Poor Spanky chicken. I did you wrong.
Some sad times here at the Acres. We were away for awhile. We knew it would be a big deal to leave the place for so long, and that it’d be trouble when we got back. But we went. And just three days before we got back, disaster struck. We don’t know the whole story I think, but apparently something was casing the coop, and eventually it got into the run. And Spanky, dear sweet Spanky, was the one it took.
Spanky was high up on the pecking order. Usually I thought she was the top bird, but at some point I think Bubbles took over. Spanky had the sweetest prettiest voice of all the birds. She was absolutely no trouble at all. Our best layer, and the biggest bird. She was the fastest runner. She wasn’t a lap chicken, and the hardest to pick up but she was always first over to get a treat. Poor sweet Spanky. I feel so bad that I didn’t protect her from a horrible fate. We were smug about our chicken fort knox. But we let things slide, and there was a way–whatever it was found a way.. to get into the run.
Now we have just two chickens left, Bubbles and Knuckles. Traumatized I’m sure by all that happened. I’m not sure how they managed to be spared. We’ve reinforced every inch of the run, and got the trap set out. We’ll keep a closer eye on them, and hopefully we only need to learn that lesson once.
So horrible. You were a good chicken, Spanky, and I’m sorry you went in such a terrible way.
Filed under: bubbles, chickens, edwina, knuckles, liz, spanky | Tags: 3 year old, chicken nursery, chicks, cute chicks, meyer's hatchery, old chickens
Some stuff fell in behind a drawer in the kitchen today so i couldn’t shut the drawer. Lo and behold lookee what I found under there!!
Hard to believe you could put a price on our little flock, but there it is. Five little bundles of joy, all for 2.53 a piece! (2.70 for the mean but beautiful Bubbles!).
Let’s take a look back at the little cherubs as they near their 3rd birthday!! Can you believe it?
What a great adventure it’s been. It’s good to remind us of the old days, as we’re contemplating another run west to get another mini-flock this spring! Are you planning on getting some chickens this year?? I’d love to hear about it!
We had a nice tree this year. Interesting shape! You can see from the backdrop that we had a warmish holiday. We’ve been watching the light disappear, and the gloom descend. One nice moment of sun came on the solstice when lo and behold, Spanky decided that she should give us a holiday gift! Yep we got an egg! And then we got another one two days later and so on–she gave us five eggs all told, through the holiday. Enough for a nice breakfast for me and the doode. Thanks Spanky!
Then the weather changed and got really cold. Had to plug in the heat lamps and still the water was freezing. Spanky said no way am I doing my business in those kind of temps!!
Here’s some pics from our Oct. 30 snowstorm. Pretty!
Filed under: chickens, food issues, grocery stores, knuckles, spanky, utilities | Tags: chickens, pittsburgh, portlandia, roosters, salt of the earth, sexing, whole foods
Sometimes you have a day of strangeness at the acres.
Yesterday was that day. Spent the morning with the plumber. He’s a nice guy, and he loves chickens. He has 25 of his own. Correction: He started with 25. Now he has 10. On a one acre lot. He talked about losing them in traffic, losing them to hawks, losing 5 to the 2 jack russell terriers next door, losing them to rooster attacks. Ugh not pretty. Then he was talking about how he wound up with 5 roosters. Warning–if a lady at a farm show is selling straight run and you want pullets–do not buy!! Especially when she says, hey i’m really good at sexing chicks. She used a a key and a thread, he said. I’m thinking huh? about all the ways you might use those things to sex a chick, and then he says, yeah the males will run over to the shiny object. OMG!! Yep he bought it, and wound up with 5 roosters, who later terrorized his kids, jumped on the back of his neighbor, attacked each other, ugh, terrible.
So he has to kill them. No one wants them. He tries. But no one wants them. They’re 2 year old roosters. And they’re mean. So he dispatches them with a hatchet, and then has his wife cook them up. He said it was so traumatic (and this from a guy who gets most of his protein from deer that he bow hunts and dresses himself??!) that he will never forget it.
Ugh. That’s for real man.
