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Author Topic: Chicken Chatter  (Read 9891 times)
JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« on: December 06, 2009, 09:08:44 PM »

They were fine with their run for about a week. Their curiosity and appetite had them wanting over and on the other side of the run.

It all started with Bertha, she's the leader of the pack and where she goes, they all go, except for Cindy, who may be a runt or perhaps just a bit slow.  For the life of her, she just can't figure out how to get on the other side of the run.

It's somewhat hysterical, at least to me, to see five hens going about their business in the yard and Cindy is just staring at the pack, pacing back and forth, as if she was dropped on her head shortly after birth. So I feel sorry for her and place her over the run enclosure where none of them should be, but I'm a softy, so they have the full yard to venture out and do chicken things.

I trimmed all but Cindy's left wings today and it didn't help not one bit, they just jumped over in complete defiance. Even with their wings clipped, they still could go where Cindy couldn't, maybe she'll snap out of it one day, forecast looks grim however.

My two rat terriers still hate them with a passion and I believe my old chow girl Sophie, who's slowing down quite a bit (She's 14 now) if given the chance would make them pay dearly, cause that's what dogs do and Sophie is mean (not to people) with a sweet face.

This evening I widened their perch, which they are enjoying right now (so good!) and made a pull out poop pan. Kind of an experiment, we shall see how it pans out. Wink

Oh, I could go on...

Pictures to come soon.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 09:49:53 PM »

Oh JP, chicken stories are funny, and yours made me laugh. You have been assimilated, for surely.  I would love to see pictures.

Now something to remember when you take pictures of your gals.  Squat down and get a good many of your pictures at their level.  I see so many pictures of chickens that would be wonderful, except they are taken when the human being is standing up and it gives such a out of balance distortion to what that chicken looks like.  I know it is not always convenient to squat down to take a picture, but it certainly tells a different story.

Chickens are masters of escape.  Any small place that is not totally secure they will sneak out of.  Now with your pen, you may have to add an additional height to it with poultry wire.  Not knowing how your yard has been made, I can't advise any better.  But you are a man, you will figure out something to keep those gals in, you know your dogs want them, smiling....thanks for the little update and story, it was cooooool!!  Have those beautiful days, to love, live and enjoy with beautiful health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 11:30:53 PM »

I'll have pictures soon. I'll either squat down to their level or let my wife take the pictures, she's low to the ground. grin


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Natalie
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2009, 11:17:16 PM »

I let mine roam the yard as well but even if I didn't I couldn't keep most of them in.
I would go in the run and open the coops and then lock the gate behind me, within a minute most of them start flying over the enclosure.
They act like they have every right to go wherever they want, they fly out and look over their shoulder at you like yeah, so?
There are only a handful that like to stay behind, even when the gate is open for them, they hang out in the enclosure and the rooster won't leave them.
I have 2 roosters so one stays with the girls in the run and the other patrols the yard.
Isn't it funny how they all have their own little personalities?
Look at you writing stories about your chickens like Cindi now.
We told you how much fun they would be, they change your life.
Yup, watch out for the dogs, they are born chicken killers.
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reinbeau
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2009, 08:01:02 AM »

Our run is covered with chicken wire.  Way too many hawks around here to leave them out there all day long, they'd be picked off one by one.  When we're out in the yard they're loose, we've had the hawks come close (not as close as Natalie has!!)  but so far they haven't taken a bird yet.
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Natalie
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2009, 09:47:51 AM »

