Runboard.com
You're welcome.
SAMPLE BANNER




runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)

Page:  1  2 

 
The Wids Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 07-2012
Posts: 337
Reply | Quote
Chikkins!


Hey, isn't this the forum where people post photos of their pets? Cool. Here are some one-year-old photos of my darlings. emoticon


Image
Chickens! emoticon

Image
So, from top to bottom, we have Blondie (Gold Sex Link hen), Runty (ditto), Pepper (Rhode Island Red rooster) and Lace (Silver-Laced Wyandotte hen). Pepper was and still is the flock's alpha male, even if I've since separated my boys from my girls (except for when I'm trying to breed some of them, of course). Don't worry; Pepper will be getting his spotlight later.

Image
Squeaky (New Hampshire hen), front and center. She's the flock's alpha female, den mother and oldest chicken. She's pretty mild-mannered, but she can turn into a ball of fury when the other chickens bother her. Even Pepper won't try to mount her without her consent, and that's pretty much his way of saying "Hello" to every hen in his path.

Image
Squeaky again. That's Lace's sister Silver in the background.

Image
Jody (Buff Orpington rooster) and Moochie (Rhode Island Red hen).

Moochie is one of Pepper's favorite "wives." Pepper has had quite a few chicks with her and the rest of his harem. She goes broody pretty often and she screams her head off at any humans who walk into the henhouse while she's nesting.

Jody was the flock's beta male and Pepper's best bud and wingman. And by "wingman" I mean "gang rape accomplice." I never thought that chickens were capable of teamwork until the first time I saw Pepper and Jody taking turns biting a random hen's neck and holding her down while the other would mount her. Friggin' brutes. emoticon

Sadly, Jody was also very loud and very talkative, and the only way you could shut him up was to set him in our fish pool and let him swim for a while. So I did that one day, but I went off to do laundry and forgot about him. When I finally remembered where I'd left him, I came running back to the fish pool. But he was already dead. Of all the chickens that have died on me, Jody tears me up the most. Because that one was all my fault. I still have his little shrine set up in my bedroom, too.

Rest in peace, you noisy, aggressive and strangely lovable little bastard. emoticon

Image
Jody and Runty again, with a bunch of old corn cobs. My chickens love corn on the cob. emoticon

Image
Runty, Spot (Barred Plymouth Rock hen), Silver, Lace and Pepper, with Squeaky and one of the Rhode Island hens--either Moochie, Pecker or Scarlet--eating an egg in the foreground. It's getting harder to tell all the Rhode Island Red hens apart; Pepper has sired so many children, the children are about as big as their parents now and they all have pretty simple coloration, so their combs are just about the only way to tell them apart...and even that method's not very reliable. The chicks were all hatched last March and April, about half a year after I took these photos.

The tradeoff is that I don't have Runty, Spot or Lace anymore. Runty got out of the chicken run and drowned herself in the fish pool somehow, and Spot and Lace contracted some pneumonia-like poultry disease. I had to isolate Spot (while Lace died pretty suddenly; she was already on her deathbed when I found her), but my attempts to get them through their sickness failed. I cremated both of them afterwards; whatever germs killed them weren't getting any chances to get at the rest of my flock.

Image
Spot being camera-shy. She always was one of my most timid chickens. Her feathers were so soft and fluffy, though...almost as soft as my Easter Egger Cheetah's feathers were. I gave both of them plenty of hugs and groomings. emoticon

Cheetah caught the same bug that Spot caught, though. I wonder if that disease is contracted through mosquitoes, like fowl pox is. I haven't had any chickens die from that disease ever since I started setting stink traps around the chicken run, so maybe so.

Last edited by The Wids, 9/11/2012, 10:27 pm
9/11/2012, 10:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 
The Wids Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 07-2012
Posts: 337
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


Image
Unlike most pets, chickens reward your love and care by giving something back...in this case, eggs that are a whole lot fresher, richer, tastier and more wholesome than any egg from any grocery store. Whatever I don't set aside for my family gets washed, cartoned and sold to my coworkers, which helps pay for my chicken feed quite nicely.

But some eggs don't pass my rigorous inspection process, so they get recycled. And that means throwing the egg back and letting the chickens eat it. And if there's one thing that chickens love to eat more than corn, it's their own eggs.

...friggin' cannibals.

Image
CHICKEN FEEDING FRENZY!

