Hope you had a lovely weekend!
Archive for the ‘chickens’ Category
Life via Instagram
These chickens are super cute!
On Wednesday we had one little chick hatch, and by Thursday afternoon we had all five (one of the fertile eggs was actually not fertilized). We ended up with two Barred Rock, two Silver Wyandotte, and one Rhode Island Red. Not sure of the sexes yet, but it’s fun to try and guess based on their behaviors.
Ryan set up a live feed of the chicks, so if you want to check it out, click here.
Here are some pics of the babies!
That’s one of the Silver Wyandottes under mama Zuni.
Rhode Island Red.
One of the little Barred Rock chicks was experiencing a little “pasting up“this morning, so I just cleaned him/her up with a warm and wet paper towel. It can be life-threatening, so if you are going to get chicks, make sure you are able to check on them often.
I am just 33 sweet days from being done with graduate school. I can’t wait to resume life (and blogging)!
A few weeks ago we noticed that Zuni was acting a big strange. She started sleeping in the nest box (all three girls share the nest box for laying eggs) and acting cranky. About two weeks ago we realized that we had a broody hen on our hands! She refused to leave the nest box, and got pretty agitated when we tried to get her out.
So why do hens go broody? Both the farmers we talked to and the internet say that it just kind of happens. Broodiness is when a chicken has an overwhelming desire to have baby chickens.
We didn’t have any fertile eggs (no rooster at our house), so we tried to get her to snap out of it.
At the advice of our local urban farming store, Livingscape, first we tried tossing her out of the nest box and ruffling it up. It didn’t work.
Then the weather got a bit warmer, so we decided to try the infamous “Chicken Dunk.” Since broody hens have a very high body temperature (to help the eggs hatch), many people will try dunking them in cold water to snap them out of it. This also didn’t work.
Our final options (before chicken dinner I guess) were either to put her in a wire cage for a few days (or weeks) so that she would be uncomfortable and eventually stop brooding, or to have her hatch some eggs. Um either annoying squawking chicken in a cage or baby chicks?? I think the solution was pretty clear.
We picked up 6 fertile eggs at a local farm store, stuck them under Zuni on the night of May 5th, and should have babies on May 25th or 26th. When you put eggs under a broody hen, you want to do it at night so there isn’t too much disturbance. After we put the eggs in, Zuni took her beak and arranged them underneath her. Animal instincts are so rad.
We had to make some adjustments to the chicken coop so that Zuni could chill in the nest box without the other girls trying to lay in there. Ryan rigged up a second nest box, and blocked Zuni’s area off with cardboard. In the morning, after the other two have laid eggs, we open up the cardboard so Zuni can get out to eat and poop. She usually comes out once a day – so I grabbed a few photos this afternoon.
Eggs lined up neatly in the nest box (sorry for the blurry photo!) – this was all Zuni’s doing.
Zuni stretching her legs.
The other temporary nest box (yes, those are golf balls. Chickens like to lay eggs on golf balls). Also we were out of hay, so grass clippings it is!
View of Zuni’s little area.
In other garden news, we have been busy planting!
Ryan’s got plans to build a fence around the garden and add a new chicken coop as well.
We are adding tomatoes/peppers/cukes this weekend if the weather stays decent.
I also planted a borage plant that is starting to bloom! These remind me of when I worked at the UC Davis Children’s Garden way back in the day. And the flowers are edible!
That is probably the most text-heavy blog post I have ever written. Hope it was helpful!
Now back to papers, logic models, presentations, and job applications.Whew!
All three chickens are laying pretty regularly now. It’s always so neat to see how different the eggs are from different breeds.
Zuni laid the one on the left, and either Boogaloo or SilverCrest laid the one on the right.
My mom gave me this really cute egg basket for my birthday, so I’ve been keeping the eggs out on the counter. Home-grown eggs don’t need to be refrigerated because they are so fresh!
It hasn’t been raining much so we let the girls out every morning. Geordi sits and watches them from the counter.
On Fridays I have more time in the morning, so I made smoothies for breakfast!
Tangerines, a tangelo, and a banana
Add unsweetened plain almond milk
A big handful of baby spinach
Ice of course
Delicious and so green!
I promise you can’t taste the spinach. The only thing that would make these smoothies better is if I had a better blender. Like a Vita-Mix. (hint hint)
Have a good one!
We had another raccoon attack, but were able to quickly replace the flock with three new ladies. Zuni is a black Australorp, and Boogaloo and SilverCrest are black Sex-Links.
Lavender in the front yard
Sunflowers from my mom
Cherries on a plate
Chickens wanting to be let in the back door
Fruit salad every day
The weather has been so beautiful around here lately. This means that the chickens have been able to roam about the yard, eating seeds, worms, tiny beetles, and moss. This has resulted in eggs that are incredibly beautiful. The yolks are big and golden and so delicious.
I’ve been poaching eggs lately which is a great way to enjoy a runny yolk without the added fat of frying.
Bring a large saucepan with an inch or so of water to just before boiling over medium heat. There should be medium sized bubbles in the pan. Crack an egg into a small bowl and pour it into the water quickly. After 3 or 4 minutes, run a spatula under the egg to loosen it and use a slotted spoon to lift the egg out of the water and onto a paper towel to remove any excess water.
Ryan bought a kid sized shovel to scrape the chicken poop every day. I think he kind of likes this chore actually. He says the poop doesn’t stink that bad – that is smells more like the earth.