Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!!


MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us from the Shawhan farm. I really wanted to send you all the carol the chickens sang for everyone, but this isn't letting me upload my video... so I'm sorry for that.

Last night was a very special night. I went back out to the barn as I do every night to let Jimmy and Charlie back out. I usually keep a barn light on until I do this. Last night was Christmas Eve, a very clear night with all the stars out. I walked into the barn and all the chickens were in and roosting, the horses were there and so were the steers. It was the most peaceful scene and experience I've had in a long time.

This year I was very busy with Christmas. Between all the shopping, parties, baking and eating, I wasn't enjoying myself at all. At one point I said I was ready for Christmas to be over. Maybe some of it is the dissappointment of not being a little girl anymore and feeling the excitment that Christmas and Santa bring with it. This year it all felt more like work than something that was enjoyable.

I was glad last night that I had to go back outside, one more time in the darkness and stillness of the night. Into a lighted barn full of animals and the scent of hay. To be with animals who have a pureness and honesty about them; who don't care if they have the most expensive and up-to-date I-Phone or gaming system. They didn't mase anyone Christmas shopping at Wal-Mart, or push other shoppers around. They didn't protest at nativity scences outside of churches. In fact, they ARE the navity scene. I thought last night that all I was missing was a man, woman and child in my barn. Or maybe I wasn't missing the child at all because He's always there with us and I think last night I felt Him even more out there in the barn, in the coldness with all my animals. Then and only then did it feel like Christmas and it made up for the previous month and all my harried preparations.

I think it's true when people say we need to celebrate the message of Christmas year-round, and from now on, me personally, I'm going to try harder. Maybe my nightly walks back out to the barn in the darness and coldness to be greeted by sleepy chickens and steers and two expectant horses will be my daily reminder and my daily walks with God.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!!!

The Chicken Lady

                                                                       .....cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Need a Hero!


A big thanks to my rooster Foghorn for taking care of that last post! Things have been crazy busy on the Shawhan farm in preparation for Christmas. He did me a big favor and now I owe him one.

I'm a little worried about Prissy. She has taken her crush on my husband a little too far. Now that the chickies are confined to the steer lot (with Samantha and Kailyn still the exception and escaping) we have Prissy who acts like she doesn't know her way in Every. Single. Night. She stays out in the lot and acts as though she doesn't remember how to get back into the barn and hence the coop. Foghorn calls and calls but she's out there screaming Bonnie Tyler at the top of her lungs!


I'm not kidding you! The other day she was wearing a cut off sweater, leggins and a sweatband running in place in some kind of 80's dance. She does this until her hero...MY HUSBAND....climbs over the fence and sweeps her off her feet into his strong embrace. Then he holds her close as he climbs back over the fence and puts her safely in the coop.

Well, I was her hero last night and I think she was mad at me. I tossed her over the fence and by the time I had climbed back over, she was in Charlie's stall, UNDER him mind you, while he ate his dinner. (A freaked out horse and a flat chicken was all I needed. ) Thankfully she came to her senses and ran back out and through the open coop door screaming, "I NEED A HERO!"

If this is going to continue, there's gonna be a chick fight. And I don't mean cute little fuzzy chirpy chicks. I mean nails flashing, feather's flying, beat down, drug out war. As Rachel from Big Brother would say, "Ain't no one gonna come between me and my man!" Besides, I need to focus my energy on other things besides the jealousy caused by a chicken.

Can I blame her though? Dan IS pretty cute....and he DOES have hero qualities.


                                                                                     ....cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.......

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Foghorn's Post

YO, YO, YO! This is Foghorn (Sexy) Leghorn comin' at ya! I have taken over this here blog thang, and let me tell ya, it's a good thing I'm doing it too since that redhead who thinks she owns us has like, no time anymore. Not that I have tons of time either, I mean I gots like 17 chicks I gotta keep in line and please, know what I'm sayin? But, yeah, I guess I am kinda like a hero or somethin' making this post for Red cause she thinks shes gotta post a couple of times a week, ya know? Like, keep the readers happy or somethin. She asked me to do this and me being a nice guy and all, I see a lady who's in need of help, I help her, know what I'm sayin?