Yes, the hawks can be a real pain. A good point to bring up Ann.
I think my dogs deter them around here alot but I had to first train the dogs to leave the chickens alone.
Even so I give them places to hide just in case they need to, I put in 15 new shrubs this summer and they go under them, I turned over the canoe too but they still like to go under the grill and the log pile, places like that. They do that anyway though, they like to nap under small spaces.
My hives are actually a favorite of theirs, they build a big dust bath hole under the topbar hives and nap there.
Sometimes you will find 5 or 6 of them napping under there but its also a good place to go for cover.
Ann is right, we have had some close calls with hawks. They hungrier they are the more brazen they are.
Our new run will be covered for when we can't be home, for the most part someone is always here putting around the yard and I leave them out when I leave for short periods of time but if I am going to be gone for longer periods its good to have it covered.
Hawks are very brazen but they need to be able to swoop in and out in one motion in order to grab an animal so if you have alot of broken up space its harder for them to plan a flight path down to grab a chicken.
For instance a tree in the middle of your run or various trees around the yard, furniture etc.
I am assuming it has to do with them not being able to take off from a complete stop with the extra weight.
Since yours like to roam just make sure they have somewhere to hide if need be.
Alot of people have to worry about coyotes and other predators on a regular basis so I am thankful that we only have to deal with the occasional hawk otherwise I wouldn't be able to freerange them at all.
You'll know when there is a hawk near or probably any other predator, they let out a warning cry that is different from any sound you ever hear them make.
Make sure your coop is locked up good at night because chickens cannot see in the dark at all and a predator can go in and wipe them out one by one because they can't defend themselves and can't see to get away.
I have heard some real horror stories.
 
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reinbeau
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2009, 02:43:30 PM »

Mine love the asparagus, but I'm about to bum them out, because it's been crushed by the snow, so it'll be cut down soon.  They hang around the edges of the yard, though, so they can dart into the woods if they need to.  My neighbor's rhodies are a favorite hangout, lots of good evergreen cover for them in there!  grin
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Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2009, 03:01:36 PM »

Thats funny, I have one chicken, the speckled sussex that loves my neighbor's huge rhodie and she hops over the fence between our houses to go hang out in their shrub.
I use to try to chase her out of it but they think its funny and told me to leave her be.
So she walks around their property like she has every right and they will say oh I saw Sadie today, she was in the driveway or sitting on their bulkhead or whatever.
She does this every day, apparently she doesn't have enough to do in our own yard. grin
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 05:02:24 PM by Natalie » Logged
Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2009, 09:44:26 PM »

Eeeeew, those hawks, I have had two encounters over the past two months with them, never had an issue with them before, but this year things must be hard for them, no clue why, it has been no different than other years.  Well, that I know of.

The first time, I was around, the hawk flew into one of the chicken yards and landed in a tree, just on the perimeter.  I hollered and yelled at it and was running to it throwing sticks.  It flew away.  That was that.  Everyone had hidden inside their houses or under some brushy stuff near the side of a pen.  No rooster call that made an alarm that day, he must have been somewhere else.

The other day, I was doing some stuff inside the small chicken house.  I heard the rooster scream.  As you are saying Natalie, that sound that they make when they really mean business, is nothing on earth that you will ever forget.  This I can only equate to a scream.  The roosters spend their entire day watching the sky, the area around, everything, never foraging much, just watching.   I heard Ivan scream, loud and clear and immediately went outside to see what was up.  This sound makes my blood run cold, as I know it is a command from the rooster, not a warning, but a clear and present danger command.  This command was given to all the chickens and roosters, about 35 birds in total.  They knew if they didn't listen, their beautiful lives would be over, each one believes this very deeply.  The cochins all ran into their houses, the younger set of birds all headed for the bushes, deep underbrush, covered in blackberry vines, where nothing can get at them, never in a million years could anything get down from above down into there, the older set of birds all ran to two separate houses, hiding in places I never would have dreamed they could fit, but they did (I was shocked at how small a place a bird can squeeze into when the desire is there).  And Ivan stood there, beneath the wide overhang, watching and watching.  I was watching him as I was watching the hawk.

The hawk alighted upon a wheelbarrow that I had recently been using.  It was just outside the one side of the cochin run.  It perched on that wheelbarrow, its back was to me.  I ran out to that spot and yelled and yelled at the top of my lungs.  Things I won't repeat here, smiling, I can make some pretty loud sounds for a small gal.  I picked up a yellow plastic electric fence post and swung it in the air at it.  It was this final measure that made it fly away.  But not far.  It perched in a tree that on the perimeter of my yard and looked at me.  Nerve of brass.  I still had the electric fence post in my hand and threw it as high in the air and with all my might (was really good at swinging at bat at baseball, and still have a pretty good arm).  The fence post went high in the air, not even coming close to the bird, but it made a point.  The bird flew away to another tree, as if it was taunting me.  I picked up the fence post again and began to wave it, the bird finally left.  Guess it got sick and tired of my silly antics and thought that there would be no point to further try to get a meal here.

