Ilvmychickenss Member Page

  1. ilvmychickens


    [​IMG] Life is a Garden, and we are digging it! [​IMG]


    This is DARBY, Border Collie, 6 yrs old, our first herding Dog! "We are just glad to be here!" This is OREO, about 5 yrs old, our second herder and newest edition!


    Thank you all on the BYC site!
    This has been a blessing as we have learned a plethera of invaluable information from this site. Everyone has been gracious, kind and just poured their hearts and knowledge on us all and we are still so new! I am glad that a little page can include some more information about us and will allow us to share the result of the extensive information we have learned from BYC right back with everyone of you!
    About us!
    Located about 30 miles west of Knoxville Tennessee!
    I am an East Tennessee girl probably with the pedigree to prove it lol. My mothers family is one of the proud founding families of the Great Smokey Mountains! Lived in the city but my mother raised me in the mountains. My fondest memory of Mom and Grandmother are on some of the hiking trails of our precious Appalachian Trail! (GO A.T. LOVERS)! Our short hikes were filled with a lot of knowledge, learning how to clean drinking water, which flower is edible and what tea you can make with them were ferquent topics. I guess the sayings are true, you can take the girl out of the mountains but you can not take the mountains out of the girl.
    My husband and I are both proud local Paramedic/Firefighters with over 25 years of experience between the two of us, but go to work to take the day off! We work harder at home! We are very proud of not only our career but the company we work for! An absolutley excellent 911 service with some of the best EMT, EMT-Paramedics, Fire Fighters, Police, Hazmat Techs, Resuce Squad, RESCUE SCUBA DIVERS and Instructors I have ever had the pleasure and honor to work with and learn from! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES!
    Our youngest are homeschoolers, that is what led us on the path the path of the "chicken side" and "The Force" is now with us, though we are padewan learners still... 7 y.o son loves homeshooled, we work hard though to keep him in groups and sports so that he gets enough contact with friends. Daughter next year will begin a "preschool" program through the umbrella school to get her used to the shcedule and such.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] This is my Precious Daughter! She is an avid "chack" lover! Is being groomed to be an enthusist. (hopefully more educated then myself)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] This is my son, he is a blessing as well!. Also full of "chicken fever". He, in his seven year old independence, is now refusing to EAT chicken! LOL Though he enjoys the eggs, he also refuses to eat a possibly "fertile egg", go figure! Any egg out of the pen with the rooster he refuses to eat! Thank God for broody hens, I dont have the finances for a large incubator! Guess it is back to the workshop any ideas for a good home made incubator?

    [​IMG] The best man I ever met! I am bias I know, this is most deffinately my better half, soulmate, love of my life (right behind the chicken obsession j/k, but seriously). Times have been rough but this is the type of love that keeps on getting bigger, stronger, and gives more then I know I alone could ever put in. He is an excellent father, best freind, lover, and gift that I work daily to show my love and affection too. NEVER let the sun go down without an "I love you"! If I have learned nothing I have learned this. (okay mushy stuff done)
    Other members of the pack
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Hubby and ANNANA our Alaskan Malamute Darby, Border Collie in herding action! Oreo, Bording Collie, watching the coop!
    How we got into chickens!
    This is a favorite question, and I do not beleive anyone has a generic story. EVERY story I have heard are FULL of hysterics. Like us too! ( so enough about us here is the "meat and tato's" of the page! )
    When we recently joined the BYC family here I had stated "2 chickens to 20". A very nice member welcomed me and stated that before long my obsession would grow and I would soon be listing 20 to 50. Wow they were right! Before I ever logged back in BYC we had four new beautiful chicks! Also seven new fertilized silkie eggs in the bator. (Thank you STEVE! They are doing great n growing like weeds) It is so funny how one thing or one goal can change your prospective! Post this story, below I want to share a "WHY WE RECYCLE" story and thought! Most long term chicken lovers will laugh at me and say "DUH" but for the newbies, like us, This will give you some WICKED COOL ideals you can apply to even the smallest coop and flock!
