How to Introduce New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

This morning after I put the tomato incident behind me, The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I introduced all of baby chicks to the older chickens.  Introducing new chickens into your existing flock can be kind of tricky. So I thought I would tell you how we have handled it each spring.

When the chicks are a few weeks old we take them out one by one for introduce them to the older chickens for a minute or two so they can get a good look at them.  When the chicks have reached 8-10 weeks we then set up a sort of “chicken meet and greet.”  This year we attached a 4 foot by 10 chicken run right up against the older chickens yard.  We let the younger chickens play next to the older ones for a few hours each day.

By introducing the younger chicks sort of half-way, it helps to alleviate the older chickens from pecking the younger ones.  By the time we place the younger ones in with the older hens {at about 12 weeks old} the novelty of them has pretty much worn off and they don’t get pecked at nearly as much.  I think going nice and slow is the way to do it if you have the space.

Do you have chickens?  What has your experience with introducing new chickens into you existing flock been?


If you are thinking about raising chickens, Amazon currently has The Joy of Keeping Chickens on sale for $10.17 and it is packed with all sorts of great information.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



How to Keep Chickens Out of Your Garden: Part 2

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Over the weekend I was able to work on Chicken Fort Knox, and I must say I am rather pleased with the results so far.  Not one chicken has escaped.  Not one. Nada.  At this point it’s still looking a bit ghetto with the downed logs at the base of chicken run, but I’m making progress.

Not only did I relocate the chickens away from the house, but I added BIRD NETTING to the top of the chicken run. Holy canolies Batman, why didn’t I think of this before?  It was pure genius I tell you.

Now the only possible way out is via underground tunnel.  Buff the Wayward chicken is beside herself.

On Sunday, my neighbor Mrs. Hillbilly came over to check it out.  She was impressed.  Mrs. Hillbilly even gave me a few unsolicited suggestions on how to make the chicken Shangri-La a little more appealing.  In the end we decided I needed to add some sort of hedge {viburnum perhaps} to the base of the run and a flowering tree or bush to one particular corner.

I love Mrs. Hillbilly, she’s a little bit country, and a little bit rock n’ roll all in one. Plus she likes to barter.  Which is a major plus.

See those eggs?  Mrs. Hillbilly took them home, and left me with a sack of peppermint patties.

She loves me.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Raising Backyard Chickens As Pets

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

It’s been over a month since I have posted photos of the baby chicks we brought home around mid- Februaury so I thought I would give you an update.

My Oh My have they grown!

Big Martha {Barred Plymouth Rock}

2 week assessment: Big Martha is amazingly calm. Nothing seems to bother Big Martha. I think she might be the highest in the pecking order of this bunch. I love her, she’s so friendly and sweet.

7 week assessment:  Big Martha loves The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird and helps with her homework everyday. She has quickly become our “favorite” bird this spring.

Buffy {Buff Orpington}

2 week assessment: Buffy is a total fruitcake. This one is going to be trouble.

7 week assessment: Ditto

Squeakers {Sex-Link}

2 week assessment: Always wants to be held. Until you hold her. Then she wants to be put down. But as soon as you put her down she comes up to your hand and wants to be picked up. Another fruitcake.

7 week assessment: She pecks at anything and everything.  I think she would peck me to death if given the chance.

Peanut {Easter Egger}

2 week assessment: Peanut is a fun bird. Very curious, likes to be held and friendly.

7 week assessment: This is the #2 bird of the bunch.  When she is not dive bombing the other chickens she is rolling around in the dirt.  Goofy, but loveable.

Here is a picture of our second batch of spring chickens at just 1 week old.  They two have grown past the “ugly duckling” stage and are starting to feather out.

Brown Fatty {Partridge Cochin}

2 week assessment: Very shy.

6 week assessment: Still very shy and withdrawn. Until you pick her up, then she wiggles and tries to get away.  The jury is still out on this one.

White Fatty {Cochin}

2 week assessment: Very quite and shy.  She likes to hide in the corner.

