Monday, February 2, 2015

Helloooo February Snow

Well this is one way to start February!   I took this video around 4pm on February 1, 2015. Chicago's blizzard warning was in effect until midnight.

The next day we woke up to a winter wonderland. Our backyard was more fit for penguins than for a flock of chickens.

Snow drifts made some areas about 4ft deep.

Despite tarping the run, the blowing snow from the night managed to trickle through any available cracks, causing the inside of the run to have a dusting of powdery snow.  The flock wanted no part in  stepping in it- yes, they are spoiled and entitled.  I had to turn the inside of the run with a rake and add fresh pine shavings- what service!

By late morning the sun was shining and the snow was sparkling. I made a nice little path leading to all the chicken coop doors. There is something sooo energizing about fresh snow and winter sun. Just another reason I am thankful to have a flock of chickens; for I would not enjoy such simple pleasures if they weren't needing my care.

Even though I shoveled through the 2ft of snow covering their door, this is as far as the girls wanted to go. The entire time all I heard were their little coo's of disapproval.

Dark Chocolate, the current Queen of the Coop, was grateful for my hard work and gave me a nice egg for my troubles.

I think the girls were happy that the snow turned into a sunny winter day, but I am sure they are counting the days 'til Spring.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Windy City Coop Tour 2014

Excited to report that we will be featuring our chicken coop in the Windy City Coop Tour!

It will give me free reign to talk about everything chicken for FOUR hours each day, yippee!

Here are some photos of the ChicagoChickInn this past summer.

We had a pretty eventful Summer at the Inn-  the coop got a paint job along with a chicken run addition.  But the biggest news is that we went from a flock of three to SIX!  Teeny adopted 3 cute chicks. Of course they are no longer chicks, but boy was it a learning curve to integrate them in the flock.


Never a dull moment here at the Inn.  Ya'll make sure to stop by September 20 or 21! The fluffy butts will be waiting!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Chicken BFF's are called CFF's - Duh

Human to Chicken Glossary:
BFF - Best Friends Forever
CFF - Chicken Friends Forever (the Chicken world equivalent)

From an early age Cupcake and Dark Chocolate were like two peas in a pod. If physically separated as chicks they would chirp at a pitch that would simply make your hair curl.
There friendship began as early as pre-school.

They found a common interest... admiring themselves.

Even as pullets (aka young chicken adult-hood) they were a happy twosome.

It is always a rare moment when you see one without the other; and if you should see it, it is always short lived because one will always urgently run to the other.
They Forage together,

eat exotic foods together,

practice synchronized poses together,

and to this day still make time to admire themselves together.

They are simply CFF's (better known to us as BFF's), and continued proof that chickens are more than just egg layers.

 Check out more great blog posts at Tillys Nest

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Case of the "ooks"

Spring has sprung! It's finally gorgeous here in Chicago and after our crazy Winter of polar vortex's the sunny weather is soooo very welcome. Hard to believe that only 2 weeks ago I was still using a Winter coat. That's Chicago weather for ya.

Having chickens has made me an early riser and I can't help but notice all the birds chirping and making nests. I see bees, and even frisky squirrels. If you ever go into your yard at the crack of dawn in the Spring you will notice everything is trying to mate and multiply.

My little flock of single lady chickens are no exception to this crazy Spring fever. They don't gotta man. Never seen a rooster in their entire existence, yet by nature they too have a biological clock. Teeny, my favorite chicken's clock, is ticking BIG TIME!

Teeny is broody. How do I know? Here are her telltale signs...

1. She walks around with puffed up feathers and looks like a little ball. She also makes this new sound "ook ook ook"

2. She has removed a large amount of her breast feathers so her eggs can feel the warmth of her body.

3. She insists on sitting on her eggs. And when I remove her eggs she still sits in her nest. If the other chickens lay eggs she sits on their's. She will even sit on a golf ball! Her eggs will never hatch unfortunately, since we have no rooster.

Here is an older video earlier this year when she was broody for a day...

4. Teeny is a moody broody. i.e. Teeny non-broody: "Cupcake get out of my way" vs. Teeny broody: "Get out of my way Beaoootch" (then chases and plucks feathers out)

5. She shrills at me when I remove her from her nest and makes sure to give me a nasty look.

Here is Teeny trying to get back into her nest box, after I tried to lock her out.



So what's a city chicken owner to do?

If I let her sit on her eggs they will never hatch, we have no rooster so her eggs are not fertile. Secondly broody chickens don't eat as much, lose weight and are more susceptible to catching lice after sitting for hours in the same spot. Thirdly broody chickens will stop laying eggs.

What no eggs!! I decided to try and break her outta this trance.

The master plan:

Honestly, I wish I could just toss her a pamprin and be done with this, but chicken keeping would be no fun if it wasn't challenging at times.

The first day. I collected the eggs often. Everytime she ended up in her nest box I removed her. I did this for an entire day only to find that instead of roosting at night she was in her egg box!

Tough love today. I made a broody jail. This morning she was still "ook ook ooking" so I new she was still broody. By mid morning I found her sitting in her nest box. So I put her in broody jail.

This is broody jail... A wire cage elevated on bricks so air can cool off her underside. Food and water provided. Most say that 3 days of this breaks a broody hens trance.

