Get all of the details and register at: http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/backyardbasics/
Hope to see you there!
|Huth Avian Services||
The Backyard Basics Expo on Sept 17, 2016, put on by Texas AgriLife Extension is a really great opportunity to learn those life skills which you need in order to be self-sustaining. Sessions this year are Bee Keeping, Herb Gardening, Keeping Fresh Foods Safe, Rain Barrel Basics, Home Aquaponics, Turf 101, Backyard Composting, Drip Irrigation, Urban Wildlife, Veggie Gardening, Vermiculture and of course, Backyard Chickens. Huth Avian is proud to be the presenter of the Backyard Chickens session!
Get all of the details and register at: http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/backyardbasics/
Hope to see you there!
Really enjoyed time yesterday, visiting at the Wimberley Senior Center with my bantam Cochin, "Bitsy" and Fancy Feathers 4H Club member, Alyssa Caldwell and her Nankin, "Blackberry". The Senior Center has a program for clients with moderate memory loss called CIRCLES OF FRIENDS. The group meets at the Community Center every Thursday from 10:00am-2:00pm. The program provides an enriched curriculum for "friends" of the Center. The morning begins with greeting and circle time with all participating. Activities include, art, crafts, movement, music, exercises suited for 55 years of age - some are sitting, some are standing depending on the friends' abilities.
Yesterday we had the privilege of being the morning's activity with a little Chicken Show & Tell & Touch!
For more information please call the Senior Center at 512-847-1781.
This waterer is from My Pet Chicken and I have now had it installed for 3 months. It claims to be "a solution to all the most common waterer problems, and the result is a no-drip, clean, freeze-free watering system. The nipple design won't drip. Due to the unique nipple design that doesn't "hold" water, even in temps well below freezing, your chickens will be sittin' pretty...... each nipple accommodates up to five hens,...... you can purchase the nipples separately and attach them to your own system......there's no tray for dirty beaks to soak in. Dirtied water doesn't get pulled back into the container, so you'll only need to clean your waterer every few weeks or so."
PROS: can be set on a pedestal which allows for easy refilling and cleaning of the water reservoir when necessary (which is not very often!).............. easy to add frozen water jugs in the summer to instantly cool water.......affordable
CONS: does drip SOME water (see photo)............each nipple accommodated two of my hens, not five...my 5-nipple system needed an alternate water source for my 25 hens
MY OPINION: So far this product is no better or worse than the standard nipple waterer... I am anxious to see if it will be FREEZE-FREE this winter.... if so, that will be a definite plus! (will update this winter)
The new Beakup system has been in place now for several days.
My Black Copper Marans, raised on fount waterers, have adapted well to the Beakup. I thought they would learn to press the trigger and keep the cups filled, but now understand this is not the design....the cups will not always be full which is beneficial because excess water will not be dirtied. When birds go to drink, they hit the valve which releases the amount of water needed. This prevents spilling, overflowing and evaporation, for optimum efficiency. No water drips on the ground. The cups twist off, which makes for easy cleaning. Because the water reservoir sits on a pedestal, it is easy to refill and easy to add ice jugs to cool water in summer. Customer service has been quick to answer questions.
So far, none.
I have ordered more cups to try in a couple more of my coops...
(previous posts 8-24 and 8-31)
Got my 5 Beakup system assembled and installed.... now to watch birds and see how they like it..... will report later this week.
It was too good to be true. It was the new Poultry Director of the Hays Co Livestock Show Board that hired me to judge the youth poultry show in January..... thank you for the vote of confidence! However when he attended the meeting yesterday, the Board voted "No" saying they didn't want a local judge. I would have been fair and impartial, and would have done the mini-poultry clinic with the kids after the judging like I always do, but it's their decision. If by chance they should reconsider, I would certainly love to do it!
It is with total confidence that I recommend the Urban Coop Company, located in Dripping Springs, Tx for any and all of your chicken coop needs. Their attention to detail in the craftsmanship of their coops is stellar and they listen to what their customers want and accommodate them however possible. These coops are beautiful and will add a touch of yard art wherever they are placed. They are almost totally made in the USA and are individually hand made at the Texas ranch of the family that owns the company. The coops are built to last, make owning chickens easier than you can believe and have special touches comparable to high-scale home builders. The owners are personable, care about their customers needs and are highly ethical, friendly folks! It was only a few short years ago that they conceived the idea of a chicken coop company and they have grown their business in leaps and bounds into the successful venture that it is today..... that will only happen when a product and the service is of the caliber of the Urban Coop Company. Try them... you'll love them!
Pretty excited today... just confirmed that I will be judging the poultry classes for the Hays County Youth Livestock Show on Jan 28, 2016 at 9am. As a young 4H member I showed both chickens and poultry at this show... about nine years ago. I no longer know any of the families with youth involved, and have looked forward to doing this for a long time. It's a great little show and I hope the kids get a big crowd of supporters on the day of the auction, Jan 30 at 11am. I know how hard the kids work to get their birds ready for the show!
