Our “Big” Buff

Below is a picture of our Buff Orpington, she goes by the name Daphne. She is about three weeks old, and is growing up too fast! I mean, I have never had chicks before, so the insane growth speed is phenomenal to me. My boss Dawn, however, has had upwards of 300 chicks. AT ONE TIME. Kudos to her, because I could never take on that responsibility . LOL

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Isn’t she precious? And those hands! Look at those hands! Those are worker-man, “dirt worshiping”, farmer boy fingers! Don’t we love that? Is that NOT the epiphany of love? Dirty, hard-working hands, combined with a sweet and innocent lil’ chick. Love it. After having chicks of our own, I have become a lot more interested in all the different breeds, sizes, colors, moods, etc. that go along with raising chickens! But I became especially intrigued in the history of these breeds..

Did y’all know that Buff Orpington’s originated in Orpington, Kent, United Kingdom in the late 1800’s? The first ever Orpington was bred by William Cook in 1886 by crossing Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rocks to achieve this very popular new hybrid bird.

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Langshan Chicken +

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Minorca Chicken +

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Plymouth Rock Chicken =

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Buff Orpington Chicken!  (That’s our precious Daphne)

His first Orpington was black, William wanted a color that would hide the dirt and soot from the London streets very well. He then showed this new breed in Madison Square Garden in 1895 and the popularity of this new breed SOARED.

William Cook: "Inventor" of the Buff Orpington chicken

William Cook: “Inventor” of the Buff Orpington chicken

He focused his breeding efforts on developing the traits of this new breed, and in this process, many birds came in different color and patterns. He then kept breeding the new chickens with their unique colors with other Orpingtons, and before you knew it, he introduced many different types of Orpingtons. He first introduced Black, then the White Orpington, the Buff, the Speckled, and the Mottled. His son-in-law, A.C. Gilbert, then went on to breed and create the Blue and the Cuckoo Orpingtons. Pretty interesting, right?! 

What have been your experiences with Buff Orpington chickens? I’d love to hear about the attitudes you’ve experienced, the colors of their feathers, anything really! 

 

Time to “Eggsperiment”

I swear, I am loving this book Melissa Caughey from Tilly’s Nest just came out with! A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens is a fun and creative read to educate yourself and your family about chickens and the do’s and don’ts that come with the fun and loving (sometimes mischievous) birds. The book also has some really cool recipes, fun facts, and eggsperiments! experiment_7 Page 69 is where I stumbled upon a pretty scientific-y, weird project titled “Rubber Eggs”. Has anybody heard of this? Also called “Naked Eggs” or “Shell-less Eggs”. What you do is place a regular egg from your hen in a cup of white vinegar. Within a few days, the vinegar will deplete the shell of calcium. And voila! You have got yourself a rubber egg. Curious of how it works? So was I, so I did some research and this is what I found.. According to Steve Spangler Science, egg shells are made up of calcium carbonate and when the vinegar reacts with this chemical compound, it basically separates the two into individual chemicals. Still with me? Okay, so the calcium part of the compound floats around in the vinegar while the carbonate part reacts to form the bubbles you see forming on the egg (which is considered carbon dioxide gas). IMG_5948

The carbon dioxide gas is what basically eats away at the shell of calcium protecting the egg, and before you know it, your shell is gone. And a rubber egg has taken it’s place. Science is pretty darn cool if you ask me.

I’m going to take my own stab at this over the weekend.  Anyone want to join me?

Updates and fun photos will follow. Join me!

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From Chick to Chicken

Has anybody else been reading Melissa Caughey’s new book A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens? I only know the few basics of chickens, so my boss Dawn (also the owner of Treats for Chickens) suggested that I give this read a try. And boy, let me tell you, I am learning so much! I am becoming educated in areas I never knew existed. As you all may hopefully already know, we recently purchased baby chicks. So all of Chapter 4 (From Chick to Chicken) just happens to be my favorite part so far. Our chicks are 2 weeks old right now, which is considered the “middle schooler” stage.

