Friday, June 14, 2013

Checking out the new chickens

My little man loves watching the chickens.  Here are a couple photos of him one morning...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Chickens

Our new chickens, Minnie, Bennet and Princess Leia
So, after much discussion, we decided to bypass raising chicks again.  We didn't want to start all the way over with chicks that would need to stay in the house for the next 4 weeks.  We had the City of Golden Permit, the coop, pen and run built, and the yard just felt empty with out chickens. We also have eaten our last egg from Belle, Briar Rose and Mermaid and don't want to wait until October to get eggs. After a lot of though, we are going to get some chickens that can be outside, but are still a few weeks away from laying eggs.

I felt bad not going to the Golden Mill for our chicks, but was able to support small local business through a farm in Erie, CO called Wildfire Farms.  I spoke to the lady and she said she had lots of types of chickens to choose from.  I ran up to her farm and quickly picked out three new pullets for our family.

   Bennet the Barred Rock  - born February 22, 2013 - received at 16weeks. $19
   Princess Leia the White Leghorn - born March 29th, 2013 - received at 11 weeks. $11
   Minnie the Rhode Island Red - born March 29th, 2013 - received at 11 weeks. $11

The one thing about not raising the new girls from chicks, is I am a little afraid how they will behave in their new surroundings and with our family.  I really like the looks of the black and white Barred Rock and they are suppose to be a real nice, kind, gentle breed but a bit bossy to the other chickens.  I am hoping that having the two younger chickens will keep Bennett from being too bossy.  The white leghorn, Princess Leia, is kinda spastic and skitish...  I have read that this is their breed, so I don't expect much change of her behavior.

Happy to have chickens again and its nice to have a couple new breeds to raise too!

We will miss you Belle, Briar Rose and Mermaid, you taught me and my family a lot in your short time with us!
My kids and our chicks  - April 2012

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Got it!

So, after losing two chickens, I was sad.  After losing the third, I was pissed!  I went to HomeDepot to buy a raccoon trap but surprisingly they were all sold out?!  Huh?! Really?! Raccoon traps are that in need?!??!

Not wanted to wait for new ones to come in, I jumped on good old Craigslist and found a guy in nearby Lakewood who had a brand new trap for sale for $50, the same price as HD.  I met up with him and he gave me some tips on catching a raccoon.  I set the trap up Sunday night with some wet cat food and came out the next morning to find the food gone!  That means he is still around!  I set it up again last night and made sure to put the food farther to the back and came out this morning to find this mean guy in the trap!!  
Caught inside the chicken run, I am blaming this raccoon for the death of our three chickens
 and sentencing him to banishment from Golden for life!
Not feeling good about killing an animal who was pretty much invited to eat my chickens, I thought the best way to keep him from coming back would be exile him from Golden and release him down near Bear Creek Lake State Park. Its probably only about 7 miles away, but there is C-470 highway and I-70 highway that I hope keeps him away.  Goodbye and good ridden Rocky Raccoon!

I'll keep the trap set for the next week or more to see if he had any friends that liked chickens too while we discuss as a family what we want to do next about chickens.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Another one bites the dust....

While we lost two of our chickens earlier this week, sadly last night we lost Mermaid too.  I had her in the pen and was gone at a friends house.  I came home a little late around 11:30pm and went to close up the run, but found another pile of feathers in the pen.  Normally closing the coop up late hasn't been a problem this past year, but what ever got the chickens earlier this week, must still be hungry and came back for one last treat.

To be honest, I was feeling very bad for Mermaid being the last and lonely chicken.  I was also worried about introducing new chickens into her home.  While I am feel horrible she is gone and feel solely responsible for her death, I do feel like she is happier.  I hope she got to meet up with Belle and Briar Rose in a chicken coop in the sky!

I spoke to all our neighbors about what happend to the first two chickens.  One neighbor said he say them across the street and tried to catch them but they were too quick.  Another neighbor found an egg in his yard.  So, the chickens were out BEFORE they were attacked.  Another neighbor said they saw a big fat raccoon along their fence.  While its still not clear how the first chickens got out of the pen, evidence is leading to RockyRaccoon for the disappearance of Belle, Briar Rose and Mermaid.

