Category Archives: General

Dogs and chickens running free

We had our first mishap with our chickens this year.  I had too many roosters so I let them run free during the day on our two acres.  Two dogs crawled under our gate and killed four of the five roosters.  We were inside eating breakfast and came out in time to see the dogs but atlas, no help for the roosters.  The one rooster hid under our storage shed and stayed there long after we had picked up all the feathers and buried the four roosters.   We named him Lucky.

We have fixed the gate so nothing can get under it by putting dirt in the area where the tires run and make the indention.  We also took our four foot fencing and wired it with two feet on one side and two on the other and it extends down to the ground.  We attached it with cable ties.

Now, I have four roosters and 17 hens which is much better but I would have liked to either sell or give away the extra roosters.  It was a brutal death for them and three of them were still alive when we found them.  Breaks  my heart.  I am thankful I didn’t let all the chickens run free that day.

Getting ready for chickens again

We are so excited to be back in Florida on our two acres and getting ready for my daughter, Bonnie to bring me 26 chickens from her flock.

We spent hours and  hours yesterday tearing down our rotting chicken houses after being away for 27 months caring for my mom in NC.  We hauled five loads to the dump which was over 1000 pounds.

We now need to rebuild chicken fencing and houses.  But, we are excited to get our chickens and feel a need to get it all done.

We use landscape timbers as fence posts.  Yes, they will rot away eventually but on sale they are about 2 bucks and I like the way they fade into the background instead of sticking out like the green metal posts.  As our timbers start to rot at the base, we actually have put the metal posts in between the landscape timbers to hold them up until the timbers go on sale.

We saved all our fencing when we took it down so that will save us money.  When putting the posts up, we use a string or rope to make sure the fence goes up straight.  We put one post up in a corner and then figure out how far out we want the fence to go and put a post in there.  Then we attach a string from one post to the other.  I can eye it pretty good but the string makes it perfect.  We usually put the posts in 8-10 ft apart.

We decided to salvage one of our homemade chicken houses for the bigger chickens but needed another 4×8 sheet of plywood to replace the rotted roof.   Then for the other chicken houses, we have two chain link cages that are 4×8 and one is 4 ft tall and one is 6 ft tall.  Just needed to add a 4×8 sheet of plywood on the top of each.   The cages have a door that can be closed and we can even lock them up at night.   Additionally, we are putting fencing on the ground and sitting the house on top of it so animals cannot dig in while the chickens sleep.

Back to work!

 

 

Getting back in the chicken business

Very excited that we are going back to Florida by the end of the month.  My daughter has four Silkie hens for us and she just hatched out 9 Silkie chicks that we will also be taking home with us once they get a little bigger and we get our chicken houses and yards in order.

Still debating on what larger breed chicken we are going to breed and raise.  I will check to see if  my family and friends are going to want fresh eggs before I decide on the size of my flock.  My daughter sold a lot of eggs to her fellow co-workers but has quit her job and follow other dreams so now she has to find others wanting fresh eggs.  She had many dozens of eggs in her refrigerator last time I was at her house.  I got four myself and was so happy.  I can barely stand store bought eggs.

Well, I hope all my fellow chicken lovers are enjoying the benefits of the raising chickens.  I can’t believe how much I have missed chickens for these past two years.

Passing the chicken “torch”

Now that I live in a condo taking care of my mom, I cannot have chickens.  Fortunately, my daughter took six of my chickens and now has the “chicken bug.”.   Bonnie lives about two hours away so I still get to share in her joy.

She and Brooke ordered 23 chicks thru the mail and kept them in her second bathroom until they were a couple months old since it was so cold outside.  My husband and I went to their home and helped them build a duplex chicken house.

Putting up fencing, building coops, and learning how to care for and protect your chickens can be a lot of work but the rewards far outweigh the efforts.  You get exercise caring for the chickens and the eggs are so much healthier for you than store bought eggs.  They really are pretty good pets because you don’t have to walk them or take them to the vet.  You can leave them for days if you leave plenty of food and water out for them.   If it is warm outside, you can get someone to collect the eggs or just throw them away or feed them to the dogs.   If it is cold outside, the eggs will be fine.

I got so tickled when my daughter said, “I had no idea I would enjoy chickens so much.”. They are addictive.  I started out with a handful of baby chicks and had as many as 120 at one time.  I loved having baby chicks hatching out.

Update:  Bonnie is getting plenty of eggs now and since they are fertilized, she let a broody Silkie hatch out two eggs which were Buff Orphington/Barred Rock most likely.   The addiction continues.

Finding homes for my chickens

Well, I think the time has come for us to move to NC where my side of the family lives.  My mom and three sisters are there.  We are looking at September for a move date.

So, now I need to find homes for my chickens.  I gave away  my nine Americaunas and two male Silkies.  Then I took two hens to my daughter in NC.  So now I am down to 32.  I am looking at taking the four chicks to my daughter, too.

It could be difficult to find homes for the chickens that are older and no longer laying eggs.  I gave away 9 hens with the understanding that only three or four are actually laying.  Guess that would be the way to find homes for the others.  I would hate to think someone is going to kill them and eat them but once they leave my yard, I can’t control the situation.

I am a member of a local animal swap/sell forum called Northeast Florida Farm and Garden Swap.  That’s where I found someone nice to take the other chickens.  Guess I will check back with that site when I want to find homes for the rest of them.  I just got a beautiful Barred Rock rooster recently and hatched a few of the eggs out.  The chicks look great and i was looking forward to starting a new flock of young hens.

I am going to miss having chickens.  My sister said maybe I can keep a few on her property.  We will see.