Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Backyard Farm Girl Problems #201: I Can't Believe My Dog Eats This!



I love my dog.  I really do.  But sometimes he drives me crazy. Kramer, our suburban "flock dog," is a sweet ll-year-old yellow lab. And if you know anything about labs, they will eat just about anything.  When we added our small flock to the backyard a couple of years ago, Kramer quickly learned that with chickens comes lots of opportunities for treats.  For example:


Chicken Feed
Our little flock free-ranges the fenced-in backyard so Kramer has easy access to the coop. When we aren't looking he quietly roams to the coop and feasts on any left over feed.


We thought we had a solution to this problem when we installed our automatic chicken door. How was Kramer going to squeeze his 70 pound body into a door opening the size of a watermelon?! Well, when there's a will there's a way...



Chicken Treats
Is it a coincidence that Kramer wants let outside every time we give the chickens food scraps?  I think not!  Sorry buddy, I know what you are up to.





Last but not least..

Chicken Poop
Yes, our dog loves to indulge in daily chicken poop.  This is so disgusting!  The positive to this situations is the patio is always clean, but I'm not so sure how good the chicken poop is for him. For all you experienced chicken owners with dogs on constant poop patrol, how do I stop him?  Has anyone tried sprinkling cayenne pepper powder like My Pet Chicken has suggested?  



Disgusted Backyard Farm Girl,
Sarah




Looking for a reliable automatic chicken door? This one from My Pet Chicken is awesome!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week in Review: The Rooster May Crow...But The Hen May Crow Too!

It's been a great week! The sun has been shining here in the Pacific Northwest.  We had three days in a row of 80 degree weather, which is very unusual for the month of April in this region.   Edna (Remember my crowing hen!) has quieted down, which is a relief. I just hope the silence continues...  My husband and I have been landscaping the backyard this month and I can't wait to show you the before and after photos.  Stay tuned.


Here is a recap of what has been on social media this week.  Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your day!


I explained my Backyard Farm Girl Problem...









Cheers,
Sarah



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chicken Boots Signed Books Giveaway!



It's been a long time since I have done a book giveaway so I am holding a GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a signed copy of BOTH my books: Chicken Boots and Chicken Boots: Bad Dog

These books are based on a true story about my daughters and their beloved chicken named Nelly. The central theme in the books is friendship and are sure to please all young children, even if they don't have a pet chicken!  (They are available for purchase on Amazon or pick up a signed copy from my Etsy shop.)





To enter to win the books is easy.  Simply comment at the bottom of this blog post telling me your favorite book from your childhood and you will be entered for a chance to win.  Contest ends Friday, April 22nd at 8pm (PST). You must live in the U.S. Winner selected at random. 

Make sure to check back here on our blog to see if you won.  

Good Luck!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Backyard Farm Girl Problems #101: My Hen Crows Like a Rooster





My hen crowed the other week.  Yep, you read that right.  My Easter Egger, Edna, did half a rooster crow. What does a Backyard Farm Girl do?  Panic!  Well, at least that's what I did. If I lived on acreage I might find a crowing hen quite humorous, but I live in a suburban neighborhood on a .24 acre lot with neighbors surrounding me. I know that if my hen starts causing a ruckus my neighbors will want her evicted!


I had to get to the bottom of this situation and try to fix it quick or Edna would have to find a new home.  I hit the internet and researched why hens crow.  According to My Pet Chicken a crowing hen isn't rare!  My Pet Chicken states that "...if your hen has had some damage to her reproductive system (such as an infection in her ovaries), she might begin to look like a rooster on the outside --- and act like one --- due to the hormonal imbalance!  Such a hen wouldn't lay eggs, and may even begin to crow."  

Edna is laying eggs like a champ so I can rule this out!


 My Pet Chicken goes on to say that, "In all-female flocks or flocks in which the ratio of females to males is greater than 10:1, in many cases one female will take on male characteristics and become the "protector" of the rest of the flock.  In addition to coming out with a half-crow she will usually cease laying, and she may even develop spurs to rival a male's."


Well, that's my situation.  What am I going to do?

Luckily Edna's crowing career stopped after a few days so I can stop worrying for now...  However, I'd like to use this as a warning to others who live in the suburbs and want to get chickens...hens are not always as quiet as you think they are going to be.


So anybody out there have a crowing hen?


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Does this make me a Crazy Chicken Lady?

