Tag Archives: mama chicken

Lesson 411 – The pain of life

I know I didn’t post a photo with quote on Friday but, well, let’s just say it’s been a heck of a week.

Between Nessa being put down (I still call out her name when I come home), my tooth being pulled (along with the requisite complications – sigh), and my computer dying this weekend, I’ve been in better spots.

A little bit of information on teeth that have been pulled. There’s a complication out there called “dry socket” basically it’s my new tool to keep the kids in line. Instead of “you’re going to be grounded for that one” I’m threatening them with “you’re going to get a dry socket for that little move, missy.” Trust me, once you’ve had a dry socket, you’d behave for the rest of your life if it ensured you’d never have to have one again.

You know when you read in a book that someone is so traumatized they curl up in a fetal ball and just rock back and forth, and you think, “that’s a bit over the top,” right? I’m here to tell you that every time you read a passage like that you should contact the writer and tell them they are brilliant. Because they have captured EXACTLY what you do when you are truly traumatized.

I spent the entire weekend either curled up in a ball or walking around like a zombie (and not The Walking Dead cool kind of zombie.) Continue reading

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Lesson 409 – A hen’s tooth

When chicks are born they have an extra bit of calcium on the end of their beak. It’s called the egg tooth and has the consistency of a hard nail, much like a tiny, tiny sharp horn.

The chicks use this little “tooth” to chip away at the egg from the inside in order to finally escape from their shelled enclosure into the big, wide world.

see that white egg tooth at the end of the beak?

Once chicks are born, the tooth, no longer needed, eventually sloughs off leaving a smooth and barren beak.

That’s it. Other than that, hens have no teeth (contrary to old wives’ tales). There’s absolutely no need for anything dental because the chickens have figured out a workaround. They simply make sure they have enough grit in their diet. The accumulated bits of shell, small pebbles, sand, and dirt act like a grindstone in the gut breaking up the food that the lack of teeth allowed to be swallowed whole.

It’s a very good thing constant grit eaters don’t have teeth, just think about what they would look like!

I imagine they might look like mine. Continue reading

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Lesson 399 – The most important thing

I thought I’d share a few more photos with you of what a 13 year old girl thinks is important at a County Agricultural fair. If you recall, I gave my camera to my daughter Addy and she took these photos (wearing down my battery almost having to make me cancel an article interview I had planned later that day).  Apparently Addy thinks that Tupperware is important (and to give the girl credit – in a family of 8 when leftovers are usually what we have for lunch the next day, Tupperware does have importance in our lives.)

In this photo, for what ever reason,  Addy thought the Tupperware sponge was REALLY important (I don’t know, maybe she thought this photo was a little bit of d’art):

Well, okay, I can see the significance of Tupperware, right? I mean even a sponge is needed in everyone’s life. But what comes next defines the word necessary for Addy who is, after all, a mini-lady-in-waiting: Continue reading

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Lesson 398 – It doesn’t mean a thing

This past weekend we went to the Hillsborough County Agricultural fair. This is the second year we’ve gone and even though a small contingency of us had to leave early (it’s the fall, travel soccer calls) we were still able to see quite a bit from New Hampshire’s agricultural community.

I let Addy have my camera to take photos. Make sure you take photos of the chickens I said.

Well she did take some chicken photos. She took this one:

And this one:

And this one:

Good job Addy. But when I was looking through her photos this morning, I also saw that she took this photo: Continue reading

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Lesson 396 – The power of one chick

We’ve had a lot of rain up here in New Hampshire (we’re just starting to see some glimpses of sun this afternoon). Rain makes for wet ground and chickens don’t necessarily like getting their feet damp. They’ll try to get up high away from it all, When it rains, you’ll always catch most of the birds roosting on whatever they can find, as long as it’s not on the ground.

That includes our littles.

Here is a picture of one of the babies roosting.

brilliant chick

What you don’t see but what is truly amazing is that this particular roost is about 3 feet off the ground. At some point this little bird had to make the decision to fly up to a skinny stick way, way, way over her head so that she could sit on it to keep dry from the puddles gathering below. The very first time she tried must have been incredibly frightening. But she did it anyway.

