A nightly visitor coming around for a dried cranberry treat. Still has not eating from our hands but getting closer. Having had chickens in the past the dogs don’t seem to care about it. The Burt T (the grouse of course) is somewhat wary of the dogs but never strays far.
Category Archives: Fowl
..a shot of the muddy ‘old hole’ after the fix..the muddy(est) part is where we back-filled with dirt to try to make it level after repairing and reinforcing the hole that was there…but with the warmer than normal temperatures and rain it has turned the area into a mire..but it is still better than it was.
(..and what it looked like before )
..and the chickens…the remaining chickens that is. Gonzo was sluggish for a couple of days in October..and when we picked her up to examine her she literally died. We had no idea what the cause was..then a couple of days later Chickie started to act sluggish..we had not been regularly giving the chickens any treatment for worms and so in October we started..but a couple of weeks later Chickie died too..the treatment was not in time. After doing more research many people noted that when you see a sick chicken many times it is already too late to help them due to the fact that chickens attempt to hide being sick in the firstplace…so when they start showing being sick there is not much you can do..Either way it has been over a month now and no more sick birds so the treatment must have took. Worms (after researching) naturally occour in chickens but it can be magnified when they eat insects and actual worms..or get into other wild bird droppings..which must have been the case with Gonzo and Chickie…ah well..sad but this should (hopefully) be the last time it happens..I would like to say we know everything about chickens but it has been a learning experience. These are the first 2 losses we have had due to illness but from reading other blogs it seems like it does happen from time to time.
..we still have ‘hoder’, ‘taxi’, ‘blackbeard’ and ‘T-Bar’..the 3 chicks from this year and T-Bar is from 2 years ago. ‘hoder’ is the Rhode Island Red rooster from the shot and has begun to attempt to crow and the other 3 are laying..2 for the first time and one after 2 months of moulting..nice to have eggs again.
Vapor barrier..it is just like duct tape for us here..here is a picture of the wood wrapped up to keep it dry and close for when we start burning hardwood..
And we had a winter issue to deal with..the chickens have an inside run with an outdoor area..but we always worry about them being cold..so we took part of the ‘chick’ pen from the summer, wrapped it with vapor barrier, put it in a sunny spot and attached a roof..then an access to the pen…so the chickens now have a sunroom which should be nice and warm on sunny days..and they can go in and out as they like.
..some future enhancements…a better roof area to prevent water from pooling and moving the waterer in so it does not freeze in the winter…soon.
Chickie does not seem to understand that it is actually warmer inside the sunroom!
WARNING: the linked last picture address is of the remains of a dead chicken killed by a wild animal. (Not trying to be gross or anything but I just looked for some pictures to try to aid me in trying to identify what killed my chicken and maybe the identification process I use could (hopefully) aid someone in the future). Sorry.
The dawgs are beat after a 3 day vacation..chasing hundreds of squirrels made for a sluggish Loki and Jango..it would also appear that Loki needs some boundary training.
Out for a canoe trip to find an appropriate midstream rock for the Canada Day fireworks display..
A very fun trip on a beautiful weekend. We took a leisurely drive home along some new routes and got home in the early evening. We were going to be gone for 3 days so we loaded up the chickens and since the chicks were @ 5 weeks we decided to let them out fulltime like the rest of the chickens. With our regular chickens we keep them penned in (except flying Hoppy). With the chicks and Ma hen we put out extra food in a couple of locations and opened the gates to their pen..we have never had a predator problem with the other chicken pen having been left open fulltime so 3 days should be fine…
Returning home from the trip and everything appears ok, the penned chickens are all OK. Checking on the chicks and they are all in the penned in portion of their mini-coop..but there is a tuft of feathers near the entrance to the outside where I opened up the pen to let them roam..then 4 ft away a larger group of feathers..then 15 feet away some more feathers and then I cannot see anymore feathers..by this time Loki has a scent and I follow her 50 feet further in the woods to find the remains of a chicken. Ma is no more.
Sooooo..after a very fun but tiring trip we resecured everything chicken related for both pens. Gates glosed, coop entrances closed and lit up. We moved the mini-coop and put 2 solar directional lights on it so I can see it at night and we put the motion sensitive security camera on the mini-coop instead of the road so we can identify whatever it was that did this.
The chicks are almost 6 weeks old and should be fine now…and as I finish entering this post (@11:30pm) I hear a sound which I have not heard in months..an owl hooting..and it is also louder then I have ever heard it..curious.
If you do want to see a picture of the remains, go to it by cutting and pasting the link if you would like to see it:
(Graphic gross description: whatever it was ripped open the chicken body cavity and ate some of the breasts but the chicken was found breasts down, the top eaten off from the base of the tailfeathers right up to the top of her head. No real teethmarks or anything..nothing to make me think it was an owl either.)
..could an owl do that?
hoder (the chick with the semi-squished head) seems to have bounced all the way back after Ma accidentally nearly killed it a couple of weeks ago..it all seems fine but this little guy (the yellow one) has an independent streak..and will leave the others to go back to the brooder coop to eat feed ( when I let them outside their pen)
..although hoder does seem much smaller than the rest..and I actually suspect that 3 of the 4 chicks are roosters..which is not what I was looking for..we were thinking of eating ‘Red’ the rooster but he has such a great temperment I am reluctant..we will wait a couple of weeks and see..I am not really looking forward to butchering him either so we will see.
..and while not on topic. I was reading a book and it presented the reader with this picture/art ( of something we have all seen many times )..do you know what it is?
