Flock Reduced

The numbers are down, our flock is less than half it’s size, due to mainly age, illness and the infamous chicken-napping of Daisy, one of our shavers. Even the three remaining birds have been reduced somewhat, by means of someone or something, slicing one of our hens combs, clean off. She’s not been herself since, becoming skitish, and timid. Summer is on it’s way, the temperatures are rising, the flies are back, already caught one of our hens with a dirty behind, habouring maggots in her feathers, warm bath sorted out the problem, making sure to get the mess off the feathers. It would be nice to get some replacements, however, I feel it would disrupt the coop. We are getting two eggs a day, which at present is enough for us, so I think we’ll wait till next season, as by then the two layers will be past their prime laying years.

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40,000 Visitors

Hi keepers, thanks to all the visitors from all over the globe, too many countries to count, I have noticed in the new upgrading counter, California is leading the visitor numbers, followed closely by Auckland, NZ. Surprisingly in the UK, most visitors are from London, good to see Urban keeping is alive and well. Thanks again, I hope you continue to find the blog useful. TCK.

Big Fat Renee

Hi keepers, the end of an era, Big Fat Renee has passed away. She was a force to be reckoned with, a Light Sussex, an ironic name for such a bird, she was huge, the same as the two featured in the ‘Chicken Police’ vid below. It was very sudden and quick, she was standing in the middle of the garden, and then gone, a heart attack is all I can think happen, it was over in a matter of seconds. We think she was at least 5 years old, hard to know exactly as we got her as an adult, she was an ex show bird, we should have called her ‘Lola’ based on that. Her character will be sadly missed by us, but I don’t think the rest of the flock will miss her to much, she was very greedy, and stood over the feed so none of the others could get a look in.

Chicken Police

Hi there keepers, now alot of you may have already seen this video, but I thought I’d post it, because if you haven’t it’s great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnQBPbW2fcQ enjoy.

Moving Chickens

Hi there keepers, it’s been a while since I posted, there has been alot going on. Our landlord moved to Australia leaving our house with a property manager. She immediately put the rent up by over 10%, (her fee), and then instructed us we had ten days to remove our chickens from the property, quoting some tenancy act.

Rubbish, we had an agreement with our landlord about our hens from the beginning nearly three yeears ago. Waiakere council allows twelve hens on an urban plot, no roosters.

So we have moved, lock stock n chicken coop. The girls found it all a bit confusing, and are settling into the new garden slowly, I had to cut their coop in half to transport it, and then realised it was far too big for them, now that there is only four left, so I just reconstructed the coop half the size. We didn’t give them their afternoon feed to make it easier to  catch them when we moved,using the food as a lure to the box, it worked just like you see in the cartoons.

Unexplained Illness

Hi keepers, had an unusual week, this week, moulting  still going on, and as I mentioned in an earlier post about moulting, it can affect the birds behaviour, they can became rather inactive, so I was that bothered when Nancy became quiet when she started to moult. I was disturbed however when we came out one morning ot find her wedged behind the coop, in a bad way. After extracting her from behind the coop, an examining her, she appeared to be having some sort of fit, a constant twitching of the head to the left, and her left eye was closed, her left leg couldn’t support her weight.

The only thing I could put it down to was some sort of stroke, brain damage? What ever it was it affected only the left side of her body, she wasn’t eating of drinking, unable to move, so on day 2 of this I finally after much deliberation, put her out of her misery, it was very hard to do. So our little flock is reduced to 4 birds now, which mainly consists of pedigree birds, three mongrel birds have died.

RIP Nancy- The Boss  Sept 2008 – April 2011.

Moulting or Molting, To-mat-oe or To-ma-toe

Moulting Manuella

Hi keepers, it’s that time of year again in New Zealand, the days are getting shorter and the air is growing cooler.  This is the trigger for the girls to start their moulting, the shedding of their feathers.  It looks worse than it is, to the unfamiliar, the hens will just start to drop feathers everywhere, the run can resemble the scene of a large pillow fight, they just get everywhere, the chickens themselves do look as if they have been in a fight,  or gone to a really bad hairdresser.

There’s not alot to done for them during this time, some say to add some nutrients to their water.  The down side to all of this is, they stop laying, all of their energy goes into growing new feathers, on the positve side, I have collected alot of the bigger tail feathers over the years and I am attempting some kind of feather art project.

So if you’re experiencing this for the first time, don’t worry,  it’s normal chicken behaviour.