A Full Life

My life is pretty full right now.

I have dogs, chickens, guineas, horses, family, the house, the yard, and lots of books I need to read.

The little mini horse.

The newest little horse in these parts.

My husband does most of the taking care of the horses. The young one is a rescue, and the mini is one my husband got cause my mom wanted one. They both need to be worked with, and now that it is starting to dry up out there, that might happen.

Eggs from my chickens.

My chickens are all laying again now, and I’m getting piles of eggs. The neighbors are taking some, and we are eating lots, but looks like they are starting to pile up on me. Might have to open a booth on the side of the road or something. You want some eggs?

The guineas are wandering all over the place now. They have gotten in the road once, and I hollered at them. I hope they don’t keep going out in that direction. The other three directions are pretty safe, so they really don’t need to go in the road.
Some of my guineas out in the yard.

They have started laying eggs too, but I have only found two of them. I hope they will all be laying in the coop so I can get the eggs and hatch them.

The flowers are doing good so far this year too. Lots of daffodils, and those little purple ones, and bluebells.

Flowers in my yard.Lots of these little flowers in my yard.

My tomato plants are coming along nicely too. As soon as this cold spell is over I’m gonna transfer them outside.

So how is your spring going this year? Is it still cold in your area?

It’s Either Feast Or Famine Around Here

Orpington Chicks about 12 days old.Remember those cute little bitty chicks from this past spring?

There are not so little anymore. I happen to think they are still sort of cute, but a lot bigger for sure.

Anyway, the hens had all been laying their eggs either in the box just off the ground, or out in the yard.

Chickens, young one in back.

The young hens have not apparently figured out how to tell when they need to go nest. I have found eggs all over the place. One was in the dust bath area, one was just out in the grass, and one was hidden under a little bush.

So I had not thought to check inside the closed part of the coop for a few days. Yesterday I did check inside and guess what I found???

A huge pile of eggs. There were 19 eggs in there! I was starting to worry about some of the hens because I thought they should be laying and I wasn’t finding that many eggs.  I had only been finding maybe 4 or 5 a day, because the older hens have been moulting. Now I know what happened to the eggs.

So I have a lot of eggs. Anyone need some? I gave some to my mom, but I still have too many.

These are brown eggs, and the hens are free range to an extent. They can go out in that yard whenever they want, and they eat grass and bugs, and whatever else they can catch or dig up, as well as the commercial feed I get for them.

If you live anywhere close and would like some eggs just holler.

My Chicks Are All Grown Up Now

Remember the little bitty chicks I got this past spring?

Orpington Chicks about 12 days old.

They are not little anymore.

My ckicks all grown up.

In the past week they have started laying eggs. I have found the eggs laying out in the yard all over the place. It seems the first time they lay an egg they don’t know what’s going on, and so they are not prepared for it. It happens wherever they happen to be at the moment.

Yesterday there was a little bitty egg.

My chicks first egg.See how little it is compared to the regular size ones? All of the first eggs laid by the young ones were small but this one is really small.

I think the small egg was laid by the last chick to start laying. If I’m right I should start getting a lot of small eggs for a while.

The older chickens are moulting (some of them anyway).  They look funny with feathers growing back in. They don’t lay eggs while in moult so I won’t get as many big eggs as usual (till spring probably).

One of the young hens has gotten over the fence twice so far. She has been lucky and none of the local dogs saw her out. If she keeps getting out one the dogs is going to end up having a chicken dinner.

I can’t think of any way to keep her from getting out. You have any ideas?

Improving The Chicken Yard

My chickens have always had a separate yard because my dog wants to chase them.

They have to be in a fenced in area because there are lots of dogs in the area that would just love to have a chicken dinner.

There are also foxes, coyotes, racoons, possums, and who knows what else out there that like to eat chickens.

A fence won’t necessarily stop all predators but it does stop a lot of them and it gives them another barrier to get through before they can get to the chickens.

Of course the chickens are only allowed out in the yard during the day. At night they are in the coop with the door shut.

So far I have not lost a chicken to a predator so it seems to be working.

The chicken yard had no trees in it though and only gets shade in early morning or late evening. So I had planted a couple of trees in there when it was first set up but one of them died (the only one that would have shaded the coop).

