Chicks, Turkeys (poults) and a Greenhouse!

It’s been too long since I last wrote and I plan to fix that this year. I am putting it on my calendar to write something at least once a week!
So what have we been up to?

ALOT

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Fried, a very curious Turkey from 2014

Last year we tried our hand a raising Turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. In Oct we culled two Broad Breasted turkeys (female, 22 lbs, male 27 lbs). It was a great success and some of the best turkey I have ever had, so this year we have two Bourbon Red turkey poults. They are a heritage breed, so they grow a little slower and don’t have a that huge breast meat you expect to find in store bought, but I hear they taste even better.

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Gollum and her Welsummer baby

We also have 11 chicks, 10 are straight run Olive eggers from a local breeder (should lay olive colored eggs if they are hens). All cockerels will be sent to freezer camp and enjoyed for dinner (since we live in city limits and can’t have roosters). Gollum (one of our barnyard mix hens) wanted to hatch the golf balls in one of the nest boxes so we went to the feed store (Buckley’s Homestead Supply in Colorado Springs) and got her a day old baby to raise. This one is a Welsummer, which is a Dutch breed of domestic chicken that lays a DARK brown egg.

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Greenhouse from Harbor Frieght

I have been taking a ton of gardening classes at the CSU extension and learning a little more than I already knew and enjoying the interaction and conversation. I have made some grow bags out of the chicken feed bags (just like I made the shopping bags, but with small handles for moving them) and I plan to grow most our peppers and tomatos in them this year. That way with the cold hits I can move them into the greenhouse to finish the season.  On that note, I got a Greenhouse as an early Mothers Day gift this year. Our small urban yard is working out very well for us:-)

 

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Grow out Coop with Creeper Fencing

Last year we built a coop out of a double oven cabinet that we laid on it’s side.  The window side of this coop is the Nursery (Gollum her baby live here), the wood door area is the Grow out Coop (area for the chicks to get to about 12/14 weeks old when they are culled or added to the big girl coop). The 11159435_10205392794572705_276721039_oCabinet doors are just that, cabinets, for treats, oyster/egg shells, bedding, extra feeders/waterers. Under the coop we built removable creeper fencing so the little ones can hid from the big hens as they integrate into the flock.

 

 

More next week, I have to go dig some of the wet slimy soil/feed from the very wet chicken tun and find a way to keep it a little dryer in there, since it’s been raining for three days and no end in sight.

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Chiken Lips has a small urban homestead with edible and flower gardens, chickens a greenhouse and has lots of fun teaching our children about the importance of our food and out environment!

  Corona Street Chickens (they have their own Facebook Page) are currently 7 adult hens (Bluey, Clarice, Enchilada, Omelet, Martha, Frodo, Golum) + 11 chicks and 2 poults.

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Spring = Babies and gardens.

Babies!Silkie chicks (three weeks old)

We currently have 13 chicks in/at our home. George is raising our two Silver Laced Wyandotte’s. We have 2 silkies, 1 silkie mix, 3 TURKEYS!, and 5 mixed bread chicks in the brooder in my office. All very cute and all very fun.

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George & the Silver Laced Wyandotte’s
 
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All the chicks Samantha hatched at school.
 
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the 5 hens

and the big girls are laying eggs like crazy. 5 hens and I get 4 to 5 eggs every day!

And the yard is shaping up good too. Got the cold frames ready for seeds and plants. Got the Patio extension done. Lilac’s trimmed. Its a good spring 🙂

Baby Chicks and a Book!

Baby Chicks!!!

It is amazing to me how quickly they go from this:

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To This:

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Having the babies around has been so much fun. I like it better when the broody mama does the work too 🙂

Now I think we have two boys and three girls due to the fact that two are much slower to feather out, I guess in about a month I will know for sure.

I’m Writing a book (or two)! 

I design houses and landscapes for a living. It is fun, but I always have to design what the client wants. So I decided to write a book of Chicken Coop Designs! In the book I will have some basic needs and upgrades you need or want in you coops plus  5 full plans with materials lists. I think I will only have it on Amazon as an e-book for now and charge about $10 for it. I will post some previews for you all to give me some feedback.

Broody, Eggs and the Motion-Sensing Spotlight by Mr. Beams

BROODY HEN!!!

Well, George has gone Broody. What is Broody? Well it’s when a chicken gets the urge to sit on eggs to hatch them. George currently has been sitting on golf balls for about 5 days. Yes, golf balls, they give her something that can’t go “bad” to sit on. I have been removing all eggs I find as soon as possible.  I am hoping to get her some fertile eggs on Thursday (looking like some Buff Brahma eggs will arrive Thursday morning) and move her to the old dog house (the new broody house, AKA Maternity ward/Nursery) to incubate and raise some chicks!

I will add more later on this excitement!

EGGS!!!!

