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Fun weekend!

It’s the little things in life that make me smile. This weekend was one of those times that just made me giddy.

Saturday was the big day! The day I have been waiting for since April, when I bought all those fuzzy chicks home. That’s right folks! I got an egg!

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Here is proud egg layer!

Thing 1

Thing 1

The first egg arrived on Saturday morning. I happen to hear one of the other hens singing the egg song so I went rushing out there thinking she laid an egg. But really she just likes announcing when others have made a nest and our laying their eggs. That is when I found Thing 1, not in the nesting boxes, but in her own little homemade nest. So for about an hour, I kept peeking at her and finally it was there. And I squealed like a girl. But hey, farmer’s can be girly!

Then Sunday, she took almost all day to lay again. And I sent little man out to gather the egg. But she wasn’t done yet. So we found these beauties in the garden instead.

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Thirty minutes later, little man and I went out again and found our 2nd egg.

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Needless to say, my kids are so excited about having to check for eggs everyday.

Check in with my flock

It’s been a while since I have done a chicken post. Mostly because I have been waiting for an egg, but they are almost 19 weeks and nothing so far. So that will have to be another post later; whenever it happens. Let me start by saying that everyone is right. Having chickens is addicting! I am already planning a bigger run for them because they are spoiled rotten. But anyone that knows me knew that was gonna happen.

Photo Bomb! I’m the center of attention!

 

This journey hasn’t been without bumps in the road though. In the beginning, we lost two of our baby chicks to Coccidiosis. It is fatal to chickens, but thankfully because of the internet and some wonderful bloggers, I was able to treat the rest and have had no problems with that.

Then there was the too many rooster problems. I ended up with 3 and one became aggressive towards the others. We had a lot of injuries. So it was time to relocate him to our next door neighbors, where he found a hen that is his twin and fell deeply in love.

Be nice to your new girlfriend, Speckles.

Be nice to your new girlfriend, Speckles.

 

Next, was the summer cold of 2014. It hit a few of our girls pretty hard. I didn’t want too, but had to give out antibiotics. Within a day, they were all good. I am trying to do the natural thing, but with this the oregano, which acts as a natural antibiotic, wasn’t cutting it.

Lastly, I had to escapees. Two different times, two different hens! They got so excited that Mommy was coming in with treats that they ran out the door. As soon as they realized they were out and the others were in, they paced the fence trying to get back. So I was able to easily catch them.

Okay~ on to the chickens now.

Little baby at the beginning of summer.

Little baby at the beginning of summer.

Little baby now

Little baby now

Big Bertha then

Big Bertha then

Nutmeg then

Nutmeg then

Big Bertha (right) and Nutmeg (left)

Big Bertha (right) and Nutmeg (left)

Midnight then

Midnight then

Midnight now

Midnight now

Precious then

Precious then

Precious now

Precious now

Thing 1 and Thing 2 then

Thing 1 and Thing 2 then

Thing 1 now

Thing 1 now

Thing 2 now

Thing 2 now

Luna then

Luna then

Luna now

Luna now

And last, but not least

Ninja then

Ninja then

Ninja now

Ninja now

And I just want to add he is the perfect Rooster. Let’s the girls eat first, watches out for predators and is the first out in the morning and the last one in at night.

UPDATE: I started writing this 2 days ago and as of 15 minutes ago, Thing 1 is in the coop making a nest. We are hoping for an egg by the end of the day. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram for updates.

 

Here comes the chicks…..

Now that our babies are getting bigger and have their feathers coming in, I am able to give them proper names to fit them and their personality.

Introducing our flock……

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This is Big Bertha. She is the oldest by a few days and the biggest of our chickens.

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This is Luna. It took me forever to come up with a name for her. She is starting to get more comfortable with me and will jump on me every once and a while.

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This is Precious. This one belongs to Brianna. Which is appropriate because she is the same age as Luna but so much smaller, just like her owner.

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Twinsies! They were easy to name because they are always into something. Thing 1 is at the top, she has a smaller and lighter colored beak. Thing 2 at the bottom, much larger beak and even has some black lines running through it.

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This is Speckles. This one belongs to Alissa. UMMM I am not sure what it is; girl or boy! But it’s pretty.

