Category Archives: Quotable Chicks

Lesson 1261 – Update on Zelda (hen to rooster to hen)

Last fall, I wrote about Zelda, our alpha hen who had turned from being a hen, into being a rooster, and then back into a hen – all with different colorings (and yes we know it’s Zelda because of her metal leg identifier and her distinctive “bubble gum” comb.)

If you are around chicken owners for even a little bit of time eventually you will hear stories of hens “turning” into roosters. There are various reasons this can happen. If a flock is roosterless (as ours is) then the alpha hen can actually start to throw off more testosterone and will begin to display more male characteristics. Typically she’ll become more aggressive as she takes the role of protector and will stop laying eggs.

This can also happen if there is an injury of some kind to the reproductive organs, for example there can be a tumor that stops normal hormone production.

So you see, it’s not *that* uncommon for a hen to become a rooster. What is uncommon, however, is for that “rooster” to revert back to a hen and that’s what happened last fall.

Zelda turned from a golden speckled rooster into a white hen with a splash of her original grey on the bottom of her wing.

I contacted a vet who I use as an expert in some of my chicken articles to ask her about Zelda. She confirmed that hen to rooster had been seen, but that hen to rooster and then back to hen was not something that she had ever even heard about.

To be fair though, Zelda is about 7 years old. Most backyard chickens don’t make it to that ripe old age which might cut down on the chances of seeing this happen. The only way to truly find out what is going on would be to do an autopsy and, as Zelda is still alive and well, we’re going to hold off on that option.

In any event, we ended the conversation with the vet saying, she couldn’t wait to see what Zelda was going to do next.

Well, I have an update and here it is.

Zelda Spring 2015

Zelda Spring 2015

Zelda did nothing.

She remains a white female with her grey splash. It looks like Zelda’s grand transgender adventure is over and she is destined to live the rest of her days in our flock as a hen. (At least for now, anyway.)

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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 1221 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

Sometimes you just need to be held

Sometimes you just need to be held

Friendship is not a big thing …. it’s a  million little things.” anon.

Even with all the snow on the ground, it’s time to start thinking about chicks. People and groups are starting to ask me to present information on how to get and care for those little Easter-card-worthy balls of fluff.

Last spring we added 12 new members to our flock and only one of them died. Those are pretty good odds when you purchase a slew of chicks from store bulk batches. We currently have a flock of 27 birds (provided we can make it to the other side of winter without any losses.) A good-sized backyard flock.

I shouldn’t want or need any more chickens. Continue reading

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Lesson 1217 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove, and it doesn’t have that dangerous beak.” – Jack Handy

Two of the kids and I went for a checkup with our Lyme doc (who has actually now become our family doc.) I’ll give an update on our Lyme situation next week, but for now, I want to show you the magical talking pillow (again.)

In the waiting room, our doc has some pillows that look like they have faces. For goodness sake, you’d think we’d be over these pillows by now, but no. EVERY time we go to the office, these silly pillows reduce us to tears with laughter. Continue reading

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Lesson 1207 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

 

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Winter is still coming.

 

Beautiful New England winter sky, right? Don’t be fooled. A large storm is brewing and over the next three days predictions call for *another* 25 inches of snow. Continue reading

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Lesson 1202 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

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Who doesn’t like a good hot dog? W. Thomas

Another weekend, another predicted snow storm complete with travel advisories. *sigh*

I was in the grocery store the other day (buying, among other things, hot dogs to keep my cancelled-school kids happy in snacks) and I overheard the cashier say to her friend – “I am soooooooo over snow. I need the spring.” Continue reading

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Lesson 1197 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

 The best protection any woman can have… is courage.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Yesterday, this alert from our local police department came across my Facebook page:

coyote1 (1)

This is not the coyote that was spotted.

Attention Merrimack residents in the area of the Highway Department on Turkey Hill Rd. A town worker observed a large coyote today behind the Highway Department. Please keep this in mind when letting out children and pets. If you should see an animal that looks unfamiliar or you think it may be a coyote, please contact the police department right away. The picture provided is not the coyote seen however it may be helpful if you spot it in your area.

