Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

New Recruits

In Chicken husbandry on July 12, 2011 at 12:01 am

July 12th 

My evil plan is to get all the neighborhood children to fall in love with my chickens so they’ll pester their parents to get some of their own.  So far, we are the only house with urban chickens in our neighborhood, but I’m still hopeful.  Miss Riley brought her mom, dad and baby bro, Connor down to Casa de Burlingame last evening to visit the ladies and pet Buster. 

Jim I’m sorry, but those FROCKS (fake CROCKS–$3.50 at the Wal-Mart) have GOT TO GO!  Not a good look for you dude!

We were sad for Jim’s brother to leave today.  Our oldest chick, Hannah came over last night to say goodbye to her Uncle Dave, (at one point in her young life, she called him “Uncle Daddy” when Jim was “vacationing” in the Middle East in the early 90s). 

Yes, her shirt says “More Cowbell”

This cute little fur ball is my newest grand cat, Tabby.  I call her the TAB-I-NA-TOR!  She calls me G’mom.

Hot Guys With Chicks

In Chicken husbandry on July 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm

July 10th

There is nothing sexier than a man with a chicken.  OK, there are lots of things sexier than that, but still.  Are these guys cute or what?  During a lull in the construction project, the Burlingame boys took a break for a photo shoot with Daisy & Violet.  This was the first time Uncle Dave had ever held a chicken!  Can you believe it?  He looks like he holds chickens every day!  What a pro.  The roof is coming along slowly, but that’s fine with the girls.  As long as there are two hulking, sweaty men in the back yard they are safe to free-range all the day long. Dave leaves tomorrow and I’ll have to start thinking of another project to lure him back to Alabama.  I plied him with cheesy grits this morning.  I hear you can’t get those in Pennsylvania.

Free Range Chickens

In Chicken husbandry on July 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm

July 9th 

We flew Jim’s brother Dave down to help with a construction project this week.  That’s not the only reason we wanted him to visit.  Dave is a fun houseguest and we kinda like him even if he weren’t so handy, but building a roof over our parking pad requires more know-how and muscle than Jim can muster.  So yesterday, while the two Burlingame boys were doing manly things with their tools in the searing Alabama sun I let the girls out to roam the back yard all day.  They had a great time! 

Toward the end of the evening they paid Buster a visit. 

He was hanging out on top of his bunny house and the chickens were intrigued with his groovy bachelor pad. 

Well, the healthy flax cereal with raisins scattered on the steps may have had something to do with it. 

Rosie stuck her head in for a closer look. 

How does he fit a water bed in here?!?

In all the excitement we forgot to lower their gang-plank before dark so the ladies couldn’t ascend to their bedchamber at the appointed hour (7:50).  Jim checked on them before he went to bed and they were huddled together in a corner of the coop, looking confused.  We lowered their stairs and they waddled up to bed muttering some choice chicken cuss words for their inattentive mommy.  All was forgiven this morning with an extra special grape and cantaloupe breakfast treat.  Their “Uncle Dave” will be here two more days utilizing his brute strength and expansive construction skills on our little roof project, so the ladies will enjoy another day of roaming.  It’s a fact–free-range chicken just tastes better.  Yikes!  I didn’t mean it girls!


In Chicken husbandry on July 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

July 6

I sincerely wish I had a picture to go along with this entry but alas, the exciting event did not happen on my watch.  Jim and I had gone out on a date and my friend/chicken sitters, Tama and Dennis partook of chicken time while we were gone.  While the girls were frolicking, my next door neighbor and kitty/bunny wrangler Terri and and her daughter, Lauren joined the backyard fun.  All was well until…Well, I’ll let Dennis tell the story.  He’s a Lt. Col in our United States Air Force and he deftly composed a classified brief detailing the events of the evening.  This email has been declassified for public viewing.  I asked Jim to decode all the military acronyms for me.  (He’s a retired Air Force dude) They follow the email for your edification.


TO:                  HEN ONE

SUBJ:              Snake engagement MISREP


FROM:            ROOSTER ONE, Director, Joint Terminal Attack Team, Fort Clucker Air Defense Sector


DTG 30JUN111935L



3X Friendly Chickens observe UI snake…snake says “oh crap”…chickens engage snake in a “circle the wagon” tactical formation…snake goes on the defensive (COIL DEFENSE), but to no avail.  Three on one, fangs or no fangs, Violet will not be denied fresh meat for dinner.  Daisy and Rosie continue the attack while Violet grabs snake and tosses it into the air.  Lt. Col. Adams et al investigate the scene…Violet has death-beak grip and snake knows his options are few.  Tama, Terri and Lauren assist in herding flesh-craving chickens away from snake…Dennis goes in to VID. Snake seems to have viper appearance…snake is designated a HOSTILE (I’m pretty sure I heard a BANDIT CALL and the decision is made that we are not going to take any chances. Dennis is given authorization for weapons release.  WSO (Terri) designates the M1A69 Backyard shovel as the most appropriate lethal means to dispatch the bandit.  Upon receipt of clearance to engage, WFZ is declared and acquisition of the weapon, (FOX FOUR) snake is engaged from a distance of approximately 3 feet in a pure pursuit merge. Instantly, one snake becomes two; much to the chagrin of three very unhappy warrior chickens. Reptile evidence is removed from the battlefield.  Conclusion of operation JUST DINNER.

