Friday, February 15, 2013

Keifer,Camouflage and Intruders

I went outside one morning and discovered that my coop door had been chewed during the night.

It was a good sized bite.  Larger than a weasel and smaller than the damage a raccoon could do. But noticeable all the same complete with wood bits left on the step.

I immediately went and got some roofing scraps from my farmer friend and nailed it on the backside of the door.

Here are the bites that put the hole in the bottom of the door.  Easy to see since it shows so well with missing red paint.

I quickly nailed the tin up.

 I still need to hammer out the waves on the roofing tin and bend the bottom up so it will cover the door bottom completely.

When my friend Philip came he hammered out the tin and bent it so it would look like this on the outside AND cover the hole that was chewed out.:

Inside of the door.

Both sides need a few screws and that will happen soon. For now a few roofing nails secure it in place.

While I was working to protect  the flock with my limited carpenter skills, the hens were sloshing down some kefir that had gotten a bit too strong for me and some cottage cheese that had also gone a bit rank.

They loved it.

In gratitude of my devoted service to them they gifted me with FOUR eggs.

Thank you ladies.

With the snow melting in the 35 degree temps the past 3 days, (49 right now!) the entire flock has been free ranging all over the fields and woods.  I have been watching them amble over the stream beds and up to the field behind my garden.  The gold colored hens are almost completely camouflaged in the fields since the old grasses are the exact same color.
The Speckled Sussex hens just about disappear when they are in the heavy dark underbrush.  Its one of the reasons I did not get any white hens.  Lots of predators here, from land and especially the air. A white hen would be the first to be kidnapped and eaten.
Might get a few barred rock and more red sex links this year.
And of course this place will become DuckVille in order to find my boys a few appropriate wives.

What breeds and combos are you planning on getting this spring ?


  1. Great job on fixing up that critter hole! Looks like some happy chickens and ducks there also. Do you make your own kefir? I am clueless on kefir, but I love yogurt.. right now I'm thinking they are similar. Maybe :) No plans of new fluffs here this Spring, but you never know.. lol. Have a great weekend! -Tammy

    1. Tammy, Yes, I make my own kefir. Very simple. No cooking involved. Which is a good thing for me! Its a magical beverage. Do some online reading about it.
      It is fascinating information and all of it is true.

  2. Oh I do hope you figure out what it is it looks like rat to me but I have not had chickens for a long time. B

  3. This year will be predominantly Austrolorps (25), with Barred Rocks (10) so Ernie will not be a singleton. And we've decided to give Delawares a try, even though they are white and we've avoided white same as you. So there are 15 of those.

    But they are highly rated as dual purpose, with good laying abilities. So we'll see what this experiment will bring (hopefully not predators...).

    1. My farm friend has 10 Austrolorps and loves them. They look like baby penguins as chicks. Let me know how your Delawares do. My neighbor has a few too. Very meaty looking.

  4. What a great job fixing the bottom of the henhouse door! That oughta take care of the little bugger!
    My chickens love leftover cottage cheese too. Since I occasionally have a surplus of the goat milk, I sometimes make them their own batch.
    We are going to let one of our Buff Orpingtons set this spring to see if we get chicks. I *think* the rooster is doing his job, we'll see! ;)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm looking forward to following along with you!

  5. I want chickens in my backyard some kinda bad!!! Just waiting on hubby to build my coop. What breeds do you recommend for a newbie who lives down south where it gets real hot in the summer months? Love all your pics...kept sighing over them.

    The Way Grandmama Does It

    1. Lisa, You have the advantage of not having extreme cold winters, so the breed choices are many. Red Sex links are the true egg producers and never stop. Barred rocks are the official Farm Hen. I love the calmness of the Speckled Sussex. My obsession is the Blue Laced Re Wyandotte and I hope to have a few by May. The true comics are ducks and I enjoy them every minute. Fine a color you like and go from there. My neighbors have 9 different breeds of black hens (sex links, Astrolops, barred rocks, Jersey Giants.) My other neighbors have 5 breeds of white hens (Delawares, white rocks, light brahmas, etc) . I started with gold and red because my cows and fields are the same color. Let me know what you end up with.

  6. Hi thanks for stopping by our blog - so thrilled to find you. Glad you blocked up the hole.
    Love Leanne