Crazy Chicken Lady Diaries

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by orumpoultry, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    Okay, so a few of ya'll have asked how progress is going around the farm as we clean up from the previous owners. This is the thread I've decided to start. I will include all pictures of new birds as they come in, old birds as they leave, and all buildings in progress.

    A little back story ( I'll make it quick I swear... )

    My husband and I bought this property about nine months ago. At that time there was so much TRASH and so many TREES we could hardly move around. Let alone find a place to park our cars. We started cutting, clearing, and trashing as we went. We officially have almost two acres cleared, and have managed to pile all of the trash in one place. Unfortunately, that place is out of my back door. But hey!! It's all in one place!! No more worrying when the horses are going to step on glass or get nails in their hooves. Getting it all in piles close to the house and out of the pasture ( being as we have just less than 5 acres ) was a big step.

    The horse pasture has a little over half an acre cleared, which is enough the horses can move around, with trails leading all the way to the back and various places cleared here and there around the back. It's much nicer than them standing in one spot creating a mud hole!!! So, when you see pictures and you see mud holes and trash... you should have SEEN it when we started!

    Over the last TWO months I have started building coops like crazy. Chicken math has kicked in, and I'm trying to get back on my feet. My friends, family, and most every one that knows me calls me the chicken lady. I used to run a small ( large to me ) scale chicken 'farm'. I had about 500 birds at all times, chicks included, and sold enough to make a small profit. Then family illness happened, and the birds had to go. My mothers health was more important. Two years later: new husband, new property, new life. Starting over! Holy CRAP I didn't realize how much I had to do as birds started pouring back in. Old customers are calling, asking what breeds I have. If I will be carrying this breed, or that breed, etc. I know for a fact I will keep a flock of RIR's, as it is the thing most people around here ask for. " Red chickens " because they apparently lay better. PSH. It's hard to teach them otherwise if they won't let me, so, I will keep a small-ish flock of ' red hens ' to sell from for the locals.

    Breeds we have currently : Lakenvelders, Kraienkoppe, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Black Australorps, Silver Spangled Hamburgs, and Production Reds. Two colors of Coturnix quail; browns and whites. Lavender/blue, white, and pearl guineas. I also have several varieties of American game in Houston at my uncles 'farm' until I can get them moved up here.

    Breeds we are trying to get pens built to bring in this summer: Blue slate, Royal Palm, and Bourbon red turkeys. Lady Amherst pheasants ( as well as goldens' and ringneck ). Rhode Island Reds, Russian Orloffs, Easter Eggers, OH AND BBS Australorps(I think I've seen them somewhere).

    Breeds I want to have by 2017: True Amaracauna ( did I even spell it right? ), Rumpless Arcauna, and Marans.

    I've toyed with the idea of doing a few Bantam breeds and Polish... but I've got a LOT to do before then. Plenty of pens to build between now and then!!

    Okay. Breath.

    This is what I got accomplished today:

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    Here's my attempt at a hoop coop/run for my mixed layers:

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    This is the quail pen my nephew ( 8 ) helped me build back in December, and a picture of the first quail pen I built:

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    So far I've been blessed and everything I have built has been with material we've found lying around the property! Including all of the wire, nails, screws, etc. The tools I already had. Haven't had to buy anything, aside from a few new drill bits... Not buying cheap bits anymore. Just going to suck it up and buy a good one.

    I did try out my new star spade bit and the screws I got with it today. Made a HUGE difference... they're a lot easier to drive with shaky hands.

    After all this building I feel like I could use a day off... but I can't! If I stop building, I will eventually not have anywhere to put birds. Can't have that!

    I think I have officially earned my nickname around town again as 'The chicken lady' and to my friends, there's a crazy in there...

    So. From here on out, enjoy random updates as I get things cleared and or built. I will post them!

    Enjoy,
    Kate.
     
  2. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    It's been raining off and on here the last few days. It's been making life difficult as far as building and burning goes. Even still, I've managed to finish up the additions to the coops. Section C and section D are now finished! The chicks are spending days in their new quarters, and have 'jungle gyms' built in to play on until the permanent roosts and nesting boxes come in. Total demensions for the new additions are as follows:

    Coop - 6x8 - Total of 48 sqft. They're about seven foot tall as well, so I will be able to hang the roosts high enough to not hit my head on them.

    Run - 15x6 - Total of 90 sqft. All in all I have roughly enough room to keep nine hens and a rooster happy in each expansion. The coop and run will be open to each other to allot for a total of 138sqft.

    I still need to get the deer netting stretched to keep birds from flying out. I've also got to haul quite a bit of dirt up from the back of the property to drop over the skirts to keep things from digging in. I only used hardware cloth and chicken wire, so it's not that predator proof and I understand that. I'll be putting up electrical wire like I've done on every other coop. Between the electrical wire, the dogs, and the skirts I haven't lost a bird due to predation in about a year. I'd say this build is about 90% complete... and it will stay that way. I always seem to think I'm done when I'm nowhere close, I'll think of something else I'd like to add... Just like I've still got to divide up the ducks, which requires I get more hinges to add another door to the run.

    Nesting boxes and permanent roosts will go in probably mid February. It may even be as far out as March. I'm in no hurry, the tenants are young yet.

    Here's some pictures! It may not be 'pretty' but I'm in love with the progress. Everything in the build thus far has been repurposed from another project somewhere else on the property that was long forgotten. All of the lumber was either lying about, or gifted, so I haven't been out that yet either. All of the tin came off of the roof of an old rotten barn. Yay for free!!

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    Here's a close up of the front of the pens. As you can see we've started hauling dirt for the skirts between the rain.

