Tag Archive: chickens

I walk into the kitchen for more coffee.
Hubby greets me with “It’s 2 below right now.”
“And you think I want to know that?” is my reply.

And it doesn’t really matter, the weather is something we have and can only accept.

Outside my window, sunshine, a few clouds zip across the bright blue sky in the wind.

Cardinals fluffed out to keep warm, stick close to the feeder and preen a bit in the sun.

I think, I can choose to grumble about the cold, or enjoy what is given to me outside that window.

I am warm, cozy and being treated to a lovely view. Things to be happy about, many do not have even this simple pleasure.

The mail brings catalogs of garden seed, poultry and crafts to contemplate over the coming days. Winter will pass.

Daylight arrives a bit earlier and lingers longer, Spring will come , it always does. All is well!

Recently, several of our chickens have gone missing.
We are now down to four hens and one young chicken.
They are free range critters and only go into the coop at night or to lay eggs in the nest boxes. Not long ago, Hubby found a large black snake in the coop. It is no longer there.
Over the last couple of weeks, the outside dogs have been raising a ruckus at night, and a few times I have heard snarling noises around the place.
Yesterday, after the loss of two more of the young chickens we were out checking the game camera and there for us to see was a bobcat. May or may not be the decimater of chickens, but the evidence surly points that way.
In a court of law, I am pretty sure said bobcat would be convicted on circumstantial evidence.
We’ve had the live trap set for a few days, maybe we will catch the culprit, without losing any more chickens.

One of the hens has been trying to fool us! Recently we have been ‘missing’ eggs and thought one was going broody.
Some careful watching led Hubby, the detective, to the general area where she had ‘hidden out’ her nest. A bit of further searching led us to her hiding spot in a short while. Nicely done, Ms. Hen! Your spot did not look big enought for you to sneak in, let alone hide a bunch of eggs.
I gathered up the eggs, and using Granny Shipman’s old method determined that most of the eggs were ‘good’.
Now, just in case you should ever need to know, I will share Granny’s little egg test with you.

Place the suspect egg in a bowl of water…

good eggs 003
if the egg is ‘good’ it will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

good eggs 002
an egg of dubious quality will ‘stand on the point’.

good eggs 001
an egg that should not be in your kitchen will float in the bowl.

I did some further research to verify the ‘old wives tale’ and sure enough, here it is, right on the good old internet. Of course, that makes me wonder about how ‘fresh’ store bought eggs are?
Anyone want to test their own dozen and let me know the results?

this and that around the place 019
Only one of our baby chicks survived. It has taken up residence with a ‘prptector’ Old Jack.
Old Jack, good natured creature that he is, does not seem to mind.
The chick follows him around and they sleep together.
The rest of the chickens ignore Peep.
I do not know the psychology of animals very well, but I find this quite interesting

Living in the mid-west, ‘fair season’ is usually late summer and early fall. I really enjoy these events, so I was delighted to attend one in central California while we were traveling.
May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 149a
A day at the fair

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 154
There were chickens,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 158

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 163
and floats.

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 164

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 174

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 177
baked goods,

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 179
FFA animals shown for conformation

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 180

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 193
4-H market hogs

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 198

May 15 & 16 bertie's & FAIR 199

We have had some ‘interesting times’ with chickens here on Sunrise Ridge.
Recently, we discovered a few that were gifted in the ability to fly.
Yesterday, Hubby and I were outside visiting with the pastor from the church I attend.
We heard an odd noise and turning around noticed a hen, scratching, and singing a welcome to the sunny spring day up on top of the chicken house roof. She had flown up there, about 9 feet above ground level.
Further investigation proved that this was not the first time, as there was a nest with 20 eggs, well hidden in fallen leaves.
The eggs were gathered and chicken wings have been clipped.
I can’t help but wonder what might have happened is she had set and hatched a bunch of chicks up there.

Soon after Hubby got out of the Army (many years ago) he mentioned that he would like to farm. That never happened although we lived on 20 acres next to his parents and at various times had cows, ponies, pigs, chickens, and assorted other animals. His parents did the ‘farming’ part.

When Pop, his dad passed away the large stock went soon after. Hubby worked and kept working until a few years ago. In  the meantime we made a couple of moves here and there, raised a family and all that before coming back to rest and live on the same 20 acre place we left. Right here on Sunrise Ridge in the beautiful state of Missouri.


Who says you can’t come home again? We did!

We always had dogs, but that was it, we still have hunting beagles.

We raised a good size garden, because we both enjoyed ‘playing in the dirt’. Home grown and home preserved fruits and vegetables are sure tasty come winter time too!

A couple of years ago we added chickens for eggs and meat production. Not only do they contribute to the food, they seem to help keep the population of unpleasant insects down too.

Between the garden, fruit trees and chickens we have managed to keep the pantry, freezer and our tummies pretty well filled!

Last fall I won a pig at the county fair, we butchered it and ever since Hubby has talked about ‘getting a couple of pigs’.

Last week, he and the grandson built a pen for said pigs, which should be purchased soon. Fattened up a bit and join other things in the freezer.

A few days ago, one of the nieces wanted to know if anyone would take her daughters Easter ducklings, no longer cute and fluffy. The ducks arrived this morning.

Alright, it’s not a big farm, maybe it’s a stretch to even call it that? But it is not everyone who gets to have a dream come true, and for right now our way of ‘farming’ is pretty much that.

This morning, Hubby made a simple request. “Put the two male beagles in the kennel and let out the chickens”. Or I thought it sounded simple at the time.

One of our females would like to have pups, so the males have been out ‘guarding’ the females in the big kennel.

I took out some dogfood and scraps and put it in the little kennel, here came Jack, the big male. He figured out fast what my plan was and it took some brute force and persuasion to get him inside. A good deal of shoving was required!

As soon as I snap the door, he ambles over to the dish and settles in for a hearty meal. Silly dog!

Now, I can’t find the male pup, Zorro!. I holler a few times and he finally barks over by the chicken house. I walk over and there is Zorro and an escaped hen. The hen is lying flat on the ground, Zorro is circling and I am NOT happy!

I manhandled Zorro back across the yard and into the kennel, miraculously, Jack is still munching dogfood and thankfully does not escape. Just so you know, carrying 30 pounds of wiggling beagle is not an easy task. I do not think I will do it again soon. (Ever, if I have my way)

Back to the chicken house, Mrs. Black, the errant hen, is up and scratching around like nothing ever happened! I let the rest of the chickens out. They are very happy.

Jack and Zorro on the other hand  do not seem too pleased with the whole idea and are barking and registering doggie complaints.

I am taking it easy the rest of the day. I deserve it!

I am sure glad I was home alone, anyone with a camera would have made a fortune on ‘America’s Funniest Home Video’ with a tape of that.