Tag Archives: house chicken

Cheeks the stork

Cheeks is doing much better than when this photo was taken a few days ago, and that aloe in the background is doing much worse.

She’s done quite a bit of standing on both feet today, which is an improvement.

She really likes to roost on the edge of the box when she’s done eating. She spends a lot of the day there, watching us come and go. She doesn’t miss anything, and I can tell when she wants to go in her banana box for a nap.

It’s neat how much like a cat the house chicken is these days. Quiet, unobtrusive, just there. Only difference is that she doesn’t come and climb into your lap when you sit down. Once placed there though, she’s happy to stay for hours.

Today I put some oatmeal in her dish, but it was hot, so I went upstairs. She was in her box, and I was going to lift her out to her Rubbermaid in a minute when I came back down. This is post-breakfast, mind you, but there was a sound – “Did she just jump out of her box?” Yes, yes she did. She’d seen me do something with her dish and couldn’t wait to find out what it was.

From outside the window.

She’s been demolishing that aloe. Three arms are missing now, and she’s started on a fourth, plus the other plant. It’s good for her, I’m sure, it’s just wild that she’s consuming so much of it!

I feel like some aloe today

Summat wrong with that?

Says Cheeks.

She took a whole arm off of this plant (right), and a couple of beak shaped bites out of another arm.

The evidence at her feet.

Then she took the tip off another plant.  She really ate quite a lot of it, despite the bits she left behind.  Apparently, today she just wanted some aloe.  It’s good for her.  No one else is eating it (I’ve tried, I find it bitter).

Dozing now, after breakfast and making a big mess

This is the box she stands on, to eat, and just to hang out for a lot of the day.  Easy to clean:)  The aloe just seemed like part of the buffet.

Chill and chilly

Melting ice for water.  It’s so pretty.  It looks like thick glass.

It’s a goldfinch convention.  They are usually here with the grosbeaks, but the grosbeaks are late today and the goldfinches have the place to themselves, for a bit.

Cheeks is having a good day.  It’s warm in a sunbeam on a lap and her head is high.  She’s wearing a festive holiday scarf.

She can see herself (and me) in the mirror of my computer screen, which is hilarious.  Do the think the scarf is “me”?

cheeks and the baked goods

Cheeks having some lap time, and a foot bath.
She likes having her neck stroked
zzzzzz…

All very peaceful, until a croissant comes out.  First it was pie crust, similarly discovered by accident – I was eating it within her reach, and she stabbed out her beak- I’ll have some of that!

Multigrain croissant has proven to be such a huge and lasting hit, that I’m like Ok, eat some more of your grains, and then you can have croissant.  She’s like I’ll wait.  I can carry a box of them through the room, and her little head periscopes out of her banana box, following me. 

She gets a wicked glint in her eye when the croissant comes out, and she attacks! I used to break up beak sized pieces for her, but she prefers to rip her own bits off of the source, getting her whole body involved.

Why does she like it so much?

Attack!

We don’t know, but at least she’s got an appetite.

Shenanigans

Cheeks put herself back in her box after breakfast yesterday.  I’m done.  Either I spent too much time with the other chickens, or she thought if she was settled back in her box when I got back, she might avoid the pill procedure.Today she just settled on her box.       In the greenhouse, all it takes to create a stir is a half dozen hay bale chunks set around.  They disrupt chicken run flow, make something to pick at, and they must all be inspected.  All the muffets have to find a tuffet.Sidewinder and Sidekick are still very much a thing.  They don’t spend every minute together, but close.  Sidekick is an interesting little chicken; I can’t figure it out.  Clearly half Silkie – feathered, five-toed feet, but clearly not all Silkie, with smooth feathers.  Pale feet, not black Silkie skin, but not albino, because he/she has black eyes.  Interesting little thing.Oh, this was funny.  I was taking pics of S&S, and behind them, the Colonel goes poking his head into the covered wagon, and Cream Puff and a brown Silkie rooster come shooting out!As pictured in lower left, making a getaway:)

 

Apples and corn

I had the first cob of my corn tonight – ever!  I haven’t been able to grow it before, but next to the greenhouse, it worked.  Bit of corn ear worm,  yuck, but good.

Sometimes the bees spend the night stuck on the sunflower heads. They hang down, sheltering like an umbrella.Apples the house chicken is broody!  I keep almost saying “pregnant”.  Not pregnant.  Sitting on eggs like a perfectly normal hen (how far she’s come)!  Just one of her own.  There was one egg before I thought was hers, and I put it under one of the hens currently sitting.  So there may be an Apples offspring, and an Apples-raised Apples offspring.  But I can’t count my chickens before they hatch.  I really want her chicks, because she’s so sweet and mild.

Tomorrow morning I will give her her own broody box.

 

Garden chicken

I have accidentally domesticated a chicken.  Well, she’s a very unusually wired, different chicken, to start with, and since I am a softie, she is now a pet chicken, and I carry her around between work sites.