    Well since the kids are homechooled we chose to, as a homeschool project raise a few chicks and try an incubator. I taught my son what little I had learned about baby chickens and such. A very minor anatomy and physiology lesson on his level and off we were! Daily sepaking about turning eggs, temp and humidity. We also learned about the chicken and the egg. Yes, again on his level lol! So then my son and husband wanted to buy some hens that were laying now just for the family egg needs, ect. A little studying and six was the goal, a hen for each family member and one extra I was told by my well loved local chicken peeps. This seemed like a very reasonable goal right! WOW how ideas, even good ones, can change things.

    So the hen house;
    This was cute, initially we were going to use a shed on the property and convert it. Now we had only in five years used this as storage. As we entered I felt like a hoarder, a 12 by 12 of stuff! ( please read below another branch of this story has led us to avid recycling and I would love to share this, read below later.) Well a few days of cleaning by my husband, and sons, we had it clean. Funny thing, it is a very nice workshop not a shed! It had electricity in it! Never knew that. So it became a work shop, all the tools were moved, organized peg boarded, nailed, hung and shelved. But we did not have a coop still, so we had a nice corrigated steel overhang off the side of the new wokshop. Post reinforcement and chicken wire we had a nice little enclosed coop. Which has now become a growing cancer that has matches the workshop in size almost! Then I got into trouble and read all about the benifits of a nice fenced run or ranging area. So the day we brough home the first hens, we put them in the coop and began to build and fence more. We have now dedicated a good third of the back fenced property to the chickens, and then we only had four. Two Red stars, one Black star and a RIR. I kept reading how docile RIR chickens are, I have yet to meet one. Well the hard work was not hard enough, really I thought we had done an excellent job. Yet new and yes ignorant, I learned the hard way, for me and my chickens, that if a preditor wanted in, they would chew the wood from the door and seperate the fence and yes, they will get in. Two were dead right upon arrival, the other two died despite our quick response and avid care. I almost gave up. Took all I had to keep from crying when I explained to my son that life, has a way, and it is the instinct of the predator. I then explained to him that I was not a good hen mommy, and should have researched further. My son is very persuasive, and man I really enjoyed those chickens, and we still had the chicks. So we continued, cautiously. A great freind had took down a sun room on his home and had large amounts of a plastic roofing, very close to corrigated, yet flat. He gave us every last peice, and we cut away reinforcing every inch of the hen house except for the very top for air flow, and fans were hung. Overhang keeps out rain. This worked! Worked well! Momma now being scared to death of predators invested in large amounts of snake repellant, racoon, possum traps, (they were rehomed not killed). I was a bit excessive. But safe then sorry I can not go through that again with my son, I know anything can get them in the run outside, and eventually here and there you have an escapee when new to the coop.
    The Girls and Guys;
    We then found a good farm locally that sold hens when putting younger pullets in the coop. She sold, a very nice price, us one welsummer, and one delaware. Both have been excellent layers! Even laid the same day we got them and released to the coop. I was astonished and spoiled in these two. Quickly I went to hunting chickens and found a local breeder of easter eggers and a few wheaten Ameracuanas, this decision was made for those wicked cool blue eggs, the kids (I) LOVE THEM. We bought two girls and some straight run chicks, we later purchased from her again as they all were sweet quality, and the straight run, was ALL HENS. Now I bought the Roo the second visit to her as he was being sold because he was agressive with her other roosters. I knew this and didnt mind, he is just what she said, good to his hens, and he has never pecked us at all! At the time I never intended to have another Roo. ROTFL... Then later a local breeder hobbiest, reluctantly had to rehome her chickens. She practically gave us, these beautiful birds! I was amazed, one is no joke a very nice Black Silkie, she is amazing, her picture says it all! Her crest is so full she can't see so we have to pluck a few feathers back to help her out. She got called TINA TURNER! Which changed to TOTO because she looks and acts like a puppy! I FELL IN LOVE WITH SILKIES and so did the hubby! Chicken Fever HIT HARD! By the way I can not find any treatment for Chicken Fever, once it has infected the host they can be unpredictable!
