Fall Has Arrived! Confessions from the Coop (TM)

Fall Has Arrived! Confessions from the Coop (TM)

Well, the temperature has dropped about 40 degrees in the past couple days, which has me super happy – I can finally start working on building coops and more videos for y’all!

 

The constant heat and bugs made it impossible all summer long.

 

I’ve been wanting to do a video web series about building coops, and it took a backseat because the mosquitoes took over the backyard.

 

Now that it seems fall has arrived, we can start working! I bought a new framing nailer to celebrate.

 

By the way, did you see our YouTube video where we finish the duckling pen?

 

 

 

(if you watch the video and like it, please give a thumbs up & tell me what you’d like to see us build – that way YouTube knows people like our videos and it helps other chicken owners find us! Thank you!)

 

Luckily, we have electricity in the cabin, so we can add a heater for the chicks. The top of the incubator with the heating element has worked well, too.

 

The Brinsea Incubator we use has a piece of plastic that separates the heating element from the chicks, so it’s MUCH safer than a heat lamp.

 

We have the ducklings and chicks together. I’m normally not a fan of keeping them together, but we have just a few ducklings, and at least for now, it’s easier to keep everyone warm when they’re in the same brooder.

 

In a week or so, I’ll probably have to separate as the ducklings get older and messier.

backyard chicken baby chick

 

We’ve been giving them PCM StrongHen (TM), and based on the amount of noise they make and the amount food they eat, it’s definitely doing something for them!

 

It’s always egg-citing when the young ones become layers and we get their first egg. It’s a little like Christmas in the coop every morning! 

Mama, our olive egger hen, reached the end of her long life this summer (she was about 5), and left us with several daughters.

 

You can see Mama with her chicks in this video (at the beginning):

 

 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of these ladies will lay olive eggs also!<!– Default Statcounter code for
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Fall Has Arrived! Confessions from the Coop (TM)


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Cooler Days At The Farm!: Confessions From The Coop

Cooler Days At The Farm!: Confessions From The Coop

Well, the temperature has dropped about 40 degrees in the past couple days, which has me super happy – I can finally start working on building coops and more videos for y’all!

 

The constant heat and bugs made it impossible all summer long.

 

I’ve been wanting to do a video web series about building coops, and it took a backseat because the mosquitoes took over the backyard.

 

Now that it seems fall has arrived, we can start working! I bought a new framing nailer to celebrate.

 

By the way, did you see this week’s YouTube video where we finish the duckling pen?

(if you watch the video and like it, please give a thumbs up & tell me what you’d like to see us build – that way YouTube knows people like our videos and it helps other chicken owners find us! Thank you!)

 

Luckily, we have electricity in the cabin, so we can add a heater for the chicks. The top of the incubator with the heating element has worked well, too.

 

The Brinsea Incubator we use has a piece of plastic that separates the heating element from the chicks, so it’s MUCH safer than a heat lamp.

 

We have the ducklings and chicks together. I’m normally not a fan of keeping them together, but we have just a few ducklings, and at least for now, it’s easier to keep everyone warm when they’re in the same brooder.

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We're officially over with the last hatch of the year! We got a number of beautiful chicks and 4 new ducklings! . One of the ducklings has spraddle leg, which means it's legs jut out in opposite directions, instead of under it. So, without assistance, it can't walk, just flop around. Spraddle leg can happen when the chick or duck is raised on a slippery surface, like the inside of an incubator. They were in there for just 24 hours (because opening the incubator reduces the humidity = possible problems for ducklings not yet hatched), but sometimes, these things happen. . It's easily corrected – we just used masking tape to bring the legs under the duckling. . It's easier explained in the video, which will come out on YouTube soon! Comment below if you want to see a video about spraddle legs! . . #backyardchicken #backyardlife #babychicks🐣 #backyardpoultrymag #petchickens #cutechicken #petchickensofinstagram #petchicken #babychicks #backyardchickens #backyardflock #babychicken #backyardfarm #petchick #backyardpoultry #cutechickens #babychick #babychickens #babychicksofinstagram #backyardbirds

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In a week or so, I’ll probably have to separate as the ducklings get older and messier.

 

We’ve been giving them PCM StrongHen (TM), and based on the amount of noise they make and the amount food they eat, it’s definitely doing something for them!

