Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts of SpRiNg ChiCkEnS and Heritage Hen Houses

This will be the start of our 3rd year in advertising and building hubby's Heritage Hen Houses.  All our customers have been very pleased with the workmanship and quality of the houses he has designed and built, not to mention the happy hens that are fortunate enough to call these palaces their HOME!
This house sold to a family in Holland, Michigan, for their flock of 5 hens.
One customer painted her hen house red and white.
We have sold the Heritage Hen House locally, and unfinished so the buyers can paint or stain to suit their tastes.  There is a choice of roofing colors:  Dark Brown, Rustic Red, or Hunter Green, and electric can be added for an additional fee.  It's time to start advertising, so we can get our waiting list established! 
Granddaughter holding Tina, a lovely black hen!
I'm thinking of raising a few new pullets this year to add to my flock after they grow to size.  It's always fun when the baby chicks arrive - they are so cute!  Right now I'm dreaming, as another foot of snow got dumped on us last night, and it's 15 degrees as I type this!  But, spring will come eventually, and I'm ready for it any time!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Warning - Blizzard of 2011 Has Arrived!

HelloooOOOOoooo Frenz!  Miss Lizzy here - Reporting to you from the Freezing State of Michigan!  We bring to you the concerns of poultry flocks everywhere.  oooOOOOoooo!  Just look at things here, at the home-front, as they were this morning, bright and early! 
Our Humble Home, before eatin' time
The Heated Water Bowl....buried, but still operative
Miss Lizzy Braves the Blizzard (the others are too CHICKEN...)
Refueling with Cracked Corn
One of the Barnevelder Sisters, warming up inside the Coop
Miss Llizzy
And now -  Miss Lizzy would like to extol upon you the importance of taking proper frostbite prevention with your flocks.  When temps drop, Miss Lizzy suggests shutting up the doors of the hen house and installing a small wattage lightbulb to add a slight amount of warmth to the room - just enough to assist the flock's body heat.  No big heat lamps or electric heaters, please.  Those can contribute to an overabundance of moisture, which can cause additional health problems.  (They also might could cause a fire - chickens do NOT care for flames or anything remotely connected with flames...reminds one of a SPIT or a POT put on to BOIL - not good, not good, NOT GOOD!  oooOOOOOooooo! )

If a hen should develop frostbite, one would notice blackened areas on the comb or wattle or feet first.  The hen would assume a sorrowful position with tail tucked down, head and neck scrunched up, and a general "I do not FEEL WELL" will appear in her overall countenance.  Bring her inside and let her warm up GRADUALLY (no heat blowers or hair dryers, please!).  A warm towel inside of a box would be plenty when she's brought in from the cold.  Massage her comb, wattle and feet with petroleum jelly.  Petroleum Jelly is NOT a prevention, but it can assist in holding body heat into these exposed regions.  (It will also make your hen feel and look like she's been at a spa.  oooOOOOOooo!)  When she is perking up and eating and drinking once again, she can be returned to the coop with the rest of her flock-mates.  Do NOT pick off blackened areas on comb and wattles, and do NOT remove blackened toes.  They will come off by themselves as the flesh dries and dies.  "Picking" only calls attention to the injuries, and flock-mates will attack and sometimes kill the frostbitten bird.  If they are overly interested in the injured bird, isolate the hen until it is completely healed, no opened wounds.  Your bird will thank you for your tender loving care!

Yours Truly - Miss Lizzy