The Secret Chicken

stories of a secret chicken

Picking up hot chicks

April7

I went to the local Wilco the other day…shouldna. Chick Days are DANGER. I came home with not only cat food and foxglove seeds, but two more chicks.
new chicks

Cute, huh? I’m not even sure what kind the larger one is. He had “Pecked Hieny Syndrome”. It’s sadly common in the big stock tanks they keep the chicks in, and they are careful to keep an eye out for it so they can separate the wounded. I happened to be there on a day, at a time, when there was a little black chick with a red, bleeding butt. I pointed it out to the lovely lady working that area, and seeing as we know each other, struck up a deal. Something like, “You want it?”, “Sure!”. Of course, she knows that I can’t get just one, and she knows that I already get my feed and everything there…so her $2.50 loss will probably end up making her a bundle off of me. Starting with a frizzle bantam as a buddy, and a bag of baby chicken feed.

She had me spray the wounded area of the chick with Blu-Kote, and off I went. I think the roommate was a bit miffed, and I haven’t exactly told the landlord…but since I don’t even know if I can keep them yet, I’ll worry about that later. Since I don’t remember which bin I plucked the hurt one from, I don’t know if that batch was straight-run or what. If it’s a boy, I’ll end up finding new homes for them both. I’m pretty sure, judging by wing shape, that the banty is female, but not the larger one there. It was already getting “real” feathers in when I got it, so…no telling.

Until next time…

Farm Labor

April18

I got some help in the yard today, in the form of 6 happy hens.  There were other animals in the vicinity, but considering them “help” would have been a gross misconception.

I was trying to find the edges of the small round “clearing” in the back yard, which is really just a maybe 6ft across circle of not-as-much-grass.  There is a stump in the middle, where the apple tree was before we moved in.  Like, it was there until days before we moved in.  It apparently fell over.

It’s also where we buried the kittens, when Twink’s first litter got mauled by Lola-dog (not out of viciousness, but out of some strange mothering instinct).  They are buried between the catnip and catmint plants, so they get lots of visitors throughout the day.

Last year, before I lost my job, I had planted all sorts of ground-cover as well, hoping it would grow over the low stump and make sort of a fairy-circle there.  They did really well, until the weather changed and they stopped growing.  The grass and weeds did not stop growing, so it got messy.

So today, I started pulling up handfuls of weeds, throwing them into the chicken enclosure.  Eventually the chickens got brave enough to come help, scratching and tossing, eating bugs and slugs.  Oscar-pug didn’t care for it, tried to charge them a few times, but eventually decided to pee on the last patch of weeds instead, which effectively stopped my weeding project for the day.

Then I decided to go ahead and rearrange the chicken run, since a couple of the girls have decided to continue to lay eggs in the bottom of the coop.  Stoopid chikins.

Winter Chickens

December4

The ladies are pretty mellow right now, getting up later and going to bed by 5pm.  Lazy, I tell ya.   Also their egg-laying has diminished – I’m lucky to get 3 a day now, and none from the Araucanas at all. The smallest, Buttercup, has been the most faithful producer that I can tell, because I have one small white egg every day.

buttercup

I’ve started feeding them scratch grains along with ther pellets, to help them keep bulked up.  I put out a motion-sensor light and a heat lamp, thinking that maybe it would help them decide to stay up later, but no.  The motion sensor usually only catches cats, and the heat lamp…well, take a look:

toastie

That’s not a chicken.  That’s a Toaster cat, coming to see why I disturbed his nap in the sun.

The cats have been happy with chickens, they have fun chasing them and the chickens don’t seem to mind.  Twinkles has started liking bread lately, so she joins the ladies at the treat dish.  I had a picture of them sharing a bagel, but I’m not sure where it went.

I was given the idea of strapping a camera onto a chicken, and seeing what comes back.  When I search, I find cameras watching chickens, but none from the chicken point of view.  And after reading this article, I think it would be a great idea.  I just need a camera now.  *Christmas present hint*

Guess that’s it for today, the ladies just aren’t that exciting right now unless they think they are getting treats.  Pfft, just like a woman.

Chickens: The Gateway Animal

November30

Now I want a miniature dairy cow.

I don’t see why not, really – we have a good sized back yard.  The ones I’ve seen are sometimes less than 40 inches high – like a good-sized dog.  Only the cow wouldn’t expect to be allowed to sleep on the bed.   I hope.

Although, maybe a dairy goat is a better idea.  I’ve been informed that they are less trouble, and I’ve heard great things about goats milk.  And super cute – yes indeed. See here: Oberhasli dairy goats.

I’m going to have to start figuring out a way to buy the Old Uncle’s place up the river.  It’s the only way I’m going to be able to contain all the things I want to do.

Property lines are completely guesswork.

Property lines are completely guesswork.

That, and I’ll need about a million bucks to make all the improvements I’d want.  I’d better start saving.

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