Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We are Expecting!

Guess what?? We're expecting even more chicks!  We have ten more chicks coming the week of November 26th.  These will be Australorps, Easter Eggers, and Silver Laced Wyandottes.  Can't wait :-)
Of course, we will keep you posted with pictures when they arrive!

One Month

We've now had the chicks for one month.  It's really neat to watch them because an obvious growth spurt takes place at least every two or three days.  They are so much bigger now than when we got them.  They are beginning to grow their feathers, and much of that soft baby chick fuzz is gone away.  It's so interesting to watch them eat and watch their behaviors.  So what all have we done?
1.  We brought them home on day one to their homemade brooder box which was nothing more than a large plastic container.  Dave (my husband) cut a hole in the top of the container and covered that hole with screen.  We kept a metal folding chair right beside the box so that we could clamp the heat lamp to it and have it be above the container just enough to provide the heat needed to keep the box warm.  For the first week the temperature needed to be around 95 degrees.
2.  Pretty quickly the chicks out grew that box and by about week three we moved them into a large box made of ply wood.  That will hold them until they are ready to move to the Hen House.
3.  My husband has been working diligently with a friend, keeping late nights and any other free moment, in order to have the Hen House ready within the next couple weeks.  We plan to introduce them to it when they are six weeks old.   We have the primer on and it's ready for paint.  The run is almost done too.
4.  For the first month we fed the chicks medicated chick starter feed.  Now, we've changed them over to a special mix of feed.  We got the recipe from a great blog called Fresh Eggs Daily and a link to that recipe is here:
They've only been eating this now for about three days but we expect great results from this mix.  Apparently, the better you feed your chicks, the more healthy their eggs will be. 
5.  WATER!! They drink SO MUCH water!  I never would've thought something so small could drink so much. Be sure to check the water daily and keep them provided with fresh water.
6.  We have used pine needles as the bedding for their box.  They seem to love it.  We just rake the needles up from my grandmother's yard and bring them to our house.  We don't make it hard...we include the leaves and whatever else is mixed in.  The extra little things give the chicks something to peck at and keep them from being bored and pecking each other.
7.  We will keep you's been a lot of fun so far.  A little work, but it's worth it. Can't wait for them to lay eggs in the spring!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

And the Winner Is...

THE WINNER OF OUR NAME CONTEST...drum roll please...GUSSY!  Check back real soon to see her photographed with her ribbon.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


If you go here:
You have a chance at winning an EcoGlow 20 warming light. Leave a comment on their facebook page under the contest post.
Check out the product here:

Thanks to Fresh Eggs Daily for spreading the word.  I love that blog!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Photo Session Uploaded...Go Vote!

Shelly, maybe a Black Jersey Giant but not sure, named by our 3 year old
Rainbow, Golden Campine, named by our 4 year old
     Finally!  I got all eight pictures uploaded so you can see an up close and personal of each chick. It's neat to see how much they've grown in a week.  They are still mostly fuzzy, but we are starting to see their wing feathers a little bit. 
      I posted last night about voting on the names...please do!  The vote is not to choose which name to use because our children have already named all eight...that didn't take
 long:-)  The vote is to see which name is the most liked.  We are just curious. Within our family, we are deciding which we think the winner will be.  I'm even going to poll the students in my class to see which name wins with them.   When the poll closes on October 30th, the winning chick will get a special post to show her fame.  Thanks for making this fun!
Pretty Does, named by our 4 year old,  Rhode Island Red
Gussy, named by our 12 year old, Black Jersey Giant
Pretty Is, named by our 4 year old, Rhode Island Red
Francine, Barnevelder

Hissy, Partridge Rock...named by our 8 year old
Gertle, named by our 12 year old,  Black Jersey Giant

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photo Session

Anybody that knows me knows that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to take pictures.  So, adding chicks just gives me more subjects to photograph!  I added the first two tonight.  I had planned to add the entire "photo shoot" but as mentioned in an earlier post, the computer is just WAY TOO slow for me tonight.   I'll let you see the others really soon.  They are just too cute!

Poll for Names

I added two polls.  I really would've preferred only one poll, but I simply couldn't figure out how to "add more choices" as it seemed to give me the choice to do.  BUT, our computer has been in SUPER SLOW SPEED tonight and that may be the cause.  At any rate, between the two polls, there are 8 names that our children have named the chickens.  Only vote for one between the two polls and let us know your favorite.  Can't wait to see...

Monday, October 22, 2012

I just wanted to take a moment to brag on the customer service department at
They are fabulous!  If you're thinking of ordering chicks from a hatchery, you'll be pleased with them.  We ordered nine chicks on our first order.  They sent ten because, as I've read, it is fairly common to lose one or two chicks in transport, so they send an extra or two to account for that possibility.  We did indeed lose two the first day.  BUT...the other eight are doing really well.  I sent an email within the first 48 hours, as is their policy to replace the unfortunate chicks.  Today, customer service gave us a phone call WITH A REAL PERSON on the phone and we got it all set up to have the next chicks delivered.  The lady on the phone was very personable and showed concern for us in making sure everything was the way it should be.  AND, she called back a second time just to clarify a question she had.  It's not often now days to have that kind of service!  Another plus in our adventure so far:-) Check out their website:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

They're Here!

     One day in the middle of September, I went shopping and brought home a ceramic hen.  All of the kids thought it was so cute and acted so excited over something so simple.  So, I said to Dave (my husband), "We should get real ones!"  I don't think he took me completely serious at first as he said, "Sure."  So, the next day, we watched a lot of YouTube videos and did a lot of reading on the internet.  We decided that we did indeed want to give this "backyard chickens" thing a try.  We have four children and although to that point we had never thought of chickens, or of the benefit of fresh eggs, it just seemed the perfect family project.  My second son was so excited when we told him we were getting chickens and building a coop, you'd have thought we told him we were putting Disney World in the backyard. We've always had the thought far back in our minds of living on a true farm, but we decided that we'd just bring the farm to the ideal living arrangement we already have. While it may not be a full blown farm, we plan for it to give us just enough of that life to keep us happy.  
     So, within the next week of that original conversation, we had placed our order from to get blueprints for a coop and had contacted to place an order for chicks.  Since then, the coop is almost complete and the chickens have arrived.  They are living in our garage in a brooder box. With the use of many power tools my dad has (thank goodness!),  my husband along with a very good friend, continue to keep late night hours to get the coop...or the hen house, as I call it...ready for the chickens by the time they need it. (That'll be a few more weeks.)  We've only had the sweet baby chicks for four days but we already find a lot of entertainment and joy from watching them and caring for them.   Although we both have some grandparents and great-grandparents that knew a lot about farming, we are the first in the family in quiet a while to tackle such a task.  However, the more we've discussed it, the more we've found some people in our social network that have chickens and we never even knew.  Funny how chickens can open up such a new world of conversation!  Through this blog, we hope to spread a little information to all the people out there like us who have some crazy thought and decide to act on let you know you really can do it.  That's just it, you have to do it!  Together we can learn along the way.  We'll let you know the things we find that work and the ones that don't.  Welcome to Our Crazy Coop...