Showing posts with label chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chickens. Show all posts

19 May 2015

happy chickens and the self-closing door

This spring, we bought 40 pullets from a friend, rhode island red crosses, right about the time when we moved the chickens from their winter coop near our house to a (rickety old) coop that we can (very carefully) pull with the tractor.  Many of our barred rocks were no longer laying and it was time for new birds.  The kids and I tried to hatch our own, so we'd have some barred rocks and araucanas, too, but none of the eggs we incubated hatched!  (Any suggestions from readers?  This was our first time incubating eggs.  I can't imagine that *none* of the eggs were fertilized of the 18 we incubated, but maybe?... We borrowed an incubator with a self-turning egg tray.)

Keeping 40-50 layers is an ideal number for our farm--enough for farmshare members, our local co-op, a farmers' market and our family.

We've been moving them through some winter wheat cover crop that hasn't been ploughed in yet and it is so nice to see happy birds running through the wheat and digging up bugs.  

While my parents were visiting a few weeks ago, Adam and my dad figured out a system to counter weight a heavy slate door with a bucket full of water.  The bucket has a small hole in it that slowly lets water out into one of the chickens' water bowls.  It's timed to take about 2½ hours, so when we do chores at night and fill the bucket, the door will close just after dark.

Happy birds, happy farmers. :)

04 May 2015

checking in

Things are getting busier around here.  My parents came to visit for four days and they love to have projects.  They planted 8,000 onions and leeks, changed my brakes, buffed and waxed my car, "greened up" Vermont, fixed several things inside the house and see that bottom picture...?  That is a self-closing door on the chicken coop!  Adam and my dad came up with a system that I plan on describing in more detail later this week.  

I just realized M has a helmet on in each photo he is in (from different days).  That little guy is constantly on his bike now that it's feeling like spring here!  (And oblivious to the fact his helmet is on--so it's on all the time!  Probably not a bad thing when he decides to ride on top of the planter tank.)

We've seeded some carrots, beets and greens and Adam has the ground ready for potatoes.  We're growing different varieties of several things this year, after reading this book and following her recommendations.   Have I posted about the book, Eating on the Wild Side?   I can't recommend it enough to any of you who enjoy food/farming-related non-fiction or those of you who grow food.

And now back to finishing up my own schooling--my final night!  

17 April 2015

moving chickens

It is a sure sign of spring when we move the chickens across the road from our house.  
This year we bought pullets from our friend in Connecticut...but I am also going to try and hatch some chicks, which is something I have never done.  We've had a good broody hen before who hatched many chicks for us...but none of our current hens show much broodiness. :)

We will move their coop down this part of the field, which will eventually be sweet corn (and which was potatoes, leeks and onions last year.

According to Z, the pullet eggs taste great!

25 September 2014


We are raising some meat birds for ourselves and some friends.
Micah can't get enough of them.  It's his favorite spot on the farm right now.  :)

24 May 2013

around the farm

big soap order
onions and corn
puddles and greens
high tunnel
farm dog
chickens and cows

what's going on around your farm, garden or homestead?

08 November 2012


schooling, playing, poetry & tea homeschool gathering

new projects

bushels of apples waiting to be processed

crocks filled up with winter gear

gf apple cinnamon cookies (substituted coconut flour)

apple bread waiting for the oven

chickens growing fast

a few flakes in the air

free rein of the garden

25 April 2012

in the hen house

 Adam went out to the hen-house the other day to find something new there...
 We have a guinea hen in the mix now.

 We're still not quite sure where she came from...
but she seems to be fitting in well.