Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Poultry Paparazzi

In Chicken husbandry on July 31, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Aug 1st

The photos in today’s chickendiary are courtesy of my good friend and former co-worker, Margaret.  She won’t call herself a professional photographer, but that doesn’t stop me.  She’s made some beautiful photos of my house and my pets in the past, but today was her first visit to meet my chickens, and she graciously provided a lovely photo shoot.  Margaret brought three generations of ladies with her. The youngest, Miss Scarlet, had her pet chicken, Wormalina Henbocker, in tow. 

Chickenus Stufficus Colorfullus

This is DEFINITELY gonna be the name of my next chicken! I equipped Scarlet with a fistful of grapes and let her feed the girls. 

Margaret was able to get the first and only picture of a jumping chicken!

Violet gets air!

The next order of business was to get some chicken love so I caught Miss Violet and she complied reluctantly. 

This too shall pass.

Scarlet thought her feathers were so soft. 

As is the custom with first time chicken watchers, I asked Violet to play the “fly off Mommy’s shoulder” game and she performed beautifully.  Again, Margaret caught my little Amelia Earhart in mid-flight. 

Great job Violet, and FANTASTIC job Margaret!  The check is in the mail.  No it’s not, but I’ll treat you to lunch soon.  Just don’t order chicken.

Well Howdy, C’mon In!

In Chicken husbandry on July 30, 2011 at 3:15 am

July 29th

Last night I left the screen door and my living room door open because the cats asked me to.  They usually get what they want.  So I’m in the kitchen being the domestic goddess that I am, and I look up to see some feathered visitors in the house.

Sammy looked incredulous as they waddled in and strolled right past her on the carpet.

Daisy checked the treat bowl and found it empty. 

Violet tried in vain to scratch up some bugs and worms from the carpet (If she’d tried a little harder I’m sure she would have found some). 

She found the couch and jumped up. 

What’s this called? A Pillow??? Can we get some of these in our coop???

Pillows are AWESOME!

 Our ancient cats Missy & Boots (a combined human age of 160 years) thought they had seen it all until they saw chickens in their house! 



 Daisy looked over her shoulder on her way out and said that treat bowl had better be full tomorrow!  BWAAAWWWWWWK!

Get on it!

Chickendiary 101

In Chicken husbandry on July 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

July 27th 

A neighbor (Hi, Shannon) brought her extended family over last night to meet the chickens and watch them go to bed.  She mentioned something about the chickendiary that I want to share in today’s entry.  She was reading a post that I had emailed her and started clicking around on the home page where she discovered the archives.  She got sucked in to my little blog and read some older posts to see how the girls got their start and she enjoyed some of the cute baby pictures.  I’ve had other casual readers say that they thought the one post they read (from Facebook, or an email) was just an isolated essay and not connected in any way to a blog.  If you are new to the chickendiary and want to start from the beginning, just click on Archives at the top of this homepage under the title.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see the months starting with April.  Click on April, then scroll to the bottom of THAT page and you’ll see the first chickendiary, Why A Chicken Diary, April 27th.  This format is counterintuitive because you start at the bottom and read UP.  If you’d rather just get a sampling of some of the highlights and don’t have time to read the 50+ entries, I’ve noted some reader favorites here with some pictures you haven’t seen for a while.  One more note… (My apologies to all my super computer/blog literate friends out there.  We aren’t all so versed in cyber surfing) If you want to enlarge a picture, just click on it.  It gets much bigger and you can really see my pretty ladies up close.  OK, even one more note.  If you want to subscribe to the chickendiary you will get a new post as soon as I publish it.  You can subscribe to the RSS feed if you wish, but I think the chickendiary shows best in this WordPress format (looks like a 3 column newspaper).  Just an opinion.  (Regan) And you know what they say about opinions. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this waddle down memory lane.

Homecoming, April 27th




Spider! April 28th

Pecking Order, May 2nd

Bugs Revisited, May 11th

Violet, May 14th

Near Tragedy, May 18th

Progress, May 22nd

How Daisy Got Her Groove Back, May 28th

The House That Jim Built, May 31st

Fried Chicken, June 3rd

Scratch That, June 10th

Bird Brains, June 16th

Funky Chicken, June 21st

Toes Are Not For Tasting, June 22nd

Chicks Love Chickens, June 24th

Feeding Frenzy, June 28th

Can Chickens Swim? July 3rd

Was this a shameless attempt to lure you in to my world of wonderful chickens?  Yes.  Was this post also because I didn’t have anything new to say today?  Uh huh.

