Category Archives: General

Squirrels in the corn feed

I love my chickens and everything about caring for them, collecting the eggs, hatching out the eggs, and so much more.  They are very entertaining at times and I even have a two person swing next to the chicken yard.

Additionally, their food attracts other hungry animals.  I love watching the birds and squirrels run around snitching the chicken feed.  The squirrels have even figured out ways to get into the containers that hold all that delicious corn.  They have chewed holes into the rims of the barrel that holds the corn.  But, the most creative thing they have done is chew around the edge of the lid and put their little paws between the top and bottom edge and actually push the lid off of the bucket.

At first, I thought I was just leaving the lid off the bucket which I found hard to believe, but, no one is perfect.  I was really irritated because it drizzled rain and the top layer of the corn was slightly wet.  I fussed at myself and vowed to not do that again.

But two more times, the same thing happened.  The lid was off when I came to feed the chickens in the morning.  Dang.  I took my fingernail and easily lifted the lid and I knew the squirrels had to open the lid.

Another time, the squirrels swiped all the plum seeds out of the jiffy pots that I had planted and set out on my porch.  I had planted some in the yard, too and they never grew so I know why now.

So when I had a hand full of pecans I wanted to attempt to plant, I knew I had to figure out a ways to keep those pesky squirrels from digging them up.  So, I planted them in plastic pots but covered the pots with netting draped over the edges.  Well, much to my dismay, the squirrels broke into the sides of the pots and pulled the pecans out in all five of the pots.  I just hope the squirrels forget where they buried the pecans and I end up with some trees randomly growing on our two acres.

There are two stray cats that often find their way into my yard and I thought they were after my chickens but they are really after the squirrels.  I am not a fan of cats period.  I wouldn’t hurt one but I would be very happy if they disappeared.

I was having a discussion with my daughter and told her I didn’t want the cats to eat my squirrels because if the whole economy crashes, EMP, end of the , zombie attack, etc. scenerio happens, i may need to eat those squirrels.  lol  My sister-in-law says squirrels taste good.  I hope I never have to find out.

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.