So like, Red wanted me to say somethin about those new cows we have to share our crib with. Yeah, the other day these two bums shows up and drop off even more beefy boys. Personally, I think they're a bit scrawny. Two gots really cool names though, Chum and Jiblet. Then theres the two puny ones, Bert and Ernie. They kinda brag a lot about this place they lived at before where like, people paid attention to them or something. I dunno, I try to pay more attention to my ladies, cause like, I gotta keep them happy, know what I'm sayin? Now that Chaz, he hangs out with 'em. But I ain't like that.

Oh yeah, and Jimbo, he's doin' lots better. Yeah we was a little worried about Jimbo there for awhile. Jimbo and Charles are pretty cool. Them's Red's horses, I guess. But Jimbo, he got sick and infected or somethin'. Yeah, I was a hero that day too when I was fannin' Jimbo's head with my wing when he had a fever. He's real glad I was around and now feels kinda indebted to me. I said, "No worries brother. Just let me know if my ladies escape, and we'll be real cool with each other, know what I'm sayin?"

So, like, I ain't no writer or nothin' and it's dark out, so all that's out with my ladies keepin watch is Chaz, and since I ain't like him, well, I don't think that wuss could fight off an intruder or nothin'. So I gots to go, know what I'm sayin? But hey, it's been real cool writing to you all. Remember, I'm your favorite rooster, since that Chaz guy, he don't really count. Maybe someday I can do this again. I guess I didn't really mind it much, but hey, I'm a good guy and a hero right?

Keep it real and peace out! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Spy With My Little Eye.....


Finally the sun is shining and no more 3 inches of rain are in the forecast! The poor cluckies looked a little worse for wear there for a few days. Everyone was wet and muddy and looked like they might try and grow webbing between their toes. That didn't stop egg production and we are still going full force, though we suspect there are eggs out there somewhere just waiting to be found. Dan braved the dark and cold this evening hunting for eggs around the now empty rental house next door. He didn't find anything, so in other terms, the hunt is still on!

Speaking of which, since July egg hunting has become a part of normal life here on the Shawhan farm. Thankfully we don't have to hunt as hard as we did before (mostly) everyone started using the nest box, but we still consider it normal routine to look in some familiar hiding places.

I decided to post about this subject because of the discovery Dan made last night. It was after dark and we were in the barn tucking all the chickies in for the night and giving poor Jimmy his shots in the rump. I had a pocketful of needles and was praying I didn't get kicked. Dan was standing outside the stall holding Jimmy's head when he exclaimed, "Hurry up and get it before it breaks!" I had no idea what he was talking about since I was in vet mode. I was pretty sure none of the shots had fallen from my pockets. I didn't think he would act that way over a thermometer on the ground and in danger of being smashed if stepped on. Like any frantic, caring parent, Dan was hopelessly pointing to the ground while not letting go of my horse. And then I saw it. A delicate, lonely egg that looked severely misplaced out in the open of a horse stall. It was also only inches away from the dinner plate sized hooves of Jimmy. Any weight shifting could have smashed a perfectly good egg. (Anyone who knows me knows that egg dropping/smashing is a sin.) One thought crossed my mind.... "SCREW THE SHOTS! SAVE THE EGG!"  After rescuing the unscathed orphan, I shook my head and thought about all the crazy places we have found eggs over the past 5 months, though honestly I feel as if this one takes the far.

Egg discoveries had been made at/in the following:
* The first egg ever was discovered behind the snow shovel in the garage.
* On top of the work table in the garage/barn where we park the trucks.
* In the feed trough they roost on at night, yes lying in all the poo (OPPS!)
* In a 5-gal. bucket.
*In the hay bale for the steers.
*In the driveway.
*In between the scrap metal pile and garage/barn where we park the trucks.
*In Jimmy's stall...with Jimmy in it!
*The room in the barn that is below the low loft.
*In a cut off plastic drum we use to throw away baling twine A.K.A. the trash barrel.
*Outside the coop door.

Happy hunting to me and the hubby!

                                                                    ....cluck,cluck, cluck, cluck......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

To Brood or Not to Brood....That is the Question.


So sorry not to get in the two posts a week. Life has been a little crazy and unpredictable here on the Shawhan farm. On the bright side, the cluckies produced a record of 16 eggs earlier in the week. So perhaps those motivational posters and the Chick-fil-A talk worked!

