The Girls

The Girls

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rehab success

Dottie has successfully completed chicken-hater rehab.  Travis removed her blinders and she's been reintegrated into the group.  Killer and Littlefoot (aka the victim) are getting along nicely.  AND Littlefoot's head feathers and comb grew back.  She's beautiful again. 

Birds of a feather, flock together

The NEW (not so mean) Killer

However, I'm  not sure Miss Bunny (MB) is happy about Killer not having blinders  I think she thought they were some sort of crown or something. As soon as those blinders came off, MB attacked Dottie.  "Great." I thought, this is a never ending cycle.  I supposed there has to be a ruler of the roost in every flock and apparently, it's MB's turn. 

Since that day though, I haven't noticed anything too violent.  Everyone seems to be getting along.  Except for the lack of butt feathers.  Are they still being plucked or are they just not growing back?  Who knows?...

Ginger's butt
Poor Ginger, she's been missing feathers for months.  She looks awful, but she's still a pretty sweet chicken.  I think she remembers all those times I gave her warm baths to help her poop when she was just a few weeks old because she let me pet her for a really long time today. Ginger doesn't bite the hand that feeds her.   
Scramble now has a bare (cold) booty too
Oh, by the way, sorry there are no photos of the chickens in Santa hats.  I haven't figured out how to get them on yet.  It's a work in progress.  It's been hard to take pictures because the chickens are asleep when I go to work and asleep when I get home.  I despise these short days.  The weather is so back and forth. 

We did put the heater out the other night when it was 19 degrees and the north wind was blowing really hard.  We've Clark Grizwalled the coop with wires... Pray it doesn't go up in flames and we have fried chickens on our hands...

Look, I know this is dangerous, but we only have 5 chickens (not enough to hurdle together and stay warm) and the north wind blows STRAIGHT through those top windows on the coop (and they choose to sleep on the roost right by the window) AND they have no butt feathers.  Come'on man, these girls have got to be cold.  We unplug it during the day... no worries.

Yes, I know this is a fire hazard

Heat lamp and hazardous wires
We're still getting 4 eggs a day. Do the math, we've still got a slacker, but I'm happy. Its enough to make quiche everyday.  ; )

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Santa is coming...

I am so excited for Christmas this year!!  Look what I just purchased...

Mini Santa Hats

PHOTO OP!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One, big, happy, family...

She's back.  Littlefoot is back in the game.  I think her biological clock stopped ticking.  She's out with her sisters and it seems as though Dottie has stopped picking on her.  I guess the blinders did help!

The garden is dead, but we leave the ugly pepper plants up because the girls like to eat the dried leaves.  This picture is not great as far as background, but the girls are all there playing... TOGETHER... like they are supposed to.  Littlefoot looks much better.  I guess chickens work out their problems on their own.   What do you expect with that many hens in a hen house?

In case you are wondering, Ginger's butt is still bare.  I'm not sure if the feathers aren't growing back or feather rehab isn't working on Scramble.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blinders, Broodiness, Bare Butts, and Baths

Where do I start? 

Killer (her new name is almost official) aka Dottie is currently sporting top of the line, designer, peepers.  These "Pinless Peepers" are supposed to help with feather plucking and general pecking.  I was in Boston when Travis put the peepers on Killer.  Oh how I wish I was a fly on the wall.  He said it took him a while to get them on.  He steadied her between his legs and held her little, twitchy, neck still while he put these things on.  I wonder what he was staying during this process? "Hold still Killer!"..."I swear I will eat you."

So far, the peepers MAY be preventing Dottie from pecking, but I can't be sure.  Littlefoot has taken shelter in the nesting box.  My theory is that since everyone was picking on her, she had no friends, and decided to turn broody.  That's what these chicken people (I guess I'm one of them now) call it when the hen's biological clock starts ticking and she wants to have a baby.  She sits in the nesting box all day long... on the eggs... hoping one of them will hatch.  Obviously she's had no luck since we don't have any roosters (if you want to know about this process in detail let me know...).  
Every day I have to reach under her warm body to gather the eggs.  She isn't mean about it, but acts annoyed that I've disturbed her.  I have to force her out of the coop because I'm afraid she hasn't eaten all day.  She gets up, flaps her wings, takes a HUGE poop (because she's been holding it all day), eats, sometimes she takes a dust bath, but then goes straight back to the box.  I'm going to have to research whether chickens can get depressed if they can't have babies.  Poor Littlefoot.  I feel bad for her.
At least she still takes dust baths
Since we've still got naked booties in the flock, I'm pretty sure another chicken needs these designer peepers.  But I CANNOT figure out who is doing the plucking! I know who it's not...
Dottie's naked butt... not the feather eater
Ginger's naked butt... not the feather eater
I don't think Littlefoot is doing the plucking because, let's face it, she's a wimp (I love her, but she's just too dang pretty and not tough enough - her mother must have been killed and eaten really quickly).  It's got to be big mama Scramble or Miss Bunny.  They both have beautiful fluffy rear ends.  Look at them....they are discussing whose feathers have grown back the most so they can pluck them out again. 
These chickens, I swear.  They really have issues... like people.  I can only imagine what is going to happen when it gets cold out and they want to cuddle, but won't let Littlefoot join in the huddle.  I think I might get her a soft, stuffed, toy chicken to put in her box with her.  Maybe she will think she's made a new friend.   Or I could strap a chicken diaper on her and send her home with her grandma....
See... she loves her grand-chickens

Monday, October 1, 2012

To cull or not to cull...

... that is the question.  I thought that Miss Bunny's fame would dissuade Dottie from attacking Littlefoot...that maybe she would get jealous of Miss Bunny and pick on someone her own size.  Wrong.  Dottie could care less about Miss Bunny. She has a thing for Littlefoot.   I let Dottie back in the group last week.  I really don't think separating her is going to do the trick.  I don't have a large enough flock for another bird to pick up and become the new bully.  Littfoot is pitiful, she jumped on my lap and basically begged to get out of the coop.  (Yes, I speak chicken now.)  I let her little, pecked to death, head out of the coop by herself so she could peck and play in peace.  She was grateful.  She followed me around the garden and came to me when I called her.  The worst part of this story is that tonight I found her sleeping in the nesting box, all alone.  Breaks my heart.  I think my only option is to kill (cull) Dottie.....

You must die
My poor little victim

Or!.... purchase a chicken diaper!!  I have just discovered that they make chicken diapers for hens who 1) live in the house (yes this happens) or 2) who need to come inside to recuperate from being attacked and mauled by other mean chickens. 
Random chicken from the internet with a diaper
Seriously, check it out...  Littlefoot could come in and live inside with me!  Travis would love it, I'm sure.  In case you are really curious youtube has videos of people putting diapers on their chickens.  Hilarious. 

Ok ok ok, the other option is "Pinless Peepers" (these I bought and I am awaiting their arrival). They are little chicken blinders. They block their forward vision and it is supposed to help with pecking. We'll see. Not only is Dottie getting a pinless peeper, Scramble is. 

Random chicken with some pinless peepers
Random chicken with pinless peepers

These things are really to help prevent feather picking.  As you will recall from my prior post about "crack feathers" Scramble is still in rehab for her addiction to feathers.  Yesterday I noticed that not only is Ginger's butt (and back) completely bare from Scramble eating all her feathers, DOTTIE'S butt is completely plucked! 

These chickens.  I swear.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


We've hit the big time people!  Miss Bunny is FAMOUS!  I woke up this morning and got online to update the backyard chicken community about how Dottie was doing (I let her out) and Miss Bunny made the home page picture of the week ("POW")!   Check it out....

The amazing photo that made her a Star:  

Most of you know how excited I can get, but I was super pumped this morning when I saw the home page!  Travis was a little startled when I yelled, "OH. MY. GOSH!!!!  COME LOOK!!!!  MISS BUNNY IS A CELEBRITY!!!!!!"  