So…on to dinner. Or, the unreal! We have a work dinner with an out of town guest and we go to a fancy new place called Salt. Except that it’s NA/CL, you know. And that really sets us up. This is one of these places with lots of the latest ingredients and techniques going on. Foams, home preserved weird things, no substitutions on the menu. No tea on the menu, because they can’t get local tea, no decaf coffee on the “coffee programme” but the coffee (tasmanian peaberry in a french press) is locally roasted so that’s ok. Anyhow, lots of stories about lots of ingredients. Peach shrub? Apparently a shrub is not a bush but an old method of preserving fruit and vinegar to make into a soda syrup (this one was unripe georgia peaches). On and on it goes. These waiters earn their keep for sure. And then the mains menu features cockscomb. Guy next to me says, what’s cockscomb? I say well you know there’s a flower called cockscomb, but that’s not what they’re serving. It’s you know, the floppy thing on a chicken’s head!!! Ohhhhh. The waitress informs us, yes that’s what it is, we cook it for three days!! Oh, you’d have to, says me. Sheesh. I think someone ordered it. It came on a rectangular plate as a row of jewel like pink slabs. I believe all the offending pointy bits had been cut off.
Sniff sniff, all those cute little points that help you identify who’s who. To tell the difference between spanky and knuckles our two barred rocks. Sniff sniff. At least five little chicken heads served to one guest at an overwrought pretentious restaurant in the burgh. Sigh.
We’re so precious, I know. And living in a precious time. Here’s a funny video that captures some of this. It’s pretty funny!! And yes we actually have TWO of those shopping bags featured at the end. Picked up during our visit to San Fran in the spring! No prius here, but we have that weekly parking lot experience for sure!! (Also the 80.00 for six items thing too. sheesh)
Finally of course this whole evening reminded me terribly of Portlandia. What a great show. I just heard that they’re being picked up for another season. Last night’s dinner indicates that there is still a lot of crazy material from our precious yuppy world.
Filed under: bubbles, chickens, edwina, knuckles, liz, spanky | Tags: chickens, ice
Will they make it? Will they find their goal? What is their goal, anyway?
Ah yes, a chance to scratch in the feed room. And,
Meanwhile, Liz stayed behind. She doesn’t like cold feet! Here’s what she had to say about it:
Silly chicken. She didn’t like being left alone, but there was no way she was going to freeze her huge toes. So, I ended up carrying her over to enjoy the sun for a few minutes. Spoiled chickens!
Filed under: chickens, knuckles, spanky | Tags: chickens, molting, nest box
Poor winter chickens. The molt surprised us all I think. Poor little chums. All of a sudden the feathers were falling out everywhere. Knuckles had it the worst. She shivered a lot and we broke down and got her a heat lamp for the super cold nights. Edwina, of course, was not affected, and she continued to give us an egg every day. But the rest went off the lay. And they looked glum. Their combs shriveled up. They had no feathers on their heads, it was not pretty. Gradually they came back. Spanky was first, then yesterday Bubbles laid a green egg for us. And today I saw this….
Two girls at work! There’s little knuckles on the left in the box. We have two nest boxes for five birds, and usually they will wait to use the preferred box on the right. They will be angry and loud but they will wait. Sometimes though, you just can’t wait. And the box on the left comes into play. We had to change out the divider because there were some squabbles with a smaller one. This way each bird gets own private area and they can’t fight back and forth.
UPDATED: I gave the girls the afternoon to finish their work. And imagine my surprise when I found two eggs in each nest box! Everyone was indeed, back in business! Thanks girls. A four egg day. It’s been awhile.
Sooo…what did we learn you might ask?
Well, first there was the pasty butt. Knuckles came down with it. Cute little puff ball with a little bit of poop stuck on her bum. Reading up on it, we feared the worst. Chickens could DIE from pasty butt if not treated. So, out came the damp towels and oh so delicately little butt was cleaned up. Poor chicken. She appreciated it greatly and became my best friend.
After the pasty butt came the transition to the outdoors. This one was stressful too. We knew they had to get outside at some point…
And when they got big enough to visit the other chicken in the house, they had to go…
When we put the obviously greatly spoiled little birds outside, we worried terribly about whether it would be too cold for them! A sleepless night for us. The birds did fine.