Friday, December 17, 2010

Woo hoo!

Who would've thought that a couple of strands of christmas lights would actually work??? Well, it did. Slowly our egg production seems to be increasing.

I'll keep you posted!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas in the coop

Well, the meeting was held and it was a unanimous vote. The girls opted to have a couple of strands of outdoor christmas lights hung inside their coop, rather then one by one meeting their demise. Just kidding...I've decided that unless absolutely necessary (ie: a zombie apocalypse) our chickens will not be executed for food.

Two strands of christmas lights were hung yesterday and stapled along the ceiling of the coop. They were put on a timer to go on at 3pm and off at 8pm. The additional light will stimulate the girls to start laying again on a regular basis. Now normally I am against this. Being that the winter time is a time for chickens to rest their reproductive systems. Chickens are born with a set number of eggs that they will produce. So unfortunately by inducing egg laying in the winter will shorten their long term laying. Meaning you either get more eggs now and less later, or you let nature takes its coarse and you have eggs longer. Makes sense?? Last winter we only had 9 chickens. 9 chickens don't eat as much and poop as much as 21 chickens. So last year egg production didn't matter. This winter, with so many mouths to feed. I need to sell more eggs to keep their feed bucket filled.

Besides, every one of them loves the new look to their coop. Very festive :0) Now lets see if it works....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Workin 9-5

Well, tis the season for egg production to go down. Shorter days, cold weather and the never ending molting of my girls. It is all starting to take a toll on the girls pulling their weight to pay their way.

We went from 10 eggs a day, to 6 eggs a day and now we're down to 3. What's a chicken mamma o do. These girls need to make some money or they won't be eating this winter. I think it's time for a sit down with them. Chicken meeting will be held in a couple of days :0)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What in tar-nation???

After my 5.6 mile jog yesterday I went inside to finish my cool down stretch. I had left my garage open and of course my chickens love to hang out in there looking for stink bugs and other creepy crawly treats. Suddenly I heard Dirty Girl (she is my little chihuahua) started sqwauking (sp?) away in her normal alarm mode. When I opened the door I noticed her and another one of my (un-named) girls hiding under my van. Then I proceeded to look out the side window and noticed that all of my girls and boys are hiding under our little silver spruce. I had to giggle because it looked like 50 clowns fitting under a teeny umbrella! When I walked over to the end of the garage I suddenly noticed a Cooper Hawk (little hawk, really it's name, not my son) sitting on the ground and when it saw me it took off into the trees. Now Cooper Hawks are not big, but they are bold and quite a nuisance. I knew at that point it was time to go outside and do a head count. On my way out I noticed a huge pile of feathers by our 'for sale' chicken coops. I ran over to investigate and see a large collection of about 4 different birds feathers. Eyes wide I ran over to my clowns under the tree. I began to count and kept coming up with the right number. Scratching my head I counted again and again. And every time I came up with the right number of birds. Then I started to inspect the birds to see who is missing feathers.....nothing!!! I literally stood there for about 20 minutes trying to put the 'pieces' together. Well, around that time Payton's bus pulls up to drop her off from school. I greet her at the bus and sadly told her what had happened and for the life of me can't figure out what was going on. On the walk back to the house I showed her the pile of feathers. Her response to me..."mommy, don't you remember when you cleaned the garage yesterday you told me to empty all the feathers I collected out of my 4 wheeler?" "Those are my feathers mommy!" "you told me to do it!"

Well, I guess she told me!

The moral to this story...Pay attention to the things you tell your kids to do!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sienna Hobble

That's going to be her new name. Our poor Sienna is still hobbling along. She is much, much better then when the injury first happened, but still limping. She's living in separate quarters in the chicken coop with everyone else. This way my car can return back to it's home in our garage and Sienna has social company but can still rest peacefully. ( car/van is a Toyota Sienna) (i just noticed that...Sienna...Sienna) LOL

Too add insult to injury, the girl looks like she's been plucked and then tarred and feathered. She looks so pathetic (so do a few others) during her molt. She does finally have some nice new shiny feathers coming through though.

Another poor pathetic soul is Wall-E our Easter Egger. She has the worst of it. She literally looks like she has been going through chemo-therapy. I do have to take some pics and post them so you all know what I'm talking about.

But all in all everyone seems to be doing well. The weather has cooled considerably, with the exception of the past couple of days where I feel like it's June.

Halloween is right around the corner, so we'll have to treat the chickens to a pumpkin or two :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

And the Molt Continues

UGH!!!! There are sooo many feathers everywhere! Sienna is still in the garage...doing much better might I add, but still limping some. I'm hoping with continued R & R she will make a full recovery. Since she has been away from Mr. Roo her bare back is starting to feather out. Unfortunately though, every other feather on her body is falling out! Looking at my garage right now you would think I have a down factory.

