Saturday, June 8, 2013

So Long............

For those of you that have followed my chicken adventures, I have bad news and I have good news.

First the bad news.

My last surviving chicken is going to a new home today.

I love chickens but can not endure seeing another one killed.

If, ever, in the future I get more chickens, I will blog again !

The good news is that I will start a new adventure and a new blog.

Growing up Grandma, at

Don't know how many grandmas read blogs but I will give it a try.

There are all kinds of mommy blogs, but where is the advice for the "re-moms" ?? *

I shall prove myself worthy, I hope, and let you know how it is going.

Thanks for reading.


*copyrighted word.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Was it fate that I called Gracie a freak of nature one day and the next day "nature" takes notice of her and destroys her?

It looks like a fox targeted her and since she couldn't run well or fly at all, she had no escape.

I can't tell you, gentle reader, how sad this makes me.

She had so many struggles and fought back like a trouper to beat every single one.

And then a stinking fox, in broad daylight, with my front door open and the dogs and cats running in and out, has the gall to make her a meal.

It is senseless.

The other chickens are fine. but they are just chickens.

At least today.

Gracie was that one chicken exception that makes caring for chickens NOT a chore.

I am overwhelmed with 'Chicken Loss Despair'.


RIP sweet bird.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Frankenchicken............It Lives !!...................

While on vacation, I left my assorted animals in the capable care of family and friends.
It was a lovely vacation with no stress or worries about home and all the care a small city farm requires.

While on vacation, however, I did learn to worry about freaks of nature !!!!
Take for example.......GLOW IN THE DARK ROACHES they were developed in Florida!
Who thought that was a good idea?
Dark bodied roaches aren't terrifying enough??
Now I can see them crawling towards me on the wall in the middle of the night ??!.
Thanks science !

Did I ever worry that genetically modified food would/could rush towards me and demand sustenance ?
I ignorantly thought we are talking corn or wheat, not livestock !
Well it seems that I have been growing and caring for my very own genetically modified freak of nature !!
Her name is GRACIE.
Thanks science !

My helpful son called one night to let me know that she had grown quite large.
So large in fact that she had trouble getting in and out of her coop !
Well she IS a meat chicken.
Bred to grow fast, die young and be stupid in the mean time.
They rarely live past 2 or 3 months.
They grow so fast that their legs break or sprain under the stress of rapid growth OR they have heart attacks !
Their bodies just can't take it.
Old age is just not in the crystal ball for them.
PLUS they have tiny wings and few feathers.
Thanks science !

I rescued a Frankenchicken !!
A bird put together by science.

She likes being alive it seems and except for the bolts in her neck, her large heavy feet, awkward walk and a love of violin music she is doing quite well !
I kid.
She likes guitar music !!

Yes, my friends, while they rarely live long enough to lay eggs, Gracie is quite productive !

But by being a mutant, she never ceases to amaze me.

Day 1...Small, almost round egg.
Day 2...A bit bigger. more egg like.
Day 3...Nothing.
Day 4...Monster egg !!!

(see egg on left!!!)
Day 5...Normal egg.
Day 6...Shell-less egg !!!

(weirdest thing ever!!)

Since then I have gotten normal eggs from her, but boy did she have trouble getting started !!

So I ask myself........
What the heidi-ho is the 'meat' from these chickens doing to us/me/you ???
I shudder to think.
Thanks science !

“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

So thank-you once again for reading my blog.
Vacation is over and I am back at the farm again !
I would adore it if you would follow me or leave a comment !!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chicken Vacation

"I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days.
The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days.
And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days.
And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days.
And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half.
I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it."

This is far from original, but even on an awesome vacation, this is what it seems like somedays.

I saw a smallish vulture on the side of the road as we were driving and called out,

"Look, a chicken !!!",

"Oohhh, its just a vulture".

JUST a vulture???

I LOVE vultures!!!!

I actually love most birds. (except bluejays and they don't even count as birds because I hate them, but that is a whole other blog)

But I have been seeing chickens where there are no chickens.

Any bird on the ground looks like a chicken out of the corner of my eye.

