Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Chicken Dictionary


I gathered this chickie information from yet another article in Chickens Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2012). I thought I’d share it with you since there are terms and “situations” (for lack of a better word) I never knew about until reading this!
Brought to you alphabetical order…
“Alektorophobia”— A fear of chickens. It has a name and is a legitimate phobia.  My bestie Ashlie may suffer from this. She can be around my birds, though she’s expressed a fear of them. In extreme cases, some people are even uncomfortable around feathers and eggs! Imagine…not being able to eat egg because you are so afraid… 
“Concave Sweep”— Some breeds have “a back that curves continuously from the shoulders to partway up the tail.” (Damerow, 64) Some breeds with a definitive sweep include Langshans and Anconas.

 “Heterozygous”--“Genes in a pair that differ from each other.” (Damerow, 64) If two birds with these types of genes hook-up, the off-spring results are more unpredictable.
“Knock-Knee”— This happens when the hocks “are closer together than the feet.” (Damerow, 64) Basically it’s a leg deformity.
“Roosting Call”— Roosters do this to call in all the ladies so everyone can safely roost together at night. It’s a call that’s rapid, low-pitched and repeated over and over.
“Uropygium”— Located at the end of a chicken’s spinal column. This is where the tail feathers are grown. It’s spongy and a “triangular bump.” (Damerow, 65)
“Zoonosis”— A disease that can travel from chickens or other animals and also to humans. The organisms that cause these diseases are common in our environment, even if chickens are not a part of that environment. Humans with repressed immune systems are most likely to obtain this disease. Most of the time the pathogens are not a problem. Common sense in handling chickens and their waste can help prevent the disease. However, an infected chicken can show no signs of having the disease.
I’m sure there are many more chicken terms and need-to-know information out there. If I ever come across any more, I’ll let you know! 

                                                                                       …cluck… cluck… cluck…

 Damerow, Gail. “The Chicken Encyclopedia: Knowing Chicken Speak Means More Than Understanding Cluck, Bock and Cock-a-doodle-doo.” Chickens Magazine Sept./Oct. 2012: 64+


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Naked and Scratching


I am happy to report that all of here on the Shawhan farm are so far surviving the monsoon season. We have received almost 3 inches of rain in the past 4 days, but I know of others who have gotten more than that. Annoying as it is now, in the long run we will be very thankful for a good crop this year. And even though I can't get out to the garden to hoe it, because it's so wet, all my crops are coming up quite nicely. Carl will have several veggies to enjoy once he gets older, as I have planted things I plan to turn into baby food.

Anyhoo, I'm getting off topic. Now that I've got a baby to take care of, I'm home more and inside the house more. (That is the one thing I miss about the time B.C. (Before Carl), is being outside more and working up a sweat.) Some days I don't even get to see my horses or the chickens; it just depends on the weather and other demands. Even though I've adopted the hermit's lifestyle, it hasn't kept me from noticing a certain scraggly chickie getting braver and braver out in the yard...

This particular lady made it a habit to fly the coop or squeeze under the coop, daily. Many a night Dan and I would work together to corral her once golden butt back inside and to safety for the night. Other mornings Dan would report her already outside even though the rest of the flock was still penned inside the coop!

How she's managed to survive this long, I don't know. Maybe no predators find her appealing enough. I usually don't like to take and post photos of my birds who are in molt because they look pretty darn bad, but I couldn't help it with this one. She really does fit the picture of the topic of today's post. So PLEASE, don't call PETA or some other animal rights group on me, or the cops, because I swear she'll re-grow her feathers this fall... well maybe. I was privy to some pretty disturbing information about her the other day.

First of all, because I rarely leave my home I've been watching more T.V. I remember seeing the previews for this show and finally got to see a few episodes...seriously, who has been watching Naked and Afraid????????  I forget the channel it's on, but they dump two strangers out in the wilderness together and they have to survive there for 21 days....COMPLETELY NAKED!!!!!! Who on earth does this!!!!???? Those dreams where you are naked in public are bad enough! Why spend 21 days in the wild butt-naked?! Survivor would be bad enough and at least on that show you might win a million bucks and get to wear a bathing suit...

So I think this particular girl has found out about Naked and Afraid because, lets face it, she's running around the barn and the yard basically naked. She must also be an extreme survivalist spending that much time outside the safety of the coop and roosters. I've seen her far out in the yard in the fence line that separates our property and the neighbors, scratching and foraging around.

Some of the other members of the flock finally told me that she wants to get on this show. (What is it about my birds and reality shows??) She loves trying to survive on her own every day and says there is more to life than just laying eggs. They told me she ignores their pleas for her to return to the flock, and in fact, she doesn't even speak to them anymore. I guess she goes around clucking and begocking in Morris Code now. (Another one of her survival skills.)

Another rumor is that she tried to bribe my husband and the neighbor boy into filming her so she can send in a tape to apply for Naked and Afraid.

Plus, she is always running around the Shawhan farm -


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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

It's Independence Day!!


Happy 4th of July everyone!!!

Doesn't today just want to make you burst out singing Martina McBride's song, "Independence Day"? It makes me want to, but I won't offend all the passing Amish peeps with my terrible singing. I'll let Carl be all festive and cute instead.

So I'm sorry this post isn't about chickens and it's really short. However, I thought of some new post ideas at 1:00 A.M. this morning, so I'm hoping the creative juices are back flowing now postpartum. My blog and my chickens are still really important to me, though I don't spend as much time with the chickes as I used to. That will change soon enough, as Carl will one day be old enough to help me with barn chores.

Ok, so I have to go...someone woke up from this above blissful nap!

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