So this year I planted a few more. One Althea tree, one that we think is a pecan, and a willow shoot that I took off my willow tree.

The willow shoot I planted.

The willow is already getting some leaves on it! It will be a couple of years before it really offers much shade out there but it is a good start.

New Chicken Yard

We also expanded the chicken yard since we have 10 new hens. This area doesn’t get shade either. I will have to find some more trees to plant out there.

Or maybe we will expand it some more but go out toward the gulley where there is lots of shade. That will have to wait a while because we ran out of old fencing.

Maybe next year.

My Chicks Turned Into Chickens

You never expected that did you?

It is just like with puppies, kittens, and babies.  They don’t stay little and cute very long. The time goes by before you know it and you are left wondering what happened.

One of my friends son just graduated from High School this year.  Another of my friends is a grandmother several times over. And those grand-babies are getting bigger all the time.

The thing is…to enjoy them while you can.

I really did enjoy the chicks even though they made a mess.

They have pretty much grown up now.

My Chicks almost grown up.
They still want to hide in their box though.

Big Lil ChickSo far only two of them seem to want to adventure out. This one has actually gone out in the yard. About a foot from the coop.

I’m going to take their little fenced in area down in a week or so. The big chickens are not trying to harass them so it isn’t really needed anymore.

They are just going to have to learn to live in the wider world. They will like it. There are bugs out there.

Stray Dogs Or Possibly Abandoned

A couple of dogs showed up in my neighborhood (near Walcott, Arkansas) the day before yesterday. My neighbor across the street came over yesterday to find out if we knew anything about them.

One looks to be part dachshund and as you can see in this picture he looks almost starved. He is a pretty dog and very friendly. He has a swelling on his side that might be a tumor but he doesn’t seem to be in any pain.

Stray or abandoned part dashund.
The other dog has sort of wire hair terrier look to him. He has cateract in his right eye and looks to be blind in that eye. He is also friendly and these dogs seem to be companions and stick together.

001It is possible they just got out of a yard somewhere and someone is looking for them. I hope that is what happened. I posted their pictures on Facebook and I would appreciate if you all would share them so we can either find their people or get them some new people. Definitely share with any rescue organization that might be able to help these dogs.

We have four dogs already and just can’t take any more. Especially if they might need veterinary care.

They would make great companions for some lucky person though. You maybe?

Please share so we can find them a home.  Thank you!

Baby Animals Are Cute But Demanding

I got a call about 11 am this morning from my hubby who was out at a farm. He told me to come out there and didn’t say why.

When I got there they told me they had something for me. It was a bucket containing two baby bunnies. Wild bunnies.Picture of a wild bunny baby.

They are cute aren’t they? Picture of wild bunny baby.One of them had it’s eyes open they other not yet. Neither is standing up.

They told me the momma was definitely dead. I asked ’em how they knew that..did they kill it? They said no but there was no doubt it was dead. I figure the barn cat must of gotten it this morning (hubby may tell me later).

They thought I could raise the babies but I thought they were too young. You have to have special food and even if you do everything right they might not make it.

After doing some checking online I found the Wildlife Hotline where they have some pictures of baby bunnies. They have pictures of bunnies that are old enough to be on their own and some that are too young and need special care. They would need some special formula which I don’t have the money for.

So I checked the Fish and Game site and they had a list of wildlife rehabilitates and we took the bunnies to one of them.Picture of a couple of my chicks from last week.

My chicks are doing good. This is a couple of them last week just before we took them outside. I’ll have to get some pics from the coop later.

The water bottle using solway nipples my hubby made.My husband made them a small waterer out of some of the Solway nipples I got for the big chickens. It works pretty good and I love that they can’t poop in the water anymore!

It has been a long day already. How has your day gone? Got any baby animals around your place?

If Bad Things Come In Threes

Then I may be in trouble. My hubby had an accident and we had to get some new tires for his truck. It could have been worse but still not good.  That was the first thing.

One of our dogs has not been feeling good. This is the biggest one. She was dumped out here a few years ago.A picture of our big dog.We took her to the vet today. Vet said she had been shot at one point because there were a couple of pieces of shot still in her(but not causing problems) and that she had been hit by a car or something before because she had ribs that had broken and healed.