I am under a chicken spell,

That's all I need.

A chicken, this remote, this paddle ball game...............

This is called an African chicken from the Alligator Farm.

Not really, but I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it.


Thanks for reading !!!

I do so much appreciate it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Clever Girl..........."

While researching the behavior of my snake eating chicken (see Rikki Tikki Chicken),
I stumbled upon the fact that the center of the Mexico Flag is an eagle eating a snake.

Interesting enough......

But apparently, all kinds of birds and chickens have been doing this for centuries while I casually saw my chickens as harmless egg producing pets.

NOT freakish, pre-apocalypse, flesh tearing, run for cover, dinosaur birds !!!

It is terrifying and................ INCREDIBLY AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!

Jurrasic Park needs chicken cameos as they pan the woods looking for dinosaurs.

Scientists have been saying birds are 'descendants' of dinosaurs for years

But of course.
How could I have been so skeptical ?

Birds learned how to eat all kinds of nasties as they watched the dinosaurs from up on the branches and it shot them up the evolutionary ladder from weird tree hugger, to a survivalist group.

They could eat the icky stuff and then fly away while dinosaurs just watched, or drowned or got smashed by asteroids or stuck in a pit.

Chik-fil-a needs a dinosaur mascot and dinosaur playgrounds.

I need a dinosaur tattoo.

And Mexico has been celebrating this evolutionary miracle for years.
And I let it go unnoticed.
I am ashamed.

Zilla (who is practically named after a dinosaur) was just carrying on traditions handed down for millenium.
I am so proud.

Yet what happened along this evolutionary path that said "lizardy, nightmare inducing, massively muscled dinosaurs should change into small tweeting fluffy-feathered birds" and that "snakes......... welllll...... they are fine just the way they are"?

As I ponder this I will continue to enjoy my egg laying, food producing, lap roosting, yard birds
and wonder why I have never once had a desire for snakes to follow me around the yard, sit in my lap or become a casserole.

Hmmmmmm............Change or don't change.

Who really is the clever one ????

Thanks for reading my blog !!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To Be or Not to Be.........

This blog almost was NOT to be.

What are the odds of finding deadly poisonous things repeatedly in broad daylight?

Pretty good at my house I reckon.

When I first built the chicken coop last year,I was quite worried that weasels, raccoons and foxes would dig under the chicken wire and get my girls as they slept.

So I collected rocks from our yard, as big as I could manage, and put them around the base of the fence.

So far it has protected the hens quite well.

For ME....., it has been like a bad dream.

I have shredded my hands. (gloves are for babies)

I have pinched my fingers. (working in the daylight hours is for babies)

AND I have gotten stung by a scorpion. (I screamed like a baby !)

I was so mad, I can't tell you, but I also learned to check EVERY single rock.

Needless to say after the scorpion bite, I picked up NO MORE ROCKS for months.

Well it was lovely today and I thought I would finish around the coop with a few more rocks.

The FIRST one, the VERY FIRST ONE I pick up, there is a 2 inch scorpion waiting..... SERIOUSLY ???? !!!

Thanks goodness this was one was not mean and just scrunched up and tried not to see me.

So says I, surely that is a fluke.

The next rock could not possibly have another scorpion under it !

So I turn it over..... do a visual,...... and CRIMINITLY !..... there is NOT a

scorpion..... but a BLACK WIDOW SPIDER !!!

And she runs at me !!!!!!

I know all you animal lovers will cringe when I tell you that I smashed her with another very small, unscary, insect free rock from close by.

Because a human can only take so much.

And after all, scientists estimate that there are 200 million bugs for every human, so I don't think my ecosystem will collapse from her death.

The problem here my friends, is that quite possibly I don't have enough insect eating yard birds !!! (wink, wink)

No really, I'm good.

All is as it should be................. except under rocks !

