Monday, January 18, 2016

Backyard Chickens, Family, Cats, Cattle, Barns, Downton, and Democrats

Ah, look at those beautiful chickens!!!

Last week, as I mentioned in a previous post, we visited our son's family in south central Minnesota. It was snowy, blowy, and cold, but fortunately the roads were not snow-packed and slippery, as they so often are in the wintertime.

They live right in the center of a little town, and are allowed to have chickens in their backyard. So, they've built a pen and a coop and enjoy the company of these beautiful chickens. The goldish ones are Buff Orpingtons and the black and white ones are Wyandottes, I think. Our son has wanted chickens for a long time, and it's fun to see the whole family getting in on the project.



Upper left: Granddaughter, dressed for the Minnesota weather
Upper Middle: Chicken pen
Upper Right: Son, having gathered the moment's chicken production
Lower left: Chicken Run
Lower Middle: Nesting Box
Lower Right: Eggs waiting to be used at breakfast

Christmastime brought a new addition to their family - Bingley, the kitten. As you can see in the collage below, he gets plenty of attention. I also took a photo of their black cat, Peter, but all you can see are two green eyes.



That kitten sees everyone as a tree-climbing opportunity and it's quite a shock to suddenly find yourself being clawed by a cat as he scampers up your leg to get to your shoulders. (See granddaughter, lower right.)


Jazzie, a pretty good traveler
and glad to see the family


 Grandkids, all fans of Bingley

 A sweet morning moment with Grandpa


Bingley, on his best behavior
He's practiced that innocent look.

Peter, the older, more civilized cat


Barn in cold, flat, south central Minnesota

It was fun to spend time with the family, and I hope we can go back there soon!

Pink Barns on Highway 212

Remember this barn from a previous post?
Same farm. Same color. No idea why.
(photo taken in January of 2014)


Many horses
I hope they like pink.

Mr. C. and I have a pen out back (18' x 71', originally built as a dog pen on the rare occasion - like never - that we would go away for a day and leave the dogs in the pen. We tried it ONCE. The dogs were in the exact same spot when we returned as when we had left, which was right next to the gate. After that, we kept the dogs in the house and were never gone for a whole day or got a dog sitter.)  Anyway, it's the perfect spot for a chicken coop.

So how many of you have ever raised chickens? Got any good advice or tips of what to do and what not to do and maybe which chickens are your favorites?  I'd love to hear!  I have been waffling (seems appropriate, doesn't it, considering the egg-laying feature) on chickens for a few years now.

And I always love looking at the Murray McMurray chicken catalog, which just came a few days ago.


***

Downton Abbey or Democrats?

Did you watch the Democrat debate last night, or Downton Abbey? I couldn't imagine why they'd put it on at the same time as Downton Abbey (I bet it wasn't Sanders' or O'Malley's idea), but I watched Downton Abbey until it was over and then watched the remaining hour of the debate. 

Two questions:

1. There was so much about Downton Abbey that I loved last night. My favorite parts had to do with Edith and with Tom. Did you watch it? What did you think?

Sybbie and Tom
Tumblr

2.  Why was Hillary Clinton given so much more air time than O'Malley and Sanders? Or did it just seem like it?  Did you watch it? What did you think?

USA TODAY

 

Linked to Judith's MOSAIC MONDAY
and Theresa's GOOD FENCES 
and Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS
and Tom's BARN COLLECTIVE


 
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Have a great Monday, everyone!

Judy

64 comments:

Dicky Bird said...

I watched Downton - it was so good! I hope - but, as we know, nothing at Downton is predictable, they tie up all the stories with happy endings. Edith's new "friend" - yes! Tom is back and knows this is his home and family - yes! Mr. & Mrs. Carson - yes! Anna and Bates - a baby? It is going to be a good final season. Can't wait and I will miss it!

Deb said...