6 week assessment:  White Fatty has settled in and now likes to jump around like a crazy and tries to fly.  She has a lot of spunk and she’s a little goofy too.

Baby Fat {Australorp}

2 week assessment:  Just about the most curious bird on the planet.  She is always poking her head out to see what is going on.

6 week assessment:  Baby Fat is still rather curious, but unlike Black Fatty {our older Australorp} she doesn’t like to be held.

I was hoping my neighbor Girly Girl would have her new chicken coop built by now and I’d be able to ship off Buff the Wayward Chicken and Peter the escape artist. However she is still waiting for her husband Chino the Handyman to build her a coop.

Let’s hope it’s soon.

I think I’ll wait about another month or so until the baby chicks have grown a bit before I put them in with the Big Girls.  Keeping chickens as pets is a blast, they all have such different personalities and are {for the most part} very easy going.

Plus you can steal their eggs.

If you’d like to learn more about keeping chickens as backyard pets, Amazon has The Joy of Keeping Chickens on sale for $10.17.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Grow Your Own Food: Mavis Plants Onions In The Garden, Again

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Yesterday it rained, and then it hailed, and then it rained some more. So I stayed inside, read emails* and baked all day instead of working in the garden like I had planned. If Mother Nature does not deliver a roasting hot summer this year to make up for our chilly, rainy, and unpredictable late winter weather, I think Mr. H and I will have to break out the sling shots and start launching rocks towards her home in the sky very, very soon.

I want to get this show on the road. I want to grow food. But first we need some heat.  I am so incredibly ready to get this garden going and to try to grow 2,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables in my backyard.  I’m ready to start waking up at 4am to drink a few cups of tea before heading out to water the garden before the sun rises. I want to hear the birds chirping, and frogs croaking and to get a little dirt under my nails. I want to turn my phone off and just breath. I see a lot of work ahead of me and I’m excited.  Excited to be back doing what I love. Planting a seed and seeing a result. Fruition = Bliss.

But first, I have to secure the homestead.  Buff the Wayward Chicken and friends escaped their chicken run a few days ago and ate all my onion starts.  Luckily they didn’t find the leeks. To say I wasn’t very happy about shelling out $10 for 500 new onion starts would be an understatement.

Not to mention the whole process of replanting 500 onions {I bought a little extra this time to be on the safe side}.  If you have never had to replant anything before because you don’t have chickens, then consider yourself lucky.

Peace Out Girl Scouts,

I’m off to play in the dirt today.

Mavis

*If you left a comment on another site for me and it was deleted, I’m sorry.  I have no control over it and I cannot leave a comment myself as I have been blocked. But thank you for your kind words, even if I did not get a chance to read them myself.

Buy One Get One FREE Crush (Up to $1.59)Go HERE to print a Buy 1 Get 1 Free Coupon for Orange Crush Soda.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Keep Chickens Out of Your Garden: Part 1

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Yesterday, as I opened the garden gate, I could not believe what I saw.

Buff the Wayward Chicken and her band of merry makers  hooligans had escaped.  Not only had they busted out of the more than adequately sized chicken run, they had dug, scratched, and pulled up nearly everything in sight in the lower garden.  Plus, they ate all of the onion starts I had planted a few weeks ago at the base of my raspberries.  All 300 of them.

How nice.

Luckily, I was able to shoo them away before too much damage was done.  Had they of made their way to the upper garden and destroyed by newly planted garden beds, it might have been curtains for all of them.

So what is a suburban backyard farmer to do?

Move the coop.  As far away from the garden as possible.

And that is exactly what The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird and I did as soon as the chickens went to bed.

Last night, after the chickens had made their way into the coop, The Girl locked the door on the Eglu.  Then, in a calculated and stealth like fashion, we jacked the thing up and rolled it {uphill} to its new location.

Siberia.

When the chickens woke up this morning and sauntered out of the coop, they were a wee bit confused. Sure the door to the coop was open, but the pen doors were locked.

Today’s project: Create an escape proof chicken run. 

