Monday, January 13, 2014

The Big Thaw

After a couple weeks of schizophrenic weather patterns,
things finally settled down by Sunday...
giving us a breezy and partly sunny day here on the farm.
We are finally almost completely thawed out.

Sunday was a perfect day for....

taking mini horses

for a walk.

(We tried to take the donkeys, but they said "no thank-you"...
and as you know....when donkeys say something, they mean it.
Y.e.s. T.h.e.y. D.o. !)

Amanda danced with turkeys...

walking them back to their enclosure for evening's arrival.
(It keeps them moving if you flap your "wings"!)

We visited with Ginger and MaryAnn...

who are always happy to entertain guests.

(That's MaryAnn saying "hello" in Pig)

Ginger came right out to see us...

We brought the refreshments!
MaryAnn likes her drinks straight from the sprinkling can.

They brought the smiles!
They especially love visits from the dogs.

The temperate weather gave us a chance to clean out chicken coops
and install new watering systems.
I am so excited about these new waterers.
They are from a company called "Cheery Chicks".

The water tank is completely sealed...keeping the water clean and fresh.
When the chickens peck at the little red valves
(which I am happy to say they did)
fresh drops of water are delivered right into their mouths.
I can't tell you how time saving these waterers will be.
They have lids with and without heating elements,
so they will be perfect for the entire year.

Prior to this, I have had to change the chicken waterers several times daily,
because invariably one of the girls would leave her calling card in the waterer.
Foul fowl!


  1. Glad you got a break in the weather.
    Those waterers sound fabulous! Enjoy!

  2. Good Morning. I've been telling my husband that we need waterers like that...showed him yours...spose he will listen to me now? You have a great day and week.

  3. OMGpsj O kist ;pve tje mew water. Can't wait to tell several friends about it. How cool is THAT..!!
    Aww..the mini walk must have been so much fun. Not for us sad to say..we are still to icy. The turkeys are always so much fun to watch. Amanda looks like she had more fun than they Looks like hubs can go back to work relaxed and you can feel better with some barn chores done that you wanted to get finished. Winter makes our chores so difficult at times. Enjoy the warm weather...I am sure we will get hit with winter again. Love your ictures as usual.

  4. it must be so nice to get everyone out in some fresh air. those waterers sure will save you time! and you can test the heaters this weekend!

  5. Beverly, thanks for letting us in on the new water system. You have it in you think bunnies would be able to figure it out? I have (3) bunnies that live with my flock of (16) hens. I have open bowls of water and need to change it 2x a day. This would be perfect if it would be a good fit for both hens and bunnies! Jude M.

    1. Jude....I am not sure how it would work for bunnies.. it would definitely need to be hung lower. My concern is that the little valves would not be at a good angle for they would have to raise their chins up into the air....which is not a natural thing. It is great for chickens though.

  6. Isn't it amazing how our weather affects every ones attitude! Give a little warmth and a sun break and everyone is dancing. I hope in a couple of weeks you will report back as to how that new chicken watering is going. I've looked at them and read their reports but just didn't know anyone that could give it a test. I sure like the idea of hanging instead of on the floor. Hopefully you get a few more days of semi nice weather!! Hugs!

  7. I loved my virtual walk with you -thanks for the fun! We're almost thawed out, but we've had constant winds that have gusted to 50mph over the past few days. Not weather for a walk (at least for me!)

  8. Lovely photos ! That's sounds like a great way for the chickens to get their water hope it works out well. We had a big thaw here to and rain but then the temps dropped for a bit and all the water had a thin layer of ice lots of grass is showing , the river is flooded big time around the village and more rain is on it's way . Lovely sun rise this morning here but now clouds have rolled in . Thanks for sharing have a good day !

  9. I'll bet the " littles" enjoyed their walk...Love the water tanks..Great that the chickens figured out how to use them.. Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day..xxoo

  10. It's nice here too this past couple of days. From two feet of snow a week and a half ago and now completely gone except in the shady areas where there's still some crust. Your walk looks like it was fun - especially the turkeys, what kind are they? Would love to add some to our managerie. Are they hard to raise? Can they be combined with chickens?

    1. Hi Janice. Our turkeys are Bourbon Reds. We got them as just hatched babies. They are easy to raise...must be kept very warm until they are feathered. Ours just roam the farm at will. They have their own house with food and water that they sleep in each night, and we have to herd them there. They are out and about with the problems there. As far as housing them with the chickens....the literature warns against allowing them together because of transmittable disease. As far as being out and about together there is no free range chickens are so much healthier than production chickens. Our turkeys often visit the chicken houses for a snack during the day.... I don't have any experience with housing them together, so I cannot advise you on that. We love our turkeys!

  11. Fun...I wish I could tour the farm with you.

    1. We very happily give tours! But you are a little bit far away for that. Enjoy the weather where you are!!

  12. Nice time visiting your farm today if only in pictures. : )

  13. Looks like great weather . . . wonderful, makes me wish! Love seeing the animals . . .

  14. I have the exact same bucket waterers that I made myself. I did a double take when I saw yours because it looks exactly like mine. Have been using them for two years. They are wonderful. I will never go back to traditional chicken waterers ever again.

    It is A LOT cheaper to make these yourself. The exact same see thru blue bucket can be bought at any True Value hardware store for 6 dollars. They are nice because you can see how full the buckets are. The lid is another 2 dollars. The red nipples can be purchased at for $2.50 each. These are quality nipples and will not leak.

    I am using a similiar plastic safe bucket warmer that works well in most weather. They cost around 43 dollars. Be aware that once the temps get below 20 degrees these nipples can freeze. The water will remain liquid in the bucket, but the nipples will freeze solid and your chickens will be without water. In extremely cold weather, check the nipples often or have a back up plan like a heated dog dish or heated small bucket as a back up.

    I live in south central PA and during the cold snap last week, all my nipple waters with the same style heater had the nipples freeze solid. I hope someone invents a waterer where the nipples themselves are heated someday! Otherwise they are terrific!!!

    Heather in PA

  15. Just wanted to add that the installation of the nipples on the bottom of the bucket takes 2 minutes. Just drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket, insert the leak proof gasket that comes with the nipples and then insert the nipple into the gasket. Easy and fast! The nipples from Premier do not require plumbers tape or caulk thanks to the gasket design. I showed my kid's 4H Poultry club how to make them last year at a meeting and they were a huge hit!

    Heather in PA

  16. Thanks for all the great info, Heather. I was going to make another this helps a lot!!


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