A big "welcome" to Bingley. Nothing...and I mean nothing...better than a new kitten in the home. (Well, maybe a baby);-) Loved all the family photos. What a delightful-looking bunch. Chickens are on my 'WANT' list. First, the house, though. I hope we both jump in and have a few as we can learn from each other then. *grin* Lovely pink barnes. Must have been the wife that won the bet there. I have seen all of DA so I'll keep my mouth shut. Have a great day, Judy. I'm off to spend some time with little Gwynn who I miss lately. Deb

ann said...

Chickens! Of course. We have had hens now for nearly 5 years. We still have one from the the original chicks. We aim to keep a dozen hens, but we have lost some along the way. We buy them from two feed supply stores, but didn't have such good luck with this last batch, having lost three of the young ones. They are not care free, but don't require a lot of attention. We worry most about predators such as fox, raccoons, and hawks. My husband visits backyard chickens.com where you find lots of ideas. His coop is made out of chain link dog kennel fence with a chainlink top to keep the hawks out. He placed the fence on timbers then dug down a foot all the way around the coop and attached wire mesh that he buried to keep the predators from digging under the fence. We choose our breeds by the color of the hen and by the color of egg that they lay. Go for it. I think I would love to visit Minnesota. It looks like a very pretty state, but cold this time of year.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Judy, I loved the images of your grandchildren with their new kitty. Great mosaic. Your Jazzie is adorable too. I like the pink barns, I wish we had some farm animals here. We do live in a rural area, the nearby neighbors have cows, horses and chickens, turkeys, sheep and goats. I am lucky if I can stay awake till 9pm. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

podso said...

Wouldn't you love to know the backstory to the pink barns? I hope you get chicks and enjoy them--everyone I know who does seems to love all of it … including the eggs of course. That was a great final scene in DA--and wasn't the reception lovely. Tom had such a big smile on his face. Did not watch the debate but heard it ended early? Great family photos with the new kitty.

Simply Linda said...

We did not watch the debate--we watched Downton and loved Carson/Hughes/Edith and Tom...and it about broke my heart on Cora's admonishment to Hughes.

I can tell you with quite certainty that the debate was planned as planned--knowing full well that is playoff Sunday (football) and Downton. I just got done reading about the debate--shaking my head...I do believe "H" is feeling the Bern (giggling---I just slay myself with my dry humor, lol)---I feel bad for O'Malley. ANYWAYS--We are not dems in this household---so, I really do not want to offer my biased opinion.

Loved your pictures and yes, we raised chickens when we lived in Alabama and I do miss having fresh eggs. Have a beautiful day, friend,

Theresa said...

Oh what a cute little kitty:) I was raised with chickens and gathering fresh eggs, love those memories from the farm:) So happy you had a great visit and a safe trip! Have a blessed day, HUGS!

Elizabethd said...

We have seen the final DA stories here, but not telling you anything!
A kitten in the house, such fun. I bet he will be spoiled. How cold it looks in Minnesota.

Cheryl said...

What a lovely time of visiting with your son's family!! The new kitten is darling...and I recognize that "innocent" expression as I have seen it on others of his species. We, too, have considered chickens, but that's as far as it's gone. It looks like a great family project!

Last night's Downton was a swoon-worthy episode. Lots to love there!

Tracy Batchelder said...

Yay, it sounds like chickens may be in your future! We are just getting started with our hens, so I don't have a lot of advice to offer. We wanted brown egg layers with good temperaments and excellent to good egg production. We found plenty of information on the Internet to help us make our decision in that regard. We settled on getting only three hens to start with because the coop kit we could afford is sized for three adult chickens. I'm already wishing we had more, but three may be enough to supply us with the eggs we will need. We'll find out in a couple of months when they start laying. We can always add on if we need to, I guess.

Joanne Noragon said...

A pretty little buff colored kitten there. I look at your sidebar, minus sixteen degrees, and am pleased we are merely at two above. I wonder if there is a point where cold and colder no longer count; it's all cold.

