Monday, January 31, 2011

Moulting is getting old and I am hungry!!! : )

So before the moulting began Jeff and I were overrun with eggs. We got up to three full cartons and that was with us giving them away to friends and family. Yesterday, I was getting ready to make pasta for dinner and reached into the refrigerator to discover that we only had one dozen left!! At the same time the girls have only been producing an egg every other day due to their moulting. Forget what the politicians say, this is true deficit spending!!! To my total horror, we may need to purchase eggs. The thought disgusts me. I suppose I should take Jeff's advice and be more understanding of the chicken's moulting. It really must take a lot of energy to be replacing so many feathers, but it is also taking a lot of energy to sweep up all those feathers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sandbox and Moulting

Sand bath update- the girls have shown no interest in taking dirt baths but have developed a liking to pecking at the cardboard box the sand is in. Hmm....that would figure. We will keep the box in there just to see if they change their minds.

Mouting- The girls seem to be adjusting to their moulting status. They are becoming more friendly again (well except for Cluck of course) I am relieved that their attitudes are back in check. The week after next Jeff and I are leaving for our honeymoon, and I would hate to leave my parents to take care of three pissy birds. That would just be in poor form.  What amazes me is that with all the feathers that have fallen off the girls, I can't believe they don't have any bald spots. If I was collecting feathers for a pillow I would be more than half way there and yet the girls look just as pretty as usual. Hmm...I guess they have thick "hair."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicken PMS?

The girls have been acting strange. Yes, more than usual! They are moody and in the morning they don't make the normal squawking and begging for treats noises. Then we started to notice feathers EVERYWHERE!!! We also have only got one egg over the last three days as opposed to the normal 2-3 eggs per day. Yup, the girls are having their first moult. We had read about moulting and knew that it came in the winter so I am not surprised by the actual moulting but what none of the books told us about would be the moodiness. They have all started pecking at us when we put fresh food or water in their pen (even my dear sweet Scabby!). The feathers are also getting all over the basement. Today I found one in the potato bin and another in the fish tank- ew! Plus I am starting to find that they are sticking to our shoes, and as we walk up stairs we are bringing the feathers with us. I was less than pleased to find a chicken feather in my bed last night! This will be an interesting time with our girls......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reset Day!

Every so often I like to have what I call a "reset day." Basically this means I set aside a day to concentrate on nothing but annoying errands and chores. First I tended to my non farm chores; bills were paid, the check book came as closed to balanced as it ever does, etc. Secondly I started on the farm chores. This began by attempting to reset the stupid digital timer for the potatoes which I still have no idea if I got it working this time but fingers crossed, then onto a little research on my container garden and what the next steps are now that the plants are sprouting, and I saved the hardest for last- cleaning the fish tank. Now the theory of the aquaponic systems was that the plant roots would naturally keep the water clear. One thing Jeff and I have discovered about all things relating to gardening, chicken care, food preservation and many of our other hobbies is that the more you read and research a given topic the more contradictory advice you find. Well aquaponics has proved the same. By absoluty no means do the plants keep the water even vaguely clean. The water is so green that I can no longer see the fish. So I took the plants out of the system, pulled the top off and bucket by bucket began to empty the water. An hour and a half later I am covered in water but there is only about two inches of water on the bottom so I figure that I have emptied enough and begin putting in fresh water again bucket by bucket. Now once the entire thing is full again and I am exhausted and covered in nasty fish water, I notice that I can barely tell any difference. Argh...I think I am going to just buy a stupid filter like I should have in the first place!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bird Sneak Attack!

I sometimes I wonder why my husband puts up with me. Today was an excellent example of that. While he was in the bathroom, I noticed that the door was open a tiny bit. This inspired me to run downstairs, pick up one of the girls, go back up stairs in gently open the door just a tiny bit more and allow the chicken (Scabby) to walk in on him. Yes, I should probably be divorced! Jeff is a good sport about such stunts and just laughed while I held the door closed on him while Scabby wandered around our small bathroom. Scabby seemed rather confused but quickly noticed the heat vent and put herself in front of that. Ah, life on the "farm"

Scabby looking at herself in the mirror. (Yes that is a chicken toothbrush holder you see in the left hand corner)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Poop Bingo Contest!!!

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, was telling me about chicken bingo. While she was traveling, on business, in Texas she visited a bar that had a checkerboard and you could buy a square. Then they put a chicken on the board.  If the first poop landed on your square, you won the pot. This had to be one of the coolest things I had ever heard of!!! I felt compelled to play this game myself. Sadly, I have no bar of people to play this game with me and Jeff didn't want to play with just the two of us ..... so I am bringing this to the blog. I took some wrapping paper, taped it to our coffee table and began measuring out the squares. So in honor of my wonderful sister-in-law here you have it…

Open to legal residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Limit one entry per person.

Email me your most creative pet chicken name idea at

I will write your chicken name on a square.

When all the squares are filled, I will take one of the birds upstairs and whoever’s square she poops on first will win their own three Australop chicks!!! (You will get new birds; I am not giving away my dearly beloved girls. The birds will come courtesy of )

If she poops on multiple squares, it will be a do over. If she somehow manages to poop off the coffee table and onto to my beautiful white shag carpet, I lose and we start over again!

If you are the winner, we will send you an email to arrange shipping the birds. Be aware that it might be awhile before we can send the birds due to the winter weather. (I had a wait a month after I ordered my girls!)  

Good luck!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Indoor bathing for the girls...

As we were cleaning out the pen, Jeff mentioned his idea for creating an indoor dust bath for the girls. I thought this was a lovely idea and the two of us went out to the local home improvement store to get a bag of play sand. We got an old box filled it with the sand and picked up one of the girls and put her in. She promptly jumped out of the box to run around with her sisters. We grabbed another girl and put her in - same thing happened. So the last girl we put in the box, Jeff held her in while I poured a little sand on her back. Well she flapped her wings getting sand in my mouth and escaped. We turned to see what game had caught the attention of the girls. They were pecking and stealing from one another an old bandage that had been stuck to the bottom of Jeff's boot. Figures...Jeff has to carry in a 50 pound bag of sand and it is a dirty bandage that gets their attention. Hopefully after we took the bandage out of a rather annoyed Cluck's mouth and walked away they will start to enjoy their new bath.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Real food? No way!

This is an interesting article Jeff found on "real" food. We both thought this sums up nicely while we spend so much time making our own food ... better for the planet and better for win!

Cleaning The Pen- Winter Time (Round II)

Today was the second time this winter that we had to clean their pen. We learned some painful lessons from our experience cleaning the pen the first time the weather prevented us from leaving the girls outside (see the post here). While last time was rather dramatic, this go around we put the girls right into dog carrier while we cleaned. It took us about a half an hour and the entire time the girls were surprisingly mellow. We barely heard a peep as we cleaned. I was blown away! We were worried that after more than a few minutes in the carrier and they would start the flip out. Even more amazingly, they didn't poop in the carrier. This new act of shocking maturity was rewarded with several pieces of spaghetti.

While we were cleaning, Jeff brought up the good point that since they no longer have access to dirt that perhaps we should build them some sort of dust bath. He does bring up a good point. We are thinking about getting them a box with play sand.