Saturday, 22 December 2012

Paths of snow

We have gotten tons of snow!!!!!  Am I stoked YES. Are the chickens stoked ye...... NO.
I wish they were snow chickens.  Delighted about the snow, frolicking in the snow, waiting for snow with bated breath. But,  the hard cold reality is that there is no reason for them to like it.  It covers up the ground so they can't eat yummy treats, it makes their toes really cold when they walk on it, and it keeps them confined in one half of their run,  'cause they don't want to touch the snow.  The only way you could EVER get them to touch it, is (me)  treats.  With that realization, I went outside today armed with snow shoes, compost and determination :P   I packed down a trail to the compost pile, around a tree and back to the coop.  Then, I dumped the 'fresh' compost in the compost pile and called the chickens.  What happened next was good and disappointing.  The chickens came when they saw the treats. Poppy in front leading the chicks, running on the trail but then veering of the trail and making their own through the deep snow.   Demeter, who came later,  didn't even try the trail. But she looked adorable plowing through the snow. Though practically, it wasn't that smart.   The chickens pecked and ate some compost and then walked back to the coop. Veering... on.... and.... off... the trail.  
So the good news is, that they had a pretty good time. The bad news is, they didn't like my trail ;)


Wednesday, 5 December 2012


You know something is wrong when you can't even close a JUMBO egg carton :P 
Ouch, poor Deme!!!   

Oh, and just for the record,  on Monday the 3rd of December I got half a dozen eggs in ONE day :)))


                                                                                                                                         ^Photo creds to 4 grain Jumbo egg Carton website^

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Two funny little story's

Nefi:   Today when the chickens were outside I couldn't see the chicks anywhere, so I walked through our forest to our nieghbours house.  The chicks were over at the nighbours again.  I picked Ellie and Freyja up (yes at the same time!!!) and carried them across our nighbours lawn. Nefi followed me to the edge of the nighbours lawn and then started scratching in a pile of leaves.   I put Freyja and Ellie in the coop and started walking back through the forest to get Nefi.  Suddenly Nefi started making a surprised clucking noise while staring at the leaves she was digging in. I quickened my pace in her direction and watched her turn and start running through the forest back to our lawn I scooped her up and walked over to the place she was scratching and pecking. There in the leaves lay a dead mole!!!!  It had scared her.  Holding Nefi I walked back to the coop.

A cute thing about Nefi is that when you hold her she sticks her neck out and if you hold her against you, you can prop up her neck with your arm. It is adorable and makes her such a pleasure to carry!!!
A weird thing about carrying her though is that if you offer her a treat while you're carrying her she doesn't eat it, it's almost like she kinda zones out while you hold her :P

Ellie:  Today when Ellie was laying in the coop I walked over and opened up the egg door to see how everything was going.  I looked in the bottom nesting box, no Ellie,  I looked in the top nesting box, still no Ellie!!!  Then I turned and looked to my left and their she was looking in the wood shavings. She was looking at a feather.  She then picked it up and put it on her back she then turned and started walking towards the nesting box while meticulously picking up wood shavings and feathers and piling on her back, well the ones that didn't fall off.   It was really funny, but in a super cute way.

When chickens are laying they will pull wood shavings, or other nest materials, around them building their nest in the nesting box.  I guess Ellie was just building a transportable nest... on her back ;)


Eggtastic photos

Here are some long awaited pictures of eggs from when the chicks just started to lay. You can see that their eggs are super small compared to Deme and Poppy's!!!  

Different shapes sizes and colours :)   

I thought the eggs were pretty, zeke thought they were kinda gross :P   What do you think???

Eleanor's Egg 

From Left to Right:   Freyja,  Nefi,  Ellie,   Una?  (or it could be Ellie again)   

From Left to Right:  Ellie,  Store bought egg (Leghorn breed)  and Demeter!!!!


Friday, 23 November 2012

I need another nesting box.

I have been finding eggs all over the place today:    One on the ground in the run, another in the remains of a crushed egg (ewww...), one in the top nesting box :), and I just went outside and found an egg on the poop board. Eww, eww, ewwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The verdict is that Poppy is being a pest. She is chasing the chicks constantly so they can't even lay in the proper locations :(
I am hoping that if I make a new big nesting box that all the chicks could all lay in together their will be strength in numbers and poppy won't bother them. The only thing that could fix Poppy being a pest is if one of the chicks stands up to Poppy and stops letting her chase them around.  If they don't do that, by next spring Poppy will have to go :(
That is the sad news, the good news is that my hormonally screwed up pullet is not hormonally screwed up anymore!!!! That's right,  I am almost 100% sure that Una is laying :D


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Chicken Mating

If you don't want to here about how chickens mate don't read on.  

