Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chicken, Chicken, Where's The Chickens?

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It was raining again last night and today 
and even though I usually always keep the hens in their coop and pen 
when the weather is bad 
I decided to let them out this morning. 

After yesterday's experience 
I'm a bit paranoid about them picking on each other... 
so I let them out. 

I came back later with cabbage and carrot peelings 
and found the coop and pen empty. 
No chickens! 


All of a sudden there were 6 chickens behind me, 
then underfoot tripping me and then in front of me 
eating cabbage and carrot peels. 

They almost knocked me down! 

I went back outside and I found their hiding spots... 
under the car and under the house. 
Nice dry places! 

The 6 had spotted me walking to the coop 
and surprised me. 

The rest of the chickens are busy doing something. 
They didn't come when I called. 
I didn't crawl under the house to find out what they were up to. 

They are on their own. 
Somehow, I don't feel very charitable toward them today. 

6 eggs today


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Unpleasant Post

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Don't read this post unless you want to learn about 
a very distressing feature of chicken behavior. 

I knew the chickens were bulling the Cochin 
but I was shocked this morning to see 
what had been done. 

We have had chickens for over five years 
and there have been instances of them pecking at each other, 
pulling feathers, 
but nothing like this. 
In times past, they would arrive at a new pecking order and settled down. 

But, from now on if a chicken is getting pecked on 
the chicken will be removed 
from the flock. 

I debated about whether or not to write this post. 
I finally decided to post about this incident because 
you might want to know 
it can be important to remove a picked on hen from the flock. 
The question is when? 
I thought that the pecking was normal behavior. 
Something? pushed the hens into a new behavior for this flock. 

I had to put down a chicken today. 
The hens pecked out Curly's eyes. 
She was fine yesterday. 

So, was Curly sick... 
did she pose a danger to the health of the flock? 
She didn't act sick.

This is an aspect of raising chickens 
that is very unpleasant. 

Chickens can be scary! 

6 eggs today. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Chicken Socks And Rakes

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My leaf rake is broken. 
I added the broken pieces to the rest of the fence decorations. 

The metal rake with the round teeth is still useable 
and adjustable even though the 
plastic adjuster lever snapped in half. 

I would like to get the largest and strongest leaf rake I can find. 
I have tried the large plastic rakes and they break... 
so do the metal ones. 
3 acres of leaves are hard on a rake.

Kristine bought me some chicken socks a while back.
They are cute!
Thank you, Kristine!

5 eggs today.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tiny Egg, Myrtle and Morgan

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The small egg was a surprise this afternoon. 
I thought little eggs were laid by young hens when they first started laying. 
Maybe one of the hens that hasn't laid for awhile 
is going to start laying eggs again? 

Morgan found a rock that didn't grow much moss this year. 

I wanted to take a photo of the flowering myrtle and Morgan. 
I got a photo of myrtle, Morgan and a rock. 
No flower. 

Here is a flower, but not not enough of Morgan. 

This photo is better, but not enough flowers. 
Oh, well.

Had a migraine most of the day. 

2 and a half eggs today 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

April Moss

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The mossy rocks and trees are so beautiful. 

I have never seen the chickens eat any of the moss. 

The chickens like to sit on the rocks but they don't peck at them. 
I let the chickens out early this morning 
and Curly came out with the other hens and ate 
cabbage on the porch. 
Really hard for me to figure out chicken dynamics. 

3 eggs today 


Friday, April 20, 2012

Bossy Australorp

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This Australorp may be small, 
but she chases Morgan around in circles. 
Evidently, size is not the only factor in what makes for a boss hen.

11 hens came out of the coop this morning
so I went looking for Curly
and found her still sitting on a roost.

She seems fine...
just still not being accepted by the whole flock.
I hope she is not sick... she doesn't act sick.

Some of the hens like to gather here in the morning sunshine and warm up
 by the side of the green house.

Kristine brought home Chinese food for dinner!
Thanks, Kristine!

5 eggs today.
I broke one.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Curly And Popcorn

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Here is Curly. 
She has a small wound on her cheek that is healing. 
We put an antibiotic ointment on her wound and on her comb.
I think her comb might have gotten a bit of frostbite.
She is a heavy chicken. 
She must weigh over 8 pounds. 
Curly is not missing any meals even if she is getting picked on. 

Made some popcorn in the iron chicken fryer. 
Tastes great! 
I have learned to put the lid on a bit skewed so steam can escape. 
Makes for much crunchier popcorn. 

2 eggs today. 
I thought there were three... 
but when I was washing the eggs I found out that 
one of the eggs was a wooden one. 
Jokes on me! 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chicken Bullies

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I let the hens out and scattered some corn for them to scratch. 
11 happy hens! 

Then I went back to the coop and let Curly out of the carrier. 
She was not so happy. 
She went back in the coop to eat in private. 
Then she left to join the flock... 

where a nasty little Wyandotte jumped on her 
and started pecking her neck. 

I ran over and chased away the Wyandotte 
and followed the chickens out to the woods. 

Curly stayed near the Buff Brahmas and Pasty the White Brahma, 
who don't bother her, 
and on the edge of the flock. 

All the chickens seemed much more interested in scratching 
the leaf litter up 
than in tormenting Curly. 

Curly seemed more interested in watching the other hens 
than in scratching. 
I counted 9 chickens... 

and went looking and found the two bossy Buff Orpingtons 
and an Australorp off by themselves. 

I watched Curly for quite awhile and the hens didn't bother her again. 
Hope things go better for her today. 

4 eggs today 
Had them for dinner. 
I made tostadas. 
Should have taken photos, but ate them up too fast. 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lovely White Japanese Chicken!

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Today I found a surprise package on the counter! 
Tanya sent a white Japanese chicken to make its home in California. 
Wow! Thank you, Tanya! 
I appreciate your thoughtfulness very much. 

is the wonderful blog she writes in Japan. 
Even though I have tried to talk her into getting a hen or three, 
she doesn't have any chickens.

 But she quilts, has a dog, 
many sweet cats, and is always very busy teaching, 
working on many projects, homemaking, 
and with church and community work. 
I love reading her blog. 

The lovely white chicken has pride of place among its new flock mates. 
The white hen came with its own gold and black stand. 
The addition of the white chicken is the crowning touch! 
Thank you again, Tanya, very much! 

There was also a beautiful card! 

There were four eggs today. 
When I was washing them, one egg had such a soft shell that it broke. 
I think the chicken has a defective shell maker 
because I give the hens lots of oyster shell that they are not even 
supposed to need since they free range. 

That is Curly the Cochin in the rabbit carrier this evening. 
She is tucked away safe from the other chickens for the night 
and morning until I let them all out for the day. 

Kristine and I caught Curly crouched down close to the ground 
with a bossy Buff Orpington 
pecking Curly's head and neck. 

More photos of Curly's head tomorrow 
and conjecture about what brought on the bullying. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunny Days Ahead

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 It was a sunny day today, but it was not that warm. 
The chickens didn't care if it was cold in the shade. 
They were just happy to be out in the woods. 

There have been two weeks of mostly cold, rain, hail, snow, more rain, 
and just gloomy cold weather. 
But I am very glad we got the much needed rain. 

I took advantage of the dismal dreary weather to read, 
watch movies and generally loaf around. 
I find that my mood tends to adjust itself according to the amount of available sunlight. 

The chickens are doing much better with more sun too... 
they laid 5 eggs today! 


Sunday, April 01, 2012

It's Snowing Again!

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April Fools! 
Well, it did snow yesterday but it rained last night and most of the snow is gone. 
More snow and rain forecast this week. 

Buff Brahma, Light Brahma
Today the chickens are out running under cars to get away  
from rain showers but happy to be out of their pen. 

Morgan is looking in the mirror so she can watch what 
is happening in the windows reflections. 
Smart dog... saves her having to keep turning her head to gaze 
out of all the downstairs windows.

1 egg today

I'm going to have to start reading blogs and 
posting again. 
I've enjoyed the blog vacation.