We began our chicken adventure with 20 chicks last March. We were SUPPOSED to have all hens (thanks Master Feed Mill!) but got two roosters. Then some A-Hole ran over a hen on the road, so we now have 19 chickens, 17 only being able to lay. I figured 2 hens not laying wasn't bad at all, but obviously we have 16 laying, so maybe I'll give the one who isn't more time before I write her off completely.

Ever since the chickens arrived my father-in-law, better known as Old Fart, would consistently mention "the sitter". What would I do if I got an old sitter. Old Fart is convinced that hens that just sit in the nest box 24/7 don't lay any eggs. Unless we strap a camera to her butt, there isn't much way knowing. So my reply is just let her sit. I'm feeding two useless roosters, so what is the difference? Of course, my luck, not long after the girls starting producing I got a hen who just sat. Still I didn't know if she was producing or not. I did notice that she was missing feathers on her breast bone but after some reading I found out that some hens will pluck out their own feathers and contribute them to the comfortableness of the nest. After several weeks the hen quit sitting. For awhile my "sitter" problems were over until Stay Puft entered the picture.

Stay Puft, who is in the picture above, got her name since she is white and would get really mad when you picked her up to steal the eggs. She would puff out her feathers and peck at the box around you, to the point where I made my gallant husband pick her up while I stole the bounty all warm and safe from under her. She reminded me of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I was going to put her in the spot light and do a profile on her, but low and behold, she quit sitting too. Now I can't tell her apart from the other Light Brahmas we have. So I did some light research, which I'll share now. All the magazines and books don't call a sitting hen "a sitter." They are "broody", which I think is fitting since they act like brooding teen-agers when you go and mess with them.

Broody is phase hens can go through from time to time. Basically it's their motherly instinct to sit on eggs to get babies. It can last several days to several weeks. The poor hen doesn't realize it only takes 21 days for her to hatch out a brood of chicks. Brooding can be harmful to a hen if she neglects her own needs such as not getting up to eat, drink or poo (Opps!). She can also develop parasite infections. Not only can it be bad for her, but it also disrupt and upset the other hens. BELIEVE me, you know when a girl is waiting in line down in the coop to squirt out her egg! You can hear the ruckus a mile away! (And these city peeps think they will maintain neighborhood quietness without roosters! PUH!) Anyhoo, brooding can be contagious, so if you don't want that to happen you can remove the hen to another area for a time and/or keep removing the eggs. Also, science has interfered once again, and some breeds have had the broodiness bred out of them. Of course you may want a broody hen if your goal is to hatch out your own home-grown chicks. There is more useful information at

So far, I'm good right now and not dealing with broody hens. But I'm sure in time there will be more. Just chickens being chickens I guess!

                                                                                        ...cluck... cluck... cluck... cluck.....

"The Broody Hen." 2007. 12 Dec. 2011.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Motivational Posters


Well, Thanksgiving turkey was excellent! What was also wonderful were the TWO chicken biscuits I ate on Black Friday morning. I've been nice and haven't told the cluckies that. I don't feel as though I need to right now since on Thanksgiving day they laid 15 eggs (which is the record) and I got 15 eggs again today. On the rare days we get less than 10 eggs, I cut them some slack...our girls really do work hard.

But I can't help but want to motivate them. I look at each one as my very own little feathered child. Any caring parent would want their child to excel in everything they do. Even if that job is to only squirt out an egg every day. I can't even count the times mom and dad would stand against the chain-link fence at a track meet screaming my name and making me run faster, even though the lactic acid was building up in my legs and I was sure that at any minute I was going to fall....ok so that happened once or twice.

Anyway, I don't think Foghorn would appreciate me screaming encouraging words all day to his girlfriends.

"Come on girl, PUSH! HEE, HEE, HO...HEE, HEE, HO!!..Breathe, baby! You can do it! PUSH!!!!"

 Plus I don't have that kind of time. But I don't think it would hurt to hang a motivational poster or two in the coop. You know, give them something to think about...remember those posters they hang up in school about doing your best and believing in yourself? When the chickies were younger and still not producing yet, we got eggs from Eli, the Amish guy down the road. His eggs are huge! I held one up for the girls to see in case anyone got any ideas. So I've had this idea for awhile now. Fast forward to a few months later, and I'm flipping through an issue of Small Farmer's Journal, and what I found made me laugh out loud. It's a drawing that says: 

"An egg a day keeps the hatchet away."

