Sunbathing Chickens

Sunbathing Chickens Sept 2018

Some of the chickens from the West Coop are taking advantage of the hot sunny day.  There are nine girls enjoying the sun. Penny, the white Delaware, will soon pester someone so she can have the prime spot, defined as wherever someone else is comfortable.

When they’re splayed out on the leaves and sticks, it looks like a chicken slaughter until somebody decides she needs to be in the middle and makes everyone move.

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Chicken Art

Chicken Art.jpg

One of the princesses was obviously feeling her creative side when she laid her egg. I see a grinning smiley face winking at me. I don’t know how she did it. The design didn’t wash off or rub off. I’ll bet it was Cinderella. She’s such a jokester.

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Faith and Hope

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-10-24,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

FAITH is in the Bitter Barn because she is super broody. Don’t let her sweet look and cute floppy comb fool you. She’s a raving banshee. All the chickens and even Malfoy gives her a wide berth. She snuggled down with her imaginary eggs and occupied a nest box for two days with no break – no food, no water, no break. After four or so days in the Bitter Barn, she’ll be her old sweet self.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-10-24,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

HOPE is convalescing in the South Coop. Two days ago she stood in front of Farmer Man and chirped. Chickens cluck. Baby chicks chirp. He reached down, picked her up, and was shocked at how light she was.  When a chicken is sick, she is relegated to the bottom of the pecking order and frequently isn’t allowed to eat. We fed her medicated baby crumbles and put her in with Buttercup. Buttercup is at the bottom of all the chickens’ pecking order. She doesn’t mind a little company, and she’s enjoying Hope’s baby crumbles.

FAITH is in the Bitter Barn, and HOPE is not well. Good thing we don’t have a chicken named CHARITY.

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A Dozen Dozen Farm Eggs

Eggs Feb 2018

Four days’ worth of eggs – ready to be washed and put in the Egg Refrigerator. I have an egg washing process that would bore you senseless, but it works for me. I only wash the eggs I sell or donate because the state health department requires them to be washed. Silly gumment.

I don’t wash the eggs we eat – that would be silly. Washing washes off the egg’s bloom, which protects the egg and keeps it fresh. The Ameraucanas lay the green and blue eggs. The Marans lay the dark, dark brown eggs. The Buff Orpingtons lay the darker tan eggs. The Black Australorps lay the tan eggs, and the Delawares lay the lightest tan eggs.

A dozen dozen – Gross! (farm humor)

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Spray Icicles in Florida

Burst Pipe Jan 2018

A water pipe burst in the yard overnight, transformed into a spectacular fountain, and sprayed the surrounding area, including shooting into the trees. The icicles are glistening in the sunlight. Not the usual Florida landscape.

The water to that section is turned off. Farmer Man will replace the broken pipe when daytime temperatures warm up to 60° or 70°.

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Bed and Breakfast for Small Birds

Bird house for small birds Nov 2017.jpg

 

Farmer Man is building nest boxes for small birds. The opening is wide enough for our small birds — chickadees,  tufted titmice, bluebirds, wrens — but not large enough for the house sparrow or other larger birds.

The diet for a small bird like a chickadee and tufted titmouse is 80-90% insects, spiders, ants, wasps, stink bugs, and caterpillars. And the acorns are the other 20%. Our yard is a regular smorgasbord for our visitors.

Our nest boxes are an open invitation to our fine Bed and Breakfast establishment —complete with an all-you-can-eat spider buffet.

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Little Chicken with a Lot of Spunk

Donna October 2017

Every evening, Donna sits in the doorway, watching the sunset.

One afternoon about a year ago, the rooster chased and attacked her. The rest of the hens surrounded Donna, trying to fight the rooster off. Her back was raked, her tail feathers were gone, there was a large laceration on her head, and she couldn’t walk. She looked and acted like her leg or hip was broken. We had two other hens, Delawares just like Donna, die suddenly. We realized after we saw the rooster attack Donna that he must have attacked them too, and they died of internal injuries. Rooster was dispatched.

We put Donna into Sick Bay, treated her wounds, and made her as comfortable as possible. She moved around her crate using her wings to push herself. She ate baby chick crumbles and applesauce. We thought she would succumb from her injuries, but she kept eating and drinking water and scooting so she could see us.

After a month of baby crumbles, she graduated to chicken pellets. We moved her into the ‘Castle Annex’ when we partitioned part of the Castle off for her because the weather was getting too cold for her to stay outside in the crate that was exposed to the elements.

Even though she couldn’t walk, she would scoot over to the doorway in the evening to watch the sunset.

She’s just a chicken – a bird. But every evening she watches the sun go down. It’s almost like she’s thanking God for giving her another day.

She can walk now. She’s a little shaky, but the other three chickens who decided to join her in the Annex look after her. Annie, Molly, and Emily – each one of them left the West Coop during free-range time at the end of last year and walked around the corner of the Castle to be with Donna in the Annex.

And in the evening when my Farmer Man goes out to close up the coops for the night, he sits on the steps to talk to Donna. And they watch the sunset together, thanking God for giving them another day and another beautiful sunset.

 

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