She's a little start struck at the moment so she won't be signing autographs right now. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cell Block 6

I let Killer (aka Dottie) outside in the garden with the other girls. She had one little chicken eye on Littlefoot and the other on the bugs she was hunting.  She has not learned her lesson.  After she took to a full chase of Littlefoot she was re-imprisoned.  However, she can't be too stressed out because she's still laying eggs inside her cell.  Someone inside the coop, however, is NOT.  I can't win.  I think this is how parents must feel on a daily basis.  Travis checked on killer this morning since I had to rush to work.  His text to me read, "all good in cell block 6." 

The coveted comb:  

Walnut comb
Scramble has the most points on her single comb
Ginger - tallest single comb

Littlefoot's little dirty, single comb

Killer's big comb and wattle

In case you need MORE info on combs:  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Prison Update

I've improved Dottie's prison. Now she can look at the other girls, but she can't hurt any of them. I feel better about this arrangement.  Dottie is protected from predators and the other girls are safe.   I think this says a lot about my parenting skills... at least I didn't kill and eat her myself.  That would have been the easy solution. 

Littlefoot:  "What up now?!"
Littlefoot and Dottie are having a Coweta Chicken Stand-off.  I really hope this helps.  I will be out of non-violent options if it doesn't work.  Let us pray. 


Oh. My. Gosh. Dottie is a killer. She is NOT my favorite, I am so mad at her right now. I feel horrible because I thought Littlefoot was acting crazy, running around, acting strange, but NO! She's been trying to get away from a killer! I caught Dottie on top of Littlefoot pecking at her head! Poor Littlefoot. I feel awful for her. I scooped her in my arms and tried to comfort her. It was heartbreaking.    I've noticed that she's been staying inside the coop for most of the I know it's because she was avoiding Dottie. My friend Stephanie was over yesterday and we let them out, thinking they needed to be distracted from each other. I heard Stephanie say "IT'S HAPPENING, IT'S HAPPENING!" That's all she could say...we witnessed the third attack in the garden.  Littlefoot runs to me when Dottie is chasing her.  I'm seriously considering "culling" Dottie (i.e. the more appropriate word in the chicken farmer world for "killing" her).   What am I going to do?   Well, instead of going to extremes....I read you can separate the bully. Travis said he would build her a separate cage to keep her away from Littlefoot for a few days.

Littlefoot - The Victim

Dottie - The Killer
These attacks are recent and I think it has something to do with how large their combs are.  Dottie's comb has just become one of the biggest compared to all the other girls.  Apparently, that means she thinks she is in charge.... in charge of Littlefoot.   As you can see in the most recent pictures below, Littlefoot's comb is not as impressive as it use to be and Dottie knows it.   Why do girls have to have so much DRAMA??!!

Pitiful Comb

Bigger Comb
So... what were the consequences of Dottie's actions?   PRISON. (I didn't make this up, the people suggested I do this for 3 days.)

Prison - food and water.
The ax is a reminder of what will happen she doesn't behave.  Please Dottie, don't make me say "OFF WITH HER HEAD!!"   Pray for Dottie. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chickens Daily

Just in case this whole attorney gig doesn't work out for me I've got a Plan B.  I can totally start teaching classes about how to raise chickens and teach them tricks.   Yes people, you can teach an old chicken new tricks.  I've recently discovered a lady in Portland, Oregon who teaches a class called "Clicken Chickens" and another one in Washington called "Poultry in Motion." Both teach people like me how to get their chickens to perform.  Doesn't this sound exciting?  I could be a circus act!  "Linsey Loo and her Chickens Too!"  Now I just have to talk Travis into letting me travel to Oregon to take a class on chickens. 

Other than my new found career, there isn't much excitement at the Williams' farm these days except that Littlefoot has lost her mind and Ginger's butt feathers are still missing. Travis thinks that ever since I tried to hypnotize Littlefoot she's been acting crazy.  She jumped on my head the other day.  She flew up and attacked the wire on the side of the coop while I was giving them a snack and she runs back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth. Poor thing...she's still pretty though.  I've never been able to explain where Ginger's butt feathers went.  It's a mystery. 