I am absolutely blown away by the number of people who have decided to follow my social media site in just a matter of months. Since October the ChickinBoots community has grown from 5,000 followers to over 30,000.  WOW!  Never did I imagine myself in this position when my husband encouraged me to start blogging about backyard chickens.


Many of you are new to ChickinBoots and may be wondering...who is this ChickinBoots?  I am a wife and mother of two energetic daughters in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.


A couple of years ago I started blogging about my backyard chickens and took daily photos of my daughters with their beloved chicken, Nelly, and posted them on social media.  My followers loved these photos and repeatedly told me that I should write a children's book.  After some thought and lots of research I decided why not?  I now have two published children's books that are not only available in English, but are also available in several bilingual versions





Both these books are based on a true story about my daughters and their beloved chicken named Nelly. The central theme is friendship and are sure to please all young children, even if they don't have a pet chicken!  They are available for purchase on Amazon or pick up a signed copy from my Etsy shop.



I loved illustrating my books so much that I started creating daily chicken themed memes for my social media sites and as you know, each meme features the now infamous chicken in boots or ChickinBoots!  

  


Much to my surprise these memes became quite popular with the chicken community.  People began requesting ChickinBoots memes on mugs, t-shirts, greeting cards and other merchandise so I set up a Zazzle Shop.  And I now get requests to do custom illustrations of people's chickens and pets!  If you are interested in a custom contact me at sarahbarrera@gmail.com

The chicken/pet community is full of amazing people and I am so happy to be a part of it.  Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your day.


Cheers!

Sarah

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Congrats to the Winner of the Scratch and Peck Chick Starter Kit!

The winner of the Scratch and Peck Chick Starter Kit is...
Tiffany Dean!


Please email me at sarahbarrera@gmail.com with your 
mailing address so that we can send you your winnings!

Thank you to all who participated.





Also, for the month of April Scratch and Peck Feeds is offering 
ChickinBoots followers 10% off the items listed below!  
The coupon is only valid for purchases made directly on their website.

Shop their store: Scratch and Peck Feeds
Use Coupon Code: ChickinBoots10

-Chick Starter Kit
-Naturally Free Starter 10lb & 25lb
-Chick Grit
-Diatomaceous Earth
-Cluckin’ Good Grubs
-Cluckin' Good Herbs

Monday, April 4, 2016

Your Move


Did you know that my children's books are based on a true story about my daughters and their beloved chicken, Nelly?





Also available on Amazon:

Chicken Boots - Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IbI4dh

Chicken Boots: Bad Dog! - Amazon: http://amzn.to/1iET75b

Friday, April 1, 2016

GIVEAWAY Scratch and Peck Chick Starter Kit


I have partnered with Scratch and Peck Feeds for a Giveaway!  

Scratch and Peck Feeds is based out of Bellingham, Washington. In 2012, they became the first Non-GMO Verified animal feed manufacturer in North America and in 2013, they stepped it up to become Certified Organic, the first feed manufacturer in the nation to hold both badges. To top it off, they ONLY produce Organic and Non-GMO feeds because Scratch and Peck wants to help lead this sustainable food movement by example.

This month Scratch and Peck Feeds will give one lucky winner a 
Chick Starter Kit!  


One winner will receive Chick Starter, Chick Grit, and Diatomaceous Earth.

The winner of the Chick Starter Kit will also receive 
a Scratch and Peck Trucker Logo Hat 
and 2 Logo Magnets!



To enter the giveaway easy!  
In the comment section below tell me your favorite chicken breed. Contest ends April 5th, 2016 at 8pm PST.  Winner will be drawn at random.  To participate you must live in the United States. Make sure to check back here April 6th to see if you are the lucky winner.

Good Luck!  


Also, for the month of April Scratch and Peck Feeds is offering  ChickinBoots followers 10% off the items listed below!  The coupon is only valid for purchases made directly on their website.

Shop their store: Scratch and Peck Feeds
Use Coupon Code: ChickinBoots10

-Chick Starter Kit
-Naturally Free Starter 10lb & 25lb
-Chick Grit
-Diatomaceous Earth
-Cluckin’ Good Grubs
-Cluckin' Good Herbs



Thank you for participating!

Also, Scratch and Peck is asking their fans and customers to post photos of them wearing their S&P hat on their Facebook page.  Come show them what you've got!