Welcome to Ferrari Farms Blog. We are not a farm, but merely city dwellers who have made a large rectangular backyard into a little “city farm” over the last 18 years. I love working in the dirt and doing projects together, and my husband loves to build and invent little things. Well, since we got the fever to have chickens again after 10 years of no “cheeping” in the backyard, HERE WE ARE, and thank you Backyardchickens.com!!!
I can’t believe a forum like this is here, free for the taking. So much experience and expertise, and so many helpful active users!! After trolling the forum while my baby chicks grow, I decided it was time to BLOG. Every day something new happens and only my fellow Chickie people would understand my enthusiasm!
We built the coop/run over several weeks while waiting for the chicks to get old enough to go out there. You can see the coop build project at this link – http://www.mitzkity.com/coop
So here’s my cast of characters – 3 dogs, 2 cats, 10 chicks, one husband, and me.
Xena is 10, Rhodesian ridgeback/boxer mix and pound puppy. She is the sweetest thing ever to walk the earth in dog form, and would have been the best mother dog on the planet – instead she has raised day-old kittens, and licks chicks gently whenever allowed. She cries the whole time we are in the coop, wanting to be in with us.
Zephyr is 3, Hell on Wheels for the first 2 years, but now is turning out to be a great little doggy – he’s a Puggle (half beagle, half pug), our little designer dog who has cost of thousands in vet bills, but we have (finally) forgiven him for that!
Pinstripe and Paisley are litter mates. I kept them, the last 2 I took in when I was doing cat rescue. They are 6 now, I think. Both are lap cats (for me only) and not particularly fond of anyone else. They won’t eat any treats or table food or exotic cat food, only dry food and occasional tuna, and don’t care for toys, so they are our Cheap Thrills in the pet department. Their naptimes decorate the yard too.
The best way to view our chicks is to keep this link open in a separate window –
http://www.mitzkity.com/chicks You can cursor over the photos and watch them growing up, week by week. My darling husband is doing this little chronicle for us, like a baby book.
Chicks – the chicks came in 3 bunches, at the local feed store, starting March 21st (2011).
First came Buffalo and Tandoori, Buff Orpington and Rhode Island Red.
Then 2 weeks later came our Light Brahma, Popcorn, a Cuckoo Marans, Barbie-Q, an Americauna, So’Fried, and a Gold-laced Wyandotte, Teriyaki.
(we lost BARBIE-Q to my dog Zanzibar when I went into the coop to give them back their baby pool full of fresh straw. The noise it made when I dropped it made 2 chickens FLY OVER MY HEAD and they opened the run door and flew out into the yard. Screaming, for my husband, we saved Popcorn, but saw BBQ hanging limp out of Zanzi's mouth. Then last Fall, Zanzi fell, herself, to Cushing's Disease. And so goes the circle of life...
And 2 weeks later we got our 2 Red Sex Links, Kung Pao and Cashew. The sex links are loudmouths, and we'd love to find a new home for at least one...whew, this is my neighborhood, not a farm, CHICKEN!!!
6-12-11 The chicks are 3 and 5 weeks old now, and it’s warm enough for them to sleep outside. Tonight was such a sight to see, as it got chillier and they started to huddle together in a corner and just peep their little heads off.
So we scooped them up the ramp and into the coop, giving them only a waterer. I swear, when they glommed all together in a corner, nesting in their first pine shavings ever, they were asleep in 5 minutes! We went out later to check on them, and no one had moved.
The light comes on inside at dusk, and we hope it will beckon them in one day on their own.
Saturday the 13th – All’s well in chick-ville. We tried to put them back in the brooder last week and after a day in the run, they were appalled and not happy. NOT ENOUGH SPACE for a decent dust bath Mom! And because of the younger chicks in the brooder next to it, it was too hot in the room anyway. Nope, they’re outside chickens now. Dorian will let them out every morning early before he leaves for work.
Weds 15th – wow, these hens poop a LOT! The can’t get to their high roost in the run yet, so we are going to get a wooden sawhorse bench and put it where they can use it as a launch pad to the roost.
Guess what – it happened!! We went out to scoop them into the coop, and they were already there. And then, as we watched, the outdoor lights came on (there’s one in the coop). Now I will watch again tomorrow and see if they time it the same.
Thurs 16th – well they didn’t go in on their own, just peeping up a storm and huddling, then suddenly as I watched, Tandoori took the lead and everyone trooped up the ramp into the coop. I sat on the swing while Dorian shut the door, and suddenly the outdoor lights came on again. Amazing they have such good timing with the sunset!
Tonight I got an idea to add a pop-out sunning area off the back of the coop. Dorian figured out the materials and off we went to get it. THIS is going to be fun!
Friday June 17, 2011
Dorian gets off at noon on Fridays so we spent the day shopping, planning, and working in the yard/garden/coop. Dorian is a chick magnet!! (heh heh) He doesn’t want to hold them and pet them like I do, so they just climb all over him like the bird woman in Home Alone 2. It’s adorable!
We started painting boards and the sawhorse and of course had to go out for more paint UGH!! But this is going to be such a cute addition and the chicks will have a small place where they can go to get the unadulterated morning sunshine.
Yesterday my grand-children came to visit and my 12 yr old granddaughter fell madly in love with the chickens. I knew she would; she is, plain and simply, an animal person…always has been. Katrina spent a few hours in the run with them and had them roosting on her in no time at all. Some people just have that knack with animals. Elliot and Camden enjoyed them but were more into a Toy Story toy playset. They helped me make lunch and it was such a nice visit.
Sat June 18th
Boy do these chicks love the meal worms!! But no one is a aggressive as our Americauna (So’ Fried). She darts in and steals each one if we don’t work against her a bit. She steals them out of the other birds mouths, off our hands, in the sand, and she gets them all, leaving the other ones wondering what just happened. And for some reason, Buffy doesn’t even like them, but she sure did like the red worm we dug up for her!
Hey, aren’t those meal worms gross!!! I hate the way they curl around my finger tip when I’m holding them out as bait. Ucky…the things we do for our kids!!
Sunday June 19th, 2011
Well the little addition is built onto the back of the run, and darn it, they are still a little too young to really fly up there. They fly from the bench to the roost, but I have to be there to coax them. They they can walk right into the little addition. I finally got the idea to put a pile of alfalfa leafy stuff up there and then I got 4 out of 6 up there to eat. They didn’t stay in the sunbeams yet though, and it’s a perfect day for it. In the morning when the run is still chilly, I hope they will learn to go up there to sun themselves.
Chicken chase is a hoot! We got a good video of it today, maybe I can figure out how to embed it. The babies will be able to go out in the big coop/run in another week, if it stays this warm. They are so much smaller, though – I worry about that. We’ll see how it goes and maybe put them in a cage in there first.
May 11th 2012-
Well, it's been a year, and we have 7 happy layers, and 5 new chicks this week.
Time flies, and the coop has been slightly enlarged to allow for the 12. Stay tuned for more photos and escapades.