Tag Archives: chickens

Chicken Talk

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One of the three chickens that were given to me last year was a little bantam. She’s smaller than the other hens, but not even close to as small as Peeps. She has been the sweetest little thing. Her name is Lucy, and she was the best guard hen! She would always be the one to alert every one of a predator in the area. Every time she sent out her alarm sound… we would run outside to find a fox, coyote, stray dog, snake or hawk in the yard. She was right every time.

She was also a very friendly little girl. So the boys liked her a lot.

Well, ever since I got back from my Dad’s funeral, she refused to go into the coop at night to sleep. She prefered to sleep in the branches of a nearby tree instead. That way she didn’t have to spend half the day in the coop waiting for me to come let them out. She liked her freedom early in the mornings. I would catch her when I could and put her in, but couldn’t get her every night.

Well, one night last week was just such an occasion, and the next morning I found her feathers out in the yard, and a trail of them off into the woods. 😦

We will miss her. But in the light of all that I’ve lost lately… I was not devastated. Just sad. Very sad. But I am sad a lot lately.

Lucy & chicks

Lucy & chicks

This photo was taken just the day before she became somethings breakfast. She was checking out the three new chicks that came in the mail while I was out in California the first time (back in April). I am thankful for a couple of friends for taking care of them. One friend that came to my house to receive them in the mail, and another friend who got them from her and took care of them at her house until I got home. Thanks Amy and Twila! They are doing great.

The new girls…

Buffy, Dee Dee, and Missy. (Even though I paid good money for pullets – girl chicks – I am fearful that Buffy might be a rooster. 😦 Will keep you posted on that.)

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Remembering… last years chicks… and my Daddy…

Papa, Mama Bonnie & the chicks

Papa, Mama Bonnie & the chicks

Hugs,

hi-d

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Peeps Update II

If you don’t know what happened to Peeps, you can find out here. But for the rest of you that are wondering how she is doing, read on.

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She is pretty-much back to her previous self!!

It took seven weeks for her to lay her next egg, and now she is back to her original schedule of (about) every other day.

See her resting on the back of the couch?

See her resting on the back of the couch?

She is back to scolding at me for treats, cackling VERY loudly telling us that she has laid an egg, hanging out with the dogs, pestering the cats, foraging for bugs with the rest of the flock, and generally running amuck around here!

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On a nice day we sometimes leave the back door open, and the other day she kept coming in and then would follow me around the kitchen scolding me for a berry! She knows they are in the fridge, so she was hanging out in front of it… but my kitchen is quite small and the fridge is right in the middle… so she was very much in the way of my cooking. I would put her out… and she’d be back inside before I knew it!

Jetta sharing some of her cottage cheese with Peeps.

Jetta sharing some of her cottage cheese with Peeps.

I hate to reward her when she yells/squawks like that, so I wait for a quiet moment before opening the fridge and getting her a berry and hoping she will go back out and play!

One day she was getting into everything. She got on top of my clean laundry, flying up on the bookshelf, got up on our bed, etc. Each time any of us found her somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be, we’d put her outside. But since a couple of doors were open, on that nice day, she kept finding her way back in. Well, I had my mind on what I was doing and didn’t quite put two and two together until quite a while later I heard her LOUDI laid and egg” laugh. (it is quite hilarious by the way!) I ran inside and found her in a basket of towels… gloating over her shiny little egg! I should have figured out that is what she was trying to do, and put her in her cage, but I just wasn’t paying attention. Silly bird. Always looking for a new place to lay.

**What I don’t get is, if they want to lay in a new and secret place (to “collect” the eggs I assume) why do they make such a racket about laying it afterwards and bring all nearby attention to themselves, their eggs and this awesome new hiding spot?**

Peeps teasing Ahmi from above!

Peeps teasing Ahmi from above!

Yes, I am still leery of the hawk coming back. Yes, I know it could happen again, and we might not be so lucky next time. However, she hates being caged up outside. I don’t blame her. So… we decided that we would let her live the happy life of a free range chicken, however long that will be, rather than a longer life of a caged one.

We are all watching out for her the best we can.

Jetta watching over the girls.

Jetta watching over the girls.

And she is still a lot more aware of her surroundings than she was before the attack.

Yaaaay for Peeps!

She is a fighter.

She’s crazy. And we like crazy!

hi-d

 

 

 

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And the Winner Is…

After reviewing all the entries for the Caption Contest, the family has chosen Amy C. (at SAHM Hill) for the winning caption.

That just cracks me up!

Congratulations Amy. You can choose those tasty free range eggs, or a hand-made journal. Just email me and let me know which one you’d like.

Thank you to all of you who posted your caption ideas. It was fun for us to read through them, but hard to pick the winner. In the end, the “shishter” part is what got most of the boys to pick that one. 🙂

Thanks for playing along!

And by the way, Peep is doing just fine. She is getting bigger every day. She will now sit on my shoulder… and try to nestle in my hair. I can only take the tickle (and the “peeping”) for so long and then she has to get down and go back to her room (box). As crazy as it is, and as much as I don’t need a tiny bird to take up my time… she has brough us a lot of joy and laughter since we brought her home. She’s in the family now, and we love her.

🙂

hi-d

 

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Bonnie’s Brood

Our little mama has been doing great! It’s amazing to me how well she’s doing as a first time mom. She is teaching them to scratch and peck in the dirt, and will sit down and let them crawl under her when they need a warm up or a nap. She has different sounds for them too. Like a happy low cluck when they are playing around, and a different sound for alarm when they all stop what they are doing and stay perfectly still. And even another sound that means to scurry under her wings. It’s just amazing.