There's a cracked egg somewhere in the middle of that pile-up...but not for long.

Squeaky got to take the first bite, as usual. Being alpha has its perks.

Image
They're almost done with the egg now. emoticon

That's Blackie in the foreground. She's a Black Sex Link as well as the beta female and one of the flock's second-oldest chickens along with Blondie and Norma (the remaining two of my three Gold Sex Links). The reason why Blackie's the beta hen is because she's pretty bold and assertive, while Blondie and Norma are not. Blackie's not even afraid of humans. She and Squeaky will walk right up to your feet and stare up at you like, "Hey! You gonna give us some of those cookies or what?". emoticon

Image
Their henhouse, with twelve nesting boxes and plenty of perches inside. That's Judy (my Buff Orpington hen and Jody's widow) in front. She's rather plump and fluffy, but she has really bad bumblefoot in both of her feet. I go through a lot of zip ties and round band-aids making little sandals for her every time her old bumblefoot sores flare up and get all nasty and infected-looking again, and then I have to dose her up on tetracycline until the sores are under control again.

Poor little henny-penny. That bumblefoot's a bad thing to have.

Image
The nesting boxes.

I normally do a pretty regular job of sweeping out the henhouse. This was not one of those days.

I've since built a second chicken run and a second house for my roosters. The roosterhouse was a toolshed which some local scumbag left behind after my Dad and he got into a huge argument over some money that he owed Dad, so he left the shed behind as payment, and my family and I put some roosts and nesting boxes inside and built a fence around it. I'll have to take pics of it sometime.

Image
Judy nesting...and all puffed up, displeased as she was with my intrusion.

Why were all the feathers torn out of her back? Because Jody was not a gentle lover. But if one good thing came out of Jody's death, at least Judy has a full coat of feathers again. This message has been brought to you by the Department of Silver Linings. emoticon

Image
Judy again, right after I had lifted her and taken her freshly laid egg. She wasn't very pleased with that arrangement. emoticon

Image
Just one of many daily harvests. They'll look a bit more edible after I weigh them and scrub them off with some warm water.

Image
I'll put all my eggs in one basket if I damned well want to, Aesop! And don't try to tell me otherwise. emoticon

Image
Inspected, cleaned, cartoned, labeled, dated and ready to sell. Thanks, birdies! emoticon

I still remember the massive egg in that middle carton, too. That egg was beyond Jumbo size, and I had the egg scale to prove it. I had to crack the lip of the carton just to get the egg to fit! Good thing I use paper cartons. I never figured out which of my hens laid that egg, but she must have been hurting after she did.

Image
Most of my hens are from strong egglaying breeds. One Rhode Island Red alone will lay about 300-350 eggs each year, and my flock has several RIRs. And it shows.

I made the mistake of getting a meat bird once. Fatty was a big, white Broiler hen who rarely laid a decent egg, but she ate as much as any two or three of the other hens combined. She weighed ten pounds by the time she was three months old, so she was aptly named. She was also too fat to right herself after someone set her on her back, and Dad and I got plenty of amusement out of that. She was also too fat to survive long enough to see her first birthday, but I guess there's a reason why most chicken ranchers kill Broilers and clean their carcasses for the market when the Broilers reach slaughter weight in about two to four months. But at least Fatty had a good life while she had it; to my credit, I treat my chickens well, I give them plenty of room to run around and I never slaughter them for food; after all, they're pets to me, not livestock.

And, to my relief, I wasn't spending twice as much a month on chicken feed after Fatty checked out, so there's another silver lining.

Image
The 50-pound chicken feeder, with Blackie and Norma helping themselves. That metal trash can's where I keep the rest of my chicken feed, so the chickens can't tear the bag up.

I spoil them rotten with treats, of course. The resort where I work throws monthly birthday parties for all the employees with birthdays that month. I've been known to bring halves of company-sized birthday cakes home for my chickens to eat. No wonder they run up to me and beg for food every time I set foot in the chicken run. Our resort's kitchen crew serves up some pretty good cakes.

Image
I also use the henhouse's support beams and a black Sharpie to record each chicken's birth date (or approximate birth date, if unknown) and death date (when applicable). Unfortunately, I didn't start doing this until about six or eight months after I brought Squeaky and her sister Lou Ann home from the chick bins at Atwoods. So that's why I didn't remember exactly which day Lou Ann died; all I remembered was coming out to the henhouse some morning in the middle of July and finding her in her nesting box, stiff as a board. I never figured out what got her, either.

