Author Archives: Wendy Thomas

About Wendy Thomas

Wendy is a journalist, writer, blogger and teaches writing at Nashua Community College.

Lesson 1298 – Lone attack survivor

Our lone survivor of the hen house attack is doing better. That first night when I retrieved her from under the hen house, she was thoroughly terrorized. Chickens that have been attacked tend to go into a kind of chicken-shock – those are the ones that you sometimes find the next morning dead from a heart attack. They are literally scared to death.

My chicken couldn’t move her legs and I thought it very likely that she might have some spinal damage. It didn’t look good but she was breathing and there didn’t appear to be any bleeding so I put her on bedding with some water nearby and waited to see how she would be in the morning.

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What I have found with chickens that have been severely injured, is if they make it through the first night, then they usually have a fairly good chance at recovery.

She made it through the first night.

I’ve since moved our little Barred Rock into the rabbit hutch chicken-ICU unit (she is protected and has food, water, and is not pecked on by the other chickens.) Several times a day I go out and give her physical therapy by supporting her body while she tries to move her legs. She was never too keen about being touched so I have to be very calm around her and I softly cluck while holding her. Pretty girl, good job!

Slowly, slowly, her legs seem to be coming back. The first night she didn’t have any control over them and they remained curled under her. Now, with some assistance, she can spread her toes out and she has even put *some* body weight on legs.

She’s still in a precarious situation (every now and then I go out to check on her and find that she has rolled over onto her back and can’t get back up) but she continues to show steady progress and as long as I see that, I’ll continue giving her the chance she deserves. .

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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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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

Lesson 1297 – Attack in the hen house

It’s a horrible sound, that of a flock in panic – at night. I rushed outside to see what was up and with the help of my tiny LED flashlight (always kept on the fridge with a magnet for quick use), I saw that I was too late.

Something had gotten into the henhouse.

A sight all chicken owners hate to see.

A sight all chicken owners hate to see.

All 3 of this year’s chicks (now adolescents) were dead.

One of last years’ chicks was greatly injured (we thought she was dead until Spencer saw her trying to breathe.) She’s currently receiving Chick-ICU treatment. Last night I wasn’t sure she would make this, this morning she’s doing better but she can’t walk. Not sure if that is due to an injury or shock. I’ll be keeping an eye on her.

I’m sick. Just sick. You know that expression about how easy it is to shoot sitting ducks? Well when *something* attacks from within the hen house (and we have no idea what is was but our local fisher cat comes to mind), there is no place to go. The chickens get picked off one by one.

And the babies, who knew the least, were the ones who suffered the most. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

Lesson 1296 – Broody Rudd

Remember Rudd (pronounced Rude)? Our splash marans that was attacked by a fisher cat and who almost had her head pulled off?

Well although she has fully recovered from her injuries, these days, she’s giving us new troubles. Our free range chickens had figured out that their favorite place to lay eggs is under the blackberry brambles (“brambled eggs” – not going to miss the opportunity to say that this time) It turns out that Rudd has gone broody on us and she’s decided that sitting on the eggs under the brambles is the place she ought to be. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

Lesson 1295 – Presidential selfie “chicks”

Do you remember how I wrote about my two little chicks trying to get a selfie with every Presidential candidate (real potential candidates, no loons)? It’s their non-partisan summer project and it has our full support. (Are you kidding? They’re getting such an education about the primary process in NH!)

Well on Tuesday the girls waited in line for 2 hours (it was hot, hot, hot!)

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We were finally seated and this is what we saw: Continue reading

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Filed under Eggs, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Politics in New Hampshire, The Family

Lesson 1294 – Updates on the flock and some gorgeous flowers

I know that I’ve been a little absent from this blog lately, but man have we been busy!

A few updates on the flock:

Lately, we’ve been hit with some very hot days here in New Hampshire. I’m not worried about the flock; chickens know how to cool themselves down. They’ll take dirt baths and naps in the shade. It’s a lazy life of staying cool.

Nope, not dead, just cooling off.

Nope, not dead, just cooling off.

I know some people who give their chickens fruit infused ice water and while this is a lovely thought (heck, *I’d* like to drink that!) when it’s hot, even when it’s scorching hot, all you really need to do is make sure your flock has constant access to plain old water. Chickens like kids, will drink when they are thirsty and won’t when they’re not.

Our chickens free range during the day so I don’t have to worry about circulation. If you keep your chickens in the coop during the hot days, just make sure that they have some kind of ventilation. A screened window, a fenced-in yard, and even a screened gap near the roof all work.

Pippin (our dog who is as much a member of the flock as the chickens are) recently had a tooth abscess that sent him (and me) to the vets at 4 am early last week. After a few days of antibiotics, he went in for oral surgery and this itty-bitty dog ended up getting 12 teeth pulled. (I know, YIKES!)

After he came home, we were tempted to change his name to Gumby but Pippin it remains. (Although we can’t help but laugh at how he keeps trying to find his missing teeth by feeling around his mouth with his tongue.)

After a few days of misery, my good boy Pippin has returned to being his old self. My writing buddy is back where he belongs in his (it used to be mine) comfy chair right near my desk. Writing is always easier with a dog by your side.

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And then this past week, we ate at a restaurant that had vases with beautiful flowers on each table. Here’s the one that was on our table. Enjoy.

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And lastly, I realized *after* the fact that I had missed the perfect title for this post – it should have been “Brambled Eggs.” Of course it should have been! Oh well, next time.

 

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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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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

Lesson 1293 – Eggs and brambles

Lucky us. We’ve found yet another outside nest where the chickens are laying their eggs.

Unfortunately it’s in the middle of blackberry brambles and you literally take your life in your hands when you go out to collect them. This is the price one pays for having free range chickens, you’ve got to work for the eggs.

Emma, who is the champion egg-picker-upper for our family, has figured out a system. She takes the hiking staff I’ve had since college (which has gone with me on many adventures) and holds the brambles aside while she tries to gather the eggs into the basket with her free hand. She’s discovered that you have to be quick, a little flexible, and of good balance. The time she fell into the prickers was not her finest moment.

I know that Emma’s method is mostly effective because every day we have new eggs to eat or give away. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

Lesson 1292 – What’s on your bucket list?

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“Had a perfect day!”

My dad died a few months ago and just recently his brother, my uncle, died. It’s been hard on everyone including mom. On the ride down to the funeral in Maryland I had a discussion with mom about having a bucket list (first I had to explain what a bucket list was) It’s not about dying (like in the movie) it’s about living, I told my mom, even my kids have bucket lists.

What are the things you want to do that would make you really happy, I coached her.

My mom thought and came up with 3 things to put on her list: Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, The Family