The Girls

The Girls

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No eggs, lots of feathers...

Usually, chickens start molting from their necks.  Well, at least I think they do.  Mine, of course, apparently molt from their butts.   So, you know they've been featherless for several months now.  All of a sudden they've really slowed down on laying eggs (at first I thought it was because they found out I was pregnant) and there are feathers EVERYWHERE!   Did something get in the coop?!  I said.  Apparently not... so my guess is that they are molting.  I still think they are pecking at each other, poor Littlefoot, the runt, will never be the same.  She's a wild chicken now.  I guess she's learned to fight back since she's still alive.  Travis almost ate Dottie the other day.  He caught her attacking Littlefoot.  He was out in the coop trying to discipline her by pecking at her head.  ; ) He almost rung her neck.  EEEK!  He wouldn't do that.  He knows what kind of emotional state I'm in right now.  Oh, and another thing... not only am I getting like an egg a week, but there was an egg rolling around in the bottom of the coop.  Then, Ginger started acting strange when I let the girls out and she plopped out a soft shell egg in the middle of the yard!  She seemed sad about it so she hung out on my lap for a while...These chickens are really acting strange.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

It's a BEAUTIFUL morning on the farm!  Ok, I don't live on a farm, but it sure feels like it!  This morning we played with the chickens, gathered the eggs (only 3 I might add) fed the cows, picked okra, peppers, green beans and cabbage!  I love it here (and so will our new baby) ; ) !! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Purple Chicken Butts

It's May and the girls have had no butt feathers for months now.  Poor LF, she's about plucked out.  The Blukot I purchased online came in the mail and I finally remembered to buy some latex gloves for the chicken tatooing event. Here they are...purple butts and all...






Group pic:

Hopefully the plucking will stop.  We'll see...


Monday, April 8, 2013

Our favorite time of year...

When I say "our" favorite time of year, I mean me and the chickens.  Travis prefers 25 degree weather when he can shoot things.  But for us chicks, Spring time means we get to play outside!  Or maybe I just have several items on my outside honey-do list, like tilling the garden.  : )

Freshly tilled garden = worm hunt.

Right behind each shovel of dirt, there they are, eating every single worm and bug their beady little eyes can see. If the dirt Travis was digging didn't have worms, they would run over to see what I was digging on. Back and forth and back and forth.


Got one!
We planted asparagus last year and it's just starting to produce.   Luckily chickens don't eat asparagus, or at least they haven't discovered it yet.   Look how much it has grown in just the last three days!
Sunday (Naked Dottie in the background, sorry, I think she's pooping) 

The weatherman says it may freeze this week (stupid Oklahoma weather), so hopefully we will plant everything next weekend.  We effectivly stalked Sanders Nursery to make sure we got the best selection of vegetables this year.  We've purchased a few heirloom tomatoes that are generally harder to find after April.  
 Of course we will have about three thousand peppers and a bazillion other tomatoes.  We'll be overwhelmed yet again, but it's fun.  
Oh and I'm sure you noticed that the girls still have no butt feathers.  It's seriously an Unsolved Mystery.  (Someone call Robert Stack!)   I'm getting desperate.  Littlefoot has almost no feathers on her back (thanks to Dottie), Ginger has no feathers around her tail now and Dottie, WOW, she's practically naked.  Notably, MB has most of her feathers.  The real mystery is that they all seem to be just fine (minus the occasional attack) and they are all still laying eggs.  I swear they are just bored.
In my quest for answers I've discovered that people have all sorts of theories for why my chickens have no butt feathers.  They could even be cannibals!  One lady said after her chickens had four bare butts and one hen was killed, she put pine tar (yeah pine tar) on their butts, they lost interest in each other and all survived.   Another lady put DUCT TAPE on the plucked areas of her chickens.  I told you these people are nuts!  But what does that make me if I've purchased this junk called Blu-Kote: 
This is a germicide, but it also dyes the chicken's butts a dark blue/purplish color.  You see, chickens are attracted to blood and will peck and peck and peck a bloody spot until the death!  And right now, the girls butts are BRIGHT RED!  So this Blu-Kote stuff will (maybe) fool the other chickens into thinking.... thinking what? That they have a full butt full of feathers? That they aren't a weak link?  I don't know, but it is supposed to work!  Maybe it tastes bad?  I'm really not sure, but it apparently doesn't harm them so why not try it?!  Something must be done otherwise my girls will get sunburned or worse.... they could get killed.  DUN DUN DUNNNN! (scary movie sound) 

Monday, February 11, 2013

I like big butts and I cannot lie...

Sir Mix-a-lot anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  Bueller?

Anyway, my chickens have big, naked butts.


I've researched and researched and I have determined what the problem isn't.   My chickens don't have mites, lice, bugs, prolapse, sour crop (more on this later), and they aren't "egg bound" (they don't have an egg stuck in their butt).  I've come up with the only logical answer.... too many hens in the hen house!!  If these chickens are anything like me they can't stand to be cooped up with a bunch of women!  It's a behavioral issue.  I've read stories from other backyard chicken keepers and they say the same thing... pecking order.  Since I haven't been able to catch them in the act, I'm 98% sure they are plucking out each other's feathers at night while they are on the roost.   I'm going to have to install another roost.  "Travis!..."
MB didn't get her picture taken because she was too fast that day.  Also, she has most of her feathers.  Hmmmm....the main culprit?  I think so. 
And in case you are wondering, Dottie still thinks that she is the boss of Littlefoot.  However, Littlefoot has grown out of her namby-pamby stage and can handle her own now.  I caught the attack on camera this time. 
WARNING! Photos may contain disturbing images and may not be suitable for all audiences!
I call this photo "The Attack"

Scramble - "And I think I'll take THAT feather right here..."
Don't worry, this lasts for about 2 seconds and its over.  They all move on and go about their business... and eat scrambled EGGS!  : )  Don't tell the girls they made them.  It was left over from breakfast.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life After Chickens

The girls are trying to fatten up for this cold weather.  They are eating about 2 gallons of feed a week.   They are all still butt featherless, so I purchased gamebird feed to increase their protein intake.  Maybe they will have feathers by spring.  They are definitely not going to make me a blue ribbon winner at the Wagoner County Fair.  I guess my dreams were too big for them...sigh.

It's quiet around here since the days are so short.  I try to see the kids/chickens before I settle inside for the night, but I am afraid I am now just that human with the yummy meal worms to them.  (Ginger still loves me though.)   

How has my life changed since before we had chickens you ask?

I've given up Southern Living for chicken blogs and chicken mags....

I'm a regular at Atwoods...

I know the store hours to the farmers co-op...

I have chicken chores...(gather eggs, fill water, clean chicken poop, let the girls outside to play)

My new least favorite thing to do is refill their water before I leave for work in 25 degree weather. Brrr!!

I have a chicken babysitter...(thanks Kali)

I eat eggs ALL the time (egg salad, boiled eggs, soft boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, over easy eggs, quiche, egg fried rice, fried eggs etc...)

I know more about chickens than you do...

I don't buy store bought eggs... Never will again...

I love our feathered friends.