I LOVE IT! Even though in all seriousness, I couldn't take a hatchet to any cluckie. (However, they don't know that.) A little reminder and encouraging words never hurt anyone.  Or if that doesn't work, you know what they...a picture is worth a 1,000 words!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

What a Chicken is Thankful For


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! The chickens are about to enjoy a fest in stale bread of their favorites! I asked them last night what they were thankful for. Can you guess what it is????

Chickens are thankful for not being turkeys!!!

They do not feel sorry for their poultry cousins.... in fact, their attitudes are more of, better them than us. I did remind them that not everyone likes turkey. There is a good chance that many a family today and over the weekend will be celebrating their Thanksgiving dinners with a golden chicken instead of a butterball turkey. I also told them that Chick-fil-A opens at 4:00 A.M. tomorrow morning and that my one Black Friday request is that I get a chicken biscuit for breakfast. That shut them up pretty fast.

However, the general consensus is that we are all thankful for living in such a great country and for our freedom. We are thankful for those who have served, past, present and future. We are also thankful for all the crops and hardworking farmers who feed us. And we pray that the harvest continues to go safely. This being said, we are thankful for our way of life. To be able to have the opportunities to farm and have the chickens, horses and even those poor steers. (For what little time they spend with us, they are still part of the family.) To be able to garden and enjoy its bounty all winter long. Not everyone is blessed with this way of life. (They might be thankful for that!) But that's OK.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

                                                                         ...cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.......

(Photo by:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picking Eggs


BIG changes at the Shawhan farm! Jimmy and Charlie are finally here! The chickens have two Percheron draft horses to torment now besides poor Chuck and Big Mack, our Holstein steers. I asked the boys this morning if they enjoyed being woken up at four in the morning by the roosters, but they were too polite to answer honestly. I was a little worried how Charlie would react to seeing big birds who resemble a T-Rex when they run, but he didn't seem to be that bothered by it. A small welcoming committee was there on Saturday thanks to my sister-in-law and my three year-old nephew, Big Kenny.

As soon as Kenny got out of the car he wanted to "pick eggs." He was all set to go in his rubber gum boots and adventurous spirit.

"Aunt Becca, I want to go pick eggs." He said over and over again in his toddler dialect.

"Ok Kenny." I replied. "We'll go pick eggs and you can take them home with you." (Well a snack and a restroom break were on mom's priority list before the egg picking would take place.) So we all headed into the house for awhile.

FINALLY, it was time to pick our eggs! Out in the cold room, which is the equivalent to a mud room, I gave Kenny the giant yellow basket I use to pick the eggs everyday. This basket was saved from Dan's old family farm where he spent the first 13 years of his life and what he used at Kenny's age to pick eggs. Kenny waited gleefully by the door while we got our shoes on.

"You, you hide the eggs for me Aunt Becca." He told me. (It is crazy what children remember. One Easter I hid Kenny's Easter eggs several times so he could have more than one egg hunt.)

Once we got down to the barn we made our way into the coop. I told Kenny there might be chickens on the eggs right now and we might have to move a few of the ladies. I typically get all the eggs at night when I shut the chickens in since it does seem to take all day for everyone to lay.

We lifted the lid on the nest box, and sure enough each box beheld a hen nestled in the straw. Only one egg was in sight. I think Kenny was a little nervous to get it. I could tell he wanted to, but he seemed a little unsure. I told him it was alright and that no one would peck at him. Slowly he reached in with those innocent hands and proudly held up his treasure. Five more eggs were found after relocation of some of the chickies. Three eggs went home cracked. And one went home covered in poo.

At last we went back to the house to get an egg cartoon that are kept in "Aunt Becca's house." I told Kenny he can come and pick eggs anytime he wanted. I may even start calling getting the eggs, "picking the eggs." Speaking of which, that time of the day is fast approaching. Happy picking!!!

                                                                                             ...cluck... cluck... cluck... cluck......

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cluck Notes

Here's some news for you!
The chickies wanted me to share,
Since you all can't be here.
Some news from the coop...
I promise it's not about poop!

