Friday, July 31, 2015

Floppy and Un-Floppy

Red Door Coop welcomes two new birds to the flock today.  They are one-year-old Red Star chickens.  This is the same breed as our old friend Fitz, who frequently laid large eggs.  We got these two birds from a nice flock in Morrison, Colorado.  I let the kids on the little farm pick out our two birds.  So far, I think they did a great job!
One of the chickens has a floppy comb.  She's on the left.  The one on the right has a smaller, un-floppy comb.  Or is it the other way around?  Hard to tell in a photo.  We will decide on names this weekend.

The new chickens are in Red Door Coop pen and will stay there for a few days.  They haven't even seen Bill, BB, Weezy, or Lou yet.  All six birds have been listening to each other and have joined each other in chicken song. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Monster Mash

On the advice of the chicken vet, I've been feeding the chickens Monster Mash every day.  This is a combination of cracked corn, a little molasses, Citracal powder, and whatever leftovers we have in the fridge.  The Red Door Coop hens love it!

We are trying to get Lou to put on some weight before winter so I don't mind that she is extra bossy at feeding time. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Time Out

I peeked over the fence at the coop this morning and saw Lou and BB. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


This volunteer squash vine is growing better than anything else in our vegetable garden.  From the looks of them today I am guessing spaghetti squash. 

The Boss

Lou was up on the loft this morning.  She hops up to the loft hoping for scratch since we often put a little pile there.  When I didn't give her a treat she decided to just take in the coop from above, mostly staring down Bill who stared up at her.

BB wanted nothing to do with the others since a more serious matter was at hand.  She headed in to a nesting box.  You can see her looking towards the coop in the first photo and then in she goes.

Lou will go to the veterinarian tomorrow morning to check on the lice and her weight.  After 2 Neem baths in the last two weeks and repeatedly cleaning the coop, we think that the birds are lice free.  Fingers crossed.  They've also been getting all kinds of treats from the kitchen.  Here are three of them chowing down.  Weezy is on edge here because Lou keeps sending her away.  If you hadn't already guessed, Lou is in charge, the boss. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My friend's Hereford Piglets

When I was at The Farmy we were preparing for the Hereford Piglets.  Well, those piglets arrived recently and Miss C posted videos of the darling little oinkie piglets on her blog.  Stop whatever it is you are doing while you read this blog and click here to watch the adorable piglets and their big Mama, Poppy. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How does your garden grow?

Very well, thank you.

We have green beans, yellow beans, four varieties of tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, and spinach.
Next you can see our giant volunteer squash plant.  We aren't sure what kind it is yet, but I am guessing pumpkin.  It is bigger than any of the squash plants we deliberately planted elsewhere in the yard. 
The Catalpa tree in the front yard is doing great.
And the new trees in the back yard are still little, but thriving.

If you are wondering about the chickens, they are doing very well.  They survived the bath time escapades and have been eating all their special human table scraps happily.  They do not know that on Thursday morning there will be more baths!  Shhhh.  It's a secret.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Papa Hen and I have been doing loads of research about lice and mites on chickens.  We are not happy with the chemicals commonly used to treat these pests and have been looking for alternatives.  We do not want to use chemicals that are dangerous for the chickens and humans (us).

We discovered a number of online reports recommending  Neem Oil to treat lice and mites on chickens.  I was familiar with Neem Oil spray because I once used it when we had nasty gnats on some of our houseplants.  I found the spray I used on the houseplants and treated the roosts and perches in the chicken coop.  Last night we did a little shopping and I bought some pure Neem Oil.  Following the advice of Sustainable Scientist I gave the four birds baths of Neem Oil, warm water, and mild dish soap this morning.  It was quite the task and makes me feel like I am not at all on summer vacation! 

Some birds behaved better than others.  Mama Hen got wet.

BB was calm and serene and Lou would not pose for a photo in her straggly, wet, and involuntary bath situation. 
 Here are BB and Lou drying out in the sun.

Weezy was a bit jumpy but calmed down in the warm water.  She did not care for the hair dryer at all!

Bill was a bit more agitated than I thought she would be.  Boy, did the green tint in her feathers look beautiful when she was a wet mop!  (Not that you can tell in the photo)
Here she is getting dry.

I noticed lots of little black bits (bugs?  I hope) floating in the water when I was done.  The chickens groomed themselves in the sun for awhile and then I made a feast for them to entice them back into the coop. 

I will repeat the bath routine in a week and hopefully find that the bugs are gone.  *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

And Now There Are Four

Red Door Coop houses four chickens now,  Bill, Lou, BB, and Weezy.  

When I took Fitz in to the vet last week I also took Lou.  Lou's been molting forever and seems thin.  The other birds are chub-ola and have beautiful feathers, so we figured Lou has something going on that hasn't gotten to the other birds.  The vet confirmed that Lou is a bit underweight.  She also has a kind of lice that eats her feathers.  Sigh.  But we got advice and an action plan to get her better.  The chickens will get more food scraps from the house.  We will also give them molasses, cracked corn and a little calcium citrate powder.  Papa Hen and I are also giving the coop a good cleaning every few days and sprinkling some powder into the dirt bath that will help take care of the lice.  We'll take Lou back to the vet in a few weeks to check her weight and her feathers.

Here are the four birds on another rainy day.

Avalanche Ranch

Papa Hen and I just returned from a vacation with lots of family at Avalanche Ranch.  We had a lot of fun biking, hiking, hot-tubbing, playing games, and dining together each night.

There was a small farm on site with the most beautiful little lambies.  There were also chickens and one llama.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

RIP Fitz

I am sad to report that Fitz was more ill than we imagined.  The vet said that her difficulty breathing showed signs of a serious respiratory problem and then he mentioned a few scary diseases...and her age.  She's kind of old.  So we said goodbye to her today.

Now Mama Hen has to choose a new favorite chicken.

Here she is earlier this year when she was molting.
 And this week.
We'll miss Fitz. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Hot.  Hot.  Hot.

The chickens are too hot.  Especially Fitz.  I'm worried that something worse than heat is wrong with her and may take her to a veterinarian tomorrow.  She is panting and slow and stretching her neck out now and again.  Have I mentioned that she hasn't laid an egg in ages?  We think that her not laying is her age and that she was a lot older than we thought when she first came to Red Door Coop.  But who knows.

Because the chickens recently had lice and Fitz seems to have some symptoms of worms (according to the terrifying Interwebs) I added Rooster Booster wormer to their food as directed. 

She spent a lot of time alone in the coop and in the yard today.

 And then her friends finally joined her.