Close-up of Una 

As most of you know, chickens mate by having the Rooster mount the hen.  And hens don't mount Rooster's. If you didn't, you just learnt something new!!!   So you would probably understand my confusion when I say Una run over to Eli and mount her.  I pretty much freaked out. Una ran away and so did Eli.  What confused me is that I was almost 100% sure that Una laid an egg the other day.
I went on the computer and did some research. What I have found out is that dominant hens will do that to show who is boss. AND that dominant hens might also feel like it is their responsibility to fertilize the other hens eggs.  I obviously didn't want this to happen because when chickens mount other chickens there will be pulled feathers and it could get really bad.  To fix this situation you have to be the rooster around the coop. And if you see your rooster/hen mounting other chickens you push her down and wiggle her tail at the base.   She will think you are a rooster.
So pretty much I don't think my brother's can call me the chicken lady any more. Maybe the rooster lady??? 



***Before I start this post I just want to clarify that even though the batch of chickens I got this year are NOT chicks anymore (they are pullets).   I will still call them Chicks and the older hens Hens and both groups I will call Chickens (cause they are both chickens :P)  *** 

I did NOT want to put the chickens together it scared me (I am a chicken at heart ;)   But to make myself feel like I was actually doing something while totally stalling I came up with a plan of how to integrate them gradually.     This is what I did for a stress free, integration that turned out having the chickens live together happily ever after. Sadly, that last sentence was totally false. There is no such thing as a stress free, happy chicken integration. BUT the good news is that it is possible to have a integration where no chickens get hurt (read: blood)  and with minimal stress if your not that stressed out of a person to begin with.  So, finally, here we go....

Step number one---  Let the hens see the chicks but not be able to touch them--- I would let the hens free range while the chicks were in the cozy coop. What happened was Poppy would run up to the chicken wire and scare the chicks and she would do that all the time but after a week are so the chicks would stop cringing when she would run. Deme didn't really care about them that much. 


Step number two--- Let the chicks and hens free range together while supervising--

I armed myself with a water gun and let them out together. The worst thing that happened was that Deme pecked Ely super hard and pulled some feathers out. After that they stayed far away from each other.    After you make sure that the hens won't kill the chicks or vice versa. It would probably be a good time to introduce other animals a.k.a Figaro. Figaro was actually spectacular in the fact that he only fooled around a bit with them and then afterward ignored them and hasn't bugged them at all since!!!   

Step number three-- Supervise them in a closed in area-- the run. I again armed myself with a water gun and put them together.  At the beginning there were some kerfuffles but in the end the chicks stayed on one side and the chickens stayed on the other. During that time I introduced them to the coop and showed them how to climb up and down.  They figured it out really quickly and they also found the perch after a few days to. 

Step number four-- Make the Integration final--  I bucked up one day and decided that it was time. I put the chicks in the coop in the evening, closed the door and walked away feeling stressed out   happy and care free.  When the light went out in the coop I went outside and put the chicks on the perch manually. They didn't go up by themselves.  I felt like they caught on fast though and a few nights after they were making onto the perch all by themselves. But the sad thing was that after two nights of happiness they started screwing up. Not all going on the perch or perching in the wrong places.  So every night I would go out and make sure that they are all up properly.  Last night when I went up they were all up on the perch so I am hoping that it will stay like that.  I have found that after they all lay eggs for the first time the older hens seem to except them more.  

And you are done.  Your chickens are now BFF's!!!



Monday, 5 November 2012

GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!...

... Freyja or Nefi laid an egg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Rachel told me she had been in the top nesting box during the morning. I didn't think much about it. But then when I went out to do my every second day clean up of the coop, there it was laying in the wood shavings on the floor.  It wasn't in the nesting box but whatever, this was her first time.  I picked it up, it's a greeny/bluey shade, and ran to the house with a giant grin on my face :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012


While writing a post about integration THIS happened 

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just realized that my chickens were still outside free ranging and I hadn't called them since going on the computer and I went outside and the chicks were on the edge of my neighbour's lawn. I went outside and called them and all of them came except Eli.  And I was heading over and then my nighbour walked out of his garage door and saw them!!! He didn't say anything but after bringing the chickens back inside their coop I went over and apologized about it and he said it was okay and that they were pretty.  I was sooooo relived. My mom had told me in the past that they were okay with my chickens but I had to make sure myself.  And my verdict? I have great nighbours, my chicks like to go adventuring further than my chickens and, I will make sure not to forget to check on them. 


