About Me

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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chickens sun bathing in January?

                                      Tabatha, CeeCee & Sabrina Dec 2011

OK , first let me say the 'kids' as you can see from the picture are enjoying this mild winter but Really sunbathing in Dec/Jan in Northern Massachusetts???  Two days ago it was 56 degrees here, sunny & no chilly winds.  It still gets fairly cold at night but nothing like I have every seen in the 14 years I have lived up here.

yes I am still dealing with freezing chicken water-ers but overall I would say the kids are having a blast with all this extra freedom they are getting.  Normally the eggs are rare & far between but now I am getting enough to still share with the neighbors.  Who I might add are not complaining about the 3 new baby Roo's that have decided to let themselves be known in the last few weeks.  I had hoped that out of the 6 born in June/July I would be blessed with all 6 hens but of coarse that rarely happens since I tend to attract Roos for some odd reason.

But they will have to go needless to say as they are trying to mate with all the hens & poor CeeCee is running ragged to protect the hens from these wild young boys.  I am amazed that there are no fights what so ever since Indora who is now Indie is at times a bit mean.

So I have decided to soon take all 3 to a friend & have him kill them, keep 2 & give 1 back to me.  I would have Thomas do it but since I have had problems with the neighbor girl over this I prefer to do it off sight so I don't have to listen to any more of her crap over my horrible ways.

One of the baby hens got broody & refused to get off the eggs even after a month, not that I minded so much but she was wasting away to skin & bones so 2 days ago blocked the 2 nesting boxes to force her out of it.  She is not a happy camper with me & takes it out on any small hen that gets near her but since the egg I let her sit on was never going to hatch I felt she needed to get back to her old self & get some meat on her bones.  Even though it is still somewhat warmer than normal on the really chilly mornings I have been doing the warm oatmeal with soy yogurts a friend gave me that I don't like but she got cases of it free so gave me about 12 cases that I have in the one frig & as long as I don't open them they should be fine.  Anyway they are mixed with fruit so the kids sure enjoy this nice warm treat.  I so do enjoy giving my kids these good healthy warm foods & I have noticed over the years that I have not had to deal with frost bite on their combs like one neighbor did.  I also give them cracked corn mid-day to help cut the chill for them.

I decided this year to break down & get one of those heater you put under the water-er & within 3 weeks it quit working, though the wiring ect was just fine but the top of it started to rust from moisture being trapped between it & the water container.  Now normally I wouldn't fret over things like this but at $56 I was a tad upset.  Well since I am always at that small feed store & they replaced it with no problems.  But they too were surprised to see rust in such a short time.

They were out of that brand but let me have a different brand for about the same cost that I will see if it holds up any better.  I tried to stay away from things like this but since the blizzard in October & many more chickens I had to do something so none were without water.  I have a light timer that comes on at 7 a.m. so they can see inside the shop area I opened up for them when they are done roosting/resting in their 2 coops.  I try never to let them out before 8 a.m. to be kind to the neighbors, but once they are up they want to eat & drink so I had to have a better system for them til I got out there.

In the winter I don't change the water daily but every 2 days since they drink less but check it off & on all day for them.  When I shut them in for the night I like to know that the food & water is ready for them when they rise & shine.  this doesn't not prevent them from gobbling up the warm breakfast I give them but I no longer have to worry about the babies ever being without.

Porgie, my little Surama Roo is now in the house most of the time, he is not set up for the cold weather up here & the poor thing gets so cold he shakes so hard he will fall down so thought that was not something I wanted for him to deal with.  Piper & Gertie enjoy him being in the house but since Laura is deformed with her crooked neck he tends to chase her off so I have to watch him for that..

My poor sweet Laura will run to me & get behind my legs, peek out to see if she is safe, all the while talking to me about his unmanly behavior towards her.  I have to have her feed & water in a different area since she has a hard time eating food & having Porgie abuse her.

Update on the shoulder: got through therapy faster than they thought I would, still have lots of pain because I am constantly hurting it doing the small 'farm' things I do or falling.  Did a big nose dive 3 days ago in the its back to sleeping in the recliner but I still do the exercises & try to do things smart.

Its the type of injury that will cause problems for a long time so I am dealing with it & going on with what I do, but I am thankful for the therapy because it has helped me see that some of the movements I just normally do aren't working & I have to re-train myself to prevent more damage.  Plus it helps slow me down which at times is needed.

Today even though its not cold I decided to start a fire in the antique wood cooking stove, even taught Thomas what to do...the 'kids' are already on their beds next to it so I guess they were missing it.

Well my dear chicken friends I am in need for some coffee so will close for now....Until next time have a great chicken day!....M'

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