New adventure

This is the post excerpt.


Why Birds, Kids, and Jesus? 

Well Birds because apparently I am a crazy lady who decided that I needed to purchase 22 baby chicks with no experience whatsoever to raise for eggs and meat.  Kids because I have children ranging from 3 to 15 and they are a large reason why we decided to buy a farm in the first place.  And JESUS because the good LORD knows I couldn’t do it without him.

Since I recently came home from our local Tractor Supply store with 22 baby chicks in a brown box, I have been googling my eyes out.  It came to mind that if I document what I learn maybe someone else will be able to learn from my blunders.  

First lesson learned:  Do not buy chicken’s on a spur of moment decision just because your husband finally had a moment of weakness and agreed to let you bring “some” home.

Thankfully Tractor Supply graciously showed me all the supplies that I would need to get started and sent me home with brochures full of basic need to know information for raising chickens.  When we got home I moved the chicks into a larger plastic tote full of bedding, food, and water, until I could get one of our watering troughs clean and dry.  

Within a few hours our newest additions were set up in our garage in a large watering trough, complete with soft bedding, heating lamp, food, water, and a baby cakes pecking block.  

In our new little flock we have 13 Asian Blue chicks and 9 Rainbow chicks.  It has been 3 days since I brought them home and so far so good.  They all seem to be adjusting well.

I have been reading so much information that I am dreaming of chickens in my sleep.  I believe that my chicks range somewhere between 2-3 weeks old based on the information I have read online.  They are just starting to get some feathers.  The Asian Blues have already doubled in size in 3 days and have twice as many feathers than when they came home.  They seem to be a bit aggressive and definitely curious.  The Rainbows have not changed much so far but seem to have a much sweeter disposition and a bit more shy.

  I am very excited to start documenting our new adventure.  I will continue to upload pictures of their growth and progress and write about what I have learned and the blunders I am sure to encounter along the way.  I am open to suggestions and advice if anyone wants to chime in.  All is appreciated.  As I begin this new adventure I will have to remember that ” Through Christ I can do all things.” Phillipians 4:13.

Babies, Progress, and Disaster

This has been a crazy week so I will start with the cute.

I truly had no idea that ducks grew so fast. We have had them two weeks and they have tripled in size!


I believe that all 3 of the barred rock chicks that I got are males. It’s hard to say for sure but they are already acting like little protectors, curious about everything, and wanting to fly out of the trough before they even have all their wing feathers.

The Chantecler chicks are still balls of fluff. They arrived last week. Where does time go any how? Has it been that long since I wrote in last? Guess so.

My wonderful husband built me an awesome brooder for the new chicks.

It will double as an infirmary when not in use for chicks. Right now we are working on tweaking the heating system to keep temperatures at 90 degrees before putting chicks in it.

The delay has come in handy and I often say that everything happens for a reason. Henrietta gets to be the first guest in the new box.

Tonight she did not go back in the coop with the others like usual. She remained in an old nesting box in the barn. At 830pm it just didn’t seem right that she would still be trying to lay an egg. So I picked her up and carried her to the coop. She was a bit sticky so once in the light, I looked her over and found the culprit. Not only did she lay a soft shell egg but she was missing a large chunk of feathers which led me to look further. Below her wing, she has a nasty looking wound.

It goes quite a ways down below more feathers and I am not sure if it is tunneling due to the fact that it had already scabbed over. We sprayed it really well with vetricyn and gave her a treat.

She will probably be in the infirmary for a while so that she can heal. It is too cold to leave her in a dog crate in the coop. I am not quite sure what happened. I did find dry blood in the coop on the roost. It may have been Foghorn as he likes to hold her down even when not trying to mate. It could have happened outside the coop and she just came to bed bleeding. Caught on fencing? Predator attack? I just don’t know. This week the coop has also been compromised due to a collapsing roof. So an attack could have happened right in the coop on the roost.

This week the snow has been melting in the warm sunshine but not quite quick enough for the barn.