~ Rooster Chaz~ Is very excited that no hens escaped from the steer lot today...everyone stayed in! Even Sam and Kailyn. He swears it was from all the hard work Dan and I put in last week re-fortifying the fence...and not from all the rain we received today. After talking to Chaz about this, I asked Foghorn why HE thought all the hens stayed in today...his response was, "Well, it ain't about no fence, I can tell you that right now! It's all because my sexy bad self, that's why. No chick of mine would want to go too far away from these sexy tail feathers..." He kept talking but there were too many expletives and descriptive words to post.... but you get the idea.

~Prissy~ Loves the new stalls all ready for the arrival of Jimmy and Charlie. She can't wait to welcome her new neighbors. She was out in the lot today in between breaks of the rain making mud pies that she plans to bake out in the sun later in the week. Also, she told Dan how she "admires his craftsmanship with wood and enjoyed watching him with power tools....." (This comment somewhat bothers me. I told Dan maybe he shouldn't talk to Prissy alone anymore....)

~Cadberry~ Not only is Cadberry (like the cream eggs at Easter...) excited about this, but all of us are! The scary dude next door is moving!!!! Last night and all day today a U-Haul truck was spotted in the driveway. Personally for me I was always worried that the boys were getting on his nerves, at you know, four in the morning, with their unnecessary wake-up calls. All summer I expected to come home with a note on my door saying "Shut your chickens up!" Thankfully it never happened. I did hear him make a comment once when he was out floating in his inflatable pool about the "bulls and chickens". I didn't correct him that they were steers and not bulls...a big difference buddy. (If I did, he'd probably run me over on his motorcycle.) Anyhow, Cadberry says,"Well maybe now that they are gone, you won't freak out anymore when you see us in their yard. They have the BEST grubs under those leaves. And we love to poo (oops) over there too. HAHAHAHA no one will ever guess how we get over there either!" I told Cadberry she and the others better keep those chicken feet of theirs crossed we don't get some really freaky people next. Oh well, only time will tell.

I didn't get a chance to talk to everyone today,
But next time I'll ask a few more what they want to say.
And post it for the world to see,
What a chicken seems to find news worthy.

                                                                                           ...cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What to do with all the poo?


Well it seems we have FINALLY secured the steer lot and for the past two days we haven't had any more escapees. Though with chickens, I wouldn't be surprised to come home one day and see more out wondering in the yard. As any caring parent, I would love for the chickens to be "free-range" (though NOT for "green"/PETA reasons), but chickens are destructive critters and my poor flowers and the beds paid for it. Plus I was tired of sweeping their poo off the sidewalk.

Which leads me to the topic of today's of my personal favorite subjects of all time....POOP!! I am so proud of myself for the way I have masterfully developed a system to control the poo in my coop and keep it fairly clean. The picture above is an old feed trough and is used as the chickies roost. It works great as a poop collector, since it falls into the trough and not on the ground. I placed it right below the ledge the chickens roost on in the coop at night. About once a week I go in with a shovel (no judgements here) and scoop the poop from the ledge and also out of the feed trough and save it in a large container. When the container gets full, I take it to my garden and spread it around. Those beans and corn are gonna taste great next summer!

I did some research online and found this cool article with lots of good info. I'll share some of it here. The article is called "Manure Matters: How Manures Measure Up" by Marion Owen. I found it at

First of all, never, ever use human, cat or dog poo, since poo from meat-eating animals risks the threat of parasites and disease. (Though from my experience, chickens can be considered meat-eaters since they like dead rats and birds...) Also, poo with straw and/or sawdust has a different nitrogen composition than just straight old poo.

Chicken poo is the richest poo for nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash. It's considered "hot" and should be composted for 6 months before being added to a garden. If added "hot", it can burn up plants. I learned that dairy cow poo is preferable to steer poo. Steer poo has a higher salt and weed seed content. (Sorry Chuck and Big looks as if your only purpose in life is to end up nice and juicy on our dinner plates...) Horse poo is half as rich as chicken poo, but richer in nitrogen than cow poo. It's also a "hot" poo and needs to be composted. All poo should age for 6 months, or you can be like most of us farmers and spread the poo on the soil in the fall and turn it into the ground in the spring. 75 to 90 percent of plant nutrients fed to animals is excreted in their poo.

Pasteurizing poo??? Hot, composting poo should reach a temperature of 150 degrees F to reduce the chance of passing pathogens to people.

