Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Prairie Feature: The Fancy Farmgirl...

i am so excited to feature one of my absolute favorite farmgirls here on the prairie today...

tiffany {the fancy farmgirl} has been a constant source of inspiration for me...

her photography and her art are simply stunning...

i'm still on the hunt for a vintage prom dress so i too can be a fancy farmgirl... :0)

so without further ado may i introduce a fancy farmgirl to you...


I am so happy to be a guest here on the prairie today, and when Kristin and I spoke about it, I knew I should share something about the farm. Right now chickens are all the rage, and I want to show you the "pretty" about chickens, but I also want to talk about the real deal. How to raise them, what you need, and promote responsible chicken ownership.

Please don't go out and buy some chickens just so you can have a pretty coop! :) Unfortunately, I have seen that happen a lot lately!

It's all about the chickens. Yep, that's right, around here, if you are a chicken, you are automatically at the top of the pecking order. Yes, we love the donkeys, horses and dogs. BUT the HENS, they've got it made!

Next week, my friend Heidi of the blog "Birds of a Feather " http://hkwdesign.blogspot.com is holding a fun blog party called "Show me Your Coop". It is not too late to sign up for and participate in the party, and today here on Kristin's lovely blog , I am going to give you a sneak peek of my coop!! But be sure to join the party on the 15th of September to see my whole coop and everyone else’s!!
Ready ??


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I own thirty chickens. Almost all of them are cochins, but I do also have silkies, frizzles, arauncanas and easter eggers. (For those of you who are not familiar with easter eggers, they are chickens who will lay either pink, blue or green eggs. Pastel eggs???? Yes, it is that cool!!!) All of my chickens with the exception of the araucanas and easter eggers have feathered feet, which I personally love. Chicken feet are ugly by nature, and by having their feet covered in pretty fluffy feathers is much nicer.

This is my favorite chicken, Liberty. We thought he was a hen when he was a baby, and he turned out to be a rooster. Normally I don’t keep roosters, because sometimes they can be mean, and also because if you do, your eggs will be fertilized. Now this does not bother me, but for some people this is a bother. What that means is when you collect your eggs and eat them, you may notice a small red “dot” in the white of the egg next to the yolk. This is actually the rooster’s fertilization and if left to nest upon, the eggs will grow chicks. If you don’t want to eat fertilized eggs, don’t have a rooster! (of course, it really is no different from a regular egg, so there is no harm in eating them this way of course…)

Liberty is a bantam cochin. This means he is much smaller than a regular chicken, and if he were a hen (as we originally thought) then he would lay much smaller eggs. Cochin is a breed of chicken known for it’s fluffy feathers and usually fluffy feet. Liberty certainly meets that criteria. Every time he bends over, his butt is so fluffy I just can’t stand it!


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So here’s a little background on what you need to raise your own chickens. First of all, I free range my chickens. They have over an acre to run around in, and free access in and out of their coop. I have trained them to lay their eggs in the coop. Chickens are very easily trainable, and one way to train them to lay in the coop is to put fake eggs in the nest boxes. You don’t need a nest box per chicken, in fact they will always share unless someone is setting on eggs. A good general rule, is one nest box per 3-4 hens.

Chickens also need roost. This is in their nature, and they will be much happier if you provide this for them. They can fly up to the roost, or if you are like me, and clip your chickens wing, (sounds inhumane, but I will explain more in a minute) then you need to provide some way for them to get to the roost if it is up high if they cannot fly. I use a vintage ladder, which allows them to get to the roost, but also to use as a roost!


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Wing clipping. I do it. It does not hurt, it is equivalent to you or me getting a haircut. I do it because I have dogs who like to eat chicken dinner and I don’t want my beloved chickens to fly over the fence. To clip a chicken’s wing, you only need trim one wing. This throws them off balance, thus not being able to fly. You pull out their wing straight and carefully cut only the last ¼ of the wing tip feathers. Clipping a chicken’s wing also makes it much more accessible to predators, therefore I recommend that they always have a safe place to be locked up, especially at night!

Chickens are by nature very stinky, and poop a lot. If you cannot free range your chickens, and must keep them cooped at all times, you will need to clean the coop on a daily basis depending upon how many chickens you have. It will get VERY messy, VERY quickly! Even my coop, where they only spend the night, needs to be cleaned bi-weekly or more. It is only this clean because of course I wanted to show it off all pretty! The coop also needs lots of ventilation. Chickens can die very easily and are susceptible to many diseases. Ok, now having told you all of this info, I want to tell you that having chickens is one of the most rewarding and fun experiences you can have. Having your own fresh eggs is amazing, and chickens make great pets. All of mine are very friendly, come when called and will eat out of your lap. And how can you resist this?


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Here’s a fun and interesting chicken tip :
Not getting any eggs in the winter? Chickens need light to lay eggs. Leave a light on in your coop 24/7 in the winter to trick the chickens into thinking they need to lay!!

Here are a few more sneak peeks at my coop, and thank you Kristin for having me as a guest today! Feel free to leave a comment here or email me with any chicken questions at tiffanykirchnerdixon@yahoo.com and be sure to join me on my blog www.thefancyfarmgirl.com on the 15th of September for the coop tour!!

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Xoxo, Tiffany
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tiffany girl...i really don't know how to *thank you* enough for doing such an amazing post...

i cannot wait to see the rest of the coop!!

right now you have me wishing i was an egg laying hen just so i could snuggle up under that fabulous chandie!! ;0)

oh..did you happen to notice the cow picture hanging in her coop?!?!

sigh...

i think i need to move a coop renovation to the top of the husband's ever growing list! ;0)

i hope you all enjoyed having tiffany here on the prairie and remember if you also have a coop you'd like to show off join heidi's "show me your coop" party by the 15th of september!!

prairie hugs,

26 comments:

jsimplylive said...

