Tag Archives: Blue Maran

Lesson 809 – Poor man’s “Chillow”

This is a post not so much about chickens, as much as it is about a mama hen who’s feathers are ruffled.

Because as we all know, “if the mama hen ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

And this mama hen is not happy.

It has been a hot summer so far, a very hot, and unbearably humid summer. Made even more uncomfortable by the fact that the air conditioner in our third-floor-two-skylights-hot-as-an-easy-bake-oven bedroom has decided after many years of faithful service to finally give up the ghost and die.

Easy problem to fix, right? Just go out and buy a new one.

But when you have kids in college, sports, and continuing medical costs, trust me on this one, you can always find things to spend your money on instead of replacing a machine that cools you for only a few hours a night for only a few weeks a year. Continue reading

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Lesson 798 – The stench of teens

The problem with adolescents is that they stink.

Literally.

Although we still have the newest of our littles in a nursery off to the side of our living room (and they are still adorably cute), it’s time to move those pesky teens of ours outside. Although both of our chicks are fully feathered and could easily spend the night outdoors, I’m not going to take the chance that anything happens to them during the introduction to the flock and so, slow and steady it goes.

They will be outdoors but not in the coop.

For now, we have set up a fenced in area that the chicks will use during the day. At night, we’ll be safely housing them our old rabbit hutch (which has proved to be very useful to this chicken farmer.) They will slowly be introduced and no one is moving anywhere until I know that everyone will be safe.

Pippin saying hi.

Pippin saying hi.

Continue reading

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Lesson 795 – Where she is finally declared a he

Our maran chicks are growing like the proverbial weeds.  Josephine, our Blue Maran continues to be a sweetheart and has already sported the copper feathers that give this breed their distinctive and stunning chest shield.

Just look at that gorgeous coloring

Just look at that gorgeous coloring

Mrs. Bucket, well, Mrs. Bucket has sported something entirely different. As each of us descend the stairs in the morning, we stop when we hear a loud, finger-nail-type of screech coming from the chicks nurseries.

Our first thoughts run to “What on God’s green earth is that noise?”

Second thoughts are “Wait, is that what I think it is?”

And the final thoughts are “Oh, no.” Continue reading

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Lesson 793 – Grasshoppers and babies

The high schoolers have finals this week which means that they are getting home early from school.

 

And this also means that they are hanging around the house, half-studying and half-bugging mom.

 

“Mom, can you drive me to the store?”

 

“Mom, what’s for lunch?”

 

“Mom….”

 

Yesterday in an attempt to buy a few minutes of time so that I could finish an article I was working on, I sent Addy outdoors with my camera (be careful, I just got it back from being repaired) to take a few pictures of our new babies.

 

I want to remind you that this is my daughter Addy, who has yet to meet a baby she didn’t love. All I can say is – Addy, sweetheart, be careful, that’s how you end up with 6 kids.

 

Here are some of her masterpieces.

 

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And of this one, Addy said:

 

“Look at how that one is so proud and puffing out his chest. I’m thinking that one’s a male.”

 

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Ah, little grasshopper, you’ve learned well.  Now go back to studying.

 

 

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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.

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Lesson 782 – The ongoing saga of whether it’s Mr. or Mrs.

My two maran chicks are only a few weeks old and while there is only one way to absolutely know for sure (wait until the cock crows) I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Mrs. Bucket appears to be more of a Mr. Bucket. Here’s why

The stance.

This is probably the biggest indicator for me of whether a chick is a male or female. The boys, at rest, tend to stand more upright with their chest thrust forward. The girls tend to be lower and more crouched.

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Do you see how the back slopes up? If you measured it, you’d find that the back slopes at a near 45 degree angle. And while we’re at it, let’s take one more look at that tail bling.

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Josephine, on the other hand’s back angle is not quite as severe.

The feet. Continue reading

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Lesson 781 – Sex, dirt, and shadows

This morning I took the chicks outside for a little exercise.

At first they just stood around. Do you see why I have concerns about the darker one, Mrs. Bucket, although it does look like she may be getting the beginnings of an apron, that is some pretty impressive tail bling. She also tends to demonstrate aggressive behavior by flapping her wings at (now) littler Josephine.  Anyone feel like chiming in on Mrs. Bucket’s  sex? (Do I really have a Mr. Bucket?)

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Josephine, on the other hand, horizontal and tucked in low, is pure female.

Instinct is a powerful force. After just a few minutes in the sun, Josephine took her first dirt bath. Continue reading

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Lesson 779 – Hmmmmmm

As I said last Friday, my friend Em visited with her camera (I swear I’m getting my camera in the post today to start the process of getting it fixed, sigh.) Em works with horses and has a way with animals … AND she loves our chickens. (world’s best friend combination)

A great afternoon for Em is done in three parts, 1. Shopping at thrift stores, 2. Having some Thai food, and 3. Spending time with the flock.  And so this is exactly how we spent the afternoon.

We took Mrs. Bucket and Josephine and put them on the lawn to get a few photos. Friday will go down in their little chick baby books as the day they discovered how fun and tasty ants can be.

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It’s hard to imagine that the darker chick is going to look like Charlie does someday: Continue reading

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