Little Boy with Autism Fights for His Right to Keep Chickens

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

chicken chickens

Thanks to One Hundred Dollars a Month reader, Karen, for sending me this article featured on the Huffington Post earlier this month.  The article describes the plight of one family to keep their backyard chickens, which they originally acquired when their autistic son’s pediatrician recommended they get a pet to help with social skills.

How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs

The boy, J.J. didn’t respond to their family dog, so the family turned to chickens.  J.J. responded well to the chickens, and the family enjoyed teaching him about the animals, eggs, etc.  Then, the DeBary, Florida city council voted that they would not extend the backyard chicken permits, and J.J. and his family faced losing their pets.

The family fought to get the city council to reconsider the proposal, but the decision stood, and they were told they would need to get rid of their chickens by December 31st, 2013.  The family continued to fight–this time with a lawyer, media, and facebook.  I wanted to know how the whole debacle turned out, so I clicked over the family’s facebook page.  Turns out, they were granted a special permit allowing J.J. to keep his chickens.

Don’t you just love it when stories have happy endings?  How about you, do you have chickens?  Would you fight to be able to keep them, if your city decided not to allow them anymore?

~Mavis

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.



Help! My Chicken Has a Sprained Ankle

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

mottled java

First of all, do chickens have ankles?

Friday night when The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird was locking the chickens up in the coop, she noticed Java the Hut’s leg was caught in one of the nesting grates inside our coop. Not only she flopped over on her side but her leg swollen and sticking straight out and she was unable to stand. Her head was a little bloodied and swollen from being pecked at as well. POOR JAVA!!

{Chickens will peck at another bird that is in it’s way or hurt {kind of like kicking someone when they are down}, yes it’s cruel, but that’s what they do.}

chicken head feathers pecked mottled java

So The Girl brought Java inside and cleaned her up the best she could with some warm water. Can you see her missing head feathers? :(

mottled java chicken pullet

We placed some pine shavings in a bin and added some food and water in case she was hungry and then kept her overnight in our bathroom with the light on {it’s the warmest spot in the house, plus it made the HH totally crazy}. These pictures were taken on Saturday afternoon after Java had perked up quite a bit.

broken chicken leg sprained ankle

When The Girl first found her, her right leg was about twice the size as it is in the above photo. She could not straighten her leg nor stand and we didn’t think she was going to make it.

But yesterday, the swelling went down but she is still unable to walk yet.

I don’t think her leg is broken, just swollen and sprained.

Do you have chickens? Has this ever happened? How long does it take for a chicken’s leg to heal?

And most importantly, the Handsome Husband wants to know when the chicken will be able to move out of our bathroom.

Anyone know?

~Mavis

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.

Caring for Chickens in the Winter

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

Caring for Your Chickens in the Winter

Now that it is getting colder outside, it’s time to change the way I take care of the backyard ladies.

Some of my chickens are a little more cold-tolerant than others, but since they all provide me eggs and hours of entertainment, I like to make sure they are comfortable.

How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs

As the days grow shorter, you can expect egg production to drop way off.

Chickens need 12-14 hours of light each day to be on top of their egg-laying game.  If you want them to lay steadily through the winter, you’ll need to add light.  You can combine the light with a heat lamp function and kill two birds with one stone {it feels wrong to use that phrase in light of the topic, but you get what I mean}.  You can also put the light on a timer, so you won’t waste electricity if you forget to go turn it off.

omlet eglu

November is a good time to make sure that your coop is free from drafts too.  Your chickens basically have a premium down coat on, but wind can chill them to the bone.  Don’t confuse a coop with drafts with an airtight coop, though.  The heat from multiple roosting chickens and steamy chicken manure can create humidity, which needs some level of ventilation.  So, free from drafts, but still provide ventilation.  Got it?

Chickens need plenty of fresh water to survive the cold winter {and continue laying}, so unless you want to schlep out to the coop several times a day, I recommend a heated waterer.

how to trap racoons

If you live in an area where predators are a concern, winter is the worst.  Predators are hungry, cold, and see your little chickens as an easy meal, so sure up the perimeter of your coop, making it harder for the critters to get in and nab your birds. A live animal trap might not be a bad idea either.

pine shavings chicken bedding

As for daily maintenance, changing bedding or laying out fresh bedding more regularly is essential.  I like to use natural pine shavings.

