Friday, September 14, 2012

New Girls In The Hen House

This morning after taking Noah to school, I met up with my friend Elaine because she has decided that she needed to down size her flock.  She so wanted to raise chickens, and then finally, she took the plunge, and bought 4 baby chicks.  Then, she carefully and lovingly took care of them. She and her kids  named them.  Her husband built them a home, and then after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, they began to lay their beautiful eggs!!  She was thrilled.  But.....having 4 grown hens in a fairly small space, sharing a backyard space that her family and dogs loved to use too, turned out to be too much.  So she very thoughtfully asked me if I would like to take two of her hens to my flock.  I said yes, of course, and today was the day.  Her poor little girl was so sad.  I know Elaine was too.  But we met, and we took the carrier from her car to mine, and after cranking up the AC as high it would go, off I went to introduce them to the rest of my girls.  I looked at my clock in my car, and it was not yet noon, but 105 degrees!!!  AAAAGGHH!!!   I am SICK of it, I tell you!!!
I got home and put the new girls onto my garden wagon, and pulled them to the coop.
I had already let the other girls out of the run for the day, so I brought the entire wagon and crate into the run with me, and gently lifted each one to the ground.  When I knew that I would be adding to my flock, I consulted with my chicken guru at the feed store, to ask her the best way to introduce new chickens to an existing flock.  She said to put Vicks on the new hens backs and neck area, and that the others would then leave them be.  I coated them lightly with some Vicks, so if it doesn't keep the other hens from pestering them, at least they won't have stuffy noses!!
They are beautiful hens, with very interesting markings.  They are both Easter Eggers and will lay blue/green eggs like Chickas and Sammy.
They got down and went straight to pecking the ground for feed.
Then found their way into the coop for some fresh cool water.  I was really glad to see them eat right away.  That is always a good sign.  After eating, they began to really check out the new digs.  And by then, the other girls had come to the fence from the outside to see what was going on, and who was in their house?
They all got nose to nose to say hello.
I brought out some chopped apples for a treat and let them all come into the run to see what they would do together.
There was a little wing flapping, but other than that, no problems.
Chickas went into the coop and even kissed one of the them.
I will be curious to see how it goes when it comes time to roost.  And where the two new girls will lay their eggs?  I have two nest boxes in the coop, and I hope they choose the one that the other five won't touch!!!  I stayed out there with them for an hour or so, while they acclimated.  But at 105 at noon, I had to go in.  I went back out after lunch to see how they were and found the two new girls happily rummaging around under the avocado trees, scratching and eating bugs.
And the other five were  hiding out underneath an orange tree, up against the wood pile in the way back. 
They are all so hot today.  They do not tolerate heat well.  They pant, and get very uncomfortable.  Today actually reached 108 so far, and I was worried, so I went out just now with Noah and we took the hose and sprayed water all around their favorite dusting spots to help keep them cool.  I even sprayed them with the hose. I brought in a few eggs today, and I am just in awe of how gigantic Chickas' eggs are!  Chickas is Hannah's hen. She named her.  She is the creamy white one who was kissing the new girl in the coop.   She lays the biggest blue/green eggs I have ever seen!!
Here it is next to another one I brought in today.
The one on the right is a large egg.  The one on the left is enormous!!!  It is the volume of two eggs!
And speaking of chickens.........I went out to cut some  zinnias from the garden box the other day, to put on the table for Greg's birthday dinner.  I neglected to put my portable enclosure back around the flowers to keep the chickens out.  This is what they did!!
Uh huh!!  You can't be too concerned about having a beautiful manicured garden when you have chickens.  They will seek and destroy!!  Enough chicken chatter for now.  Moving on to good eats!  Yesterday I had Knitty Biddies.  We all bring our own lunches, and a snack to share.  We take turns hosting. I always bring my lunch in my little square Berry Basket from Longaberger.
For a snack, I made a Fall favorite of ours.  Pumpkin Apple Muffins.  They are actually a Weight Watcher recipe. Very healthy, quick and delicious. 
They are so easy to make.  All you need is 1 box of Spice cake mix.  2 apples, any kind.   1/4 cup water, and 1 15 oz can of pureed pumpkin.  NOT pumpkin pie filling!!!!  Be sure to check the can.
Pour mix into large bowl.  Peel and chop apples, and put in bowl.  Add water. Add pumpkin.  Stir until just blended.  Spoon into muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes!  You will love these!!!!
Bon Appetit!
XO  Kris


NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, So glad the chicks are adjusting; I never heard of the Vicks trick before-I'll have to remember that. I love your muffin recipe plus I can get gluten free spice cake mix at Whole Foods-so I know what I'll be making soon.
I'll be hoping for cooler weather for you(I was tired of it being in the 90's). Have a great weekend.
Love, Noreen

Lauri said...

I can't believe it's hotter in Corona than it is in Phoenix! I am starting to feel fall in the air.

Your muffins sound yummy. thanks for including the recipe.

Robyn said...

Its nice to see Elaines girls are adjusting.. I just visited her blog and I was wondering if you can help me maybe?.. We have had chickens for the last 3 years. They have been in their pen and coop for those almost 3 years until about 2 months ago. My husband decided to let them roam free in the yard. It was going well until they all decided to come up on my deck 2 weeks ago and start pooping all over everything and my rooster kept trying to get into our house.. So we thought it was best to put them back in the pen and coop. Now they are molting and they are not laying any eggs.. Did we make a mistake by letting them out? We have never gone this long without getting any eggs.. Thanks :) Oh and thanks for the muffin recipe.. Going to make these :)

by Teresa said...

Gosh, Kris.. that is HOT! It's 78 here. We'll have to try the Vicks on our Cuckoo Maran - it has NO tail feathers. They aren't picking her bloody, but they are not that nice to her, either. I will have to try that muffin recipe, I love spice and fresh apple cake!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

priscilla said...

Hope all the chickens get along ! They went to town on your flowers :)! The muffins look great , will have to make them ..Have a great weekend !

Debbie said...

Glad it's going well with the new chickens. Isn't this weather just horrible? I am more than done with it. It is 8:00 and STILL 94...YUCK. I love those pumpkin muffins. I will look for the gluten free spice cake Noreen mentioned so that I can make them too. Yay...soo good. Enjoy your week-end! (if the heat allows!)

Eileen said...

Hi Kris,
Enjoyed your pictures of the girls meeting each other. Wow, what a large egg, will all of them be like that?
I can't imagine the weather being that hot this time of the year. Looks like summer does not want to leave your area. We had a beautiful week this week. Temps in the 70's and 80's. Hope you get some relief soon.
Always enjoy seeing a recipe that is easy to make and looks delicious.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

It was so good to see them. Dean says to show Quinn this when she gets upset so she can see them. I know they will love the grove doing what they love to do. Hope all goes well tonight.

Lynne said...

Poor chickies, they do suffer in the heat! Yours look well taken care of, with plenty of shade and fresh water. I'm going to have to remember that Vicks trick. I do miss going out to visit my chickens, but not when it's 100+ degrees!

Tania @ Out Back said...

Oh you are having it hot Kris. We lay water down for our girls in extreme heat too. They have lovely shady trees and we have a sprinkler system set up that we turn on intermittently throughout the day. Yours should be fine with all that shade. Maybe that egg is a double yoker, it sure is big!

Mmmm I can smell those muffins from here. Thanks for the recipe, I will need to adjust some of ingredients as they are not available here. Backwards country we are lol!

Have a great day!!


❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

Wow, that weather is to hot for me. We have dropped into the 70's and Im loving it. I have never seen a chicken mover like that before. I sure enjoyed hearing about the move and how they were getting along. I am still trying to talk Hubby into chickens.

Petunia Pill said...