The young birds would not come out of the bush for quite some time.  I am a patient woman and I waited for them to come out.  In the meantime, I encouraged everyone to go into their houses and I locked them in. Eventually with some nice coaxing the younger ones came to me, and I encouraged them to go home too.  This was 11:00 in the morning, they stayed safe and sound within their night homes until about 3:00.  I let them out again for about and hour or so.  By this time the waning light is causing the birds to want to go into a nice place to rest and sleep, and with a teeny tiny bit of encouragement, all went back into bed, safe and sound, all tucked in, with my wishes for a peaceful sleep.  Those hawks.  Those hawks.  Beautiful days, love and live them, with great health.  Cindi


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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 12:22:36 AM »

I purchased two more hens tonight, they are silver laced wyandottes (sp?) and are approx 7 months old and laying now, yea! They are quite beautiful, that is if you like chickens, I do!

They make a medium/large egg, light brown, more tan like. Hopefully tomorrow they will lay for me and I will see eggs in my nest boxes for the very first time.

I will take pictures tomorrow of the gang and my newly improved run. This chicken stuff us fun y'all!


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
annette
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2009, 12:29:48 AM »

Maybe they will lay golden eggs rainbow sunflower rainbow sunflower rainbow sunflower
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JP
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2009, 09:58:58 AM »

Maybe they will lay golden eggs rainbow sunflower rainbow sunflower rainbow sunflower

I hope they do, my water heater went out this morning.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
annette
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 12:20:02 PM »

Yiks!!!
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JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2009, 02:09:23 PM »

Here's some pics, first are from the park down the street from me. They have a marshy area where the ducks, turtles and nutria live. Chickens, geese, swans, gulls, rabbits, nutria, etc... abound.

Next are my chickens, including my newly purchased silver laced wyndottes.

Pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus/December122009?authkey=Gv1sRgCNvZkMueqvKXHg#


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Irwin
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howdy all


« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2009, 07:35:05 AM »

Thank's for the pic's hope you got your hot water heater fixed
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JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2009, 08:23:10 AM »

Thank's for the pic's hope you got your hot water heater fixed

Well, its been quite a fiasco about the water heater, the company that came out is being very particular, wants permits pulled and upgrades, etc...

First thing I did was ask H.O.'s if my friend could do the work, they said no, if so they weren't paying cause he's not on their list.

When they called me back (H.O.'s) and told me what they weren't covering, I told them for that much money ($900.00) I'd rather pay someone I know to do the work. After a bunch of back & forth horse doo doo, they finally said I could exercise my "cash out" option. Well, why didn't they tell me this in the first place? With the cash out, they will be sending me a check towards the fix for a yet to be undisclosed amount.

Long story short, my friend (a contractor) is coming out tomorrow morning to do the install.

Hey, got my first egg this morning from one of the new SLW hens. She was on the nest last night, so I knew it would happen. Gonna go take a picture in just a second.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Irwin
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2009, 08:44:34 AM »

What a bunch of doo about your water heater. you would think they would do all they could to help so they would get a return customer. Now let's see the egg grin
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2009, 10:00:07 AM »

JP, cool, loved the pictures, your hens look very happy and the set up looks great!!  Nothing like the first egg, go and eat it!!!  You will notice an amazing difference compared to store bought eggs -- and just think, in no time you will have eggs coming out your ears, smiling.  Silver Laced Wyandottes are beautiful birds, I have some too, they are very steady layers and are just so ding dang pretty.  I also have the gold laced, they are pretty too.  I like that you took pictures from a low level, it gets the vision of the birds so much nicer, and one can really see what they look like, instead of a picture taken from standing up, where that view is very distorted.  Keep the pics coming.  Good luck with the water heater thing, bummer....have that wonderful and great day, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2009, 10:57:37 AM »

Here it is folks, my first egg, from one of my SLWs. They lay a medium egg. My wife said it was worth waking her up at 7 am on a Sunday morning to see the egg.

Pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus/December132009?authkey=Gv1sRgCOvipbn-8vbcWg#


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Irwin
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2009, 11:03:45 AM »

That's one fine lookin egg grin
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