Easter Egger babies… How they grow!

Here are our Three Easter Egger babies,

pictures taken once

a week to chart their growth

This has been so fun to watch them grow and see their personalities.

I already love all three and hope to have many fun years with them.

Crab - week 1 Crab - week 1 side

Crab – 1 Week old

  Crab - week 2 front   Crab - week 2 side

Crab – 2 weeks old

Crab - 3 weeks Crab - 3 weeks

Crab - 3 weeks

Crab – 3 weeks old

Crab - 4 weeks old

Crab – 4 weeks old

Crab has the most personality and does not care much to be held. I am still working on her to get her used to me and other people.

Enchilada- week 1 front  Enchilada- week 1 side

Enchilada- 1 week old

Enchilada- week 2 front Enchilada- week 2 side

Enchilada- 2 weeks old

 Enchilada - 3 weeks Enchilada - 3 weeks

Enchilada- 3 weeks old

Enchilada- 4 weeks old Enchilada- 4 weeks old

Enchilada- 4 weeks old

Enchilada is a good girl, like to be held if its her choice to come to you. Will squawk like crazy of you pick her up, lol.  We will keep holding her until she is used to each of us.

George - week 1 side  George - week 1 front

George – 1 week old

George - week 2 side george - week 2 rear

        George - week 2 front        

George – 2 weeks old

George - 3 weeks George - 3 weeks 

George - 3 weeks

George – 3 weeks old

George - 4 weeks old George - 4 weeks old

George – 4 weeks old.

George was the friendliest chick we had. she liked to sit on my lap when I worked, few to the port-a-crib edge to explore.

I will miss her. RIP George, 5/10/13

Unfortunately the day I was to take her 5 week pics is the day the dog got her.

I will add weeks 5 – 10 of Crab & Enchilada  in about 4 weeks. 

Sad News

Sad news today… the labradoodle, Noodle, got into the chicken run.  We lost George 😦 and Clarisse is injured. I hope she recovers, but only time will tell. Bluey was also injured, but seems to just be a small scratch and some lost feathers.

 

RIP George

GARDENING IN COLORADO

What is a Cold Frame Garden?

A cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure usually built low to the ground used to protect plants from adverse weather.  The transparent top allows sunlight in while reducing  heat loss.

Essentially, a cold frame functions as a miniature greenhouse to extend the growing season.

Cold frames are found in many home gardens and in vegetable farming. They create a micro-climate that provides several degrees of air and soil temperature insulation, and shelter from wind. In cold-winter regions (like Colorado) these characteristics allow plants to be started earlier in the spring, and to survive longer into the fall and winter.

My Cold Frame Gardens

14'x3' Cold Frame

 

6'x3' Cold Frame

I use my cold frame to plant early and harvest long after the last frost. We built them with the ability to remove the windows in the hot summer months and replace them in the cooler fall weather.  They were both built it using old windows (from the Re-Store and friends yards) and left over trex decking. I have a small urban yard, so we can’t have one cold frame and then a second garden for the plants to grow in the summer (many cold frames are used only to ‘harden’ plants for the elements). I did get a tip to put Black jugs full of water in the cold frame to absorb the heat and it will keep it warm longer in the cold nights/days. I will have to try that!

You can buy Cold frames from gardening stores and websites (I like Gardeners Supply Co). I had one that was a plastic cover with screens that covered a 4’x6′ garden. It lasted three summers before it totally disintegrated. It cost about $150 and lasted three years, so I was happy. But the ones we built cost us about $90 (including soil to fill it), are 4x’s the size and will probably last 10+ years if I paint the wood and keep the maintenance up.

Not everyone has a husband who is a builder and can make them things like this in a day. So a pre-made one may be for you.

Benefits to a cold frame are…

Protection from  Dogs,cats and other domestic pets (like my chickens)

Protection from Squirrels, birds and other wildlife

Protection from the elements

Extend your growing seasons

 

Chicken Feed bag upcycling.

We have yet to even go through a full 50lbd bag of feed, but a few people have been willing to give me their saved feed bags for these up-cycle projects. I am so happy for that! And a few offered to keep saving bags for us too. Maybe we can do a bunch for our fundraiser next year.

Next week my daughters Girl Scout troop and I will be making feed bag shopping bags for an Earth Day Project (I know a few days after Earth day).

This is my Sample Bag for the girls to see what we are making.

feed bag Shopping Bag

This is a pile of bag strips to make the Shopping bag handles. I am going to pre-make all but one for the girls, to stream line the process.

Feed bag handle strips

And the pile of bags too.  I will be pre-sewing the top and adding the handles to all but one of these also. The girls will just sew the bottoms of the bags they make.

fed bag pile

In my process of prepping for the Girl Scout meeting I decided I had more than enough bags for each girl to get one and to make a few extras for the nice people who gave us the feed bags, so I also made new liners for my hanging tomato cages.

