time in the coop taking dust baths.....should be interesting to see what happens.  Now all I have to do is work on my own coop and finish it by the 4th of July so Louie and Blue can come home!

Hopefully they will like their new home especially the fact that they can free range!   Of course chickens are skiddish and will probably be nervous since it's a new environment for them.  Of course by the time late fall gets here it will be time to take them back to work and winter them there.  Should be lots of fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Homemade Orange Peel White Vinegar Cleaner

I found a cleaner for the coop and for the home over at Fresh Eggs Daily. Lisa is my go to source for all things chicken!  She has so much information on a variety of topics such as chicken, gardening, recipes and she also has her own shop at Etsy!

Here is Lisa's recipe:

Four oranges (or six limes, four lemons or two grapefruit or a mix)
Two cinnamon sticks
Two vanilla beans
 Bottle of white vinegar (or substitute inexpensive vodka)
Two canning jars
Spray bottle

I actually added whole cloves to my cleaner for the simple fact I love the smell of oranges and cloves!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Boys

Blue and Louie
This is of the two roos I'm bringing home to live with me.  Blue seems to be warming up to me and for that I'm glad.  Louie on the other hand runs and hides every time I go into the pen to feed and water them.  I know the reason they are skiddish is because of  a rooster we had when they were little, he would attack me so I had to carry a weapon (a big stick) and they would see me using that  to defend myself and since they were so tiny when they saw what was going on they have been scared of me ever since.  I hope once I get them home that we can make friends. I guess I will have to spends lots of time with them.....Like that is going to be a problem!!! I'm going to love having them here and I can't wait for next Spring to get here so I can get my Silkie hens...I've already decided their names!!!  Wow I'm such the planner!!!  I would like to get a white, black, blue, and a partridge Silkie.  I like the names Daisy, Delilah, Violet, and Pearl, we shall see what comes of those names when I get them home!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Building My New Coop

I started building my coop this weekend and it's coming along nicely!  We've only had to run to get "stuff" once, which is amazing to me since I really don't know what I'm doing I thought for sure that I'd end up going to town several times Yeah for me!!!!

 I still have a lot left to do but it's mostly insignificant stuff.  I need to put the roost in and hinges on the door.  I made it easy for me to clean and I can move the coop where ever I want it, because it's light weight of course it's just a "summer home" for Blue and Louie, when it gets cold out I will take them back to the dental office to winter them there with the other bantys!  I am hoping to get a three or four Silkie hens next spring, I just think they are so cute!  I wouldn't mind having some banty frizzles as well!  I think one nesting box will be sufficient for three or four hens. If not I can always add more!  Eventually I would love to attach a run to the coop since I live out on a farm and we do have critters that would love to have a chicken dinner I really think that is something to think about towards fall.  In the meantime the boys will be able to free range during the day and I will have to lock them up at night.  I think they are going to love it out here and I know I will  love having them here!

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's A Messy Job....

Well, yesterday I started in on the semi-annual cleaning of the coop.  I got the first part of the coop cleaned didn't realize those nasty mice had done so much damage!!  I knew I had at least two places that they were getting in but I wow didn't know we actually had several holes to fix!!  I found some metal and cut it up to patch the holes....I will be putting dryer sheets all over the storage part of the coop, because they won't go in where the chickens are because I have a Buff Orpington hen, Hilda Mae who is a championship mouser!  She is better at catching them than my two cats put together!!  She had killed tons of mice in her short little life she is only a year old!  Hail to Queen Hilda Mae!  I am so glad that we only have mice I would be so freaked out if I saw a rat or a snake in the coop!  Hilda Mae would probably have a handle on them too!

Round two of coop cleaning will come on Saturday or Sunday not sure which day is going to be nice enough to get the job down that part is not going to be that big of a deal.....I just need to get the other nesting box out and cleaned up.  I want to put privacy curtains on the nesting boxes I'm sure the "girls" will love it!

Today the "kids" are getting a treat I bought them a cantaloupe for being such good chickens and having to put up with the dreaded vacuum yesterday!  That hate the noise, I can't say I blame them!  I will feel so much better when the whole coop is clean.  I did tell my hubby that he would have to move one of the roosts up because I have some chickens (I don't know who's doing it) that like to pluck the tail feathers off of their coop mates.  I thought raising one of the roosts will cut down on the plucking!  I hope I am right!  Two of our roos are missing tail feathers and they look so funny!  Our Black Frizzle Joey has NO tail feathers and neither does Chandler our White Crested Black Polish.  I think I can guess who might be doing it.....Jack our other White Crested Black Polish....probably pay back from when Chandler picked out all of Jack's (hair) feathers on the top of his head.  Can't say I blame him much.....Jack got his name because he only had "eyebrows" left and he reminded me of  Jack Nicholson.

I am off to go get the wood for building the coop.....