 

 

Eggs

We’re still getting eggs daily from the chickens – which means we’ve been making a LOT of egg custard. The chicks we raised earlier this year are all starting to lay!

 

And then there’s Goldie – my Ameraucana/Easter egger mix.

 

She lays blue eggs, but there’s some issue with her laying, because every egg has a lump around its “equator”, where the egg has cracked a bit and then had extra layers of calcium molded over it.

 

Sometimes things like this happen, and we know she has a good diet with lots of calcium.

 

It’s always egg-citing when the young ones become layers and we get their first egg. It’s a little like Christmas in the coop every morning! (You can see the coop in this YouTube video if you’re curious!)

 

Mama, our olive egger hen, reached the end of her long life this summer (she was about 5), and left us with several daughters.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of these ladies will lay olive eggs also!

 

 

Chicken Wire = Dead Flock?? Confessions from the Coop

Chicken Wire = Dead Flock?? Confessions from the Coop

Someone commented on my latest YouTube video that if you use chicken wire, you’ll definitely lose your backyard chicken flock.

 

I think it’s funny when people say this or that will DEFINITELY happen – especially if “that thing” runs against the grain of their opinion.

 

When it comes to chickens and ducks, you should always make the best decision for YOUR flock. That might mean hardware cloth. Or it might mean chicken wire.

 

It might mean pink powder coated wire.

 

There ARE some things you should never do with chickens – like feed them apple seeds. They contain trace amounts of cyanide and offer no nutritional value.

 

But some things have a bit of wiggle room – like chicken wire, what your coop should look like, whether you use wood chips or sand.

 

These are personal decisions.

 

If you want to check out the video and read the entire comment and my response, you can right here!

 

(If you like it, be sure to give a thumbs up or a comment – it tells YouTube people like our videos, which helps other chicken owners find them.)

 

Latest Hatch

I’ve pulled out about half the eggs from this latest hatch.

 

They just didn’t develop – but in the flock’s defense, most of the eggs I stuck in were from hens JUST starting to lay – so the eggs might not have been really fertilized.

 

As of the other day, we have some silver laced polish eggs developing and definitely some duck eggs.

 

The California Whites have been running with cochin roosters, and I can’t wait to see what chicks hatch!

 

(California white isn’t really a true breed. I think someone messed up at the hatchery and bred chickens that weren’t meant to be bred, and they decided to make the best of it by creating a designer chicken mutt.

But the hens are nice, quiet chickens, and I like them. So I said why not to hatching a few of their eggs).

 

In anticipation, I moved some of the ducklings to the main coop, where there’s more room. They have grown SO FAST. They outgrew their pen almost as soon as we had it built.

 

It’s a good pen, and the new chicks will enjoy it! You can see the completed pen here:

 

 

Will we have new chicks??? Confessions from the Coop (TM)

Will we have new chicks??? Confessions from the Coop (TM)

It finally happened (backyard chicken style).

 

The baby bantams have started laying!

 

My buff cochin hens have started laying the tiniest, perfect brown eggs.

 

I KNOW they’re fertile (thanks to my silkie roosters!), so I’m going to start collecting to hatch them.

 

How cute will that be?

 

Out of all my chickens, the cochin bantams are the friendliest, so having more of them would be fun.

 

They’re also very smart — perfect for any chicken flock!

 

 

They’ll start getting more Best Eggs Ever! which has extra calcium (oyster shells AND oat straw!) so they’re able to lay healthy eggs with strong shells.

 

Want to know whether your young chickens have started laying? Go here!

 

Speaking of hatching eggs, we’re almost on Day 10 of this latest hatch in the Brinsea incubator.

 

I haven’t checked the eggs yet, but I probably will tonight – keep your fingers crossed that we have lots of little embryos!

 

I can’t believe how fast the ducklings grew – they’re almost the same size as full grown adults now! I’ve mostly been feeding them Fluffiest Feathers Ever! mixed with Brewer’s Yeast – lots of protein and vitamins!

duckling backyard chicken flock

Naughty Ducks! Confessions from the Coop (TM)

Naughty Ducks! Confessions from the Coop (TM)

Yesterday, I noticed my ducks aimlessly wandering around the yard, which isn’t supposed to happen – I shut their run door.

