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Hey everyone. We have new T-shirts and I hope that you might be interested in having one. We’ve kept the cost down as low as we can but because we order in low volumes, its still a small fortune. We’re hoping that over time we can order in bulk.

Right now we’re offering these in only 2 colors- Black and White long sleeve or short sleeve for $22.50 plus shipping and handling.

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chickens

Oh, What To Do With The Chickens During a Storm

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With the devastation and passing of Hurricane Harvey and the up-and-coming storm Irma, many are concerned about their chickens. When you have a couple of chickens, you can easily put them in the bath tub or box during a storm. If you have a handful, you could secure them safely in a crate. When you have two hand-fulls, a cage in the garage might be best but when you have dozens of yard birds, you must do something to keep them safe and all the while make them as comfortable as possible. More than likely that will occur in in the chicken yard.

On my little farm, I have 5 runs side-by-side with varied coop configurations. In addition, there are 2 very small coops for my growers. These two coops are perfect for the youngins’ but at about 3 months old, they must be moved to a larger area and somehow into one of the 5 runs and coops. Sometimes I find myself having to rearrange the girls due to size and space. As a result there is hardship on the weaker personality chickens because hen pecking is a truth. During a hurricane though, I have to let hen pecking take its course because rearranging who’s in what coup is a necessity. I definitely have to regroup and the girls don’t like it.

For some days, I’ve been planning on what to do as hurricane Irma comes closer and closer. On the internet this week, I saw a photograph of chickens wrapped in newspapers as if they were swaddled like a baby. The owners were apparently Key West evacuees and transporting their flock to safety. In truth, I was shocked when I laid eyes on the image but the more I thought about that person’s plight, it may have been an ingenious idea to keep the chickens safe and sound. Each of us have to think about our own situation so as to do the best for our flock under the conditions in which we are faced. In that person’s case, evacuating from the largest recorded hurricane on record meant taking the flock as best as possible and safely. I’ve never seen a chicken swaddled but it seemed to work well. Who am I to criticize this chicken keeper when it’s obvious that safety was the number one concern for those chickens.

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Chickens being evacuated from Key West, Florida. I do not know who to credit. There was no name available.2017- Hurricane Irma

Preparing for a storm has many facets and every chicken keeper must do what is in the best interest of his or her flock. Considering storm concerns: chickens don’t swim and can drown easily. Chickens are light and cannot endure heavy winds. Chickens are small and could easily be hurt from flying debris. Chickens have their own agenda and do not come when being called like a dog or a cat (unless you’re feeding them LOL).

Chickens Don’t Swim
Chickens are not like ducks. They can sort of float- a while. Over time though, they get basically water-logged and will drown. The are not water birds. I have a pond near the coops. The chickens scratch and eat from the basin but never and I mean never go for a swim. Ever. The most water my chickens expose themselves to is sometimes stepping in their water bucket but that’s pretty much the extent of their water foray. A storm surge could be the death of one or a whole flock of chickens so I want to do all possible to protect my animals from storm water.

Chickens are Light and Cannot Endure Heavy Winds
According to reference.com, the average broiler weighs 5.80 pounds. It would never do for a chicken to be loose in a chicken run with 80 plus mph winds. Should chickens get in the wind surge of a hurricane it could easily toss the feathered friend to and fro. Chickens must be in a safe and covered area during a storm.

Chickens are Small and Cannot Endure Flying Objects
During a storm debris is flying all over. Leaves, branches, home objects and more are being tossed all around. Chickens do not have the sense or agility to fend for themselves in such conditions. They must be inside a safe area and be taken care of during such an event.

Chickens Are Not Like Cats or Dogs

Chickens are chickens. They hunt, peck and run towards you when you have food. While they may come to you when you call, they are not like a cat or dog where they jump in your arms and wait to be carried into the house. Chickens are foragers and that is their life.

Everyone has their own ideas on what to do during a storm. Here is what I did during Hurricane Matthew and will do again when Irma comes our way.

Before the storm, I go ahead and try to put more chickens in each run so as to minimize use of coops during the storm. I use the strongest coops possible for their safety. Days before the storm, the coops are cleaned and prepared for the chickens. Fresh food and water is placed inside of the coop on storm day. This is highly unusual for our plan as they are fed in the runs on a general basis.

To settle my chickens during the storm, I divide my 40 something chickens into 2 or 3 groups and put them into the strongest coops in the barnyard. I put a rooster in each coop and my old man rooster, Buster is placed in a coop of his own. He is too old to deal with the stress of other birds plus the storm. All of the babies or teenagers are placed together in a strong run and coop as well. I try to keep together the hens who already live together but I switch up their coops so that everyone is in a different environment. I know hen-pecking is going to happen but it seems better when everyone is in new surroundings.

