Category Archives: Mama Hen

Lesson 1277 – Story Time

It’s story telling time.

This afternoon I’ve been invited to hold a chicken workshop for a senior adult education program. Usually when I hold my chicken workshops they come in two parts.

Part 1 – from chick to coop

Part 2 – from coop to cull

I’m not sure that this crew is really interested in raising chickens as much as they are interested in hearing about chickens.

Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Chicks, Mama Hen, members of the flock, New Hampshire, Personal

Lesson 1276 – Hello friend

There has *never* been a morning at the coop when the entire flock hasn’t been overjoyed to see the beginning of a new day. All I have to do is open the door, say hello, and they explode from inside, ready to see what adventures the day will bring.


Hello friend sun, glad to see you again.

It’s such a great way to live your life. To wake up with daily excitement at finding out what surprises hide around each corner. Grubs? Cracked corn? A new addition to the flock? Company with someone goes out to read in the backyard?

So many possibilities. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Mama Hen, members of the flock, New Hampshire, Personal

Lesson 1275 – The desire to do

This weekend I volunteered at our local YMCA and CPTE run sprint triathlon. I had participated in it as an athlete for the first 2 years, but for the last 4 years, I’ve only been a volunteer helping out with the organization of the race. I usually stand on the dock and try to calm the swimmers down in between waves.

This year, I saw this:


A young man, wheelchair bound and paralyzed from the waist down – Doing. The. Triathlon. With assistance he got into the water and as a swim-buoy supported his legs, he swam on his stomach and when he got tired flipped over onto his back. It was slow. It was laborious.

He finished the swim. And then he went on to do the rest of the race. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Mama Hen, members of the flock, New Hampshire, Personal

Lesson 1267 – The beaches of New Hampshire

On Memorial Day we took the kids up to Odiorne Point, which is a NH State park located on our tiny coast (and yes, contrary to popular belief, New Hampshire, the White Mountain and Granite state does have some beaches.) As someone who grew up near the ocean (Long Island Sound) I’ve always been able to breathe better and just expand when I’m at the shore. That salt water lives in my blood and it calls to me if I’ve been away for too long.

Simply put, we had a great time.

New Hampshire’s coast line is only 18 miles long and much of it is rocky, but hey, we’ll take what we can get. And of course, when you are faced with a bunch of rocks, you make do with what you have. Instead of sandcastles, you’ll find rock cairns like this one all over the place.


Even at the shore though, we are reminded that we are never really far from our fine NH woods. Continue reading

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Filed under Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Personal, Recipes

Lesson 1262 – Don’t forget

This weekend, the official start of summer, I found Zelda roosting in a rather unusual spot.

zelda bbq

Surely, with a bar-b-Que being planned for the family, she could have found a better place to roost (roast?)

But then that’s Zelda – a bird with a mind of her own.

Everyone is off from work. We’re going to spend the day at the shore (what little shore NH has) and then it’s off to eat our first lobster rolls of the season. It feels like a celebration.

Which is why I want to remind everyone to not forget that *this* is the true reason for Memorial Day.


My eternal thanks to the men and women who have given their lives to defend the United States of America.

Bless you all.


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

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Filed under Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Personal, Recipes

Lesson 1257 – A little bit of love via alchemy

Like most other mama hens, I am the cook of the house. Even though I have a full time job(s) and volunteer in various organizations, it is I who makes sure the family eats good nutritious food and that we all sit down together to partake of our meals. Week after week.

Like an alchemist, every time I go to my kitchen, I’m always able to create something new from the ingredients I have on hand. This is powerful magic and I don’t take my role as food preparer lightly.

A large part of that job involves presentation of the final product. If the food doesn’t look good, it’s not going to be eaten (can we ever forget my failed-cowboy stew?)

On Saturday, in a thrift shop, I found a large, flowered, heavy baking dish. When I picked it up, the heft in my hands was solid. This dish was clearly a force to be reckoned with in anyone’s kitchen.

I turned the dish over and read that it had been made in France. Well made, a back story, and stunning. ‘nuff said.


I knew it was destined to be mine.

I brought the dish into my house and set it on the dining room table. For a day I kept looking at it. Tell me what it is you want me to do.

It wasn’t until I went food shopping on Sunday that I finally heard what the dish was saying.

Strawberries. Lovely deep red strawberries.

I usually never make dessert. My feeling is that if the dinner is good enough, you don’t need to eat anything afterward. I also tend to make Sunday dinners the biggest meal of the week. It’s a way for us to get sustained and catch our breath before we dive back into the work/school week. Dessert on a Sunday usually only happens if we have a birthday and then there is cake.

Everyone was at dinner and as we sat at our porch table, we ate grilled salmon, shredded Brussel sprouts, corn on the cob, salad, and ancient grain bread with butter while we told stories of what had happened in our lives over the weekend. New drones, a musical fundraiser, baking brownies for a bake sale, and a new computer system. Continue reading

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Lesson 1230 – And you thought the Wicked Witch was scary

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


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicken fun, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family