August 01, 2013

The Study of Poultry in their Natural Habitat

Today I suddenly felt a deep desire to add lots of pretty bird pictures to this blog. All my life I've been told by TV shows to follow my heart, so enjoy an overdose of lovely feathered creatures, and some hopefully entertaining writing by yours truly.


Sparkle Sparkle the Serama, being broody yet again

Yellow and Chipmunk, crazy Seramas
 Seramas are, as far as I can tell, the broodiest chicken breed in existence. They lay a handful of tiny eggs in spring, and then plant themselves in various nesting boxes for the summer. Sometimes they spend autumn and winter there too, just for good measure. The roosters are generally very sad about this, because they really don't like being growled at by their girlfriends.


The ducks: Hazelnut, Jazz, Charlie, and Unicron the Chaos Bringer

Charlie, the evil duck.
"I'll get you next time, Amri. Just you wait and see..."
 I think ducks are the funniest birds I've ever seen. They quack in alarm any time a human approaches and usually hurry away in irrational terror, but become very brave at breakfast time. Charlie, the drake, even becomes brave enough to almost attack me sometimes, although he's never actually gotten up the courage to actually do it.
 I think he knows that if he hurts me, he's likely to become dinner. He really does look delicious, does he not?

Lord Firestar crows triumphantly
 The three oldest birds in the flock are Lord Firestar, Turtle, and Kooshie. All three are doing well.
 Lord Firestar recently had a fight with his son Patience, and only won because I intervened and scolded Patience.

Turtle the Easter Egger
 Turtle has learned to fly over the chicken yard fence, and spends her days dust bathing in the garden and/or staring in the window. I'm pretty sure she wants to be human, and I do my best to respect her dreams. She returns to the yard on her own whenever she likes.

Kooshie the Easter Egger
 Kooshie is older, grumpier, and is missing her beard, but she still loves to perch on my arm. She also enjoys sitting on the feed can and glaring at everyone. She resembles an adorable Mad-Eye Moody.

 There are also about five crows who protect the flock from eagles. Our birds heed their warning calls and take cover, while the crows fly after the eagle and chase it away. The crows only steal a few eggs and some food scraps in exchange, so they're probably the best and cheapest guard animals around.

 I'm running out of things to talk about here, so enjoy this really old photo of Serama hens in their natural habitat? It is an awfully cute picture, after all, and it seems like a good way to wrap this post up.
Old picture of broody Seramas

September 22, 2012

It's the Circle of Life

Well, today Yikes died. She was about five years old and had been looking pretty droopy lately, so I guess it wasn't a surprise. Of course, even the fact that I was expecting this to happen didn't make it any less sad.
I guess this makes Sleeve-Eater the last of the original Plain Old Chickens flock. Fortunately she still seems healthy. Hopefully she'll stick around for another year at least.

~~~

But I have good news too. A few days ago, Jazz hatched six fluffy little ducklings. They follow her about, peeping whenever she accidentally leaves them behind, and often hop into the waterer to take a bath. Jazz and Charlie  are very protective of their babies and seem to love chasing off the chickens when they come too close.
Unfortunately, I don't currently have any pictures to show you. I'm sorry.

~~~

P.S. My web browser doesn't do exclamation points at the moment. Feel free to imagine them where ever you think they're needed.

April 30, 2012

Lots of pictures!

I know, I know, that really wasn't a brilliant title. But it's pretty accurate, given the nature of this post! In a moment I'm going to bombard you with my poultry photography, and you're going to love every moment of it (and if you don't love it, I'll unleash Turtle the Insane Easter Egger upon you).

Yikes!
Yikes is still very much alive. I often think that she'll outlive every single bird in our flock, including the ducks. She's such a tough old lady!

Charlie and Jazz
The ducks are all grown up now, of course. They lay about three eggs a day, so the refrigerator is always full. 

Kooshie
Kooshie still loves to fly up onto my arm. I'd be happier about this habit if I wasn't constantly feeling like she does it to spite Turtle.

Turtle
And Turtle is in love with humans in general and me in particular. She loves to be cuddled. I can never decide whether I should be charmed or terrified by her adoration!

Patience
Patience is Lord Firestar's son. He was hatched last August. Lord Firestar likes to chase him around, but never actually hurts him as far as I can tell.

Champion
Champion and Sparkle Sparkle are Patience's sisters. I'd go into more detail about their relationship with him, but it's kind of creepy. What can I say? They're chickens.