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 Here are our girls starting to perch in their brooder. In one picture, just hanging out overseeing everybody else, and within a second, there she goes! Off to try and escape. Our chicks are so spunky and happy, I love it!

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As you can see, all 9 of our chicks are starting to get their tail feathers and wing feathers! Gosh, they grow so fast. They are only two weeks old!

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Even one of our chicks is starting to grow her comb! I couldn’t believe it when I saw this. I had to capture a picture. I mean, two weeks old, and already growing a comb?! Is this normal? Again, I don’t know much about chickens, so this definitely shocked me..

The next step according to Melissa’s book is the teenager stage! They seem to look so awkward and scrawny at this point. We have about another week or so until they graduate from a middle schooler to a teenager! I still cannot believe it was only two Sunday’s ago we picked these girls up from the local feed store.. Anywho, thanks for checkin’ up on the update of our chicks! Click here if you want to get your own copy of A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens from our online store. I definitely recommend it to people of all ages, it is a very good read. That’s it for now, I’m flying the coop!

And the Results Are….

Hello everyone, Jessica here from Treats for Chickens. I hope everyone had as wonderful as an Easter as I did! My favorite part was the dinner (as always). I mean we had all my favorites.. ham, sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, corn bread, soft rolls, strawberry shortcake.. Besides the most fabulous food, I would have to say dying our Easter eggs with silk ties was quite an event! I hope everyone read my blog this past weekend when I talked about this creative twist on dying your hard-boiled eggs. I said I would post my results, so here we go..

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So here we are. We have our three eggs and the silk tie’s of our choice. We found a ton of cool, funky ties at the local thrift store.

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And this is where we started improvising.. When gathering our supplies, we totally forgot to pick up some white cloth to wrap around the silk ties! And, we didn’t have tin-ties either. So, after cutting up and wrapping the ties around our eggs, we used tin foil. Yes, tin foil.  We wrapped our eggs super tight with it, and they seemed to be very secure.

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The photos above shows our newly wrapped eggs moving on to the next phase of the project: a pot of boiling water. We added the eggs then put in 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar! Here we go again, improvising. We didn’t have any white vinegar, so totally made it our own by using apple cider vinegar. We let the eggs boil for 7 mins. Doesn’t the egg in the middle kind of look like a turnip? LOL! We each all had our own way of wrapping the eggs.

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Ta-da! The unwrapping of the first egg! Cross your fingers..

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And voila! Looks pretty darn cool to me, what do you all think? Wait till you see the next one..

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So this egg is mine.. And I think I wrapped it backwards! Clearly the design did not dye onto my egg.. Whoop-sies!

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And this is the last, but not least, final silk-tie dyed egg!

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All three of them together. Pretty cool huh? Even my totally messed up one has some sort of nice purple swirl to it. For totally NOT following the directions, I think they turned out pretty sweet. Which one is your favorite? Did anybody else do silk-tie dyed eggs this past Easter holiday? Thanks for checkin’ up on my results. Until next time!

Twist on Easter Egg Decorating

We all know how much fun it is to decorate hard-boiled eggs with your family on Easter. For me, that is the best part (besides the delicious food, of course). I have been doing the same ol’ color dye on my eggs ever since I was a little girl running around in my poofy dress and bunny ears on my head. Click here to check out this fun, and creative, twist on how to decorate your Easter eggs.

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SUPPLIES

  • Eggs
  • 100% silk scarves or ties
  • 1/2 yard white fabric
  • Twist ties
  • White vinegar
  • Vegetable oil

STEPS

  1. Cut silk scarves or ties and white fabric into 7″ X 7″ squares
  2. Wrap an egg tightly in silk. Then wrap in white fabric and secure with a twist tie.
  3. Repeat process with all eggs.
  4. Place eggs in a non-reactive metal or glass pot and fill with water.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons white vinegar and boil water for 15 mins.
  6. Remove eggs; let cool and unwrap
  7. ENJOY!!

**Silk scarves can be used 2-3 times, so you can get more then just one egg with that design!!**

The family and I will be ATTEMPTING (hopefully succeeding) in creating these awesome patterns on our hard-boiled eggs this Easter. And it really is so easy! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family, and I look forward to posting next week about how our eggs turned out.