Next step... catch the bastard raccoon that has been getting my chickens!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sad news

The last photo of our chickens. My wife misplaced her wallet in the backyard and I told her the chickens had stolen it!
I am saddened to say, but over memorial day weekend, we were on a trip to Gunnison, CO and came home to find two piles of feathers in the back yard.  Mermaid was hiding and is still alive!  While not clear how the chickens got out, there is evidence that they had been in in the front yard before something got them.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


A quick photo from gathering eggs this afternoon.  There is just something classic about eggs sitting in a nest of straw.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Other then the addition of a the upgrade to another door, I've been pretty happy about my chicken coop design and run set up.  Even though its been snowing every week, I was thinking about the hot summer days and that the chickens may need some shade.  The area under the coop, was fenced in on one side which prevents the chickens from getting out.  This also made the space under the coop useless.  I decided to take down that wood and then put some wire fencing in on the other sides to allow the chickens a place to hang out under the coop but still be in the larger fenced in area.  I made the quick modifcation one Friday afternoon and the next sunny morning, the chickens were all under the coop digging at the dirt and getting comfortable.  :)  I hope this provides them a cool enough place for the summer!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chickens in Golden

So, the other day I took the kids down to the Golden Mill to see their latest shipment of chicks. My little boy loved watching the chicks.  It reminded me how CUTE they are and how QUICK the chicks grow!

After that, we were on our way along the Clear Creek bike path to the park and stopped by the Historic Park to check out the chickens down there.  It looked like the chicken house was getting a new roof and the chickens were on "vacation" over in the goats house.  This confused my daughter quite a bit...
I really enjoy living in a "smaller" city where chickens are a normal everyday occurrence.  I have noticed, as many of you may have noticed too, but people are circling back to bringing our lifestyles and food sources back to home. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


One thing about living in Golden is you can't throw a rock with out hitting a CSM student.  The house next door is a rental and we get a yearly influx of new CSM students as neighbors.  Usually they keep their peace and don't talk to use much.  Recently, I was talking to a guy who lives next door who is a Masters student who grew up in Alaska.  He was telling me about his summers fishing salmon with his father and sister.  He said he had a bunch of salmon from last years season and we ended up trading a FAT salmon steak for a dozen eggs!  Thanks to Nick H for the fish grilling secrets!  
 I never thought eggs would bring in some great tasting fish!  Thank you chickens!  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good morning chickens!

Just a cute photo of my son watching over the chickens one morning!  :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Who let the chickens out?!!?!??????


So, my son is just starting to walk and I took him out to see the chickens.  The first thing he did was walk over to the gate and tried to open the latch... so cute!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Snow Day!

Jeffco School were closed today for a snow storm!  Happily, this was the first storm this year that didn't show up on Saturday or Sunday.  We had a nice cozy morning and started the lazy day off with some strawberry and chocolate chip pancakes, made with fresh eggs.  Here is a quick pict of the coop and pretty clear run towards the end of the storm.  
4th big storm of the year

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Birthday!

The chickens are officially no longer pullets and now at 1 year old, the girls can be called hens!
Happy Birthday!  Mermaid (left), Cinderella (center) and big Belle (right)    
A little reflection on the past year with chickens...
Thank you to anyone who still reads the blog.  I don't update as much now a days as the chickens the daily routine is pretty normal, but will continue the blog and interesting posts as long as they are apart of our family.  Happy birthday chicks!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Snow Storms 2 & 3

The girls waiting the storm out inside their coop

While we had a pretty mild winter this January and February, the weekly snow storms of 8" and more in March and April have made up for it.  After shoveling out the chicken yard and coop, I had a little thought to myself...  why am I doing this?  I love the chickens and they are part of the family, but I'd rather be inside the warm house playing with the kids.  I also know the chickens don't like the deep snow and end up spending the days in the coop waiting for the snow to melt.  

Coming out for a walk after the snow

The coop during the storm
With a little notice for the next storms, I started covering the roof of the chicken run with some old carpet.  It worked nicely and actually kept the snow completely off the floor of the run.  The chickens came out during the snow and ate a bit of food and nibbled on the snow.

A nice dry chicken run

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bumblefoot - NSFW

The patient in recovering room
Another chicken buddy, SeaBass, sent me these gross pictures (don't say I didn't warn you) of this chicken who had a bad case of bumblefoot.   It pretty much is an infection on the chickens foot and can be caused by a number of things.  I am sure that the dirt and feces the chickens walk in can take a small thing like a thorn or splinter and make it much worse.  His chicken was lethargic and not acting normal.  Dr. SeaBass bought a scalpel online and did some home surgery.  

I would check your chickens for bumble foot. I found that 3 of my 6 had it. We performed surgery on them and they are better now.

I ordered a scalpel just to have it handy if I ever have to perform other surgery as well. I had one chicken die a while ago because she had an impacted crop. If you have any chickens that are lethargic this is a symptom of impacted crop. Amazing what you learn!

He ended up finding a thorn in the wound.  He cleaned it and wrapped it up and the chicken was better a few days later. 

So, just keep this in mind and check your chickens feet every now and then, or if they act a bit more weird then normal chickens do.  :)

Successful surgery

The thorn that caused the bumblefoot