Monday, July 20, 2009

Savannah chicken coops we love

Okay, here's a great idea.

Forget the local garden tour.

In Savannah this year, they're doing the chicken coop tour.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The artist and her poultry

Okay, I don't know why but I found this piece in today's New York Times kind of irritating.

Actually, I do know why.

It smells a little bit of bullshit.

Feral rooster found in woods. Gentle enough within a day to be pecking mistress on the cheek?

I don't think so.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The things a mother puts up with

Is this the cutest, or what?

Watching the Araucana hen with her chicks, I've realized her body is totally shaped to take care of little ones. Her wings expand to cover them up in the nesting box in the evening, and now that they're bigger, and roosting at night, she's still protecting them.

You may not be able to see it here, but there's actually another chick tucked onto the roost between her legs. After I took this picture at dusk, I went back when it was nearly dark, and found her neck feathers had ruffled up over the remaining chick to keep her warm. (The other chick went under her wing to sleep. )

Friday, June 26, 2009

The chicks are hatching

We let an Araucana sit on the eggs and a couple have finally hatched. Hen very protective, but I shushed her out of the box for a quick picture.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The kitten and the silkie

People have told me silkies are extremely gentle and fun to have around, but I'm convinced after seeing this kooky video of a Chinese Silkie who lives in Silver Lake, Cal., that has taken a kitten under her wing. Read the story here.

View more news videos at:

Monday, June 15, 2009

And the Academy Award goes to....

There's a whole genre of chicken-flicks over at YouTube; here's a particularly fun one from Small Time Pictures.

Mad City Chickens!

There's a new documentary out about urban backyard chicken farmers. Check it out here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bulls, bears and flying chickens

The Wall Street Journal is now using the term "flying chickens"
as some kind of metaphor for investors believing in false recovery of the economy.

This led us to wonder a little bit about the whole idea of flying chickens. We know they can do it when they want to-like when they want to get inside the vegetable garden to hit on the lettuce, or nibble fresh dahlia shoots (I have always said that a fence is just a suggestion to a chicken, something to be followed, or not.)

Here's what I found. I'm thinking Letterman should do a whole show of Stupid Chicken Tricks and invite us all to New York. Dave! Llamame!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Watch out for that bonus bird

A friend and his wife are getting their first flock and asked for bird recommendations. The best way to figure this out is to think about what you want them for (eggs, meat, pets), and then choose, based on what they look like and what their temperaments might be. You can really get into it all day at the Murray McMurray site.

I suggested barred rocks (above), because they are real handsome birds. They seem to me to be traditional New England Yankee hens, and they're pretty sweet and mellow. In the evenings when they're settling onto the roost, they actually sound like they're purring. They are the old ladies of our flock now, and I just love them.

Araucanas are another recommendation, because of their blue eggs and nice, even manner. Someone once told me Araucanas were like puppies with feathers, and some are even trainable.

I have one of my Araucanas trained to come from anywhere in the yard when I'm picking Japanese beetles off the roses. I call out: "Who wants a beetle?" And she comes running. I've actually considered trying to get on Letterman with Stupid Chicken Tricks, but I know she wouldn't do it in the Ed Sullivan Theater.

Also, we had a nice buff orpington rooster who arrived in the Murray McMurray order as the bonus Mystery Bird. This was my other advice to my friend: Watch out for that bonus Mystery Bird. It's nearly always a rooster.

Birds we have tried, but didn't work out: silver laced wyandottes, which are lovely to look at, but not as sturdy as the other two breeds. We also tried the blue andalusians--they didn't survive the early weeks. And we've had some of the exotics in rooster form (those Mystery Birds again) and found some of the exotic breeds were temperamental--the silver-spangled Hamburg actually attacked my daughter once. Off to the pot with him.

So if you're just starting out, I'd go with the tried and true, less exotic breeds.

Do you have any chicken recommendations? Share them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For those chilly spring mornings

For all you knitters with just a tech of too much chicken love, here's the pattern.
We particularly like the Monet dining room-at-Giverny color scheme this bird has going.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

No cages PLUS green toys!

These cool chicken videos come from, which has a link on the right. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who talks to my chickens.

Cage-free eggs at McDonald's?

Yes if the Humane Society has its way, Gourmet blog reports.

Aloha, Oy!

I thought I was getting punk'd when I walked past a hedge in the parking lot of a CVS on Big Pine Key in Florida, and heard a rooster crow from inside. I got down on my hands and knees to look, and sure enough, there was a rooster and a hen tucked inside a tightly-branched boxwood.

Chickens are all over the Keys, apparently, not just famously in Key West. Now it appears there's another island with a similar fate. The Wall Street Journal reports on poultry problems in Paradise.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blessed are the peacekeepers

Another reason why we love chickens.