Thanks for reading my blog !!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rikki Tikki Chicken

I am writing this blog late in the evening even though my brain doesn't run on all its cylinders after nine o'clock at night.
Because tomorrow is a busy day for me.
I will be having a physical for the first time in 12 years.
Sheesh. What a baby.
I fear that I will hallucinate due to the fact that they don't let you eat for what seems like a week before the appointment and the starving, swirling, dizziness of it will make me believe that the story I am about to tell was only a dream, a memory from a cheesy 50's horror movie or induced from a starved brain trying to imagine fresh food...
any food.

So I must retell it now so you will know it really happened.

It was a dark and stormy night.....................just kidding.......... Here goes:

When it gets dusky outside, I do alot of evening chores like walking dogs, collecting eggs, feeding deer, pulling weeds, moving rocks, that kind of thing.
It really amounts to doing anything that keeps me outside till I can't see.

The hens always mosey towards the coop, scratching and checking stuff out in the garden, basically doing what I am doing, in chicken version, till they can't see.

I noticed Zilla scratch and then run, so I had to see what was up, because she obviously did NOT want to share !
I ran and so did Red..... after Zilla.

Low and behold it was a snake. An earth snake (which I adore and protect normally). It is about a foot long and as big around as a fresh green bean.

Zilla is trying to eat the snake while running from us while I'm trying to get my camera phone out to take a picture, not run into stuff or step on the chickens, keep Red away and tell myself this is actually happening !

Every time Zilla stops to re-adjust the snake, I move in for a picture and Red moves in to try and take the snake.

I now have to chase Red away, keep an eye on Zilla and try to take a picture cause no one will believe me.

This makes Zilla run faster, scare the snake more, which then starts wrapping itself around her head, face and neck.

The scared snake eating chicken runs even faster, cause how many times does your food become an accessory and I now have to get this under control.

Red is chased by me, into the hen house and locked up.

I run back to Zilla and start snapping pics like crazy while

Zilla relaxes, drops the snake, watches it curl into a couple of knots, pecks at it, picks it up, drops it again and now I think it needs to be rescued.

As soon as I reach in to grab it, Zilla picks it up and in 3, yes THREE gobbles the snake is inside the chicken.

I had NO IDEA !!!!

A wiggling live snake !

I have pics to prove it and my dizziness has not set in yet !

This is right before she read my mind about a rescue....and ate it.

Thanks for reading my blog !!!!!

I would welcome your comments,
your feedback, your sharing
and/or your following !!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

'I will take the egg to Mordor.......'

Easter was a fabulous event at my home, with a house full of people and apparently not enough activities.

This 'Hobbit' was created after a botched, but delicious deviled egg attempt.

Too much pickle juice,
too much paprika
and too much table chatter
meant that the egg had became a perfect canvas.

Frodo: Go back, Sam. I'm going to Mordor alone.

Sam: Of course you are. And I'm coming with you.

Good times. Good times !!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Criminitly ! Chickens in the Hood !

Red and Zilla (the Rhode Island Red and the Buff Orpington) have decided that the neighborhood is theirs.
A sort of chicken gang.
It began when I started letting them out at sunrise with the intent that they would leave Grace(the chicken truck chicken) alone.
Although they still look for her so they can pick on her.
They are definitely chicken thugs !
I don't know how to tell Grace to fight back !
They even chase the schnauzer !
Criminitly !

Its not like looking under every single leaf and stick for bugs OR avoiding hawks, cats and dogs OR following me around all day waiting for a treat OR just basking in the sun, isn't enough to do !
Getting up at sunrise leaves a lot of time in a day for a curious hood chicken to explore and get into trouble.
They usually stay reasonably close by the house so they can come running if I call OR happen to have their favorite chicken 'crack'- dried meal worms.
Truly they are addicted.
Truly that makes me their dealer.
But today they decided some delicious items were OUT BY THE STREET !!
Which is nowhere near their house !!
Criminitly !

I called them and they totally ignored me !
They are out of control !
I have given them too much free time !
A chickens 'job' is to lay eggs and lay eggs only, but I can't fire them and give them other chores to do so they will stay out of trouble.
What to do ?
Too many hours in a chicken day !
Criminitly !

