Tag Archives: chickens

Oh great, it’s time to move blog platforms again

I’ve been blogging here at WordPress for nine and half years, and I was perfectly delighted with it for eight and a half.  I’ve never had so many problems as I did this year.  Coincidentally, this year is also the first time I’ve paid for the top tier account, for extra storage (nine years of images, yo), and to keep my blog free of annoying ads. 

To hell with that.  It’s usually easier to just stick with what you know than do time consuming research and transition, but I’m not thrilled about paying for the suck.  I switched from Blogger in the oughts, it’s time to move again, although there’s some time before my subscription renews.  WordPress fail.  Research ahead. 

In the meantime, chickens.

Puffling is storking.  The Pufflings are laying eggs – green ones!  They are blue egg layers crossed with brown egg layers, and their eggs are almost olive.  I inadvertently created bearded olive eggers.

The Brahmas are giant bird pillows.  So laid back.


Until they’re not.  JK.  She’s yawning.

Guinea falling asleep.
Am not!

Meet Nosey

Nosey is a different little chicken.She runs up to me instead of getting out of my way, routinely stands on my boots and pulls my laces, and is generally underfoot.  If I’m bent over the edge of the Silkie yard, or a coop, she’s standing at my elbow.  I was cleaning Bravo coop and she was perched right next to my head, not giving me room to swing hay in and out, so I was like, ok, fine, you want to be in the middle of everything?, and I put her on my shoulder.  She was quite happy with that and it made it easier for me to work, until she pecked me in the corner of the eye!

Then things went out of focus.  It was a solid peck (she did not pull her pecks), but no permanent damage to my eye.  Except later I walked the same eye into the spout of a watering can, so maybe my peripheral vision was temporarily compromised.

This also Nosey.I want that tomato.  I wants it! Ok, it’s sort of like a swing. I just have to leean out…Last moment before an undignified flapping plummet to the floor.  I love that the other chickens find this Tarzan act in no way noteworthy.

We lounge hard

Chickens do an awful lot of lounging.  They lounge under trees, in the sun, lots of time on the paths, and in dust baths.  Their favorite seems to be dappled shade.

Big group lounge under a secondary pine tree.Early post-breakfast perching is common.Big dust bath near the house. Barred & Brahma lounging.The birds have this odd tendency to sort themselves out by colours, like laundry.  The darks.The lights/colours.

There’s some big boys emerging out of the tweens.

It’s adorable how much they cuddle.  They lean on each other, pile up, stretch out their legs, and when they’re young, they crawl under each other’s necks like going under a mama.

The misadventures of rabbits

I was carrying some wood past the house with my friend, and paused to pick up some tools off the deck.  Through the open door, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a brown…shape passing the rocking chair.  It might have hopped.

Things I never thought I would say out loud:  “Uh, I think there’s a rabbit in my house.”

I dropped the wood and stepped in, and the very-definitely-a-rabbit leapt up on the windowsill and hunched under an arm of aloe vera.  My first thought of course was for the camera.  It was so cute, guilty and terrified.  I don’t know how I got in and I don’t know how to get out!  I don’t have any answers.

It proceeded to hide under the stove and in the boot tray and I got pictures of blurry streaks passing piles of stuff (it’s canning season).  He didn’t do so well on the hardwood floor.   Zero traction.She was happiest with hiding under the bench by the door in the firewood.  This is familiar stuff.  A little “half-growed” bunny.  Petrified and adorable.

I don’t even see bunnies close to the house that often.  A rabbit on the porch is an amusement.  It’s not like they’re nosing around all the time, waiting for a chance.  A chipmunk, that wouldn’t surprise me at all, the little opportunists, but I guess that’s happened.

Where I do see rabbits, every day, many times, is with the chickens.   I saw Galahad chase one out of the grass.  Coming through.

Today another (or maybe the same unlucky) rabbit got itself stuck in a chickery.  Foxy and her chicks were already in there, in their box for the night.  Four heads poking out from her watching the rabbit pace (it figured it out just before I got back with camera).  What’s going on out there!?