How to pick up a chicken

Slowly does it...

Good chicken...

Got you, muhahah... 

I didn't get a picture of me and Nefi :(    but here is a pretty one of me and Una :) :) :) 

Go play now. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A day in the life of a chicken

From left to right:  Nefi, Freyja, Ellie and Una

The chicks survived there first night outside and have survived many since in the 'Cozy Coop'.......

I wake up when light shines through the big blue thing the treat girl covers our house with. My sisters wake up with me and we jump of the roost drink some water and wait for the treat girl. Today she gets here early and give us some food. We eat quickly and jump out of our house into the big world.  We jump out of the coop we flap are wing and fly into the air. Then, Suddenly, I hear something behind me, I whirl around and see my sister behind me challenging my position in the pecking order I stick my head up tall and fluff up my feathers while giving her a little peck on the head, not today I tell her.  After we finish our daily pecking order fights we run off to go see what treats we can find in the big world today. We first check in the forest than run to the big rock. Scary monsters zoom past on that big stretch of dirt.  We hear the treat girl calling and run/fly to the back. She gives us yummy black treats. The bigger hens come we run away. Tired after our adventuring we find a nice place to rest for a bit.  We peck around some more but are full and kinda bored. We decide to fly to the top of the big blue mountain (deck)  We jump to the first level and then fly or hop to the top. Then we spy on the treat girl through the big clear doors. The treat girl gets scary when she sees us and chases us off the mountain.
We drink some water and look around it is starting to get dark. What should we do?  Then the treat girl comes with food and chase her back to our house eat some food drink some water and jump up onto the perch it takes a few tries and we sometimes get knocked off! But we are finally all in the right order. The treat girl puts the big blue thing down and we fall asleep......................................

Meet Una

Name Meaning: Named after Una from the Faerie Queene
Nickname: N/A 
Breed: Black Australorp 

Una likes clovers and adventuring with Eli and the other chicks.  She is shy but not if you have treats in your hand!!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Sleep over

Tonight the chicks are having a sleep over in the chicken tractor (moveable chicken coop).
They don't like sleep over's. They are peeping. They are running back and forth in the coop. They are wondering where is she????
I feel horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chick (J)yolk

In the evening Seamus ran into the bedroom and told me: 
 "I thought one of the chicks was missing it's head!!!
 But then I figured out that it was just it's butt :P "

Meet Eleanor

Name Meaning: Named after Eleanor of Aquitaine  and Eleanor Roosevelt (you decide;) 
Nickname: Eli 
Breed: Silver Laced Wyandotte 
Other: Named by my friend Alyssa!

Personality: The smallest chick. But her personality states otherwise! She is gutsy and not afraid to challenge the other chicks even though they're bigger than her.  And she is the first chick to out how get onto the perches in the chicken tractor (moveable coop). 

In the box there's.......


Meet Freyja

Name Meaning: The Norse goddess Freyja (Frey-a)
Nickname: n/a 
Breed: Ameraucana
Personality: Freyja likes to jump and run and act kinda crazy which has made me scared that she might be a rooster. But, I'm hoping she is just    crazy :P  Even though she likes to run around she is not the best flyer but she is steadily improving and might out-fly the others! And I think she might be highest in the pecking order.

Meet Nefertiti

Name Meaning: Named after an Egyptian Queen
Nickname: Nefi
Breed: Ameraucana
Personality: Nefi is a quiet chick but not when she is seperated from her friends! She is a good flyer and  out of all the chicks she is the perfect example of a chick: Sleeping properly, eating properly.... pretty much she seems super healthy and is not crazy like someone you will here of soon.

Picture taking Mayhem

Aren't my picture taking skills amazing? 

The other day I was out taking pictures of the chicks and the little black chick, who remains nameless :( , kept looking up at the camera. Wow, I thought she is super curious of what I'm doing! But then, suddenly, up she jumps and grabs hold of the camera's wrist strap. She had thought the wrist strap was a worm!!! After the first jump it grew exceedingly difficult to take pictures without her grabbing the wrist strap.

Photo shoot!!!

Last year I was super disappointed that I never had a photo shoot for the chicks and I.  But this year is different. Look at the outcome below :)

Just for fun I tried letting on of the chicks perch on my shoulder. It worked until she started pecking my hair!!!