Depending on the time of the expected storm, I may let the chickens out or may need to keep them closed in their coops. Since chickens go inside on their own in the evening, I may need to depend on that for getting them into specific runs and coops. At that time, I find myself moving different chickens from one coop to another and I trying my best to do this during the darker part of the day so as not to upset them. We all know pecking order is a real thing but at least if they begin the pecking order it would occur the day of the storm when things are wild outside for all of them. In addition, most of them are in a new environment or coop which discombobulates them.

Safety is the number one thing so as soon as they are in their coops and mostly settled, I put one screw in the door so the strong winds cannot cause the door to fly open. During Hurricane Matthew we were told there could be winds as high as 90 mph. To protect my brood, the coop must hold fast. By the time all of the chickens are in their runs and ready for the storm, all of the umbrellas, feeding pans, hanging feeders, watering utensils, whirly gigs and more have long been removed providing a safe area free from flying debris.

During Hurricane Matthew, the chickens were in their coops for one full day and half of the next day. As rain and lightening bolted outside, I fed and watered them inside their coops. This worked well for my 40-something bunch. After the storm was over and I went out to assess the damage finding the worst situation was a huge tree over Shaq, my Jersey Giant’s coop. Not one animal was harmed and by the time I could let them into the runs, I even opened the gates into the yard and let them free range. Big day for everyone and fun was had by all! (Even the chicken keeper!)

Do what you must for your own. In Psalms it says that “every beast belongs to God” and he’s put us among them to be their keeper.

Nan

 

 

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

I Wonder What The Neighbors Think

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We make a difference in the lives of people just as we do in the lives of our pets.

It’s 4:47 in the morning. There is an automatic light that stays on throughout the night beside my barn. It sits above the door and shines sort of near the coops. The huge amount of trees cause shadows on the ground so when I go outside in the early mornings to take the dogs to piddle, I try to stand in the dark behind a tree. It is early and I’m never fully awake when I take out the dogs. They are completely stoked, barks and all. The shadows help me stay in my sleepy mode long enough to get back in bed and snooze another 30 minutes or so. I try to quiet the dogs and get them back in quickly if at all possible. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

While we live in a secluded area, house lights from a distant neighborhood can be seen. As I stand in the dark waiting for the dogs, I wonder what the neighbors think. Do they hear the dogs? Do the roosters’ crows wake them? Do they care? Do they know that dogs matter and crowing roosters do too? They matter to me and I don’t even know them but I hope my pets aren’t disturbing them.

Moments before I get to the door’s threshold the dogs begin to bark letting everything out there know they’re on a mission. Their mission takes about 15 minutes. By the time they make their coop rounds and return to me, I feel as if the whole neighborhood has been put on alert. Again, I wonder what the neighbors on the other side of the woods think.

The first run the dogs take is by the coops. They chime in with the roosters’ crows, and I have 3 large cockerals. What a melody so early in the day. I don’t know how far the loud crow goes but when the coop draft doors are down in the summer, I’ll bet at least a quarter of a mile or more. With that in mind, the neighbors are hearing what I am. It’s frequent sound and awfully loud.

This morning I counted all three roosters crowing; 7 cock-a-doodle-doos in one minutes time. I wonder what the neighbors think. What I think is that these animals make a difference in my life. I am beholden to them for a variety of things and one is to awake from my sleep and care for their needs. I do this every single day with pleasure. (Am I crazy? Is that what the neighbors think?)

If dogs barking and roosters crowing make a difference in the lives of people, imagine how much impact each of us can make on the lives of others if we have purpose and mission in our day-to-day run.

Here are 5 ways to make an impact on the lives of those in your circle of influence:

1. Personal Contact
We live in a busy world. Each of us have things that we can do, want to do and must do. People matter so there are ways to use our personal contact to impact others. A face-to-face visit is a must if you want the very best relationship with someone. Who have you visited lately?

2. Passive Presence- The beauty of the day in which we live is the availability of social media, computer access, and all that comes with that. Use every possible avenue in the area of these tools to make a difference in the lives of others. Today, take time to call, write or contact someone you love. Send a text photo, text, video or write an email. It’s not as good as being in person but it’s still valuable and important. Who will be the next person that you seek to influence? Who gets your next email or text full of compassion and caring?
3. Active Mentor – Being active in the lives of others is important. You can be active in a variety of ways. You can take food, drop off something, mail an item or bring something needed to a friend or family member. Sending cards or actively doing something for someone is such a pleasure. Put hands and feet on this project. They won’t be disappointed and neither will you. Who is your next package going to be delivered from your hands?
4. Alert Action– Sometimes you might be the only one in a person’s life to see a struggle he or she may be going through. Use your opportunity to do something to help this person get through this situation or time. What can you say or do to be that encourager, listener, confidant?
5. Prayerful Partner- The scripture says that we should be in a state of constant prayer. How can you use your relationship with the Father above to help those around you? Pray for those in your life. What words to the Holy Father above can you request and for whom?