 I don’t get tired of watching her and those chicks!

Today, while at the Tractor Store picking up something (real quick), I just had to go by and take a peek at the store’s chicks! You know… that “cheep, cheep, cheep” is just irresistable!

I was watching a newly arrived batch of little bantam chicks and noticed one of them that was about half the size of the others. It was getting knocked around and pecked on, and was so small that it couldn’t even reach the water.

When one of the workers came by, I asked her if I could just buy that one little chick that was so small. She said, “Oh, no… you have to buy six.” I told her that I did buy six… on Monday, and that this little chick wasn’t going to make it til morning. After a little bit of convincing, and telling her that I had a broody hen, she finally gave in and said, “Don’t tell anyone that I did this!”

So… chick number seven came home with me!

(That’s a butter dish her food – and her – are in!)

I was not planning on this.

I probably shouldn’t have done this.

I may regret this.

I think I need therapy.

 

But here she is…the cutest little chick I ever did see!

She spent the rest of the day under our heat lamp, with a big fuzzy slipper to cuddle with, and some food and water.

She is so small that I had to rig a smaller water feeder for her. It’s made with a small spice bottle and a mini rubbermaid lid!

Well, I waited til dark, and with much apprehension, I poked her under Miss Bonnie. I am saying prayers that she will survive her big sisters and GIANT mama tonight.

I’ll be anxious for daylight tomorrow.

🙂

hi-d

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Spring at Our House

Today had to be the most beautiful day of the year so far!

It was so beautiful, that I just want to share it with you.

I want to send you the sound of the trees in the gentle breeze, the smell of the flowers and the freshly washed earth.

I’d like you to hear the bees, and the sound of the chirping birds. You would love the feel of the warm sun on your skin and the tickle of falling “helicopter seeds” hitting your nose.

If I could, I would send you the gentle cluck of the hens as they scratch for bugs, and let you feel the new, tender grass under your bare feet.

I’d like you to lay down and watch the big puffy clouds pass over you… giving you a chill, and then letting the sun come out again to warm you. I want you to see the depth of the blue in the bright sky.

I know I won’t be able to send you those things. But what I can do, is hope that you had a wonderful Spring day today where you are, and if not, that you enjoyed seeing these pictures of mine. 

🙂

hi-d

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Whooohooo!

The mean girls are gone. And unlike my previous solutions, I did not whack their heads off!

They were picked up today and taken to a new home. He was a dear sweet man who was very happy to have them. His were all “gotten” by something recently and his wife was buying these for him for his birthday.

I hope they work out for him.

And like my dad said, “as a parting gift”, they all left me an egg this morning!

Peace in hi-d’s henhouse at last!

🙂

hi-d

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Cock-a-Doodle-Dead

Well… that nasty job is done.

The twelve cute little chicks that we got back in May, grew up to be 8 mean roosters and 4 little’ole hens. Those poor hens were starting to get harassed quite a bit by all those roosters, and in fact they were starting to try to kill each other.

I had trouble getting ahold of the guy who I had found earlier, to butcher the roosters for me. So in desperation, I asked our good friend Larry, (who we just visited last week to harvest honey) if he could help me butcher the beasts.

Well, this morning, he showed up with hatchet in hand!

I really didn’t know how I’d do with the whole “butchering” thing. But as long as I didn’t have to whack their heads off… I was fine helping to skin and cut them up.

(Matt, you would have been proud of me. 🙂 )

It was yucky. It was hard. It was nothing I’d want to do every day. But I’m glad I chose to go this route and have the meat in the freezer. Larry got the livers (yuck) and a big bag of legs and breast also.

The boys… Ahh, the boys. They were totally grossed out and wouldn’t come out to watch. Until the second to last chicken, I made them. Larry had taken out the heart, kidneys, liver…  and testicles, to show them. A science lab right there!

 Look at that heart. Awesome. I cut it in half so they could see the chambers and ventricles. Behind my hand on the left there is the liver. To the right of that are the two testicles. :/ And then those two tiny red deals are the kidneys. He showed them the lungs and intestines in the bird too, but I don’t think they were looking. :/

Look at that heart. I just thought it was so cool.

They didn’t appreciate it.

They couldn’t believe I’d show them something so gross before they even had breakfast!

(That doesn’t sound like something I’d do at all. 🙂 LOL!)

JJ came out early on and took this photo then promptly said, “Okay then… *gag*… see ya!”

I asked Harry to shoot some through our master bathroom window that looks right down on the deck where we were cutting them up.

Here is what he got:

LOL! Larry’s head!

My head!

Better.

It’s okay. It might be just as well that they were blurry shots. Kind’of gross.

He kept trying.

Bless his little heart, I was proud of him for continuing to try to get a clear shot. I’m actually liking the blurry effect now though. 🙂 It somehow goes well with the event.

After each chicken it got easier to do. You can tell that I started having a little fun with it.

Antlers!

The only part I really hated was the cutting off of the head. *Blech.* Yucky.* I only watched him do one.

I’m glad it’s done, and I am happy for the hens to have some peace and quiet now. One of them is still laying an egg every day and I expect the others will start laying soon too. Now that the demons are gone (don’t hate me for hating roosters… I have childhood issues), I will start looking for about four more pullets.

I bet the neighbors are happy now too!

Larry was/is great and I enjoyed hearing his stories and learning so much from him. As he left he said, “We’ll have to do this again sometime.”

And I’m thinking, aaaah… I’d raaaaather harvest honey.

But thanks Larry!

🙂

hi-d

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