Since getting chickens six months ago, I have learned so many things. Some important facts and some not so important facts. Here are a few of my own personal chicken ah-ha moments.
-Chickens don’t pee. Yeah, I know, this was news to me too! Their pee is actually passed through the bowels with the poop, which turns into the white stuff on top of chicken manure. I don’t make this stuff up folks…I just deliver the news. (thanks Shari for enlightening me)
-a rat will eat the legs and/or beak off of a roosting chicken in the winter. Once again…I was blown away by this. We had a rat problem a few months back…just one rat…his name was Ralphie. He was rolling eggs from their nest and even ate one…but eating the legs of a grown chicken while it’s on a roost is just bazaar to me. I told my chickens to just make sure their leggs were tucked up under them real tight…and if that rat tried any funny business…to just peck him right between the legs 😉
-there are at least 9 styles of combs. A comb, is a comb, is comb…right? Wrong again. The comb is the bright red showy (or not so showy) part on the top of their head, kind of like a permanent hat. I had no idea there were different sizes and shapes…who knew? It just keeps getting better folks! Here are the nine types: single, rose, cushion, pea, strawberry, buttercup, walnut, carnation and V comb. Ours all have the single or rose comb. My personal favorite is the big red single comb…but let’s keep that between the two of us, lest we hurt somebody’s feelings.
-they will eat anything! And I mean anything. They love table scraps…especially left over speghetti…I think they think it’s worms. They also love salad greens, scraps from the garden, bread, pop corn, watermelon, worms and most bugs, even ticks (that’s just nasty)….and oh! They love milk too!
-an avocado peel is poisonous to chickens. I found this out the hard way. I had no idea I wasn’t supposed to feed my girls avocado peels until Devin the genious informed me. Luckily for me, and them, they weren’t in the mood for avocados that day.
-a chicken or rooster can be easily picked up when on the roost at night. This was a real shocker for me. Typically a chicken is very skittish and not easily caught…unless you have an antique chicken catcher like we do (check out my post entitled “the chicken catcher”) anyway, you can chase a chicken from now until Jesus comes and not be able to catch it. But if you go to a chicken or rooster while it is on the roost at night, you can walk right up to them, pick them up and they will not make a fuss. It’s the oddest thing I’ve ever seen! It’s like they are just too tired to fight. I think I’m gonna do this with Earl so we can have our picture made together.
-each chicken has his/her own personality. This was of course news to me until I got some of my own. We have twelve hens and one stunning rooster and they all have their own unique personality traits. Here’s a quick role call and what I have observed about them.
Earl– he’s the strong silent type and is rather cocky
Ms.Fry– she is one of the old white ones and is the meanest chicken in the world…she’s just an old crab. All of the other girls are afraid of her and run if she gets close, fearing a peck in the head. Maybe it’s because she has a big ugly crooked toe on her left foot…and she’s kind of homely looking…I mean, that would make me crabby!
Edith– this is Ms.Frys sidekick. She is also white and old and crabby.
Dorothy-A Dominicker. She is my ‘girlfran’ and she is the only one that will hop up in my lap to be petted. She will sit in my lap as long as I am willing to hold her. Love that girl!
Nita-A Dominicker. She is very sweet and loves to eat out of my hand
Lovie-a Dominicker. She is almost as lovable as Dorothy.
Penny-has had a change of heart. She used to sit in my lap all of the time but now she won’t let me touch her. Typical teenager.
Scarlett-A Rhode Island Red. She is named after the Star of Gone WithThe Wind and she is the funniest bird ever. She’s always hungry and makes no apologies for it. When I begin my afternoon walk down Hen House Road to pay them a visit, she is way ahead of the gang, running as fast as she can hoping to be the first in line for a treat. She will jump up and grab whatever I have in my hand…because she just can’t wait!
Lucy– is a Rhode Island Red named after Lucille Ball. She very quiet and keeps to herself most of the time.
Betty-Named after the song Black Betty. Every time she runs to me I sing, “oh Black Betty bam a lam”, I think she likes it. She is a black, iridescent beauty who is quite shy and somewhat insecure. She is also the only one who has her own song…I’m trying to build her self esteem.
Maddie-is a black Americana with a thick puffy neck. She is extremely skittish, shy, awkward and unfortunately picked on by everyone. I hate seeing someone being bullied…even chickens!
Lacy-this girl is something else! She is a beautiful black chicken with a white lacy collar (hence the name). She is not afraid of anybody…even Ms. Fry. She is confident, secure, brave and extreamly independent. And she lays the most beautiful sky blue eggs. Love that girl!
I have one more Dominicker that has not been named because her personality hasn’t stood out as of yet. If you have a suggestion for her name let me know 😉
Here are a few of my latest pictures. I am so out of controls with the whole ‘chicken pictures’ thing…but I just can’t help myself….they’re just so dawgone cute 😉 hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
This is Earl the pearl. He’s a stud muffin.
This is Dorothy. She loves me.
This is Nita.
I have no idea who this is but I just love this picture!
I love the color of their eggs…pure works of art.
And there’s nothing more perfect than a vintage apron pocket full of eggs.
This is Lacy.
A rare picture of Black Betty.
Here’s an aerial view of Earl and the gang.
Oops! Tater Tot…how’d you get in here? Tater Tot is the feline version of Ms.Fry…she’s a crab too;-)
This last picture is of the chickens running to me as I walk down Hen House Road…see who’s first? Scarlett! She’s starving to death, bless her heart 😉
I hope to learn more about chickens, and when I do…you’ll be the first to know!
Thanks for reading! I love you more than smiling 😉