Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fruit Ice Pops

We're going through a heat wave right now and I want to do everything I can to make the chickens comfortable. Short of running fans because there is no electricity out there. I've been adding ice and electrolytes to their water.

I found this idea on Fresh Eggs Daily . I made fruit ice pops for the girls with mint, strawberries, blueberries and watermelon.

Ruby and Sprinkles were the first to check it out.

Then everyone kind of ignored it.

Ruby came back to check it out, finally drank some of the water melting off the cubes.

Sprinkles wants to know where the good stuff is.

When I went back a few hours later, the plate was empty. Sometimes chickens aren't too sure about new foods and act like you're trying to poison them. They'll get the hang of it!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jam Session and Chicken Update

I went to the local strawberry farm and bought two buckets and one quart of strawberries. Each one is approximately 4 quarts. I ended up not using the second bucket after finding a few really bad ones in there...

I made 5 pints of strawberry lemonade concentrate, 10 half pints of strawberry rhubarb jam, 6 half pints of blueberry rhubarb jam, 3 half pints of strawberry vanilla jam, and 2 half pints of rhubarb sauce.

Chicken Update:

It's hard to believe the new girls have only been here for a week. Last night was the first night that Sutton wasn't put in a cage to sleep in. The others kept pecking at her, knocking her off the roost, etc. I was afraid of her getting cornered in the coop and getting hurt. However, last night, she actually knocked Sprinkles (same age as her, but Sprinkles is bigger) off the perch and fought for her spot. She came out this morning chirping, yay!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Garden - June

I added 5 bags of cocoa shell mulch to the vegetable plot. Smells great and can be tilled into the garden at the end of the season.

Trying to determine if this is powdery mildew starting on my zucchini.
And yes, I need to weed.

Pole beans are coming up in the 3 Sisters plot. I am going to have to get stakes though because corn didn't come up in some of the hills. I am considering getting a few more bags of cocoa mulch and doing this bed too. 

New Additions!

On Friday, I received a call from the woman I get my chickens from. She needed to find a home for one of her girls. She had a pen that was attacked by a dog and had spent around $100 to save this chicken's life. This chicken had just had stitches taken out and needed to go back outside. Here's the kicker... she was given a very strong antibiotic (Baytril)* and now her eggs cannot be eaten. Ever. My friend sells eggs, so that would not work. This chicken lays white eggs, all of mine will lay brown. So, I drove over and picked up that chicken and another.

This is Thea - She is a 2 1/2 year old Appenzeller. She is missing tail and back feathers from the dog attack, but they will grow back.

In the first pic, that is Ruby behind her. Ruby is only one year old and quite a bit bigger than Thea. However, Thea has experience on her side and stands up to Queen Ruby. She stares her and Sprinkles down, it's the funniest thing. She can nearly flatten her crest/bonnet and I think it freaks the others out.

And this is Sutton. She is a 13 week old Speckled Sussex. She is the same age as Sprinkles, the Barred Rock, but quite a bit smaller. Sutton gets chased quite a bit and hangs out in the coop most of the day. I lock her in a crate overnight in the coop because I don't want her to get cornered and attacked. Hopefully I won't have to do that much longer. She's very sweet!

Sprinkles, Thea, Ruby

Ruby, Sprinkles, Thea, Sutton

* Some people say that there is a withdrawal period for Baytril. However, it is banned in the US for meat and egg production birds because it's possible that it may cause resistance to human antibiotics. I cannot take that risk for myself or my family. She has not laid since the attack. If she does start laying again, her eggs will be discarded.
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