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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chickens Week 6

I said last week that we would be working on a summer home for the little ones. That is exactly what we did, we enclosed part of the garden for them, built a new coop and took them up to them farm yesterday. P5260039That is why I’m a day late with the post.

They now have a 12’ – 30’ home, this is all reinforced to keep them in and everything else out. We covered the top with netting so flying predators would not be able to get to the peeps. In the run area is a coop for them to go in at night and there food and water are with them all the time.

P5260040When I opened the traveling coops to let them out in there new home, they where a little unsure of everything. They initially just went for there food. Once they got comfortable with the area they started to take dirt baths, scratch and just have chicken fun. 

This is entry on the chickens is going to be theP5260041 last one for a while. Since they are no longer at the house it’s hard for me to get a good picture of them as they grow. So I’ll post about them a little more apart, that way you can see them growing.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chickens week 5

My little babies are now over a month old and are now five weeks old. They look so different from when we brought them home, P5180034not just the size they have grown put also the feathering out. They have become very beautiful with all the different colors. 

We have picked out there spot up at the farm for them and there coop. P5180035The weather for the rest of the week should be warm and clear, so we should be able to build it this week and get them into it next week. Only time will tell with that one.

After we get them in there new home I can’t wait to see how they adjust.  On the farm they will be able to scratch and search for there food, and the goal is to free range them. In the beginning they won’t be aloud to free range P5180036I feel they are to small and subject to an easy meal for predators. I’m going to wait until they are a little older and able to fend for them selves before they can free range. Until then they will have the coop/run to be in.

So much to do in so little time, theses little guys will be out having fun in no time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chickens 4 weeks

My little fluffy peeps are now four weeks old and getting big. They are starting to get more color defP5110012inition in there feathers. I do realize that there full coloring won’t be in full bloom until them mature later this year. Until then they go thru several molting to get there.

Since they were getting so large we decided to create a larger bP5080011rooder for them. They were becoming to cramped in such little spaces. In a couple more weeks they will be moved up to the farm and soon after that they will be able too free range. 

With this new brooder they have the ability to perch when the door is open and they take full advantage of it. They fly on up and look all around to see what's going on, where I’m taking there waterier or food troth. In reality it’s fun to watch them when they do silly things like that.P5110013

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Honey Bees

Back in January while I was at the farm show, they had a honey demonstration that I attended. They talked all about the bees and the honey itself. honey beesIt was very informative, at the end of the demonstration they handed out a brochure for a beekeeping class. I took one and went to it.

There were actually two classes one was theory and the other practical. Held on the first and second Saturday of this month. The class was so thorough  that you needed to take a day or two, too relax and review the material.

This class was held by the Capital Area Beekeepers Association from the greater Harrisburg area. The first day we was all book work covering everything from birth to death, diseases, equipment, honey extraction, marketing, bee management and professional pollination.

The professional pollination for lack of a better term is when you take your bees to a farm or orchard so they can pollinate the farmers crops. The bees are rented by the farmer and the honey that is collected is the bee keepers. There are some exceptions to this and they vary from farm to farm and beekeeper to beekeeper.

This past Saturday was the practical work where we got too go to an apiary, open the hive and check out the bees. The hives we opened where healthy with very little problems. A lot of queen cells, which means the hives are rearing new queens most likely to swarm. So to stop that from happening we made splits out of those hives and started two more hives.

All in all it was a fun, exciting two weekends. Where a lot was learned and some time to save up to acquire the supplies for next years honey bees.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chickens 3 weeks

My cute little peeps aren’t so little any more, they are growing up fast. Since we have had a very warm week I didn’t need to have the brooder lights on. P5040007If it gets cooler I will keep them on again, but we are to the point that the temperature in the brooder should be at 80 degrees. Also in a weeks time they can be left out side, I think we’ll wait until there about six weeks to do that.

Last week we had to go to the farm store to check on equipment and they were still carrying peeps. P5040008I never saw a bantam peep before, they are the size of a half dollar. They are the cutest little things, they look just like my peeps when they were that age, just much smaller. If I would have gotten some I would have to keep them separate I would be afraid  they would get trampled by the older guys.

As the weeks continue the not so little peeps are getting more and more comfortable with humans. P5040009To the point some, don’t like to be put back in the brooder after I hold them. They have decided that they like perching on my hand. To the point that over the weekend one of my neighbors wanted to see one of the peeps. So I took one out on my hand. They generally perch on my index finger. I had no problem with the peep trying to fly away or anything. The only little flight was when the little guy wanted back on my hand so they flew to get there. Pretty cool if you ask me.