Lesson 1101 – Charlie remembers

Although we have several chickens in our flock (all with their own stories) the one I am asked the most often about is: Charlie.

When Charlie was born, her deformed feet (curled and webbed) pretty much assured that she was not going to have a happy and long life. I took a chance and brought her home. With my son’s assistance, I performed surgery to release the webbing, splinted her toes to straighten them out and then I gave her chicken physical therapy (up on the roost, off of the roost, up on the roost, etc.) Charlie ended up living as a pet in our house for 6 months (I know, I know) and became as much a member of our family as anyone else. If someone was watching TV, Charlie would be there sitting on a shoulder watching the show along with all of us. Charlie loved the Super Bowl and in particular, she loved those little bagel pizzas that always seem to come with the game.

As Charlie got older, I set up a nest near my desk and she would spend hours, sitting in her nest watching me type (which is why when she pecked a letter off of Marc’s keypad, I was convinced she was simply trying to emulate “mom”.)

Eventually I transitioned Charlie to the outside coop – a bittersweet experience at best. I missed my Charlie.

I had read an article somewhere that stated chickens do not have long term memory. Chickens, it continued, only have the capacity to remember things for, at most, 2 weeks. If this is the case, no one has told Charlie.

When we leave the back door open, Charlie will pop in, quick as a bunny, to trot over to Pippin’s dog food dish where she knows (remembers) that there is food there that she likes.

When I’m in the back yard, as soon as she hears (remembers) my voice she runs over to me.

And at dinner, Charlie always stays around my chair at the outdoor table. (of course to be honest, I think that this one is more because I slip her treats than it is that she is remembering something.)

I’ve seen our other chickens “remember” things. Most impressively, in the Spring when they are released from staying in the coop in the winter, I’ll see them immediately go over to the exact place where we’ve kept water or food for them in the past. Conditioning or memory, I couldn’t tell you.

In the end, I don’t suppose it matters, but I’d like to think that Charlie will always remember she is a member of our family flock, because I know I always will.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1100 – Lyme Disease update + DIY air purifier

6 of us visited with our Lyme doc yesterday.We don’t have to go often and because he is located about an hour away from us, I try to schedule everyone at once.

I sat in his office while each of the kids came in one at a time (I was reminded of Henry Ford’s assembly line.)

  • One kid who was newly infected this summer (found an embedded tick and within two weeks was in bed with a flu, intermittent fever, and headaches) completed his one month supply of antibiotics. Because this is the second time he’s been treated for Lyme and because he’s in a high risk situation (lots of hiking) the decision was made to continue him on meds for a full 2 more months. If you catch it early enough and hit it hard enough, Lyme can be controlled with a steady, long dose of antibiotics.

Compare that to a mom who contacted me when her son got the tick bulls-eye rash. He was put on antibiotics by his non-LLMD for 2 weeks. Continue reading

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Lesson 1099 – All in a summer’s day

I’m been getting a lot of questions from people who either have Lyme disease or suspect that they may have gotten it (after all we’ve had a great summer perfect for hiking.) It’s encouraging to hear that people are asking questions and challenging what their Doctors are prescribing (or not.) This afternoon five of us have our checkups with our LLMD, I’ll give you a progress report on how everything’s going tomorrow.

In the meantime, this has been the summer of day trips. Last weekend we visited an historic boarding house in Portsmouth, NH where John Paul Jones once stayed. Jones was made the “the father of the U.S. Navy” by Roosevelt mainly due to his statement when asked to surrender by the British – “I have not yet begun to fight.”

Apparently he was a kick butt kind of guy (he was also dug up from under the streets in Paris and his corpse brought back to the U.S. but I digress.)

Props to John Paul Jones, but this guy creeped us all out a little bit.

Props to John Paul Jones, but this guy creeped us all out a little bit.

The house also happened to be where the Portsmouth Peace treaty was signed between the Russians and the Japanese. Pretty interesting stuff right around the corner, all you have to do is look.

We’ve been to many regional activities this summer. Thought I’d share a few of the photos from some of those adventures.

At first, we weren’t too sure about this fair. It seemed, well, a little ominous.

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But then my daughters saw the vendors and we knew everything was going to be okay. Continue reading

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Lesson 1098 – The cruelness of life

Sometimes life can be so cruel.

This past weekend, Griffin and I dropped my son Trevor off at Norwich University in Vermont to being his sophomore year.

Have a good year at Norwich sweetheart.

Have a good year at Norwich sweetheart.

Was that the cruel part of life? Not at all, when your chicks get older, and you’ve seen that they’ve learned the lessons you wanted them to learn, mama hens, (although a little sad) actually rejoice when their chicks leave the nest (as long as they come home for Christmas.)

After we dropped him off, I decided to stop at the King Arthur Flour bakery, café, and store. I had never gone but had heard many, many good things about it. Let’s just say that the store, which carries everything you’d ever need for baking, was like an adult candy counter. I’ll have one of those and one of those and …. Continue reading

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Instagram Security Bug and Amazing Lego Mama Hen

Bowing to pressure (and wanting a place to post all of my Amazing Leg Mama Hen photos) I joined Instagram this afternoon. Marc and I were at lunch and he downloaded the app on my phone for me.

Log in using Facebook account? It asked me.

Sure, why not. I automatically clicked yes before I realized that no, I did not want all of these Instagrams on my Facebook page, in fact that was the reason I was creating an Instagram account in the first place. I wanted all my Lego Mama Hen photos to be in a separate location.

Sigh, I was in before I knew it and to test if my photos went to Facebook, I took a picture of my Amazing Lego Mama Hen waiting for our food.

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Who’s Whitney_xx? I asked my husband a little confused at what my screen was telling me. And who is Doozey_x that likes my photo? Continue reading

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Lesson 1097 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

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Home is where our story begins. Anon.

Most everyone has fond memories of the house where they grew up and I am no exception. Last weekend when we were in Connecticut for my Dad’s birthday party, my sister and I took a quick ride to our old homestead. Although much has changed over the years, (they’ve moved walls, added windows, changed entrances, and painted it a different color) the old bones of memories were intact.

And remarkably this lamppost at the end of the driveway, although hanging on by a thread, was still there.

In a time before emails and text messaging, my parents would leave this lamp on and the last one (of the seven kids) in from the night would have to cross their name off the list and turn off all the lights, including this one. It was a message to my parents (who at that time slept in a room that looked out onto the road) that everyone was home safe. Even our neighbors would know by the light if someone were missing or if all was well.

Trevor leaves this weekend to go back to Norwich, Vermont. It’s been a great summer with him being home, but back to his military training he goes.

Safe travels sweetheart, no worries – we’ll leave the light on – just remember to turn it off when you come back home.

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 Be safe and see you all next week.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1096 – Houston we have an early molt

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“Mom, I think one of the chickens was killed,” said Addy when I had asked her to let the chickens out of the coop.

It certainly was a possibility. We let our chickens free range which means we trust them to go back into the coop at night. Often we don’t lock the door on them until it’s dark. Early on, we had a young bird not make it to the coop in time, she was locked out and we found her remains the next day. (I still miss that little ball of fluff.)

Since then we’ve tried to be careful, but still it was entirely possible.

I went out to the coop to take a look and yes, it certainly did look like a chicken massacre had occurred. There were white feathers everywhere, and I mean *everywhere*! We don’t have many birds with pure white feathers and so I started looking around trying to figure out who was missing.

There was Jerry, Ruud, and Buttercup. They were all there. What I did notice however was that when Jerry, our Light Brahma ran by me a few feathers flew out from her bottom.

We don’t have a massacre, we have an early molt. Continue reading

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