Their bedding can harbor moisture, which can lead to frostbite.  Frostbitten feet is a really good way to lose a chicken pretty fast.  In general, checking on your chickens a little more regularly, to ensure that they aren’t wet, cold, sick, etc. will guide you on how often you need to change bedding.

flock block

Also, if your ground is truly frozen solid, it may be a good idea to lay out some scratch grains or a flock block periodically.  They will not be able to scratch as easily as they can when the ground is frozen solid, so the scratch grains will not only provide a little additional nutrients, but also satisfy their primal need to scratch.  Happy chickens = more eggs.

I think that about covers it.  Did I miss anything?

~Mavis

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.

Adding Chickens into Your Existing Flock

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

Adding Chickens into Your Existing Flock

Our baby chicks turned 8 weeks old recently and since the weather is starting to get a little cooler and the daylight hours shorter, we decided it was time to introduce the new chickens into our existing flock.

Adding New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

I’ve had people tell me introducing new chickens into your existing flock can be a difficult task, but in the four years that we’ve been raising chickens I’ve never really had any problems beyond the occasional chicken getting a little roughed up to establish the pecking order. And by roughed up I mean getting chased around the chicken yard or getting pecked a few times by an older bird.

In years past we have placed the younger chickens {anywhere from 8-12 weeks} in a fenced off area alongside the chicken run for a few days so the birds could get acquainted. But this time around, keeping the 8 week old chicks separated only last about an hour. We had decided to set the chicks outside in the late afternoon once the older birds had been fed and were pretty much worn out from walking around the chicken run all day.

Adding Chickens into Your Existing Flock

Well, before we knew it, Black Fatty had flown into the baby chicks fenced area and made herself at home.

You can tell by Mario’s expression he was thrilled. ;)

Adding New Chickens into Your Existing Flock

Once Black Fatty was in there for awhile, the chicks starting flying out of the fenced area one by one to explore their surroundings.

feeding chickens chicken scratch

And before we knew it, they were all walking around pretty peacefully together.

Yes, there was the occasional older bird chasing the younger bird, but that’s normal. I think as long as there isn’t any serious damage going on, the pecking order usually works itself out pretty quick.

omlet eglu cube chicken coop

When dusk came and all the older chickens were settled in the coop for the night, we picked up the baby chicks in groups of two and placed them in the warm nesting boxes inside the coop.

Once they were all in, Black Fatty nestled in right next to them and when we opened the doors the next morning, she was still there with them. :)

Now that’s what I call an easy transition.

Do you have chickens?

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

~Mavis


And if you are looking for a great chicken book, check out Homemade Living: Keeping Chickens with Ashley English I think it’s pretty awesome.

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 Chickens – Is My Chicken a Rooster?

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

cuckoo maran chicken rooster

Okay, so we know Mario, our Cuckoo Maran chicken is totally a roo. He’s a chunky little monkey, has big feet and a bright red wattle and comb. And he’s feisty! ;)

Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

But now I am beginning to doubt my suspicions about one of our  Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. At first I thought the grey one was a roo, but now I’m not so sure.

Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

Yes the comb and wattle are larger and the feather colors are different, BUT the grey one is not at all feisty and has the same sized legs as Snow White {our other Blue Laced Red Wyandotte}. Maybe it’s just the thought of having to get rid of two roos that is making me question this chickens gender,  but I really, really don’t want to have to get rid of Prime Charming. He/she is such a sweet bird.

Araucana chicks

Luckily we know our Araucana chicks, Anne Hathaway and Chippy, are girls for sure. They are both so quite and love to be held. Did I mention they’re a little on the shy side too?

mottled java

Our Mottled Java’s are another story. One of them {Espresso} is a handful. She bolts every time I let her roam free. She’ll be going to Girly Girls house. ;) And Jabba the Hut, our other mottled java chick, has turned out to be a total love bug.

mottle java chick

As soon as she sees me or The Girl, she runs to the side of the chicken run and patiently waits to be picked up. She’s also quite fond of sitting on my shoulder.
buff orpington chick

And then last but not least, there is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, our Buff Orpington. Another total love bug. We will be keeping her too.

dogs and chickens puggle

Raising backyard chickens as pets {so you can steal their eggs} is cool, but when it comes time to give away to roos, it’s hard. Especially if they are nice ones. ;(

What do you think? Is our grey blue laced red wyandotte is a roo, or a hen?