Oh Kristin, thank you for this post! I am a city girl who deep down is a farm girl. My fiance asked me what I want for our wedding present and I told him "build me a chicken coup!" I love the araucanas and the porcelain bantams. I have had this file with specifications on what I want for years. And goodness, I hope mine looks like hers!

Secret Garden Cottage said...

Hi Tiffany,
I'm so glad Kristin is featuring you on her blog! Yours is a new-to-me blog, and I'm so looking forward to checking it out. I LOVE your chicken coop!! It's the pretties darn chicken coop I've ever seen! My husband, kids, and I have been wanting to get chicken for a while now, but don't really know much about raising them. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful how-to information. It was so helpful! I only hope I can have a chicken coop as rockin' as yours some day... thanks for the inspiration!!
Now I'm going to go check out your blog. ;o)
Thanks, Kristin, for the introduction to Tiffany's blog and this wonderful feature!
Have a great day!
~ Jo :)

Anne Marie said...

oh my goodness........my hens need a serious makeover seeing that -
and THAT is why we love Tiffany!!

my hen house right now looks like the slums compared to that? was that crystal i saw?

good gravy i have a lot of work to do!

Anna said...

Wowsers!! I can't believe how cute she made her coop...

Tiffany ~ The Fancy Farmgirl said...

Thank you thank you kristin!! I love being a guest on your blog, I had so much fun!! You are awesome girl!!
xoxo, Tiffany

Glamarella Junk said...

LOVE it! Both of you gals are so Barn Chic Glamorous!!!!!!
XO Sherry
Glamarella Junk

Heaven's Walk - said...

Hi Kristin! What a fun post today! I have always loved those fancy, feathery, girlie looking chickens and I learned so much about them today from Tiffany. I'd love to raise some chickens and have fresh eggs every day....but I would be so afraid that our local racoons and fox and coyotes would nab them---and there I would be - heartbroken, sobbing and a total basketcase. So...I'll just own them vicariously through Tiffany! lol! Thanks for the fun post!

xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

cityfarmer said...

funny thing ..
I added this wonder woman to may favorites a couple of days ago!!

oh my ... I'm crushing over her style.

Toodie said...

I can't wait for the Coop De Tour! I enjoyed visiting your blog.

Lissa said...

tiffany!! that has GOT to be the most amazing chicken coop I've ever seen! And I love the pictures so much! I wish I could have chickens because it just sounds fun! I love the thought of a big bowl of pastel colored eggs but my husband won't go for it. This is just so awesome! (but isn't everything you do?)

thanks for having tiffany post kristin! It is a fun one!

Lissa said...

ps your blog looks GORGEOUS!!!

Tammy said...

Hi Kristin - what a great post! I love the Fancy Farm Girl- she's awesome! and so are you!
I love chickens-I spent alot of time on my Grandparents farm growing up - they had about a hundred chickens...maybe more..?? I hope one day I'll get to have a cute chicken coop to keep them all in too!
Have a great day!
Tamnmy :-)

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I love the idea of chickens...but I can't get past all the chicken poop.
I'm working on it. I may just come around...

Fun post! :)

* French Farmhouse 425 * said...

~*~I am LOVING the little mini chicken coop chandelier!!So cute..~*~*

Kelly said...

Amazing! I love the story, the pictures and the coop in all its sparkling goodness~

Cathy said...

one of the most enjoyable posts i've read!

Rustique Art said...

eehem..yeah! her coop is cleaner than my sons room! What a wonderful blog post...it only strengthens my desire to find and old farmhouse in the middle of no where and have chickens and goats. Thanks to you and Tiffany I have instructions if and when I ever get what I want :)

Thanks Tiffany!

Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

Loved seeing inside the COOP miss tiff!! That chandelier is just too cute... oh my gosh, those chickens have it made!!

Thanks for such a fun post ladies, xo Heather

Robyn said...

This was a great post full of fun! That coop looks perfect for a bunch of Diva hens! LOVE IT!

WhiteWhispers2u said...

G'day~Thanks for all the chicken info.I woud love to have some myself the Mr. not so much.~Enjoy Kim

Tejae: Vintage Heart Artist said...

Just too adorable for words! Her hen house looks enchanting doesn't it? Amazingly talented lady.

Martha said...

that is one beautiful and amazing chicken coop....love it and so glad you did a guest post...your pictures are terrific and love that you shared so much about it ~ I loved all the details
xo

Rosalyn-Sue said...

So very excited to find your blog via Tiffany! What a wonderful place -- I look forward to coming back for a longer visit to read more! Thank you for sharing with all of us in blogland.

All the best,
Rosalyn-Sue

www.ThePatriotGirlFiles.com

Dawn said...

I just found your blog, love your look. Your farmlife looks like my dream life! I have added you to my favs and have read back into your june post. As I get the time I read more. telling the girls I work with about the cool coups!! Check back with you later!

Mel said...

A chandelier in the chicken coop ...now that's real Fancy Farmgirl style....love it!
Mel's Cabin

Karen said...

TIffany is just the best. I had the pleasure of being a houseguest of hers last year and her chicken coup is just AMAZING! Her entire house is amazing. SHe is such a sweetheart!
Well I answered my own questions as to where the event was. I think next year we need to be traveling through WA about this time...you guys have awesome stuff up there!
Thnaks for sharing. HAGD! Karen

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