Always love your posts, Kris. The chickens just fascinate me!!! So sorry you're still enduring the heat! Yuck! We have fall in the air back here in Virginia. I was outside talking to the neighbor this morning and the breeze was blowing...and...wait for it...I. WAS. COLD.!!!! Yikes, what's that like? That's a first since last May, I think. LOL Hugs, Annette

Cottage Tails said...

I'd read the sad news that Elaine had to move on her girls, so what a lovely surprise to read in blog land where they went.
The tip re vicks I will try - chooks can have such a pecking order I'm sure it will do the trick!
LOve Leanne

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Wow it is hot there! I hope it at least cools down in the evenings for yiou, Kris.

Your new hens look very content and I'm glad the older ones were not too troubled by their appearance in their fold. I LOVE the enormous sized eggs your white hen lays! WOW!

Savvy Seasons said...

Kris those muffins look DFLISH, YUM! Your hens are so cute. Hoping the fall weather kicks in soon. XO ~Liz

Susanne said...

My goodness girl! You guys must be roasting out there on the West coast. Here in Ohio we have cooled off and it is definitely fall-like weather, warm days, cool nights, just the sort of temps that I love. Good to see the hens are all adjusting to each other, maybe it has been just too hot for any of them to care, lol. I checked back on your last posts and Happy Birthday to your guy, and your home is looking good, all decorated up for Fall. Love it!
Susanne :)

Cheryl said...

OK.....I love, love that garden wagon, and hoping all the chicks are happy!!! Yummy looking muffins! I am so, so tired of this heat!

Mereknits said...

I just love this post, so glad everyone is adapting to the newcomers. Since I have Vick's on at this moment due to an unexpected cold, I found that part of the post particularly amusing.
Wishing you a wonderful day,

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love hearing your chicken chatter, Kris...sort of like being there! The muffins look amazing!

Nicolle said...

Oh to have fresh eggs! They are the best. I am in love with that cute pumpkin shaped ceramic pie plate you have. How cute! Did you make it or buy it. I really love that. I will try adding apples to my muffins next time. Yum.

Pammy Sue said...

I love your chicken chatter! Those muffins look delish for your Knitty group too. I need to find those pumpkin waffles from your last post. I just saw it. I am getting ready for fall around here too. We have had some fall-like weather lately. Back to 90s this coming week, but I loved our little tease of fall!

Debbiedoo's said...

Such a cute chicken story Kris! Did you have think you would have so many chicks in one place? Enjoy, I know you are.

Sinta Renee said...

I love your adoption story Kris. That is interesting about the Vics. I am taking notes because my son is planning on getting Chickens next year. I can't wait! I don't dare have any myself... I have lost way too many of my pets to bob cats, mountain lions, coyote etc.
Hope you get a break from the heat soon!

Jill said...

That is so sweet of your friend to give them to you. Looks like they are settling in well.
Those pumpkin muffins look delicious! I love anything that has to do with pumpkins :-)
Hope you're having a wonderful week! Try to stay cool :-)


Grayseasailor said...

We drove down to the Bay Area on Friday and back up to Portland on I-5 yesterday and our car thermometer said it got up to 99 degrees. It felt like an oven when we go out of our air-conditioned car. [so glad you can get a break from the heat at Bass Lake!!!] Your hens are beautiful! And your photos of them and their eggs are really lovely. I visited my friend in San Jose who has just added to her little backyard flock too, and she has a little Bantam chick who is too little to join the flock yet but my grands loved playing with her. Thanks for posting, Kris! xx from Gracie

Pam said...

I could not stand that heat! I thought 90 was bad. I am glad the new girls are settling in well with your flock... they are beautiful. I am loving those muffins and plan to make them soon. YUM!

Deb~in~Denver said...

Love seeing pictures of the chicks! So glad you could take the new ones in.
I am making your muffins this afternoon, we are heading up to the mountains for a week and I thought those would be a perfect snack! It's cooling off here in town, our highs have been in the 80s. We are looking forward to COOL weather in Winter Park....the highs will be in the high 50s-low60s! We'll probably freeze the first few days! ;)
Hugs, Deb