When I am done securing the new Chicken Fort Knox headquarters, Buff will not be able to escape, and the vegetables will be safe.

All.Summer.Long.

To be continued…

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Grow Your Own Food: Planting Radish & Spinach Seeds

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

With sunny skies and temps in the mid 50′s, Sunday was a perfect day for planing spring crops.  This time around I planted French Breakfast & Crimson Radish seeds as well as Monstrueux de Viroflay Spinach from Botanical Interests Seed Company.

The French Breakfast Radish is a new one for me.  I’ve seen these yummy radishes at the farmers market before but I have never tried them.  According to the package I should expect to be pulling up radishes in about a month.  I can’t wait.

And the spinach… Well let’s just say the Handsome Husband will be excited when the leafy greens are ready to be harvested.  Ever since he bought The Girl a blender for her birthday he has turned into a smoothie freak.  The HH intends to make spinach smoothies {oh yum} as soon as it’s ready to be harvested.

Is it just me?  Is he weird?  Have you tried a spinach smoothie before?

My new garden assistant: Big Martha.

I still have about 45 days until the tomato plants are ready to go into the garden boxes {Mother’s Day is the best time to plant tomatoes in the Seattle area}. So I went ahead and planted both the radish and spinach seeds in my raised garden boxes.  Just to be on the safe side though, I planted the seeds about 6″ from the edges as well as down the center of the garden beds.  Although the radishes are supposed to be ready to harvest in 28 days, the spinach can vary from 28- 50 days.

By planting the seeds near the edge of the garden boxes and down the center, if the radish and spinach are not ready to harvest by the time the tomatoes need to go into the ground, everything will be fine.  There will still be plenty of room for my tomato starts.

Planning ahead is key when you are dealing with a limited amount of growing space.  There is nothing worse than planting to much of one item and running out of room for the next.  Tomatoes, potatoes and squash are my first priorities this year.  But with a little planning, I think I’ll be able to fit everything in I want to grow.

Ye–Haw!  Now we’re farming!

Did you get a chance to work in the garden last weekend?
What’s on your to-do list?

 

Botanical Interests Heirloom Seeds

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Pictures of Baby Chicks

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

I thought I would update you on the baby chicks we brought home 2 weeks ago and give you some insight to their evolving personalities.

Big Martha {Barred Plymouth Rock} is amazingly calm.  Nothing seems to bother Big Martha.  I think she might be the highest in the pecking order of this bunch.  I love her, she’s so friendly and sweet.

Buffy {Buff Orpington} is a total fruitcake.  This one is going to be trouble.

Squeakers {Sex-Link} wants to be held.  Until you hold her.  Then she wants to be put down.  But as soon as you put her down she comes up to your hand and wants to be picked up.  Another fruitcake.

Peanut {Easter Egger} is a fun bird.  Very curious, likes to be held and friendly.

Guess what?  We bought more chickens!!!

I’d like to introduce

Brown Fatty {Partridge Cochin}

White Fatty  {Cochin}

Baby Fat {Australorp}

So far all 3 of these babies are wonderful. No complaints.  They are all just tiny puff balls of love.

Since we brought home so many baby chicks from the Feed Store I had to cancel my order with mypetchicken.  The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird was a little disappointed she won’t be receiving her Silver Sebright Bantam, but  I told her we could order one next year and she seemed fine with it.

And… Get this… My neighbor Girly Girl is getting chickens too.  Apparently they are all the rage and she wants 4 of them.  She does not want baby chicks though. She is afraid her cat will eat them so she has decided to get pullets instead.

Upon hearing this I quickly offered her 2 of our birds.  Buff the Wayward Chicken and Peter the escape artist.  Because I am totally brilliant {and because she does not read this blog} I left out the adjectives when describing my offer of free birds to her.  I was rather smart and pointed out Buff laid brown eggs and Peter laid gorgeous pale green ones as she does not want any birds which lay white eggs.

Hot diggety… I get to unload some unruly chickens as soon as her husband builds a coop!

Life is good.