Barbara said...

I've always been a city girl, so no chickens at my house except the ones in the freezer ...

Loved the warm, homey pictures of your visit with family. Kids and animals are always very photogenic!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I was happy to see Tom return to Downton and the wedding was beautiful. No I didn't watch the debate though. Enjoy your day...stay warm! Hugs, Diane

helmiriitta 10 said...

I love Bingley <3 He is adorable... as well Peter... And the kids... and the dog... and the chickens!!! A lovely post.

Ps
I don't watch Downton Abbey, maybe I've lost a lot!

bj said...

hahhaa....love the pink...love your hubs plaid shirt...I don't do Downton...
and I think Sanders got more time than Hillery...I am Republican and IF WE MUST HAVE ANOTHER DEMOCRAT in the oval office, I think ANYone would be better than a woman that has been caught in more lies than anyone I can think of...MY GOSH...she should not even be ALLOWED to run for president. and now....I need to go take another blood pressure pill....

Lady Jane said...

Love all your nice pics. I don't have chicks but my neighbor does and when she has too many we get some and it is so nice to have fresh eggs. Hubby cant enjoy them now so I don't take that many. We couldn't tape the debate last night because we were already taping the max the machine will let us tape. I like OMalley. Bernie Sanders I think is too old. Hillary OMG I hope she is not elected. I am an independent but usually vote republican. I have a friend reading the Donalds book, another reading Carsons and I am reading Cruz's. Just not sure yet who I am going to stand behind. Trump says some of what I believe to be correct but he is so crass. I get very upset with what can tumble out of his mouth. Well politics hasn't been boring that's for sure. LOVE YOUR SOAP!!! LJ

Sara - My Woodland Garden said...

What a beautiful, heart-warming post! Cats, dogs and children are always lovely, but in this post everybody looks particularly cute. :)
I didn't follow Downton Abbey, but I have seen the final episode just in case people will start asking "where were you when DA ended". Guaranteed quality. :)
Your soaps look more delicious every time I see them. Have a great week ahead!

Margaret Adamson said...

Love your chickens and I amsure the eggs are delicious. Now is that an inocent look on Bingley??? So cute!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

The pictures are perfect, such precious children. Really enjoyed seeing all of them and looks like you had a great time. I do not watch any of the debates.

Terri D said...

Well, I have no experience with chickens, so just won't go there!!

Love the photos and especially of those beautiful grandchildren (and pets!).

I haven't watched any of the debates, and could care less about the democrats anyway. God help us if Hillary or Sanders end up in the White House.

I watched Downton and also love seeing Tom come back and Edith is amazing! I just wish she would tell Mary that she has a daughter. As much as I love Mary, she is just a little too full of herself and Edith is so much smarter and savvy than Mary!! Cheering for Edith this season! The wedding was sweet, too. It will be fun to see how that union unfolds now. I can't believe there are so few episodes left!!

Linda Kay said...

Judy, you covered a lot this morning. Loved your Minnesota pictures, but glad I don't live in the North. Looks like a nice Christmas with family. Bingley is very cute, but these cute kittens grow up and sometimes get into trouble. ;-) I watched Downton, and was so pleased to see Tom come home. Maybe Edith has a new love interest??? I will hate to see this end.

Pamela Gordon said...

Hm...chickens. I've never been around them but living in the country several neighbours have them. Our son and his wife are thinking of getting some in the spring for eggs. I'll enjoy the eggs but not looking after the chickens! I enjoyed the photos of your grandkids (and their parents) and the cats and chickens. I didn't watch either program because I live in Canada!! Haha. Waiting for new DA episodes to come on Netflix some day but I'm caught up on seasons 1-4 now and waiting for 5, then 6....some day. Happy week to you!

Gayle atMuldoon said...

