Raising Chickens – Is My Chicken a Rooster?

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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!

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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.

Lisa Turned an Old Dog House into a New Chicken Coop

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chicken coop ideas

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 get some cool ideas to use in our own homes and gardens.

old dog house

Check out these photos Lisa sent in of an old dog house she found on Craig’s List.

chicksHer baby chicks needed a home so she got right to work creating a new abode for them.

red chicken coop

Lisa used a scrap piece of OSB from Home Depot for $0.50 to make a new front door for the coop. She also added a roosting bar and a nesting box to complete the coop.

chicken coop ideas

Then she built a run to enclose the entire coop for predator-proofing.

Pretty Awesome if you ask me! Way to go Lisa. Thanks for sharing your photos. :)

~Mavis

 cool-chicken-coop-designsGorgeous Chicken Coop From Laramie, Wyoming

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.

The Baby Chickens Have Arrived!

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dogs and chickens

Over the weekend The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I headed to the feed store and picked up 8 day old baby chicks for fall. When we brought them home Lucy flipped out!

She LOVES chickens, and especially baby chicks. When brought baby chicks home earlier this spring she sat outside of their little chicken yard every chance she got and watched them for hours. It was the sweetest thing ever, so you can imagine how excited she was to see the new flock.

mottled java baby chicken

Mottled Java #1

We picked up 8 chicks. 4 for us and 4 for Girly Girl’s kiddos. We haven’t named them yet because we are still waiting for her kids to choose which ones they want.

mottled java

Mottled Java #2

Girly Girl has a larger dog, 2 cats and a toddler so she is afraid to raise baby chicks. We told her we’d be happy to raise her chicks until they are about 8-10 weeks old and then bring them up to their enclosed chicken run/coop for her kids.

araucana chick

Araucana #1

Once her kids choose the ones they want, we’ll name ours. I’m pretty sure she’s not going to pick the Buff Orpington though. ;) Not after the whole Buff the chicken fiasco last year.

araucana chick

Araucana #2

The Girl wants to keep this one and name it chippy. She says it looks like a chipmunk.

Buff Orpington chick

Buff Orpington

Can you see Lucy in the background? Oh my word, I think she would sleep with those chicks if we would let her.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chick

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte #1

These blue laced red wyandotte chicks are going to be beautiful. We have a lot of black chickens right now so it will be nice to add some color to our flock.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte baby chicken

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte #2

These were day old chicks so we only snapped a few photos because we didn’t want to handle them too much on the first day. I’ll take some better photos next week so you can get a closer look.

cuckoo maran chick

Cuckoo Maran

Cuckoo Marans are one of my favorite birds. All of the cuckoo’s we’ve had have been very sweet. {And quite}.

baby chicks in a box

How about you? Do you plan on getting chicks this fall, or will you wait until Spring?

~Mavis

keeping chickens ashley english book

Thinking about getting some chickens? Check out Keeping Chickens by Ashley English. It’s got everything you need to know about how to care for a happy healthy flock.

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 Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs

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How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs
I have the most amazing readers, and sometimes someone sends in a question that I think, “Hey, I bet lots of people would love to chime in on this.”  So, I am going to try to feature some of your questions and answer them, the best I can.
Question One:  ”I have a couple question that I would like your opinion on – and hopefully your readers will chime in on.  What do you do with your just-gathered eggs?  Leave on the counter?  Refrigerate immediately?  Wash or not wash?  Personally I don’t wash mine, and most of the time I store them in the refrigerator unless I’m going to use them right away.”
How to Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs
I personally don’t wash mine either.  I use a 3M scrub sponge to scrape off anything if it is dirty and then I refrigerate them.  I have heard you don’t have to refrigerate them, and in Europe, they rarely refrigerate their eggs–with no ill side-effects.  I think it is a personal preference.   A lot of bakers swear that room temperature eggs yield better results, so if that matters to you, you may want to take it into consideration.  Of course, I feel obligated to let you know, the FDA recommends immediate refrigeration.
Question Two:  ”My girls are laying in a really clean area/box and the eggs are clean.  It’s all new to me, so seriously I’m out getting eggs right after they are laid.  :) I put them in an egg carton without washing – but rinse in warm water before breaking them open.
What do you do?  I’m curious about what others do.
Thanks!
Susan”

broody-chicken

I don’t collect my eggs immediately.  I check them usually once a day.  Even on hot days, I have never had an issue with the eggs sitting.  As I mentioned above, I don’t wash my eggs–at all, unless for some reason they are really dirt.  I usually just buff the egg with sponge.  In the event that I have to wash an egg, I use warm running water {I don’t soak the egg}.  If I do have to wash the egg, I try to eat it first, because the protective “bloom” that comes on the egg has been washed off.  

I hope that helps, and I would also LOVE to know what the readers think.  How do you collect, clean and store your eggs?

~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.

New FDA Guidelines on Free Range Chickens

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New FDA Guidelines on Free Range Chickens

So I stumbled onto this NPR article last week about the new FDA guidelines on organic and free range egg farms.  In a nutshell {or eggshell, rather}, the FDA wants free range and organic farmers to limit their chicken’s outdoor time in order to avoid salmonella.  Because free-ranging chickens encounter more wild animal feces than the caged variety, the FDA wants farmers to limit their outdoor access when birds are migrating, to build fences that keeps out cats and other animals, and set traps/bait to control mice and voles.

Some farmers feel that the guidelines defeat the whole purpose of free-range chickens and argue that a hen in its natural environment is less likely to get sick anyway.  Larger farms, like Organic Valley say that it’s just a guideline and not really enforceable yet.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been so glad to have my own flock.  I’ve never really worried about them pecking and foraging, and I have NEVER had any issue with salmonella.  I guess I have always taken the healthy, happy chicken = healthy egg approach.

The article has got me thinking about mass food production–and you know what that means?  I have to share it with you.  Do you think their should be guidelines?  Have you ever gotten salmonella from your flock–or even worried about it for that matter?

~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.

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