Category Archives: Poultry

Porch Chickens

Chickens,backyard chickens,free range poultry

Truly 'Free-Range' birds

With all the kerfuffle about the meaning or “free range” and setting humane standards for production egg layers and meat birds, I have provided a few images of what a free range bird looks like.

As in free. To range.

These are some of my porch chickens. Because, you know, they’re free, to range…

Duh.

 

Free Range rooster in the literal and figurative sense of the word

Looking to score some pesticide free apples...

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Filed under agriculture, Animal Welfare, Back Yard Chickens, Chickens, Chikin TeeVee, Food, Locavore, Poultry, Soup Of The Day, Sustainable Agriculture

My Chicken Hound

Retiree ‘Cotton’ helps drive the chickens home to roost. The chokeberries across the way are their favorites, putting the birds at risk for predators, including careless cars.

Driving poultry isn’t a very traditional job for a Pointer, but he loves it and it allows him to express his natural desire to hunt for and locate game. He’s still pretty steady and he still quarters, even though he hasn’t been ahead of a gun in quite a few years.

When the weather is bad, we send him on to locate the birds and round them up to their shelter. He doesn’t mind, since he is rewarded with his favorite shirt and a cozy place by the big couch. A priveledge few others get to enjoy.

He has successfully tracked truant birds and has learned quite on his own how to turn them towards home as opposed to drive them further afield.

I take him for granted. Like a favorite jacket or my car keys. Always there, always ready to do…SOMEthing….

Career disruptions, injuries and finances kept this dog from being great.

A sire of champions when he, himself is unfinished, protector and companion to my only child and demonstration dog/helpmate in the training of thousands of dogs over the course of the last eight years.

His uncanny ability to read dogs and his tolerance for puppies and foolish youth are legendary and the most valuable asset in my training arsenal. He is an indespensable, integral component of my personal success as a dog trainer and he deserves more credit than he’s gotten.

My best friend and one of the most versatile dogs I have ever owned.

Good boy, Cotton.

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Filed under Back Yard Chickens, Chickens, dog training, Hunting Dogs, Poultry, Soup Of The Day, Uncategorized

More Chikin Tales

The girls are in full production now. We are getting on the average, about 2 dozen eggs a day. Occasionally we will get two yolkers, a variety of sizes from very small;

To GARGANTUAN;
They have even been paying for their upkeep, with 8 to 10 dozen eggs a week going to friends, neighbors and co-workers for donations of a few dollars or egg cartons.
They roam the property eating bugs and grass, help with training dogs not to be rude to fowl and fertilize ground that was otherwise barren and wasted. They fertilize a lot of other places, often discovered too late by the pedestrian as they enter the house and look at the bottoms of their shoes!!

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Filed under agriculture, Back Yard Chickens, Chickens, Chikin TeeVee, dog training, Food, Locavore, Poultry, Stone Soup Diaries, Sustainable Agriculture

Alas, alas. My kingdom for an egg.

So, it’s finally happened. Our 4 month wait for the fruit of our labors.

We had our false starts. A week ago we came upon an empty shell and began combing the grounds for eggs ever since.

So here it is, our little pearl; found nestled atop the straw bales behind the pen.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Dear Blog, Please forgive my absence…

No, I am not dead, although for a few days I either thought I was going to die or actually wished for it.

I do not believe I have ever been that sick in the entirety of my life.

I also hope that I am never that sick again. Now I am left with the remnants of a sinus infection and the copious nose blowing that accompanies this time of year for me.

My chickens have grown up without me, the coop is still not built but they have grazing opportunities during the day where I can keep a watchful eye on the nest of red tails just adjacent to the property.

My girls are not dull birds, they see the shadows overhead and squawk in alarm as they run frantically to the cover of the big Alder behind the house.

The dogs are starting to settle in to the presence of the noisy, fragrant intruders with only the mildest of curiosity; my eldest, Cotton, was accosted by my largest hen when he became to curious for her liking.

He apologized humbly and distanced himself from her chicken rage.

My pup, not so much.

She thinks the birds are of the most entertaining of sorts, passing up the opportunity for a run in the long, overgrown pasture and the stream for a deliberate study of the funny looking not-ducks and how to access them.

No pictures this day, but I am sure more opportunities will avail themselves in the future.

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Chicken Adventures


Well, I finally did it. I am now the proud owner of 15 baby peeps. Five Black Australorp and ten Buff Orpington pullets.

My son likes them, my dogs wonder if they would be better served on toast or with au jus. My husband is just rolling his eyes at my most recent hair brained scheme…

The dogs slather over the stock tank with the funny noises coming out of it, my Pointer is correct in his assumption that there are birds in there, but doesn’t seem to understand that I do not need them pointed out to me.

The Pug has taken a deep interest in them, not so much as a potential snack as a genuine affinity for their cuteness.

The Lab thought the stock tank was for swimming in, not raising day-old peeps. She is decidedly unimpressed. Although she thinks they look like they could be much fun.

My son has already started naming them. Omelet is the name of the biggest Buff, and Gloria is the name of the smallest Australorp. She is easily identifiable by the quantity of white on her little flight feathers and around her eyes.

The Buffs are gregarious birds, the Australorps are rather shy and reserved, although they are warming up to the physical handling they recieve daily.

For such little things, they sure do eat a lot. And poop a lot. Fellow blogger Heather Houlihan alerted me to the consequences of paste and how to remedy it’s appearance, so I was cleaning peep poos instead of supervising dog poo for their first few days here.

All are well now, eating, drinking and pooping merrily.

They will be living in their new digs as soon as construction is complete. More pictures to follow.

Eventually, they will be joined by about 25 Cornish rocks for the freezer.

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