Sunday, September 20, 2015

The "Chicken" Phase + Giant Update

So I've been MIA a while while grieving over losing my father.  He passed at the end of April and it's been harder on me than I ever expected.  I have admittedly been going through some weird phases and am here to say that if you've done some of these strange things, you are not alone.  Well, a phase I didn't even know was possible is the "Chicken" phase and it's just as it sounds.  I have been obsessed with getting hens (female chickens).  We had hens when I was younger and I really enjoyed them.  Especially the funny little things like throwing PJ in the coop... who btw freaked not only his self out but almost gave my chickens a heart attack.  So that was sweet and sour.


What I ordered was 4 Salmon Faverolles.  They are a French bird and I know that sounds all spoiled and strange, but they are really inexpensive.  They are less than $5.00 a piece and are shipped overnight when they are a day old.  Much cheaper than other rare breeds like Blue Ameraucanas which are $20.00 a piece.  Our Faverolles arrive this upcoming week and I have been nesting like a mom would.  First, above is what the birds look like when full grown and how hilariously cute they are with there fluffy white manes and 5 toed feathered legs.


After a ton of research we went with the SummerHawk brand coop.  Other types had too many things that weren't included so by the time you added them you spent just as much $$ or more.  They have heavy duty construction and expansion pens so you can give your full grown birds a ton of running room.  Our coop comes with everything... roosting bars, sleeping quarters, laying quarters, easy open egg gathering hatch, pull out easy to clean side pan and all.





For now I'm being ghetto fabulous, as pictured above.  We aren't professionally raising chicks so we aren't buying or building something fancy for the chic phase.  We're using a box from the giant giraffe that I bought the kids for there birthday.  The gift that just keeps on giving.  It's huge so they can grow the full 6-8 weeks without us having to change the box out.  Then they will finally be sent off to there fancy Victorian home out back.  And we will have the expansion pen to add another 3 feet or so, so we'll have the large pen layout that's pictured way above in this post.


Now we're just waiting on our chicks.  We have our heat lamp, straw, chick starter food.  We decided to go non-medicated.  But they are vaccinated against Mercer.

For anyone considering chicks, here are some of the things that I've learned.  First, wash your hands whenever you chill with your birds.  You can get salmonella.  You can even simply keep hand sanitizer nearby and use it after handling your little booboo baby chickie bears.  You want to have a red heat bulb and keep the temp at 95 degrees, lowering by 5 degrees each week until they are older and don't need the heat.  Plan on your chicks hanging out with you indoors for at least the first 6-8 weeks.  Some extra boosting supplements the first week to get them through the stress of shipping is a really good idea.  You can use fish oil mixed into the starter feed, water supplements for chicks and oddly enough... cooked egg yolks.  Seems a little "Walking Dead" but they are supposed to be incredible for them.

Now finally, choosing the correct breed for your needs.  After a ton of research I landed on Faverolles because of their temperament.  They are the sweetest birds you can get, are great for kids and are so sweet they often get picked on by other breeds.  So we went with nothing but Faverolles.  They will follow you around, come to their name and make awesome pets.  They are consistent layers after about 6-7 months when they start to lay.  Even through the winter.

So there you have it.  Hopefully I'll be in here more often sharing our progress as I try to pull back together to my normal self.  Writing is really cathartic so I'm hoping it helps to just get things out and help me to move on.

One other thing I've also dove into is giving back.  So I did also want to mention that our walk for St. Jude is this Saturday the 26th.  I'm still raising money for the cause so if you want to read a little about it and/or donate... I'm still trying to exceed my goal.  You can visit my donation page here:


Ah yes... and I've also been cooking a lot as usual.  Below are two recipes that I love that I've made in the last week that I highly suggest trying...



2 >>> Crepes ... Easy Recipe

And I just made the kids and Jaime's with a simple chocolate sauce drizzled over top and powdered sugar.  The sauce is just carefully melted semi-sweet chocolate chips with a little milk added until you get the consistency you want for drizzling.  For me... I use cranberry preserves on the inside and a little melted butter on top.  They fricken rock!


And below... Some random pics of us and the boys... who are doing great by the way.  I never did get a chance to blog about our big camping trip from the mid-west to California and back with a cruise in the middle and the Hollywood/The Grand Canyon visits on the way back.  We hit so many states as well as Mexico and Catalina Island.  The boys are 5 years old and are just now in Kindergarten and are doing really, really well.  They are still rowdy, happy little twin boys...













And a random bit of info, Cadillac's suck.  After two major break downs that cost us well into the thousands to fix, I decided to literally put my car on the curb in permanent time out and buy a new Chrysler Town and Country Touring.  The best vehicle that I've ever owned!


Lastly... random pics from our big trip in early April... love you guys!  Thank you everyone for reading and catching up :)