Here is Teeny giving me a nasty look.


I went out to run errands and came back to find her still "ook ook ooking" in jail. I let her out to forage and she headed directly into her nest - UGH! Needless to say, I just threw her back into the slammer.

We shall see... I do have a plan B if this doesn't work out.

Here are the other chickens making a prison visit.











Friday, April 18, 2014

The Power of a Fluffy Chick

One cannot underestimate the power of a fluffy chick. It can turn drab to simply fab or pending anger to an unexpected smirk. If used correctly one can use a fluffy chick to his or her great advantage. Let me demonstrate...

These are fluffy chicks.

Fluffy chicks can help you avoid confrontation.

At the end of a long week you have a pile of unopened mail, ya know the mail that your spouse/partner told you to deal with. Just looking at the pile can provoke aggravating thoughts ...



Add the fluffy chick and the once aggravating pile becomes secondary to the discovery of the cute chick. "Ooooh who put this cute chick here?" Such a simple fluffy chick is enough to take the edge off a possibly volatile situation.



Another example. You did all the small dishes and left the BIG ones to wash later. Finding the sink like this is enough to ignite irritation, so just for some insurance I would throw a few fluffy chicks in there to buy you some time.



Finding this scene instead... "little fluffy chicks sailing away" ... just might get a little giggle instead of grumpy mumbling.



Ok one more example.You are going crazy finding the tape, keys, or even a pen. So you look at the junk pile next to the door and instead of goin more cray cray you smirk because a fluffy chick has found a home on your pile. That's right... tossing fluffy chicks over random piles of junk might turn a negative into positive.



Not quite convinced yet of fluffy chick power? Well check out how a fluffy chick can turn gifts from drab to fab.



Here's a threesome of mini potted kalanchoes. Before... "gee thanks for the mini plants".




Add a few fluffy chicks ... "Oh my gosh I love them, they are sooo cute!"




Got one more, your standard run of the mill spring tulips go from ordinary...



to extraordinarily Super Cute.



So are you running to the store now to get your supply of fluffy chicks?! Happy Easter Everyone!



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blue Light Specials Aisle #6, #7, #8

These are the latest vintage items for purchase in my shop!

Just hatched is this vintage chick piggy bank. 

You gotta agree this Spring chick is the cutest sailor you'll ever see!

Check out this awesome collection of vintage children's records (5 total). I found these at an estate sale and snatched them up. I couldn't resist the colorful artwork on the covers. I think these would be great framed and used as decor in a kids playroom or bedroom.

Lastly we can't forget Mother's Day is right around the corner. This plate symbolizes all the super mod moms out there. I love the colors on the plate and dig this gals super chic style.

Thanks for browsing and stay tuned for the next Blue Light Special!
Happy week and Happy Thrifting!

Want more thrifted/vintage finds fun? Visit Sir Thrift A Lot and Knick of Time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Grass Grow Along the Final Steps

We are well on our way to green green wheat grass by St Paddy's Day. Click here to see the supply list and click here to see the first 5 steps.

For reminders and pictures of how my grass is growing just "like" my Facebook page ChicagoChickInn.

So we left off from Wednesday morning... on Wednesday morning you just made sure that the paper towel on top of the seeds was left moist for the day.

Step 6:
By Wednesday evening this what my seeds looked like under the paper towel. Eventually if you are using a clear container you will see the roots burrowing into the soil below. On the surface you can now see little light green buds of grass. You may also see white fuzz, no worries this is part of the seed germinating process. (3 days since we started Sunday evening)

Moisten the paper towel and remove it.

The goal now is to keep the seeds moist but not sitting in water. It's a balance of not letting it dry out vs. not letting it be too moist.

Depending on your growing conditions; if it looks dry you may need to spray the surface with water. If your container has no drainage holes, just remember to drain off excess water.

I covered the plastic containers with Saran Wrap (gives a greenhouse like effect), leaving just a corner open. I then put the containers back in my warm dark area, on top of my fridge.

Step 7:
Thursday morning and Thursday night, see if the seeds need watering. Continue to keep the containers in a warm dark area covered with the saran wrap.

This is how they look Thursday morning March 13.  There are more light green sprouts. I watered the seeds and drained the excess water this morning. You can see the roots burying down into the soil. Remember continue to keep the containers in a warm dark area.

Step 8:
Happy Friday! 

Yay! my grass is ready for sun. Water the wheat grass and drain the excess water. No need to cover with saran wrap anymore. Place the containers in indirect sun. Even a north facing windowsill will be enough sun to get the grass very green. 

Step 9:
Just watch your grass grow. Water and drain excess water daily and keep your wheat grass by a sunny window. Enjoy the green color, decorate your house with it, juice it for yourself or feed it to your pet. Usually by the 10th day its ready to harvest, just cut the grass close to the root. The grass will grow one more time but usually after two cuttings most of the nutrients will have been used up. Just compost the soil and start again.

Today is Monday March 17, St. Paddy's Day and my grass is as green as ever. It amazes me everytime that it grows this beautifully in 7 days! If you grew some wheat grass please share your pictures, I'd love to see your results (hopefully good results).

Want to grow wheat grass in 7 days? Go HERE.