Sooooo after an hour of rebellious street scratching they came back to the house for a rest under the azalea bushes.
But not before my dog Eva saw them and playfully chased the red one till she yelled, flapped around and scrambled for cover in the shrubbery.
I didn't stop her (the dog) either. Nope.
If the hens are going to be like wandering sheep, they need a guard dog to keep them in line.
The neighborhood is NOT theirs.
There is no chicken watch in the neighborhood.
I don't speak 'hood' chicken.
I don't even speak chicken !
I'm not Momma Dolittle !
I'm not even their mom.
It's dangerous out there !
They just won't listen !

Criminitly !

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Best Lotion.

Just wanted to share some information about the best lotion ever.
And I have tried a bazillion.
I have to wash my hands SO many times a day. Thanks to the dogs, the hens, the cats, the Wal-mart shopping cart, the laundry,
the fish ponds, the chicken coop, the vacuum, the computer keyboard, the eggs, the hens and the dogs again and did I mention all things dog and hen ??
No I don't have a phobia or paralyzing fear of germs or neurotic need to nervously rub my hands together.
ANYWAY...... I wash my hands ALOT and I found this recipe on Pinterest and I thought you should know about it.
I am on my second batch and couldn't have made it through the winter without it !!!

These are the ingredients:

Johnson Baby Lotion (any scent)
Vitamin E Cream

These are the ratios and they CAN be halved:

16 oz. baby lotion
8 oz. Vaseline
8 oz. Vitamin E Cream

Mix with a hand mixer until it looks like frosting.

Then put in your favorite container !!

It is fabulous !!
You will thank me and your skin will thank you !!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Loosing a hen

Beautiful day.

Horrible circumstances.

We had to put down Margaret.

She was one of my original peeps rescued from a wild mama hen at my daughters country home.
My daughter rescued 4 peeps, 3 of which were roosters and had to go.
Margaret was a keeper and a sweetheart.
Sat on my feet, lap, shoulder and came running when I called.
She always got to be in the middle of the other hens when it was cold.
She had remarkable blue legs, lovely tan feathers and laid lovely light brown eggs.
She will be missed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Too Cold?

If anyone does not see the advantage of down bedding, than I am just sad for them.

While the past week has been windy and dipping into the 20's at night I have tossed and turned worrying about my hens getting too cold..
The chicken truck chicken, Grace, sleeps all by herself (till she is hopefully comfortable snuggling with her bullying companions).
Margaret, the wild caught hen, who has become broody and grumpy chooses now of all times to sleeps by herself in the other nest box.
Red (for lack of a better name) and Zilla, the Buff Orpington sleep together. They are not the ones keeping me awake.
There is basically no snuggling for warmth.
It is just hen against cold.
Pond freezing, ground crunching, nose running cold !

I am snuggled under my down comforter and my feather/down pillows. Toasty and warm.
THIS fact is the ONLY reason I can get get any sleep at all.
My girls are COVERED with the same thing !!!

Every morning, when they are let loose from the coop, sometimes before sunrise when it is coldest, they bound out and act like it is a warm spring morning !
The wind ruffles their feathers but they will then just scratch places next to the house.
I should have known things would be ok.
Some folks have chickens WAY up north.
But these are my girls, all but one raised from a peep.
They entertain me.
They worry me.
They give me eggs.
They make me smile.
They warm my heart.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chicken Poem

The chicken is a marvelous bird,
She talks all day without a word.
I know the egg or happy cry,
I know when hawks are flying by.
She lets me know that she's about,
or when she's cooped, to let her out.
She tells me all about her day,
Without a single word to say.
She knows my voice, and when I talk,
But my words to her are just a squwak.

Chickens !!!!

