I may live in the city, but my heart is in the country.
This blog is about my day-to-day adventures with my chickens and my family.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Coop Upgrade

Almost every week, I do something new to the coop or their yard. I go outside and watch them at least 3 times a day. Check their food, check their water, give then food scrapes.

Today, I worked on their make-shift wire door for us humans to walk through, but to keep them from coming onto my concrete patio and eating my plants, or leaving little poop bombs behind on the concrete.

So I trimmed the wire door, and made little latches for the chicken wire to hook onto.

Then I was thinking about their nesting box. I was just using a cardboard box, and I knew they could not use that forever. So I was digging around in my storage room, and saw the fridge produce containers. I don't use them, and thought I could attach them to the inside of the coop and they would make nice nesting boxes.

So I took off the roof of the coop, and went to work drilling holes in the sides of plastic bins, and then attaching them to the sides of the coop.

Quality control trying to pretend to be pecking at the ground, but really checking out what I was doing to their coop.

Lettuce Pinata

I have read online a good way to entertain the chickens is to take a head of cabbage and tie it from a string and dangle is just out of reach, for the girls to hop and peck at.

So since I get free lettuce from my grocery store, I thought for something fun. I would hang a few lettuce leaves from a string (floss) and let them go at it.

Well, they were not sure what to make of it...

They decided to pick at the Jade plant instead...

On well, maybe tomorrow they will like it! ?

Gwendolyn is gone....

Well, only after a few hours of being in our chicken yard, Gwen decided to move to a different part of our back yard, and wanted to be alone. Which was fine with my girls. I don't think they liked Gwen anyways.

So Gwen decided to nest on our stone block fence, not the coop, so I said, "Fine, you don't want to nest in the coop, then I hope a coyote doesn't get you!" (Yes, we have them!)

I awoke at a little after 6 am the morning, to hear Gwen barking, very loudly. So I knew she was not eaten by a predator... but why on earth was she barking so early.

Well, it turned out after she nested on the stone block wall. She decided to fly into my neighbor's yard. My neighbor, has 8 or so birds, parrots, and love birds and so forth. But they are all in cages in his backyard. Gwen decided she was going to "guard" his birds.

So the guarding/ barking began.

She barked off and on all day long. Went to sleep, and started barking at 5:30 in the am. I know she woke up not only me but a few other neighbors.

Later in the day, my neighbor caught her, brought her back to our house. I was able to explain to him, our delima of her not liking us, and liking his yard better. And he came up with a brilliant solution. Find her a home out in Norco, CA. I said great, you take care of that...

So by Saturday night she was at a new home very very far away.

I have saved a few of her feathers. She was so pretty, but very annoying.

Friday, June 22, 2012


About a month ago my neighbor's grape vine invaded my yard. So at first I was unsure what to do about it. Then I saw green grapes on them, and thought okay lets make some shade and a snack by giving it some wire to climb.

Well like two days ago I was walking by the grapes and I saw they turned purple, and the tiny ones are sweet, but WOW the larger ones are tangy! They have a seed in the middle so I think they are concord grapes.

My neighbor is really bad about watering them. I spritz them with a water bottle, daily on the leaves on my side. And when I water my patio / yard I kinda put water through the holes in the fence hoping some water reaches the base of the vine.

So I have no idea if there are any grapes on his side of the fence, but my side is growing like mad.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gwendolyn is here!

Gwendolyn, the guinea fowl, has become a part of our flock. I got her from a friend who also has a small flock. And let me tell you how quacky this bird is!
Since she does not know me as her mama yet, she is barking at me and my family. I held her several times, and tried to feed her raisins and she really didn't trust me, or want to eat, she wanted to bark as us.

Isn't she pretty!!

Breakfast time!!

So, I was reading another blog (what else is new?) and I saw one person put raisins in her pocket, and now her girls know and come running every time she enters their pen. So I tried it this morning.... I had some in a pocket, and I would put a few in my hand, and soon they were eating out of my hand!

I know, so cool. I guess picking them up and carrying them around helps keep them from being so skiddish.

Later today I am going to try to play some soothing music out my bedroom window (which is part of their yard) in the late afternoon time, and see if it has any effect on them. I'll try it for a week. They are totally mellow, but I just feel for some reason that playing soothing music with make them more mellow. Who knows?

Here is my tip for the day:

The plastic clam shell containers that berries come in, work as a great snack tray.

Really any will do, but I've noticed because berries are in season right now, I have a surplus of them around. Also I choose to use these because I don't want to share germs with the chickens by using my own plates or plastic containers, that I put our food in.

After one time use of the girls I rinse them outside and then use then again, and again, and then trow away.

Above in the picture is 2 fruit cubes (blueberries, mango, strawberries) a whole frozen orange, and frozen strawberry cubes + starter feed)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fruit Ice Cubes

Well, each day I give our girls lots of fruits and veggies, plus finding them bugs and spiders. Worms I would have to say is their favorite. And in true fashion of being a woman, they don't care about the worms until someone else is showing off their worm. Then they care.... about that one.
And they chase each other trying to take that worm away from that chicken. It is very funny to watch!

