New Coop; The Recovery Room

by Kristina on October 28, 2012

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A lot has happened at Mount Royal Farms in the last 5 months. Those little babies from the last post are all grown up now and a couple of them turned out to be boys. They are beautiful specimens, but roosters are prone to aggression so now they have to be separated. In addition, when they mate with the hens they can scratch the hen’s backs with their talons which can cause trauma to the hen. This in turn can affect egg production.

Recently Chris sought to remedy the situation by creating new spaces in the yard so all the chickens can have more breathing room and space to truly be “free-range”. The first thing he did was clean out part of the yard which was once a dog run. That area is connected to a room on the back of their garage which was once an outdoor home to the dogs and also a potting and storage shed. See the photo at the top of the post. This space has now been completely cleaned out and everything inside built with repurposed items. The only thing he had to purchase was the wire to go over the windows and some chain link fencing.

Don’t you just love the old shutter turned into ramp for the chickens?

Now we have the Rest and Recovery room for birds who need a safe space away from amorous roosters and pecking hens. Right now there are six lovelies in the space, and by the looks of it they are really enjoying it! They have plenty of fresh air and sunshine and a tree branch to roost on at night. Eventually, when they are all well enough, they will either be moved back into the main coop, or they will be allowed out in the side yard attached to the Recovery Room.

“Dude One” (below) is one of the babies from May’s brood. He had grown up into a big strong boy but is also very mild-tempered and allows Chris to pick him up and hold him like a baby. He currently gets to roam the fenced in main yard and lives completely cage free.

Dude Two lives in the fenced in side yard and watches protectively over his ladies in the Recovery Room.

We still have a rooster (named Chris) and three hens living in the “Maternity Ward”.

In the main coop there is a young rooster (Jude) who lives with the bulk of the laying hens along with the rooster Morton. Today they got to try butternut squash for the first time and they loved it!

They also have a new door which is going to let them out into a larger fenced in part of the yard during the day.

Thanks to Chris for doing such an amazing job with the additions and changes. They certainly have added such comfort, care and love to the chickens of Mount Royal Farms.

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Flock Update; Births and Passings

by Kristina on May 6, 2012

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There’s nothing like raising animals to enable you to see the entire cycle of life happen before your very eyes. In the past few months we’ve had the joy of watching our chickens create more of their own and the sadness of the passing of two of the Ameraucanas (from unknown causes).

A few months ago, Chris and Sharon built a smaller addition on to the main coop. The intent of this space was to be able to use it as an infirmary if needed and hopefully a nursery. After it was built some of the hens and one of the roosters were placed in there to give the others more space.

The first experiment was to provide two dozen fertilized eggs to Kristina’s uncle who took them back to Oregon and placed them in an egg incubator. Unfortunately, none of the eggs hatched because the temperature on the incubator was too hot.

Brooding Mama Cochin

However, here at Mount Royal Farms, it quickly became apparent that one of the Cochins had become “broody” and began to sit on her eggs and those of her coop sisters and not want to move. She was allowed to keep her eggs and sit on them. After a few weeks it seemed as if nothing was going to happen, then one day a tiny crack appeared in the shell of one of the eggs. This first chick did not survive the process, but then another hatchling appeared and suddenly…we had our first home-grown chick!

Chick #3

Chick #4 on her way out.

Over the next week five more chicks hatched, the last one struggling for her first 24 hours to survive. But don’t worry, she made it and her story is documented in the videos Chris took which you can watch below.

In this first video you can see her on a heating pad, right after she came out of the shell (with a little help).

And here she is after only 24 hours!

The chicks look a little like baby penguins at first…

Here at Mount Royal Farms we are thrilled to have our “six-pack” of chicks and can’t wait to watch them grow!

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Raising Chickens; An Update And A Trip To The Avian Vet

February 19, 2012
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It’s been a few months and it’s time for an update on the Mount Royal Farms brood. All the girls are doing quite well and are now producing about 9 dozen eggs a week! The eggs vary widely in both size and color, ranging from small to extra-large, from pale blue and green, to pink, [...]

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Farm Update; The Flocks Have Merged!

November 6, 2011
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So much has happened in the last few months at Mount Royal Farms! The second group of chickens were moved outside to the coop and placed in a partitioned section away from the older birds near the end of the summer. They have continued to thrive, even “Tweety Bird” the tiny Delaware, is almost full [...]

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Eggs! We have eggs!

August 21, 2011
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Like clockwork, every day after 11am, there has been one small perfect egg waiting in the coop. This morning the four of us got together for a breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits made with the lard from our pig, and Sharon’s home made jams (apricot and fig/bacon/caramelized onion). The eggs were small but wonderful and dark yellow [...]

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What is that thing? (Shhh…it’s the first egg!)

August 10, 2011
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A note from Genevieve: I swear it wasn’t my fault. There it was: a sorta round thing that was just laying there.  We all played with it, you know, rolled it a little. Scratched at it…and no one would admit to putting it there, but I think that Americauna that fancies herself some sort of desert [...]

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Introducing The Latest Additions To The Brood

July 8, 2011
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The text below was written by Chris about the different breeds of the new chicks which came to Mount Royal Farms a couple of weeks ago. This brings the total chickens to 18, but there will be plenty of room out int the coop once the new chicks go outside. Photos by me (Kristina) as well [...]

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The Parthenon of Peeps Part 2-The Reveal

June 23, 2011
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See that Ameraucana chicken? That is one happy girl with lots of room to roost! Isn’t she beautiful? If you missed part 1 of building the coop, make sure you check it out. Once the foundation was laid, Chris and Sharon started building the framing for the external structure which is is 12×16 feet. It has full-sized doors with [...]

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Coop Update; The Parthenon of Peeps Part 1

June 22, 2011

So much as been done in the last few weeks I’m not even sure where to begin. The short version is that the girls are now happily ensconced in their new home and there are 11 new chicks in residence! But how did we get here? In the last post I referred to the “Taj Majal [...]

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Chicken Update-8 weeks

May 31, 2011

The “girls” are now almost 8 weeks old and they are getting BIG. Here’s some updated photos from last weekend. Coming soon, more on the Taj Mahal of chicken coops. The building has begun!

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