Kristen’s Chickens and Farming Ventures

Ribh

Enabler
Dec 18, 2018
10,110
82,613
1,207
Island, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
My Coop
Good morning Bob and Bob! :frow



Thanks it’s good to be getting a little bit of free time again. I missed being here and chatting with everyone. Still don’t have the time to keep up everywhere (I’m going to have to catch up over on @Ribh’s thread too!)
Yep. You've been missed, lady! So good to have you round again. :D
 

micstrachan

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
8,388
31,016
967
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Thanks!

So this whole journey started for us back in 2017, when we sold our house in the city and moved to my husband’s family farm. They bought the property back in the 1930’s, and have been living and farming here since. Our Parents are getting older and (they are in their mid to late 60’s) it’s getting to be time for another generation (namely us) to start taking on the responsibilities of the farm.

The farm is about 600 acres in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC Canada (like the San Juan islands in the USA). The Northen side of the farm is a cliff that is a rookery for Turkey Vultures... and we have way too many bald eagles. Our southern property line abuts a thin strip of parkland (they sold to the government). Our eastern property line borders a beautiful beach, the Western one a Vineyard established when about half the original farm was sold off in the 90’s. The island also has a huge Feral goat population as well. We farm Sheep and beef cattle, and have a licensed abbatoir operated by the farm owners. Current owners of the Farm are my husband’s Father, two Aunts, and his cousin.

We are building an off grid house about two miles away from the original farm house and surrounding out buildings. We’ve been struggling with our municipal government, and the build. Mostly the regulations, permits, and the fact they keep not reading our geotechnical engineering reports, and forgetting to request we fill out forms and covenants against the property. We plan on pouring the foundation this spring, only a year and a half or so behind our predicted schedule. In the meantime we are boondocking in a 25’ 5th wheel RV on generator and solar power, as well as propane.

I’ve always wanted chickens, and have spent the last 3 or 4 years watching you tube videos and researching them. Having them though is an entirely different experience. There are chickens on the farm already, but they have health issues and I don’t like the way they are housed and cared for. Back in September I got hatching eggs and set them in the incubator, and on October 20th my hatch was complete. There were problems with my humidity, and that’s how I found my way to this site.

This little guy hatched on day 18, just before lockdown and surprised me immensely. I’m certain it was partially set when I got it, because my temps were either good, or a little low, and everyone else hatched day 21,22, and a few stragglers on day 23.
View attachment 1695772 View attachment 1695773

Some others catching up to my “lil peeps” boy
View attachment 1695778 View attachment 1695775

And their doggy #1 fan, he was fascinated by the chicks, but is known to kill ducks and attack ravens and even eagles, so I trust him not at all... plus he would always drool suspiciously when watching them!
View attachment 1695776

It was a struggle, and I had to cull four chicks, but ended up with 14 healthy chicks, from 48 set eggs. 10 were clear or early quitters. Most made it almost full term, and my humidity issue at lockdown was most likely to blame for their failure.

Chickie Hawk is the little yellow guy in the Centre with the brown wings. I assisted his hatch.
Kris, I know this is an old pic, but... is that a Border Collie? Does s/he work for you? I have a border collie and she thinks her job is the ball.
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
4,217
25,136
892
British Columbia, Canada
Kris, I know this is an old pic, but... is that a Border Collie? Does s/he work for you? I have a border collie and she thinks her job is the ball.
That would be Delta, the younger of the Farm’s Border Collies. I don’t work with the dogs, and due to recent “family issues” they have become far less friendly to me lately. Celti, his dad, is “stick” obsessed... so I totally get the ball issues. Border Collies need work to do. I would prefer if these ones were a little better trained, but again that’s a animal husbandry/management/training style difference between myself and the other residents on the Farm.

Delta has recovered well from having been run over by the tractor this year. Ahem, again... I’m not going to go into too much details but... I really have a “different” perspective on animal welfare and responsible ownership.
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
4,217
25,136
892
British Columbia, Canada
With Roosties recovery very questionable, I decided to hold back “little Red” as a potential breeder for my meat girls, so Tuesday morning I packed up all the rest of the meat birds for their final morning trip. In retrospect I should have pulled four girls with him, and sent in Roosties four youngest girls instead. Little Red has nice conformation an looks more like a heritage breed than a 4 way Hybrid meat ranger bird. He was also a bit of an outsider, and would distance himself from all the other meatbirds.

Tuesday mid day: Red would not integrate with Roosties girls. Purple came at him like she was another cockerel, not a hen, and he retaliated in kind. This set Roostie off, and he started trying to chase little Red (not working very well because of his foot issues, but Roostie doesn’t tolerate his girls being upset, even if they are the aggressors)! I gave in and put Red in my general yard, free ranging with Sammy, Dean, Cass, 21 Layer pullets, and 11 hens. Come Roosting time Red was looking to get back into his old empty tractor, so I popped him in with Sammy and girls, then promptly had to put him in the Bad Rooster Box for separation.