 

Yet, there they were, happy as clams, playing in the horse waterers.

 

When I checked the coop, the door was open. Don’t ask me how.

 

But here’s what’s funny: NONE of the chickens bothered to escape! LOL! They must be happy in their coop, if they don’t want the sweet taste of freedom when it’s offered!

 

They got extra black soldier fly larvae as a treat!

 

I think this year, every chicken on the farm has decided to molt. There’s feathers EVERYWHERE.

 

I’ve been putting out the Fluffiest Feathers Ever! like mad because while the warm weather usually lasts through October here, it’s been such a weird year, that I don’t want them to get cold if it suddenly decides to snow!

 

We’re having a lot of fun picking up feathers.

 

One of the roosters is a barred rock, and very beautiful. I have no idea what we’ll do with all these feathers, but I’ll think of something!

Eggs/Ducks

I got my hatching eggs in, and the incubator has been fired up! And I couldn’t resist….I stuck some duck eggs in there.

 

The ducklings have feathered out, and they’re very beautiful. I couldn’t resist trying for more!

 

We definitely have a mix of male and female, so next spring, I’m going to have to bring in a couple new drakes and hens to keep the gene pool diverse.

 

In the incubator, we have a GREAT mixture. Some are my barnyard mix (it’s always fun to see what those chicks look like) and some purebred lavender orpingtons, silver laced polish bantams, russian orloffs, and a couple others.

 

I’m probably going to build additional runs and coops for the pure bred chickens, and possibly bring in some outside blood from a second breeder.

Ducklings That Spontaneously Reproduce?? Confessions From The Coop (TM)

Ducklings That Spontaneously Reproduce?? Confessions From The Coop (TM)

So, either I can’t count, or the ducklings are spontaneously reproducing.

 

I’ll swear on the Bible that there were only 10 ducklings when they hatched, but they finally slowed down long enough yesterday for me to do a head count.

 

And there’s 11. Not 10.

 

So, I’m the proud owner of 16 ducks. Which is a LOT of quacking.

 

Some of the ducklings are starting to have voice changes – and at least 1 is developing a deeper, louder, more insistent quack.

 

If you don’t know, these quacks indicate they’re female. So, we might have a hen or two in the clutch!

 

I can’t believe all the different colors they are. I figured since the eggs were mostly khaki campbell and the drake is the same breed, they would all look like the parent stock.

 

Let’s just say they didn’t breed true, LOL.

 

We clean out and refill their pool twice a day, so twice a day, they have a good swim.

 

We’ve also been giving them lots of mealworms and shrimp to help them grow. They devour them, and LOVE that the treats float on water.

 

The Fluffy Butts Keep Escaping!

This weekend, we’re tackling adding trusses and a roof to my chicken run.

 

The fluffy butts keep getting out!

 

One night, we had LOTS of rain. While I’m sure the ducks were happy, a couple hens refused to return before night fall….and are regretting their waterlogged decision this morning!

 

They were more than happy to run into the coop for breakfast, LOL! They’re fine, just wet, and it’s still 90 degrees here. There’s PLENTY of places for them to get out of the rain on the farm besides the coop.

 

We’ve been giving them lots of Best Eggs Ever! and Fluffiest Feathers Ever! to help the hens lay again now that it’s not so hot all the time (herbs + calcium + protein = happy hen) – and it seems to be working!

 

Might We Have A Mouse As A Pet??

Feeding the chickens this morning, I kept hearing loud squeaks! It sounded like baby rabbits in some serious distress, so I searched the area and found a baby mouse that’s injured.

 

Now, I’m not a fan of mice. BUT I’m also not a fan of watching young animals suffer and not do anything about it.

 

The mouse is old enough that it should be weaned, so currently, it’s in a bucket of alfalfa, drying off (it rained ALL last night and the mouse is soaked – another reason I didn’t want to leave it).

 

Once it’s dry, we can see how injured it is. Fingers crossed it’s just a momentary thing, and we can release it later today.

 

Otherwise, we might have a pet mouse. Not that I want one.

 

We’ve been giving it Fluffiest Feathers Ever! – it seemed to like it and maybe it’ll grow fluffier fur?? LOL!