Saturday, March 28, 2009

Art gallery continued

Beautiful paintings! (Or evil and disgusting!)

Visiting the "Mall"

Q; which of these pictures is the Serama? (scroll to the bottom of this post to find out!)

I really dislike malls.
Normal ones, that is. The big agricultural supply/feed store is the exception. You can buy cages, feeders, waterers, cracked corn, even chicks in season.
We went there to buy Serama supplies; feeder, bedding for the cage floor and a waterer (we already had the cage). If we were anyone else we might have left with a few Tibetan Quail chicks as well. It was close!

A; neither! A Serama is a tiny, stylized chicken. Those hens in the photos are Sleeve-Eater and Snowneck, Gourmet Black Freedom Rangers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Some not very interesting news

Trespassers stands next to a patch of snow.

One day it's hot and the next it's freezing!
Right now snow is drifting but not sticking so the chickens are unhappy but fine. Sleeve-Eater was pecking Bluestar so at night we put her in a cage. Nothing awful has happened so you don't need to panic.
We found a chicken blog and one of it's authors has a broody Serama named Cutie Pie (not Cutie-Pie, though)!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Turtle might go broody

Turtle and Juliana. Click on the photos to see the full-sized image.

Tiny, annoying Turtle might be a good broody!
She likes having an egg under her while she lays and if there are eggs on the ground she sometimes likes to sit on them!
We REALLY hope our Turtle will go broody.

Be careful with plastic fence!

Yesterday we were trying to keep our birds off the straw so we locked them up in some electric fence (turned off) we went in for lunch. When I came back out Juliana was completely tangled in it and was hardly moving. With some help I got her untangled. She was panting and tired.
She recovered quickly and now she is back to being a crazy movie star again!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I love taking pictures of chickens!

Snowneck is flapping. Kooshie is wondering why the henhouse is so dirty. And look at those eggs! The smallest one is normal sized. The big egg might be jumbo.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Friends forever!

Cute picture!

Cheeseball is not the smartest chicken ever but her heart is in the right place.
We recently found a photo of Cheeseball and Bluestar sitting together in the sun. Cheesie has always been very protective of Blue and will stand over her looking determined and "brave".
When we moved we caged Bluestar and Cheeseball together. Cheesie stood over Blue with her signature look, possibly saying "I may be silly but I have been asigned this important job and I'm going to do it right".
Very cute.
We love our devoted Ball.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cutie Goes Outside

A few days ago when everything began melting. Yes, this is Sleeve-Eater but any chicken can give you that dinosaur stare.

Cutie-Pie finally got to go home today.
When we tried to get her out of the cage she was reluctant to leave. Cutie was so used to not being allowed out of her cage that we had to lure her out with a lettuce leaf.
As soon as she was outside, however, Cutie-Pie became a chicken once more and went to work on creating a "dust bath" in the hay. Silly hen.

A big difference!

Cutie-Pie sunbathes. Mouse is probably sneaking up on her.
Yesterday most of the snow melted. Today we had about four inches of snow on the ground. We probably don't need to say that the chickens were NOT happy.
Here in the house Cutie-Pie is panting. She overheats more quickly than her "sisters" so she isn't too pleased either.
Poor, poor birds.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

We discovered a way to amuse chickens without food!
Set a mirror right outside the cage and the hen can gaze at herself and try to figure out why the other chicken looks a little familiar ("is that one of my cousins?"). A mirror helped us, anyway.
Once Cutie-Pie started eating solid food we decided to give her a kale leaf. It kept her happy for quite a while as she tried to rip off pieces from it.
She wants to be outside again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cutie-Pie: Movie Star

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Please help Cutie-Pie!

Cutie-Pie needs help!
Not like in that picture of Bluestar sitting on her, though.
She is alone in our house on a wire floor in a cage and is only allowed thin porridge to eat so, as you may have guessed, she is about as bored as a chicken can get.
We don't want her unhappy. Cutie-Pie has to be isolated from the flock and dieted for at least a week and, as it turns out, bored hens are really loud and tiresome to listen to.
So, if you have an idea for something to keep her happy without the use of food, please write a comment or send us an email.

Please help.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Starving with a full crop

Cutie-Pie stands next to her enemy, a bale of straw!

Turns out Cutie-Pie's jerking and twisting WAS a sign of something potentially deadly. Pendulous crop, impacted crop or crop bound, depending on who you ask.
By the time we figured out what was wrong the only way to fix the problem was surgery. Whee.
So Jane took her in and the vet people removed QUANTITIES of straw and fermenting junk from her crop. When they got home Cutie-Pie was tired and very hungry--so hungry she tried to eat the waterer!
Today she gets strained oatmeal liquid and water, not the filling meal she desires but we have to give her crop time to shrink to normal size.
Currently she is moaning away in the mud room and squirting watery manure on our floor. "DDD, ddd, d, d, d..." She whines. Very obnoxious.
Poor Cutie-Pie.

To prevent this problem in your flock, avoid straw. If your flock has green vegetables available all year straw might work. Tough, fibrous grasses are a lot of trouble. Hay might be better since it has leaves (chickens would choose leaves over stems any day).

We hope this information saves your chickens from a lot of discomfort and saves you some money as well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Home is where the hens are

Yikes is good at capturing your heart. She knows how to act very silly.
So yesterday we got back from our trip.
First I would like to tell you about some of the great birds we saw: At a feed store in California we got to see Naked Neck Turkens, buff Silkies, gamecock chickens and some very cute chicks (also rabbits, guinea pigs, various rodents and quite a few ornamental pet birds).
In Washington we saw a beautiful swan, a few geese of unidentified breed, ducks (Mallard?), a little Red Jungle Fowl cock, silver laced Wyandottes, Australorps...The list goes on and on.
Yes, we got to see family and friends too but this is a chicken blog, remember?

We were happy to find that all of our 11 remaining hens are still alive.