Sunday, April 26, 2015

Something new here!

The Chicken Chronicles~

This all started about five years ago. This yearning for my own chickens. A friend of mine had her own and sent fresh eggs my way every so often. That is kind of where it started. Every time I cracked a grocery store egg the runny white made me cringe. So I found a lady who sold her fresh eggs. Then she moved away. After a while I found someone else. It was self serve and I had to make sure I had the correct change and sometimes for convenience sake I would pick up a dozen in the store only to regret it.
I found many blogs where the ladies had their made the yearning so strong. I still put it off. Where would I keep them. I am too busy. What about the cats? Would we be able to go away? I had lots of reservations. Then when my last birthday came around I thought if not now? When?
I found two blogs I loved. My sister in Texas has chickens and she prodded me on. She even told me about these two blogs. One is Fresh Eggs Daily. My sister sent me her book, Fresh Eggs Daily, by Lisa Steele, which I have read cover to cover and back again. You can order it from her blog. The other blog pushed me over the edge it is Deborah Jean's Dandelion House. I loved her Chicken Coop. Love, love, LOVED it. so much so I started pinning her coop on Pinterest. Deb probably felt like I was stalking her. I copied and printed out every picture I could find. Her blog, her Pinterest, I loved her style. It is down home fresh, warm and friendly.
Fresh Eggs Daily had great beginners directions. I started to shop. I got the boxes I needed to make a brooder box. 2 plastic tubs, 1x1 wire, heat light. Chic feeder and water container, pine shavings, starter feed, thermometer. I got everything all set. or so I thought. Now I only plan to have 3-5 chickens. Enough for my own use and enjoyment.
Deb from Deborah Jeans Dandelion House was so helpful. She sent me measurements and details on her own coop. You know, the coop I am lusting over!!  Hubby spent the afternoon at Lowes and I went to Home Depot for the stain for the outside. Hubby started to build my sweet coop. Many, many questions. Thank goodness for the internet.
While then I go to the farm supply for my I didn't order them, the girl said there was always plenty of extra. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE ARE NONE??? Ok I didn't want to, but I went to 3 local Tractor Supply Stores. The had a few chicks all one kind and you have to buy six! Ok I don't want six of the same chickens for my little backyard brood. I looked into ordering, but 15 minimum? I don't think so. :(
I was feeling so discouraged I had it all ready to go and NO CHICKS!!! By chance I check a small local place P&P Pet food Shoppe. I met the nicest girl with chickens of her own. She is a Herbal Specialist! Could it get any better?  Sure they have chicks. Sure I can take four of them!

They are about 4 weeks old. Much sturdier then the 3 day old ones. I am surprised by how quickly the respond to my voice. I love the sweet chirps. First I had them in the dining room which is open to the kitchen. Oh no, I have an appointment, so out go the cats. They are looking at me like "what the heck?"I usually get them in before I leave and here I am pushing them out. I need a better plan. The basement? Kind of cool down there and the litter box is down there. So my guest room becomes home. It is small enough the heat lamps warm it right up. Most of all the door latches so the cats can't get in during the night and while I am gone. Phew! My Hobo cat come in with me and peeks up at the chicks. He jumped up and lay down beside the brooder box for a while. Then hopped down and hurried off downstairs. My other kitty displays no interest at all. Not that I would leave them alone with each other.
 So we now have four babies. Two Barred Rock and two Black  Australorp.
 I can't believe how much they have grown in just 5 days.

 This is my daredevil. She flies right to the edge when I pull the cover off. She likes to be held and she will push the others out of her way.
 So Lisa Steel has great advice on giving the chicks natural and herbal supplements. I have ordered a couple other things she recommends, but today they had some oatmeal and garlic powder and oregano. I mixed it up with some starter meal. It is the third day I have made it for them. They run for the dish. Chirping away and I see four cute butts in the air. That is until the daredevil plants herself in the middle of the dish and takes over.

 Here is the start of my coop. If you look at Deb's you will see where I am coming from.

I have the best Hubby. Really. His work is crazy and stressful and he came home and spent the weekend helping our son and then here building a coop for my chickens. Even after 42 years I feel so lucky.

Here is Miss Daredevil right in the middle of the dish.
Stay tuned for more Chicken Chronicles! To be continued~

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring in the Potting Shed

My little Potting Shed is where I make my messes....plant my plants, keep my pots, soil and fertilizers. It gets all the yard things stuffed into it in the winter and then came Spring...the big clean out. I only have about half of the 10x16 space. When we first ordered it the shed was to be all mine. Then hubby bought a Austin Healy and the tractor and mower got moved into my shed. So I have less space. I wanted to make the best of it. It is a working shed and gets messy at times as you will see in the before. I have prettied it up a bit. I saw another blog that had a similar window treatment and the light went off in my head.

Here is the before~ I needed to hide some of the unsightly's, but needed easy access. So in the cupboard they go. Some of the stuff is going away as I try to become more organic, but it is a bit like going on a diet...I can't quit cold turkey. I got some seeds started this weekend. This is the first few nice days here. The last of the snow left my yard last Thursday. It has been colder than usual. 

...........and the after. Now maybe I have some ideas for the pool house which is a similar shed.  Hmmm.