    [​IMG] [​IMG] .

    Picture one, "Tina Turner" now. Second picture is Tina the day we brought her home.
    Another chicken we received is "Gojera" aka "Godzilla" He is a double curl frizzel cochin/ silkie mix, if I am correct, If you know better then please let me know. Im still baffeled yet very much attatched to this guy, when we first got him I worried bout him, yet I have found that his curl is just so tight he looked bare, he has filled out nicley I need a new picture to show you his difference. I though he was a hen, until he tried to mount one of the silkies! Yup that changes things! Rooster number two!
    [​IMG] I incresed the picture size so you can see him well enough. This is from when we brought him home, he has grown, a little bit, very little bit, lol.
    Also we received, a sizzel rooster, very nice, more of a lap pet, all these babies were loved and handeled well because they are so docile and adore attention. He is Sheradon, I LOVE, Sheradon, he now free ranges because my origional Rooster and he DID NOT get along, he comes in at night, feeds, and waters then roosts in a tree or on top the hen house. Also we received two Broody Dorklings, The dorkling sisters. One hangs with Sheradon, yet the other is the most dedicated, awesome broody hen ever, she has laid on a hatch and is now on her second. I will always keep this girl no matter what breeds we get into because she is the best mother hen! PRICELESS! Yet she is still well mannored, has never pecked us and loves treats from us, we spoil her a bit. She is now honorably called MOMMA!
    Next came the mixed obsession with eggs VS types, breeds, and beauty. Ok I know but Cher, our beloved mother of the above chickens, said this to me, and I ran with it. " Try it all! You will find what meshes best with your personality and your needs, Then pass it on to others and share the love of chickens!" Wow she rocks! SOOO COOOLLLL
    So then came the Polish pair, [​IMG] [​IMG]. Same day at the flea market while looking for goats, we have to clear of some more property now we are growing, quickly, lol. I dont know how that carrying chicken cage got into the car before we went to the flea market that day along with a goat cage. LOL <wink> Anyhow i found another girl I have quickly grown fond of, very fond of, she has changed my decision right away of what I wanted to do with chickens! It is not about the eggs anymore! It is about the Silver Spangeled Hamburg! [​IMG] This is "Dot" probably the best chicken and layer I have ever had. She honestly lays an egg EVERY day, takes a break about every eight to ten days, then is RIGHT back at it! She is so intellegant, and LOVES attention, she is waiting for me daily at the door, and even gets out of the run and sits on the back porch of the house knowing ill bring her an extra treat! I can pick her up and cary her around, and she is content. Actually the day we bought her my step son and I, who calls her "his", carried her around the flea market for a good thirty minutes! She is a big baby! If a chicken could be potty trained I swear she'd be able to flush! She is now the reason our eldest is also a chicken fever sufferer!
    We got some silkies, laying hens, from a sweet local breeder, and they are nice! breeder stock possibly. We will see! lol One roo I love, gotta breed a little to increase the quality of the crest. Great BUY! Nice People!
