Saturday I was drawn to the window by the constant crying of a small bird. Much like when you’re a mother and a baby cries, when you own chickens, you can always pick put a cry of distress.
I followed the noise to the kitchen window and I saw a smallish-brown-with-horizontal-stripes bird tearing away at a (poor little) blue jay. Absolutely ripping and tearing – that bird was vicious.
As the jay was still faintly crying out, I tried to go out back to “shoo” away the invader, but as soon as I opened the door, the bird took the jay in its feet and flew deeper into the woods. A vicious little bird with lots of strength.
What on earth had that been? Continue reading
Chicken Snow Butt.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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This weekend we let the chickens out. There wasn’t much space for them to walk around (the snow is still quite high in our backyard and the only real walking area is the shoveled path to the hen house), but they took full advantage of the tiny bit of freedom and change of scenery.
Once the girls got outside, they stretched their legs and pecked at the grain around the coop that had frozen long ago into the ice. They clucked, they spread their wings, and they turned their faces to the sun.
By evening, the entire flock was happy to go back inside the coop to roost – worn out by the exercise and ready for a rest. Continue reading
It has come to my attention that a group in Deltona, Florida has taken a portion of one of my blog posts regarding a solitary situation with a smelly coop and they are using it to support their arguments for not allowing backyard chicken flocks in their town due to smell.
Utter hogwash. I write for Backyard Poultry Magazine, Mother Earth News, Grit, and I hold chicken workshops throughout New Hampshire. I am in complete support of towns (and in some cases, cities) allowing residents to maintain a backyard coop – definitely 100% in that court. It’s the reason I go around the state and teach people how to care for a backyard flock. Continue reading
Boy this has been a tough winter. I’m hearing accounts from all over New England of people who are losing chickens.
In the winter, it’s common to lose some of the older or not quite as strong members of your flock. Last winter we lost 3 birds. They were alive and well one day, frozen solid the next. It’s a way for nature to ensure that the most fit will survive.
It happens, but you don’t have to like it.
As of yesterday, we haven’t lost any of our flock to the winter weather, but with continued snow and record low temperatures in the forecast, I fear, it’s only a matter of time. We do what we can for the flock and hope against hope (and Mother Nature) that we will all come out on the other side intact.
Some things you can do for your flock in the extreme cold: Continue reading
No controversy today, just chickens.
I’ve got bad knees (they’re not really bad, more like just a bit naughty) which means that when we have a significant amount of snow and ice in the yard, my husband is the one who goes out to the hen house to tend to the flock each morning. (We’ve found it’s a less expensive solution than going to the Emergency room for a knee sprain.)
I end up gazing longingly at my pretties from the safety of our living room while they look with cocked eye at my silhouette in the window – all of us waiting patiently for the warmth of spring to reunite.
Even our dog, Pippin is having a tough time. This is what is left of his dog run: Continue reading
Note: if you are looking for The Food Babe Way book review, you can find it here.
This is our front porch and there’s more snow (possible blizzard conditions) in the forecast for this Thursday/Friday and Sunday.
Yesterday was *another* snow day for the kids. I decided to pull out that herb infuser I had received as a gift and made a double batch of this awesome Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup.
When I posted this photo on my Facebook page, several people accused me of putting a Croc shoe in my soup. Ha, ha, very funny, but nope, it was a nifty little device that kept those razor sharp bay leaves and rosemary twigs out of my mouth. It worked well and cleaned up quickly (and definitely added to the conversation at the dinner table.) Continue reading
Yesterday a reader called this most recent snow storm a good reason to stay at home in your pajamas.
A little on that.
I actually have a pair of pajamas I pull out when I’m very sick or incapacitated. These are not the jammies I sleep in, instead these are the traditional two piece, button down top, plaid (they have to be plaid), very New England (or cold weather, same thing) jammies that were simply made to wear with a bathrobe on miserable days.
A timeless classic
The problem with these jammies is that I have become quite the Pavlovian dog while wearing them. If I put them on, my brain gets the signal “I’m sick.” And so without even trying, I act sick. I start slowing down. I don’t move from my chair. A grey pall falls over my world.
See? Ring the bell and I salivate – works every time.
When I knew we’d be buried (not exaggerating here) in that recent snowstorm that dumped 20 inches of snow in our area, I put those jammies on. We never lost electricity or the internet and I *could* have done work, instead I spent the day under a blanket, drinking coffee, and reading. While there’s nothing wrong with doing that once in a while, it’s not how anyone (me) is going to get their work done. Continue reading
It is currently snowing and the forecast is for the snow to continue until tomorrow morning.
The kids are home for yet *another* snow day cancellation.
The college where I teach has cancelled classes again. Continue reading
Minus 10 this morning. More snow is predicted for later tonight and tomorrow with a total of about 4 additional inches expected to fall. Yesterday I picked up two blocks of suet (with berries and nuts) for the flock, if ever there was a time for an energy/calorie boost, I’d say it’s now.
I’ve spoken many times about cold weather care for a backyard flock. The birds need protection from the wind, bars on which to roost, thawed water, and a bit of extra fat calories. After years of writing about this, it comes to mind that I’ve forgotten to mention a very important piece of equipment essential for winter backyard chicken care. Continue reading