Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Chicken Update

I tried to put this on my facebook as my status but it got to be extremely long, and far too detailed.

I started off with 110 chicks yesterday - 100 meat and 10 Ameraucana (Easter Eggers that lay beautiful colored eggs). Overnight I lost 5. I was very bummed but figured it was my heat lamp configuration. Rearranged it today and when I got home they were still good to go. Between being home and having supper - 3 more died except these babies had bite marks.

My poor babies! :( Oh noes!

Cats. Curse you cats! Plus Julie the cat was moving her kittens up - I can only assume to practice killing on the chicks. I am hoping Henrietta will be able to protect her 10 babies with the other white chicken mamas. I watched her take a huge chunk out of another one of our cats (hilarious).

So what does this all mean? It means at seven o'clock at night we changed our chickens coops.

Enter the usual entertainment.

First we argued about whose idea it was to put the chicks in the small coop first (it was mine by the way) then Hubby said we would move the box. (WTF) It weighs a ton.

Hubby : Can you lift please?
Me making a mediocre effort : I can't
Hubby sighs in annoyance and more arguing about why I can't lift a ton. (shrug)
Hubby : Fine then ... shove.
Me : Are the hens still in there?
Hubby grunting with effort to lift a ton. Me not shoving anymore I'm looking for the hens.

By the way this whole time we are lifting shoving this thing ... there are STILL TWO hens in there. They are hardcore brooders. Hard. Core. I took the eggs out after we decided to tip it. Yes... after. I feel bad about it ... #awkward. So we finally get this thing laying on it's side on a wheelbarrow and a wagon and there is still a hen in there. The brown one got out and got real mad at me. We shove it back into the new space and I toss the brown hen in with the chicks and she is like ... What ... what ... the hell ... what? Completely confused. So I gave her an egg and she just sat on it and protected it and it kept her happy for a while.

Whatever chicken. The other one is still in her box and she's mad but not budging. Fine. I gave her back her eggs and some new, fresh bedding. Then I went and prepped the baby coop for the babies. I'm real glad I had taken out the worst of it a couple weeks ago because I only needed to scoop out a couple more and then I put fresh bedding, while Hubby put up the heat lamps. Then I set up the water and got the chicks. In their new home they seem to like it much better but it's real hot in there. I hope they don't die from heat exhaustion. I might turn off a lamp during the day? Yikes. I don't know! LOL It's WAY easier when a mama hen raises them.

Then I locked the door and 30 chickens and a rooster are staring at me. Terrifying. I try to cajole them to the other barn. Corey tries to cajole them. Finally we end up having to catch each one - probably  missed a few and tossing them in there. I locked the door but I already know they can get out. There is a divider between them and Henrietta/babies and another divider between them and the brown hardcore brooder, since she sat on some eggs there and isn't budging.

I have no idea what's going to happen now. Chaos probably. Luckily Henrietta's babies will be able to go with the other chicks once the other chicks are bigger and Henrietta allows them to.

I'm tired. That was exhausting. Chicks better not die tonight. Hopefully the rooster and Henrietta can guard the others and nobody gets eaten outside.

Corey talked about adding on to my barn but I have a way better idea for next year. Way. Better. ;)



Friday, July 15, 2016

Training Sugar

Some things I learned about my first day getting back to working with the horses.



I need more supplies than a lead shank, pink whip and a dog brush that I found outside, and I should also bring all supplies at the same time to save from going back and forth.


I also learned that even though my horses haven't been worked in YEARS, they are still in better shape than I am.

We need to do something about the quicksand mud hole in front of the horse shelter. ASAP so I don't drown there.

It's really hard to get on a horse without a saddle ... or bridle, or halter .... a rock would have helped.

It was really rewarding when I was able to lead her out of the round pen and to the field, in the MIDDLE and she didn't leave until I pat her neck and told her to go.



I'm 100% sure she will NEVER do that again hahahaha!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New hatch!

I recently hatched out 14 chicks. After my last attempt, I wanted to try again and get better at it, but I really didn't need a ton more chicks (Hello I have 73 chicks.) I found someone who wanted to buy some chicks so I made a deal and started incubating 30 eggs. That's right. 30. I figured ... if I didn't do well, I should get at least a few.

By day 14, I culled 2 that didn't grow properly.

By Day 20 I had 2 chicks born already! And it was the same weekend as Amelie's First communion/confirmation so ... that's right ... lol, super busy.

