Chickens, family

How we do the state fair

Mouse has been waiting for three years to show her poultry at the state fair and she is finally here, waiting in line to be called for Showmanship. That’s when I learn that after Showmanship, the birds won’t be judged in their cages but will be called up breed by breed to be judged individually at the table. My head…

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Chickens, Welsh Harlequin Ducks

A barnyard adoption story

Mama was an australorp . . . . . . who hooked up with a red laced blue Wyandotte. It was nothing serious. She knew that. After all, he had at least fifteen other hens that she knew about. It wasn’t going to last, but who could resist that tail? But then the unthinkable happened and she didn’t know what…

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Chickens, Grief

Jake kills a chicken

I lock up the barn at the end of a long day. I’m ready for it to be over. I was ready for it to be over when I woke up. And the whole day was beset with challenge after challenge after challenge, leaving me fighting back tears most of the day. It was a hard day and then Jake…

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Chickens, Rural life

Helping your chickens survive the summer heat

Summer has made its arrival here in Nebraska with the heat index bringing us into triple digits. This can be deadly for chickens who can’t sweat to cool off. We’ve lost one broiler chick and the rest of our flock hangs out in the shade, wings lifted away from their bodies and panting. As the heat increases, chickens slow down.…

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Chickens, Gardening

Free chicken treats, or Organic June bug control

I left the children’s water table under a porch light the other night and woke to my walkway carpeted with June bugs. I thought what any chicken owner would think: FREE FOOD! My chickens were delighted. So the next night I made sure the water table was parked there and placed a bucket under our other porch light. Suddenly I’m…

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Chickens, Rural life

On processing our chickens

Well, I left you with four upside down chickens bleeding out under a crab apple tree. Once that was done, the rest was pretty easy. Not that I had any idea what I was doing and there were definitely problems. Like seriously, I had NO idea what I was doing, though John kept asking me what to do next. Which…

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Chickens, Rural life

On slaughtering our first chickens

Well, we finally did it. We slaughtered four of our five Cornish Crosses in the front yard under a crab apple tree. Yes, along with the bathtub and refrigerator sitting on the porch, we make great neighbors. Fortunately for our neighbors, they all live too far away to care. Fortunately for you, perhaps, I do not have a working camera…

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Chickens, Rural life

Polish Crested: Chickens going punk

Surfing around the internet, I started showing my children some of the different breeds of chickens and talking about how the breeds developed and what they were used for. We looked at layers; we looked at meat birds; we looked at the so called dual purpose breeds because that is what we mostly have. We even looked at the ornamental…

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