~Mavis

how-to-care-for-baby-chicks1

If you are thinking about getting chicks next spring be sure and check out my How to Care for Baby Chicks tutorial for some helpful tips.

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.

Mercedes Benz Chicken Commercial

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

First it was Neiman Marcus selling designer chickens coops for $100,000 and Williams-Sonoma’s handcrafted Stoneware Chicken Waterers for $69.99.

Now, Mercedes Benz is using chickens to promote stability control in their cars.

What’s next?

Chicken day care centers popping up everywhere complete with arts and crafts?

~Mavis

*My favorite part is a :28 seconds. ;)

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 Chickens – Baby Chick Update. I’m Pretty Sure We Have a Rooster

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

barred rock chick chicken rooster

I snapped a few photos of our baby chicks yesterday and I’m pretty certain our Cuckoo Maran Mario is a rooster. Not only is he bigger than all the other chicks {including our Buff Orpington, Buffy the Vampire Slayer} but he’s just got that “I’m a tough bird, don’t mess with me” look in his eyes. Wouldn’t you agree?

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chicken chicks

The jury is still out on our pair of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes though. I think the one on the right is a roo, but I’m still not sure. The the comb is larger and the feathers are a different color so I think she, might be a he. :(

Mottled Java chicken chicks

Our Mottled Java chicks have calmed down quite a bit. The one on the right is about twice the size as the other. Let’s just hope she’s just big for her age and not another roo.

Araucana chicken chick

Our Araucana chicks, Anne Hathaway and Chippy are lovely, sweet little girls.

easter egger chicken

I also snapped a few pictures of some of our other birds. This is Peanut. She is awesome. She always runs up to me when I open the gate.

silver laced wyandotte

Picasso the Silver Laced Wyandotte is super friendly too.

barred rock chicken

But not Awkward Martha our Barred Rock chicken. She’s still…. awkward.blue cochin chickensOur Blue Cochin chickens look like they are all dressed up for a party.

chickens and dogs

And then there is Lucy the puggle dog. She thinks she is a chicken too. Poor thing. Maybe one day the chickens will accept her into their club. :)

Do YOU have chickens? How are they doing?

Mavis wants to know.

If you are thinking about getting a flock of your own baby chicks be sure and read my How to Care for Baby Chicks post. It’s full of everything you need to know to get started.

And if you are looking for a great chicken book, check out Homemade Living: Keeping Chickens with Ashley English. I think it’s pretty awesome.

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 Mail – Cool Chicken Coop Photos

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

cool chicken coop photos

Shelly from Washington writes:

I love your blog and as a fellow Washingtonian I wanted to share my coop with you! This is my first year with chickens and I am totally hooked. After about a year of fiddling with the idea of getting chickens I found a coop on craigslist that I loved, for $100! It was such a great deal so with some help I convinced my husband it would be a good idea to get chickens and we picked up the coop that weekend.

chickens and children

We have six hens that are all one year old. Jo and Jack are our Ameraucanas and Meg and Beth are Buff Orpingtons. Jo, Jack, Meg and Beth lived together for a year before we got them and all get along well with each other so when Elinor and Fanny joined the flock they were shown their place at the bottom of the pecking order. It took a few weeks of adjusting, but they are all getting along now. Elinor and Fanny are our Black Stars and lay the most beautiful extra-large brown eggs almost every day.  

blue chicken coop

We have a pen for the girls so they can come and go from their coop as they please without getting into too much trouble, but the coop is safe when it’s closed up and large enough that they aren’t crammed in there when the coop is locked. Our coop can hold up to 30 hens, and I’m sure the day is quickly coming when we max it out. 

roosting rods chickens

The roosting rods are set over an open floor to minimize cleanup needed, and make easier collection for the compost bin. For the first month or so the chickens huddled in the corner every night and refused to use the roosting rods, even when I would place them on the rods the ladies would jump down.

When Elinor and Fanny joined the flock and immediately started sleeping on the rods, everyone else joined in and started sleeping on the roosting rods as well. The nest boxes on the side of the coop are at perfect collection height for the kids, and my oldest son loves to collect and count the eggs. Thanks for letting me share!

