Tuesday, June 30, 2015


A little over a week ago, 
I went to the Maryland Poultry Swap & Farmer's Market
to find some new fox food chickens.
I didn't want to start over with chicks again this late in the year,
so I opted to try to find pullets or hens at the swap.
I wish I had taken the time to snap some photos from the swap,
but honestly, my focus was on finding some chickens.
I'm hoping to go back in September when I'm not so hyper-focused on one goal.
The first chickens I purchased were a pair of 
Plymouth Barred Rocks.
I enjoyed the ones I had before
and I was pleased to be able to grab these two.
(seriously, you have no idea how nuts it is to buy chickens at a swap)
They've been named Thelma and Louise because when they were introduced
to the rest of the flock, Zombie tried to assert her authority and these two gals promptly 
ganged up and whooped Zombie's butt.
Also, Louise still has a handcuff on her ankle
(she's banded).
Along with the two rocks, I also grabbed an Orpington.
She's not quite egg laying age yet, but she will be soon.
I've named her Camilla after Gonzo the Muppet's great love.
Camilla and Gonzo
I wasn't sure that my Camilla had much of a personality 
and didn't think much of her at first
but watching her while I was working on the coop
changed my opinion.
She spent a great deal of time chasing moths, butterflies and bees.
It was quite comical.
When we purchased the rocks and the orpington,
we found out the lady we purchased them from was actually about 20 minutes from our home.
So we drove an hour and 15 minutes to buy chickens from someone 20 minutes away.
The next to join the flock was a black Brahma.
I always like the white Brahma I had named Squatch
(who was tragically killed by a fox a while back).
This guy has several names at the moment.
My son started with Vulcan, then started thinking maybe "Dark" Vader
and my cousin (who joined me at the poultry swap) and I are partial to Hecate.
(Pronunciation for Hecate- Greek: hec-KAH-tea Shakespeare: Heck-et)
Then I needed one more pullet/hen to finish my shopping.
I came across this blue laced Barnevelder
and since the price was right and it was an unusual breed
I grabbed one.
This is Pansy.
She isn't named for the flower, she's named for being, well, a pansy.
She shrieked so loud in the car
I was certain she was being pecked to death in the box.
So I unbuckled, climbed into the back and opened the box.
She was fine but promptly flew out of the box and around the back of the car
before I was able to grab her.
She screams bloody murder every time I enter the coop
and flaps around like a nut running from everything.
I've tried telling her the sky isn't falling, but it does nothing to settle her down.
Pansy and Hecate Vader Vulcan
So, you'd think my chicken shopping adventure would be done.
But, no.
I caught sight of some Silkie chickens and had to have one.
And with that chicken math 
(if you lose 1 extra large jersey giant that means you have room to add an extra bantam chicken)
I talked the hubby into getting
just one more.
This is Yeti.
Of course, as luck would have it, 
Yeti ended up with eye infections.
She's in the chicken hospital and looks to be making a recovery
(I hope since she's my new favorite).

So those are the new chicks on the block.
Plus Zombie, Royal Farms and Lenore
that survived the Great Chicken Massacre of Silver Run.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Where's My Treat?

Abby is spoiled.
My mom began giving her treats before feeding her.
Now she pushes the door open 
demanding treats.
And if she doesn't get them fast enough, she pouts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

3 Little Indians

 Sunday night, Henny Penny passed away.
At first she seemed to be improving,but Sunday she was quiet and lethargic.
I knew it was going to be the end.
 I buried her down in the pasture in the "Pet Cemetery"
(really, there's a horse, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits and a turtle there)
She was the coolest chicken I've ever met
and I doubt I'll meet another one as cool as she.
I'm now down to three chickens:
1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Jersey Giant and Zombie who is a Brown Leghorn I think.
Zombie is the only one old enough to lay eggs and she isn't.
I've been checking them daily for signs of illness and so far so good.  
Though part of me right now wonders if it's all worth it. 
I now have 5 chickens to replace and I'm guessing the cost could
be $50+.
I'm supposed to be heading to the Maryland Poultry Swap in a week and a half,
but my heart just isn't in it.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Last Brown Egg

Yesterday I dosed Henny Penny 
with antibiotics and Nutri Boost
and she seems to be slightly improved.  
The rattling in her breathing is gone and she is eating and drinking
all promising signs.
I also managed to get home and clean and sanitize the coop and accessories.

Earlier in the day
I let the chickens out.
They were out for maybe 15 minutes
and in that time, Blaze Starr disappeared.
My brother searched the fields for any signs of her or feathers or anthing
but there was nothing.
Could have been the fox,
though my brother and I are leaning towards alien abduction.
So I collected the last brown egg
until the pullets start laying
(Zombie lays white eggs)
So I got the coops all cleaned and all the stuff sanitized.
While I was at it, I kept an eye on how the 3 chicken in the coop were behaving.
All 3 got along.
Zombie didn't chase or peck anyone,
and all 3 were able to eat together at the same time.
Something that never happened with Blaze
who did nothing but terrorize the smaller chickens.
So, while I'm sad I'm a chicken down,
I'm not sad she's gone.
Seriously thinking her bullying behavior created the stressful environment
that allowed this illness to take hold.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Ongoing Saga of Henny Penny

I seriously feel like I'm in a chicken soap opera.
It's been a rough 24 hours with the chickens.
I noticed something wrong with one of the Jersey Giants
yesterday evening but because of a scouting event I was required to attend,
there wasn't anything I could do.
At 10pm when I got home,
I found the sick pullet near the end
and she died in my arms in the rain by the light of my head lamp.
It was at that moment that I discovered Henny Penny also showing signs of illness.
This meant a sleepless night for me
as I researched the possible causes (respiratory infection)
can treatment.
In the morning, Penny was looking worse.
I wasn't sure she'd even make it long enough for me to treat her.
So I ran out to TSC to get what I needed
and set up the "chicken hospital" in my parents' basement.
When I got to the house at lunch,
she was thankfully alive.
I took her inside and began administering the drugs.
Ever give a chicken a shot?
You need at least 2 more hands.
Penny promptly bit me once I finished with the injection.
Then I had to pry her beak open to give her some Nutri-Boost.
The Nutri-Boost is supposed to help with dehydration, boost the immune system and help the antiboptic work more effectively.
I think I wore more of the foul smelling and looking stuff than I managed to get into her mouth.
When I was through and put her back in her cage,
she immediately started eating.
I'm hoping that's a positive sign.
I get to give her 2 more injections today.
I'm hoping to see signs of improvement this evening.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

With the General Population

This past Friday I moved Henny Penny into the Chicken Coop
but kept her segregated from the other chickens.

The chickens could see each other through the wire,
but they couldn't get to each other.

Last night I went ahead and removed the partition.
I moved around some things to give Penny some places to get away from the bigger hens.
I left the cat carrier in there so she has a good hiding place,
and I added the hanging cabbage that is supposed to help distract the chickens.
It doesn't really do anything so far.
Penny is the only one I've seen pecking at it.
She wasn't very happy with me releasing her into the general population.
She's the new girl on the block so she has to go through the whole
pecking order crap. 
I checked on her last night and this morning.
She slept in the coop
but was more skittish this morning about being with everyone.
Hopefully she'll be okay this time.