Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Updates to Cackle Cabin

Cackle Cabin is still going strong!  

We have 13 hens and have made some improvements to the coop.

We added a covered common area, we like to call the "Ball Room" to the back of the cabin.  This allows the hens to have a nice area to hang out in the winter and when it's rainy.  It also provides a wind block.  We are facing north. We like to think the hens have dances at night in the "ball room" and even had a disco ball hanging in the center of it for a while!

A run is attached to the hen house  and is covered with netting.  We have hawks in the area. The top of the run is part of our old swing set.

Underneath the cabin is a window made of plexiglass.  The ladies love to look out and also sun themselves in the winter.

The dog house provided a covered area for pullets as they integrated into the flock.  Many times the older ladies won't let them in the ball room or out of the rain.  This worked great for the young pullets to have cover from the rain and wind.  However when they started laying eggs, they put some in the dog house.  So we had to turn it around to close it off.

Inside the "ball room".  This is their common area.  It has food and water.  We added a litter box that serves as an extra nesting box.

The ramp up to the hen house where most roost at night.  We can lock to lower dutch door.

A side view and the "people entrance".  We cover the screen door with plastic during the winter.

The nest box is attached to the cabin.  It has two spaces.

 A side view of how the chickens exit the hen house and ball room.  The door is on a pulley and we can close it at night.  It also serves to to block the west wind in the winter.

We also have a small roost set up on the Little Tikes chairs.  The ladies use this every morning after they eat their breakfast.  They sit up there and preen their feathers.

The run opens up into a very large pasture.  The hens love this and spend most of their time here in the summer.  We have lots of shade.

This is the view from our back door!

The nest box is a popular place!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cackle Cabin

If you'd like to see our chicken coop that we built for the chickens 
go here:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blue Ribbon Bird!

Tuesday September 14, 2010

The chickens have grown and a few went to the Fair.  Molly showed the a Leghorn and an Australorp from the ChickQuest hatch.

One of the Leghorn pullets won a blue ribbon at the 2010 Wayne County Fair Open Chicken Show!

The judge commented on her nice body and tail feathers.

The pullets were in separate cages when we first brought them to the Fair.  The Leghorn was frantic for a day and then we finally put them together in the same cage.  They were MUCH happier together.

Many thanks to all that helped us at our first Chicken Show. Thanks to Laurel for all the advice and help.  Thanks to Logan, Theo and Jenny who helped us bathe and prepare the pullets. Thanks to Ann and Logan who helped us choose the best birds to take to the Fair. The Dalton-Kidron Big 4 4-H Club Chicken group is so supportive!  Thank you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chicks are growing!

3 Day Old Chicks

The chicks are growing like weeds in the sunshine!  They're are getting bigger, starting to get wing feathers and they're hungry.  We could spend hours watching them--and we do!  They_ are_ so_ cute!!

Their personalities are beginning to emerge.  There's the alpha chicks --the ones in charge.  The curious ones--always first to check out something new.  And the shy ones--not wanting to be a part of anything new or scary.

We have them on pine shavings now. They've figured out where the food and water is and love scratching in the shavings.

Here's a video of their busyness and curiosity. . . 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hatching Stats

We started with 25 eggs.
12 Leghorn
13 Australorp
14 chicks hatched and lived. (56%)

  • 8 hatched.  
  • 3 were not fertile through candling.
  • 1 did not pip and died, fully formed, in the egg.
  • Most hatched on Day 23. But hatching ranged from Day 22 to Day 24.
  • The one that hatched on Day 24,  required assistance.
  • 88% of the fertile eggs hatched and produced a live healthy chicks.
  • 6 hatched
  • 5 were not fertile through candling or cracking open.
  • 2 died while hatching.
  • Most hatched on Day 23.  Only one hatched on Day 22 and requiured assistance.
  • 75% if the fertile eggs hatched and produced live healthy chicks.

General Observations: 

The hatching was later than we thought.  None hatched on Day 21.  This could have been due to temperature and humidity fluctuations in the incubator.

We thought all of the eggs would hatch at about the same time.  They did not.  They were spread out over 3 days.

The hatching itself takes a long time.  From the pip to the chick, it took about 12 - 24 hrs.

The Leghorns were quicker and stronger at hatching than the Australorps.

This was a fun group 4-H Project!

Day 24

Thursday June 3, 2010

The hatching is coming to an end.

The last egg to hatch was White egg #6 (my pick for who would hatch first, LOL!).  It hatched at 10:14 am.

This chick needed a little assistance getting out of the shell and seems very weak. Once out of the shell it was very floppy and wobbly.  It kept flipping over and staying on it's back like a turtle that has turned over.  We gently keep flipping back upright.  With some extra attention, it seems to be OK and we moved it to the brooder about 6 pm.  The other chicks are pecking at the new chick :-(

We candled the other eggs and determined no more are alive or viable.

Day 23 - Evening

Two more hatched ....

Brown egg #6 at 12:20 pm
Brown egg #4 at 2:50 pm

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hatching Video!

This is the video I promised to post of white Leghorn chick #3 hatching at 5:50 pm on Tuesday June 1, 2010.  The entire process took nearly a day....from the pip, until completely out of the egg.  We've clipped that into two 5 minute videos.  These little guys work so hard to get out!

Leghorn Hatch Part 1

Leghorn Hatch Part 2

All hatched out and resting.

Fluffed out and ready to go.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 23 - Morning

Morning, Wednesday June 2, 2010

What a night! Between 11 pm and 8 am we had 8 chicks hatch!  All with no assistance.

This is newly hatched chick brown # 5.

Pip and Zip!  Lots of eggs in the process of hatching.

Brown #9,  white #7 and  brown #5 waiting to dry off and fluff up.

White #11 just hatched.  This one is exhausted and look at those huge feet!

Nine chicks in the brooder getting dry and fluffy.

Chick white #2.  It hatched in 10th place. (Ramona's pick for the hatching contest!)

Here's a list of who hatched when last night:

11:40 pm ( late Tuesday night): Brown #5
12:33 am: White #7
12:37 am: Brown #9 
12:44 am: Brown #10
1:20 am: White #8
3:30 am: White #2
6:20 am: White #11
8:41 am: White #4

There are currently two more eggs piping and zipping...stayed tuned!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 22 - Evening

Tuesday June 1, 2010


We feel as if we are continuous chick midwifes.  It's fun and somewhat stressful at the same time.  So much going on with 25 eggs that are taking a long time to finish hatching.

Happy Birthday to 2 Leghorns!
White #3 hatched at 5:50 pm.  Molly has named this one Nugget.  It's WILD!  Climbing all over everything and cheeping constantly. We have a great video of this chick hatching and we will post it tomorrow.

The second Leghorn hatched at 7:00 pm.  This chick is very big! It hatched very quickly once it got going.
Here are the two newly hatched Leghorns in their "play pen" in the incubator.  The play pen is a small square Rubbermaid dish that keep the chicks contained in one area.  This prevents them from falling over, turning over and pecking the other eggs that are trying to hatch. They stay in the play pen till they are fluffed out and ready for the brooder.

Sad News
Two of the Australorp eggs ( #11 and #2) failed to hatch after they pipped and they died this afternoon.  We think that while the first chick was in the incubator drying off, it turned these two eggs over and they couldn't continue to "unzip" their eggs and get out because they were upside down. We feel so bad about this.  So after this happened, we came up with the play pen idea to keep the other hatching eggs safe.

Most of the other eggs are in some form of piping or unzipping. So look for more chick updates!

Here's the first chick that hatched (Australorp #3), happy and curious in the brooder this afternoon.  Molly named this one Pip.