Droplet and Flower
These guys are virtually identical. I can't tell them apart most of the time. Please don't hate me.

Lady Sandstorm
Lady Sandstorm is perfect. And charming. And saner than any of her children. I love her.

Chipmunk
Chipmunk didn't inherit her mother's sanity. She's currently broody again, as is Yellow.

Lord Firestar
He might be even more perfect than Lady Sandstorm.

I hope at least some of these pictures made your day a bit better! I know they improved mine.

June 22, 2011

"QUACK!!!"

WARNING:  Absolutely adorable pictures ahead.  Do not read further if you have trouble restraining your desire to buy small, fuzzy animals.

Still with me?

Okay, you asked for it.

Left to right:  Izzy, Jazz, Droplet.


(Also left to right) Izzy, Jazz, Droplet, Prince Charlie, Flower.


Prince Charlie.
Yep, the Plain Old flock now includes ducks!  One Welsh Harlequin drake (Prince Charlie), two Buff hens (Flower and Droplet), and two Blue Swedish hens (Jazz and Izzy).  Five absolutely adorable two-day-old ducklings from Metzer Farms.

Can't tell them apart?  Well I can't really either.  They look kind of alike in these photos, except for Charlie maybe.  To help you with figuring out who's who, here's a quick guide:

Charlie (Named after a character in the little-known Ocean Girl TV series.  Look it up if you haven't heard of it):  Has stripes on his face.  He'll probably get a curly feather on his tail when he's older, too.
Izzy (Named by my dear sister) and Jazz (Short for Jasmine, I think):  Jazz has lighter colored spots on each side of her head; Izzy doesn't. 
Flower (She tried to eat a flower, thus her rather predictable name) and Droplet (She had a water droplet on her head.  Imaginative name, no?):  Flower is darker colored and fluffy; Droplet is pale and slender looking.

And no, they don't quack yet. 

May 16, 2011

Goodbye, Egglantine, We Love You

Poor Egglantine has been looking ill for months.  Today she looked so sick that we finally decided to put her out of her misery.  She was stumbling around with her eyes shut most of the time, and her face was purplish.



Egglantine
September 18, 2009~May 16, 2011

We love you, Puffball. 
 


Thank you to my father for taking care of that nasty job. 

March 28, 2011

60 followers!

This blog had such humble beginnings, so how did I ever get 60 followers?  It certainly wasn't my loyalty to my little territory in my little corner of Blogland...