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This is Nutmeg. She has adopted herself as mine. When she sees me, she finds a way to jump on my back. She likes to look me eye to eye and talk to me. She is a gossiper.

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This is Midnight. She too has become a Momma’s girl. Her and Nutmeg like to fight over who sits where on Momma’s back.

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This is Ninja and in case you can’t tell; yup he’s a rooster. No eggs from this little fellow. He belongs to Cailin. And she changed his name from Fizzy to Ninja when he started running around and karate kicking the other chickens. Now before you say what happened to his feathers. It’s okay; He is a Frizzle chicken. Let me just say if anyone was going to pick the odd ball of the bunch it was going to be Cailin. And she is very proud of herself.

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Last but not least, Lil Baby. This one was named by Dakota. He took a liking to the youngest of the group. I am 95% sure Lil baby is a rooster. But he is so darn cute!

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Look at that he could be a chicken model! Adorable!

So here they are! We have had no health problems and they are the highlight of our day. Someone is always checking on them, feeding them snacks or thinking of something new to make for them. It really has been a fun family project.

 

 

 

Building our coop deville

As my husband puts it, I put the cart before the horse. I bought the chickens and then looked for a coop only to realize that all of the reviews were awful. I wanted something nice that would hold up more than 6 months. And then when I bought 6 more chicks, well it sealed our fate. We were building a coop.

Before I even got home with our new babies, my hubby had already found and print out of one he liked and was making a material list. Luckily, he was between jobs and had the time or else I am not sure what we would have done. After that we were off to Lowes for one of our 2-3 hour shopping trips.  That place is the equivalent of a mall to my hubby.

By the time we got home, we only had enough time to get the outline laid out.

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Day 2: The girls and I dug out all of the grass and leveled the dirt while Hubby was working. When he got home, we laid some hardware netting and rocks under the timbers for support where the ground was uneven.

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Day 3: I didn’t get any pictures because I had a lunch date with some family from out of town and then we had a severe storm come through. But the kids basically painted all the roof support beams and hubby started cutting and assembling. All of this was done in the his workshop since we knew we had bad weather coming.

Day 4: After a very early morning run to Lowes for more material,  we finished painting all of the structure pieces and started assembling in the yard.

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Day 4 was Easter so I was busy in the kitchen and didn’t get pics. But all we got done was painting the coop.

Day 5: we were making doors and painting them and adding the trim around everything.

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Day 6: We added the hardware cloth around the outside except where we are putting the entrance door.

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We had to take a break because Hubby had an important job he needed to work on. But after a couple weeks off, we were back at it to finish it up. Which is good because my chicks weren’t so little anymore and were trying to fly the coop. (Haha)

 

Gravel in chicken coop

Finally, we were able to get some gravel to put on the bottom. It was more like dirt and some rocks but it works.

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Then we put in a top layer of sand to complete the run area.

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We also  finished up the ramp and added our roosting poles to the inside.

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Now to test it out…..

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Success! The chicks loved their new home. Of course right now, I only put them out in the daytime and then bring them in the house at night. I am still protective of my little babies.

 

 

 

Ford Funny Farm

 

 

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When we decided to move out to the country 7 years ago, my Grandpa and I always talked about having a garden and chickens. Grandpa passed a few years ago, but I feel like I am honoring him by enjoying the things he wanted us to do together.

 

I started a garden last year and it did okay. But this year, I expanded it and did A LOT more research to know what I am doing. I am really good at growing tomatoes until the plant all of a sudden dies on me. That’s okay. Learning is living. More on my garden in another post.

 

And a couple weeks ago, I decided that I needed some chickens. So the kids and I loaded up in the car and headed to Tractor Supply.

DSC_0237We got 6 to begin with.

 

DSC_0240Look at Justice, our cocker spaniel! Such a good momma, unfortunately someone forgot to tell him he is a boy. It drove him crazy not to be able to get to the chicks.

 

 

Then a few days later, I went back to get something else and instead got 6 more. I couldn’t resist! They were so cute!

DSC_0298 We did lose 2 of the smaller ones. But the rest are doing great.

 

I have a confession to make! I am not a bird person at all. I mean to the point where I fear when groups are flying over me that they are going to poop on me. Or attack and peck my eyes out. You know lovely thoughts like that. I have never owned chickens and neither has Hubby. So why would I decide to raise chickens?