This is a pic of some of the second flock of chickens I ever had.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chicken Truck Chicken

On this Fat Tuesday Post it seems appropriate to post about my new chicken truck chicken.
She was rescued this past Saturday after falling off a truck on her way to the processing plant.
The fact that she was/is intact is the second miracle in and of itself.
The trucks are packed body to body with over fed, under cared for chickens, bumping and jilting around down the highway in the rain, sun, snow, whatever.
The wire cages are just big enough to let the bird turn around and are stacked 10 cages high and no telling how deep and wide.
Our bird managed to get out of or not make it into one of those cages, couldn't leave her friends, and fell off as the truck accelerated down the highway.
The miracles are adding up.
A kind driver, stopped, grabbed the bird and took it to the nearest veterinarian. (They are usually seen dead on the roadside and
we won't discuss southern drivers here, if you know what I mean)
My daughter who works at said vet called me.
I went right over and got the frightened bird.
2 weeks later:
The chicken is doing well these days. It was a rough start as my old chickens 'hazed' her into the pecking order.
She could not walk and tripped over her own feet.
Her breast feathers were covered in dried chicken poo. And she was not very feathered out.
I'm sure it was a result of temperature controlled houses and cramped quarters.
She was not sure how to get water and after a rain would get drops off the leaves.
She eats and drinks like a pro now.
She is starting to feel like a real chicken and take dust baths, clean her feathers and make chickeny noises.
I had no idea it would take so long.
She still is getting picked on and likes dogs, cats and people better than her own kind.
She is a sweetie though and I am glad to have her.
I am glad nothing was broken or damaged and that she is not processed with some broth and noodles.
She is a miracle.
Her name is Grace.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chickens and Snow

We had a good snow yesterday.
It was fabulous, fun, beautiful and wet.
The chickens HATED it.
I let them free range so they could enjoy it and at first they refused to leave their coop and run.
They finally did when they saw us running around in it.
But they were not happy. Not one bit.
It could have been their fear of predators from the sky or just the wet coldness mushing between their toes.
ANYWAY, right before dark I went outside again to close up their coop and their little chicken snow footprints were in all the wrong places.
They were thrown off by the whiteness of everything.
I could tell where they had gathered and made a game plan near the blueberry bushes.
Then they went up to the fence and and back towards their food tin, but from the outside.
When that didn't work as planned they investigated the back of the coop.
Eventually they recognized the door to the run from the back and went in.
Their footprints told the whole story.
When I said good night and closed their doors, they let me know how upset they were with this white stuff.
Lots of chicken grumbling when they are usually quiet at bed time.
It was their first ever snow and it made me giggle.
The human family had such a good time in it and the girls considered it a nightmare.
I hope the footprints of our lives tell a Good story.
ce la vie.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicken lips

Chicken lips ?
Some say yes, some say no.
I say..............?
I thought of chicken lips because as I age my 'plumage' is loosing its luster shall we say.
My youthful colorful 'feathers' are replaced by less obvious, fluffy, downy 'feathers'.
Especially my lips.
Hence, quite possibly. my attraction to lipless birds.
I had to spend and entire weekend and most of a Monday trying to decide on a lipstick because it was not cheep. (yes, pun intended)
Who cares?
Not the girls. nope.
Not them.
They love me in any color. They have seen me in my nightgown, my bathrobe,
my unmentionables as I run to open coop doors after sleeping a tad too long, they've seen me bundled in coats, sweaters, hats, vests too, all of various colors.
They still follow me everywhere and think I'm fabulous !
Their feather color has subtle variations as it goes from the top of their head to their tails and the sun makes them look as lovely as peacocks.
And they don't even need lipstick.
But I do and you heard it from my own lips.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chicken snuggle time

The girls:
One Rhode Island Red,
One Buff Orpington,
One wild mixed daughter of a loose fighting cock named Margaret,
Three fabulous, fun, feathered friends.
The weather has been below freezing and at night the girls keep all snuggled, close, keeping warm with the big Buff closest to the frigid edges of the coop every time.
Well the weather turned warm for the last few days and the girls spread out, about a foot apart at night, they look at me a bit perplexed about this 35 degree temperature change when I close them up.
Tonight, however, they were all snuggled up again even though it was pleasant and warm (64 degrees).
2 eggs.
I need to name the other two.
Margaret and the Red are my layers right now.
I think the Buff is still using her energy to grow.
ChicKong ? Poultrysaurus Rex ?
She is a sweetheart tho. She needs a nice name.
The Red follows me EVERYWHERE ! Including into my coop ! She has no qualms about strolling through the house to see what we are all doing in OUR coop!