My View

December 14th, 2013

I never get tired of the view from my kitchen window. I love looking out there and seeing ‘live action’. This well built coop was built for me by my husband and brother in-law. It is totally surrounded by 1/4″ galvanized hardware cloth, including the inside ground below the sand. When I researched having backyard chickens, I did a lot of fact finding. I wanted to be successful with my livestock and eliminate the problems and difficulties. Part of my research was going on a coop tour (fundraiser) in my town and surrounding towns, sponsored by the local Backyard Chicken Keepers Club. What I often saw was dilapitated housing and unkept conditions. In talking to the owners they admitted of troubles that I was going to avoid; rodents, predator attacks and illnesses. Using common sense and being pro active is my method of being successful and enjoying my backyard flock.

The henhouse I choose was also thoroughly researched and has worked out very well for my covey. Built by the Amish it is air tight, but also has good ventilation and is roomy enough for me to easily clean. Advertised as housing 6 to 8 hens is misleading. It would never house that many chickens comfortably. I kept my flock to four (now down to three). There are three nest boxes, a roost and plenty of room for feeder and waterer. And because it was new construction and not built from scrap wood laying around or an existing old structure there have been no signs of mites or lice. On a cold and windy day (as pictured above), I leave the large door open and the hens like to sit inside out of the elements, yet able to watch the outside world.

Another feature that I love about my set up is the coop cam. My brother-in-law installed this for my viewing pleasure while I’m in the house and/or out and about.

The hens are five years old now and I still enjoy the daily routine of their care. They are healthy and happy and a delight for me and my family. If you’re considering it, having a manageable backyard chicken flock is a hobby I would recommend.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

November 27th, 2013

Thanksgiving is an American (and Canadian) day of giving thanks for the blessing of the autumn harvest. In the US, today’s Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced back to 1621 were the first celebration took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s carried the tradition of ‘Days of Thanksgiving’ with them to New England. The Plymouth feast and thanksgiving tradition was prompted by a good harvest.

We host dinner at our house and relish the time spent with family and friends. We enjoy the preparing the food, cooking and setting a lovely table. It’s a day of traditionally watching The Macy’s Parade, listening to the airing of Alice’s Restaurant on our favorite folk radio station and of afternoon football games.

The hens are cozy in the henhouse today, (it’s extremely windy, so they stay inside).

I am thankful for so many things. I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, Happy Thanksgiving!

The Hens Have A Calming Affect

September 9th, 2013

This is my nephew Dean, he loves to visit the chickens. He is a very active almost 3 year old, but finds solace in sitting and talking with the girls. Before he was up and gone again we captured the moment.

Three Amigos

September 3rd, 2013

Since Little Bit’s death the three remaining hens have had to adjust the dynamics of the flock. What I’ve noticed is they seem to be more vocal, chatting and clucking more than usual. Their nighttime roosting position took a few nights of pushing, shoving and jockeying for best position on the roost, by the window. It’s been just about a week and there now seems to be a new normal in the henhouse and coop.

It’s also taken me time to adjust to my flock of three. I’m glad that they are adjusting well and are healthy. I feared that it may have been an illness that could have wiped out the whole covey. Having and loving pets inevitably means dealing with death. Now that I have my first hen death behind me, I carry on with my hen keeping duties.

Little Bit Died

August 27th, 2013

Today… suddenly and so peacefully.

RIP you sweet, sweet thing.

My Little Bit

August 27th, 2013

I’ve been one lucky first time hen keeper, and I’ve known it! My flock of four female Buff Orpingtons have been a cohesive group for going on nearly five years now. I have not had any troubles with injury, sickness, predators or behavioral problems. I knew sooner later my time would come. That day is today.

Little Bit, the runt of the four girls, is the sweetest and the meekest. She has always been the last one to exit the hen house in the morning, she is the last to eat and eats the least. She is at the bottom of the pecking order, but I have watched her stand up to the others when she needed too. She does not like to be held or cuddled. I respect her personality but always keep a watchful eye on her to be sure she is eating and drinking her fair share. She is in the early stages of molt, but yesterday, she barely came out of the hen house at all. I am concerned, but don’t want to intervene too much. She looks fine, other than being lethagic there are no telltale signs of illness. Her comb is pink, but not red. I’m no expert and am afraid that me trying home remedies may add more stress and discomfort to the sweet little girl. I feel the only thing to do is to continue to monitor her and let nature take its course.

DH says it possibly has to do with the molt and that she will be fine after all, but it seems a little more severe than that. I am so attached to these hens and am hoping for the best!

July, 2013

July 29th, 2013

It’s been a very busy month. It all started with Fourth of July and that ran into ramping up for hosting our annual Family Cookout. Which lead into family visiting from California and a week of guest, beach days and evenings out. While all this was going on I was sure to be attentive to the hens and their needs and comfort.

It surely was a month of family, fun and the fourth of July, but I’m glad to get back to my routine this week (I’m even a week late sending out this post). Here’s the picture of the week, the purple cone flowers are in bloom.

The Garden’s Glory

June 25th, 2013

Mid to late June is when the garden is at its peak. Most perennials are blooming. Even though those blooms are short lived alongside the annuals the landscape is bursting with color. For me, sharing the garden with other enthusiast is part of the enjoyment. This weekend friends came for a visit and tour. Now I want to share the beauty with you….
2013 Entrance

I wished you could smell the honeysuckle.

Pathway of colors

Backside of garden, looking at entrance.

Most recently added bed, leading to the coop.

Of course, no tour is complete without these beauties!

Garden Chair

May 22nd, 2013

Many years ago, my sister gave me this beautiful garden chair as a gift.

I love it. The rustic look and bird theme perfectly suited my style. I often sat in this chair and quietly appreciated my garden and the many feathered friends whom visited my yard for food, water and shelter. All these years later it is weathered and the wood is rotting out. I knew I would have to dispose of it soon.

DH used the chair as a pattern to build this replica. It’s perfect, I love it!

He thoughtfully built one for my sister too!

That Was Then….This is Now

May 2nd, 2013

This picture is of my niece Sophia. Four years ago when she first came to meet the hens, she was small enough to sit in the henhouse and show us her best chicken imitation, bawk, bawking and all! Four years later, she is maturing into a fine young tween and prefers to cuddle the hens.

Sophie and her two sisters, came up with the cleaver names for the hens which seem to match their personalities perfectly. It amazes me that four years have passed by, but the difference in both sets of girls (hens and nieces) are obvious when flicking thru pictures. Although the changes are evident on the outside, they are still the same sweet loving creatures on the inside.

Four years later, I am still enthusiastic to share my hobby with anyone whom is/would be interested in keeping a backyard flock. I enjoy having guest come to see my set up and walk them thru the fundamentals of keeping poultry. Food, shelter and water are the basics. After the initial set up, the daily routine can be minimal. You can be as fancy and creative with the design of the coop or keep it simplistic. However it functions best for you is key to being successful.

A backyard flock is much more than chickens, eggs and compost. It is hours of enjoyment!