YIKES! The area indicated in this alert is literally our backyard. Continue reading

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Lesson 1192 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

 2013-08-25 13.07.23

Seize the moment. Don’t expect someone else to do something you want done. If you don’t do it yourself, perhaps no one will. By the same token, don’t put things off to the future. If you don’t do it now, you might never do it at all. Melchor Lim Quotes

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Today will be a public service announcement of sorts.

As many of you have probably figured out, I’m not entirely fond of Doctors. As such, I tend to, um, let appointments and tests slide (whatever do I need that for? There’s no history in my family – not gonna happen to me.)

But this year things have changed. A close relative got a very aggressive skin cancer and a (second!) friend also developed cancer. Things are starting to get real.

Last week, I had a baseline examination done by a dermatologist (and let me say that you have to be pretty comfortable with a guy who is leaning over you, has his hands all over your body and who is looking at your skin with a pair of magnifying glasses.) I don’t have to go back for two years and that’s because nothing was found. (And now I can stop worrying about that situation for at least a few years.) Continue reading

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Lesson 1187 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

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 I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost

For the most part, we have chickens who do not like the snow. As late as last week, before the storms came, the entire flock was still in our yard pulling up the last of the grasses and searching for any leftover autumn seeds. But this week, even with an opened coop door, instead of roaming, the girls prefer to hunker down in the coop, ducking heads under their wings and bracing against the bitter winds.

Now is the time to stay indoors and commiserate with others about the weather. Continue reading

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Lesson 1173 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

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Remember that most fairy tales were written by men – Jaime Morrison Curtis

As I go through the stores this holiday season, I can’t help but notice all things Frozen. Frozen toys, dinnerware, clothing, bedding, and even earmuffs. All I can say is “Thank God my girls are older.”

Don’t get me wrong, I saw Frozen and I, along with the rest of the world, loved the music (although to be honest, I am *very* tired of “Let it Go”), but here’s the thing – news flash, fairy tale princesses do not reflect reality.

For example, the ice princess becomes provocatively sexy once she comes into her power (watch the video clip of Let it Go and you’ll see what I mean, apparently one develops a svelte figure and an incredible cat walk once you come into your own.)

And the other princess gets rescued by a boy (even though until that point, she had looked like an earnest, although a bit ditzy, heroine.) Continue reading

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Lesson 1168 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

 I’ll fix it up there, then I’ll bring it back here. Grinch

 

 

I know that I already put a post up for the day but I wanted to end the week as I always do, with a round-up of what’s happened and what’s to come.

What’s happened:

I didn’t make the NaNoWriMo goal this year (I don’t blame my time management skills, I blame the storm that knocked out electricity for 3 days) but in thinking about my writing, I designed a few projects to move forward on. I wrote about it on the New Hampshire Writers Network blog.

Marc has been out of town, (which is part of the reason why a recipe post went up this morning instead of this one – who can keep track of the days when you are chauffeuring, cooking, and managing for an army of kids?) He returns tonight. Hopefully by the time he gets home, we can get the Christmas tree looking a little better.

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(that beer can is actually a Budweiser ornament from the Bud brewing plant in our town.)

Last weekend we were able to get the kids’ annual photo with Santa. If we did nothing else this holiday season, I’d be happy with just this.

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Heads up: When I took Trevor back to college in Vermont last Sunday, I stopped by the King Arthur Flour store. I don’t know if they sell it in retail stores, but their Gingerbread Scones mix is out of this world. While baking, they made the entire house smell like Christmas. The scones have a deep, adult ginger taste and were even filled with tiny bits of crystallized ginger. I don’t know if these are only out for the holidays, but if you can find them, give them a try – you won’t be sorry.

This weekend, I’ll be making the King Arthur Pecan shortbread bars (I was supposed to make them for Thanksgiving but our lack of electricity forced me into other plans.)
What’s coming:

Although I’m loving the win-win-win recipe posts, don’t worry, chickens are coming back. Next week in addition to a few recipe posts, I’ll post some answers to questions people have recently asked about chickens.

I’ll show you some chicken cup warmers that a friend’s aunt made for her church fundraiser. ADORABLE!

And I’ll also put up some holiday posts – because ‘tis the season.

Until then, enjoy – Be safe, I’ll 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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