Tag Archives: chick season

Lesson 1239 – Waiting for the snow to melt and living tiny in a big house

As it’s the first of a new month – rabbit, rabbit, everyone.


Actually it was my son away at college who said this (texted it to me) this morning before I had a chance to even think about saying it. He wins the point for this month. Well done, sweetheart.

Our chickens are getting braver and braver each day. This morning when I let them out, they followed me in a row to the back door and yesterday we even found some of them (the juveniles from last year who are now full-fledged adults) in our front yard. Just be careful of those hawks, guys – please stick to the bushes. Continue reading


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Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Living Tiny in a Big House

Lesson 1238 – Those darn, darn birds of prey

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Yesterday morning, as I was walking by a window, I saw and heard a great commotion with our chickens. Wings were flapping and the birds were sending out a clear distress signal.

I saw a massive bird on the ground attacking one of our birds.

Oh no! I ran outside and was able to scare what turned out to be an adult red-tailed hawk into flight. Although there were chicken feathers all over the ground, that hawk was not able to grab a chicken. (But he sure tried his hardest.)


This is what you call a near-miss.

This is what you call a near miss.

It took me close to an hour to round up the flock and replace them into the coop. Even the most timid ones allowed me to pick them up and coo my reassurance. Those girls were scared!

So, not only do we have our neighborhood peregrine falcons, but now the red-tails are back. I wasn’t kidding when I had said that it looked like our yard was turning into an all-night diner.

Which all means we have to do something very soon to save our chickens.

I’ve seen those “chicken tunnels” all over the internet recently and while they may look like a good idea, it’s not for us for several reasons:

  • I don’t want our yard to look like a Chuck E. Cheese with all those “kiddy” tunnels
  • I have some larger birds and our tunnels would need to be taller than a sheet of chicken wire bent over.
  • But most importantly, for us, we need a place where our chickens can immediately go to for protection. I don’t want them all having to scurry for one entrance.

What we’ve decided to do is build low platforms using lumber and chicken wire. Very easy – we’re essentially going to build a frame and then staple the wire on top leaving the sides open. Using our best camo-skills we’ll then cover the top with leaves and brush.

I’m not quite sure of the size yet, but we’re planning on having three “panic room” strategically placed in our yard. One near the coop entrance, one in the penned in dog area and one near the back corner of our property. If the locations aren’t the best, we’ll just pick them up and move them. I’m hoping that this solution will give our chickens a bit of a fighting chance against our neighborhood bullies.

I’ll keep you posted.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks

Lesson 1236 – Using red with chicks

As we all start thinking about baby chicks (and I know some people have already gotten theirs and oh, do I have chick envy) I want to remind you of this very important bit of information.

Chickens like the color red. It’s in their DNA to investigate and peck at anything that is red. For this reason, most feeders and waterers have red bases.

red base

The chicks see red, they investigate and soon they learn that’s where the food and water is. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks

Lesson 1234 – Chick season

Thank you all for your wonderful and supportive comments regarding my father, each one has touched me. The funeral will be this weekend and while it will be sad, all of my brothers and sisters will be there, along with my mother. I’m sure we’ll all have some big smiles as we remember our Dad.


As it is spring in New Hampshire (at least on the calendar – we ended up getting some snow on the first day of spring) people’s thoughts are turning to chicks. I gave a chickens 101 presentation to a women’s group who were interested in either getting chicks or continuing to maintain their current flock. They had lots of great questions, backyard chickens are still gaining in popularity.

We got 12 new chicks last spring (only 1 ended up dying) and don’t really need any new members of our flock (in a few weeks, we are going to be flush with eggs) but knowing that the peregrine falcons have discovered our backyard take-out restaurant, I’m going to be getting 4 new chicks just in case.

This time, I’ve decided to get 2 Columbian Rock Cross and 2 more New Hampshire Reds. Of last year’s batch, it was the New Hampshire Reds that ended up being the friendliest and most willing to interact with the rest of the family. They are a sturdy, red/brown, consistent egg laying bird bred specifically for our climate. For us, that’s a win-win-win situation.

As far as the Columbian Rocks, although they look similar to Light Brahma’s (of which we have had 2) there is enough of a difference for me to give them a try. As you have probably figured out, we like a flock filled with diversity.
If you are going to branch out and try different birds this season, go for it, but here’s some good advice I was given by a trusted chicken breeder – the old saying “birds of a feather, flock together” is an old saying for a reason. When you get new chicks either get at least 2 of each kind (so they have similar buddies) or try to keep them all to the same relative size. Try not to introduce all or a single bantam into a flock of standard-sized chickens. That just sets up the perfect condition for serious pecking. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks