Archive for March, 2014

Tell you something you don’t already know, right? 😆

No, really, in this case, I kind of am. And there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. :mrgreen:

Somehow, this is turning into a chicken blog……. the days are consistently soooooo busy that so much has flown by without an update. Much of my life day revolves around chickens- letting them out, cleaning the coop every morning while I check chooks, collecting eggs, counting heads after they go to bed, etc.

As you might remember, I’m currently overrun with boys, which I love for the most part. Part of the ooey gooey fun is knowing that when the girls go broody, if they are really mean or determined, you actually can slip some eggs under them and see what happens……. 😆

Back in January, one of our Silver Spangled Hamburgs {aka “the polka-dotted chicken”} became the meanest broody we’ve ever seen. Fortunately, we got her nest moved from the tippy top of the hay loft to the nesting boxes without losing fingers or eyes. 😀 Because it was winter and male fertility is down, I figured we likely wouldn’t hatch anything out. And besides, she was eating her way through the eggs…..

Fast forward to the second coldest snap of the winter, and one baby freezes to death hatching out of the shell. {You can see where this is going, yes?} Well, that’s not ok. On the rare chance more hatched, it was safer to move them into the house. This has kind of been an issue since we moved here, because we left the fantabulous brooder Hunny made back at the other house. Well.

Last year when we got the bantams, we put them in the stock tank. We had a few on hand, but thought we’d get one bigger for the horses, which we could use as a brooder in the meantime.

I mean, honestly? There are all kind of uses for stock tanks. We haven’t made the leap to hot tubbinghottub


or swimming in them {yet} swimming, but using as a brooder?


Pshaw. At least it’s ag/barnyard related. 😆



We started with a regular new black tank.stocktank2





That went pretty well. It was the perfect size for the bantams.  blacktank1





Then it was time for the large fowl chicks, and that presented a bit of a dilemma, since we had not completed the coop. After looking around for a bit, I settled on- you guessed it- another stock tank. This one was the loooooonnnnnggg variety. It took some doing to even get it INTO the office.


Once it was in, it was the perfect habitat for babies. 😆



And, of course, you know we added the guinea keets at some point, too.

The stock tanks, however, are not what makes me a redneck. Maybe a hillbilly, but pretty sure not a total redneck.

Nope. What vaults me into that category is salvage/repurposing all stuff. In this case, I needed a new brooder.

But wait! I know what you’re thinking- didn’t all my chicks less the new hatchlings in the other metal stock tank grow up already?

Why, yes, I’m glad you asked. They did indeed grow up! 😀 Because my girl to boy ratio is so low and I am loath to give up my boys if there is a way around, the way around it was to get more girls. :mrgreen:

A trip to my local Tractor Supply Co found me staring at a stock tank full of brahma pullets. Well. I didn’t have those. And they have FEATHERY FEET!

How could I say no? 😆

A call to my hunny resulted in a reluctant green light, and I made a mad dash home with 6 more new chicks. Yay! 😀

It didn’t take long once I was home to realize I was facing yet another quandary: where was I going to put them? We had taken the smaller metal stock tank,  which really was marginal, for the mama and her 3 babies. I made a hardware cloth divider and went outside to wander around and see if I had enough scrap wood.

Well. Lo and behold, there was an old dresser our friends had outside our little house, waiting to be transported to the dump. A quick text confirmed what I suspected- the dresser was about to become my new brooder!

I think the hardest part of this project was getting my chicken-project-hating-teenage daughter to stop rolling her eyes and moaning. I was very sure I had enough glee for both of us, but she wasn’t having any of it.

All told, grumbling included, it took about an hour and a half to get things cut and put together. brooder1

I slapped on a coat of paint that night and by the next afternoon, it was good to go.


I’ll have to unscrew the light post to get it out of the room, because as it is, it’s too wide to fit through the door.

I was really pleased, though. It didn’t take long; it saved a trip to the dump, and it was free to me less the paint and screws. A month later, it’s still doing the job as well as any other brooder.

I do a lot of reading and talking about chickens {I know you are shocked!  😯 }, and one thing I hear a lot of is that folks don’t have the money or the resources to build a brooder. I say, get your redneck on and think outside the box!