Oiseaux Tableaux

The Famous  Five.  These didn’t grow up together (different Silkie moms), but they have found each other.  They clearly share genes.  These are the smallest of the free chicks (they grow up so fast!), and they’re very adventurous.There once was  a time when chickens perching  in low branches was a novelty.  Now it’s de rigeur.  The tweens.  At least one of these culprits is starting to practice his crowing.  Little Pepper is still in this mix despite getting quickly outgrown (Silkie/Barred cross) by the big Chanticleers.Inky, Velvet, and Speckles, utilizing my recent brush pile.  And Cleopatra begat Inky and Velvet; Speckles is a Silkie cross – possibly with Puffcheeks? On the ground level of Silkieland, Daisy the digger and her chicks just moved up to the  big house.  The chicks can leak out in various ways.  The run is not a secure facility, just intended to give the hens some peace from the roosters, who spend the day on the outside of the fence, and are allowed back in at night.  The hens preen and take dust baths and lie around in the sun, or the shade, and the roos bob around looking and not touching, and it drives them wild!The chicks are better at getting out than back in.  Daisy is watching over them, but the roosters are into chicks too.  The Colonel especially likes when there’s new chicks to show off his old tricks.  Even when chickens are good, they don’t come close to guineas in the co-parenting department though.  You’ll see a rooster sharing food and skills, but not sheltering chicks.   This guy’s a rock star:Galahad hosting perching practice on the rim of Silkieland. Uhoh.  Somebody jumped into a vacant chickery and isn’t clever enough to get out!

Perching faithful

Interest in the new trees was muted.  There was some investigation and hay scritching,  but the first tree is still the crowd favorite.I do mean crowd.  I mused “Why is it always the chicks that are so excited about the trees?”  And HW said it makes sense; kids usually enjoy climbing trees more than adults.

The winter is going to be interesting.  I’m going to have to build some serious multi-level structures in the greenhouse this year.Somebody left me a nice feather in the garden.   Hawk or owl.

The before bedtime lounge

Before it’s bedtime, 7-8pm ish, it’s the hour for serious lounging.  The various chicken cliques are scattered around, and more likely to be settled down on the ground than perching above ground.  They just sink down in the grass/weeds (or wherever they are) and have a little lull, maybe even a proper nap.

Two of Ursa’s new chicks came supplied with the most amazing permanent eyeliner.  It’s too bad I used up the name Cleopatra already (although it was entirely appropriate), because these two have totally Egyptian eyes.Mom’s already gone to bed.

I chickened out some pine trees.  I’d given up on getting anything intentional done, so I just did whatever, and now the chickens are getting some new tree forts.  Tomorrow’s going to be good.

The various sized chicks use the main pine tree so much, as club house central.  Now they can branch out.

The process is easy – scythe underneath, prune out all the little inner branches, and throw in some hay. They like visibility, and easy access. I did three trees.  The Family came lurking around, watching what I was doing.BeforeAfter

I’m going to let them distribute the mulch themselves.

All you need in a heat wave is a pine tree

Because of the crazy (now four) days of heat, I’ve been releasing all the birds, so that they can manage their own needs, and won’t ever possibly be trapped without water.  The Silkies move no more than 4 feet, piling up under the pine tree they’re under anyway.

Some of them are panting, and some hold their feet wide and wings out flat like airplanes for a draft under their wings, but they’ve been just fine.  There’s a stiff breeze, and under the pine tree, it’s quite cool.  All they need is for the drinks to keep coming.  I come around checking on them, worried, and they just look at me.  What?  We don’t need anything.  Unless you’ve got snacks?

I check on the broodies, but they’re never panting.  It’s quite temperate by the door of the GH when there’s some wind.  It’s me that is ready for this heat to be over.  But no, two more days of this.  An overnight low of room temperature.  Sheesh.It turns out that Apples and Sprout (Sprout has made a total recovery from the broken leg– not even the bump remains) prefer the other chickery, as do the first chicks.  Conveniently, Perchick etc are out of there in seconds in the morning.

These are the first chicks of the year, and their mother on the box(airplane-winged). (I always, always, need more name suggestions – so many important chickens remain unnamed.  Maybe I can auction naming rights, like newly discovered stars ).  I’m kidding.

There’s one rooster that gets stuck in Apples’ chickery, not ever dipping his head low enough to see the way out, or jumping over.  He’s a bit dim.I suppose we should expect this of Perchick.There are other pine trees too, several of them used as bird oases.  Perchick’s chicks disappear in the jungle of weeds.  That must be very cool, like us in an evergreen canopy.Her chicks are so bold and self-assured.  Adorable.