I love you all!  You're the most wonderful bunch of followers around!

~~~

Other news: Cutie-Pie's wattle looks disgusting.  We're smearing triple antibiotic stuff on it every day, but it hasn't started looking any better yet.  Hopefully the antibiotics are helping!

March 22, 2011

Big Girls and Tiny Fairies*

We (me, and the original creator and owners of this blog) moved the Big Girls onto our property yesterday.  They handled the move amazingly well (thanks to all their previous moving experience, no doubt), and had a great time eating grass and feed.  I spent a few hours sitting with them and feeling extremely happy.
  Today the Big Girls had another adventure.  The Seramas (who live next to the Big Girls so that everyone can be protected by electric fence) somehow managed to sneak into the Big Girls' area!  Sleeve-Eater wanted to attack them, but I was able to restrain her and she calmed down quickly and nobody else really noticed the trespassers.  So now the Seramas and the Big Girls are allowed to wander around the same yard.  So much for biosecurity, but at least no blood was shed.

*Big Girls: The original flock.  Tiny Fairies: A newly thought up name for the Seramas.  Yeah, I know I'm weird.

March 16, 2011

To all spammers

Yes, I know that whatever you're selling is great.  Yes, I'm sure your anti-spam software is the best anti-spam software around.  Yes, I understand that taking the time to read the post you're commenting on gives you less time to make money. 
  However, I have something to tell you all.  If it looks like a spam comment, I delete it.  I don't care if it has links or not; If you sound like a spammer to me, your comment is going to be sent to the happy spam filled blog in the sky.  Now go bother some other hapless blogger. 

Go away!  Now!

(Sorry, real commenters, I just needed to get that out of my system.  Even if the spammers never read it, writing that really made me feel better)

March 15, 2011

Big, big, BIG chickens!

I'm a bad blogger.  I have 57 followers waiting eagerly (well, I like to imagine that they're waiting eagerly anyway!) for my next post, and it usually takes a few months to appear.  Anyway, here it is!  The post you've all been waiting for! 

(Drumroll, please...)

AMRI FINALLY GETS TO SEE HER BIG CHICKENS AGAIN!

Turtle
Turtle is still the same.  She got used to me pretty quickly and started frantically trying to snuggle in my lap.  I told her that she was a little weirdo, but it was nice to be greeted so enthusiastically.
Cutie-Pie
Cutie is bigger and fatter than ever.  One of her wattles is kind of shrivelled (it looks kind of gross), but she seems fairly healthy.
Sleeve-Eater and the elusive Yikes
Sleeve-Eater is still huge and feathery and cute.  She doesn't like being hugged, but she still tolerates it.
Yikes somehow managed to avoid all my attempts at taking a good picture of her.  She's still very shy and unfriendly, but I was happy to see her anyway.
Kooshie
Kooshie was nervous at first and mostly stayed away from me.  She calmed down after a bit and flew up on my arm though.  Then Turtle got jealous because she wanted to be cuddled instead of Kooshie, which was flattering and annoying.

Hopefully I'll get more pictures of them all soon!

January 25, 2011

A picture is worth 1,000 words...

So here are a few pictures of the cutest chicken family ever!

Family portrait.

Yellow.

I feel sorry for any insects which are in their path.

Lady Sandstorm and Egglantine.

December 06, 2010

Lord Firestar and Help

Time flies.  My last post was in, what, July?  Wow, that's hard to believe. 

The Seramas are doing fine.  They aren't broody any more, but they aren't really laying either. 
  Lord Firestar is just as adorable as ever, and he's still the gentlest rooster I've ever met.  He doesn't crow much these days, but I think that it's because he's a smart little boy, and not because he's sick.
  Lady Sandstorm is still a weirdo.  She loves to try to eat my hair, and her favorite treat is Cheddar cheese.  If anyone hands her a chunk of cheese, she'll frantically devour it.
  Yellow is pretty much the same, too.  She's pretty, calm, and undoubtedly the most sane member of her family. 
  Chipmunk doesn't fly much these days.  She'll still hop up into a bush if Lord Firestar starts chasing her, though.
  Help is a crazy, easily frightened goof.  A loveable bird, if you like chickens who fit the "chicken" stereotype.
  ...And Egglantine is still a fluffy, overgrown baby.  Her legs may be short, but she likes to wander farther than any of the others.

Only five of the original flock remain.  Sleeve-Eater, Cutie-Pie, Kooshie, Turtle, and (of course!) Yikes are still quite alive.  It'll be nice to see them again someday.

July 02, 2010

Lord Firestar: Lap chicken

Poor Lord Firestar, being cute must be very annoying sometimes!  He's sitting on my lap right now, eyes half shut, head drooping, feathers shimmering like molten gold.  He's tired.  I think I'll put him to bed now.

I love my little rooster!

Lord Firestar and his family.


Note:  I know this post is very random!

May 13, 2010

A belated thank-you!

Dobbies.com included Plain Old chickens on their "Chicken-Keeping blogs we love" list!

Thank you, Dobbies!!!

May 06, 2010

Drama, Terror, Crying, and Blog Improvement

Yes, that title is accurate!

The Drama, Terror and Crying took place a week or so ago when the people who are taking care of the Big Girls emailed us with some terrible news:  One of the Easter Eggers had gotten stuck in the electric fence!  The poor hen (who we later learned was probably Kooshie) had her eyes shut and wasn't moving.
  Fortunately, she recovered.  She's okay now and is living with the flock again!  Yay!  Here is the thread I posted on BYC.



Now, on to the Blog Improvement part of the title.  I've been doing some spring cleaning including:
  1. Removing old polls
  2. Putting all the links onto one list
  3. Moving the list of my birds onto its own page
  4. And so on, and so on, and so on.


And, for your viewing pleasure, I present some photos of my silly flock:

Lady Sandstorm, Queen of broody hens.



Lady Sandstorm, Chipmunk, Yellow, and Help, united in their wish to hatch eggs.



Lord Firestar vents his feelings.  He doesn't like me being boss bird.

What does Lord Firestar look like when....

What does Lord Firestar look like when he's crowing?

He looks like this:



By the way, I didn't want the image to look like that.  Sometimes even the nicest cameras take bad photos.