    Then all the Black sex links. Though they are good egg producers, they still do not hold a candle to the Delaware, Hamburg and Wellsummer! The adult hens are very flighty too, I bought them laying, also a few of them had really bare spots, very red. I was not aware of the causes when I purchased them. Yet I have this complex, I want to HELP everything! So we got them anyhow.. Learning experience! Yet these were wicked red areas, the seller said it was just from the ROO, but I noticed a HUGE, BEATUFUL but HUGE, very agressive male roo in the pen. So he apparently had been agressive with the hens, and then of course new feather growth, increased blood supply to the area and bambino we have mites, and the other hens were pecking the poor girls away. So we have been fighting these sores, using VET RX, tea tree oil. They are slowly getting some new feather growth they were bathed in adams and sprayed, mites gone now. Yet it has been a heart break because only two out of five lay! They are not too young and or two old, and we have had them now for several weeks just shy a month now, as we kept them seperated longer from the other girls. Obviously, mites ect. I wanted to see some new feather growth too. The eggs we do get are healthy, I candled a few, no sign of bacteria, and shell is good and hard, no bloody spots in the yolk/ whites. Although benign I wanted to make sure they were not seeing reproductive issues as well. No worms in the eggs, yet the seller said when asked when they had been wormed last, " well they could probably use it again". They were wormed RIGHT AWAY! I know the sore spots, may be the cause of them not laying. But any suggestions are really appreciated here because if there is a better and faster way to treat them I would love to do it for there sake, I have enough eggs. We also got four started chickens, who have been fine with no problems and at all and we are already getting little "phart" eggs. So pleased there. They are not as flighty, above is a pic of my son with one on his shoulder. He named it "Parrot". Welcomes it each morning with an arrrggg my matey!
    The last purchase, (THANK YOU STEVE) were four silkie chicks, adorable! TINY babies! [​IMG] [​IMG] These are all "blue gene". I am very pleased! Yet then blessed because he chose not to hatch anymore this year and had seven eggs he sold me just dirt cheap! Right to the incubator, Momma is full, lol. We have now decided to go the route of Silver Spangeled Hamburgs, the Ameracuanas, and the Silkies, I have a few that I am not going to rid of, no matter their breed, because I love them, they will just have to have a different coop and run. The rest I will trade/ barter and sell off as I am forced too. Oh well. Coming we have some Lavendar Ameracuana eggs, I can not wait to go pick up! Again THANK YOU BYC! The Hamburg eggs, and hopefully we will again contact our favorite local seller, Steve this week for a pick of his last hatch. As soon as I feel the Sex linx are cared for and again laying I will probably let them go first. Then will weed out the Ameracuanas as need be for the Lavendars, I do not want to mix breeding here. N the Hamburgs. Oh I AM STOKED! WHOOP WHOOP <touchdown dance> Doin the chicken walk give it a little neck waddle! Ok dance over! Maybe just another minute or so!
    I am quickly learning how broody these Silkies are! The ones we have were laying, out of the five hens and two Roos, we were getting about thre eggs, every five days. Then NOTHING, I didnt realize they would sit on a pile of bedding! lol SUGGESTIONS/ WISDOMS PLEASE
    Now, back to the coop:

    Again we are not big enough! lol New quandry.

    Why we recycle!
    As noted above I went to the shed we used for only storage in five years. I FELT like a hoarder selfish slob guys honestly! SO we quickyl listed MANY free items on the local internet sales network! LOL. Didnt use it maybe it could bless someone else ya know. Well that is when I realized that there is a HUGE network of people, some are metal scrappers, some are Flea Market merchants ect, who will gladly haul ur stuff away. Bless these guys it is hard work networking and hauling of heavy items, and many of us may just need it gone! Yet that was not our purpose ya know. So I removed the listing and looked for people who listed "wanted or needed" items. This was better. What we did not give away, metal ect, we scrapped ourselves... and now I know why the scrappers do it! I scrapped pipe from our remodel project, copper as it was, and I actually received MORE then I paid or it at the local store! Price of copper went up since I bought it, cool. That was Recycle number one.!