On first look the vet thought she had been shot again but it was an abscess below her tail. Apparently if it wasn’t fixed it would have eventually killed her.

They also said she has arthritis in the area above her tail that might eventually make her unable to walk…but that could take years.

They drained and cleaned and gave her meds. She should be ok in a few days. That cost an arm and part of a leg. Not good.

That was the second thing.

We don’t have enough money for a third thing…so I certainly hope that is just a superstition.

Taking care of those items also took most of the day yesterday and today so I am behind on my posts. Of course I set the schedule myself and no one is complaining (yet) so that shouldn’t be a huge issue.

It does bother me though.  I’ll get back on track. Maybe not tomorrow but I’ll get there.

Orpington Chicks In A Box – Second Week

Orpington Chicks about 12 days old.Here are the little fuzzballs again. Still mostly fuzz but not quite so little.

They are about 12 days old and are getting some feathers on their wings and backs now. You can barely see the feathers on the wing of the chick on the left.

Chicks sitting on thier feeder.They love to climb up and sit on the feeder. And poop in it too. It would be worse with a regular bowl though.

One good thing is that I only had to clean poop off their butts three times. It does accumulate in the box. I have plenty of wood shavings so it won’t get too bad. The wood shavings get replaced every so often(when it starts to smell bad or look bad).

My dog by the box of orpington chicks.My dog goes in there with me sometimes when I’m checking on them or cleaning up after them.

Sometimes she just stands there like that licking her mouth…other times she will go over and look in the holes in the box and her body will shake…she wants them!!

Not sure if she would eat them or just try to play with them. They are too small still to risk it. Maybe later I’ll try and see if she can be around them without hurting them.

It would be nice to be able to let them out in the main yard later on but I won’t do that unless I’m sure the dogs won’t get one. I would be very upset if the dogs ate one of the chickens.

Better to keep them separated.

The chicks are doing good and growing fast. They are gonna have to stay inside for another week or so at least. As soon as they have some real feathers and it is not real cold at night..out they go!

For now I am having fun watching them in the box. They are so cute!

A Box Of Fuzzballs

One of my hens died this last week. She was the last of the oldest ones. All the rest of my hens are less than 5 years old.

I was already short of hens now that I have a rooster and none of them seem to want to go broody (yet) this year. So we checked at the feed store and got a few.

Picture of orpington chicks.

I had only intended to get three of four from there. I figure at least one of my hens will go broody before the end of May and we could hatch some of our own. Of course that didn’t go so well last year as only 5 hatched and several of them ended up getting killed one way or another.

So since my hubby thought we should make sure we had enough (in case some of them just died or got eaten by a cat or something) we ended up with ten of the little fuzz balls.

They almost got eaten by a cat before we even got out of the feed store. We had a box with us to put them in and my hubby put the box on the floor while we were looking at the waterers and getting the chick feed.

One of the resident cats(they have quite a few there -good thing- they eat the mice) came over and was trying to get in the box. She almost made it before I saw her. The chicks would have been a pretty good breakfast for her.

Picture of my chicks at the feeder.

We have them in a big box in our “library” room.  We couldn’t find the feeder at first so I had put the feed in the top of an egg carton and the chicks made a mess in the box. I did eventually find the feeder and it is in there now so after I do a clean up the box won’t be quite so messy.

Well except they do tend to poop all over the place. They even managed to poop in the water. They will be too big to do that before long.

Picture of an Orpington chick sleeping under a lamp.Right now all they do is eat, drink, poop, and sleep. They mostly tend to sleep in a little clump but the one in this picture is all my herself under the lamp.

That is just a regular table lamp, one of those colored lamps you can get at Wal-Mart. It has an old 75 watt bulb it.  I know all the chicken sites will tell you to get a big heat lamp…but this is the way we did it before and it worked fine (and people did it this way for years).

The chicks seem to be just fine. In fact they may have gotten a bit too warm this morning as they were all sleeping away from the lamp for a while.

I’ll be taking pictures and posting them all summer most likely. You might as well settle in and get ready to be inundated with chick pictures.

It could be worse…I wanted to get a couple of rabbits too but hubby wouldn’t let me.

Do you have any baby animals in your house this spring? What kind? Got pictures?

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