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Bluey

Bluey laid her first egg last Wed and has laid an egg almost every day since. She was 21 weeks old. I am sure Clarisse will start any day now, she seams to be a week younger.

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Bluey’s first egg compared to Georges small egg

Motion-Sensing Spotlight with Remote Control

I go this great light to product test! It is a battery operated Motion-Sensing Spotlight with Remote Control. It’s lighting up the coop at night if I need to go lock the girls in after dark and will turn on if anything tries to get in after dark. My nephew helped me install and adjust this light to work when someone (or something) is near the front of the chicken coop. I love how easy it was to install, even easier to adjust and the remote control option is wonderful. I can turn the light on by remote before I walk out to lock the girls in for the night and if a raccoon of fox get in the Motion-Sensing Spotlight scares them away.

I recommend this light to anyone who needs a quick install Motion-Sensing Spotlight. It would work well for a pathway, driveway, garbage can areas! I just love how it’s keeping my girls safe 🙂

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Chicken coop light up with the Motion-Sensing Spotlight by Mr. Beams 🙂

http://www.mrbeams.com/products/outdoor-security-spotlight

The girls are getting BIG and my new compost bin

It’s been a while, so I thought I should post.

Bluey and Clarisse are getting to look like chickens. They are 17weeks old this week, so we will hopefully get some eggs in the next 4 weeks from them 🙂 I have been letting them out into the extended run area. They like it, but since it’s only a 4′ fence and a dog house they keep thinking about making a break for it. I have to figure out something else to do to keep them in the yard. May have to clip some wings soon. Not sure if it’s true, but I’ve read and been told to expect our barred rock pullets to start laying eggs when they are about 16 to 20 weeks old. So we are in that range now 🙂 I am expecting closer to 21 to 22 weeks, but sooner would be neat!

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The little girls arn’t so little any more… they are almost as big as Bluey and Clarisse! They are also enjoying the extended run and are starting to get used to me but still won’t let me touch them. They have not let me pick them up since the dog attack all those weeks ago. Crab & Enchilada are 11 weeks old today!

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A few weeks ago I got a compost bin from my father-in-law. I still need to find the right spot in the yard for it and get it started. How many of you have a compost bin? What is the best placement. I have a nice corner it fits in, but it’s shady and near the kid sand box. Then i have a part shade area near the big garden and pumpkin plants.

In other news… my gardens are looking GREAT!

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No much going on…

We are back from a one week vacation and boy did those girls get BIG! They are also spoiled rotten. The people taking care of them gave them apples every day and lots of meal worms. Whenever they see me they think I am bringing more treats to them. So funny.

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BTW, chickens are so noisy when they put themselves to roost at night. They make such a racket it makes me laugh so much. It’s like they are fighting over the best spot to roost. They have 5 roost bar options from 2′  long to 4′ long and the 4 of them squeeze on the last 2′ of a 4′ bar.

We were hoping to replace George, but it looks like that will not be happening this year. Next spring we will get some new chicks… or maybe some older pullets. I will spend the winter researching what we want and order 6 or so… I mean we have to have extras in case of another death, right. All I know for sure is I want a Blue Lace Red Wyandotte 🙂 and maybe a Silkie or two. They are not big egg layers, but so pretty.

 

Fortifying the chicken run + Automatic chicken watering system

We spent the weekend fortifying the chicken run. Matt is now calling it Ft. Knox.

A 2ftx4in trench was dug around the perimeter; welded dog wire was added to the lower screening areas (in addition to the chicken wire) and run all the way down in the 2′ trench and then we filled the trench with concrete and topped with big rocks. We do have a nice flat rock entrance to the run now. Maybe I should just make a nice flagstone patio there to sit an watch my chickens? Oh honey… I have a new project for you 🙂

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Then I moved one of my garden cabinets (to now hold chicken stuff and am adding a chainlink gate about 6′ from the coop/run area.  I still need to add a post and something to the old dog house (that the dogs do not use) to make the gate work. If Noodle gets through that then is a magician.

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Then last night we finished the 5 gal. automatic chicken watering system. We are using Matt’s old 5 gal. mash tun cooler (used for soaking grains when making beer). He got a bigger one and this one was just collecting dust. I like the idea of the cooler, that will almost always be in the shade, so the water should not get hot in the summer and the light cannot get in so we should not have an allege problem. We are also adding a drip line from the irrigation to the cooler so that is automatically re-fills every other day. The one thing we did think of at 10pm last night when we were finishing this project up with head lamps, is that we should add a valve to the PVC pipes to drain the system for cleaning. We can do that when we return from our AZ vacation in a few weeks. Now I have a few months to figure out a way to keep it from freezing in the winter.

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The two older girls have already figured out how to use it!

And now the neighbors will not have much to do to when they watch the chickens when we go on vacation 🙂