Month : January 2013

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Feathered Friendship

Oyster Cracker and Sunshine are our big, golden, Buff Orpingtons and they are inseparable.  They have a very beautiful bond that they have shared since they were day old chicks.  I felt nostalgic today and sought out their baby picture.  My how they have grown.  It is so very hard to believe that they are almost three years old.

Chickens Health Issues

Frostbite and Backyard Chickens

Tilly's Nest-chicken frostbitewp
Frostbitten wattles and comb

During the winter months, chickens can become prone to frostbite.  Frostbite can occur on combs, wattles and even their feet.  Chickens with larger combs and wattles often are the most susceptible.  Cold hardy breeds, such as Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Australorps, and Silkies tend to have smaller combs.  During colder weather, most chickens will poof out and poof up their head feathers and you will notice that their combs become almost entirely covered by their feathers.  Chickens will also naturally roost in the evening.  When roosting, the chicken’s body will cover their feet and toes, keeping them warm from the cold winter air.  These are two ways that chickens’ bodies help to prevent frostbite. Yet, sometimes breeds succumb to frostbite for other reasons.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

A Chilly Reminder from the Chickens

Tilly's Nest- birdhouse snow chilly winter weather
One of our garden birdhouses iced over.
Yesterday, an arctic chilly blast from Canada arrived on Cape Cod.  Typically, our winters are balmy due to the insulating effect of the ocean.  Yet yesterday, temperatures never reached double digits.  The waterers were frozen.  My lips became horribly chapped.  I could not bear to touch the predator proof locks with bare hands.  Everything seemed to be brittle, cold and frozen- yes, dare I say, even the chicken poop.

Giveaways

Giveaway: Chicken Sweatshirt

Are you a Farm Chick or a Farm Dude? Our sponsor, Hobby Hill Farm, is giving away one of their crew neck sweatshirts to one of our lucky friends.  Every sweatshirt is made to order and features custom embroidery work.  If you win, they will help you create your very own sweatshirt.  These sweatshirt are pre-shrunk and pill resistant. They feature a 1×1 ribbed spandex collar, cuffs & waistband, set-in sleeves, concealed seam on cuffs, and two-needle coverstitching throughout.
Hobby Hill Farm is located in Virginia. They are a great place to keep in mind when you are shopping for fellow animal lovers.  They have items for the kitchen, wonderful tote bags, gift items, flags and so much more.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I love this chicken rug! I think it would be so sweet greeting folks at the front door or near the kitchen sink.

I also just think these magnets would make a wonderful gift.
Finally, this rooster mug might help me be more of a morning person!

To see all of their available chicken items for sale, click here.

Enter to Win A Farm Chick/Farm Dude Sweatshirt

3 possible entries
1.  Become a fan of Hobby Hill Farm on Facebook. Tell them Tilly sent you.~1 entry
2.  Check out their fabulous website and tell me what you would put on your wishlist.~1 entry
3.  Follow Tilly’s Nest (options are on the right.)~1 entry
4.  Be sure to leave a comment on this post sharing which entries you did.  Please leave an email or an alternative way to contact you.

The Fine Print: Contest ends 1/27/13 at 12 noon EST. Three possible entries per person/one comment only. One randomly selected winner will win. This item will ship to a US address only. 

Photo Credits:  Hobby Hill Farm

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Meet Sara

sara our miniature schnauzer
Last Saturday, we picked up the newest addition to our family, a Miniature Schnauzer.  My son named her Sara.  She is such a love and is a very good little girl.  We are so happy to have a dog back in the house.  I am also looking forward to her getting to know Tilly and the girls come warmer weather.  For now, they have glanced at one another from a distance.  Initially, when the chickens would see her outside, they would sound the alarm.  Confused, jealous or a bit nervous, Tilly and the girls wanted me to know their feelings.  I am looking forward to training her to be sweet little guard dog for the chickens.
Tomorrow I am headed to the biggest poultry show in New England, The Northeastern Poultry Congress.  I will be attending with a few other chicken friends. If you happen to be there, meet me near the mini-snack bar at lunch.  Be sure to introduce yourself!  I would love to meet you in person.
Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

 

Crafts Family Fun Seasons Winter

Suet Wreath

Well this week is about the birds again. I hope you don’t mind!  We really have taken up backyard birding at the feeder.  We love feeding the birds a variety of things including sunflower seeds, thistle, suet and even oranges for the Orioles come springtime.  This week I shared over on HGTV Garden how to make a delicious suet wreath feeder for the wild birds in your very own kitchen.  It is easy and the birds just love it especially woodpeckers!  Click here to make your very own.

Giveaways

Giveaway: A BriteTap Combo Pack

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our newest sponsor, chickenwaterer.com.  I have to tell you that their product has revolutionized my flocks’ waterer.  No matter who I talk to, providing a clean water source for your chickens is one of the difficulties that chicken keepers face. No matter the flock size, somehow traditional waterers always seem to get a bit mucky by the end of the day.  The Brite Tap waterer is now available as a smart and viable option to keep your flock’s water crystal clear and free from possible water borne illnesses. 
The Brite Tap waterer can be used with an array of various types of containers.  The possibilities are endless.  The Brite Tap Combo Pack, that we are giving away, comes with the red cooler and the BriteTap waterer.
Easily assembled, the waterer is filled and place at eye level with your flock.  Once introduced, it does not take long for the chickens to get the hang of it.  They seem to learn from one another quite quickly.
It took Tilly and the girls a few hours to figure out how to use this waterer.  In the Northeast, it has been cold and the waterer has worked nicely as long as we do not go into freezing conditions.  I fill the cooler with warm water in the morning and at the end of the day, I remove it from the coop and place it in the garage to prevent it from freezing.  There are other helpful techniques on the website too to help deal with freezing temperatures.   On days when I expect icy temperatures, I use the traditional waterers.  The girls do not mind interchanging. Yet, I do have to say that I am most looking forward to filling our Brite Tap Combo Pack with cool refreshing water in the summer.  I know the girls will appreciate drinking crystal clear, chilled water from the cooler that lasts the day during the summer heat!

Here is how you can enter 
to Win a Brite Tap Combo Pack
4 possible entries
1.  Leave a comment on this post below to enter.  Be sure to leave an email address or an alternative way to contact you.  (1 entry, mandatory)
2.  Say hello to chickenwaterer.com on Facebook.  Tell them Tilly sent you. (1 entry)
3.  Tell us why you think your flock would benefit from the Brite Tap waterer. (1 entry)
4.  Subscribe to our blog,  your options are on the right (1 entry)

The Fine Print: Contest ends 1/19/13 at 12 noon EST. Four possible entries per person/one comment only. One randomly selected winner will win a Brite Tap Combo Pack.  This item will ship to a US address only.  Disclosure:  I have received a complimentary Brite Tap Combo Pack from chickenwaterer.com to use with my own flock.  However, the opinions that I have shared in this post are all my own.


Photo/Video Credit:  chickenwaterer.com

Beekeeping Bees Hive Maintainance

A Peek at the Beehives in Winter

Last, week the hives were covered in snow.

Earlier this week I went to our monthly local beekeeper’s meeting.  As always, it is so wonderful connecting with folks, checking in with them and hearing updates about their lives and the bees.  Over the course, of chatting, I quickly learned that many folks had already lost their hives and were busy ordering nucs and packages to replace their lost colonies in the spring.  As the temperatures were expected to warm up this week, I decided that I needed to take a peek into my hives sooner than later. Peeking at beehives in winter can be tricky.