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Important chicken update

Eleven weeks today, which is about halfway to point-of-lay (20-24 weeks). They’re starting to look like proper midget chickens, aren’t they?

We can let them roam more or less freely now, as long as one of us isn’t too far away. The cats ignore them, but Mad Mapp occasionally gets one cornered and gives her a right pecking.

This involves not much actual pecking, but an hellacious amount of squeaking and bugling.

I did nothing all day but sit in a lawnchair occasionally poking the TURN PAGE button on my Kindle and flicking bits of my lunch to the chickens. And a herring gull, two ring doves, several crows and an assortment of dickie birds.

Local birdlife has decided I’m an inanimate object.

Eh. Déjà vu. I was fifteen. On the farm. Sunbathing in the back yard, I opened one eye to see buzzards circling high overhead.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 24, 2011, 11:11 pm

I looked up from my laptop last night and there, across the other side of the room, was Her Stoatliness with one of these two sitting on her head.

No, I did not make that up.

Yes, it has got that bad.

Even the cat looks disgusted.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 24, 2011, 11:19 pm


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 24, 2011, 11:56 pm

This is true, M’lud.

I was thoughtfully gnawing away at a ham and cheese when, with a great flapping, Victoria, the lavender coloured brute, landed on my plate thrusting her beak into my lunch with a look (and never doubt chickens can have ‘looks’) as if to say “What? WHAT!?”

I let her have it.

And I nearly let her have it, too.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 25, 2011, 12:40 am

I lied. It was Violet (now named Violent) who stole my sammich.

Comment from JeffS
Time: May 25, 2011, 1:21 am

“…an assortment of dickie birds.”

Were there any of the spotted variety?

Comment from Mike C.
Time: May 25, 2011, 6:54 am

Apparently “nbpundit” over at GCP just put 4 dozen fertilized eggs in the incubators yesterday, so if you hear a great clucking/whooshing sound coming up behind you, you’ll know who it is.

Me, I’m going to go home and spend some time training squirrels to keep off the bird feeder with the old Benjamin air pistol, pumped just enough to sting. I don’t need a yard full of dead squirrels. Come July 1, it will even be legal to do so in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Until then, I have to fire out the back door from inside the house, which isn’t legal, but nobody can see me doing it.

Comment from nbpundit
Time: May 25, 2011, 7:30 am

Narragansetts they be, along with Maran chickens.
So far I’ve not had any land on my head, although I have a Mr.Mrs Banty who come into the house for look see if I leave the back door open.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 25, 2011, 9:07 am

Yes, one of ours is fascinated by the kitchen door. We never scold her for coming in, but she still looks furtive about it.

I didn’t know there was a breed of chicken called Narragansett, nb!

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: May 25, 2011, 10:30 am

Uncle Badger: Well, at least the chicken didn’t choose that moment in time to take a dump.

Comment from some vegetable
Time: May 25, 2011, 1:11 pm

Uncle Badger is henpecked and it’s not even by his wife !!

At least it’s my cat that’s pushing me around and taking my stuff – that’s perfectly understandable!

Comment from EastAsia
Time: May 25, 2011, 1:27 pm

Ah, thank God. I was just thinking this morning, Why hasn’t Miz Stoatie mentioned the chooks? Could something have happened to them??
Yes, I have a life, why do you ask?

Comment from Elphaba
Time: May 25, 2011, 1:51 pm

Heh. Yes, chickens have “looks,” for damn sure. I named our rooster “Stew” just to keep him humble. It ain’t working.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 25, 2011, 2:55 pm

For Elphaba:
Try using a fishing net on him. Not one of those for aquariums, but one of those BIG ones the anglers use. Should be able to put a fear of God in him that way…

Comment from nbpundit
Time: May 25, 2011, 4:54 pm

Stoatie, the Narragansetts are an old north east coast, some bodies call that New England, turkey. They’re black and white. Does that mean they’re not racist? heh
Now back to my regularly scheduled tornado watch…

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: May 25, 2011, 8:58 pm

Say what you will about thier dining habits, and general ugliness, buzzards sure can fly.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 26, 2011, 5:42 am

Chicken nicked your sandwich? Your ham sandwich? Blimey, never knew they’d eat ham. Cheeky sods.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 26, 2011, 12:27 pm

Oh, our chickens are definitely carnivores. Turn their beaks up at fruit and veg, but don’t get around them with ham, hot dog, Spam, sausage, cheese. Poultry (little cannibals). Eggs (I hope they never figure out what THOSE are).

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 26, 2011, 12:28 pm

For David Gillies :
As has been previously noted here (I believe it was here, since most of the other blogs I frequent are not chicken-centric): “Chickens will eat anything that won’t eat them.” I believe left unsaid was “or die trying.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 26, 2011, 12:43 pm

It’s against the law to feed chickens meat, by the way. Even bringing it up conversationally will get you in trouble on the Practical Poultry forums, as DEFRA members routinely scan the boards.

Today, the new chickens officially reached the “run up to you all excited when they spot you in the garden” stage of development. Biggest high in town (next to over-the-counter codeine).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 26, 2011, 12:53 pm

Also, you can feed a pig kitchen scraps if he’s destined for your own table, but if you’re going to sell pork, the EU is so specific about what you must feed your pigs that, effectively, they are dictating the price of pork. I talked to one of my neighbors about it recently; they’re getting out of the pig biz. Just doesn’t pay.

When I worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, we’d bag up the old doughnuts every day and hand them off to a pig farmer. I wonder how much good food the in the EU goes to total waste…?

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 26, 2011, 2:10 pm

For SWeas:
It could be worse. You could be subject to the USDA:

This is just one of the many reasons I am so fond of US “Law Enforcement”.

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