Archives

Life in the Slow Lane

We’ve been here for a little while now and thought it was time to install a few amenities…maybe a screened indoor pool would be nice…

….Mr. Fifty Shades thought it would be a good idea to add some chicks...

He always said he was a chick magnet…and, well…after a trip to the post office, he returned with proof!

Each of these little fuzzy little creatures needs to be taught to drink water first thing…

…and then they kind of figure things out from there…

Gathering at the water cooler

 

Ah…here’s where the food is!

The heat lamp is attached to a thermostat that is on its way to a temperature of 95 degrees, keeping these chicks at the warm and cozy temperature they need to thrive for their first few weeks.

In other news, our neighbor’s cow and her calf are grazing on a section of our property for a little while and they are always ready for a photo op…  

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team

 

Advertisements

The Scout Report – Winter is here…and other stuff

Hi Everyone from Fifty Shades of Green Acres!

Sage has been re-thinking her role in Mrs. Fifty Shades’ broken wrist and she would like to present…some Alternative Facts.

No we are not kidding…

Alternative Facts – by Sage

Fact:  When the “incident” occurred, Mrs. Fifty Shades was looking here in the nest boxes, which is where the chickens lay their eggs.

Fact:  There were no eggs…because for a couple months the chickens have been molting – kind of like shedding their feathers and growing new feathers (see below how much lighter the new feathers are on their bodies compared to the feathers near their heads).  During this process they stop laying eggs.

The situation is so dire that Mr. and Mrs. Fifty Shades have actually had to Buy Eggs.  Like from the grocery store!

Fact:  If the chickens had been laying eggs like they are supposed to, Mrs. Fifty Shades would have already gotten her egg supply for the day and would have been paying attention to me.  Therefore….the cause of the incident is completely due to the selfish ol’ hens.  So there.

Well – there you have it, folks.  A compelling set of facts and we’ll just leave it there.

Winter has arrived and it has been pretty swell here.  Today, Sage and I enjoyed one of our favorite treats…licking the tiny layer of snow that fell  onto our deck last night.  Yummy.  It did not get above freezing here today, plus, more cold weather on the way.  YAY!

We sure enjoy sharing all the news from our little part of the world.  Used to be we thought readers from as far away places as Florida…and Arkansas – were as remote as we could imagine!  But now, we have a new reader, resulting in an international fan base – a friend from Russia following our blog.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades join us in sending everyone our warmest greetings for the holidays and the new year.

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team

My Midsummer Night’s Dream

My midsummer night’s dream…

Getting ready for our evening walk with our well behaved dogs…

20160429_193920

…Mr. Fifty Shades went outside before me.  A few minutes later, he stuck his head in the door and said, “Honey bunch, you better get a sweater, it’s a bit chilly out here.”

…And, then I woke up.  It was all a delirious dream.  It’s hot and steamy here and has been so for FOREVER.  Has it been hot where you are?  Part of our desire to move up here was to enjoy the cooler weather.  In wishing for a cool down, we know we’re not alone – the whole country has been enduring the high temps. The heat must be due to the nonexistent climate change.  That’s all I can think.

Just for something fun to occupy his time, Mr. Fifty Shades began a new project.  This mower has earned its keep and should not endure the indignity of having to share space in our garage…see how pathetic this is?…

DSC_0027

After it was determined that this tough little mower deserved a building of its own, Mr. Fifty Shades designed the building and began laying it out. The Deere’s new digs will feature a garage door and two additional doors, electricity, three windows, a 50 inch television, and a spa.  Ha!

Coincidentally and concurrently with the planning, our 14 year old (soon to be 15) friend was looking for a way to earn some money this summer.  Wow – don’t you love coincidences?  Mr. Fifty Shades and his young assistant tackled the job…

20160713_150212 1 20160713_150258 1

…and the rest of the summer is kind of a blurry, humid, impossibly scorching span of time.

20160713_190001 1 DSC_0038DSC_0033

20160724_192956 1 DSC_0035

DSC_0002 (3) DSC_0005 (4) DSC_0006 (3) DSC_0019 (3)

Here is the status as of today:

DSC_0030

…still some work to be done, but Mr. Fifty Shades believes it will be move in ready in about six weeks or so.  We are all so happy for Mr. Deere.

In milestone news, these are the three little chicks that hatched on June 12th.  They grow up so fast…

Time will tell if they are hens or roosters (they aren’t saying).

DSC_0034

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres

 

 

 

Summer!

It’s felt like summer for a while.  Officially, though, summer arrived in all its sweltering glory on June 20 at 6:34 p.m. (thank you Farmer’s Almanac) and this picture was taken about 30 minutes following the start of summer.  It looks pretty steamy out there!

DSC_0017

Random Happenings at Fifty Shades of Green Acres…

  • We are expanding the chicken coop…

DSC_0024 DSC_0023

…because two of our hens hatched some adorable chicks.

Aren’t they cute?

DSC_0016

Oh, wait.  The pictures come out better if you remove the lens cap first.

Here they are!  Two Momma Hens are taking care of three little chicks.  They are a week old here.  They were a bit camera shy for their first week and the Momma Hens were quite protective.  We learned that the Momma hens need to be kept apart from each other while they tend to their chicks, as well away from the other hens and rooster for about a month, so they are in temporary quarters for now.

DSC_0021 DSC_0015

  • The hummingbirds are back!  They stay busy sipping nectar all day.  We often see four or five of them vying for position around the feeders.

DSC_0006 DSC_0005

  • I managed to get into some poison ivy.  It was an itchy mess, but, I only complained a little…only once, really…for a three week period of time.  🙂  I’m all recovered now.