Not sure if anyone out there is a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan..but A* and I are..and it was easy to give one of the chicks the name of ‘hoder’ after what happened on the weekend. Ma and her chicks were out in the yard and A* scared them accidentally..and when she did Ma jumped and came down on the little yellow chicks head..we thought he was a goner for sure. He was flopping all around and finally had some spasms and laid still..and Ma walked away leaving him to die..A* and I watched this up until the point where Ma walked away..then we sprung into action…the little guy was bleeding a little from the right eye a little but unmoving so I took him inside, put him in a small container and put a lightbulp on him for heat. For about 2 hours he just huddled and could not open his eyes..not moving the whole time…4 hours later there did not seem to be much improvement and it was near dark so A* took him back out to put him under Ma for the night. A* and I gave ‘hoder’ a 7% chance to make it through the night..or to survive at all.
Well, the next morning came and ‘hoder’ was still alive but still seemed quite dazed and could not open his eyes..a little slow..which is normal ( I would think) when you have your head crushed…so we named him after the mentally challenged character from ‘Game of Thrones’ (Hoder(Hoder,HODOR,HOODOOOOR))..we had to leave for the day and we gave him a 15% chance to survive until the evening..
The evening came and hoder seemed to show improvements..one eye open and the other swelled shut..but more movement and not just sitting in one place and also was chirping.
..and if you look close you can see the swollen right eye.
I was not sure if things would keep improving so I did not post up..but it has been 2 more days and hoder has both eyes open, is eating and drinking and seems to be getting back to normal(ish)..still a little slow but now seems to be doing much the same as the other chicks..but chirps more..we give hoder a 82% chance of a full recovery now..Oh the drama of only having 4 chicks..if we had 20-30 chicks I am not sure I would have spent any time trying to save the chick but I am glad we did…so far.
And some summer’y shots of the stillwater area..the ferns make things look really pretty.
A* inspects the water leve..and the beavers are gone..not sure if it was natural or gun-induced but they are gone..the dam seems to have settled somewhat and the water level has been dropping..too bad but what can ya do!
Muhahahaha..rise my mutants!
Looks like we got one of each of our various breeds of hens..all mixed with a dash of Rhode Island Red..due to ‘Red’ the rooster being the papa.
Amazing how chicks are hard wired..they are out of the shell and within hours are pecking and walking about and chirping. We started with 9 eggs, 2 were left unhatched, 1 disappeared and 2 chicks died as they were emerging..accidentally crushed by Ma I think. But a 50% survival rate is much better than last years results where we only got 1 chick in 9 eggs.
…and after last years ‘chicken rejection’ where we ended up keeping 9 chicks indoors in our emergency patched ‘brooder’ it is REALLY nice to have Ma the hen taking care of all 4..talk about easy! hehe..A* and I are on the fence as to whether or not we should do away with ‘Red’ the rooster since we have decided this will be the only batch for the year..with 4 more (potential) fully grown chickens we have more than we need..or want..so we also might end up selling a ‘chicken starter kit’ with 2-3 hens and a rooster. We will see.
We are really hoping that this is it for the wood until the fall..it is such a magical time of year between the time when woodburning ends and before blackfly season begins (usually lasts about 3 days hehe). I held off on getting a wooden handled maul and settled on a free replacement..you can’t argue with the free(kin) price thats for sure! groan.
…by all accounts I think we have enough wood to last us until after next woodburning season ( so read next April)..and that is not even counting the cord-cord.5 (hehe) that we cut last week. We might have enough but we are going to clear out the wood and chunk the remaining stuff we cut down so that we don’t have to deal with it during black fly season which is scheduled to start any day now..I can tell because last night the spring peepers started chirping….and Loki started barking at them. Whenever she barks in the middle of the night I get up and flash a flashlight on the coop to see if something has finally decided to sneak attack the chickens..last night she started barking 3 times and I realized Loki has never really heard ( being a former city dog) spring peepers before so the noise was foreign to her. Hopefully tonight will go a little better.
Cleaned out behind the shed for the beginning of the temporary coop..we don’t mind the chickens out when we are home but when we are not here they have been into everything..so we are planning out an area for them and sealing off part of it to break the chickens in..
This orange temporary fencing idea I stole from another blog and it works great for chickens..not so much for predators…or dogs as Loki sprinted through it when we first put it up..it did not slow her down..right through it.
..on day 1 with the fencing up I watched a hen walk back and forth between the shed and the coop. It was a slow day..hehe
..and once again my post text was gone..odd stuff going on here. Might be something with my phone as I am on the laptop now..odd. It sure ain’t purdy but it works until we have it all figured out..and put the other side on.
..well we were away on vacation and when we returned we also returned to a broody hen. We also returned to the hens attempting to do their own version of a clown car with 3 hens in the laying box at one time because they only want to lay in 1 of the 5 boxes and with Ma taking up the space it tends to cramp things. So today we moved/dragged the nesting doghouse of shame up into the sunny area and set it up for a 3-4 week resident with fresh shavings, water and food ( but we still need some starter mash)
Of course..we move the doghouse up and the chickens all want a piece of the action..
With the extra hens laying we had no idea how long each egg has been incubating so we are going to wait 2 days, collect fresh eggs then give her a fresh batch to sit on. Ma is an old hat on the subject of nesting so we got her set up and within minutes she was in her old position on top of the eggs and pecking away at anyone who opens the back hatch..hopefully we will get better results this time..last year we were 0-10 in the early broody period and 1-8 in the summer brood…if we are successful we have another problem..what to do with all these chickens ( but lets not get ahead of ourselves..or count chickens until they hatch!)!
..and the white hen is ‘chickie’ the 1 chick that was hatched last summer..she is a super forager and will eat anything..mostly due to the fact that she and Ma foraged from the first day she was hatched…we are hoping for a hybrid of her and red as well as a couple of naked neck hybrids…you think this is an odd batch now just wait until they have gone through the genetic roulettle wheel again! hehe