Tag Archives: eggs

That Backyard Farm Life

Border collies, and chickens, and tomatoes, oh my!!

If you weren’t already aware, I have quite the little backyard farm going on!

I grew up on an 80 acre farm in rural Illinois and I miss it all of the time, but my tiny little backyard set up does help. Also maybe it’s practice for a future real farm someday? I sure hope so!!

But before we get into everything I’ve going going on in that regard I just wanted to quickly mention that I got pooped on by a bird during my run this morning. That was definitely a first for me and I thought it was pretty funny. πŸ¦πŸ’©πŸ˜‚

Ok, so backyard farm.

Obviously I’ve got my 4 border collies. They have been my dream since I was 10 years old and I cannot even being to describe how happy they make me! One day I’d like to actually have some real livestock for them to work (Lily actually has worked cattle before and does know a few real herding commands), but for now they just help me keep my chickens and rabbits in line. πŸ˜‚

One of my rabbits has a habit of escaping her hutch at night and getting under our shed. But when she eventually comes out Finn knows to keep her from getting back under there and will hold her in one place so I can quickly grab her. Border collies are incredibly smart and the fact that he’s caught on to what I need him to do is just so awesome!

Don’t worry! This doesn’t stress the bunny out! If you’ve ever seen border collies work then you know they’re very quite and deliberate with what they do. Plus she’s just super used to it and isn’t afraid of my dogs at all. Hahaha if she was a sheep she would be considered β€œdog broke”. Which just means she’s used to being worked by my dogs.

So yeah. I’m just over here living one of my childhood dreams and it’s pretty fucking sweet!

Now, I’ve really debated talking about this next part, but I’m briefly going to get into it. Super duper long story that really doesn’t matter anymore and even if it did I wouldn’t get into it anyway, I’ve recently come into the possession of 2 as of today 6 day old border collie puppies. Like I said, it’s a long story that really doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that they’ve been keeping me very busy! One is a little boy and the other is a little girl.

Unfortunately the little girl has a cleft palate so we’re not sure what’s going to happen with her yet. We’re planning on taking her to the vet soon and seeing what they think we should do. Obviously I’m not a vet, but from what I’ve read it might just be better to euthanize her. Unfortunately stuff like that happens. But we’ll see what the vet says. So I was bottle feeding her, but that wasn’t working well since puppies with cleft palates can’t create the proper suction to nurse. So I’ve switched to feeding her with a syringe for now. And I may have to keep doing that for 3 or 4 more weeks until I can start weening them. That or I’ll only have 1 puppy to care for soon. We shall see.

Little girl fell asleep in my hand after I got done feeding her. Poor baby, is doing a lot better after I started feeding her with a syringe though.

Note; we are not keeping either of these puppies. I’m just taking care of them until they’re old enough to find new homes. But they are adorable! And while they are a lot of work, I do like having them around. 😁

Okey doke! Moving on!!

My chickens are doing well! Nothing really too exciting to report on that front. They eat, poop, and lay eggs pretty much every day. Jethro, my rooster, gets a little bit high and mighty anytime a man gets anywhere near the coop but other than that he’s the nicest rooster I’ve ever met. πŸ˜‚

Since my hens are pretty well established and laying almost every day (they’ve slowed down a little bit because of the heat) I’ve been selling eggs to a few people. Nothing too crazy, but they have paid for a few bags of their feed, so hey, I’ll take it!!

Fresh and pretty eggs washed and ready to be delivered to my neighbor!

So this year my garden is much smaller than it has been in previous years, but it’s doing much better than it did last year!! Last year we legit went 2 months without a drop of rain and my poor tomato plants suffered because of it. This year the weather has been much better and we’ve had a ridiculous amount of tomatoes!! And a decent amount of cucumbers too! 😊

Luke and I have already made 2 jars of tomato sauce and we plan on making more! Plus a bunch of pickles. Canning is a lot of fun, plus we like to have homemade tomato products for chili. We make a lot of chili in the cold months hahaha. And homemade sauce made from a homegrown tomatoes just makes it that much better.

So all of this backyard farm stuff is a lot of work! Monday I spent 2 hours in the morning tending to everything outside and today I spent 3 hours out there! And that’s not counting caring for the puppies and feeding/cleaning up after the rest of the animals. πŸ˜‚ Mostly those 2 days were filled with general yard work, weeding the garden, picking tomatoes and cucumbers, watering the garden, and weed whacking.

