An Introduction

This blog is a little bit about everything. My life as a mother, a wife, and owner of a home with an acre. We like to call it our family farm. My family currently consists of the human members- my husband, S and our two beautiful girls, B and O; then there are the animals- our dogs, Charlie & Lola Belle and our Chickens. Check back often, you never know when we'll add a new member! ; )

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things are moving along

Well, not much has gone on around here lately.  S did some work re-organizing the garage and installing new shelves for storage.  He also built me a new chicken waterer that will hopefully be installed soon.  The 2 small waterers I have now are hard to move and fill, and the chickens go through them fairly quickly.  Plus, the water sits in a reservoir where it can get pooped in... yuck.  I'll post pics of the new water system once it's up and running.  S and I also built the chickens a new ladder style roost, in hopes of them sleeping off the ground.  I haven't seen them sleep on it yet, but they do get up on it during the day.  Once the coop is here I will be showing them where they are supposed to sleep to get them used to the idea.  For now, since the run is not their permanent night time place, I don't think it matters much where they sleep.  I had to separate the one confirmed rooster (we have re-named him Rudy since discovering he was a he) because he was being pecked at by the girls.  He is all healed up now and I may be re-integrating him in with the girls soon to see how it goes.  Pixie is still not doing well.  She has gotten worse and has what I believe to be paralysis of both legs now.  She still eats and drinks, but only because her garage home is small enough that she can lay there and reach the food and water.  It's not looking good for her and we have begun to tell B & O that she may not make it much longer.  The worst past is that we may have to help her along... which no one looks forward to doing, but we don't want her to suffer.
On a lighter note, Dallas and Dixie are doing well and are as sweet as can be.  They run to us when we go in to the pen and love to be pet, scratched and just given attention.  They also love food and treats... of course.  S & I were able to trim their hooves the other day, which is an accomplishment.  They are not easy to hold still, but we tried distracting them with some treats to keep them busy.  That didn't work all that well, but we got it done.  Eventually, I think S will build a stanchion- like a milking stand- that we will use to hold them for bathing, grooming and hoof trims.  Maybe even milking if we ever breed Dixie.  Shhhh... don't tell S I said that.  ; )    
B & O are doing well, loving the animals and spending time with them.  They are enjoying the summer weather, swimming and frequent BBQs we've been attending.  School is quickly approaching and I still can not believe B will be in Kindergarten... 5 days a week.  That is going to be a huge adjustment for all of us.  They just grow and grow, don't they?!  S is working on building a play structure that Grandma & Grampa bought for the girls so that they will have plenty of summer time to play on it.  It is a HUGE project, so it will be great to see it coming along.  I'll try to get some pics of it in progress soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A not so great update

Well, one of our pullets (young female chicken), Pixie, is not doing so well.  She doesn't seem sick, and I can't see any visible injuries, but her leg is injured in some way.  Right now I don't know if it's a condition, an injury, a slipped tendon, or many other possibilities.  She is not able to walk much, and the leg seems to just not do what she wants it to, like she can't control it very well.  She is still eating and drinking and staying strong, so that's a good sign.  I was keeping her in with the others so she wouldn't be lonely... until last night when I went to check on them around bedtime and they were all cuddled together- but she had been pushed or rolled on to her back and was stuck that way in the middle of the cuddle huddle.  Poor thing couldn't turn herself back over.  So, I moved her into a box built for one back in the garage bathroom.  She seems to be doing ok, even though she's by herself.  Maybe she's glad to be able to rest for now and not have to deal with the crowd when it's time to eat.
Here is Pixie in the run, before I moved her to the garage:
And here she is in her garage apartment:

Monday, July 11, 2011

The girls get a new (temporary) home!

As you know from my last post, the chicks are growing like weeds!  They needed more room to be comfortable and get along well with each other.  So, my wonderful dad came to the rescue and leveled out the area where we will eventually put their coop, so that we could at least get their run set in place and let them stay in it for now.  My brother has graciously offered to build me a fabulous chicken coop, so hopefully that will be coming soon so they have a more secure and predator safe home.
Here is Grampa (with both girls on board) making the pad for the future coop.
Here is the run (it was already here when we moved in, we just cleaned it up and moved it to level the ground, then placed it where we wanted it).
And here are the girls in the run!  Yay!  So much room to spread out.
Oh, and did I mention that one of our girls is not a girl?  We're still undecided on his fate, but here is our rooster (he's in the center- the one with the RED comb and waddles).
Even most of our girls will eventually have red combs and waddles, but the roosters get them at a younger age.  The girls combs won't be fully grown and red until they are closer to laying age (16-20 weeks).  The size and color/look of them will vary depending on the breed.