Category Archives: chicken care

Lesson 1493 – Plans for 2017

 

This is how I spent the last few days of 2016. In bed, semi-delirious with a chest cold that sent me straight to the bowels of hell.

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Kind of a fitting end to one heck of a lousy year.

But it’s now 2017. Our bayberry candle burned to the quick. Decorations are slowly being packed away and it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

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One good thing about being sick (go ahead and call me Pollyanna) is that I got to read some of my Christmas books. I had specifically asked for page-turners.

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl – fit the bill. It’s a small print, almost 600 page book that turned itself on its head several times. Complicated, intelligent, I couldn’t put it down.
  • The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson – not the best written but when it comes to action, it doesn’t get much better than this. Even the family was keeping up with the story as I’d announce yet another action point.
  • Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasil Ilmari Jääskeläinen – this is translated from Finnish so the language doesn’t flow as well as it could, but the combination of fairytale, mystery and just plain weirdness hooked me from the very beginning. On the last few pages of that one.
  • What do you do with a problem? and What do you do with an idea? – by Kobi Yamada – these two are children’s picture books that belong in every household. If these were around when my kids were little, I would have read them out loud every night. Fantastic, positive and inspirational messages.

In our house, we try not to set resolutions (I’ll never eat another piece of chocolate again!) that almost always fail and instead we set goals, things to which we can work and aspire.

Most (if not all) of my goals for 2017 have to do with writing.

One of my goals is to keep track of the books I read this year, I’ll be posting them on this blog (oh hey, look, I already started!)

I’ll be going to a Poultry Congress in January (love that event.) I’ll be hooking up with one of my favorite chicken people. You’ll be reading about that.

I’m going back to my intermittent fasting/anti-inflammatory diet.(not surprising that I got so sick after eating so much junk over the holidays) Will let you know how that’s going.

I want to get back to trying some of the recipes I rescued from my mother’s apartment after she passed.

And speaking of recipes, I do want to pull together a seasonal cookbook for living on $130/month for food.

A friend and I are making plans to visit France and Spain in April. You can bet I’ll be writing about that adventure.

I also plan on walking New Hampshire’s width (about 90 miles) this spring, hopefully with Griffin again (I know my days as him as my walking buddy are numbered). That adventure will be on this blog.

But now we’re in the winter months of New Hampshire and walking is not the easiest. Layer that on top of painful and unstable joints and you have a person who typically doesn’t go outdoors until the early thaw.

Well not this winter.

I’ve decided to roll out a series on this blog called 10K and a Twenty. Basically on a given day, I’ll start walking and won’t stop until I reach 10K steps. I’ll carry my phone (for photos), a Twenty (which I may or may not use) and a notebook/pen. We’ll see what I’ll be able to learn in those mini journeys.

I’ll commit to at least one 10k journey a week hoping to show that even when walking conditions are not the best, you can still get out and learn about the world. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.

Happy New Year my friends, it’s good to be back.

 

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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, chicken care, Chicks, Living Tiny in a Big House

Lesson 1492 – I found some hope

Oh look, there it is, I found some hope.

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Merriest of Christmases, Happy Holiday, Peace and Goodwill from our flock to yours.

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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, chicken care, Chicks, Living Tiny in a Big House

Lesson 1491 – If you believe

 

The kids are all home. It’s snowing. The perfect day for listening to favorite carols, finishing up secret projects, and getting my holiday baking done – nothing like the smell of gingerbread in the oven.

It’s also the perfect time to make the chickens’ annual Christmas eve cookies – they’ve been good girls this year. With this cold weather, a little bit of suet will do them good.

For if you believe, oh and we all do, magic surely comes to the coop as it does to our entire household on Christmas morning.

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Suet Christmas cookies for chickens

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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 1490 – You just have to look for it

 

 

We do not have a Christmas tree that would ever be featured in a magazine. Nope, no color co-ordinated matching ornaments for us. Instead we have a yearly scrapbook display of our family’s adventures.

On our tree you’ll see grade-school homemade ornaments and those carefully made by me for each child. You’ll see sparkling and dancing nutcrackers from neighbors, a soccer ball globe gifted after a terrific season. We have candy canes a plenty on the branches, the greater the variety the better – a tradition left-over from when the kids were very young and they were allowed to pick a candy cane (any one they wanted) off the tree to munch on while the snow fell outside.