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    Sugar and the ducks for size reference. This was before the runs went in.

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    The front of the two new pens ( and the front of the old )

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    The finished runs.

    Coming along nicely!
     
  3. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    WOW! [​IMG] You most certainly have been working up a storm, haven't you? What a beautiful job! Congrats on everything too! And to think that almost everything you needed was on the property already?! Keep up the great work, you should be very proud of yourself!! Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  4. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    Thanks!!! Its been hard getting everything ready. I have three more pens to build that are needed right just now. I will have to buy the lumber for structural I believe, but I've got enough scrap wood and netting to do the sidings. The pens are done now, nesting boxes and roosts are in. I'll upload pictures later.
     
  5. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    I haven't posted updates in a few days because things have been busy in here! We've had a LOT going on. Got several more trees dropped, and a LOT of stuff burned. Most of the stray wood is now piled up, and all of the stray fencing has been piled as well. As of next week we will have all of the fencing material to completely dog/chicken proof the front acre. Sheep and goat fence, tons of t-posts, and possibly a few days of work since I will be doing this solo.

    Last night I got home and realized the incubator was off. I'm guessing the dogs were the ones that unplugged it rough housing or something. The internal temperature of the incubator was down to 70, I'll candle on Saturday and pray for life. Husband swears he checked it when he got home and the incubator was still on, so it was off for a minimum of two hours... Hopefully... We shall see.

    This morning in the mail the last of our ordered chicks came in. 20 Lakenvelders, 20 Silver spangled hamburgs, and 10 BBR Kraienkoppe. One was dead on arrival. One out of fifty is fine with me considering they were in transit for three days and it's been freezing here. They're all settled in, tucked away in the brooder like a giant mass of happy little peepers. But they are LOUD. I'd forgotten how loud that many chicks could be. The largest brood I've grown in a few years is only 25 at a time. They went straight to the water source after a little encouragement. The grogel that was placed in them completely diminished, nothing left but green stains on the straw they were shipped on.

    Keeping this short, it's raining today and I'm obsessing over the chicks ( all 75 of them! I'm including the ones that just got moved out ). Here's some pictures!

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  6. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    Build, rest repeat. Build, stretch, repeat. Bad weather, take a few days off. Work on drawing up new plans. Good weather, go riding! Spunky horse. Get thrown. Build, rest, repeat.

    The last few weeks have been almost nightmare-ish in the way things have been happening. I spent three days putting up (the majority of) an acre of field fence, by hand, alone. My husband took thirty seconds to trash 200ft of it. We were dropping trees ( can you see where this is going?! ) and he didn't realize the dead tree he was cutting was about to go towards the fence. Well, guess what honey... Gravity works a lot better than a t-post. So he cut and he stomped and he cut and he laughed and he got the tree off the fence. It occurred to us that he had no idea how to put the fence back up, and I was at work, so I told him to leave it. Instead? I got home to a fence poorly stretched and tied with hay string. It was the joke of the evening. Who am I kidding? The joke of the week.(Un)fortunately I didn't get any pictures of his accident to the fence line. He will get to live this one down after all.

    So we cut and we piled and we cut and we piled and we cut and we piled and finally we started to see through the trees and could tell where the fence was going to go! The next segment of fence could be stretched and put up. Hallelujah! Unfortunately mother nature had other ideas of what was to happen those next few days. It rained for four days straight. The kind of rain you see in movies. The kind of rain you don't want to see when you have posts to set and it's been so wet this winter the ground is still a great big mush. A mush that will get a truck stuck in it days after the rain is gone. So, we waited. We found something else to do. Gardens! Flower beds! Plants!

    My mother and I got to work.

    With a little help from our OE trio.

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    Just a little.

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    Okay... a LOT.

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    They dug for bugs, they cackled and squawked. They found out that the dead logs from the trees we cut down contained mountains of glorious protein filled bugs! Oh what heaven!

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    Lucky felt the need to tell the world about their find.

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    On repeat.

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    All day.

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    With a little help from mother nature, we planted new plants AND got them watered. This freezing cold weather is keeping us pretty house bound right now. When the weather shifts to bad, my back says stay in bed! Stay warm and cozy! If you move to quickly or do to much I will seize up! I have calcification in my back from a break many years back that causes tremendous pain. So, I will be listening. Going slow. Taking it easy. No planting, no gardening, no fence work for a few days. Until then... here's some updated pictures! The old corral fence line is now the home to several vines, growers, and lots of tall tubers. Like gladiolas. Can't wait til they start blooming! Here's more pictures! Mostly of dirt, but, hey! I know what's about to grow under there!

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  7. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    P.S. here's a picture I forgot to add of the LONGEST flowerbed I've ever put in... and filled... Narcissus, daffodils, lilies, other random tubers and bulbous plants, marigold, zinnia, morning glory, and three rose plants! On either side are two plum trees we transplanted from around the older plum trees out front. Ended up planting fifteen young plum trees off of these older trees, and giving about that many more away to select neighbors. We still have TONS of baby plum trees around the main trees we could dig up and move, but, we will wait until next year.

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  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    I found your thread by accident - I should say by good luck. Really enjoying it, I am subscribing. You have energy, I can only dream about. I am an OLD gray mare but, experiencing your efforts vicariously makes ME feel fulfilled. More pictures and more stories please.[​IMG]
     
  9. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
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    Jan 30, 2012
    Trinity, TX
    Why thank you! My husband works dawn to dusk almost every day, so, that leaves me to tending to the new homestead. The old timers around here are giving me lots of tips ( I think I'm younger than most people on my road by a minimum of 40 years ) on how to get things going. Those closer to my age have been helping us when they can.
     

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