Can't get enough chicken photos.
Great Family Pics
Downton Abbey
Happy to see Edith glowing for a change---romance in the air.
Good to see Tom back. The preview for next week hints of a new plot.
Last but never least, the dowager had me laughing out loud. Something about turkeys that look forward to Christmas.

Christine said...

Hens & kitties & dogs & pink barns! Fun mix & the innocent look on Bingley's little face is perfect!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Judy, your family times and grandchildren are so sweet. I'm sure you treasure those precious moments. We didn't watch the debate, but did see DA and Mercy Street. I think we're seeing a pattern of happy endings for Downton. I always love your barn pictures, even the pink ones! ♥

Donna said...

What a lovely bunch of family members....I did not watch either...as I did not watch Downton from the start I will have to wait and catch up sometime it is shown again....I refuse to watch any of the debates at this point.

Donna Donabella@GardensEyeView
and LivingFromHappiness

Patsy said...

Hi, tried to follow but!! Thanks for comment.

Carrie B. said...

Loved the family pics Judy!! So cute! Between the kiddos and the kittens, just beyond too much cuteness going on!! Lol ;)

I have always thought it'd be so fun to have chickens!! My hubby, however, disagrees. So there we are with that. I sometimes enjoy a blog called The Beehive Cottage with Maryjane. I think she lives in California - and has chickens and often has fun ideas.

I didn't watch much of the debate either - and I guess I didn't notice more air time for Hilary, but I easily may not have been observant enough.

I LOVED Downton!! So good!! Between the sweet wedding, Edith finally coming into her own, and the return of Tom....just delicious goodness all around! I wish this show would continue forever. ::sigh::

Blessings on your week and stay warm!! Hope that warm up shows up. xoxo

EG CameraGirl said...

Bingley is so cute and I'm thinking truly innocent so he doesn't need to practice. ;))

I guess we in Canada will be hearing a LOT about U.S. politics for next few months. We get so much of your news! I'm curious, did you know Canada had an election for Prime Minister last October? Probably not...although you do live in a very northern state, so maybe you DO know the name of our prime minister. LOL

Daniela said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful words you've left on ~ My little old world ~ as a comment, I appreciate it truly a lot !
So glad you've found me, your blog is really lovely !
I'm a new follower of yours with much joy, thank you again !

Have a week filled with gladness
Daniela

Primitive Stars said...

Afternoon, such sweet family pictures and I love animals so really enjoyed those. Blessings Francine.

White Lace and Promises said...

Oh Judy, these pictures are wonderful of your family. Certainly making memories. So many people are going back to raising their own chickens and farming their land. I love the photo of the eggs in the kitchen ready to be fried or scrambled. I like them both ways. The snow is beautiful and everyone who follows this GA/TN girl, knows that I am praying for snow. It's cold now. Thanks for sharing.

L. D. said...

You have wonderful family shots. I like all the animals. It looks really cold there. We watched a Star Trek movie and saw none of it. The news people seem to replay all of the good stuff anyway.

DeniseinVA said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your post and the photos, especially the family ones. What a lovely area you live in.

Nancy's Notes said...

Great post with all the preciousness going on. Family photographs are wonderful! I'm
Going to watch Downton tonight. I did not watch the debate! I'm crazy about the pink barns! Chickens, I raised them in 4-H!!

TexWisGirl said...

love jazzie and sweet new kitty. :) good luck with the chicken decision!

Rose said...

You have some cute/pretty grands...I love that kitty. Enjoyed all the pics...I will be watching to see if you get chickens. Oh, I watched Downton...our PBS had a new series on afterwards called Mercy Street. It was really good. It is about a couple volunteer nurses during the Civil War. Seems to be well done. Did not watch the debate.

Anita Johnson said...

I had so much to say, and now without the post, I have to wing it! Love all your photos, that is one loved kitten! My niece and our good friends have chickens. For me, it's no...they are so wonderful and seem like more work that I want for now. The eggs are beautiful though!
I had to laugh at your dogs and the pen. We only have one dog now, but he would never consider a pen and I guess we wouldn't either. In fact, as I read blog posts, he is curled up in the blanket next to me. Sometimes I even question if he is really a dog!

genie said...

