Life with chickens

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by dacjohns, May 29, 2008.

  1. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    With the leaves on the trees and the sun changing position in the sky I seem to be getting up later. BYC keeping me up late at night has nothing to do with it.

    My wife got up before me and let the chickens out and came back to the house with news. One of the chickens died last night. The chicken had been kind of droopy and lethargic yesterday and today I was going to pay close attention to her, check her droppings, etc. Not going to now. She might have ill or might have been old, I don't know. Then the kitty doesn't show up for breakfast. She might have met an owl, coyote, bobcat, or might be out roaming. We may never find out.

    Mowed some weeds. See the snake going away from the coop. Things should be OK I think.

    Changed out some litter in the teenagers coop. While changing litter hear some commotion next door. Really just the other side of the wall in the big birds' coop. Go in there and see a banty kind of agitated. The snake is back. Get the snake out and notice it has kind of a scar or something, wonder if I hit it will the mower. Relocate it again, farther away this time. With the scar I'll be able to identify it now. Gathered eggs. Watched the new chicks. Sat with the teenagers. Watched the new chicks. Moved a BIG rock for a stepping stone for the teenagers coop.

    Friend called. He finally remembered he was going to loan me his auger so I could dig post holes. He brought the auger over and we hooked it up to the tractor. He also brought our share of the broilers over. We started with 50, 25 each and ended up with 30, 15 each. Don't think I want to do the broiler thing again. We got the broilers because the farm store didn't know what they talking about and I was very new to chickens. Friend also took his banties home, except for two. Little rooster is hiding somewhere in the yard. We'll get him tonight when he comes home. Momma banty is taking care of 8 little chicks. I told he didn't get momma banty for a few more weeks. I think he figured the chicks were his since his bird hatched them out. Maybe, maybe not. We've been taking care of the birds and feeding them. Any thoughts?

    Finished marking out where fence posts go. Now I've been in the sun too much and need a break. Winters are too cold for me in the north and summers are too hot for me in the south.

    Dug some fence holes. Might even start putting up the fencing tomorrow. Divided up the teenagers and took friend his share. Those darn meat birds don't even digest their food before it comes out the other end.

    When making sure the birds were in I noticed the banty and her chicks were missing. Looked around the yard and couldn't find them. I looked back in the coop and noticed one of her chicks outside of the big hens box. I opened up the box and saw the banty and the rest of her chicks under the big bird. Silly birds.

    Bird count now. 15 stinky meat birds, 1 big rooster who rules the yard, 16 chicks, 1 banty taking care of chicks, 6 hens, 2 Easter ducks, 28 teenagersfor 67 chickens and 2 ducks. 67 chickens and 2 ducks.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    A day of violence.

    Today was another interesting day. We got up fairly early, at least fairly early for us and did the usual. Checked the chickens and guess what? The snake was back. It was the same snake so we relocated it again. Hopped in the truck and took it farther away and let it loose by a neighbor's barn. There are only 3 homes on my road and one of them is only occupied during deer season. The owner comes down ever couple of months so they got the snake. Figured a barn was a good place for a rat snake.

    Started working on the post holes and the other neighbor comes by to visit. He comes putting up on his Mule, not the 4 legged kind but the kind on wheels. Accompanying him is what looks like a big yellow lab. My chickens are all over the place and this dog starts eyeing them and starts paying close attention to one of my hens which retreats under a cargo trailer. We keep an eye on the dog and next thing you know the dog goes after a different chicken. Wife starts yelling at the dog and I grab a board saying something like "William I know it's your dog but my chickens come first. Catch up with dog which by now had gotten a mouthful of feathers. Wallop it good and the dog reteats. William who is in his 70s still hasn't quite comprehended what just happened. He gets ahold of his and puts a chain on it. He is a little upset I can tell and wants to leave. I think he was more concerned for our chickens that his dog. We tell him not to go and we visit awhile longer. No hard feelings I hope but I also hope the dog stays away. Remember this is the country. I have 100 acres, he has 120 acres, and the other property at the end of the road (the snakes' new home is about 120 acres. We all mind our own business pretty much but help each other out all the time.

    Snake and dog and it isn't even noon yet. Chickens have scattered with all the commotion and we're getting ready to go to "town" for the dedication of veterans' memorial. We notice "Lady", the beagle that left William's and adopted us isn't around. She is such a skittish dog, we can't even pet her, so we figured all the commotion with the big dog and the chickens scared her away. Account for all the birds, get cleaned up, eat lunch and we're on the way.

    We get back from town and the beagle is back. The day has turned hot and we don't feel like much so we a little work on fences. Get all the water changed in the waterers and I'm watching the chickens. One of the little banty chicks is on the inside of the coop and yelling for mom. Mom's trying to coax it her way and one of the ducks gets ahold of the chicK. Duck gets kicked. I'm pretty protective of my chicks.

    Rooster. He sure hasn't done much to take care of his hens.

    Toll at the end of the day. All birds still here and look to be alright. One snake relocated. 3 eggs out of 5 laying hens. Haven't had any green eggs in a while. She better get on the ball.

    Just another day.
  3. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Enjoyed your posts. Oh to have 100 acres of land.... sigh.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Thank you. I was wondering if this was going to be relegated to the pages of unanswered posts.
  5. kaylakala

    kaylakala Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Melbourne Florida
    Wow what a life.

    I wish I had a big place I have a little house and a little yard.
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I always enjoy hearing/reading about what other people's days are like. It often makes me appreciate mine even more.

    Thanks for sharing.
  7. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Stay tuned, there's more and today brings some good news.
  8. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Spring is over and summer is on the way if it isn't already here.

    Summer means ticks and chiggers and that's what I have. I will have those ugly raw spots and red scars for the next 6 months. Life in the country. Got the chiggers from mowing weeds and tall grass but it needs to be done. Summer also means heat and humidity and it's going to get worse. Work outside an hour and recuperate an hour.

    The fence around the garden is coming along slowly. All the holes are dug and my wife is setting the posts. She has more patience with tamping dirt around the posts than I do. We need to cut a bunch more posts though. Saving money by cutting your own cedar posts is more work than just buying a bunch of T posts. Next step is hang the fence and make the gates.

    Then we start on the orchard. It will be a fenced in area of about 88' by 100'. That's a lot more posts to cut. When it is done we'll have a more secure place for the chicks and hopefully it will keep the deer out. We will probably have to butcher the meat birds before the orchard fence gets finished. It looks like we lost a lot of the fruit on some of the trees. One of next winter's projects is some major pruning.

    When we got up this morning kitty was back. Beagle dog is sure happy her friend is back.

    Nothing exciting with the birds except for missed opportunities for cute pictures. I don't carry a camera around with me. Two of the 2 week old chicks were chest bumping. Only 2 weeks old and they're acting like teenagers. Forgot, red hen was regurgitating. Up comes some stuff, then she pecks at it, preens, and goes on about her business. Poop looks OK and she looks otherwise OK. Back to the BYC forums, crop impaction? Observe her and wait and see.
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  9. chiknwhisperer

    chiknwhisperer Songster

    May 9, 2008
    Lowell, IN
    I really wish I had that much land. My neighbors garage is bigger then my backyard. They have a VERY large 2 car garage. Someday I hope to have land.
  10. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I wanted 40 acres and ended up with 100. We really happened to be in the right place at the right time. The "farm" had been out of the family for many years and we were able to acquire it. It even has the family cemetery.

    When I get out in the woods, which has been to much lately with everything else going on, I always see something new.

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