Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Watch Where You Step!

In Chicken husbandry on October 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Oct. 31st

It’s almost impossible to walk in the back yard without stepping on a chicken.  They expect us to have treats for them and they flock to our feet as soon as they hear the screen door.

Is he holding any grapes?

I see grapes! Engage begging!

Daisy, create a distraction..I think I can grab the bowl!

Save some for meeeeeee!

If we ever did eat one of our chickens, (Heaven Forbid!) I’m pretty sure they’d be grape flavored.

Chick or Tweet!

In Chicken husbandry on October 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Oct. 29th

Last night we attended a neighborhood Halloween party.  I stole Daisy’s costume!

Best 50 bucks I ever spent.

Jim makes a pretty cute chicken farmer!

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!

Full Circle

In Chicken husbandry on October 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Oct. 27th

Many of my long time readers will remember Dr. Glasscock.  She is featured in two previous posts (Driving Miss Daisy…Home, May 19th, & How Daisy Got Her Groove Back, May 28th)  Today she appears for the final time (we hope!) in the chickendiary.  After the good doc saved my sweet yellow chicken this spring, I promised her Daisy’s first egg.  Daisy, however, had the bad timing to lay her premier egg at the beginning of Dr. G’s vacation.  Then, before I could deliver it, we embarked on our trip to Maine.  By the time we got back we decided to eat the morsel ourselves, instead of delivering a slightly aged egg to our vet.  It’s a good thing we kept it, because we were able to immortalize the only double-yolk egg we’ve ever seen! (Daisy Does a Double, Oct. 23rd)  So, yesterday I called Goodwin Animal Hospital (shameless and well-deserved plug!) to find out when Dr. G would be free for a short visit.  I arrived at 2:00 and waited 30 minutes while she spoke patiently with distressed pet owners over the phone.  When she saw me in the waiting room she seemed on the verge of tears and said what a stressful day it had been.  She looked in the gift bag to see the three little tan eggs and she broke into a huge grin. 


I’m really surprised they give Veterinary licenses to 14 year-olds but apparently they do. 🙂

Resistance is Futile

In Chicken husbandry on October 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Oct. 25th

I’ve been looking for a chicken weathervane for a while.  A particular website sells some really beautiful ones but I was reluctant to buy one without seeing it in person.  Plus, this place is pretty pricey and I was having trouble nagging asking Jim to buy one for the house.  Then, in an odd twist of fate we were driving on Hwy 1 along the southern coast of Maine, when I spied a shop on the side of the road with the exact weather vanes I’d been coveting for months.  Weathervanes of Maine was indeed the very place.  I yelled, “Pull over, pull over!” and Jim felt his wallet shiver in his back pocket.  I was actually drawn first to the cute flying pig until I saw this chicken displayed on the showroom wall.

And guess what?  IT WAS ON SALE!  Plus, I got the guy to throw in the mounting bracket, so really, there was no way Jim could refuse me. (He learned long ago there is a point of no return, God bless him.)  We paid for my chicken, and I skipped (literally) out of the store with the dignity of a 48-year-old woman who just got a new toy.  I saved my “I got a chicken weathervane” song until we were outside.  I include their website because I think someone needs that flying pig.  Now we just have to get the thing on top of my house.  Jim is the only Air Force Pilot I know who is askeered of heights, so I’m hoping some capable manly men with professional weathervane installing experience will come to my rescue.  (Gary, GT;  how ’bout some free-range, organic eggs?)

Daisy Does a Double!

In Chicken husbandry on October 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Oct. 23rd

Remember the monster egg Daisy laid on Oct. 10th?  Well, we’re just getting around to eating it.  Yes, 13 days is a long time to keep an egg, but whether you know it or not, most of the store-bought eggs are at least this old and some much older.  We were trying to save the giant ova to give to Dr. Glasscock, but she was on vacation, then WE were on vacation, so this morning Jim said, let’s eat that thing!  When I cracked it into the frying pan I realized why it was so huge.

Frankly, I’ve only heard of double yolks.  I’ve never actually seen one, much less gotten one from a pet.  Needless to say it was a rich, delicious breakfast.  Daisy has not laid another one like it since.  Her current eggs are only slightly bigger than Rosie’s and Violet’s.  In the interest of “all things chicken” I looked up some facts about this occurrence.  Did you know that only one in 1,000 are double yolks?  Here’s an explanation of this rare treat:

Double Yolkers appear when ovulation occurs too rapidly, or when one yolk somehow gets “lost” and is joined by the next yolk. Double yolkers may be by a pullet whose productive cycle is not yet well synchronized. They’re occasionally laid by a heavy-breed hen, often as an inherited trait.

Since this was only Daisy’s second egg AND she is a large breed chicken, it’s no wonder she produced a double yolk.  I don’t know if I’ll ever see one again, so I’m glad to have this picture for posterity.

Sorry to go off the chicken topic, but this picture of Buster & Rowdy was too cute to keep to myself.  They were having a snuggle moment.  So goes a typical Sunday morning at the Burlingame farm.


Vote YES!