New babies! Born June 18-19th
Lucky  far left back - the tiniest chick I've ever seen. It hatched upside down - it was ... a breech baby. HAHA

Seriously, awesome coloring on this one

All the babies on their last night here.
73 chicks They are now separated into 2 groups. Meat chicks and Laying chicks.
Out of the 28 left, 14 were born. 1 leghorn/barred rock and 13 barred rock. One of them was born
with it's 'intestines' hanging out so I thought .... darn. But it turns out it wasn't it's intestines. It was the yolk sac. This chick is SO TINY and adorable, but super, super annoying. I still don't know if it'll live long enough to be productive but it has already surpassed my expectations so off it goes with it's siblings to a new home!



I also ordered some leg bands so I can put some on the chickens to tell them apart, like Henrietta, Little Peep etc ... you know the 'special' ones.

I can't wait until next year to hatch more eggs!!




Monday, June 13, 2016

Crazy Chicken Lady

One day ... not that long ago, I was washing dishes. Nikki was outside with Corey and so was Missy and he was 'keeping an eye on them'. I soon realized they were nowhere in sight but yet I could still see Corey. I put my shoes on and stomped outside, furious. I found  Nikki sitting in a tire and Missy and Odie were by the road. I gestured at the dogs in 'SEE??!!!!' and stared at Corey meaningfully. He sheepishly shrugged and said 'They're fine ....'. The worry I had about the dog was that Missy would get into the chickens ... but then ....

I saw it ...

out of Odie's mouth. A white ... chicken. I lost all thoughts of humane behavior. I was furious and disappointed and I freaked out. I called at him furiously and then he ... ran. away. OMG. Let's just add some desperate arm gestures and frantic calling of names. I took off after him, still screaming like a cray cray. I got to the end of the driveway and took off jogging, because guys, Odie is old and if I kept at it I would catch him. EXCEPT

Corey did not hold Missy. He figured she would obey him.

What. The. BAD WORD. DUDE I can't even express how pissed I was. It was like an explosion. So I had to double back, dragging Missy who was just trying to come with me ... I guess she thought she was helping. Corey gave her shit - I still blame him for not just holding on to her like CRIPES.

Anyways, then I realized I wasn't going to catch Odie anymore so I ran to the house to put my boots on because he had cut into the field. Corey said he would 'go catch him' but I was all ;

Take care of your bleep bleep dog, try training her. I wasn't very polite at this point because all I could see was my poor chicken. :(

So I grabbed a lead line - I don't know why - and trudged through the pasture, still yelling at Odie. I couldn't find him, I crawled through a fence and eyed the tall grass. The chickens are doing a good job with tick control in the yard but .... I trudged through anyways. I still couldn't find him. Depressed and disappointed in the dog I've been bragging about for so long at being SO GOOD with the chickens despite being a lab ... I went home. I even pat Tinky's nose I was so out of it (hate him). I got to the chicken coop and there was Odie, acting super guilty. I couldn't even touch him I was scared I would strangle him. I stomped to the house, too mad to even yell at my husband for not holding Missy and making me lose track of Odie.

Later on, Corey came back in and told me he counted the white chickens and there was 10 + Little Peep. I stared at him.

Are you sure?

He nodded. Before we went to Garth Brooks I went out to tuck my chickens in for night and counted. Everyone accounted for. I looked at Odie bewildered. What the hell did he have in his mouth that he absolutely had to hide from me?!

It's a mystery!!! I checked all the chickens, and there WAS one looking a little more ragged than the rest but ... he wouldn't ... carry a chicken all around the country would he?

I'm stumped but relieved I didn't take my anger out of him.

But seriously ... what was in his mouth?

Twilight music

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Videos

I've seen a lot of videos lately of .. various things. Videos and pictures ridiculing someone, or a situation. I have usually ignored them, but recently ... I came across an entire facebook page ridiculing bad drivers and parkers and I immediately got upset. Sometimes I can't park properly, sometimes my anxiety makes it so I park where I can, I go in and get out of wherever as quickly as I can and I leave. Sometimes my kids are screaming and crying and fighting and I just need to stop my vehicle or it's distracting and I do something uncool like cut someone off. Sometimes I go to park and someone has already screwed up and so I have no choice but to park equally ridiculously.

I was worried I would find our van badly parked in those photos. I didn't but I was still very bothered. Isn't that slandering? Isn't that making assumptions? How do we know those people deserve to be publicly humiliated? And sharing a video of an accident or something bad happening to someone else seems like poor taste. It also feeds everyone's need to see bad accidents and give their opinions. I'm sorry but that accident is not up for public debate, it's up to the police and those involved. I'm ashamed to have watched the video in disbelief as a huge truck ran the light.