You’ll find a Budweiser ornament from the brewery in our town along with ornaments from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts – all very important stops for parents of many children.

Holiday necklaces gathered from parades and parties are draped on the trees, as festive as any garland.

We have a glass ornamental bust of Alexander Hamilton, the man our relative shot in a duel. “Merry Christmas, Alexander, once again, we’re very sorry for our family’s indiscretions.”

And up near the very tip top of our tree? You’ll find an unused golden ticket for the Polar Express – reminding us all that holiday magic surely exists.

You just have to look for it.

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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, chicken care, Chicks, Living Tiny in a Big House

Lesson 1384 – 9 Life Lessons Presidential Candidates Have Taught the Presidential Selfie Girls

 

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Emma and Addy Nozell aka Presidential Selfie Girls

When my daughters, Addy and Emma Nozell, otherwise known as the Presidential Selfie Girls, decided to set a challenge to listen to and snap a photo with each of the Presidential candidates in New Hampshire, none of us knew it would be an experience so filled with positive life lessons.

Even if the girls didn’t completely agree with each of the candidates, they all had a valuable bit of life advice to pass on. Below are some of our favorites.

1. Lindsey Graham (R) – family matters – a lot

Lindsey Graham is a “go down to the bar and have a beer” kind of guy with a great sense of humor, He’s a born storyteller who artfully delivers jokes with the precision of the most accomplished comedian while still giving off an “aw shucks” kind of vibe. But under those jokes lies a deep well of pain. Graham’s mother died when he was 21 and then a year later his father died leaving him and his 13 year old sister orphans. It is a huge emotional and financial challenge for a young man to keep a family that has been so deeply damaged like that together.

Graham could have abandoned his sister and the family pool bar, but instead he stepped up to the plate, took over the business and made sure his sister was taken care of while he attended college and then law school. At one point he even adopted his sister so that she could receive his military benefits. Continue reading

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Filed under chicken care, New Hampshire, Personal, Politics in New Hampshire, Recipes, The Family, The kids

Lesson 1311 – When a hawk attacks your flock

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Yesterday a local backyard flock owner contacted me because a “big, grey bird” (probably an osprey or a peregrine falcon) had attacked her flock. Although it didn’t get a chicken, she saw feathers “all over the place.”

Naturally she and the hens were shook up.

When your flock is attacked by a hawk, the first steps you need to take are:

Ensure the safety of your flock. That hawk has just discovered an outdoor buffet. You need to get all of your chickens in a secure location (make sure they have access to food and water) and leave them there for a few days.

If there are feathers, then there might be injuries- typically to the back of the chickens as a result of strong talons trying to grab its prey. You’ll need to carefully inspect each chicken to make sure there are no open wounds. If there are relatively minor wounds a little antibiotic ointment is called for. If there are any deep wounds, then the chicken needs to go into chick ICU (use that dog crate I talk so much about.) Clean and dress the wound. Make sure it is healed before you -introduce the chicken into the flock. (Remember that chickens will peck at anything that’s red, which is why a deep wound needs to be healed before other chickens come near.)

It’s been my experience that chickens suffer a sort of chicken-PTSD after predator attacks. They might seem a little off, confused or extremely timid. Just be aware of this and be prepared if it happens. The best way to treat this is to keep to a schedule, talk to the chickens in your normal voice, and keep them protected. Continue reading

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

Lesson 1309 – Coming home

I know, as a mama hen you are not supposed to have favorites, (Zelda) but when you have a flock, you come to realize that some birds tend to be a little more equal than others.

It’s not necessarily related to the breed (although I love me some New Hampshire Reds) as much at it’s the roll of the dice. We’ve had some really friendly birds (Simon, Garfunkel, and Morganne) and we’ve had birds that both came with stories and then continued those stories in our backyard.

With all the devastation to our flock this spring and summer, I’m very happy to say that our 3 Marans have made it through the attacks. Rudd (who had been attacked and who then miraculously recovered), Lilly, and Charlie are still alive and well.

And while Rudd and Lilly came to our flock as adults, (someone who took my chicken workshop got them for her flock but quickly found they didn’t fit in and so offered them both to me – because she knew that I LOVED the breed) Charlie came to our house as a day old deformed chick who was going to be put down. Continue reading

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