    The money was put into a mason jar labeled "eggs and chickens" . Everything we "make" usually just breaking even, which is cool, it is a hobby, we put back in a jar for later feed, egg cartons, medication, wormer ect! Yet only for the chickens! Also after learning this metal scrapping thing, we started taking our alluminum cans to the metal recycling center rather then to the recycle green bins at the local stores ect. Recycle number two! This honestly! Is a great way to buy feed! ONE bag of alluminum cans, 30 gal trash bag little over 3/4 full, was four dollars! So we ended up finding some free "need it gone" trash cans on the local sales network and off we were on a mission to have the grandparents and other family recycle. Our deal was simple, I give you the can and the bags, can ill even pick it up. We arent out anything really, a 55 box of 30 gal trash bags goes for over three or four months! We have four total bins and get about 16 to 18 dollars a month! Ok sounds little yet more came into play!
    Recycle three;
    I have actually never planted a "real" bigger then a few pots of tomato plants and spices, garden. But wow chicken poop rocks! On the back side of the fenced are and coop for the chickens we put a board, in a sort of "slide system". I slide it back and rake it all out, and it goes directly into an 8 X 8 composte bin. (was not big enough) "BLACK GOLD" we fold the soil every couple of days or any time we add a large load, lol. I put it right on the garden after it sits. (I learned quickly, this stuff is HIGH nitrogen, and ACIDIC, dont put it directly on a stem of your plants, lol mistake noted, experienced driven wisdoms in check!)
    Recycle four;
    Chickens LOVE CHERRIES! We have two GIGANTIC cherry trees. Every year I have just let em grow, no pest control even! Every year we pick bout five gallons, make a couple cobblers, a jam or two, freeze a few post being pitted. That is all. My family and freinds come and gets some here and there. Yet this year I was a good girl, picked all we could and pruned them back and the chickens have treats!
    Recycle five;
    No green item, old tomato, or fruit goes to waste! We mix cut and chop these up with oats flax and yogurts for the laying hens and feed away! We have various recipies and ect. Found most every one here at BYC! Thanks again guys! What they do not like, off to Recycle number three, the compost.
    Recycle six;
    Post recent storms we had a 100 + pine fall, with the grace of high winds it missed the house and the coops and all but one fence! Well instead of making a phone call we all got out there with the chainsaws, even my neighbor, thank his loving heart! A few days a few new chains and we had it all cut up, time to burn. Well I kept few cuts to dry for home made concrete bird feeder stands. It was so sappy I could not imagine what else to do with it. Just being the one, noone much else was interested except a few avid campers. Post burning, all the ash was folded into the garden and into the compost pile. Now we have added another trash can for paper items and others we can burn. Cuts down on the trash and we use all the ash. Burned a rotten piano, sorry piano lovers it was rotten, but the brass plate in it for the strings set up was HEAVY! Yup it went into the Recycle number one. 35 dollars! and we added a new mason jar, just for recycle it is filling up! (if you burn watch what you burn PLEASE! Some wood is pressure treated and treated with chemicals that are honsetly toxic to breath if you go this route just a few minutes of research will let you know whay NOT to burn, somee cardboard boxes are also not advisable to burn)
    Recycle seven;
    WATER IS FREE! All I have to say! But catchin, delivery and filtration is not. We have ALL seen and probably a few or purchased a rain catch barrel. They are over priced in the stores! I was really disheartend, here is why. I can not understand why anything that says "GREEN" and or "ORGANIC" is so expensive! Makes me ill. Yet seriously the rain barrel doesnt cost anything to make! Here is the plan, if you need more info let us know.... I have seen many many types of rain barrels, simple to some real wicked ones. Yet for our needs, this is it. Any ideas suggestions and stories of your own are welcomed!
    1) 55 gallon or 30 gallon plastic barrel. Fnd 55 for $10 and 30 for $7, didnt buy bulk wish I did, they would have been even less. (I chose ones from a local farm that had only a food base product in them or soap base product, water soluble of course. Stayed away from chemicals.)
    2) Cinder blocks, or a small platform to lift the barrel from the ground for a gravity fed system.
    3) Or with and or omitting item 2, you may find a simple "pressure system" or a pump handel that pumps air into a "sealed" container. Used a pump from sprayer we used to spray K+ into the compost.
