Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Kung Pao Poultry

In Chicken husbandry on October 7, 2011 at 2:32 am

Oct. 6th

Who knew chickens love left over Chinese food?  Currently their favorite is Kung Pao Shrimp.  They go wild for it, but they request NO MSG!

She forgot the chopsticks again!

On the egg front…Violet has taken a 5 day vacation from egg production.  I think she’s waiting for Daisy to catch up.  This morning, however, I did get a lovely egg from her, and DAISY HAS STARTED TO DO THE CHICKEN SQUAT!!!  This means she’s thinking about making her own contribution to the Burlingame larder! 

Check out my post from Sept. 16th (Guess What, Chicken Squat!) to learn about the mysteries of this strange chicken behavior.  Meantime, Miss Rosie continues to fill my egg carton an average of 6 eggs a week.  The girl really has it goin’ on! 

I'm da bomb!

Do yourself a favor.  Click on her picture to make it bigger.  This chick is one beautiful bird! 

Jim is still in Turkey on your tax dollar.  You can bet he’s working hard to earn it but I’ll be glad when he gets home.  I’ve been “borrowing” Dennis’ muscles to help me move my coop, and take the roof off for cleaning since Jim flitted off to his little NATO vacation.  Thanks for the brawn Dennis.  The girls think  you’re dreamy.

Farmer Bill

In Chicken husbandry on October 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Oct. 3rd

On my whirlwind trip to my class reunion in Mississippi, I was able to spend a few hours at my parent’s house for a remote chickendiary.  My dad has over 30 Rhode Island Reds, and his chicken operation is big enough to sell eggs to family and friends.  I was able to get away with a half-dozen, but I had to trade two Violet’s and four Rosie’s to get them.  Bill does know the value of a dollar!  He’s not used to catching his chickens and/or holding them but he did manage to grab a cute little victim for a photo-op.

OK, my camera was doing something freaky, but I really like this effect! Disco Chicken!

Dad has two generations of chickens. The first batch is a couple of years old.  Rhode Islands are great layers and they each average 6 eggs per week.  The newest ones are around 2 months old and are not laying yet.  After he got his babies, he noticed that one chick was distinctly different.  As the chicks grew, Daddy realized that somehow a different breed had gotten mixed in with the RIRs.  This little girl looked vaguely like an owl, so he named her “Hoot”. (his other chickens do not have names).  Hoot gets along fine with her sisters but it’s obvious that she is NOT a Rhode Island Red. 

We got on my parent’s computer (after we wiped off the dust and cobwebs) and fired up the internet to find out what breed she was.  Turns out that Hoot is related to Rosie!  She’s an Ameraucana, but her coloring is different.  There are several colors for this breed.  Rosie’s is the most common, but “Silver” is recognized by the APA (American Poultry Association).  It was hard to get a good photo of Hoot among the sandy ground and dappled shade of my parent’s barnyard.  She is almost camouflaged in the environment.

Where is Hoot? Oh, there she is!

She’s just getting her beard and she has the same green feet as Rosie.  Here are some shots of her mingling with her sisters. 

Hoot's in the center.

Perfect camouflage!

Daddy has built a great chicken house adjacent to his barn.  There’s even a viewing room to watch the chicks go up to roost at night.  It has several nest boxes and roosts…

Do you mind?

…and even a couple of rockers.  Dad says they’re fine to sit on if the chicken s**t is dry.

Knock yourself out Dad!

Jim added Rhode Island Red to his “chicken holding” resume.

Hey this guy seems pretty experienced!

In addition to his egg operation, my dad also has a pine straw bale business.  He rakes straw on his 200+ acre property, hauls it, bales it and ties it all from his state of the art (riiiiiight!)  facility on Talowah Road. 

Just one of his four-wheeler fleet equipped with a rake attachment. Great action shot Dad!

He named it “Talowah Road Pine Bales” but I said it should be called “Bill’s Bales”.  I’m just sayin’.  Anyway, sometimes folks come to get a few bales of straw, and if Daddy isn’t there, they can take their bales and pay with the state of the art honor system he has installed inside his barn.

Payment system developed by IBM.

It works pretty well because security is tight…

Lucy--highly trained killer beagle!

…and undesirables are discouraged from loitering.

My dad’s other job is security guard for a mental hospital housing those who have run afoul of the law.  Did I mention that Daddy is 77 ?  His first career was Navy pilot during the Viet Nam war.  He retired from the Navy, then flew a rescue helicopter for a regional hospital for another 20 years.  He’s also run a few marathons, been a lifeguard and worked in a toaster factory.  In his free time he teaches CPR. So even though I’ve poked a little fun at the guy, you can see that my dad is a pretty cool dude.  I kinda like him.  OK, I guess I love him.  Sorry about the mushy stuff Dad!

William Dudley Dobbs--International Man of Mystery

Chickmommy’s 30th Class Reunion

In Chicken husbandry on October 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Oct. 2nd

A good time was had by all at the fabulous Elk’s Lodge in Dixie, Mississippi last night.  I had to leave early because Jim had to be on a plane to Turkey this morning and he flies out of Atlanta.  But I was able to cut one rug with a dashing classmate, (Jim said NO DANCING! Pretty lame huh?) and I visited with several of the old gang, some of whom I have not seen since 1981.  The night before the festivities a large group attended the Homecoming football game where I made sure Miss Lynnessa got her prize Rosie eggs.  I’m sure this was the highlight of my friend’s life (Let’s hope not!) because she was beaming with happiness when I bestowed the little blue/green half-dozen. 

Now my life is complete!

Don’t you love her tacky mum?  She and I and only one other classmate (Right on, Donna!) revived the custom of wearing pipe cleaner-festooned, glitter-encrusted, oversized-ribboned homecoming mums the likes of which have not been seen since the early 80s.  I know the odd looks we received were looks of white-hot jealousy from our classmates who were otherwise undecorated! 🙂

During the party, I was heartened to learn than a few of my other classmates had chicken stories to tell, (Michelle your chicken needs a better name than “Chick-Chick”.  Let me work on that for you).  Lest you think I matriculated from a bunch of farmers and Nascar fans (Tina, farmers are awesome!), my reunion was peppered with a Ph.D in aerospace engineering, who has the good sense to teach at Auburn University (Thanks for the dance Roy!), a sprinkling of dentists, pharmacists, (Mark, Jonathan, you can fix my choppers and medicate me anytime!) and a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (Cynthia, you were radiant).  The mayor of our town (also a classmate) offered the prayer, (You said it would be short Roger!) and YOURS TRULY led our little band of patriots in the pledge of allegiance.  (Tama, I didn’t forget “indivisible”.) I was also privileged to get a couple of hugs from some old beaus (Scott, Jeff, you still got it guys!) OH PUT A SOCK IN IT JIM!  YOU WOULDN’T DANCE WITH ME!

OK, so this post has little to do with chickens.  I was in a bittersweet mood this morning and wanted to wax nostalgic about some dear old friends.  I’m glad to be home now.  The girls said Tama did a superb job of chicken-sitting, but they missed their mamma.  Oh, one more thing…no offense Nascar fans!  I’m sure I don’t know what I’m missing.

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