It has weighed the roof down and a weak support beam gave way. The roof is now resting on the chicken coop. Each day the splitting wood moves down a little further. The guys have spent all week since building a new goat pen and chicken coop.

Foghorn is not happy with this new situation as his girls can all fit through the new fencing of the goat pen now and he can not.

The girls are happy and when the new coop is complete they will be safer.

Good night prayers for a better week next week.

Babies galore

I believe that I mentioned before that I was crazy. I am also just smitten. I love watching the antics of all these balls of fluff.

This little barred rock chick thinks he is a duck.

The Chantecler chicks came in the mail today and all are doing well.

The new brooder wasn’t done yet. So against my better judgement, I put them in the brooder with the others. It ended up working out though. Earlier I had separated the chicks from the ducks but when the newbies arrived, the chicks from the last batch bailed over the barrier to be with their duckling friends.

They seem to be just fine so I will just leave it be until the new brooder is finished.

Jackson is having fun watching as well. I believe he is drooling a bit too.

I will be glad when spring comes and I can spend more time watching the older birds too. I believe I need a big picture window right into the coop. Right now it is too cold and windy to spend too much time out in the barn that is not being used in vigorous activity to keep warm.

Thank you Lord that our animals have the under coats and downy feathers to keep warm in the cold and that we have warm houses and cozy fireplaces. ( And that we have a warm place in the house to keep the babies warm that is also separate from the main house.)


I had high hopes today that my little Brahma chick would pull through. This morning he was weak but still moving around. With a little bit of water and some molasses, he was more perky at lunch time, but by the evening He was limp and could barely peep.

My daughter and I picked him up and wrapped him in this towel and said a little prayer for the Lord to relieve his suffering. Within the next half hour he had passed on peacefully. The other chick who also had pasty butt was still eating, drinking, and pooping. So I moved her back with the other chicks.

On a brighter note……I think…..

before coming home with these new babies I had ordered a few chicks from a hatchery with the plan of them not arriving for a couple weeks. Today I got the call that they are ready early and will be delivered this week. Thank the Lord for my husband and his support. He is building me a separate brooder that should be ready by delivery.

The ducks and chicks are getting along well for the moment but I see separation in the near future. The ducks are so big that they trample over the chicks and push them away from the food and water. They don’t seem to be mean but just big and energetic. I have also changed the bedding 3 times today due to the wetness of the shaving because the ducks like to play. Right now there is plenty of room so the chicks can get where it is dry. But I think a little separation would be a good idea before the chicks get run down. I have been doing some online reading and think I may try horse bedding pellets for the ducks and see if it cuts down the moisture. One thing that can be said about farm life is that it is never boring.

I have not forgot about my other feather babies.

Foghorn says hello

He is a little wary of me right now. Nellie had some straw stuck in her beak a day or two ago and I tried to help her remove it. Foghorn must have thought I was causing her distress and came to her defense. This did not go well. I had to chase him around with a rake for a while until he decided to agree that he was not in charge. He is a little territorial over his hens as expected but Nellie is his favorite. Poor thing is missing some of her feathers because of this.

There may be a saddle in her future if the feathers continue to get pulled out.

Henrietta has found a new nesting spot and is currently not laying in the goat pen at the moment.

I am sure I will have more stories coming soon with all my new little additions. I truly believe I must be crazy.

Poultry Crazy

Craziness is the only way to describe today’s choices.

My trough is once again full of babies. Baby chicks and baby ducks!

Yes once again I have proven myself crazy with poultry fever. Surprisingly the chicks and ducks settled in together nicely. I checked on them moments ago and they were all snuggled together under their lamp.

With chicks comes problems though and they started as soon as we got them home.

I have read enough articles that tell you to inspect your chicks before you purchase them and firmly believe this to be true. However, in my excitement, I did not.