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres

 

The Chicken or the Egg

First we had a chicken problem.  Or, was it an egg problem?  The chicken problem began as a good intention – wanting to let our chicks be “free range” – letting them roam all around our property throughout the day and then shutting them in to their coop at night where they would be safe from predatory critters.  That worked for a while, but, last spring we lost a couple to a wily coyote, leaving us with only two hens.  While this may seem like plenty of hens to supply two people with eggs, we had to keep in mind that two hens are not enough for one rooster (we’ll leave you to ponder that one on your own) especially one as virile as our Murphy.

057

To save our remaining hens, we ordered new chicks and received them on July 1st.  It takes about four to six months for new chicks to develop, reach their full weight, and begin laying eggs.  In the meantime, the five new chicks enjoyed learning the ropes from the two older hens.

Unfortunately, in October, we lost one of the original hens to natural causes (we think).  During the month of December, we noticed that hawks began circling all around the property from miles high, scoping out what must have looked like a nice buffet.  One day, I heard a racket outside and opened our front door.  This startled and scared off a hawk with one of our hens in its talons.  The hawk dropped the chicken, but, did not forget where a fine feast awaited.  The sad ending is that hawks took two more chickens and we finally said – that’s it – we need to stop providing the hawks with an easy meal ticket.  So, our chickens now reside in the coop full time.  There is actually plenty of room for them and Mr. Fifty Shades has already started to plan an extension.  For the record, we have four chickens now and Murphy, the rooster.

Beginning December 24th, the new chicks began laying eggs.  They started producing one egg a day and then….

…we had a two egg day

DSC_0041

….and then a three egg day!

DSC_0042

Can a four egg day be far off?

DSC_0046

We think not!

Hope all is well in your part of the world!

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team

20151009_112838

 

 

My Spa Weekend

July 19 - a 001

This weekend, Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades took off together (apparently this was a big deal) and visited friends and family for a couple days.  This enabled me to enjoy a well earned retreat away from these two…

20150506_144340 (2)

My spa weekend included eating my favorite nibbles and enjoying some power naps and then just regular long sleeps, interspersed with roaming through the house soaking in the peace and quiet.  I also basked and preened.

20150824_093107 20150824_093121

It was a terrific weekend.  When they returned yesterday afternoon, Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades said they had a wonderful weekend, t0o!  Here are pictures of the family and friends they visited.

20150824_112433

Mrs. Fifty Shades drew the likenesses above since she FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES with her camera.  She was MAD at herself for not remembering to get her camera out, so this will have to do, she said.

I can report that while they were gone, the new chicks and the old more mature chicks bonded beautifully…

20150823_164105

…and that one of the two apples fell.  As you might expect, it did not fall far from the tree…

20150823_16452520150823_164451 20150823_164505

Even though it might not yet be ripe, Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades are going to eat it and will let us all know how it tasted.

This morning, I was informed that I should enjoy the quietude because it was about to end.  This didn’t please me…

20150824_093130

….however, I guess there is some pleasure in realizing that things are getting back to normal.

2015-02-05 15.32.26

Until next time…

This entry was posted on August 24, 2015, in chickens, Pets.

Moving Day

Today was Moving Day!  Yes, this afternoon we received a Certificate of Occupancy for the Chicken Coop Mr. Fifty Shades has been building since….the beginning of time.

Here’s a look at the Coop before the chickens were moved in…

20150819_141855

The coop runs from north to south.  The open area on the north is kind of like a screened in porch where the chickens will be able to run before we let them out in the mornings.

The area that has siding on it (the same siding that’s on our house) features a small window that can be opened to give the chicks some ventilation.

20150819_141925

Here is a view of the back (south) side of the coop where there is a ventilation door propped open and below that the nesting boxes.

20150819_142010

Here you can see the three nesting boxes, each box with its own door.  This is where the chicks go to lay their eggs.  Somehow they just know this is where they need to go.  We’ll be able to just open the door, reach in and grab the eggs, and omelets here we come.

20150819_142145

Here is a door that opens into the enclosed part of the chicken coop.  This door will only be used by the humans that live here in order to check on things and clean out the coop.  This is the part of the coop where the chicks roost at night.

20150819_142359

Below is what you see when the coop door is opened.  There are three roosts here – they are 2 X 4 boards that the chicks hop onto at night.  I didn’t really get a good close up of these, but Mr. Fifty Shades smoothed them off at the edges so the chicks will be able to easily curl their little chicken feet around them.

20150819_142312 20150819_142331

In addition, please take a look at this next picture.  Sometimes, if the chicks have trouble falling asleep at night, this light in the coop will allow them to read a little chick lit to help them relax and doze off – either that or it’s a receptacle for a heat lamp that can be turned on when the temps get below freezing!

20150819_142323

Here we are inside the screened in area – the run – and you can see Mr. Fifty Shades installing the ramp up into the coop – one of the last touches before we moved the chicks.  They will walk up and down the ramp to get into the coop and also into the nesting boxes.

20150819_142611

The door to the coop is operated by a pulley.

20150819_142646 20150819_142757

There’s a light at the entry way…these chicks have got it made.

20150819_142719

The five chicks we moved in today are about seven weeks old.  Here’s one as she was being transported in my arms…this is kind of a selfie except it’s not myself – it’s the chick in my arm.

20150819_144847

Here they all are trying to get used to their new surroundings…

20150819_150052 20150819_145251 20150819_145245

And, here are some curious onlookers…

20150819_16031520150819_160342

Tomorrow we’ll move the two chickens we’ve had since 2013 and Murphy, the rooster.  We were advised to move the new chicks in first and then the older ones a day or two later.

Mr. Fifty Shades is resting tonight, however, he told me earlier that he’s thinking about five or six projects (that doesn’t sound like enough, does it?) to begin – starting tomorrow!

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres