Baby Eggs

image It’s always so exciting to me to find the first pullet eggs in the nest boxes, our little chicks we got in February are now laying quite regularly.  Our new little girls lay three different colors of eggs: white, brown, green and dark brown. Dark brown is a new color for us and I’m excited about it.

You can tell a pullet egg by the size, they are new little hens and lay cute little eggs, as you can see in the picture below, gradually the eggs will get bigger as the hens mature.

After some losses, a hard  molt, too many roosters messing up my ladies I’m glad to see egg production on the upswing, I’m thinking I will have extra to sell soon!image

The Web of Protection

This winter has been a tough one for the chickens.

When we planned the chicken coop we tried to think of every way possible to protect our bird during the night from predators, knowing that there would be plenty out here.  We hoped that we had given them enough protection from hawks and eagles during they day, by giving them places to hide, and for the first several months things worked really well.

IMG_5136Then things started to go down hill, quickly.  The chickens figured out how to get into the dog kennel, which didn’t end well for the chicken and eventually for the dog.  Then we started to lose chickens at dusk, that time between when the chickens started to gather toward the coop to roost and we went out to shut their little door.

IMG_5154After a couple chicken kills, we happened to hear the ladies going crazy one night, as we rushed out a big barn owl flew out from under the coop where it had cornered one of the gals and had attacked. It was interesting to see the roosters try to defend the hen, they were super hero roosters.

Sadly the chicken didn’t make it.

We really want to allow the chickens to free range, to produce the healthiest eggs possible, but how do we do that and fully protect our birds?  Fully enclosing the chicken yard would work, but then we might as well just get rid of the chicken and buy organic eggs, it would be less money and less hassle.

Dadzoo installed predator lights,
and they seemed to work…

IMG_5137Until New Years Eve.
I stepped out on the back porch for something and I heard the chickens, once again, going crazy in their coop.  I yelled to Dadzoo as I ran out there, with a broom in hand, he followed quickly behind.  Dadzoo burst into the coop, the chickens were all scrambling into the nest boxes, the roosters were on attack as a big barn owl sat right in the middle of the floor, when it saw Dadzoo he flew up on the wall, clinging to the side with its huge talons and rotated its head to look right at Dadzoo.  They were about 18 inches from each other, face to face, at eye level.  The owl had flow onto the ramp and walked into the little door the chickens used to go in and out during the day!

Oh how I wanted to shoot that bird!
(now don’t go turning me into Fish and Game, I won’t shoot it, I know its protected)

Dadzoo knocked it off the wall with a broom, and then shooed it out of the little door.  The owl sat there stunned for about a minute, then flew off silently, its wing span was about 5 feet.  It was beautiful, and frustrating.

IMG_5142After the “Great Owl Attack” Dadzoo and Chocolate the Chicken Whisperer searched for another solution.

IMG_5141They created the amazing invisible chicken saving web.

IMG_5143Together they strung fishing line from the top of the chicken coop to the fence posts around the chicken yard in a loose grid pattern.  The theory is that the owl will swoop down, feel the fish line and back off, but since it can’t see the fish line it doesn’t know how to get around it, or what it really is, so eventually it will stop trying.  This, we figure, will give the chickens enough cover at dusk for them to get settled and in the coop and for Chocolate to get out there and shut the door.

IMG_5138If you look really close you can see the fishing line shinning in the sunlight.

IMG_5147The Web of Protection has been up since the first of January and so far there  have been no owl attacks, despite the fact we have seen and heard the owl since then.

IMG_5153So it seems our girls are safe
at least for now!

Fresh Eggs

Two days ago Chocolate discovered our first eggs.
They were in some odd places around the coop and as the next day wore on I got to thinking that maybe she should look around the chicken yard and other places the chickens seem to like.

IMG_4777Yesterday in the tall weeks surrounding the chicken yard and garden she found this little nest.  Considering chickens lay only an egg a day, and they rarely lay that much at the first, this sneaky little chicky has been hiding her nest for several days. IMG_4781

It’s so good to have fresh eggs again.

Fun times at Quail Run!

Another Chicken Post

Chocolate is my chicken gal,
she is doing a great job, and has done a lot of research and could probably tell you everything you would ever need to know about raising chickens.


I thought I would share some pictures of our little flock
they are getting big IMG_4168

Living in the coop IMG_4169

Scratching around the chicken yard IMG_4170

Dodging the cat IMG_4172

Teasing the dog IMG_4173

Running for cover when birds fly over
(caution is good, we have hawks out here) IMG_4175

Chasing lizards IMG_4177

Squeezing through the fence IMG_4178Eating the kitchen scraps  IMG_4157

This guy above is a rooster,
and my favorite.
I want to get some hens of his variety next year, I love the coloring.


Taking dust baths  IMG_4159

Practicing flight

IMG_4160running from the kids, especially Monkey, who loves to chase them  IMG_4162

Growing big and strong, turning into egg laying machines!

(I had to post the below picture again of my little chicken whisperer, I love this picture!)


Le Palais de Poulet


The Chicken Palace

I didn’t get pictures of all phases construction of the Palais, it was a process that took about a month, and I wasn’t around for some of it, and sometimes it was really cold and I didn’t want to go outside.  Anyway, the Palais is mostly complete, all it needs now is a coat of paint on the outside, otherwise it is housing our little brood.