Judy...I got your email and I am glad you made the decision you did. I think we are going to be happier with the old Blogger. I PINK BARN/s. I can’t believe it. I think that was a super duper idea to use pink paint. Loved that picture.

genie said...

Oh, and chickens in tow.. You would be put in jail if you had them here, LOL

Under Her Wings said...

Love the pics of the grands. Those kind of little people have my heart.

My 11 year old granddaughter has been raising chickens with her mom for several years. She has 26 of them! She wants to study animal husbandry and perhaps be a vet specializing in poultry, or--get this--a shepherdess! Neither would surprise me.

Didn't watch either. My granddaughter wanted me to watch cake wars with her.I know I won't vote Democrat, so I'll save my TV time for a grand.

So, I guess I need to start watching DA on xfinity, huh? Never seen one episode, although you have enticed us many times.

Don't freeze up there in the snowy north. We got the slightest dusting yesterday, and the kids were all outside, some barefooted!

Vee said...

Oh chickens! I can tell that you're really considering it. My niece raises chickens and used to let them free range, but soon learned that her neighbors were not impressed.

Wonderful visit with your son and his family. Your son looks a great deal like his dad. It can't just be the beard. Hope the kitten settles down from a wild thing to a calm little dude. I highly recommend bunting! My nieces had a wild kitten that was tamed by sticking him into a pea pod and zipping him in. The pea pod was a toy that usually held three felted peas. Hmmm...difficult to explain.

I thought the same thing about DA and the Dems. I made something up to satisfy my curiosity. =D

Marcia said...

Didn't watch either one. Gave up on Downton last year - seemed to be too many story lines in too little time. As to the debate wasn't even aware it was to be on. I like the idea of a woman as president but am not sure Hilary is the one. Can't stand the other party.

Lynne said...

I really enjoy "family" posts . . .
Warm, real, adorable, honest, true . . . seem to come to mind . . .
I liked the kitten . . . black as night cat too . . .
I have never raised chickens although I know
fresh eggs are the best.
Pink barns would go nicely with the light blue ones not far from me . . .
I tape Downton so "we" can watch them in one night . . .
I decided it was a good idea . . . when the "I" became "we" . . .
I didn't watch the debate . . . unusual for me, I watch them all . . .
Hillary has had a bunch of debate practice . . .
I have never felt so dis-passionate, apathetic, awe-less about presidentitial candidates . . .
I have never NOT voted . . .
So far, that is where I am at and I don't like it one bit . . .
It seems . . .
Humble has vanished . . .
Honest has shades of gray . . .
Disappointed . . .very . . .

Sandra said...

I smiled all the way through the smiles, the kitten, the dog, the black cat.. happy photos make me feel good.... Jazzie looks sweet enough to kiss but i could not quite reach her.
with a family it is good to have fresh eggs and they look like nice chickens. if i were getting hens i would go with PRETTY ones.. there are several of my blog friends that have chickens...

Denise said...

enjoyed this post.

Donna said...

Happy photos, from the grands to the new kitteh to the chickens! We've had our chickens almost a year and they are surviving their first winter. Egg production is down but we expected that. Pinterest is full of chicken boards with lots of good information.

Missy George said...

I didn't watch either..I'll "On demand" Downton...Busy post..thanks for sharing..I don't think I've seen Bingley before? Cutie..HAve a wonderful day

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fun stuff -- family visits are always wonderful. The portrait of your granddaughter with her Grandpa is wonderful; one for the albums (I'm old fashioned, always want to print out those wonderful people memories)!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I sure can see the resemblance between father and son and good for him to finally have his own chickens. We can have them in our yards I believe but the farm where I buy my eggs talked me out of the idea. As chicks, they need special attention and warmth and as adults are susceptible to a number of things - that was enough for me but I know there are bloggers who have chickens that will give you proper guidance. How fun it would be to collect your own eggs in the morning Judy and like you say, you already have an area to convert to a coop.
I wasn't surprised when Tom showed up at the wedding, after all he needed to be part of the family again for the last season. I may have shed a tear or two during the wedding but I always cry at weddings - just saying.