Wednesday was essentially the same, until a little windstorm hit and tore off all my tarps around midnight. This is the biggest negative to chicken tractors IMO. I fixed up Sammy’s Tarp, but left the rest for the morning when I could see better. 2:30 am Thursday morning, I awoke to the trailer rocking with the wind, which had changed direction. Back out to re-secure the tarp for Sammy and add some windblocking. I released little Red to get him closer to the flock for warmth. I got a days work making nut burgers on the other side of the island Thursday, but this meant I needed to be at the farm at 9am for a carpool. It was a frantic morning of fixing the wind damage and getting the Chickens set up for the day. Work ran Late as Mr. Murphy seemed to rule the day.

I arrived back on the farm a little past 6:30, in full dark, with a half hour or slippery Mud between my chooks and I. I managed to get a ride a little more than 1/2 way home (BIL was useful for a change) and everyone was Up. Even Little Red, snuggled in right near Sammy, no less. Sammy is very good at herding the girls up for the night, and will not settle until his own girls, as well as Cass and Deans, are up. He probably rounded up Little Red too, I will see how things go at Roosting time tonight and have a better idea of how things went while I was at work.

After getting everyone closed in, while I was doing an egg Check, I spotted Three young
Raccoons up in the trees... I am thankful everyone was at least up and Ok when I got home. Sammy took in a Teenage Cockerel, mostly on his own last night, again, and with very little integration attempts on my part. He gets my #1 Rooster award for being diligent, not a total a**hole, and an excellent breeder with awesome offspring.
 

micstrachan

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
8,388
31,016
967
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
That would be Delta, the younger of the Farm’s Border Collies. I don’t work with the dogs, and due to recent “family issues” they have become far less friendly to me lately. Celti, his dad, is “stick” obsessed... so I totally get the ball issues. Border Collies need work to do. I would prefer if these ones were a little better trained, but again that’s a animal husbandry/management/training style difference between myself and the other residents on the Farm.

Delta has recovered well from having been run over by the tractor this year. Ahem, again... I’m not going to go into too much details but... I really have a “different” perspective on animal welfare and responsible ownership.
I need to seriously catch up on your thread and family/farm drama. YOU are a wonderful person and deserve peace!
 

micstrachan

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
8,388
31,016
967
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
With Roosties recovery very questionable, I decided to hold back “little Red” as a potential breeder for my meat girls, so Tuesday morning I packed up all the rest of the meat birds for their final morning trip. In retrospect I should have pulled four girls with him, and sent in Roosties four youngest girls instead. Little Red has nice conformation an looks more like a heritage breed than a 4 way Hybrid meat ranger bird. He was also a bit of an outsider, and would distance himself from all the other meatbirds.

Tuesday mid day: Red would not integrate with Roosties girls. Purple came at him like she was another cockerel, not a hen, and he retaliated in kind. This set Roostie off, and he started trying to chase little Red (not working very well because of his foot issues, but Roostie doesn’t tolerate his girls being upset, even if they are the aggressors)! I gave in and put Red in my general yard, free ranging with Sammy, Dean, Cass, 21 Layer pullets, and 11 hens. Come Roosting time Red was looking to get back into his old empty tractor, so I popped him in with Sammy and girls, then promptly had to put him in the Bad Rooster Box for separation.

Wednesday was essentially the same, until a little windstorm hit and tore off all my tarps around midnight. This is the biggest negative to chicken tractors IMO. I fixed up Sammy’s Tarp, but left the rest for the morning when I could see better. 2:30 am Thursday morning, I awoke to the trailer rocking with the wind, which had changed direction. Back out to re-secure the tarp for Sammy and add some windblocking. I released little Red to get him closer to the flock for warmth. I got a days work making nut burgers on the other side of the island Thursday, but this meant I needed to be at the farm at 9am for a carpool. It was a frantic morning of fixing the wind damage and getting the Chickens set up for the day. Work ran Late as Mr. Murphy seemed to rule the day.

I arrived back on the farm a little past 6:30, in full dark, with a half hour or slippery Mud between my chooks and I. I managed to get a ride a little more than 1/2 way home (BIL was useful for a change) and everyone was Up. Even Little Red, snuggled in right near Sammy, no less. Sammy is very good at herding the girls up for the night, and will not settle until his own girls, as well as Cass and Deans, are up. He probably rounded up Little Red too, I will see how things go at Roosting time tonight and have a better idea of how things went while I was at work.

After getting everyone closed in, while I was doing an egg Check, I spotted Three young
Raccoons up in the trees... I am thankful everyone was at least up and Ok when I got home. Sammy took in a Teenage Cockerel, mostly on his own last night, again, and with very little integration attempts on my part. He gets my #1 Rooster award for being diligent, not a total a**hole, and an excellent breeder with awesome offspring.
Sammy sounds truly amazing!
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
4,217
25,136
892
British Columbia, Canada
Sammy sounds truly amazing!
I think I have some posts in here about him saving some of his flock from the bloodthirsty Barred Owl. But tonight he roosted in with Dean and Cass again, giving me quite the scare. I think moving them into the trailer for winter will work out just fine... with lots of roost space!
 

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