Category Archives: Chickens

Topsy Turvy Chickens

After a night of gusting winds in December, we awoke to find our chicken coop upside down and our chickens discombobulated, but, thankfully, alive and squawking. They certainly gave us an ear full when we arrived on the scene; it seems they have some grievances with our top heavy portable chicken tractor. Glenn made a few adjustments that seem to be riding out the fierce winds that we have been experiencing. However, the chickens were not so confident at first. Though we had righted and secured their home, they were not overjoyed to return to their roost that evening. They reminded me of young children daring each other to the be first to jump from the diving board as first one chicken then the other would jump on her platform to ascend to her home roost and then change her mind and jump down and go to the back of the line. After several minutes, courage or sleepiness prevailed and they each ascended to have sweet and calm dreams.

All has been well, and our plump, shiny chickens are strutting, scratching and laying eggs.

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Wild turkeys, fresh eggs and lost honey bees

The wild turkeys are enjoying our buckwheat, and Glenn sees our chances of the buckwheat reseeding itself being gobbled away ; the flock of 30+  are grazing daily and taunting Tillie on our morning walks.  Glenn and Tillie have informed them not too push their luck too far or one of them might be the lucky bird  to be marinated in bourbon and apple cider and roasted to a golden brown next Thanksgiving.

Our hens have finally slowed down egg production, but we are still getting two eggs a day which is fine from the five hens.   They were thankful for the   cornbread dressing that they received after Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the fresh eggs that definitely make a more delicious quiche.

On a sad note, we lost our yellow hive of honey bees; we are still analyzing the evidence, but it looks potentially  like colony collapse disorder.  This hive was always weaker from the start, but we had left all their honey in the hive in the hope that they would be able to survive the winter and gain strength going into next year.  We had seen a lot of bee activity during the sunny days when we looked out at their hives, but upon closer inspection, Glenn realized that those were robber bees enjoying all the yummy honey.  It seems that they had a Thanksgiving feast as well.

Even hens like to be appreciated

Yeah…the girls gave us four eggs yesterday (up until now we were getting one or two per day).  They are now saved from Glenn and the roasting pan.  Actually, they are fattening up and looking much healthier and  happier.  Maybe we should rename ourselves “second- chance farm.”  I, of course, attribute some of their improved laying not only to their new healthy farm habitat but also to my sweet-talking encouragement and grateful acknowledgement when they give us eggs.  I will be making an Egg Custard pie with their gift tomorrow.

Fresh eggs

The sun is bright in the evening sky,

The rain is steady and rhythmic,

and the fresh eggs are warm in the palms of my hands.

Introducing our new hens

We purchased these five hens from a couple in Mars Hill.  We now have 2 Golden Comets and 3 Australorp.  The Comets are laying and scratching and pecking the others; the Australorp, however, are being more reserved.  I may need to give them a little encouragement or Glenn may decide that we will be having roasted chicken soon.  I think I have persuaded him that they may need a period of readjustment after their travel to their new home.  

The half-cocked chicken hunt…

We are still on the hunt for chickens, or I should more specifically say laying hens, pullets or chicks who have been sexed.  I was all excited with a good lead today, and off I went.  Half-cocked, I will add.  As I was chatting with the farmer in his barn and admiring his guinea fowl, his wife opened the hen-house, and we were rushed by about 30 hungry, cackling hens.  I wish I had captured video for your amusement.  Admittedly, I don’t know much about chickens, but as I started processing parts of our conversation I began to question his repeated use of game-birds.  Maybe this term is used loosely to cover a range of birds of mixed breeds. I am not sure, but we decided that since we are in this for the eggs and don’t want birds that are too feisty we will continue our hunt for a breed that is more of a known factor.  We are now on the hunt for Plymouth Rocks, Austrolorps, and maybe Golden Comets.

Gallery

Chicken Coop on the move

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Our movable chicken coop is now ready to host a few laying hens; we are looking forward to yummy, fresh eggs. Glenn designed this movable chicken coop so that we can move it throughout the garden to provide food for … Continue reading