We all know that sanitation and poo control is important if you have animals of any kind...or a lot of kids. If you have animals, minus dogs or cats, and you have a garden that you grow your food in, it's a pretty logical decision to re-use the poo as fertilizer. I'm not sure the chickens can poo enough in the coop to get me enough fertilizer to cover all of my garden by spring. The re-enforcements are coming though, and Jimmy and Charlie will take up any slack in that department.

I know a lot of people don't like to acknowledge it, but poo is a part of life.

Happy constitutions to you all!!!

                                                                                    ...cluck... cluck... cluck... cluck......

Owen, Marion. "Manure Matters: How Manures Measure Up." 1998. 12 Nov. 2011.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Chronicle Profile: Fog Horn

Cluck, Cluck, Cluck

The chickens are enjoying this wonderful fall weather! All the sunshine and warm days means lots of time outside scratching and pecking their way to happiness. And my happiness too! I have been very happy with my egg count, rarely dropping below the double digits, so way to go girls!

With 17 hens, you may think that theres a lot of estrogen floating around outside. I have to say that it's equaled by the testosterone produced by my two roosters, Foghorn and Chaz..... more on Chaz another day. This post is all about Foghorn.

A few months ago when Dan and I were surprised to see a rooster developing instead of the hen we were promised (ahem, Master Feed Mill), Dan was adamant about calling him Foghorn. I was leaning more towards a manly ruler's name like Maximus or Ceaser, but in the end, Foghorn stuck. I just don't want people associating my rooster to the bumbling big air-headed cartoon you all see on T.V. Foghorn is anything but, and bumbling he does not.

Foghorn's chicken breed is Black Australorp. He is a beautiful bird with the classic archinng tail feathers. His  has that "beetle-green sheen" that is characterstic to Australorps. He's also the biggest bird in the flock. Foghorn matured much faster than Chaz, and so far (keep your fingers crossed), the two don't fight. Eli, who is an Amish man down the road and has a few hundred chickens, says they might always get along since they grew up together. And if two guys can't share 17 chicks, then I guess I should take them to pre-school with me and teach them a thing or two about sharing. But Foghorn does have rule of the roost and he likes to puff out his manly chest and strut his stuff to his ladies.

I have witnessed his mating "dance". ANYONE who spends a few minutes wathcing my chickens will witness some rated X all knew I would address this! One day he put one of his wings down, all splayed out and circled his "woman". I thought it was kind of cool. Normally he just runs after them with that determined look in his eye and you know only one thing is on his little chicken brain.

Early on Foghorn discovered his voice. I will never forget first hearing his pathetic attempts to crow and thinking, "What in the world is attacking my chickens!!" Like the concerned new mommy I was, I would race down to the barn to make sure everything was ok. Eventually I got used to hearing it and it made me laugh. But now, when I get up to use the loo in the wee hours of the morning I cringe when I hear him out there. No kidding I've heard him at 4:00 a.m....and he LOOOVVVEEEESSSS to crow at ten till 5 a.m. when we leave to go to the farm. I expect a note on my door anyday from the scarey neighbor dude...he has to be mad. But, he can deal with it because we live out in the country. Just turn on the fan like we do. But Foghorn will crow at anything new, so in a way I guess he makes a good alarm system.

So far we have a good relationship, but I always keep my guard up when he's in the coop with me. He will look at you with those small beady eyes and you can see him thinking, "I don't really trust you, but if you respect my distance, I'll respect yours."

If little Chicken Hawk ever came in and beat my Foghorn over the head with a baseball bat, he would be chicken dinner to the Mack Daddy, Foghorn.

                                                                                       .......cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.......

Friday, November 4, 2011



Welcome November and good-bye October! Though none of us can complain here on the Shawhan farm, we had a great month and for the most part, the weather was perfect.

It has been a little over a month now since the "accident" when we lost one of our girls from an insane and highly inconsiderate driver. After "that day" the chickies had to be confined to the roost and kennel area in the barn. They were mad for a while, but they got over it....except Sam and Kailyn.