The eggs, of course. I get about 3 dozen fresh eggs from my neighbor every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. They only charge me a $1 a dozen. But there for a while, something was getting their chickens and they were running low. I felt bad asking for the eggs. And the farm fresh eggs in the store are outrageous in price.

Another reason was for my special needs daughter. I noticed that unless someone had a job for her or wanted to do the same things as her, she would just lay around and sleep all day. She had no initiative to get up and find something to do. She had no hobbies except watching TV. She wouldn’t play with any of the toys we got her. She just laid there on the couch and slept. So I thought by getting chickens it would give her some responsibilities. She is an animal lover so maybe this will be good for her.

 

I have to admit,  I do find their little chirps to be soothing and relaxing. It wasn’t as hard as training a dog and easier than a kitten because they stay contained in one area.

 

At first, Hubby acted like he wasn’t thrilled with the idea. It took me weeks of convincing before he said whatever you want.  But when I brought home the first 6, he was really interactive and interested. He likes to try to get them to stand on his hand. When I brought home the second bunch, he decided we were building a chicken coop. But that is another post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 5 minutes my heart stopped

Two days ago I had the worse scare of my life. I felt like the safe sanctuary of my country life had been compromised. I was talking on the phone to my mom, when Brianna came running out of her room terrified. I mean completely terrified to the bone and yelling there is a guy with a gun. So I jump up and run to her bedroom window. And I see this strange guy casually walking with a gun hoisted on his shoulder between my front yard and my neighbors. I immediately tell my mom I got to go there’s a guy with a gun. The last thing I heard my mom say as I was hanging up was call the cops.

Now let me give some background. My mom lives 30-45 minutes away. My husband’s workshop is in my backyard. And him and my 2 oldest daughters were out there working.

So I try to call my hubby’s cell and got no answer. I told Brianna to watch her brother and lock the doors and I ran full force across my yard, shoes flying off to get to the shop. I yell there is a guy with a gun. My hubby yells WHAT?! Then I turn and realize my kids weren’t there. I yelled where are the kids. And we take off out of the shop to see them casually walking across the yard. We both yell get in the house~ there’s a gun. We all are running full force. Before any of us called 911 or my hubby grabbed his guns. He looks out the window and sees he is pumping it because it is a BB gun. We were all completely freaked out. But relieved!

Apparently he is our new neighbors boyfriend. And he was chasing their ducks because they were hungry or bored. I don’t know and I don’t care. That is just not what you want to be doing in a neighborhood in this day and age.

Now in the meantime, my mom has practically had a heart attack because she never got to the point of our conversation of where my hubby was that day in our shop or installing a job at a house somewhere. So she called my brother who has moved in with me, asking where he was and where was his brother in law and what was happening. He is flipping out and called me while driving. Which is awful because he has had his license for less than a month. I explain to him what happened and how we are fine.

I then called my mom and explained to her. And we both praised Brianna because even though it wasn’t a real gun, it was the right thing to do to warn us and get an adult. And that you can never be too careful. Then I realized that that 5 minutes knocked about 20 years off my life! And then I felt sad because this is the reality of the world that my children are growing up in. Shootings everywhere~ theaters, shopping malls and even our sacred schools.

But thank god it’s not in my neighborhood. I will take crazies with BB guns anyday. Well maybe not. I don’t think my heart can take it.

Depressing

Monday was the first taste of fall weather we have seen down here in Florida in about a year, possibly more. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the smells, the holidays and the nice cool down from the summer heat and humidity. You can usually find me and the kids outside homeschooling or with the windows open.

But yesterday wasn’t a typical fall day. Instead it was very depressing because we can’t go outside or open the windows. Instead we are prisoners in our own home because of our mosquito swamp that the rains from the last month or so have created in our yard.

Our vehicles have been getting stuck. Rain boots are still the “in fashion” around here. I’m constantly sweeping and vacuuming the dirt and mud. My carpet is this fantastic shade of gross. I am exhausted and depressed looking out at my yard.

All I gotta say is THIS SUX!!!!

My backyard, where we would usually be set up with tables, as of yesterday afternoon.