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Long Holiday Weekend

Looks like this weekend is THE weekend to start building my new coop!   I've changed the design a bazillion times....hopefully I'll figure it out by the weekend!!  The two roos I'm bringing home after the coop is done will be in seventh heaven they are in a small pen which is actually pretty good sized....they will love it at my house because they get to free range!!!!  Louis is still scared of me but Blue seems to be warming up at least he doesn't run when I go in to feed them.

I have been looking at hens on the internet and have almost decided that I'm going to get Silkies next spring...I would love to have one white, one blue or black and a partridge Silkie.  I even have names for them already!  I'm not sure if I will just get three or go ahead and get a buff Silkie as well, that would make 5 hens!! So if I make the coop a tad bit bigger I could have a total of 7 chickens, I know chickens are like potato chips......we will see what come of all of this!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring Has Arrived!

Finally it's starting to warm up!  I need to get in and clean up the pen, and give the coop a really good cleaning!  I think I'm going to start by revamping the nesting boxes.  I've seen on some blogs that they have put "curtains" on their boxes for privacy I think I'm going to try that!  As of late it seems like the girls are not laying much.  Not sure what that means, I did notice that they have been cracking open the eggs and eating them if they lay them on the ground especially outside, not so much in the coop.

One of the other things I am dealing with is MICE....oh do I hate them!!!  I am afraid of them I know it's stupid I'm bigger than they are!  They just freak me out to no end!  I did find where they were coming in at. I just need to find some kind of metal to bolt over the hole they made.  I can believe how destructive they can be!  I had the chicken feed in a Rubbermaid tote they ate right through it!!!  Nothing like contaminated chicken food!  It just makes me mad.  I did read that you should put either dryer sheets or sprigs of mint since mice don't really like the smell of either!  Make I will plant some mint around the coop!
 It's so
maddening to walk in the coop and see them climbing the walls.  I will say this though, our Buff Orpington Hilda Mae is an excellent mouser!  She is better than my two cats put together!! She is also my worry wart!
We have to Roosters that are not very nice and have been put in a separate pen until I can get a coop built at home for them. Hilda Mae spend lots of time (when she is not mousing) pacing with the two roos.  She wants them out with the others and not separated.....she would make a great mom!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm Getting My Own Chickens!!!

Well it looks like we have two roos that are not being very nice to the other chickens we had to separate them from the rest of the flock. The partners in crime are Louis an Araucana and Blue our Blue Cochin.  I've decided to bring them home with me. I first have to get a coop built before they come home...I'm sure they will be happy here with me since they will get the run of the place and not confined to a "prison cell" as they are now!

I will love having them here but when winter comes I will putting them back in the mix because it will just be easier on me!  Having them away from the other chickens will put these two on the low end of the totem pole so they can't cause trouble!  At least I hope not!!!  I am shocked that the two are not fighting, but Blue seems to want to fight Jack through the fence.....what a silly boy!!  He will learn some day...I hope!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I Think Spring Has Sprung!

Finally, it seems to have warmed up here in Iowa!  All of our chickens are out and about and loving life! We do have a couple of roosters that are being mean so I put them in "time out".....thank god our pen has a partition,  Louis and Blue will stay there for awhile. I know they don't like it much but too bad!  Be nice and we would not have to do that!!!

The girls are looking a little rough lots of feathers missing but I'm sure they will grow back by summer.  I have to say the roosters are my favorite, but you gotta love the "girls".  My favorite hen is our Buff Orpington Hilda May, she is so curious, and such a mother hen (no pun intended) she worries about all the other chickens. She is not happy that the boys are are in time out she goes over to them and paces.

The best part of Spring coming is no more dealing with mice in the coop!  I hate them!  They give me a heart attack every time the run past me.  So I'm really glad I don't have to deal with them until next Winter!

Monday, February 24, 2014

We Had A Death In The Coop.....So Sad

Here in Iowa the temps have been below freezing most of the winter....we had a couple of nice days that were in the low 40's so we let the chickens out so they could stretch their legs....when the weather predicted below freezing temps we thought we got all the chickens in....unfortunately we missed one and he was out in this weather for 2 days without food or water, he did have some shelter, but one of the girls from work called me at home and said there was a chicken we got in the car and drove over to work and sure enough we missed a rooster.  I took him home to warm him up and he was eating and drinking and seemed fine so we put him back in with the other chickens, we did notice that he was getting picked on but as we all know it happens....well one day went by and we were good....the second day not so much.  My hubby went in the coop first and the poor guy was just ripped to shreds I felt so horrible and still do.  I should have kept him home with me for at least 2 - 3 days before taking him back....I WILL NEVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN!!!!!!

So here's to Chubalub......we will see each other again my little friend, I know you will be waiting for me!  So have fun chasing grasshoppers, and eating worms until we meet again little buddy!