Our first brooder was the bookshelf section of one of the kids’ old computer desks that was also working on finding its way to the dump. I know folks who use plastic totes. I know folks who have chicks in their bathtubs. I know folks who use the plastic drawer stacks.

I am pretty sure I’m not the first one to use an old dresser. I surely hope I won’t be the last. I am also pretty sure I’m not the only one who gets a little rednecky from time to time, especially when it comes to chickens. The key is to think safety first. Don’t be daunted or put off of getting chicks because your “coop isn’t totally built,” or you “don’t have the right equipment.”

They say “necessity is the mother of invention,” and chicks and/or chickens are no exception.

What are the most creative brooders you’ve used? :mrgreen:

Read Full Post »

Ellis Eton has plans. And those plans don’t involve staying home and continuing to disappoint her family. College is hard. No matter how hard she studies, something always comes up and gets in the way of making good grades. Her family has expectations of her that she doesn’t want to meet- and can never seem meet, either, even when she tries.lovecomescalling

Being a girl in the 20s is hard. And her plans don’t look anything like the plans her family has for her. Nope. They don’t.

Ellis is bound and determined to make her escape from Boston to the bright lights of Hollywood. Now, if only she can get the money she needs…..

Not everyone is lucky enough to know their doppelgänger up-close-and-personal, but Ellis sure does! Julia, the daughter of her family’s cook, looks just like her; so much so that people often thought they were twins. When tragedy strikes and Julia’s mother dies, Julia comes up a with a scheme to bury her mother up north whilst still keeping her job, even though her employer won’t allow her to take time off.

You guessed it- Julia asks, and Ellis agrees to fill in for Julia at her telephone operator job. The money from the job will spring Ellis from her Boston misery. And, it’s only two weeks, right? Surely, she can manage a job for two weeks? What could possibly go wrong?

Ellis muddles through- barely- but disaster strikes when she accidentally overhears a plan that involves her long-time good friend and star athlete being “taken out of the picture.” Oh no! How can she warn Griffin without running the risk of him trying to pin her?! And who is the “King” that wants it done?

Can Ellis hold it together to keep Janie’s job and solve the mystery of who’s after her Griffin? Can she avoid his advances long enough to make her escape to Hollywood?

Siri Mitchell is another one of my favorite authors, and I was really pleased to be able to review another one of her titles.

This book had me laughing pretty much from the beginning. In many ways, it reminded me of Thoroughly Modern Millie {I’ll past a clip in at the end :lol:}. Maybe it was the era; maybe it was the pace and/or chronic “whoop”es, but Ellis just made me laugh.

This one hit a home run with me, even though I was wondering at the  beginning. If you want a light-hearted book that actually has some moral meat to it, you won’t want to miss this one. I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

I also appreciated the additional information about prohibition at the end, because that was an important time in US history. Ms. Mitchell provides more links on this subject on the website page for this title:  http://sirimitchell.com/Love_Comes_Calling.htm

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

And, as promised, a peek at Thoroughly Modern Mille. 😆





Read Full Post »

Are some mysteries better left alone and unsolved?

When Laura returns home to the South to settle the estate of her recently deceased mother, she can’t help but to feel the tug of her heartstrings; wondering what really happened to her daddy. They say he drowned in the lake all those years ago, but now folks are whispering that they’ve seen him around.  astillnessofchimes

Sean didn’t want to tell her about the rumors, but he knew it was better coming from him than anyone else. Laura didn’t need the heartache. And Sean knew heartache. He was still pining for Laura, 18 years later. Some things can never be resolved until they actually are.

Do Sean and Laura have a future together, given their past? Is there any truth to the rumors about her father not being dead? Does she even want to go down that rabbit trail of reasoning?

When Meg Moseley is on, she’s *on.* This was another fantastic title by this author. I love a good mystery, even if it seems a bit implausible at first. I wouldn’t say this book is action packed, but if you are anything like me, you might find your mind racing; thinking of possibilities and variables. And then, you might wonder what you would do in this situation.

5 out of 5 stars for this title. Read it if you can! Other Meg Moseley titles you might enjoy: Gone South and When Sparrows Fall.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: