Chickens

Fearful Fowloween Fowl

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 17 comments

Fearful Fowloween Fowl

This seems to be the time of year that our chickens and turkeys fear the most. Each year, at the end of October, a new face suddenly appears in the poultry yard. Usually the turkeys and chickens are only too happy to consume any of the summer and winter squash that we offer them. However, for some reason, carving a face into a pumpkin initially incites a tremendous amount of suspicion among the birds. If you saw our last turkey post, you know that J.J. does NOT take kindly to strangers in his yard, and even if intruders are bigger than him, he usually succeeds in getting his point across....

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A Frightful Fowloween!

Posted by on Oct 31, 2011 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 46 comments

A Frightful Fowloween!

This frightful Fowl-oween the hens have been helping to investigate some rather suspicious activity on the farm. Last night, just as the sun set, and I was about to make dinner, the power suddenly went out to the entire farm. At the time, the hens were safely tucked away in their coop for the night, but something very sinister was transpiring in the dark. In the dark of night, it seems this curcubit was CARVED to pieces! Was this merely a carving accident?  Or perhaps an intentional, brutal, and targeted attack?  A random incident, or foreboding of more fiendish things to come? When...

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Jeepers Creepers, Where’d You Get Those Peepers?

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 28 comments

Jeepers Creepers, Where’d You Get Those Peepers?

This Fowl Friday we thought we’d show you how much our hens are making a spectacle of themselves. This has nothing to do with the lastest craze in poultry fashion though, it’s because some of our girls have aquired the evil habit of feather-picking their flock mates. Feather picking in poultry flocks can occur for a variety of reasons.  It’s part of normal dominance behavior in chickens.  Sometimes it can get out of hand when a hen accidentally draws blood on a flock-mate, as bleeding can incite a pecking frenzy.  Excessive picking can also be exacerbated by environmental...

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An Egg-Stravaganza!

Posted by on Mar 25, 2011 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 23 comments

An Egg-Stravaganza!

To celebrate the start of spring, last weekend we were invited by Lisa and Robb to attend their 2011 Egg-Stravaganza.  The purpose of the event was to spend a crafty afternoon learning the art of Pysanky. A Pysanka is a traditionally decorated Ukranian Easter egg.  The eggs are decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method.  Patterns are scribed onto the eggs using melted beeswax with a stylus tool called a kistka. We began on Sunday by blowing out some eggs from our hens. Easier said than done with a very fresh egg.  Although we could have left the eggs whole, by removing the contents of the...

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Of Frosted and Frightened Fowl, and Feathered Friends

Posted by on Mar 4, 2011 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 43 comments

Of Frosted and Frightened Fowl, and Feathered Friends

We haven’t done a Fowl Friday post in a while, so I thought we’d do a quick update.  Through much of winter the chickens have been hunkered down, trying to stay out of the rain, and of course, last weekend…the snow. Frosted Fowl Our retired orchard hens were somewhat befuddled with the white cold layer that lightly covered the garden on Saturday morning. Our young chickens, now almost a year old, apparently generated more than enough body heat between them to actually melt the snow on the roof of their coop! The snow on Frodo’s pen helped to somewhat conceal the fact...

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Siegfried is Superseded

Posted by on Jan 21, 2011 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 40 comments

Siegfried is Superseded

In A Tale of Two Roosters we explained that our roosters, Siegfried and Frodo, couldn’t be more dissimilar in their personalities, even though they were raised together.  We also alluded to the fact that of the two, Siegfried was becoming disturbingly aggressive.   Nine months ago, Siegfried arrived at Curbstone Valley with the rest of the new flock.   By four weeks of age Siegfried was different.  He looked different, he was more stand-offish than the others in the flock.   By 15 weeks he asserted his dominance by pounding the stuffing out of Frodo, and became ruler of the roost after...

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A Look Back: Spencer’s Turken

Posted by on Dec 17, 2010 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 14 comments

A Look Back: Spencer’s Turken

It’s a dreary, drippy, soggy day at Curbstone Valley, and the weather reports seem to suggest that we’ll be lucky to see the sun again by Christmas Day!  So, while our fowl strive to stay dry amidst all this nasty weather, I’ve been cozied up indoors, near the fire, rummaging around the literature looking into Santa Cruz’s somewhat rich history in poultry production.  Santa Cruz was a relative late-comer to large-scale commercial poultry production, but by the 1920s the county was the fourth highest egg producing region in California.   While reading through some...

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Festive Fowl Friday

Posted by on Dec 10, 2010 in Chickens, Farm Blog | 20 comments

Festive Fowl Friday

This week we made a concerted effort to get into the spirit of the season. For some reason we seem to be in denial that the holidays are now only a couple of weeks away.  So, it was time to grab the tree…   …retrieve our ornaments from the dark recesses of the closet…   including some lovely inedible poinsettias (when you have animals, you strive for holiday decorations that are non-toxic and can’t be easily consumed).   With the tree in place, finally feeling a little festive, our attention was turned toward the coop.  You may have noticed here and here, that we...

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