Or am I being too paranoid? I don't know ... it doesn't feel okay to post pictures of someone's error in judgement without permission and any video depicting something like that gorilla thing ... is horrendous ... unless the parents had given their approval I guess. I'm sure they didn't. What a yucky feeling that gives me to know that one day I could be having a rotten day and then wake up to have it plastered everywhere without anyone knowing the entire situation.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Puck OCK!!!

I love chickens.

I don't know why. Maybe because they are very non-judgemental. The roosters don't care if the hen is a different breed, I'm not even sure if they care about the breed of animal ... very non-judgemental.

They also take care of each other - just kidding, they pick on each other all the time, especially the hens. It's like mean girls in the coop during the winter. Now that it's summer, the Leghorns (white hens) have all grown their feathers back and don't look like they are suffering from mange or something.

Some of our older hens, the red ones of unknown breed because I never bothered to ask, are kind of ... dying. Except one. They are old, like 5 or 6 ... or ... somewhere in there. They aren't even laying any eggs anymore. #slackers. #eatingforfree

Batoche is getting their hens (and one rooster) back for the summer. I don't know if they are coming back for the winter but I'm keeping Henrietta because she has been broody once and raised a chick. Little Peep, who we just separated from her. We still don't know if Little Peep is a boy or a girl ... I change it to he or she every day. Will that confuse her? Meh. We've also caught little Peep and started taming him. Today William was able to catch her! Usually it takes all of us cornering him.

I also managed to hatch 4 chicks in an incubator Corey built me! It was super exciting and we (I) pretty much sat in front of it for 3 straight days while they hatched. There were some problems though and out of 16 eggs ... only 4 ... hatched. That's awkward. And one had to be put down because it's legs were broken. Also - another one - my favorite - died. It got squished by a board and I feel sick when I think about it. He was super, super tame. There are still 2 left, one of them is from William's egg he claimed. It's name is Lightning and it's SUPER neat looking. Leghorn X Barred Rock Rooster. I can't wait to see it grow up. The other one is getting very fluffy with darker bars I think ... it might be a little pullet (hen) I hope so!

I have 30 more eggs in the incubator but I'm not worried about getting 30 more chicks. At my hatch rate I'll be lucky to get ... 6. Plus they are sold already to someone who was looking for some barred rock chicks.

We also ordered some chicks from the hatchery. We ordered before we knew I would like to incubate. We ordered 25 meat chicks, 25 laying hens and 10 barred rocks. We got 25 meat chicks that look like the 25 laying chicks .... and 10 brown mysterious chicks. After getting in touch with the hatchery they offered us to get 10 barred rocks (if they have enough) or refund us. If we can't get the barred rock chicks I will ask if they can send us more meat chicks I think instead. Maybe. I better decide soon.

Anyways, we don't know what breed the brown chicks are but we have it narrowed down to Rhode Island Reds or New Hampshire Reds. We will have to wait and see. Also - I can now tell the difference between the meat chicks and the laying chicks LOL. More on that another day.

And Now ... chick pictures


Female? Barred Rock chick and meat chick
Lightning in the background, 2 barred rocks (including the one that died) and the ordered chicks
This is my baby that died. :(
Little Peep ... not so little anymore! 6 weeks ... maybe 7 weeks. Born April 20th




Saturday, March 5, 2016

March update

Ugh. I'm so upset.

My two oldest children left our little back door open (it's only a square maybe 1.5 Feet by 1.5 feet but STILL) all night on the coldest night of the year. Last night I noticed my roosters have black on their comb and waddles!! Ouain!!! It doesn't look like any disease I can find, but it DOES look like frostbite. I'm so sad and feel awful for them! I will have to call the vet on Monday and ask if there's anything I can even do for them. Poor boys! Tomorrow I'm going to check each chicken over and look at feet. Nobody is limping or off their feed, everyone is laying as per usual, just ... have frostbite. Poor boys.

In other news, today, William got the HUSTLER award at his hockey tournament in Aberdeen! I'm so proud of him. I don't know what it means ... but it doesn't matter. He was beyond thrilled to earn it Tee HEE. Tonight is his last tournament, then a few practices, then the parent/kid game then he's done. PHEW. Then all we have left is Amelie's dance competition at the end of April and then her recital at the beginning of May.

We are also getting ready for Easter. I've decided to get them 'stuff' instead of a lot of chocolate. With Nolan being allergic to milk it kind of makes it a little scary to have eggs hiding in places forever. I don't want him to accidentally find one.

Also - Corey made me wash the van today ... then I drove home from Aberdeen. It's +8. March. Exactly. #wastedourmoney.