The Chickens

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The day we closed on our house, I went straight home – after getting all of the utilities lined up – and went straight to the computer. Why? To order my chicky babies of course!

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

These girls are “Black Star” chickens. They are one of the best laying breeds from the hatchery that I ordered them from.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

This one is a Rhode Island Red. This is one of the breeds that I had back when we lived in North Carolina…when I first started blogging.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

This one is also a Rhode Island Red, but you will notice that there is something wrong with her. She has a condition called “Scissor Beak.” I named her “Fiskars.”

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

Scissor beak is a genetic defect, and many times these chickens will not be able to eat or drink properly. Because of that, they can die a miserable death and are often culled from the flock. So far, Fiskars seems to be able to eat and drink just as well as the others, and is just as big as the other RIRs. As long as she can eat and drink, I’m going to let her live her happy life. But because her beak is disfigured, she may not be able to trim her beak like the other chickens. Beaks grow like fingernails – continually, and chickens will rub their beaks on hard surfaces (like the cinder blocks I have in there for them) to keep them straight, sharp and trimmed. She very likely won’t be able to do that, and I may have to trim her beak for her with dog nail clippers. So she is sort of in a “wait and see” stage with that.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

This is one of my Silver Laced Wyandottes. They are great egg layers too, and such pretty birds. I had one of these years ago by accident. We thought we had all Plymouth Barred Rocks, but one of the chicks looked a little different as she grew. And as an adult, she was a gorgeous bird. Since then, I knew that some day when I had chickens again, I would have more like her.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

The girls are 2 months old now. They still live most of the time inside their coop and run, but in the evenings, I have started letting them out to roam the pasture in the last few hours before sunset.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

The chickens will return to their coop to roost at night, so letting them out late in the day keeps them from roaming too far. Eventually they will be able to be turned loose all day, but we aren’t there yet. They are still young, and still learning.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

In about 2 more months, they should start laying eggs. I am anxiously awaiting the day I get that very first prized egg.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

Now in general, I usually describe my chickens as “the girls,” but the hatchery that I ordered them from gives you the option of receiving a free “surprise” chick. You don’t know if it will be male or female, and you don’t know what breed it will be. And they don’t tell you, you have to figure it out.

So we have one, lone stud muffin. Hawk-Eye.

Hawk-Eye is a Golden Laced Wyandotte. He’s still getting his colors, but when he is fully matured, he will be a gorgeous specimen of chicken flesh. Assuming of course, that he is a good boy. To be honest, we didn’t really want a rooster yet, as we were only raising chickens for the eggs. Roosters can be aggressive, and we had one years ago that had to meet an early demise because he didn’t know his place. Hopefully Hawk-Eye doesn’t try to attack anyone and everyone like our last one did. Having a rooster is great, because they are natural protectors of the flock. He is the first one out the door in the morning, and the first one to come running to see what is going on when a person or animal comes around. He’s been like that since he was little cotton fluff ball. That’s how he got his name to begin with. Plus he looked like a miniature hawk as a brown & black chick.

The Chickens | A Good Life Farm

That is our flock. It brings me great joy to watch them run around and eat bugs, scratching and dusting themselves, and just being all around happy chickens.

It’s funny how things come full circle. When I was very little, I remember my great aunt Sarah taking me out to the chicken house at my Great Grandma Miller’s farm and letting me see the baby chicks. I remember being afraid to reach under the chickens to collect eggs, because I was certain that they would peck me. In my family tree, there was a long line of farmers, and now I’ve kind of come back around to that as a hobby farmer & country chick.

Full circle.

6 thoughts on “The Chickens”

  1. so sounds like you run the farm by yourself eh? You are braver than I would be…..I would want my husband there all the time :) Can’t he find local work so he can be closer….I feel so bad for you being there by yourself :( So you have no Children or are they grown, you don’t look that old…..I’m sure you 3 dogs are a lot of company and protection for you…..you sure are a worker…..I just found your blog, I love things like this….I love to watch the homesteaders, etc….. having your computer is a lot of company, but looks like you don’t have a lot of time for that tho….with all you seem to do there….

    I did have a question about the straw you take out of the chicken house, how do you dispose of it ? That looks like a job keeping it clean and washing it down twice a yr……I definitely would buy eggs from you if you were selling them….

    Do you wash the eggs after you gather them? I read where someone said don’t wash them until you get ready to use them !!!! But my grandmother had chickens, and when she gathered her eggs, she washed them before putting them in the fridge….

    Glad you can answer our questions, I’m sure others would like to know things too….. thanks for doing this…..makes it interesting….

    Love the Oil info you told us, I just got started in them, and there is a lot to learn…..I know I bought 2 from Amazon, and then ordered one from Doterra and it was much more scented than the two I bought from Amazon, and was a few dollars more….I have a friend who uses the other one you mentioned .

    Kentuckylady717

    Reply
    • Yes, I have kind of been doing things on my own around here. My husband retired from the army last year, and since then has been working overseas. So what has been done around here, has been done by me. I even closed on the property without him! However, he just finished his contract over there and is finally able to live and enjoy being here. We do have three children that are grown.

      The chicken straw from the coop, I moved to an area that I have set up for composting. It is added as needed in layers to my compost bin, but I also have a stack of straw to naturally break down on its own. Once that happens, it will go into the garden. It’s really not terribly hard to do the routine cleaning – about 20-30 minutes every other week or as needed. The deep clean is a little more time-consuming, but not too awful :) I do sell eggs, but I only sell locally to people who know me. It makes it easier because there are less hoops to jump through. I could sell them at the local farmer’s market but then it would require a bit more time and effort. Not impossible, but at this point I already routinely sell out, so no need to go to those lengths.

      Good question about the washing. There are different avenues of thought about it, and oddly enough, my own grandmother said to never wash the eggs. She actually said that to me in the last letter she ever wrote to me. (I read it recently to everyone in a vlog.) The egg has a natural coating that protects it, and washing it removes the protection. Keeping the coop clean helps too.

      xoxo Constance

      Reply
  2. AAAAwwwwww I love Fiskers!!! What a great name! ha ha ha ha!!!! I so enjoy watching your chickens. Thanks for posting!!! Does HawkEye crow? I am not known for my poultry education so if I ask a dumb question I do apologize and just hope it brings you a giggle for your day! :) Cindy

    Reply
  3. Constance they are a bunch of lovely girls…..that fell will need and eye kept on him….that breed has a tendency to a bit of aggression but here’s hoping he’ll be a good boy for you…..I’m so looking forward to getting mine…since the area we are in has built up so much they have rezoned us to rural residential…so I can only have 6…but six is better than non…..I’ve always been very lucky with the RReds and White Sussex both eggs and hatching in the past..but it’s only eggs as no rosters allowed ..thanks for sharing and here’s to your girls, enjoy their frolicking

    Reply
    • Good to know. I can kind of see that in him, so I catch him and handle him all the time, hoping to tame some of that out of him. We shall see. If he gets too big for his britches…especially when he starts growing spurs, then…… well… you know.

      Reply

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