That’s some leap of faith. Continue reading

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Lesson 390 – One little chick flew the coop today

Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to hold on to things (and yeah, I can hear the sarcastic “Oh really?” all the way from here.)

Many, many years ago, my son Griffin got interested in calligraphy. That year’s Christmas he got a calligraphy set and in the evening when I went to bed I found this note on my pillow.

I kept it. (did you really think there was even a remote chance I would not?)

This morning, after days of packing, writing lists, re-checking the lists, verifying the lists (are you sure you packed it?) my son left to begin his freshman year at RIT. Other than for school trips and a short stay with an Aunt, he has never been away from home. Continue reading

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Lesson 380 – A little flock here, a little flock there

More rain.

Instead of taking my room apart like Emma is and discovering things like a musical princess book she was given when she was a toddler, I have instead decided to pull out some more of my chicken items.

I discovered a previously unused narrow ledge on the second floor of our house that turned out to be a perfect place to store some of the littler chickens in my growing collection. Now when you look up, you are greeted by a small chicken parade marching from one wall to another. Move over, Make Way for Ducklings.

In this particular grouping, we have several participants.

That little black and red cock is actually a gift from a high school friend who is now an OUTSTANDINGLY creative author: take a bow Karen Romano Young. She sent it to me when I had made a request for a tiny chicken I could tuck into my medicine bag prior to some surgery. I fear for the tiny rooster’s even tinier comb which is soft and can be easily bent, so the chicken now sits safely, a silent sentry for all family activities below.

The green set are a pair that Spencer found at the local Goodwill. At least once a month we load the car up with clothes that kids have outgrown, toys and stuffed animals no longer needed, and general items we have no further use for and bring them to the Goodwill.

Each time we go the goal is to come home with less then we dropped off. As one who LOVES a bargain, this isn’t as easy as it might sound. Last time I was there I dropped off two large garbage bags of things and came home with a red leather purse, some earrings, and these two little chickens. They’re those Wade figurines found in boxes of tea.

Spencer originally found the sitting hen and when I asked him to see if there were any more (I was actually wondering about a nest with babies or eggs in it) he triumphantly unearthed the rooster. The now dubbed Spencer-pair, perfect to add to our ever growing collection.

And lastly, the bright yellow plastic chicks? A yard sale find by Emma who is able to spot a chicken item a mile away (no kidding, we’ve driven by yard sales and she’s been able to spot all things chickens).

None of the chickens match in size, shape, or composition and yet, they all work together well. A flock within the flock that is our flock.

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Lesson 377 – a teeny, tiny chicken family

Time for a little chicken-thing post (and this time I mean “little”).

First let me say, to those who have sent me chicken-things, I’ll eventually get to them, just because I haven’t posted about them doesn’t mean that I don’t love them and keep them on our shelves. I do, it’s just that I can only keep so many balls in my mind’s air at one time. At some point I’ll be writing about all my chickens.

This week’s chicken-things were given to me by my good friend Gina Rosati (who just happens to have a YA book: Auracle coming out in the summer of 2012.)   Gina had read about my medicine bag and decided to get me not one, not two, but three teeny, tiny chickens just the perfect size for tucking in a small bag filled with good intentions.

The first two chickens are a pair consisting of a silver-tone hen with a matching rooster. The rooster is stoically sitting staring straight ahead trance-like thinking about how it’s just so sad that there will never be any more Girl with the Dragon tattoo books, while the hen is semi-upright yelling for the chicks, “hey it’s dinner time! come home – wash your hands and help set the table. NOW!”

Not only did Gina send over these two stunning chickens but she also sent an improbably tiny glass chicken with a marbled glass body, red comb and wattle, and blue wings and feet. In this photo, the little one is making himself be seen, oh, he’s front and center, bathing in the glory that is his, not paying a bit of attention to his mom’s yelling. Besides, he’s not hungry right now, he’ll come back later when he’s good and ready, after he’s met with his friends down by the ball park. The hen, exasperated by it all turns her eyes toward the heavens, “Give me strength” she pleads to the God of chickens she desperately hopes is listening.

And the rooster, continuing to be lost in thought, doesn’t even flinch.

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