The set of Beaktime watering cups that I ordered arrived in today's mail. I'm eager to get them set up and installed in my coop of young birds tomorrow, to see if they work as well as I'm hoping they will. The design looks really good (kind of a morph of fount/nipple) and should make maintaining a clean water supply a breeze. I've learned that unless chickens are started on the traditional nipple waterers right from hatch, they generally have a hard time adapting to them. If they get used to drinking from the fount style waterers, they don't transition well to nipples. Stay posted and I'll let you know if my birds are able to switch from the always dirty fount waterers, to this cleaner style. Since they are somewhat like little founts, they just might work! If they do, I will post an update with contact info for the company and will recommend them to my consultation clients.
I've fallen behind on updating this blog, but will make it a point to update more often! For more info on this event contact the Hays Co. Texas AgriLife Extension Agency HERE
I am privileged, honored and excited to once again judge the Chambers County Youth Project Open Poultry Show tomorrow in Ahahuac, TX. This is their 59th Annual Event and their Poultry Show begins at 9am. The entire show encompasses April 29- May 2... go check out the show and support the kids! I have found the youth who enter this show to always be polite and eager to learn and they exhibit a desire to improve for next year..... they would appreciate your support of their efforts.
At days end, the Grand & Reserve birds were selected and I was surprised to be told that the Polish chosen as Reserve was the same bird that was chosen as Reserve last year! Talk about consistent judging! The young lady who won Grand champion is a sister of a former year's Grand champion.... I commend the efforts by all entered to raise quality birds! Here are past year's photos and one of this years Grand & Reserve champions.
Talk about an amazing venue! I had the privilege of speaking on the topic of All Things Eggs/Chickens! at the AgriLife Extension Backyard Basics Program today. There was a tremendous turnout of participants in spite of the thunderstorms that sprinkled the day.... the organizers did an excellent job of pulling together a most memorable day. It was held at the historical Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, TX. In addition to being an extraordinary place by it's own right, one of it's claims to fame is as the chosen location for Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton's wedding. The lunch they served was fantastic....every bite of it. The large group that elected to attend my session were lots of fun and very patient.... I was scheduled to speak outside but due to the incoming storm I was moved inside at the last minute, causing a bit of a delay in getting started. Then we had some technical problems causing more delay but everyone kept things lively with their questions while we worked to get up & running! I HIGHLY recommend this event to everyone for next year....ALL of the sessions offered were exceptional. I'd like to thank Martha Joyce, Comal AgriLife Extension Agent, for inviting me to come and participate.... hope to do it again next year!
Here is a link to the presentation file I used for anyone who would like to review the information.
Wow! Interesting evening! I was invited by some friends to join them at a Q&A meeting of their Property Owners Assoc, who had on their agenda a discussion of "allowing chicken hens to be raised for eggs, even if not a part of a 4H or school program." I was to be there to help address concerns by those who are not sure this is what they'd like to see. It seems that a "lot" of the association members would like to be allowed to have a small, clean backyard flock of hens. I specifically asked those present who were against the idea to voice their reasons for the reluctance.... the only reasons were 1. "....chickens are not pets, they are farm animals"..... 2. "...chickens are smelly"..... 3. "....chickens will attract coyotes". So I looked up the legal definition of 1.pets..... According to 24 CFR 5.306 (Title 24 - Housing And Urban Development; Subtitle A - Office Of The Secretary, Department Of Housing And Urban Development; Part 5 -General HUD Program Requirements; Waivers; Subpart C - Pet Ownership For The Elderly Or Persons With Disabilities; General Requirements), common household pet means:
(1) “For purposes of Housing programs: A domesticated animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, rodent (including a rabbit), fish, or turtle, that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes. Common household pet does not include reptiles (except turtles). If this definition conflicts with any applicable State or local law or regulation defining the pets that may be owned or kept in dwelling accommodations, the State or local law or regulation shall apply. This definition shall not include animals that are used to assist persons with disabilities.
As for 2. smelly, I think everyone would agree that my mom's pet (see photo below) is more smelly than my pet chicken!
The issue of 3. coyotes, has much research already done... there is no statistic available that shows chickens attract more coyotes to an area than any other attractant, for example http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2008-05-02/618822/
Neither are there any statistics to show that a small flock will lower property values.... famous chicken owners such as the Duchess of Devonshire, Martha Stewart, Tori Spelling, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Barbara Streisand, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, Helen Hunt and many others are quick to argue that point. One can always RAISE property values with this $100,000 coop sold by Neiman Marcus http://www.urbangardensweb.com/2013/10/24/100000-chicken-coop-what-the-cluck/
A quick Google search will readily reveal that chickens are no longer the lowly farm animal of the past, but are now a highly recognized urban pet and the fastest growing trend in the US!
All in all, I was really happy to be able to attend this session in the BEAUTIFUL New Braunfels River Chase community.... I found the residents who were present last night to be very open minded, reasonable people with very few exception!
Mama Hen's Blog
The rooster may crow, but the Hen rules the roost!