Thursday, April 27, 2017

Good Ideas - staying hydrated

Many of us keep our hens confined to their run most of the day where they have access to their water fountains.  So staying hydrated isn't an issue.

But when you let your hens out to free range, it's important that they still have access to fresh, cool drinking water.  Especially, in the summer months when it's warm.

I fill up a ceramic bowl with cool water and put it in the shade on the patio for my girls.  If it's really warm, you can even put in ice to keep the water cool.  Put the bowl out where they can easily get to it.  And be sure to dump it out after you put your hens back so you don't attract critters who want to share your hens water.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Good Ideas - egg collecting apron

I've always struggled with how to collect my eggs.  When you have only a few hens, an egg collecting basket is just overkill.  Not to mention, the few eggs I collect roll around inside and sometimes crack bumping into one another.

And yet, I can't carry more than three eggs and still lock up the run properly.  So the dilemma of how to best collect eggs and safely get them into the house was always an issue for me.  Until I discovered the egg collecting apron.

I've seen many different styles out there.  I even saw one that someone had crocheted.  The one I'm wearing is made by Fluffy Layers and has 10 egg pockets which is more than enough for me and my 8 egg laying hens.  I bought it at TSC or you can order them online.

Let's you keep your hands free and still get the eggs back into the house safely.  It's brilliant.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Good Ideas - no waste feeder

I'm going to start a new section to my Blog called Good Ideas.  These will be short posts with things I've discovered that make my life easier.  Ideas that I wish to share with you in the hopes that they make your life easier too.


If your hens are like mine, they love to beak out their feed on the ground.  Which is messy, wasteful, and if your ground gets wet and your feed gets wet, can make your hens sick.  So it's important to keep the feed areas for your hens tidy.

I picked up these large, plastic saucers from my local hardware store and set the feeders inside of the saucer up on a block.  It doesn't prevent them from beaking out their feed, but it does keep it from landing on the ground.

Some of my hens will even eat it out of the saucer.  Or you can easily pour it back into the feeder.

The Screaming Divas

No, your eyes do not deceive you.  I have changed the name of my Blog.  The Spice Girls has served me well for the past 6 1/2 years.  And we had many Spice Girl hens over those years.  But with Coco's passing, we no longer have any Spice Girls left in the flock and I felt it was time to turn over a new name for the ladies.

The Screaming Divas is how I've referred to them lately.  And the name suits them well.

So just a quick note to let you know that you are still in the right place.  I'll spend some time this week and this weekend updating the look and feel of my Blog and I hope you enjoy the changes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fly high sweet Coco

I knew this day would come.  I had expected this day to come a long time ago actually.  But that doesn't ease the sadness and heartache I feel right now.  Easter Sunday, we had to say goodbye to my sweet Coco Bean.  

She was 6 1/2 years old and the last of my original four chickens that started this journey with me.  She made me crazy.  She made me laugh.  And she knew she had me wrapped around her little finger.  She knew her name.  She liked to dig up my rose bushes.  And nothing ever got past that bird.

When I got hens, I read that they liked sunflower seeds and cracked corn.  And I was guilty of feeding way too many of these treats.  And Coco, being an always hungry Jersey Giant, was happy to eat right out of my hands.

I think she was about a year and a half old, maybe two years, when the vet diagnosed her as having fatty liver disease.  I was devastated.  But he gave her SAMe and she rallied.  I cut out all fatty treats and gave my hens fruits, veggies, oats and meal worms as treats.  And in very small quantities too.

And with the change in diet, she did great.  She never shirked her duties as the alpha hen of The Spice Girls.  But I did notice her slowing down this year.  Sunday, she was totally off her game.  She didn't go up to the feeder at all.  And she was waddling like she was suddenly very fat.  When I felt her up, she winced and I knew that wasn't good.

I ran through what could possibly be wrong.  Her liver could have ruptured.  She could have an egg stuck inside of her.  She could be getting fatter because she's not moving around as much.  But regardless of what was wrong with her, I wasn't going to subject her to needles and exams and treatment.  I'd just be prolonging the inevitable.

So we took her to the emergency vet and had her humanly euthanized.  I cried the whole way there and the whole way home with her.  I cried the whole rest of the day and today, two days later, my eyes are still swollen and red.

We buried her in the garden next to her best buddies, Ginger, Honey Bear and Poppy Loo.  I miss her more than all of my other lost birds combined.  Fly high sweet Coco Bean.

Coco was the most adorable baby chick.  And was ALWAY watching me with those black eyes.

She had the most adorable white, fluffy bottom.

Always watching me.

My most favorite photo of Coco.  Standing tall and regal and watching over her domain.  

She wasn't a big fan of hugs and cuddles.  But she tolerated me picking her up from time to time.  Provided I'd tuck her feet up under her.

Always watching Mama.