After you do things to help other including spending personal time with them, sharing posts, emails and photos, recognizing their life-issues as well as praying for them, you’re going to make a huge difference. You won’t need to wonder what your friends and neighbors are doing. They will let you know and God will reward you good and faithful servant.

Nan

Chicken Lives Matter even at 4:47am

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

Blog 31 Days- A Series on Chicken Lives Matter

Greetings and welcome to Blog 31 Days: A Series on Chicken Lives Matter.    We’re about to launch our “Blog 31 Day Series” and the first one will be on “Chicken Lives Matter” so here we are lovin’ chickens.  ‘You with me?  I sure hope so.

Go to the bottom to see Day 1~

Day 2-  I Wonder What the Neighbors Are Thinking.

Day 3- Chickens Can Be The Best of Friends

Day 4-  Independence Day for Chickens

Day 5- Presidential Power- Pecking Order

Day 6- Coop Days-Cool Ways- Everybody’s Happy

Day 7- Chicken Breeds

Day 8- The Sky is Not Falling, Tell The Chickens About The Great American Eclipse

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15-   The Eyes Have It

Day 16 –  National Ice Cream Day and Chickens

31 Days About “Why Chicken Lives Matter”.   Why Would Anyone Want To Keep Chickens? Would this be a time that you need to assess your level of love for chickens? Are you a chicken keeper? Should you be a chicken keeper?

Thank you for visiting Chicken Lives Matter. A new writing project begins today. I hope you’ll stay with me as we go on a journey about our chickens. If you’re not a chicken lover, you may actually love this trip as we simply talk about yard birds with names and personalities. I know! “Chickens?” I get that all of the time. “Chickens?” If I’m late to a party, my response as to why is always, “I’m sorry I’m late but the chickens were out!”. When I need to go somewhere for the night the conversation is something like: Me: Will you keep my cat? My friend: “Yes”. Me: “Will you keep my dog?” My friend: “Yes” Me: “Will you keep my chickens?” My friend: “Chickens? So, I get it when a person wonders about chickens.

This 31 day project is a take off of Myquillyn, “The Nester’s” writing project 31 Days to a Better Dressed Nest from 2009.  You can find her link here.

This series for 31 days will talk about “Why Chickens Matter” and ways in which you can create a haven for your own backyard chickens. Hopefully you will discover if you are truly a chicken keeper. If you have chickens you will be better versed in keeping them. If you’re not, you will determine if you want to get your own flock so stay with me for the next 31 days as we discuss Why Chicken Lives Matter.

Day 1~ Chicken Lives Matter

Why in the world would anyone want to keep chickens? Chickens don’t particularly like to be cuddled. Chickens find interest mostly in eating and on a whole, they are nervous birds. Unlike ducks, they don’t like water. Chickens like flies, and bugs and enjoy bathing in sand. Who would want to be a chicken-keeper?

My great grandfather of South Carolina, Medicus was a chicken keeper, as was my grandfather, Alec P. Vaughan, Sr who kept a chicken yard full of birds. My father, Alec P. Vaughan, Jr. as well, provided for chickens although I really think that it was my mother, Geneva who did the naming, feeding and actual keeping. We’ve been a chicken keeping family off and on for as long as I can remember. Growing up, our chickens free ranged on our 10 acres and as recent as last week at least 8 chicks roamed that same land with a mother hen leading the way. The rooster coud be heard in the distance when spending time at my father’s property.

At least 2 decades ago, we had at 6 chickens on our land. Today, we have a couple of dozen and are all the merrier for it. It’s hard to explain the chicken math thing. Chicken math has been described on the Little Cluckers Facebook page as “ the inexplicable phenomenon known only to chicken keepers whereby a desire for “a few laying hens” quickly turns into a delirious whirlwind of coop-building, covetous chicken buying, and egg hatching, all of which leads to a world of “a few dozen hens, a couple of roos, a turkey (OK, 2 turkeys), the eggs in the incubator, the chicks in the brooder, and oh yes, that’s right, the spring hatchery order”.

Chicken math is a “thing” whereby a chicken keeper has a phenomenal desire to have more chickens regardless of the number at hand. This desire supersedes most any rational thought and the chicken owner wants no part of rational thinking. Chicken math can be dangerous but we learn from it that “Chicken Lives Matter. To go to “Day 2” click here…

Nan

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About

Welcome to Chicken Lives Matter™

So, chicken lives matter™.  We’re looking forward to sharing some exciting things about chickens, gardening and other things “all country”.  Stay tuned.

 

Above is a pic of “Julliette”. She’s our Silver Wyandotte.  We love her.  She does not necessarily love us tho.  ‘Funny thing is that she’s a bully!  Yup.  She bullies the others in the run and they “run” away from her but, we still love her.

More about chickens because “Chicken Lives Matter™”!