    4) A spicket $ 4 with twist shut off valve
    5) Drill
    6) Sharpie to mark cuts.
    7) Regular garden hose, length of your needs. We had one just around the house
    8) Screen, At the COOP We found some screen, plastic, used for porches ect, I know a few who use it under the chicks brooder boxes, it is a small gauge, plastic wont rust and can be hosed off. Bought a 3 foot high 25 ft long roll, it comes in smaller and larger mix it up for ur needs and budget.
    9) Saw, clippers, or for my buisness, my favorite brand new trauma sheers! They will cut through penny's! haha
    10) Bathroom shower caulk to seal from leaks, or plumbers tape ect, perfect for the air pressurized system, watch the pressure, Heared of a blowout once! lol
    Aquire materials, substitue as needed for your specific location and or needs, and if you know something that works better LET ME KNOW! LOL I'll apply it! if you can actually make a frame pour concrete to make our own specific support that was perfect for each location. Pour heavy concrete mix to raise platform. Post drying remove frame, made it out of scrap wood use caulk to seal any cracks and use a concrete mold release this REALLY helps. MUST LET IT SET PROPERLY! We placed them right under drains from the gutter, but we have gutter covers, you may have different needs. Cut carefully! Gravity fed you can cut off the top, making a lid that will set back in place, because the angle of the barrels if cut well these will stay if pushed down, cut screen to fit very tight to top of barrel, can set inside or outside of barrel. Drill holes at top and actually tie it to the barrel, this one is gravity fed, cant do it if you are gong to use pressure. Im am sure there is a way to seal it. Now we have a removable lid and screen to provent leaves, ect from entering. Lid keeps out bugs, mosquitos, ect when placed over top. It is lifted two feet from the ground, though it is on a hill anyhow. A drill used to make cut to the bottom, place the spicket two inches from the bottom of the barre. Provent and contaminents and or leaves that may find their way from being sucked in sometimes. Also consider a screen to caulk and or place over the inside portion of the spicket, yet depending on height this may and or may not cause eventually clogging, and a decrease in pressure. I am not really sure, ideas anyone? When making cuts you may find ur plastic barrel has seams on it, common with types of injection molding ect, cut away from seams of the barrel! Drills and saws make friction and can melt back the plastic. This could lead to a potential problem that degrades the integrity of the system. (Water weighs NINE lbs a gallon. That is a note we use as firefighters when determining load capacity of a structure. Depending on the type of structure, residential or industrial these integrities can very greatly. Also consider the type of load, if it is an attached or immovable object you have a "dead" load. Moving loads, like a walking packed out firefighter, is a "live load".) Spicket placed, caulk or use a plumbers tape or caulk when placing spicket, (this was learned by mistake, lol the plastic barrel without the lid on top as support will change its shape slightly, from a circular to oval and even egg shaped if your platform or base is not level, again why the poured concrete is and easy way to avoid later problems.) If u use a standard hose spicket you can connect right up to ur hose!
    Now I hear the whole," acid rain" consideration, Id never water my chickens with it comment and mold consideration frequently. This too can be fixed. Here is a method I have been advised to use, hevent tried it though. Purchase a water testing system, and condition as needed. Water softner as needed, this can change your PH, and fight acids. Keep out molds with a small bit of bleach added to water (there is an actual formula for this, I do not have it, give it a look see, it will change with the size of your system, the mix is usually ounces to a gallon of water) and or bleach out as needed. Bugs fixed too, spray around the container, I know gardeners that just add the insecticide (both of natural types and chemical compounds man made) to the water and water their gardens with it, two for one there, I dig it!