In Chicken husbandry on October 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Oct. 20th

Recently our town had a referendum vote to raise property taxes to form a new school system.  Of course the proponents of the tax canvassed our neighborhood with signs to promote the vote. (I had two in my yard).  When the vote was over (we won!) I was curious about what would happen to all the signs.  They were rectangular and laminated and I had my eye on them for a special purpose.  After asking permission, (Thanks Andrew) I collected about 25 of them.  They are just about the most perfect coop liners I could have imagined.  They are easily cut and are waterproof so this makes them “hose-able” as well.  I made a custom coop liner for their upstairs and Daisy inspected my work.

But I'm not registered!

I was using cardboard before, but it needs to be replaced about every ten days.  This material will last until the next referendum comes up.  I think it looks great and will give the girls something to read when they’re bored.   As I was typing this post I heard a weird sound behind me.  I looked around and Daisy and Rosie were in my foyer sampling a floral rug.

These flowers need some flavor!

I had left the screen door and the living room door wide open due to the lovely weather, and the ladies had ventured farther into the house than ever before.  I gently shooed them out and looked for any “gifts” they may have left in the house.  Not a one!  Good girls!

Jim and I just returned from a Maine vacation and I can’t resist sharing  some photos that have absolutely nothing to do with chickens.  The view from our cottage…

You know you're jealous!

The view from our schooner tour…

Maine is lousy with these things!

Well, I’m glad to be home.  Thanks Tama and Terri for taking care of my eight critters!  I brought you some taffy!

Celebrity Sighting

In Chicken husbandry on October 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Oct. 14th

Well he’s mainly a celebrity in the world of architecture and urban planning, but Mr. Andrés Duany visited my back yard today along with members of the CNU (Congress of New Urbanism) to witness urban chicken farming in action.  Mr. Duany is most famous for designing Seaside Florida, the first TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development– google it) along with his partner Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk in 1981.  He’s an architect and co-founder of The Congress for the New Urbanism, the author of Suburban Nation and Developer of Urban Transect Theory (I do not pretend to know what this is).  The reason I know of Mr. Duany is because my neighborhood The Waters is also a TND and I’ve been a big fan and tourist of Seaside since the mid eighties.  One other reason is that his company, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ), planned a neighborhood near here called Hampstead.  (The second coolest neighborhood in Montgomery) 🙂

Despite wearing an elegant suit, Mr. Duany asked to hold a chicken so Miss Violet obliged him.  He’s quite the distinguished and handsome figure and I think she was a bit smitten.  He got some chicken poop on his hand but was totally cool about it. 

  Now that’s what I call class.

She Was Just Gettin’ Warmed Up!

In Chicken husbandry on October 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm
Oct. 10th

Fat Man & Little Boy

Daisy was only PRACTICING yesterday!  Her first egg weighed 1.5 oz.  Today’s delivery weighs 2.6!  I looked up the official weight for “Jumbo” eggs and they begin at 2.5 ounces.  I guess when you have a jumbo chicken, you get jumbo eggs.  As long as we can afford chicken feed, we will never lack for protein!  Thank you Miss Daisy for going above and beyond!


In Chicken husbandry on October 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Oct. 9th

My beautiful yellow girl laid her first egg this morning!  She’s been checking out the nest boxes for about two days now, and doing the “chicken squat” for about two weeks.  This morning she was working hard on her little project and she let me take a sweet picture of her.

I THINK I can, I THINK I can!

After about 30 minutes I heard the tell-tale sound of “BWWWWAAAWWWWWWK! I laid an egg, look at me, look at me!!!” and I went to the nest to collect this little treasure.

My camera is still taking the occasionally “disco” pic, so this pink color is an effect of this technical difficulty.  The egg looks almost identical to Violet’s and I was able to determine its maker only because Violet already gave me an egg this morning and it was in a different nest.  It is shaped a little odd in that there is a less “pointy” end.  It’s more oblong shaped as opposed to egg-shaped.  Again the color is almost identical to Violet’s eggs and in the future, unless I actually see a bird sitting on a particular egg I won’t be able to tell if it belongs to Violet or Daisy.  No matter.  They’re all beautiful and nutritious.  I think maybe some of you can guess who gets this very first Daisy egg.  Stay tuned to find the answer in Tuesday’s post.  My egg carton is nearly as full as my heart.  Way to go little Daisy.

Flea Circus

In Chicken husbandry on October 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Oct. 8th

It seems that Hannah’s cats were infested with fleas, so I volunteered my screened porch to quarantine the little varmints while she flea bombed her apartment.  First we locked them all in my bathroom and gave them each a bath with flea shampoo.  FUN!  Bathing Tabby (the little girl) was pretty easy, but bathing Dexter & Tony required both of us to keep them from flying out of the tub.  I swear these cats have dog muscles!  After a snuggle in a dry towel, each cat was placed on  the back porch to await their Advantage flea treatment.  They each recovered from their ordeal and settled down to check out their new pet hotel for the next three days.  Thank goodness the weather has been mild lately because there was no way I was letting these monsters in my house while their fleas fled.  Later in the evening they got some free entertainment watching some strange animals cavort in the back yard.

What the CLUCK?

Rosie introduced herself to an astonished Tony Cat.

I'm a chicken you silly cat!

Dexter decided that Buster was the weirdest cat he’d ever seen.

Where's your tail dude?

Hannah got some Daisy love…

and for three days I actually had seven cats under my roof.  Now I’m back to a reasonable four cats, three chickens, a bunny and one fuzzy husband–all flea free.

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