Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two's Company...Four's a Crowd


So I think we have finally reached our breaking point here on the Shawhan farm with all these roosters! Dan and I have made the decision to get rid of at least two of them. Don't worry, they won't end up on the dinner table! In fact, Eli (the Amish chicken farmer down the road who took Foghorn and Chaz) has offered to take two off our hands.

Sadly, I have to report that both Foghorn and Chaz are now deceased. I didn't much details other than the fact that Eli reported one dead one morning and the other soon followed suit. He has about 200 hens and his only rooster right now is a Bantam like Fumm....which isn't saying much! HA! Although how do we know it wasn't the little guy who knocked out the two big dogs???

Hopefully one day this week we can load two of ours up to become Amish roosters. I think we've decided Cad-Buddy, for his lack of beauty...sorry dude...and Orp, who is the new guy in town but has been giving Dan attitude already! I don't know if he had to adapt a bad 'tude because of Cad-Buddy and Chicken Hawk, or if that is just his nature, but it is what made us choose to boot him out of the tribe.

I'll be glad to be down to one and a half roosters...poor girls don't need that much punishment! I think Dan is glad we won't be having home-grown chicken dinner and neither am I. Despite the poor attitudes, I feel better knowing they are still alive.

Again, poor behavior gets rewarded with 200 new ladies!

Oh the live of a chickie!

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Good Eats Chicken Treats


We have just begun "harvest time" here on the Shawhan farm! The Chicken Lady has been busy canning green beans, freezing corn and making green bean and carrot baby food. Plus I have made several loaves of zucchini bread. I still have tomatoes and peppers to look forward to, plus 3 loaded down apple trees to make things out of and winter squash to make into baby food. I try to do these things in the couple of hour breaks I get while a certain someone is napping, all the while trying to stay awake myself!

Anyhoo, as I and my sometime helpers toil away in the hot kitchen, the chickens are out celebrating because they know I love them (though I don't get to spend as much time out in the barn anymore) and will bring them all the yummy throw-aways...for lack of a better term.

For example, Dan and I tossed countless bowls over into Kennel Bar of green bean ends. I'm not 100% sure if chickens like green beans, but the next time we dumped over our snapping scraps the tips and other throw-aways were gone. (I figure even if they don't like what I throw them they will enjoy pecking and scratching through them.) One day mom and dad brought up a melon and after cutting off the rhine I tossed that over the fence and the cluckies enjoyed what melon was left. According to all the reading I've done, chickens LOVE melons! However, I think potato skins are poisonous.

Last week we showed the love by sharing with them their ultimate favorite...sweet corn!

Dan and I planted 8 rows of a bi-colored sweet corn called Ambrosia (what we get free from the Pioneer sales rep!) Mom and I froze 30-something bags of corn and on Sunday I went out and pulled a few dozen more...I hate anything I grow to go to waste. I got 12 more bags out that. Dan and I will soon turn into ears of corn since I've been trying to incorporate corn into a meal almost everyday.

Anyway, of course one must shuck all this corn in order to use it, so of course the chickens get to peck and scratch through the shucks and if they are lucky, they will find a random ear of corn that didn't look too good to me.

(Please don't report me...my birds are STILL molting and look terrible! The fact that we have 4 roosters doesn't help either...more on that later. We are working to fix that problem!)

Not to be forgotten, the steers and Jimmy and Charlie enjoy the spoils as well...

Chickens are cool to have because you can throw them many a table scrap. I even save cut off strawberry stems, old bread and corn I've cooked that we don't eat out to them. (I'm a sick person, I know!)

This must be what it's like to have pigs and throw them slop!

Though I will know for sure because I will never own pigs...no offense to those who do.

If anyone needs me in the coming weeks, I will be in the kitchen or spending time with my favorite person in the world!

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

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Quartet


WOW!!! I can't believe I let myself go almost a month without posting! I'm so, so sorry...there really isn't an excuse for this, BUT everything has been happening all at once here on Shawhan farm, particularly green beans. And probably corn next week! Plus I like to try and make my posts good. I don't want to slap something on here only for the sake of "posting".

Anyhoo, I wanted to talk about "The Quartet". It is a "boy band" composed of my four rosters...who I can hear right now. (It's like they know I am talking about them!)

My four roosters now are: Cad-Buddy:

Chicken Hawk:


And Fumm... if you want to even count poor little Fumm in the classification of "rooster":

These four fellas have bounded together and formed a band, which they call "The Quartet". Now I know that sounds nice and sweet, just like what you are thinking of, like four little old men who can really harmonize.


This quartet likes to cock-a-doodle-doo ALL. THE. TIME.  And harmonize they do not.

They told me that during my maternity leave they have all bonded and decided to try for a recording deal. (Chicken Hawk even mailed out a demo tape to Capital Records.)  I'm glad they've become close...at one time I was scared Cad-Buddy and Chicken Hawk would hurt the younger two, but not anymore. Now it's all about "bros" and "dawg", a very annoying bromance actually. They said they were so excited for their friendship that they decided they all wanted to be famous together, tour the world and they showed the most excitement when they talked about groupies.

They should sound a lot better than what they actually do for all the practicing they do. They like to perform when anyone steps out the back door, when one enters the barn, all morning and I think their favorite practice time is 5:00 A.M.

I don't have the heart to tell them that I don't think they have what it takes to make it big. It would be mean to disappoint them. 

They did what to give a shout out to One Direction and the Beibs...they wanted to tell them to watch out! The Quartet is coming!

Maybe next summer they will be on Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series??? 

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