Red Rose Alley said...

Chickens, chickens, chickens - I love it! Judy, my sister still has chickens in her back yard, and she lives in an area in her town that allows it too. These are wonderful family pictures, and I noticed the long hair on your granddaughter. Can you believe I've never seen Downton Abbey before? Not sure why because I love the dress styles, the elegance, and the whole era.

Have a good week, Judy, and I said a prayer for your dear friends. May God be with them during this difficult time.

~Sheri

Debby Ray said...

It was Downton for me on Sunday evening. I have a real hard time listening to anything Hillary says...right down to the tone of her voice. I loved Downton and don't know who was more surprised at the end (other than me, of course). I loved all of the reactions and can't wait to see what come of it all! I would love to have some chickens. My son has some now since this past summer. It is definitely something I will also consider if and when we relocate to the country. I loved seeing all of your photos, as always!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
My favorite chicken is the https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/barred_rocks.html
Let me know what you think.

Yes, I watched DA. :-)) I loved how Cora handled letting Mrs. Hughes have her own wedding. :-)

Have a great week,
Carla

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

LOVE the pics of chickens/ kitty / kids :)

I did not watch either...I went to a 'revival' church service which was wonderful. The thing was that the evangelist wondered how many would show up that night since the Steelers were in the playoffs and he was THRILLED that so many of us sacrificed football for church. Unless the Steelers hit the Superbowl I could care less about football so I was there, feeling all guilty, thinking that I wasn't really sacrificing a thing ha ha! :)

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Such a precious family - I just love all your sweet little grands. Oh, I would love to get chickens, but too many predators here in the deep woods. Those pink barns are really unusual - I wonder if the inside of the farmhouse is all pink! I got to watch Downton and the Democratic convention because it was on at different times (Pacific time). I'm so sad that this is the last season. Sick of all these radical candidates this year. I'm voting for a woman president. It's about time women brought some common sense to this nation. The men are all crazy.

Nora @ Teacup Tales said...

I enjoyed seeing all of your family members! I'm interested in having backyard chickens but not sure how our lab will respond along with other wild critters. So fun to read and learn more about raising them. Thanks for sharing! I found you on Stephanie's Roses of Inspiration link party.

Anne Payne said...

Sweet memories with family! I miss raising chickens since moving to the beach last autumn. Farm fresh eggs are SO much better than store bought.

Bingley is adorable!!! Such a perfect name for him too.

Um. There's no debating for me...Downton all the way!

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

You put so much into your posts. Beautiful. Black cats are hard to photograph. I rarely get a good on of Grizelda. Chloe Jo is a bit easier, and she obviously loves it! xo

pattisjarrett said...

Did Bingley and Jazzie get along? Great family photos. How nice to have a bowl of fresh eggs waiting!

Ida said...

Our next door neighbor had chickens (they are down to just one now) that often visit and eat the feed I leave out for the squirrels and other birds. Bingley is super cute and does look very innocent. I also like the Black kitty, they are hard to photograph. Nice farm/fence scenes although pink wouldn't be my choice of color.

Cath said...

great photo's but I really love the last one....I wish I had that many horses in my paddocks.

eileeninmd said...

Good morning, I loved this post with your family, the chickens, dog and kitty! The grandpa shot is sweet. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What fun! My parents would leave their dog in a pen. He's bark all day, but they didn't believe me!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Marie C said...

What a wonderful family visit! Loved all the photos. Enjoyed seeing the chickens too...I would love to have chickens! Really enjoyable post.

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