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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: chickens

HectorRules

Hector is the Head Rooster of our flock. He is a somewhat rare Swedish Flower breed that has only been in the United States since 2010. His Sidekick Agador is the Roo below him (with the white wings).

 

Happy Friday!

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Easy Farmette Dinner:

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts coated with One Whisked Egg, White Wheat Flour and then fried in Vegetable Oil.

Steamed Bok Choy

Baked Sweet Potatoes (with Butter!)


 


And for the farmette’s chickens (and duck):

Kitchen scraps of salad greens, kidney beans, corn, broccoli and breaded fish nuggets. The chickens, and the duck, loved the fish! They came back for the greens later.

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:)MMW

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I’m running late again – even later than last week. It has been busy with spring happening here on the farmette. So, this will be a quick one for all those current and potential chicken keepers.

Here is a simple recipe, variable, which will help get your hens laying.

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Kitchen Leftovers – Chicken Bonanza Feed

  1. Old, dry (not moldy or rotten) Bread
  2. A few spare Fried Eggs
  3. About a dozen Egg Shells
  4. Oats
  5. Water

Put all but #4 in the blender and blend on CHOP setting.

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I added WATER to get it all

Continue reading this article ›

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LittleSketchCoop

Despite being a generally patient person, there are a few things that test this quality for me. One of them is in building things. Creating a functional item is my focus when I am doing this type of task. I have the tendency to work quickly and get a bit sloppy. As long as the item is sturdy in the beginning, I am satisfied. I just want to get it done and move on to another project.

But, rushed structures have a tendency to come apart and don’t hold up in the long run. And they are also not visually pleasing. Since I want the new, super predator proof chicken coop to work as intended, last a long time and look great, I am taking my time. Meanwhile, my chickens are busy growing larger in their temporary housing in the garage. I need to get this done, but it is 11 degrees outside here in NC. I do not work well with frozen hands.

Note: This blog will post on Monday, but I am writing it on Saturday, January 6, 2018 and it is COLD.

I slowed this project down even more since working on a table top project with my brother over his Thanksgiving and New Years visits. He is a good influence on me in reference to project patience. I also learned that you have to be willing to take things apart and make adjustments if you want things to turn out really well. The photo below shows the result of about $100.00 total of materials, supplies and small, specialty tools for a nice farm-friendly table top.

Note: The metal table frame with legs came from Freecycle for $0.00.

TableProject

The following pics are of the general coop plan that I sketched out. In addition to being a safe and healthy environment, I also want it to be easy to maintain and move. The plan is modular. The floor, walls and top will be separate pieces that fit together. The roof and ventilation will keep it dry – that is a big requirement for chickens. Cold it OK, but wet/moist is not. The food, water and egg nesting box will be accessible from outside the coop. Water will be rainwater driven from the roof gutter. The wood floor provides safety from diggers (fox, raccoon and weasels). The skids make it moveable. And you will also be able to remove the roof, keep the walls together and remove them from the floor for a thorough, periodic cleaning.

CoopSketch1

CoopSketch2

Happy Building!

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FourThirtyAM

For a variety of reasons, which I have decided to keep private, our little Farmette was dismantled. We re-homed the two ponies – to great homes and caregivers. The last bantam chicken, a hermit crab and a parakeet, that were lingering here, also got new digs. Our two, now senior, but surprisingly energetic canines, were all that remained.

So, it has been three+ years and it is 4:30 in the morning. In this article’s featured image, you can see the yellow-tinged light coming from my office. It shines in the darkness of the cold night that permeates my pajamas, as I stand outside to take the picture (photo: Canon PowerShot A1300). I have gotten to the age where insomnia comes often and I now choose to take advantage of it. I get the quiet work done. The type that won’t wake up the whole household. This morning that work is writing, which I just adore.

The experience with farm animals; from horses to goats to pigs to sheep to chickens to guinea fowl to ducks to turkeys to quail to geese to bees, has been so enriching. We learned so much! And with all of that behind us, and a wealth of knowledge, we have decided to remake our mini farm, on a small and easily manageable scale.