    Pressure system, this was important so my hubby can wash his cars and motorcycle! lol. His idea smart really. Leave container intact except the area for the drain from the gutter and where for a cut for the air pressure pump I am sure these have a REAL name, caulked copiously! Plumbers tape too. The pump had a hose, a non rebrather mask cut to make a longer straw/hose. Hey can easily with proper output capabilites push 25 LPM of compresed oxygen through them. I have heard of people using a simple barrel with spicket system, no hose or pump and using a home air compressor to add pressure. Spify, No lift for that either, not gravity fed! SWEEEEEET!
    Next idea with the barrel for the coop, I have not implimented but this weekend intend to try. Remove spicket, feed it through PVC pipe, add a PVC PIPE dual couplink, place two six foot pvc pipes sealed on the opposite ends. Use the pressure waterer nipples, place four in a foot each angle pipe downward, this system IS gravity fed. One pipe and waterer sytem to the inside of the coop one outside, on the outside wall in the fenced ranging area, ok it is a big pen, lol. This will acheive a constant water system for the chickens. With little maintenance. Being fed off the water barrel they will ALWAYS remain full, even if we were to have to fill with a hose to it in dire circumstances. I will place a tray under the PVC pipe with waters on them, empty as needed, to catch overflow or drips. I am considering a good height for the pipe though and a proper angle. We have smaller started pullets and adult hens and a roo. I m sure if thirsty they would find a way, but easier access in my opinion with ecourage them to use it, as they will have to be taught, they have always had just two and three gallon waters. They were good initially but all kinds of junk gets in them and the pullets have started to perch atop of them, so we are finding feces in the water! YUCK! That is what brought on this change in watering systems. Cleaning and watering four to five times a day is getting rather annoying and we arent getting sny fewer chickens lol. I want to hang with and watch the chickens, not be unable to enjoy them because im cleaning ya know.
    So in a nutshell per rain barrel we have a $17 investment, except the automatic watering system will change that! But just the barrels per say. A lot purchased in bulk though and recycled all we can, the wood frame, had some concrete, ect. Mingled some thought to create easy systems that quickly pay u back and recycle our resources. For us the potential is in one month the deduction from the water bill will pay for one barrel. Now with less water consumption that decline over time yet I feel it is an investment well worth trying. I am by no means dissing the nice ones you see at the hard ware store, but the one I looked at buying initially, that met our need was $80. Give them a look see and try it out! Any suggestion please let me know, let me know your stories and mistakes learned with your own watering systems! Let us learn from each others experiences. As soon as the automatic waterer is installed I will post pics and add updates! I have no garantees, but I will update and let ya know how it goes. Hopefully something we have discussed with help you and someone you know!
    Our recycling has led to a bay window with window ledges full of specifically labeled mason jars that we place money into. I have yet to count it all, as we spend some here and some there. The whole automatic watering system will be paid for out of this saved money. I have never formally counted it nor do I actually budget it, I should, We just spend what we need when we need it. I should probably make a spread sheet and do some averages... All I know is looking at the bank account we are seeing a draumatic change. The chicken budget is not being used, and we are close to self sustaining our quickly growing and changing hobby.

    Closing;
    I have learned so much! I honestly feel my chickens have changed me as a person, hopefully for the better. I finally understand things in a new light, " A penny saved, is a penny earned". Learned what "You reap what you sow" means. Wow I never really got that till now, now I appreciate that one so much. I have understood why "It is the simple things that are most rewarding". To work with your hands, to see the product of hard labor, to feel the satisfaction of a good hard days work, and a good nights sleep. I have missed out on so much in life! I hope that my children, their homeschool buddies, and freinds, will know these things as they grow up. It is rewarding, and builds self esteem, integrity. I am amazed, ennamered, truley blessed that all of this started with a few eggs! WOW did I mention, I LOVE MY CHICKENS!
    [​IMG] Sorry for spelling and gramatical errors, I cant spell! I appreciate my sons english and spelling lessons! lol
    Thank you EVERYONE for welcoming us into your BYC family! I look forward to learning more and hopefully helping someone else along the way! Becca

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