The Grapes of Wrath

In Chicken husbandry on July 26, 2011 at 12:02 am
July 25th

OK, I just really wanted to use the word “grape” in a literary allusion one more time. (Grape Expectations, July 13th)  I guess yesterday’s post could have been entitled The Grape Escape! I was even trying to figure out a post with the title All Creatures Grape and Small, but maybe that one stretches it a bit. So here we have another adventure with the ambrosia of the chicken world, purple grapes.  The evening always begins with me sitting down on a chair with a small bowl of treats for the girls.  It’s mostly grapes but there are usually some raisins, apple pieces or watermelon bits in there too. 

Grace is NOT her middle name

They all three come running without any verbal prompting.

Pick me! Pick me!

They jostle and wrangle and push and peck and cluck like they were begging for their last meal. 

Daisy's grape!

Soon the bowl is empty and I get the “chicken stare”. 

Are you holdin' out on me?

Violet’s is the most intimidating, although Daisy can give a smoldering look. 

Soon they get the idea that treat time is over and without so much as a how-do-you-do, they leave me to wallow in the dirt. 

Such ungrapeful birds.  (Just had to get in one more, sorry. I’m done.)

What Lassie, Daisy fell in the well???

In Chicken husbandry on July 24, 2011 at 1:27 am

No, Lassie wasn’t involved, and Daisy fell behind the woodpile, but that doesn’t make a very good title.  The adventure began the other night when I was putzing around the back yard and Jim was STILL WORKING ON THE ROOF!   I noticed Violet playing her nightly game of “Queen of the Woodpile”. 

She and Rosie are great at jumping up and surveying their kingdom from this position.  Daisy—not so much.  She tries to get up but usually gives up after a few tries.  I took the opportunity to photograph Violet’s unmentionables!

Fancy Pantaloons!

A few minutes later I noticed that Buster and Sammy were very interested in something behind the stack. 

Is that dumb chicken in a fix again?

 Buster investigated further and Sammy kept her eye on the situation. 

Buster goes in first. (bunny butt just visible)

I looked behind the pile and there was little Daisy stuck between the wall and the wood. 

Chicken sandwich

Violet got into the act and squawked helpful instructions to her sister. 

What now Daisy? I can't leave you alone for one minute!

The situation wasn’t serious.  I knew I could get her out if I just dismantled the woodpile but I really did not want to do that.  Plus, I was curious to see how the whole thing would unfold. 

Who needs Lassie with this rescue crew?

Sammy, Buster and Violet kept watching Daisy struggle and I kept taking pictures of the mini-drama. 

Are you gonna help me or just keep taking pictures?

Slowly Daisy began to extricate herself from her predicament with Violet encouraging her efforts. 

C'mon sis!

She couldn’t spread her wings to jump and she couldn’t get a good foothold on the logs either.  It was slow-going but after about 20 minutes she freed herself from the evil woodpile and was none the worse for wear. (Only lost two feathers). 

FREEEEEEDOOOOOOOMMMMM! (Mel Gibson screeching in the background)

Lassie, Schmassie!

Thanks for nuthin' mom!

Blondes Have More Fun

In Chicken husbandry on July 22, 2011 at 12:02 am

July 21st

A weird occurrence happened this week.  Some of our favorite folks came over for dinner and chicken time (OK, mostly dinner) and Daisy flirted shamelessly with them.  We can usually get the chicks to climb all over us in the back yard if we have treats in our hands but my little Golden Girl came up to meet Susan & Mike without any tempting tidbits. 

Two cute blonde chicks

She sat for a very long time on the arm of the chair and let both of them pet her.  She even settled down for a while and closed her eyes in bliss.  Mike is a handsome devil and Susan is a lovely blonde with hair the same color as Daisy’s.  Perhaps Daisy is just a very social girl who likes to meet fabulous folks. 

Charlotte in the background. Another pretty blonde chick.