Good Neighbors: The Complete Series 1-3

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Peep Show: See Hot Chicks

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Yesterday I went to the feed store to buy a bag of chicken feed.

BIG MISTAKE.

While I was there I noticed the feed store had just received a shipment of baby chicks.  I walked around aimlessly for about 20 minutes trying to decided if I should bring a few home.

THEY WERE SO CUTE.

And I didn’t want to leave them there all alone.  What if someone creepy bought them? Or worse yet someone who just wanted to steal their eggs, chop off their heads and make chicken soup out of them? These were babies… Pet chickens.  Chicken you eat comes from the store right?  Not the PET {okay feed} STORE.

So after grilling the cashier as to the sex of the chicks over and over again I ended up going home with a bag of feed.  And a 75 gallon stock tank. No chicks.  Yet.

But…

As soon the The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird and Monkey Boy were finished with school we raced back to the feed store.

This is Squeakers {looking very tired}.  Squeakers got her name because she squeaked all the way home from the store.  She is a Sex-Link chicken and the smallest in our new flock.

This is Buffy.  She is a Buff Orpington.

Big Martha.  After little Martha ditched us last fall we decided we needed a replacement for her.  Only this time we bought the full sized Barred Plymouth RockNo more bantams.

The Girl named this cutie Peanut.  Peanut is an Easter Egger.  I’m hoping for pink or blue eggs from this little chick.  We’ll see.

Aren’t they sooooo cute?

Will YOU be getting baby chicks this year?  If so will you raise them as pets or are you planning to eat them?

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Goes to The Feed Store…

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

This morning I went to the feed store.  My original plan was to walk in, buy a 50lb bag of Organic Pride Feed and go home.  But in order to get to the feed display I had to walk by the seed rack first.

Crap.  I seriously need to invest in a pair of blinders.  What is it about the seed rack?  Why do I feel the need to stop and look.  Do I really think I am going to find a packet of seeds I don’t already have?

Well apparently so. I had actually been on the hunt for a packet or two of Patty Pan squash.  But what I didn’t know I needed {until I found it of course} was Watermelon Radish, Peanut Pumpkin and Blackeyed Peas.  I have grown watermelon radishes in the past but never peanut pumpkins or black eyed peas. I figure if I don’t like the black eyed peas I can always give them to the Hillbillys.  I know for a fact they love them.

Another splurge, was a Flock Block for Black Fatty and crew.  Do you have chickens?  Have you ever bought one?  Let me tell you, the Flock Block was not cheap. $11.99 to be exact.  It sure does smell good though. The Flock Block is filled with chicken yummies like cracked corn, whole wheat, barley, oyster shell, sunflower seeds and are you ready for this… Cane Molasses.

Now the only question is, how long will it last?

 

Chickens: Tending A Small-Scale Flock For Pleasure And Profit

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Do Chickens Get Depressed?

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

 

There has been snow on the ground for the last 4 days.  Today will be the third day we have not left the house.  It is an absolute miracle we have not lost power yet because the road we live on has lost power every single time it has snowed in the past.  When the powdery white flakes started falling we took bets on how long it would be until the lights went out.  We set out lanterns and filled glass jars with candles and placed all the flash lights in a central location.

And so far… Nothing.  Don’t get me wrong.  We are THRILLED the power has not gone out… But it’s also a littler unnerving as well.

As we sit all warm and cozy inside, the chickens are outside.  Cold. Unhappy. Bored.  On Wednesday when 6 inches of snow fell on the  ground the chickens refused to come out of the coop.  Can you blame them?  The Girl brought her hens a large box full of leftover rice, bread crumbs and a few spinach leaves and placed it in the coop.  She also brought the tea kettle and filled an old pie tin full of water in case they were thirsty.

On the second day the birds finally ventured outside but spent the entire day huddled under the large cypress tree that’s adjacent to their coop.  The Girl asked to bring them inside.  I said no.

And today… Well it’s a little after 9am and they haven’t made their way out of the coop yet.  I think they are depressed.  Poor things.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel