Ugly!

I know it’s not nice, but Jenny Hen is down right ugly!  She’s the oldest gal at nearly 4.  She’s on tenure now and thinks it’s her job to sit on anything that doesn’t move.  She sat on a bunch of golf balls for nearly 3 weeks!

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She’s molting and is walking around nearly butt naked!  I realized the other day, that if I don’t start culling out my old ladies I’ll soon have a petting zoo and I don’t think Honey would be too big on that.  I ought to do Jenny Hen in now while she’s naked, then I won’t have as many feathers to pluck.

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A face only a mama could love.

The new pullets ought to start laying next month.  Fingers crossed.  Our egg ration has been 1-2 eggs a day for quite some time. I’ve been dreaming of deviled eggs, eggs a la golden rod, egg salad…..anything with golden eggs.

I was looking for Annie’s egg today.  She usually lays it in the new hen house.  As I rounded the corner, I was chitter chattering to myself about goodness knows what….and I didn’t expect to catch her sitting on the nest….well, I startled her to death, and she squawked.  She jumped up and nearly scarred me to death.  I screamed, she screamed and then I laughed.  She gave me a working over about it too.  I heard about that for at least a half an hour….I sure didn’t mean to disturb her.  Heavens knows we need that second egg.

I’ve only named the two Silver Laced Wyandottes.  I ordered 5 of everything, but lost nearly half…so I’m only left with two Wyandottes.  They are Wyonna and Naomi Judd.

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I’ve got 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Australorps, 2 Barred Rocks and 4 Rhode Island Reds.  Since they’ve hardly developed personalities yet, I haven’t given most of them names yet.

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It’s lookin very rednecky and I need to get it cleaned up a bit.  But heck they love climbing and roosting all of the stuff.  The Buffys are really cute.  My gates need some repairs before winter settles in.  If we get iced like last year, the gate might fall clean off it’s hinges….or rather electric ties.

Raising chicks has been so easy.  My friend Carol told me it was but I didn’t believe her…ok Carol, it is easy.  I’m ready for some meat birds next spring!  But I’m gonna have to get some help with the butchering…I really do hate that job of slitting their throats.  A turkey would be a great adventure too.  Heck I pay a small fortune for a pastured organic turkey.

Now if we could only get some of our own fresh milk and these girls would really be eating in style.  Clabber for everyone.  All in God’s good time.

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Curious Henrietta!

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The new little chicks are enjoying freedom at last!  And Sunday night was the first night (other than the tornado storm night) that they ALL were in the coop at bedtime!  It’s not fun chasing little hens around in the dark!!!  Honey watches me from the kitchen and just laughs!!!  It’s a good thing I love him so much!

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Henrietta, my curious hen runs to greet me when I visit the chicken yard and if she could talk….this is what she’d say…..”well, it’s a pretty hot one today, and did you know that Jenny Hen hasn’t gotten off that nest for weeks, what does she think is going to hatch from that wooden egg, did you see all those new little ladies, they say they are replacements for the old ladies, what old ladies???, and did you see how nice their new house is, I mean, what’s up with that, and I had to go in and try out the new nesting boxes, did you hear me, I told the whole neighborhood that I loved laying my eggs in this new house! and did you see how little those girls are, I mean, they won’t lay you an egg for at least another 3 months…at least! and by the way, why do they get such a nice new house….what did they ever do for you???, and can I have some more bread, not the brown stuff, I like the white one better, and how come that cow over there gets all the apple treats this year, we were here first, and by the way, where did they come from anyway…….and………….and….and….”

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(caught in the act….she makes herself right at home)

I think Henrietta talks none stop all day long. She is always poking her head in to see what I’m doing. She is so curious! And to think, she was my sisters worst nightmare of a hen! Not anymore…she is just a curious busy body!

I love you Henrietta Hen!

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Flights Of Fancy

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I’ve had my little peeps for a week and it’s been 4 days since the last one died. I’m left with 16 out of 25. Note to self: do not order from a hatchery too far away, a two day journey is toooo long for baby chicks!

It’s amazing how much these little things grow in a week. They now have real feathers on their wings…..cute little feathers! And with those feathers comes flight. They’ve been jumping high to see what’s on the other side of the pool. And taking little flights across the pond….I mean pool.

It’s only a matter of time before they decide to fly out of the pond. So, I placed a couple of old window screens over the top.

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The coop dilemma has been solved. Honey told me to go out a buy one!!! Wahoo! I couldn’t believe my ears. But when he told me how much over time he’s been putting in…..I ran out and bought one!!!!!!!!!!!!! A really nice one. It’s got windows with screens and the windows go up and down!

My little chickies are going to be so spoiled. Don’t tell the old ladies about their new house. The old ladies haven’t been puttin out lately. I’m not sure if we’ve got a thief or not. So, I put a couple golf balls in the nesting box (cardboard box…like I said, don’t tell them, what they don’t know won’t hurt them.) If it’s a black snake, then he’ll take the balls too and he’ll keel over! But, I have a sneakin suspicion that my old ladies are just plum out of eggs!

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This is my most curious little chick.  She’s always coming right over to me while the others run away.  I think she’s been asking “Are you my Mother”?  Does anyone remember that old Dr Seuss book?  It was my sisters book, but I loved reading it over and over.

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They are so darn cute.  The run around and fall asleep right in their footsteps.  This little guy just fell right over. Zzzzzzzzz!

Chicken Mania

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As soon as I let the chickies out in the AM, they come running to see what snacks I’ve brought for them.

I think I’ve created a chicken monster! Anxious Annie is always the first to jump in. I’ve been bringing them Kefir and they just love it.

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Milk Mustaches for all. Doesn’t Rockie look mad? How dare I snap his picture with food all over his face!

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Help me, help me! I’ve gone and gotten my head stuck in this hear thing.

Rockie and Annie taking a bath together!

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Ah. That’s much better.

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Time to dry off.

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Please excuse the poop. This is where they’ve chosen to lay. Not in the box I so willingly gave them. Time for some clean straw.

Little Abigail Adams is doing fine. Her head is healed and she’s growing new feathers. I didn’t know how it would go if I put her in the chicken yard with the others. So, I gave it a go. It didn’t work. Her “sister” Henrietta really doesn’t like her and wants to beat her up every chance she gets. So, it’s solitary confinement for Abigail. I gave her a box, yes a regular box to see if she’d lay an egg. To my utter surprise look what she gave me! What a sweet girl. Yes, she’s a little crooked but she’s a sweet little hen.

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A rare sight. 5 hens 5 egg. Honey and I had them for dinner.

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One days worth of work. The egg on the far right is from Annie. She gives me jumbo eggs. Then from Annie down we have, Henrietta’s, Abigail’s, Jenny’s and the little egg which is almost white is from Wacky Waldo (Waldeen).

I love having a variety of hens because they give me a variety of eggs. And I know who’s laying and who isn’t. And these girls deserve nothing but the best. I can’t believe how hard they work all day long just to give me an egg.

Rockie Sings!!!

Yesterday it snowed and we got around 2 inches. THEN the freezing rain started on top of the snow. Which makes for a very interesting adventure. Our yard was transformed into a skating rink overnight.

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I was wishing for a saucer sled to go down the hill this morning on my way to let the chickens out. I walked side ways and crushed my boots into the frozen tundra very carefully. That’s all I needed was a 50 yr old woman and a 10 yr old dog falling down with no one to help them get up. Lady, our little Cocker mix just slid down. Boomer, our Lab attempted it very carefully. He’d start sliding and then try to stop. His feet were going every which way. But he only went down twice, very gently. And I managed to stay vertical the entire time!!!

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I was glad to be wearing my steel toed cowgirl boots. They did a good job at crushing the ice so I could open the gate to the chicken yard. Too bad it opened in.

dscn2406The long journey down. The kids used to love sledding down our little hill.

Now the fun. I let the chickens out and they slid every which way. I broke open the compost pile with all the greens and tossed them a few.

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dscn2420Little Abigail Adams. You can see that the feathers that flew look like Annies.

THEN to my utmost surprise Rockie found his voice…..he crowed for the first time!!!!!!!!!! It was a glorious sound. He was so proud of himself that he kept doing it. I hope Honey doesn’t hear him, or else it’s the chopping block.

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Rockie The Rooster in the back. Annie in the front.

Now for the long ascent up the hill. Lady slid backwards. Boomer and I held on to each other and pressed on.

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