Before  Before - Hanging Tomato cage      After  After Hanging Tomato Cage

I can not even begin to do the instructions justice, so here is the site I used to learn how to make the shopping bags.

http://communitychickens.blogspot.com/2012/06/diy-chicken-feed-sack-tote.html#.UXXIlcocP0U

&

http://www.instructables.com/id/Feed-Bag-Tote-Bag/step2/Sewing-the-top/

I just used my old worn out liners as a guide for the tomato cage bags.

Corona Street Coop

Here is our finished coop. It took about 3 weeks to complete & we only bought the wire and hardware. All lumber items were laying around the house or a friends house.I had a window and a door laying around too.

Our Coop is  6′ x 3.5′ with a 6’x6′ run. The coop is raised about 12″ at the door. All wire is nailed to a 2×4 then sandwiched with a second 2×4. It is also buried 8 to 12 inches. It is tall enough for me to get in to clean (door is about 5′, so I have to duck down). We put a roof over the whole coop&run since we live in Colorado and you never know what the weather will be like.

There is a 6′ privacy fence on 2 sides of the run and the wire on 1 side. One reason we put it next to the house was to run an outlet to it. There was already a pre-wire for an exterior box in this spot. Also we are hoping between our dogs, neighbor dogs and closeness to the house it will keep most  predators away. I did get a flooring company to give me a scrap of Leno Floor to lay for easy clean up 🙂 Love that!

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The girls first night in the coop.

The 'big' girls moved into their coop today

coop-Model

Day 1 – Use kid labor to level out coop and run area

Day 2 -use 2 pallets for the floor. 6 pieces of 4×6 cedar for the legs.  Since it’s up against the house an porch we pre-sidded & painted the walls.

West wall and nest box area. Painted and ready to install.

End of day 1 – Floor and three walls done, 4th wall framed.

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Day 2 – My daughter and I painted an old door (It was in my garden & we had chicken wire and lattice on it with vines last summer).

End of Day 2- Door Done!

Day 3 – (about a week after day 1) . Run and roof begin framing. Window was installed on Day 2. The window was in a pile I am collecting for a green house or VERY LARGE cold frame.

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South Wall installed.

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My artwork, I mean the door is installed.

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End of Day 3. Chicken wire up, South wall done & door installed.

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Day 4 – Nesting boxes built.

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Roof started. (kid help)

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Day 7& 8 – Ramp built, roosting bars installed.

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Pic’s of inside did not come out well. So I did not post. If I can get some I will add them.

End of Day 8 – Done!

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And so it begins

Hi, I am a work from home/stay at home mom in the middle of Downtown Colorado Springs. And this is our Chicken Story.

So let me start our Urban Chicken Story and all about the chickens to be known as the Corona Street Chickens. About 4 years ago I asked my Dear Husband (to be refereed to as DH from here on) if we could have chickens. He said NO! Every few months since then I have planted my ‘seed’ about how fun/useful/educational  it could be. How Fresh eggs are good, how learning where our food comes from and the responsibility would be good for the kids and how good chicken poop is for the gardens/grass. And on and on.  In Dec. he decided he was ok with us getting chickens. I found out his plans in March 🙂 DH told me I can have 4 chickens, city says MAX 10 hens.

So I stated reading up on what I needed to know 🙂 Made a list of my top 10 chicken breeds. So…

April 1st we got 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks (his choice bird). Clarisse & Bluey. They were 6 weeks old when we got them.

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April 8th we go 3 Easter Eggers. Crab, George & Enchilada. These girls (yes all girls, as we can only have HENS) are about 5 days old when I pick them up from https://www.facebook.com/BrilliantFeathersUrbanFarmingLLC?fref=ts.

379 378 380

Now lets learn some Chicken Math 🙂  DH says 4 .

2 + 3 = 5 🙂  We may still get a Blue laced Red Wyandotte from a friend of a friends Such a pretty bird,

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/346594/new-blue-laced-red-wyandotte-flock/20.

So 4 = 2 +3+1= 6. DH has yet to understand Chicken Math.

Three weekends and lots of reclaimed lumber later we built a coop big enough  for 10 chickens.

IMG_20130410_133741_121

Maybe he does understand Chicken Math!

Tomorrow the big girls, now 7.5 weeks old, will move outside to the coop. Right now they live in my office in an old Pac-n-play that was my kids (who are now 6 & 8). I will miss them in my office. Sitting on my head, yelling at me for treats.

IMG_20130410_182528_431

Ok I will only a miss them when I am not really trying to work.

When the Babies turn 6 weeks old they will move out of the basement bathroom to the coop.

So that’s the beginning of our story… More to come 🙂

P.s. The name of the blog… that was the DH’s idea 😉