Last Saturday the steer lot was finally fully chicken-proofed so the gang could go outside and enjoy the bugs, dirt and sunshine but still be safe from the road...and my flower beds wouldn't be destroyed either. HAHA that's what I thought. You know for having such small heads, chickens are smart little boogers and also determined. The other day about half the group was outside wondering around the yard uncovering my strawberry patch which I had just spent most of Tuesday covering. I've walked around trying to find holes in the fence but I can't see much to where they might be escaping. Unless they just fly over, which I wouldn't put past them.

Here's a little back story to getting the steer lot ready: Someone wanted to move the stuffer bin out farther in the lot. For those who don't know, the stuffer is what the steers eat to get fat and tasty...(yeah out here we raise our meat, deal with it). The rats also love this stuffer bin and reside underneath it. So my husband and his band of merry men friends thought it would be fun to wait for all the rats to scurry from under the bin when it was moved and end many a rodent's life. Somehow these rat carcasses ended up in the yard I got to mow the other day and lets just say Becca fought to keep lunch down when she accidentally ran over some. But for the free cluckies, it was a rare delicacy.

Hopefully PETA doesn't read this....

                                                                                                      cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.....

Monday, October 31, 2011


"HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!" from all the cluckies who are outside on this brisk fall evening.

Five girls are outside now trick-or-treating through the leaves finding some good stuff. The rest are getting their treats from their new roomies, Chuck and Big Mac out in the steer lot. The chickens love the corn in the no one goes without goodies tonight!

Chickens don't get candy on Halloween, but they do get bread crumbs which are their favorite!

Have a safe Halloween!

                                                                       ....cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck......

Friday, October 28, 2011

Samantha and Kailyn

So I've decided to name two of my black cluckies, who chose to fly the coop, literally, every. single. day. ......after two girls in my pre-school class. Samantha and Kailyn. These girls are related, look a-like and seem to be besties. In fact, they remind me of me and Emily.

Anyhoo, when one balck chicken started to escape and insist on laying in the hay bale for the steers, the second one just HHHAAADDDD to do it too.

~Monkey see, monkey do~

It just reminded me of the girls at school and it was what I started to call them.

I guess they can fly over the prison walls and lay in a predictable place. They are producing momma some eggs, so who cares!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In order to begin, let's review:

WELCOME to my chicken blog! So many family members and friends enjoy my posts on Facebook about my infamous chickens, I decided to devote a whole blog to them. In another post, I'll describe the various chickens I have and how many and other details. For this first entry, I've decided to copy all the posts I ever put up on Facebook so we can all be on one page. I was surprised that I didn't have as many as I thought I did. Oh well, so here goes:

"I am now the proud momma of 20 baby chicks :)  " (3-19-2011)

"I had a dream that I found eggs. I checked the girls' nest box twice today and found nothing. What a bunch of freeloaders : ( "   (7-7-2011)

"I GOT AN EGG!!!!! My cluckies are freeloaders no more!!!!"   (7-28-2011)

"I know who my egg layer is! Sadly it's not Prissy. But my A-student is out there now so I'm hoping to find another surprise later in the day!!!"  (7-29-2011)

"Egg #2 was discovered this afternoon!" (8-1-2011)

"It's like Easter everyday now :) "  (8-2-2011)

"My little neighbor thought it was funny to hide Easter eggs all over my lawn last other chicken news, there was a new egg discovered in the nest box this morning, but the shell was more of a membrane. Hopefully it's just because we have a newbie laying eggs and hers will firm up soon."  (8-4-2011)

"Two of my cluckies are laying now!!!! 16 more to go!"  (8-7-2011)

"In chicken news, my 2 laying cluckies are on the same page for the past 2 days, so now I have 4 eggs in my carton. :)  (I think it's obvious what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow morning.)"  (8-9-2011)

"Becca is one proud momma!!! My newest layer, the one in the nest box, squirted out a big egg yesterday. No wonder, it was a double yolk! (Someone's an over-achiever) :)"  (8-10-2011)

"R.I.P. flower beds. It only took all summer, but the chickens finally found you :( "  (8-23-2011)

"R.I.P. to my girl who got hit on the road yesterday. Who hits a chicken and doesn't stop at the house? Seriously, it's like hitting someone's dog. The rainbow this morning told me she made it to the big roost in the sky. Terribly sad about this. Big changes to come at the Shawhan farm." (9-21-2011)

"Record day of eggs the other day: 15!"  (10-21-2011)