The girls are 27 weeks old.  Here are some updated photos:


Scramble is his favorite

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hypnotizing Chickens

What?  You heard me.  You didn't know you could hypnotize a chicken?  This is my new stupid human trick.  I should go on David Letterman.  Someone sign me up!  Fine, I'll tell you the secret.  There are several different ways to hypnotize a chicken:

  1. The Finger Twirl - Lay the chicken on its back and twirl your finger around its nose. (My chickens are too smart for this.)
  2. The Finger Strike - Lay the chicken on its side or back, put its head to the ground and draw a line in the dirt from the tip of their nose straight out. (Probably your best bet)
  3. Go to Sleep - Flip them on their back and see if they relax and go into a trance (If you can get them to stop squirming)
  4. Rock-A-Bye Baby - Hold the chicken right side up, place its head under its wing and rock it back and forth about 20 times. (This is according to an 8 year old boy who I watched do this on youtube - it looked cruel so I didn't try it.)
  5. The Chin Stroke - Lay the chicken on its side and stroke its chin until it stops moving.  (This takes a little longer.)
  6. Pet it to Sleep - Lay the chicken on its side, hold its head to the ground and pet it to sleep. (This does not work, I tried it)

I performed the Finger Strike on Littlefoot.  She laid there for about 10 seconds and acted confused... like "what am I doing here?" I would put the video up, but Blogspot won't let me.   Ever since the attempted hypnosis she's been acting like a crazed chicken.  She runs back and forth, side to side, over chickens, under chickens, inside the coop, outside the coop.  I think I have caused this bird some serious mental distress.  I am distraught about it.  On the other hand, I tried the Chin Stroke on Scramble and she seems to be doing just fine.  She also seemed to wonder what the heck I was doing, but it hasn't seemed to have affected her.   I will let you know if Littlefoot calms down.  So much for my dreams of her being a show chicken at the fair.  No one wants a crazy hen. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crack Feathers

Well, Ginger's at it again... she has butt problems.   For those of you who have been following this blog, Ginger has always had butt problems. Well now, she's pulling feathers out of her butt! A whole patch of feathers... gone.  It doesn't look like much in the picture, but that is a lot of feather plucking.

As always, I went to my (un)reliable chicken website sources and learned that there could be several reasons for butt feather plucking:
  1. Stress. (Duh.  I think the websites just say the birds are stressed when they don't know the answer to my questions.)
  2. Lice or Mites.  (GASP! This was not an option for MY clean chickens.   This site was very helpful:  and gross.  Nope, Ginger is a very clean, very beautiful chicken - she has no mites or lice.)
  3. She's molting.  (Nope, this starts at the head and they start to look like baby dinosaurs again.)
  4. She needs more protein.  This could actually be a viable option in this situation.  The chicken people say if they pluck their feathers and eat them, they are in need of protein.  Apparently the quills have protein in them.  These days whenever one of the girls looses a feather you would think it was crack cocaine.  They all chase after the feather like crack-fiend.  "BAAACALK!!  Gimmie that feather!!!"  It's gobbled down before it even hits the ground.   I guess I have crack-head chickens.  Great.  So, Coop De Ville is currently a rehab facility for crack-head poultry.  If you know any other chickens with the same problem send them over. Our program is guaranteed to work and the fees are reasonable.   We add greek yogurt to their diet and are currently investigating the protein content in cat food.  (Eeew)  It will be hard to ween them off the crack (I know because I was a prosecutor and talked to a LOT of crack-heads), but I have high hopes for these girls.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hidden Camera

Caught ya!!  I did it, I caught three girls laying eggs.   I felt like I was violating their privacy taking these pictures.  It's like walking in on someone in the ladies restroom.  "Excuse me!"  Oh well, they will forgive me.

Miss Bunny climbing in

Settling down