So I was reading again.... from Fresh Eggs Daily, and they were talking about how to keep their girls cool, in this hot weather. Granted 1 live 1 mile from the coast, we don't have sweltering weather, but just in case we get a 90 degree day I want to know what to do to keep the girls hydrated.

So anyhoo, they were talking about making mint ice cubes for their girls here.

And I thought why don't I make those too?!

So tonight I did a picture step by step instruction. And I have to say my girls were skeptical at first of these things, but now they know how yummy they are and I barely get them on the ground and they are all over them to see what kind they got!

First get your supplies out.

I use Tupperware's CrystalWave® Ramekins; a set of eight, 2¾-oz./80 mL CrystalWave® Ramekins. Each includes a seal, so you can store individual items or leftovers for steaming later. They make perfect fruit cubes for my girls.

Then you are going to need a chopper thing to finely dice your fruit/veggies. I use the Chop ’N Prep™ Chef from Tupperware as well. This really gets the fruit/veggies super fine.
Cutting Board

Got it?

blue berries first - see below

Next I put 4 strawberries, cut up into big chunks and put it into the chop n prep thing. See below:

and put the top on and pull the string, about 4-5 times.

Then use the spoon to scoop the strawberries into the ramekins:

Next we are going to use apples! Yum!

Put the top on, and pull the string on 4-5 times.

Spoon into the ramekins:

Now put water in the ramekins. Put the seal on and put into the freezer. Tonight I chose to make 2 cubes for the girls and 2 popsicles for my daughter.

Now here is a different cube that I made a few days ago. It is blue berries, mango, and strawberries.

Got leftovers? Dice up the rest and put into other ice trays, fill with water for your personal enjoyment, or give them to the girls.

Homemade Orange Peel White Vinegar Coop Cleaner

Homemade Orange Peel White Vinegar Coop Cleaner

I saw this post on Fresh Eggs Daily, and decided to make it myself. I have my 2 jars sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for them to age for 1 month. This was about a week ago. So 3 more weeks to go.

Four oranges
Two cinnamon sticks
Two vanilla beans
Bottle of white vinegar
Two canning jars
Spray bottle

Peel the orange, be careful not to get any pitch (white stuff). Put equal amounts of peel in each jar.
Break the cinnamon sticks in half making them 4 sticks, and put 2 sticks in each jar.
Slice open the vanilla beans, and put one bean in each jar.
Pour in enough white vinegar to cover.
Seal, and wait..... 4 weeks for everything to muddle together. Every so often shake the jar.

Since I am new to this whole concept of having chickens. I will use ANYTHING that will clean the coop, and keep the bugs away.
From what I read... the orange peel would make a nice addition since citrus oil is a natural insect deterrent and proven solvent.
Cinnamon oil kills mosquito larvae. Vanilla beans went in next because vanilla repels flies, mosquitoes and other insects.

Living with the girls

Each day I awaken to the girls doing new stuff.... they are very curious about what I am doing in my side yard....
Often I am just watering my plants and they used to be right there watching me, scratching in the potted plants dirt, and being right there.

But I got tired of stepping in their black gold, on my concrete, so now I am confining them to the grass part of my yard.

I would definitely call them "Quality Control" when it comes to me doing any yard work, or coop cleaning, or building anything.

Graduation Night

.... first night in their coop!

I was SO excited to put them in their coop that first night. I so OVER my house smelling like a barn, and I was also over the feathers being everywhere, and the dust!!!


5/10/12 Inside their coop....

In Our Home

Let me tell you! We did not fully understand what it meant by having the chicks in our home for 5 weeks. We were very much not prepared, no cage, no hay/bedding, no food, nada...

So we did a couple of things, here they are in the black plastic box I had them in at first...


That seemed to work for a week, then they started to hop out of the bin...

So we put chicken wire over the top... that seemed to work the best for the remainder of the time they were in the house.

And then we put something for them to roost on...

Then we were putting them outside in a confined area, so they could get used to being outside. I would only put them out at the noon time hours and then bring them back inside


This is so exciting.... it was around April 8th, 2012 and we went to a hatchery in Norco, CA called Chicken Stars Ranch.... I have been wanting chickens for some time, but did not have the living space available until I moved in my with parents back in January....

After finding this place on Craig's List, I was a bit uneasy about going there, due to previous mishaps with Craig's List in general.... But Ava wanted a pet chicken, so Norco was where we were going to get them.
After we got our City Chicks I found out my local feed barn down the street had chicks for sell too. Oh well lesson learned.

Without further delay.... here is our girls!

Buff Orpington




Lavender Bantam Silkie

Valentine "Blackie"

Black Silkie

Ava my 4 yr old daughter took the pleasure in naming 3 of our 4 chicks.... My mom picked Henrietta for her chick.

Lavender really was looking like a rainbow of color when we first got her, now she just looks like a grey fluffy.

Blackie is my chick, and I carry her around with me most days... She is really turning into a poof ball with all of her feathers.

I am so glad I took their close ups so many months ago.. because the now pics with just blow your mind on how big they are!

Welcome to my new blog

Welcome! I have started a few blogs in the past and for me myself I have lost interest.... but I needed a place to post about my girls (chickens) and starting a new blog seemed to be the best place to start.