Monday, 27 February 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Chicken Keeper

I actually wrote this last year.  My family convinced me to send it into Hobby Farms Chicken Magazine and I forgot about it.  Several months later, I heard back from The Chicken Magazine!  They liked my story and said they wanted to print a slightly shorter version in the letter section of their magazine.  You can imagine my surprise.  It was run in the Summer 2011 issue.

Well, I thought I would share with you my original version.

A Day In The Life Of A Chicken Keeper

So, my chickens are just plain naughty right now.

The night that I moved them into their new home, the Two Hamburgs decided to sleep directly under the heat lamp on top of the brooder box and just about burnt down the new house the first night in it.  

All settling in for their first night in the new chicken house.

I can laugh about it now when I see them with the lovely holes burnt into the feathers on their once pretty backs.  The feathers are now charred and singed almost to the skin.  I can just picture those 2 best buds relaxing under the nice warm light, nodding off... "Hey, Gerta, this sure feels nice and warm, huh?" Gerta, with her eye closed "Yeah, Bessie, It just puts me right to sleep.  Warmest I've been since we were chicks..."  "Yes, Bessie, Nice and toasty... speaking of toast... Do you smell something burning?"  

Yes, I can picture them sitting there side by side as usual, fluffing up their curling and smothering feathers, and giving them a shake or two, before the heat of the burning becomes to much to bare.  I don't know why those girls didn't burn down the house...  I mean, I like crispy skin, but preferably on my dinner plate, not living birds.  Phew, close call.

Bessie, with the girls in the spring.  Her back still showing her close call several months after her close call.

The Fonze rooster (my polish), has been scrapping it out through the fence with Dinner Pot Pete (Easter Egger roo), and cracked his beak some.  

Dinner Pot Pete

My big Brahma Buddy, has it figured out if he waits by the nest boxes he can grab any of age hen that comes out of the boxes.

Buddy, looking proud.

Well, now, that I've got all the chickens, both my old chickens and new into one house, the old ones decided it would be good to teach those young chickens a thing or two.  The main thing they have shown them in the last couple days is how to eat eggs.  

I'm so, so upset about this!!!! I suspect that the "I just laid an egg!" cackle, is interpreted as a dinner bell to the other chickens.  

Yesterday I thought, "So, you like eating eggs do you?" and I devised up a couple lovely 'special' eggs full of the yuckiest stuff I could think of.  I mixed up a concoction of Vicks Vapo Rub(lots), hot mustard (lots) and tons of cayenne.  After blowing out a couple eggs, I injected the yucky stuff with a syringe.  Then I put these 2 gourmet eggs into the nest box.  

Well, I don't know what kind of freak chickens I have, but when I went to check for eggs this morning, one of these surprise eggs is completely gone!!!!   Talk about devilled eggs.  It must have burnt their sinuses off!  Unbelievable! 

Anyways, I raised the heat lamp and surrounded it with wire, so fixed that problem for now, until I decide what exactly I want to build.  The Fonze is in segregation until the wounds on his face is healed.  Dinner Pot Pete is due for the pot any day now.  And, as for the egg eating, I'm not exactly sure what to do.  I've been going out to collect eggs often.  I don't want to cull the whole flock, so ... We'll see.

The Fonze

Well, there lays my adventure for the last couple days of chicken keeping.  It's very enjoyable despite it all!  Definitely gives me things to think about.

The End

Well, I just have to say, that my trick with the nasty tasting eggs did work in the end.  While they ate the first one, they only broke the second one and left it laying there. 

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