We now have our two existing dogs, two new young cats and four Swedish Flower chickens. These are our two pairs of new chickens:

SwedishFlowers_1

Swedish Flower Chickens – 16 Weeks Old (photo: iPhone SE)

Swedish Flowers are a rare breed that has only been in the United States since 2010. I was browsing craigslist in the farm sales section and happened upon them. After looking them up online: https://www.backyardchickens.com/reviews/swedish-flower-chicken.11461/, I decided to go ahead and get them while they were still available. That means that they are currently residing in a four chamber travel cage while I construct the ultimate predator proof coop and run. Whenever I am outside working on the new coop, they get to hang out in the temporary outdoor pen.

The following is a photo (also taken with an iPhone SE) of the base of the coop in progress. There are nine old boards screwed into three old 4x4s that will be drilled with holes for pulling/moving the cage. Since taking the photo, I have removed the corner braces from the frame (This suggestion came from my brother J. He is helping me via pics, text and talk from Baltimore, MD). Most of the materials are being cannibalized from other cages and shelters on our property. So far, the only new materials I plan to purchase are metal braces, paint and some sort of repair material(s) for the aluminum roofing.

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As you can see, the base is solid wood. I will be drilling some holes for drainage and using pine shavings to line the bottom. But, we will not have to worry about foxes, raccoons or weasels digging underneath and in to eat our future egg-producing, clucking, crowing residents.

PS – Welcome Back Readers!

 

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I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But,

Beatrice

“Beatrice”

Abbey

“Abbey”

Luna

“Luna”

Tony

“Tony”

Mozart

“Mozart”

Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl

Bantam Chickens

Bantam Chickens

Annie & Muriel

“Annie” & “Muriel”

Rocky

“Rocky”

Bigs

“Bigs”

“Now, Abbey! now, Annie! now, Tony and Rocky!
On, Beatrice! on, Bigs! on, Muriel and Luna!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.”

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And me in my ‘kerchief, and dadda in his cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

Crazy Bird

“Crazy Bird”

Button Quail

Button Quail

Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish

Deirdre

“Deirdre”

Cecilia

“Cecilia”

Penny

“Penny”

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

xmasMoonWbw

excerpts courtesy of

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

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In the United States of America, Christmas has become a holiday that includes a variety of customs. They stem from the melting pot of people that live here. Although based in Christianity, these traditions are the culmination of many different cultures. The ones we take part in are based on the hopes and dreams of all mankind.

It is a time to remember that we have much more in common with each other than we have differences. It is a time that helps us to become closer to our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. It is a time to make bright the eyes of children, show extra kindness to those less fortunate and to share with everyone the warmth of the season.

In our home and on our land, Christmas is also an earthly reminder to gratefully finish up the current year in preparation for the new. On the farm, we end it with hopes of a warm Spring bearing little chicks, baby goats and a fresh garden.

My favorite expression of this splendid holiday is the lights – lots of lights, pretty lights. It has over-spilled into the rest of the year, as we always keep strings of them on our front porch. They were recently added (in a year round display) to our pony run-in.

BigsNHayW

The night is always alive on our farmette and usually with much more than holiday spirit. “Bigs” happily eats his hay just beyond the shelter. A giant night bird, most likely a Barred Owl, flew overhead while I was taking this photo (we have had this species frequent the farmette before). Maybe it was gliding on the aspirations of the wild creatures that make their home here – wishing survival through the cold Winter darkness.

OurFarmetteW

The little barn sparkles, faintly illuminating the pasture (left), as the brighter house lights echo in the background (right). It is not an especially chilly evening, so I linger a bit to watch the light fade from the sky.

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MoreLightsW

As I walk up to the door, I pass the chicken coops on the front lawn. The inhabitants are quiet. Are they comfortable? Are they warm? Are they dry? Are they snug in their nests with dreams of sugar plums dancing in their heads?

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Are they dreaming of new chicks in the Spring to come? I hope so.

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