Egg production is still hurting a bit. Can't tell who is laying and who is not, but hopefully it will be all over soon. Mr. Roo looks awful...poor guy. He looks like he has been through the ringer. But his attitude sure hasn't changed with it. He is still as ....ahem....rambunctious as normal. He has finally accepted the remainder of the 'teenager's' by showing them how things are done. Poor girls!!!

Teens Moved Out

On Wednesday this week we packed up the family and went on to deliver a Q34 chicken coop to a wonderful family in Clark, NJ. Along with the coop they also took 3 of our teenager chickens. Well, technically they were not teenagers anymore because they already started laying eggs. Payton was very sad to see them go, but she also saw that they are in a very nice home with lots of property to play on.

I love setting up families with their own backyard chickens. Especially when this family has a huge family breakfast on Sundays and go through about 20 eggs. Now they'll be having their own eggs ;)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Poor Sienna

Haven't posted in a while, and unfortunately today is not a happy post. One of our original girls named Sienna injured herself yesterday. Not sure exactly what happened, but she lost all function of her left leg. She was out free ranging all day with the rest of her family and sometime late in the afternoon when I rounded them up to give them their afternoon treat I noticed her hopping around and using her wings as crutches for balance. Her leg is completely limp. She was fine all day and then all of a sudden this. It looks like a strain, but it also could be a dislocated hip or break. When I palpate the area, I can't find anything out of place or broken. I know that she is Mr Roo's favorite girl. She has a bare back to show for it, so maybe he got a little rough with her and sprained her leg.

I would hate to see her go, so once again my minivan get's kicked outside. The brooder cage has to get set back up and another chicken will be living indoors for a while.

I hope she pulls through :(

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Feathers, Feathers Everywhere!

I have to say that this is probably our first "official" molt to date. Chickens molt their feathers usually twice a year. Some molt in patches, some just a feather here and there, and then there are some that end up looking like they belong on a serving plate at the dinner table.

Now we've had feathers before...but never like this!! As a friend best described it.."you have enough feathers to make another chicken". So true, but at this point it's enough for a few chickens. None of my chickens are completely bald, but they do look like they have been through the ringer. They look pretty funny. My beautiful Mr Roo has no tail feathers, so it seems that all the girls are turning away in laughter.

So unfortunately molting is a natural part of a chickens life. They all have to go through it to make way for nice new feathers to keep them warm for the winter. The thing that sucks though, during a molt they won't lay an egg for anywhere between 6-12 weeks. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Feel So Proud

I am so happy today. I went out at my usual 5 pm to round up my chickens to bring them into their fenced area. Usually around this time they know I come baring treats. Today was bowls of yogurt with smashed blueberries and raspberries. One of their favorites! As soon as I stepped foot outside the garage door, they all came a runnin! It really is too cute how they all come full steam ahead, wings spread, waddling from side to side as fast as they can towards me. Well, low and behold...I see Tic Tac full steaming ahead with everyone else towards me. No limp present! All I could do is smile. I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment! Her feet look swelling left and healing very nicely. I seem to hold a special place in her heart too. Every time she sees me, she comes to my feet and looks up at me and begins to talk to me. She loves when I pick her up and give her special hugs.

I never thought that chickens would be so dear to me, but they really are great animals. We care for them so much, that when someone came to the door wanting to buy some I felt offended and violated. This man was eyeing up my chickens as they were walking all around him. All I wanted to do is bring them all into the house until the man left! LOL!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Store Eggs

So apparently yesterday they had the largest recall, I think they said in history. I hope they got the recall information out fast, but I know it wasn't fast enough for many people to not get sick. I'm not writing this as a "I told you so", but it certainly is an eye opener for consumers to give a thought to having their own food source. Especially with something simple as eggs. Sure it depends on where you live and if your town allows for chickens, but chickens are really the easiest pet to have. They require such little maintenance (my previous posts are not the norm :D)and the results you get everyday with fresh and healthy eggs is so rewarding. So long as you feed them right and keep them happy and clean, there is virtually NO fear of salmonellae, e coli or any of the sort.

I'm saddened when I hear of things like this. It puts fear in all of us when our forks meet our mouths.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

She's Back With Her Family

This morning I thought it was time to put Tic Tac back with her family. She was so excited I could barely hold onto her. Everyone came to greet her at the door when I let her in through the fence gate. And Mr Roo, oh he couldn't wait. It took him a whole 20 seconds to keep himself contained. Poor girl...not back 20 seconds and she has her beak buried in the dirt with Mr Roo on top of her. I guess he really missed her. LOL!

Looking Good

Well, Tic Tac is looking good. She has been confined to our brooder since I got back from VT. I re-did her surgery when I got back, but only on her one bad foot. I packed it with Neosporin and lightly wrapped it with vetwrap. I took the advice of a 'forum friend' that says once it's wrapped I should leave it alone for about a week. So I did. I finally unwrapped her foot a couple of days ago, and it looked amazing. Her foot is still a little swollen, but the surgery site was clean and healing. I decided that I would leave the bandages off and let it air out now.

We're on day 3 of no bandages and it looks like it's coming along nicely. She still favors the foot, but I think we are past the bad stuff and she will make a full recovery (fingers crossed). She's been getting a steady dose of Duramycin (antibiotic) in her water daily. A few more days and I think she'll be off that and she'll be able to go back to her home and rejoin her family.

Never a dull moment at the Crack N' Egg farm!

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taking A Turn

So I went away on Thursday to visit my family in VT till Sunday and it looks like Tic Tac has taken a turn for the worse. When I came home on Sunday and let all my chickens out for some fresh grass and bugs, Tic Tac was limping pretty bad.

I was unable to soak her feet and change the dressings for over 3 days and it took it's toll. I removed the bandages and one foot is really swollen and looking infected. The other foot doesn't look so bad. I prepared the cage brooder that we have for baby chicks and put fresh soft bedding and food and water for her. I soaked her feet good and kept the bandages off and then placed her in isolation for now. It will keep her from having to struggle with the other chickens and walking around in the dirt and poo. Other then her feet, she is eating well, drinking and pooping normal. Her comb and wattles are still nice and red although her comb is a little floppy. But that could be due to the excessive heat we are having.

Right now, my dilemma is this. I went to Tractor Supply and picked up Penicillin G for injection. I'm hoping it will help fight the infection. So now for my dilemma....In the wonderful state of NJ it is illegal to sell syringes to the public. NJ passed a law that farm supply, drug store & etc, can no longer sell syringes. Thank you drug drug addicts aren't going to find other ways to get their needles!!! So now if you are a farmer and need to administer medication to your animals you're (pardon) fucked!!

So now I have a phone call to a vet up the road in the hopes that he can sell me some syringes. If not, I will have to travel all the way to the border to purchase the contraband. God I love NJ!!!! The state only gets better...but this is my blog for my chickens, not politics! LOL!

So I'll keep ya posted!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tic Tac Update

So, I think Tic Tac is going to make it. I still have my fingers crossed though. It was my first and I'm sure not my last surgery on my chickens. I've been changing and redressing her feet everyday as well as soaking them in epsom salt and warm water.

I'm a little nervous though, I am leaving for a couple of days and won't be able to change her wraps. All my peeps from the BYC tell me she should be healed and fine by then. Let's hope.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tic Tac's Surgery

Well this was a first. Tack onto my long list of job I'm a vet too. Well, I'm nothing like a vet, but as a 'farmer', there are things that you just gotta do.

I noticed a couple of days ago that our poor Barred Rock hen Tic Tac started walking a bit gingerly. I also notice something hanging from the bottom of that foot. She wasn't roosting with all the other chickens and she was laying down often to rest. After much research I found out she has whats referred to as "Bumble Foot". Apparently it's quite common in bird species. She must have had something stuck in the pad of her foot that eventually turned into a Staph infection. YIKES!!!!!
Well, most chicken owners take it upon themselves to resolve the problem with the hopes that they don't kill their chicken in the process...Double YIKES!!

After scouring the internet and chicken forums it seemed easy enough. I just needed an extra pair of hands...Now being a mom, that would really be nice to have, but unfortunately I don't see that happening within my lifetime.

So after a quick trip into town to pick up some surgical supplies, I hired my dear hubby to portray the role of surgical nurse. I scooped her up this morning (after breakfast might I add...maybe not a good idea to have breaky first) then wrapped her up in a towel and handed her off to my surgical assistant. It was then I noticed that she had 'Bumble Foot' on both of her feet..That is my triple YIKES!!! Now I really started to feel the pressure (forehead wipe please). After a good soak in warm water with betadine and epsom salt I was ready to make the first cut. Surprisingly my hands were steady. The goal of all of this is to remove the scabbing and pull all of the 'crap' out of the padding of the foot. Then soak in more betadine, epsom salt and warm water, then triple anitbiotic cream and wrap. So here are some pics...not too bad, but maybe not for the squeemish!

So hopefully she will make a full recovery, and I hope I never have to do this again. It really wasn't bad at all, but you never want to have to do stuff like this. It was quite cute watching her get use to her new kicks though....

All in all, I think it went really well. Although when I put her back with her family, they all (including Tic Tac) started pecking at the blue vet wrap. I had to put her in a separate pen so she can rest and not get chewed on. LOL!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Got Another One

Well, we have another little fluff ball. This afternoon I found that the Easter Egger egg hatched and there was a dark ball on the floor of the coop. Actually she was under Mo, my other mommy Silkie. I guess she was babysitting for the moment. So here is the unveiling of the newest and youngest.....

