Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I brought Polly into the house this afternoon to show her where and how I live. As a lark, Dave wanted to get a photo of me showing her the chicken rack we use for store bought chickens. Polly is such a lively, adorable gal. I would never consider serving her for dinner.


Ms. Polly, the White Leghorn ring leader of the flock, was vexing me by sneaking through and over the fence in order to feast on the tasty treats in my compost pile. Concerned that one day she might venture even further or that some stray dog might find her, I decided that it was time to give her a haircut.

On Friday morning I Googled 'clipping chicken wings' and read the first article dealing with this subject. The process seemed pretty straightforward. I grabbed my super sharp kitchen shears and went outside to the compost pile. Polly is used to letting me pick her up and she was very calm as I snipped her flying wings. You can barely tell that her wings have been clipped. Later that morning I did the same to a Production Red who also likes to fly over the fence. It has been four days and neither bird has flown over the fence. Problem solved.

One of the Ameraucanas may be next as she seems to be overly interested in my neighbor's perfectly manicured green lawn.

Monday, September 14, 2009

They have it so good!

I wonder if my chickens truly appreciate what a wonderful life they lead. I feed them high quality foods and I keep the hen house so clean that it looks as new as the day Dave set it up.

I am in Tucson, Arizona, visiting my sister Kathy who lives on an eight acre "ranch". Kathy raises llamas, goats, sheep, geese, Angora rabbits, cats, AND ten chickens. Now that I know something about chickens, I was interested to check out her set up. I was not impressed at all and this is no fault of my sister. She lives in the desert where you have to deal with bobcats, hawks, and rattlesnakes. She cannot allow her ladies to wander wherever they please. Instead, she has to keep them locked up with complete overhead covering. Kathy lives in the county so she can raise roosters as well. Last week her husband made dinner out of their two roosters because they were pecking the heck out of her hens.

I thought having a rooster would be fun, but now I am not so sure. Roosters can be so brutal when they mount the hen. Here are some photos of 'battered hens.'

And here is a photo of the chicken coop. The cages on the left are for the Angora rabbits. The rabbits are living in the mother-in-law's quarters as they were showing signs of being overheated.