Month : March 2012

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Chickens Coop Care Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

Routines

Enjoying scratch early in the morning

We all have them.  Even the most happy go lucky people tend to have routines in their day.  Some routines are simple like drinking a cup of coffee, driving a certain way to work or talking to someone on the phone everyday.  Other routines are elaborate such as getting ready in the morning, coiffing hairstyles and applying make-up.  I think we all develop routines because in many ways, routines are comfortable.

Unbelievably, our chickens have daily routines.  They are smart.  Their own routines include waking up in the morning, early activities in the coop as dawn arrives before they are let out and their afternoon siestas. These routines, though simple, make up parts of their days.  Interestingly though, I have noticed that they have become accustomed to routines that I have created for them as well.  Just as a dog knows when it is time to partake in a daily stroll, our chickens know just what lies ahead when they see me.

Each morning, our routine is pretty simple.  I refill the outside waterer first and scatter a bit of scratch on the ground in the run.  I open up the coop door and the girls pop out of their coop one by one like pieces of popcorn.  It has been this way for years.  One day, I recall that I mixed up this routine.  I had done everything else that I typically did, except instead of scratch, I scattered fruits and veggies in the run.  They were so confused.  They were so focused on looking for scratch that they neglected to care about the fresh goodies in plain view.  Those fruits and veggies arrived too early.  They are usually given as a late morning snack.  The poor girls were so confused that I actually did go and get some scratch and scatter it about.  Instantly, they set off into their routine as though nothing had ever been askew.  It was at this point that I realized the importance of their habits.  Perhaps, knowing what to expect in some way made them feel safe.

Last week as we left the house around 5:30am to catch our flight from the airport, I decided to open up the coop early.  It was still dark.  Yet, the early morning wild birds had begun to sing and I knew that daylight was mere minutes away.  As I opened the coop, It was very still and quiet.  All of a sudden, I heard one of the chickens say in a quiet deep voice, “Burh, burrrhhh”.  I translated it as, “Is that you?”  I whispered back, “It’s just me sweeties, have a great day girls, I’ll miss you.”  I heard no response.  Later that evening, I had called our chicken babysitter to check on the girls.  Despite looking everywhere, she told me that no one laid any eggs that day.

Eggs that chickens lay in the morning are formed in their bodies overnight as they sleep.  When chickens are disrupted or startled in the evening, it can lead to a decrease or lack of egg production.  I guess even something as simple as my opening the coop early contributed to the lack of eggs.

The following evening, I checked on the girls.  Everything was back to normal.  They were back on their schedule and the chicken sitter was graciously thanked with seven beautiful eggs.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

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Gardening Tours

Blooms: The Boston Flower and Garden Show

We got in from vacation two days ago and it seems that I have so much that I want to share with everyone! We have so many wonderful things coming in the days ahead including a huge giveaway starting April 2nd. You will not want to miss! But first, we have some catching up to do.

A couple weeks ago, I made the trek to Boston for the annual flower and garden show. Over the past few years, this show has had a rocky existence. A few years back, there was no show. It was a huge disappointment to many of us who looked forward to the show each year. However, despite the struggling economy and times, I am happy that the horticultural society revived the show continues to make an effort. Gardening is timeless. It is therapeutic and always trendy. Whether it be grand or quaint, it can make a huge impact. Much of my inspiration for the Spring and Summer seasons ahead come from gardening shows.

Of course, I am always searching for chickens at these shows, because they are the heart of my garden. They are the personalities that make the garden come alive amongst it’s splendor and color. They are the humor. They are the moving composters and exterminators who flit quietly and sometimes quickly across the scene.

There were plenty of beautiful blooms.

 

Fun sitting areas
Gorgeous floating staircases over water
Exotic birds from Australia
Yet the only place I found chickens was in one of the lovely miniature gardens.
I did however find these adorable succulents in ceramic egg containers.
I just had to have one.
This season, I am looking forward to waking up my gardens again from their winter slumber and creating a garden just for our chickens. Here is what I did last year. The girls absolutely loved it! Even if you don’t garden, try creating a few portable container gardens for your chickens that you can introduce into the run. They take up little space and don’t require free-ranging to partake in the fun.
Update: Our sponsor, My Pet Chicken, has just announced the April 2nd giveaway that I eluded to in the first paragraph of this post! It has been so hard to keep under wraps. We are giving away a chicken coop! Click here for details and be sure to come back on April 2nd and enter to win.

Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Tuesday: A Week in Photos

October 2010

Tom the Turkey, resident of Audubon Sanctuary, Long Pasture

We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos. 



Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Monday: A Week in Photos

June 2011
Free ranging fluffy butts of summer.


We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Sunday: A Week in Photos

March 2011

Proud Momma Dolly looks over her little ones as they eat, drink and explore in their private brooder.

We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Saturday: A Week in Photos

June 2011
Tilly and Oyster Cracker were enjoying digging and scratching in the same hole.  When one would pick their head up, the other would put their head down.  Chicken Teamwork.

We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos. 


Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Friday: A Week in Photos

March 2011

I went to visit my good friend’s poor little Silkie that was egg bound.  Here she is after she passed the egg.  During her treatment, she was kept warm under a heat lamp and was placed here to rest.  She made a full recovery.

We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Thursday: A Week in Photos

May 2011

Mr. Tilly’s nest was out birding in Beech Forest at the Cape Cod National Seashore and discovered these Canadian Geese with their goslings.

We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos.

Photo Credit:  Mr. Tilly’s Nest

Chickens

Wednesday: A Week in Photos

May 2011

While out free ranging this past Spring, Tilly found an oak branch and took it with her all over the gardens.  It was so funny to watch as she dragged it from place to place.

We are away this week visiting Mickey! Feel free to leave comments and captions for this week’s photos. I can’t wait to read them all when I come back. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week of photos.


Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

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Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Signs of Spring Interpreted By Chickens

Our littlest one feeding the girls scratch in a Spring dress and snow boots.

Chickens are the only ones excited about daylight savings.

Chickens spend more time outside of the coop in the run.

Chickens begin to find bugs and goodies when out and about.

Chickens sing along to the morning chorus of wild bird songs.

Chickens begin to be more alert and on the lookout for flying predators.

Chickens go to bed late.

Chickens begin to lay eggs regularly.

Chickens go broody.

Chickens begin to enjoy a good dust bath again.

Chickens and their human family begin to spend more time together.

The waterers are no longer frozen in the morning.

The gray veil of Winter is no longer the backdrop of the landscape.

You find your chickens free ranging among the bulbs of Spring; tulips, daffodils and crocuses.

New life emerges from the ground, from buds and from clutches of eggs.

Happy Spring from Tilly’s Nest
Photo Credit:  Mr. Tilly’s Nest