Now It's Shammy's Turn

Good morning!!!

And what a morning it is. Went to let our chickens out this morning and when I checked in on our mom's and babes, Shammy had a little surprise for me.
I noticed there was a perfectly split shell laying in front of her. Couldn't see any little peep so I decided to check under her. And this is what I saw.....

A tiny little pair of legs! How these fluff balls can breathe under their moms really baffles me. So I lifted her just a little more and.....

What a cutie!! So this is Shammy's first little peep. Congratulations to her. She may actually have some more coming. By the looks of it, there is one more egg that has pipped (meaning cracked through). So maybe I'll have another update today if all goes well.

Here is some more of that cuteness!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Never A Dull Moment

So it is never a dull moment around Crack N' Egg.

I was laying out by the pool, when all of a sudden my hens and rooster sounded the alarm. Total chaos was unfolding. I got up and see a HUGE Red Tailed Hawk sitting on top of my baby chicks run. It was my new mommy Silkie's first day out with her two chicks and they were about to meet their demise. Now, I'm running flat out Baywatch style in a bikini might I add towards the mosh pit. The rooster actually tried to fly up and attack the hawk, but the hawk just looked down at him like he was a little chihuahua snapping at his ankles. When I finally was closing in on them I was flapping my arms and clapping like that was really going to get the result I wanted, but I did yell "Get away form her you BITCH!" That was my Sigourney Weaver 'Aliens' moment. The hawk was not flying away and when I finally came to a halt about 4 ft away from her, I realized that she was literally 1/2 my size. It was honestly the largest Red Tailed Hawk I have EVER seen. She was larger then any Turkey Vulture I have encountered. Now I say 'she' because in bird species most females are larger then the males. So no discrimination meant by it :) Finally I started growling at it like I was from a speed metal band (some of you know what I'm talking about) and she finally flew away. The wing span on the hawk was unbelievable. I swear it felt like she left a jet wash behind her.

Now most everyone had managed to flee inside the coop. Some of my teenagers hid under the coop, which I don't know how they did it because it was only about 4 inches of space. But I guess when you feel like a succulent drumstick you can just about hide anywhere! The baby chicks were still in their run, but mommy had managed to get out. For a little bantam chicken, she was quite fierce with trying to protect her young. And I gave many kudos to Mr. Roo, because he showed how devoted he is to his girls.

We all came out of this unscathed. Thank god!! Although in the end I think it was my bikini clad body that scared her off. Could you imagine the 11 o'clock news....
"Readington Township women in a bikini dies from mistaken identity. A giant Red Tailed Hawk thought she was a plump chicken"...."News at 11!!!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4 New Coops

Hey Everyone,

Some new and exciting things to share!
On Monday we received 4 new chicken coops in stock. One is so new, that it was hot off my manufacturers drawing board and brought straight to us!

Check out the coops at our website

Stop on by and see what we're all about!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We have some new additions!

Yay! We finally got home at around 7pm, after being stuck in traffic almost all the way home from Vermont. As I was unloading all of our things I heard Jay yelling from the coop. I ran over to find two new little fluff balls chirping around Mo. She looks like a natural mom. I'm so proud of her. They were so cute!!! It was our first hatch and out of 8 eggs, 2 hatched. I'm going to let her sit on the rest for a couple of more days in case they are slow.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that we get some more. But I am happy with the two we got. One is definitely an Easter Egger. The olive colored legs are a giveaway. I'm so curious as to what these little guys are going to look like since their daddy is a Silver Lace Wyandotte.

I'll keep you posted :)

Friday, July 2, 2010


I'm a little nervous about leaving my Mo behind while she's still setting on 8 eggs. It figures that we are away this weekend for 4th of July and the hatch lands in the middle of our trip. Well, I guess what's meant to be is meant to be. Animals do this on their own all the time...right??

Ok, hopefully everything will be fine. I'll see when we get back!

Happy 4th of July everyone :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fox in Socks

Just can't catch a break. I guess that's what happens when you have 'livestock'.
I had everyone out free ranging today, but I wasn't outside with them. Jay came home early from work and when we were hanging out at the kitchen he noticed a young fox running back into the woods. We tear out the door and sure enough our flock got hit. After we gathered everyone back to the run, we did our count...and counted again...and counted again. Damn it. One of our teenagers was missing. A Silver Laced Wyandotte pullet. We searched everywhere for her, but we couldn't find her anywhere. What was odd though, was that were no feather piles. Usually with fox attacks you'll find piles of feathers everywhere. Well, we can only hope that maybe she'll turn up at dusk when everyone settles in to go to sleep.

We have been having a serious problem with what we assumed was a mother fox. She was going after our adult flock on a regular basis. The way the little fox looked today I bet it was one of her kids and she was teaching them how to hunt. Only reasonable explanation that our young inexperienced teenager chick would be taken.