Rooster one,

Viper Vixens!

And I missed all of it!  Dang!

 Military Acronyms for Dummies:

MISREP         Mission Report

DISTRO         Distribution

LIMDIS          Limited Distribution

DTG                Date/Time/Group

UI                    Unidentified

VID                 Visual Identification

WSO               Weapons System Officer

WFZ                Weapon Free Zone

FOX FOUR    Gunfire

Team Leader "Chicken Snake Force Three"

Disclaimer and Release of Liability

In Chicken husbandry on July 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

July 4th 

Many of the chickendiary readers contacted me yesterday to chastise my barbaric treatment of the girls.  I must explain myself.  First of all, I had an accomplice in this dastardly “swimming pool” incident.  Tama, I hate to reveal your part in all this, but you know your involvement and you must stand with me in my shame.  The whole experiment began as a pursuit of scientific facts.  I googled “can chickens swim?” but could not find a definitive answer.  So in my quest for knowledge (I am always questing), I filled my kiddie pool, called my partner in crime, and chose my first victim.  Violet was the obvious choice because she is strong and brave and highly intelligent. 

She suffers from no timidity or paranoia (Rosie) and she hasn’t endured any physical trauma (Daisy).  I instructed Tama on the use of our new camera.  Jim had previously arranged it to take continuous pictures while you held your finger on the thingy (sorry for the technical jargon.) I placed my photographer on one end of the pool and I stood on the other, holding my beautiful, trusting, unwitting victim.  As I gently lowered Violet in the center of the pool, she began furiously swimming back to me and NOT toward Tama and the camera.  So the shots we were of her backside–not what we were anticipating.  So you ask, YOU MEAN YOU MADE VIOLET SWIM TWICE?  Yes, I am ashamed to admit, I did.  This time I stood next to Tama and plopped Violet in the center of the pool for a second swim, toward the camera.  Bingo!  Great footage of the rare swimming chicken!  Then I got a wonderful, awful, Grinchy idea.  Why not see if two of my chickens could swim.  If I’m in pursuit of a scientific hypothesis, shouldn’t I do another test to confirm my findings?  I chose Daisy, because she has proven her strength in overcoming hardships, and she doesn’t seem to have any psychological problems that might be worsened by a dip in a baby pool.  We performed the experiment on my little yellow girl and she outswam her alpha sister by a mile.  She even used the chair as a platform to exit the pool. 

Her swimming wasn’t as frantic as Violet’s, and she even seemed to enjoy it for a few seconds before she realized that chickens don’t like to swim!  I fear from some of the comments yesterday that I will soon be visited by the SPCA.  I wish to assure readers that Daisy and Violet were paid in a ridiculous amount of grapes and strawberries for their participation, and within 10 minutes after their ordeal, they were clamoring on my lap for fresh fruit. 

My Dear Aunt Carol compared me to Joseph Mengele for my actions!  C’mon now, the Angel of Death?  Really?  Rest assured, the girls will never take another dip on my watch.  My quest for knowledge has been quenched, and I have been chastised for my actions by a concerned readership.  And Tama, if I go down, I’m taking you with me!

Can Chickens Swim?

In Chicken husbandry on July 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm


Do they like it?


Lucky Charms

In Chicken husbandry on July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

July 1st 

My dear friend who shall remain nameless (Susan) gave me a box of ultra-healthy cereal that she didn’t care for.  Thinking I might find it appetizing she left nearly a full box for me to try.  Here is the name of the cereal and a description of its ingredients:  NATURE’S PATH HIGH FIBER ORGANIC FLAX PLUS PUMPKIN RAISIN CRUNCH.  The box further informs me that this cereal is an excellent source of Omega-3.  There are 7 grams of fiber in a serving.  I won’t give you the complete ingredient list but here are some of the goodies within:  Organic whole wheat meal, organic oat bran, organic flax, organic raisins, and organic pumpkin seeds.  How does it taste?  Exactly how you THINK it would taste!  My nameless friend’s  concern for my colon is heartwarming (Susan), but I ain’t eatin’ this crap cereal! What does this have to do with chickens you may ask?  Well, I thought all that healthy goodness shouldn’t go to waste so I decided to see how my ladies liked it.  Not that they need any help with their “regularity”. (Their regularity is all over my very green back yard!)  I shook the box (a’ la scary red coffee can) and poured some in their scratch bowl. They went wild for it! 

I was impressed with their sophisticated taste in cereal until I noticed they were carefully picking out JUST THE RAISINS and gulping them down with abandon. 

When they were done, the uber-healthy flax nuggets were scattered hither and yon (mostly yon) and there was nary a raisin in site. 

I was reminded of feeding Hannah some Lucky Charms (magically delicious) as a toddler. She picked out every pastel colored marshmallow with her fingers and left the relatively healthy oat shapes floating in the bowl.  Chickens and children aren’t so different.  I leave you with a lovely nightime picture of my “toddlers” in their cozy bedroom. 

I hope my nameless friend (Susan) isn’t offended.  Her gesture of generosity was at least good fodder for an entry in the chickendiary.

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