Monday, June 26, 2023

Chickens On Parade

 Our hen family of seven is a wonderful group of girls.  Who wouldn't love these affectionate (well, not all), funny, adventurous, sometimes smart bevy of beauties.

In no particular order:

Etta James
Came to us in 2018 from a farm that was being sold.   100 chickens were rehomed and we swept up the last four.  That makes Etta roughly 6 years old I was told all the girls were one).  She loves to travel out to the furthest point in the pasture during their brief free range time in the morning while I'm doing chores.  Invariably when I'm doing a head count, I only come up with six and know Etta is adventuring. 

Etta and Joannie Lu

Joannie Lu (Joan Baez/Lulu) also came from the farm with Marigold.  She tends to keep to herself.


This little girl was a rescue through the Michigan Humane Society in 2019.  Apparently there was a hoarding situation in Detroit of 80 birds.  Age unknown.  During her bumblefoot time frame she was very meek and allowed herself to be bullied.  Once she felt better, she stood up for herself, although I wouldn't call her assertive.  Isn't she a beauty.

There is a local family-run feed store that I've come to use for many of my chicken and donkey needs.  In 2021 they raised Isa Browns from chicks and Henri came to us as a three month old, making her now  2 years old.   She can be a bit greedy when it comes time for treats grabbing at my hand or hopping up to try to be first.   

Stevie (Nicks) and Gigi
Also from the Michigan Humane Society.  Just last fall.  They were confiscated from a community that didn't allow chickens.  (Lordy, check your ordinances).  They were six months old.  Clearly they had been loved and, as I've mentioned Gigi is my cuddler.  Stevie is not.




And never ever last in my affections --

Sweet Pea

In 2015 when I originally decided to venture into chicken keeping, I got three Buffs from the feed store I mentioned earlier.  And my favorite girl was one of them.  I've seen her slow down with age but she keeps up with the rest of the girls when they scurry out of the coop in the morning and afternoon and come on the fly to get treats.  She is definitely the heaviest chicken of the group!  And she's the only hen of the current group who has an unmistakable voice.  Much lower pitched then the others.  For years she has been my assistant poop cleaner upper.  Every morning when I tackle donkey manure she comes and assists, inevitably getting in the way. 

I purely love her.




Monday, June 12, 2023

This and That On Our Teeny Tiny Farm

 Lots of snippets of info this week.  Where to start.

Let's begin with Marigold.  She's the little girl we treated for bumblefoot earlier in the year.  Mar was starting to act a bit lethargic and her comb paled.  That's a HUGE red flag.  Know the color of your hens' combs - a change in color can be an indicator in health issues.

I immediately put some diatomaceous earth in the feed, put some apple cider vinegar (with mother) in a second waterer and wormed her.  She's now as peppy as the other girls AND her comb has brightened.

I am so appreciative of Rick's improvements in and around the barn and coop.  Last week he took it upon himself to install some windows in the windows.  Sounds weird I know.

The big windows hinge and are propped up with a large pole.  In the winter when they're closed the girls suffer through a significantly darkened coop.  But now, voila windows in windows.  Rick can be pretty handy.

Then there's the donkeys.  Daily life with the three is not all daisies and lollipops.  A couple of days ago Sugar put on her invisibility cloak and tiptoed into the coop to snack on some chicken feed.  When I looked up from manure duty, did a quick head count and only came up with two donks, I immediately knew what was gonig on.  That's when the yelling started. "GET OUT!!!!"  She came flying out.  Don't even try to tell me she didn't know what she had done.

 Gabby likes the more subtle approach.

Peeking in the barn to see where I am and if the coop door is open.  And if I left any treats on the ground.


****** Vegan Delights ******

One of my favorite items at Trader Joes.  So tasty

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Chonkey Goofball Antics

 Long time readers may remember one of Luigi's favorite past-times was wheelbarrow rubbing.  Slowly  he'd sway back and forth against the rim to catch the special spot on his perfect derriere or chest.

Spice has only recently taken up the reins.

She seems to prefer the posterior as opposed to frontal area.

Those same  long time readers will know Sweet Pea has been my manure clean-up assistant for ages.  She's still in the game, but Gigi is now my second assistant.  And is also my current cuddle bunny.  When I need a chicken hug, she's the girl I turn to.

A bit ago I splurged and bought the donks some NickerDoodle treats.  All three girls assure me they are absolutely dee-lish-ous.  Up to this point I had pretty much stuck to Mrs. Pastures Cookies when offering processed treats.  But if one had to make a comparison, one could say a NickerDoodle is like a Ding Dong, where a Mrs. Pasture cookie is like a gingersnap.  Both are tasty but one is thick and creamy and melts in your mouth where the other is flat and crisp.  

Gabby finds the NickerDoodles to be lip smacking good

Side Note:
I am in the midst of watching "Camelot" - the 1967 version with Richard Harris, Venessa Redgrave and Franco Nero.  They were all sweet young things, all gorgeous and in their prime.  Long before Dumbledore was on the printed page. 
I haven't seen this movie since I was 16 and entranced with the story.  Perhaps I'm not quite as entranced, but what a wonderful memory visit.  And oh that music.  As a teen I played that LP over and over and can sing along to most of the songs.