August 2013: Glenn built the coop attached to the back of the tool shed.
It has changed a lot since then, but still the same space.
May 2014: Baby Chicks!
Glenn promised me,once the city house sold, we could get some chicks, so on the day we went back into the city to sign off on the final paper work...
we headed to a small farm that had baby chicks for sale.
We came home with 10 cute little girls (hoping for girls, but the silky's were not sexed)
I didn't get a picture of all of them, but here is who I did and what bread they are.
Silky (Mr. Roo)
Americana (Lil' Ms. Cross Beak)
Black Laced Wyandotte (Ms. Lacy)
Black Laced Wyandotte (Little Bit)
about a month later..
About a month later... Cinnamon Queen and Silky (Mr. Roo)
White rock and Ms. Silky
Glenn and I have both read a ton about cross beak and all sorts of suggestions from trimming the beak to nutritional deficiencies. We will do what we can and what we think is best for her and her quality of life. For now its soaked/fermented feed. A lesson learned for us is who and who not to purchase a flock of chickens from, next time we will go to a big well know hatchery.
August 2014: Fermented Chicken Feed
To someone who is not in love with fermentation and all the awesome benefits of the good bacteria, fermented chicken feed may sound a little wrong. But let me tell you (as a huge fan of fermentation), I am quite certain it is not wrong at all. It's also super easy, which you will notice I am a huge fan of that too. All you have to do is add water to your chicken feed (I would recommend a small batch to start with). I started with a quart jar and filled it a little less than half way with chick/grower feed and then added water and stirred. Put the lid on but not sealed tight and left it outside overnight.
One HUGE bonus to giving the girls soaked or fermented food is that when the temperature reaches a scorching 100 (like it did yesterday) I can add ice to their food just like I do for their water! It is a winner in my opinion, just for that simple fact. So I will either put ice cubes on their plate and put the porridge on top of that, or put their porridge in a bowl made of ice, or add ice to the mix of porridge just before I serve them. I have been doing a mix of these things plus putting ice in their water about 3 times a day, sometimes more depending on how hot it is. I think this is really helping them through the heat. Plus it keeps me from feeling like I should invite them into the air conditioning... well it helps.
Now I am going to start a separate jar of feed that they will not get until it has fermented, I will give an update on how that goes for me and for them as soon as it has fermented. Yeahhhh! Oh the joys!!!!
August 2014: Hot, Hot, Hot
So, it has been really hot! We are very lucky that it wasn't this hot in the beginning of the summer, or even just a few weeks ago, because we just got our refrigerator and our ac unit all tested out and indeed they preform flawlessly running off of the solar array! Even though its burning up outside (ok, it's only 97 in the shade), I am nice and cool inside at 80 degrees! Feels sooo good.
Mojo is inside too, although he has a baby pool filled with nice cool well water that he takes advantage of almost every time we do go out.
As for the girls and Mr. Roo, they are chilling under the house where it is shaded and cool. I have been making lots of ice for them, trying to get a stock pile of it, but I seem to be using it about as fast as I make it. I put cubes in their water, and I also put cubes in their fermented food. It does end up watering it down way too much once all the ice melts, but I just dump out the excess water and add more ice again.Last night I froze an ice bowl for the girls, and put their food in it this morning, I don't think they were as impressed with it as I was. I also put a box fan in the window of their coop once they all start heading to bed, just to get some breeze in there and hope to push some of the extra heat out for the night. I only do this for a few hours though, the box fan eats up more energy than I thought it would, so unfortunately we can't keep it on all night for them.