Whew! All of that stuff counts as cross training, right?? Hahaha I sure think it does! All that stuff is hard freaking work! I enjoy it though. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. Now if only I could actually make some real money off of all of this! It’s a lot of work and little reward if you don’t count the eggs and produce. Mostly it’s just thankless work. A lot of people assume that since I don’t have a “real” job that I sit around all day doing a whole lot of nothing but that definitely isn’t the case!

So yeah. That’s basically my life at this point! Running, raising dogs, chickens, and growing food! Along with blogging and general household stuff of course. It’s not a glamorous life, but it’s mine and I love it. 😊

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!!

You’re backyard farming friend aka Farmer Dan (it’s an inside joke πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰),

~Ashley

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Chicken Stuff

I swore up and down that there would be no more chickens in this house! They’re messy, smelly, and annoying to clean up after inside. But low and behold, I had a freaking chicken in my living room on Sunday night.

Poor girl was getting bullied by my rooster, Jethro. She was super stressed out and wouldn’t get into the nesting box at night and had stopped cleaning herself (hence why she looks so terrible in the above photo). So I brought her in and set her up in a dog crate in my “exercise room”. Luckily she seemed perfectly fine with all of that. As far as she was concerned it was a smaller version of their nesting area outside and it got her away from Jethro.

So she got to hang out inside with us for a few days. She calmed down and started cleaning herself again. She never stopped eating, drinking, pooping or doing other chicken things, and her eyes are clear and she’s not sneezing or anything so I was very confident that she wasn’t sick. Just being bullied.

On Tuesday I locked Jethro into the nesting box and let this little lady hang outside with the other hens for a few hours. That experience 100% confirmed my suspicions that it was only Jethro being an asshole to her. The other hens just went about their business when I brought her out, while Jethro freaked out in the nesting area. πŸ™„

After a few hours I brought her back in and let Jethro out. At that point he got a banana too. πŸ˜‚

The next day I decided I was going to let the hens into the bigger run of the coop and leave Jethro locked in the inner area of the coop all day. My hen was doing fine inside, but these are flock animals and they can get stressed out being separated from the group. Plus she’s a chicken and chicken like to be outside. πŸ˜‚

So I went ahead with my plan. Jethro was super pissed that I had separated him from his harem, but at least my Brahma hen got to be outside and do chicken things with the rest of the flock. As the day went on Jethro finally calmed the fuck down and do that evening I gave him run of the whole coop again. I kept a close eye on him though. Obviously I didn’t want him harassing that poor hen again. Luckily he didn’t and that night when I went to lock them up they were nesting together, fast asleep. So hopefully Jethro has gotten over whatever his issues with her was.

Jethro might be an asshole, but he’s MY asshole. πŸ˜‚

So a rooster picking on a hen is actually a pretty common occurrence. Sometimes there is literally no reason for it. But I’m thinking (and hoping) that this whole situation happened because my little flock is currently molting. They’re shedding their winter feathers, growing their summer feathers, and apparently tension is high. πŸ˜‚ But again, that’s all pretty common stuff.

Obviously I’m gonna have to keep a close watch on them to make sure they’re all getting along (or ya know, to make sure Jethro stops being a bully). But I think once they’re done molting everyone will calm down and go back to normal.

So since they are molting I was expecting their egg production to go down at least a little bit but it really hasn’t. I’ve been getting at least 4-5 eggs a day. But a day were all 7 of my hens lay an egg isn’t uncommon at all. So needless to say, I have a bunch of eggs. πŸ˜‚

A couple of people Luke works with want some so we’re going to sell them some. Plus I’m going to be leaving for Colorado next week for my first race of the year and I plan on bringing a bunch of them with me to give to my dad. But I think over the summer we’re going to have to put an ad on Craigslist or something because there’s no way we’re going to be able to eat all of these eggs! πŸ˜‚

It is pretty sweet to have our own fresh eggs though! And pretty soon we’ll be planting our garden and we’ll have fresh produce to go along with them. 😊

So yeah. Chicken stuff. πŸ“πŸ₯šπŸ˜„

Hopefully by next week I’ll have some fun hiking stuff to talk about! And then of course as the week goes on running stuff and eventually a race recap!

Honestly I haven’t really had anything super exciting to talk about running wise as of late. I’m trucking along and I feeling great about what I’m getting done, but to be honest it’s all kinda boring! πŸ˜‚ Just putting in the work and getting in the miles. I’ve really been enjoying the whole process though! Although with summer running quickly approaching I’m not sure how long the whole “enjoying the process” thing is going to last. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that is all for today!

Does anyone else have any upcoming races they’re looking forward to? It is that time of year after all!

Happy racing season everyone! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜„

~Ashley and her small flock of chickens