Mmm… Lavender

Hi everybody, Jessica again! This is my second blog ever, but I am definitely starting to get the hang of it. This post will be focused on our new, oh-so adorable, baby chicks! If y’all haven’t read my first blog introducing myself and the gals, make sure too!

So, last night as I was performing my nightly baby watch (gotta make sure they stay warm, have food/water, and of course, give them attention) I noticed one of our Cochin’s peck peck peckin’ away at our lavender plant we put in there home. Originally, we put the plant in there to keep their nest smelling nice, and to give them some greenery to play with. I found it interesting how much this one chick in particular was so intrigued with the lavender.

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Some of you (or all) might know already the benefits of lavender plants, but it got me wondering.. SO! I did some research. Not only does lavender smell heavenly (a main ingredient in Treats for Chickens 100% organic Nesting Box Blend) but it also has some beneficial components of it. Lavender has such a powerful, soothing aroma that it actually calms your chickens, gives them a sense of serenity almost. Lavender is also a really nice insecticidal herb, meaning it keeps all the creepy, crawly bugs away from your precious flock.

And get this, lavender is just ONE of the many organic herbs in Treats for Chickens Nesting Box Blend! We’re talking about chamomile, peppermint, wormwood, tansy, eucalyptus leaves, calendula (marigold petals), catnip, and spearmint! All organic and having their own necessary benefits.Treats for Chickens provides this blend to be a top notch pest repellent, anti-fungal/antibacterial, soothing, healing, and aromatic addition for your nesting boxes. How much better can you get?

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Younger chickens often experience stress when they begin to lay eggs. Even older experienced layers can feel stress from time to time. Allow this special and caring formulation to benefit laying hens of all ages – your eggs will be even more wonderful!

Thanks for checkin’ up on today’s blog about the benefits of lavender and organic herbs of all sorts for your feathered friends. Until next time!

WE. HAVE. CHICKS!

Hi everybody, my name is Jessica and I am the project manager over here at Treats for Chickens. You might wonder, hmm.. What EXACTLY does a project manager do? I am sort of the “make sure nothing goes haywire” person. What I mean by that is I make sure all orders get filled and shipped properly so our customers receive nothing but the best – all across the USA.  There isn’t a grain, seed, mealworm, etc. that doesn’t get past me without being perfect!

This has been my position for almost a year now, and to be quite frank, up until now I have known absolutely NOTHING about chickens. Quite honestly, they terrify me. Pretty ironic don’t cha think? Here I am, working for this company who strives to ensure backyard chickens stay healthy and happy, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between a hen and a rooster. Okay.. You’re probably thinking, wow this girl can talk! And you’re totally right, enough about me, this is supposed to be about OUR NEW BABY CHICKS!

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9 of them to be exact. 9 of the most ADORABLE little things I have ever seen. I have never owned a chick, held a chick, fed a chick, none of it. I live on a “multi-family-compound”, with a bunch of dirt-worshiping, foodie, chicken enthusiasts. With that in mind, getting baby chicks was not my idea at all. But, being a member of the family property, I was definitely game to help out! Let me tell you, as soon as I saw those lil’ guys (and hopefully they are REALLY all gals) and held one for my first time, I fell in LOVE! I mean, how can one not love something so small and fluffy? I actually fell pretty head over heels for one in particular. She is a four-day-old Bantam Cochin (did I get that right?) and I named her Gandalf! Take a look at the pic below, and hopefully someone gets the joke and can get a good chuckle.

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Get it? Gandalf the Grey like from Lord of the Rings. Haha! Anyway, I am having the time of my life getting to know these girls. How fast they are growing on the other hand, is a tad bit frightening. Do any of y’all remember what it was like having your first chick? That warm feeling you get in your stomach when you know it is almost time to go see them? Because that is what I experience all the time. I am a first time blogger/chicken-keeper. So no one be too harsh please! I would love to hear any positive feedback. I will be doing weekly check-in’s so don’t forget to keep coming back! Cluck yea!