Apples my companion chicken and I have been making garden rounds.  I’m hammering all the remaining warm weather seeds in now that I really believe the frost is over (June 10!).  My hands are sore and I got the backs of my hands painfully sunburned.  That’s a new one.

In the greenhouse, five rows of six are in.  The basil is very slow this year and not ready yet.  The cucumbers are downright sluggish, stalled out for nearly a month since transplant, in this weather.Apples finds a new spot each time.  This time she tucked in against the wall by the cukes for a good writhing.  She’s not exactly outgoing, but she’s not as paranoid as she used to be.

In the second garden (greenhouse adjunct), I suspect she’s not above teasing the roosters, prancing along the fence.

I was planting corn, and the hens outside the fence went nuts.  Excuse me, you forgot to let us in, you are clearly providing a snack!  And why’s she in there?!  The preferentially treated Apples showed actual enthusiasm, chasing the corns before I covered them with dirt, getting a few in her.

In the first garden, she just toddles off, finds some shade.Disappearing into the rhubarb.

It’s take your pet chicken to the garden day

First I carried my companion chicken (Apples) to the first garden for a while, but not too long, on account of the bugs.  She strode right off across the garden and found a shady spot to scratch in the path.  I wa sexpecting slightly more reaction, since I’ve never carried her so far from home, but she’s just relaxed about everything.

Then I carried her back, we did some potting up, then finished the day at the second garden, where I was transplanting lettuces.  It was perfect, giving her a little socialization, without stress.  She was on one side of the fence, and the roosters were making fools of themselves on the other.  Everybody had to come around and take a look at the new girl.  We’ll do it all again tomorrow.

Apples in the greenhouse

I took Apples on a field day.  I needed to spend some time broadforking the greenhouse, and thought she could do with some enrichment.  Even the world’s meekest chicken needs a little time out of the box.

I carried her out and set her down in the middle of the greenhouse, and turned around to shut the big doors because it was windy.  I look back – no chicken!  I go to the other end to shut those doors, all the while looking for her. I can’t see her anywhere.  I get back inside and start looking behind the things still piled around.  Nothing.  I start panicking a bit – I turned around for two seconds!

Then I found her.   It seems she’s a little bit agoraphobic.

I sat with her on my lap for a bit, savouring being able to really hug a chicken (they mostly do not prefer it), then cuddled her next to me on the hay bale, then got up and went to work, and she started to poke around.

She didn’t go far.  She found a little corner behind the hay bale to scritch around, looking out at me, or through the plastic at the action outside.

She rapidly garnered herself a suitor.Hey baby.  I ain’t never seen feathered feet like that!

He bobbed and strutted back and forth, thoroughly frustrated.  She settled down to wait for her ride back to her box, where she ate like she’d just done a workout.  I hope she’s a little more exploratory tomorrow.

Well, I’m back

Back on track.  I survived my alarming and exhausting 5 days of wretchedness.It started out a big rain day.  Only Cleopatra is out there wading for worms.  The barred rocks say Nah, too wet for us.

The first broody hen of the year has her own box, finally.  She’s been determinedly trying to warm eggs in the prime nest box of the big coop for a week, but I haven’t been able to manage getting her her own box.  That means that the big hens have been laying eggs right on top of her some of the time.  Some of the others have clearly been put off by the little witch always in their box and started piling eggs in another corner.  She settled in to the box well, considering the risky daytime move.  Often hens will flip out at the move, certain that their eggs are really where they last left them.  She’s inside the tomato safe in a private box, and I’ll build her a kennel asap.  This will be much more peaceful now.

Inside, I potted up a pile of various melons, cukes, and peppers, and I had a little helper.I expected her interest; she’s come trotting out of her zone for potting up occasions before.  She likes picking around at the dirt, or maybe just something different.  Just like a cat.  Whatcha doin’?

I’ve kicked some dirt around.  Pretty good, right?

We’d peacefully “worked together” like this for about an hour, and she’d perched up on the edge of the box for a better view, when suddenly:

Ta DA!

I’d almost met my goals of the day, so it was fine.  I finished up around her, and there was a little potting soil left.

I’ll take it from here.

All in all, we made a right glorious mess, but all the little starts are very happy in larger homes.  My start factory has turned the corner now, from still having seeds to begin or divide, to the starts heading out the door.  Cell blocks are being retired.  We’ve passed peak start, in other words.

I’m very pleased this year with my experiments in fabric potting bags, from China, and also homemade, but that’s another post.  All cleaned up.  I left her in the tub (she seemed happy).Two hours later.

I was watching for signs that she was hungry, needed a hand out?  But no, wriggle wriggle.  At three hours she started looking over the edge and I lifted her out.  She’s going to have some sleep tonight.  What a big day.

She’s all grown up now.  Any day she’s going to lay an egg.