Welcome Home

I just got back from vacation.  I went to Disney with my daughter and her family.  I was able to see my 4 year old grandson experience “the happiest place on earth” for the first time.  It is a memory I will hold forever in my heart.  From there we traveled to our home in Naples, Florida where we were able to finally get some much needed rest and relaxation!  I was gone for 8 days.  The weather was perfect.  I had an amazing time.  But….. I missed The Hippie Chicks, Dutch and my gardens.  I thought about them every day and longed to be home.  I missed my early morning garden inspection with my first cup of coffee, the way the girls would run and greet me to see if I had a treat for them or hopeful they would be allowed to free range.  I missed the way…

I think I’m a Farmer ya all!

You know you are a farmer when: Your day starts before sunrise and ends shortly after the dinner dishes are done. You wear your PJs to do chores like tending chickens, watering plants, picking veggies and running to the store to get milk.  What?  You don’t?? All your shoes, even your high, spiky heels, night on the town shoes have chicken poop on them. You get insanely excited when the latest issue of Grit Magazine comes in the mail. Your idea of a good time is watching chicken T.V. and cracking open a cold one. Your new favorite vehicle to drive is your John Deere. You start making your own soap, detergents and fabric softeners.. All your shelves are now filled with jams, sauces and Dilly Beans!! Your French Manicure is now a dirt manicure and your little black dress is your husbands flannel. Your favorite store is now The Tractor…

What came first?

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is right around the corner so you want to make sure your girls have everything they need to make this transition into “henhood” go smoothly.  The first thing you want to do is make sure your birds are healthy and happy. You want to pay close attention to their nutrition and overall health.  Right now I’m feeding my girls a grower diet that has between 12-16 percent protein.  Laying hens need good quality protein to produce good quality eggs. When they start laying, or at about 22 weeks, whichever comes first, I will switch them to a layer feed that contains more calcium and minerals.  If you feed your hens a diet high in calcium before they are ready it can damage their kidneys. I will also offer them things like ground oyster shells or ground egg shells that are rich in calcium.  This…

Cleaning out the coop

Today is Monday.  On Mondays I like to give The Hippie Chick-Inn an extra good cleaning.  That usually consists of a thorough raking, an application of Food Grade DE sprinkled about and of course the addition of fresh herbs and flowers. First things first.  Sand is what I use for litter on the floor of the coop.  I have found that it stays 10x cleaner then pine shavings and it is so easy to maintain.  It is like a giant kitty litter box. It doesn’t retain moisture, it doesn’t decay, it’s inexpensive, stays cool longer in the summer and it provides the chicks with a giant dust-bath.  Just make sure you use contractors grade and not the sand for a child’s sandbox as that contains too much silica.  Every morning I just go in and scoop the poop! Takes me 2 mins at most.  I add it to my compost…

Meet and Greet

Time to meet the Hippie Chicks The twins… Henny and Penny.  They are a little camera shy!! Tito. My grandson named this one. Raquel(As in Welch) because she’s so pretty!! Fricassee Aerial.  My granddaughter named her. Clara from The Nutcracker Fluffy Butt (No explanation needed)! Gertie My girls are 3 months old now and I’m anxiously waiting for them to start laying eggs and earning their keep!!  I have 3 Barred Rock.  They are very friendly, cold hardy ( I live in New England!) and supposedly good layers. I also have 3 RI Reds that are also loving, great layers and very hardy. The last 3 I’m not sure what they are. I wasn’t there when we got them but my guess would be White Leghorns? Although RaqueI has some brownish red colors mixed in so I’m clueless on what breed she is. Oh and I can’t forget this one…..…