Mike, the Chicken Whisperer

We’ll never know what goes on in her little bird brain.  Violet got into the act as well and let Miss Susan stroke her shiny black feathers. 

Don’t you drink WHITE wine with chicken?

Maybe there was just something in the air that night. Or maybe they just smelled like fermented grapes.


The Tipsy Chicks

In Chicken husbandry on July 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

July 20th

Jim makes a mean mojito with mint from our Herb garden. (I capitalize the H because Martha says that’s how you pronounce it.)  I was enjoying one of his concoctions the other night, when I set the drink on the steps to go in and get my camera, in case the chickens were in the mood to do something astonishing.  I just missed snapping a picture of Daisy pecking at the green stuff floating in my drink. 

Just a sip? I'm not driving!

I told her she was too young for an adult beverage.  Violet wants to try some tequila when she grows up.  She heard there is a worm in it!

Take me to Margaritaville!

Warning:  Booze and chickens do not mix.  Unless you are preparing Coq au Vin–then a little dry red wine goes nicely.

Mississippi Cousins

In Chicken husbandry on July 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm

July 18th

My sister, Bob (long story) and her family came for a short visit this weekend. 

Bob and the chicken wranglers, Tama & Dennis

Her two sons are devastatingly handsome gentlemen who love their Aunt Deb to bits.  (Right guys?)  They are both used to seeing chickens because they live near my dad who owns 15 Rhode Island Reds.  Daddy’s chickens are champion layers but they aren’t tame, trained wonder chickens like my babies.  Nathan enjoyed chasing and then holding Daisy for a photo-op. 

She got wiggly and he struggled to contain her in his arms. 

Later I put apple pieces all over his twelve year-old bod and he giggled while the girls used him as a buffet table. 

I tried in vain to get Philip (17 and a soon to be senior) to hold a live chicken for my camera, but he was afraid of losing cool points.  He tolerated his crazy aunt taking a picture of him holding a “decorative” chicken, while he lounged around watching golf on the telly. 

Thanks Phil.  I know this took a lot of patience on your part.  Don’t worry; the ladies will love you even more knowing how kind you are to a batty old woman.

Peg & Bill's grandkids--not too shabby!

The Pied Piper of Pike Road

In Chicken husbandry on July 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm

July 16th 

No, I’m not intending to lure your children off a cliff with my pan flute.  I just want to indoctrinate, introduce young folk to the joys of chicken husbandry. 

Chickens in the mist

Recently we had two celebrity kids stop by to play with the girls.  Young Master Harry Potter and his charming and beautiful sidekick Hermione stopped by to get a cuddle from Violet.  They caused no mischief, nor cast any spells (except on this chicken mommy who was indeed charmed by them).

Master William & Miss Katherine

Grape Expectations

In Chicken husbandry on July 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm

June 14th 

Nowhere in all the books or websites does it say that chickens will commit high crimes and misdemeanors for purple grapes, but it is a stone-cold fact.  When I walk out into the hot Alabama air in the evening armed with a small bowl of grapes cut in half, (easier for their beaks to grab) I am instantly assaulted by three ravenous beasts intent on consuming more than their share of yum-yums. 

Gimme the grape and no one gets hurt!

Of course Violet is the most aggressive, pushing and pecking her way to my awaiting fingers. 

Do I get a sympathy grape because of my "wonky" toe?

Daisy gets her licks in too, but recently, Rosie has begun to assert herself as well.  Up until now, she would stand back and only occasionally receive a morsel if I hand-fed her with Violet and Daisy out of the vicinity.  Now she gets into the fray and more often than not, scores four or five treats.  That’s my girl! 

Rosie Scores!

I receive mild lacerations on my shins and thighs for my trouble and have lost two earrings in the melee. 

That earring looks tasty!

If my toes are recently manicured, my tootsies are pecked as well.  These are minor inconveniences for me because I receive untold entertainment, watching my little cluckers, (oinkers) perform for their snack. 

Yes, the talons do hurt a bit. Worth it!

Violet has gotten three feet of air retrieving a morsel from my hand and Daisy and Rosie usually jump at least two.  I’m pondering a training program for the girls whereby I can get them to ride small tricycles and peck little pianos for their supper.  OK, don’t call Animal Welfare.  It was just a thought!

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