As we opened our tractor supply box and placed our new chicks in the bathtub (for temporary holding until the brooder was ready), I realized that two chicks were in some distress. They suffered from some serious pasty butt. I had not experienced this with any other of my previous chicks but it is hard to miss. Both chick’s back sides were covered in a cap of hard poop. It was so tangled in their downy feathers that I could not remove it without soaking their rears in warm soapy water.

They are so tiny that I just used a small disposable tupaware. I quickly placed them under the heat lamp but they had become chilled from the partial bath and being in the tub with the others seemed to be too much to handle. So with the help of a heating pad and an old towel, the duo was soon cozy.

For the next couple of hours they received drops of water from a syringe to keep them hydrated. Before long they were perking up.

The rest of the newbies got moved to the brooder but these two are hanging out in the tub tonight until they both gain a little strength back. They have food, water, and their heat lamp. One is eating and drinking and pooping but the other one is not doing any of that so I am a little concerned.

I guess we will see what tomorrow brings. Tractor supply was great and automatically gave us two more chicks which I inspected before bringing home.

Eggs, eggs, and more eggs!

The eggs are flowing in all size varieties.

Big and small and all unique

Inside and out

Above there is a regular size hard shelled egg inside another much larger hard shelled egg.

After seeing this egg I checked every chicken for vent prolapse and was surprised to find not one chicken in distress. Thank the good Lord!

Chicken responsible for particularly large eggs:

Wouldn’t you know she is also my chicken who likes to lay her gigantic eggs in the goat pen.

Here are some of my other happy layers.

And and even happier rooster

And some other blonde creature playing in the coop. Chickens aren’t the only ones who like to scratch in the sand.

I was bad and went to tractor supply to spy the new babies but I didn’t bring any home….yet.

Just another day on the farm

I am so glad to have some sunshine today and actually be able to enjoy it. It may still be in the mid forties but I am off of work today and am soaking it up.

Unfortunately it has rained so much in the last few days that everything is still very muddy. The chickens ventured just outside the barn door and decided to bask in the sunshine from the doorway instead of crossing the muddy pass to the field.

They eventually made their way back inside to enjoy a snack cake.

The goats were a little jealous….

But they got a treat later

They have all been a bit spoiled this week. We went grocery shopping and everything that was starting to get soggy when outside where it was well enjoyed.

In cleaning the coop out today, I found that the mice have made themselves quite comfortable using downy chicken feathers for their nest.

And a quick escape tunnel to and from the chicken feeder.

Tonight I made sure to remove all the straw from the coop to give the mice less areas to hide. I don’t think the chickens mind too much that they don’t have the straw. Since I pieced together a new roost they have been sleeping on that instead of in the straw anyway.

They didn’t care for the wooden ladder. Although I left one of them up because the hens use it to get away from the rooster. He won’t run underneath it so they use it to hide.

I was in Tractor Supply this week buying supplies and I see they are getting all set up for chicks to arrive. I was feeling the fever until I got home and remembered how much of my life is spent at work and not home where I get to play with my chickens. Although I thoroughly enjoy it, it is sure a lot of work. Not sure if I want to try and manage a coop and a brooder at the same time. Yikes!

Bath time again

I really never associated bathing with chickens but here I am again.

When your chickens rear end looks like this…..

…you have to do something. Bathing is the easiest and first step so that is how we spent the evening.

And then to spend the night in the crate in my office where it is warm and quiet.

With as warm as it is outside tonight she probably would have been ok in the coop but with her backside so red I was afraid the others would peck at it.

And the order is all upset in the coop tonight anyway. Henrietta got herself into the goat pen and then I let her stay there after everyone else went into the coop hoping she would find her way back to the coop but she didn’t. When I returned her Foghorn attacked her before I even finished putting her down. So he went to chicken jail.

This way he can still see his ladies but maybe he will cool his jets tonight and not try to kill Henrietta in the morning.

Tomorrow I hope to switch up and put Betty in the big crate in the coop and let Foghorn out to free range. Wish me luck!