~ Shelby

And yes, I laid sod in my chicken coop, because what fun is it to have chickens if you don’t spoil them once in a while? ;) See more of Shelby’s cool ideas HERE.

nesting boxes

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all glean some ideas from each other.

~Mavis

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

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 Can I Tell If My Chick is a Rooster?

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

How Can I Tell If My Baby Chick is a Rooster

Never again will I buy baby chicks from Wilco.

how to tell if my chicken is a rooster

Don’t get me wrong, I like shopping at Wilco for feed and supplies, but this is the second time in 12 months I have purchased chicks from Wilco and both times I’ve gotten at least 1 rooster.

How Can I Tell If My Baby Chick is a Rooster

Remember poor Pablo? It was so sad to see him go. He was gorgeous show bird, not to mention a lovely pet. But we had to give him away because he was a roo. :( Now it looks like we have 2 more we’ll have to find homes for now.

Our Cuckoo Maran Mario {top photo} has all the characteristics of being a rooster. He’s big, has a large comb and his glaring red wattles are starting to form. That my friends is how you can tell if your sweet, adorable 2 week old chick is going to turn out to be a rooster.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte

Snow White, our Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, will now have a Prince Charming. Yep, that’s what we are calling the little man bird in the second photo.

mottled java

Luckily there has been no drama with our Mottled Java chicks.

mottled java chick

We thought Espresso would have made a break for the border by now, but apparently she want’s to stay.

Araucana chick

We decided to name one of our Araucana chicks, Anne Hathaway. Partly because she has Glam eyes and because the Handsome Husband is totally in love with her {Anne, the person, not the chicken} and I thought it would be fun to tease him.

buff orpington

A few of you thought Buffy the Vanpire Slayer {our Buff Orpington} might be a roo too. But I don’t think so. I think we’re safe.

Araucana chicken

And Chippy, our other Araucana is just lovely.

dogs and chickens

Her and Lucy the puggle dog are already Bff’s.

dogs like chickensLucy checks the brooder every time we go outside and when we take the chicks out, she likes to go up to Chippy and give her a sweet little kiss. It’s the cutest thing ever.

Chickens and dogs, who knew they could be best friends?

Life is good.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to call Chino the Handyman and see if his friend wants 2 more roosters.

~Mavis

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.

Free Peep Show – See Hot Chicks!

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

baby chicks

Ha ha ha! ;)

Last night the Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I locked Lucy the Puggle Dog in the house and brought the baby chicks on to the lawn to snap some pictures. Poor Lucy, she was hopping up and down trying to get our attention the entire time. ;)

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte #1

This is the first time we have not kept baby chicks in the house or the garage. Instead, this time around we set the chicks up in a stock tank and clipped a heating lamp to a wire rack and then weighted the top down so any wildlife couldn’t get to them.

So far so good, they are thriving, and the HH is happy they are outside.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chickens

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte #2

I’m not sure if there is a mean girls club beginning to form but 6 of the chicks like to hang out together while the other 2 seem to stay at the opposite end of the brooder.

Araucana chick

Araucana #1

I think we have another glamour girl on our hands. Aren’t her eyes pretty?

Araucana chicksAraucana #2

We originally names this one chippy because she had the coloring of a chipmunk. But we may have to switch her name to possum because if you pick her up {or set her down} all the sudden she gets real stiff and just hunkers down and won’t move. It’s odd.

Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington

I just noticed little ridges on the top of this chicks comb. It better not be a rooster.

Cuckoo Maran

Cuckoo Maran

I LOVE the coloring on this cuckoo maran!!! She looks like a little penguin.

Mottled Java chick

Mottled Java #1

The Girl calls this on Jabba the Hut.

Mottled Java chicks

Mottled Java #2

And this one, espresso.

Mottled Java

Why? Because as soon as we set her down on the grass she took off running. It took up over 10 minutes to catch her. What a little stinker! I can tell already this baby chick is going to be a little trouble maker.

Mottled Java chick

But man is she cute.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE baby chicks! I think I might like them more than I like eggs. ;)

~Mavis

P.S. We are still in the process of naming the chicks. {4 are ours and 4 will go to Girly Girls kids once they get a little bigger}. So if you have any suggestions for names, I’d love to hear them.

how-to-care-for-baby-chicks1

If you are thinking about getting chicks this fall {or next spring} be sure and check out my How to Care for Baby Chicks tutorial for some helpful tips.

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