Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

My Coop Runneth Over

In Chicken husbandry on December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Dec. 27th

I got some nifty Christmas gifts this year!

Thanks for the egg timer Beth!

 Jim says this is NOT going on HIS car!

Indeed I am.

 Susan wants me to advertise.

Destined for my side porch.

 Margaret, these are too pretty to wipe my mouth with!

The ones on the left could be a portrait of the girls.


More napkins... Margaret thinks I'm messy!

Beth, I’m sure my coffee will taste 100% better in this mug.

Why yes I do!

Hey, I know Christmas isn’t supposed to be about stuff.  First, it’s about he birth of Christ.  Further, it’s a time to reflect on the events of the year and the blessings and struggles that make us appreciate the people in our lives who make each day worthwhile. It’s about caring for the needy, being kind to our fellow-man and generally sharing love and comfort to others.  Plus, I’m pretty sure there were chickens beside the manger because my Nativity scene would not lie…
Forgive me for my materialism, but dang it!  I really do love the stuff.

Much thanks for the great haul.

I hope Santa was good to you all this year. 

Merry Christmas From Ft. Clucker

In Chicken husbandry on December 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Dec. 25th

The Burlingame animals are resting up for the arrival of Santa Clause!

I kinda doubt sugar plumbs are dancing in that head.
 The chickens were happy to receive extra grapes for their present.
Does this boy live here now Violet?

Daisy and Violet show that reindeer aren’t the only ones who can fly!

Eat this Dasher!
In yer face Blitzen!
 Hannah invited some playmates to decorate cookies…
Who says a 24-year-old man can’t find his inner child at Christmas?

Stellar job Justin!

They were very proud of their efforts!
Can you guess which one is my favorite?
You guessed right.
A lovely plate was left for Santa.
This morning it is revealed that Santa has morbid sense of humor.
We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Day!
Merry Christmas from Jim, Deb, Hannah, Missy, Boots, Rowdy, Sam, Violet, Daisy, Rosie & Buster.

Bah Humbug!


Chicken Little

In Chicken husbandry on December 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm
Dec. 19

Alas, this post has LITTLE to do with chickens.  I had a small Christmas party last night and wanted to share some festive fotos.  The party was mainly an excuse to eat some homemade pizza and sample a few bottles of vino.  The tree was decked out in twinkly tinsel.

I was minding my own business in a beautiful field, when they murdered me with an ax!

Our daughter brought over another specimen for inspection.  This one smelled nice and had great 70s hair.  Very sweet kid with nice manners.  (They’re getting better folks!)  

Was every male child born in the late 80s named Justin?

Rowdy was completely exhausted after entertaining the guests.

Being cute is so much harder than it looks.

I guess I should include at least one picture of chickens for this entry.

These kind don't poop on the kitchen counter!

I Hope everyone enjoys my birthday!  For my gift, Jim let the chickens down at 5:30 this morning for me and made the coffee.  I slept in until 6:00!!!  You just can’t wrap a present like that!  🙂

Temptation, Thy Name is Pansy

In Chicken husbandry on December 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Dec. 13th

After our vegetable garden said “Adios” for the winter, we let the girls use it for a dust bath and tasty bug buffet.  They really destroyed it and it became a backyard eyesore.  To lift the gloomy shroud of winter from my kitchen window, I planted some cheerful pansies to brighten the view.  Jim installed a wire fence to keep the hooligans from tearing up my pretty landscape.  The girls were not amused.

What's this Violet?


Mom, we can't get in!


Dang it, these look delicious! Let's all peck at once.


This one tastes like sunshine!

 Meanwhile, Rowdy snoozes in front of a warm fire and sparkling Christmas tree…

I am so glad I'm not a chicken.

Dust Bath Redux

In Chicken husbandry on December 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Dec. 9th

I’ve written about the phenomenon known as “dust bathing” before (Chicken Nuggets, June 6th).   Chickens need to take dust baths because it keeps pests and parasites off their feathers and skin.  The way it works is that dust coats their feathers to absorb the stale oil caused by preening.  It also gets into the hard to reach places under feathers to discourage pests from taking up residence.  It even clogs the breathing pores of lice and mites thereby suffocating them.  Plus, dust bathing is just fun and relaxing for chickens.  If you’ve never seen one do it, check out this You Tube video.

The girls have free run to bathe in our vegetable garden, now that the crop is in.  They usually spend a happy hour in the sunshine digging into the dirt and then dusting off.  They’ve also dug spots in our yard and around our trees.  Now that the weather is wet and cold, our yard looks like a war zone and there aren’t any dry spots for them to kick up dust.  My yard has a terrible drainage problem and it holds water for a very long time.  After the recent rains my boots make a squishy noise in the mushy grass and the girls feathers are looking dull and dirty.  So I decided to make them an indoor dust bath to keep in their coop where it will stay clean and dry.  After an internet search for the perfect recipe I came up with a plan that involved a trip to the Feed Lot, Home Depot and Petco (It’s where the pets go!)  You need four ingredients for the perfect chicken dust bath. 

Recipe for a dust bath

The first is sand.  Fine sand is best, so I got a bag of play-sand from the Home Depot.  While I was there, I picked up the second ingredient, garden soil with no fertilizer or pesticides.  Then, I was off to Petco to get the biggest kitty litter box they had.  Finally, I found a farm supply store that had the weirdest ingredient ever–Diatomaceous Earth.  Yep, you heard right.  I didn’t know what it was either.  Tina, I bet you’ve heard of it!  (Tina is my high school friend and farmer extraordinaire).  This stuff is a fine, powder-like substance ground from fossilized diatoms, or prehistoric algae-like water plants.  Though it feels soft and dusty to the human hand, the small particles of DE are razor-sharp and deadly to mites, lice and other parasites that prey on chickens.  It comes in 25 & 50 pound bags, but the feed store just let me measure out 3 pounds for my little project at $2.50/pound.  When I returned home, I went to my fireplace for the final ingredient–wood ashes.  So Jim gets out of cleaning the fireplace this weekend.  Lucky him.  I assembled all my ingredients and poured equal parts into the mega litter box. 

I think I want to redo my bathroom in these colors.

Then I mixed everything up and stuck a chicken in it.  Rosie was unimpressed. 

No sir, I don't like it!

She jumped right out.  I made room for the chicken spa in their coop and stood back to see if anyone would take a dip.  Rowdy thought it looked great, but she had other ideas about its use. 

After watching for ten minutes, I put the shade/wind break against the side so the dust would stay dry in case of rain. 

Hopefully by tomorrow the girls will have the right idea.  I know you could not have lived a full life without this information.  Glad I could help.  Have a DIATOMACEOUS DAY!

Daisy Gets the Christmas Spirit

In Chicken husbandry on December 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Dec. 5th

Click on the following photos to see Super Daisy in action…

What’s a Christmas tree?

I think I like Christmas trees!


Wow, I really LOVE Christmas trees!

 OK, she was really excited about grapes.  Look at my girl get some air!



Sweet Tater Eliminator!

In Chicken husbandry on December 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Dec. 1st

Our family has never been squeamish about leftovers.  We’ll happily chow down on two, three, & even four-day old food from the fridge.  We lose sleep over wasting food and we almost never do.  But even our cast iron stomachs were no match for the small bit of sweet potato casserole left over from Thanksgiving.  I had an idea that the girls wouldn’t mind snacking on some week-old Thanksgiving food and I was right.  They loved it!  Violet hogged the marshmallow topping. 

No stuffing?

No, marshmallows aren’t good for chickens, just like they’re not really good for humans; but sometimes you just need to say, what the cluck!  Happy December everyone!

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