Deterring Flying Predators from Our Chickens

Today we wanted to tell you about a flying-predator deterrent method we are trying out with our chickens, so that they can happily free range, with less risk.  It’s not guaranteed prevention to protect our flock, by any means. But designed to merely be a deterrent; to discourage hawks and other flying predators from attempting to fly down and get our chickens.

We had always originally planned to allow our flock to free-range wherever they pleased, when we got chickens.  But that intention all changed one day, when our oldest was sitting at the sunroom table, eating her lunch, and watching the little birds happily eating at the bird feeder, just a few yards outside of our slider glass door. As she watched, a hawk came down in one fell-swoop, and grabbed a little feeding birdie, right off the feeder! It happened so fast, and left her in such shock and so upset, she could hardly speak at first. Soon, all of the kids were all upset, over the tale she told. We needed a new plan.
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We got our chickens as one day old chicks, in July 2014.  They grew up, in size and maturity, in their ample-sized, predator proof (for sure!) chicken run, attached to their predator-proof (for sure!) coop. Most every day while they were young through the Fall, they got to come out of their run with the kids or us adults, and free range under our supervision. The chickens also get lots of ‘one-on-one’ time and attention from our kids; being carried around, brought out front to meander, carried inside the house for a visit, etc.

The winter season that followed, the chickens’ first cold season, was a brutal one. Free-ranging was not even an option, since they’d have immediately gotten lost in the snow several feet over their little heads.  The temperatures were detrimental, as well. But their run was protected with a canvas over the top, and that seemed to keep most of the snow out enough for them to venture out within that area.  The inside of the coop was on a temp regulator, so it never fell below 38 degrees or so.  They can actually handle much colder temperatures but, we’d feel bad anyway, and we also were trying to keep their water from freezing. So they went in for a spell throughout the days, whenever they felt the need to warm up, or lay an egg.

Spring finally arrived, and we definitely wanted them to be able to free-range on their own, throughout the day! As we had always planned.  So it was time to devise a plan to try and keep our chickens somewhat protected, so they could come out of their run and have the freedom to roam, all throughout the daytime. As chickens love to do!  We want our chickens alive and happy, if we can possibly help it.

So first, my husband, Michael, and I agreed that [Read more…]

Our First Chicken-Troubles

I can assure you that it really is our preference to indulge you with beautiful and funny photos of our chickens and rooster. It’s all part of the great fun of chicken-keeping, if you ask me! And in fact that’s about all we’ve done since we’ve gotten our chickens, such as this post, that you really want to take a peak at first; Flock Photography Fun!

However, that’s not what our post is about today. Because with keeping chickens, we knew, eventually comes a few chicken problems! Such as….feather-picking.   < Deep sigh. >

Considering the incredibly brutal winter we have had here this year, we’d say our rooster and chickens have faired pretty well!  There was bit of a battle with frostbite on crowns and jowls. We did our best to protect them from that, with great coop ventilation, and applying some virgin coconut oil as we could. Buy Weymouth had the hardest time keeping his jowls from falling into the water when he drank. But anyway, little bits of frostbite were our biggest problem we had run into all winter long. Until……the feather-picking began to happen.

I told you that this post isn’t about pretty photos. I’ll just fore-warn you that this first one is the least pleasant; and then most are pretty enjoyable, if not informative. But we just want to give you the visual of the scope of the problem we had on our hands. It’s not awful, or terribly hard to see, we don’t think. But, just not pretty.

Ok, you may wince a little.
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[Read more…]

March-Spring-St.Patrick’s Day-Mantels Decor-2015

     As promised, today I am sharing with you our mantels for March, the month of St. Patrick’s Day, and the beginning of the spring season. (Calendar-wise anyway. God-willing the weather will reflect the same.)   004_March-St-Patricks-Day-Spring-Mantels-Decor-ideas
The decor for these mantels is super minimal and simple. It also features artwork I recently did, 4-Leaf Clover Art, which I blogged about most recently. Visit the link to see more about the inspiration for the piece.  But right now in this post, here are some photos to [Read more…]

Flock Photography Fun!

Hello, Friends! Welcome.
We’ll have something more….helpful, for you later this week.  But we thought we’d start your week off light, and just share some recent photos I’ve taken of our rooster and hens.

There are many, so please let them all load, before scrolling!

01_red-star-chicken Sweet ‘Kingston’, our Buff Orpington. She’s Michael’s baby.

02_rooster-and-hens [Read more…]

A Kinder Kind of Egg.

Let’s talk about EGGS.

eggs Eggs are a staple food item, in most anyone’s kitchen. They are quite popular for breakfast: as scrambled, over-easy, hard-boiled, poached, or omelet style! They make incredible egg salads for lunch, and are called for in most baking recipes. And let’s not forget most every mother’s favorite backup plan; Breakfast for Dinner!

We all know that eggs are good for your overall health! But did you know that [Read more…]