Okay, all this talk about dying chickens is depressing the hell out of me. On to a happier topic:

Last edited by The Wids, 9/11/2012, 11:22 pm
9/11/2012, 10:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 
The Wids Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 07-2012
Posts: 337
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


Image
CHICKS! emoticon

Okay, they're more like young children or preteens at this stage, but they're still little-bitties. Here we have Bertha, Princess and Gully, with Pygmy in the back and Cocoa just outside the shot. Princess was a Buff Orpington, so named because Jody and Judy took her under their wings. I bought them back in the February of last year, so they're all fully grown now...well, except for Pygmy (mysterious causes) and Princess (an opossum who got into the chicken run one night; fortunately, I heard her screaming, grabbed my Daisy Powerline .177 air rifle and a can of Crosman Destroyer pellets and ran outside in record time, so at least her killer didn't live to strike again). But there's that depressing old topic again, so let's steer away from that....

Image
Princess again. She was such a pretty chick. Very photogenic, too.

Image
Gully again. At first I couldn't come up with a name for Gully, so I took her to work with me. My supervisor thought that she looked like a seagull, so she named her "Gully."

She was the first of two chickens who have had the privilege of being named by my coworkers. I actually threw a contest when Pandora came along two months later; Mom and Dad bought me six chicks for my birthday, but Pandora was the only chick that we couldn't find a good name for. So I took a bunch of photos of her, attached them to a company-wide email with a brief description of her personality and made a contest out of it, with three dozen eggs for whoever submitted the chosen name. Our RV Sales manager Wendy sent in about a dozen names, and out of all the names on the list, "Pandora" grabbed me. So Pandora got her name and Wendy got the eggs. And our Events Coordinator Ashley--who came in Second Place with "Farrah"--never let me forget it. emoticon

Image
Bertha again. I think she's a black Araucana, but I'm not sure. All I know is that she's now fully grown and very broody. She recently started biting my hand whenever I reach under her to take her eggs, but I give her noogies and baby-talk everytime she does that, so maybe she'll stop after she gets tired of the noogies. emoticon

Image
Pygmy, Gully, Princess and Bertha again. Where the heck is Cocoa, anyway?

Image
Pepper and Moochie again, just being a happy couple.

Image
Big boy! emoticon

Image
And so handsome, too!

The splats on the fence are paintballs. After Jody and his incessant raping really started to unnerve the hens, I tried to train him to not do that by taking a slingshot and whizzing paintballs past his head everytime he'd mount a hen. If he stuck to his guns, I'd adjust my aim and zap him in the butt with the next shot.

Too bad he wasn't a very fast learner. So he walked around with an orange butt for about four or five months until he finally decided to cut the hens some slack. He did learn how to dodge paintballs, but at the same time I learned how to aim better, predict his moves and lead him accordingly. So I still won in the end. emoticon

Image
Hello to you too, sir!

Image
Even though he's good at chasing off squirrels and breaking up fights among the other chickens, here's Pepper doing what he does best: perching on the highest point of elevation in the chicken run and crowing his fool head off.

Our house serves as the wall for about a third of the chicken run's boundaries, which really cuts down on the number of insects who come into our house. If the chickens aren't roosting and a bug skitters into the chicken run, it disappears down a chicken's gullet. No exceptions.

Mice, lizards and frogs don't stand a chance, either. One time, I flipped over a rock in the chicken run and a little brown field mouse came running out. That mouse didn't make it three yards before a half-dozen chickens dove on top of him. Squeaky and Norma fought their way out of the dogpile, with Norma clamped onto the mouse's foreleg and Squeaky clamped onto the mouse's tail. That tug-of-war was decided in Squeaky's favor when the mouse's entire freakin' skin came away in Norma's mouth, and Squeaky capered off with the rest of the mouse...still alive and squeaking, no less. It was like something out of a Saw movie. I don't know how Squeaky managed to pull that mouse out of its own skin, nor did I have any idea that skin could do that...not until that charming little moment, anyway. emoticon

Chickens are full of surprises.

Image
The archway over the chicken run's gate. Yes, I screwed up the letters on purpose. emoticon

So anyway, chickens make very interesting pets. They have their own little personalities, and they're not nearly as stupid as people think. Except for Jody. He was stupid as hell. emoticon

So...have you raised any chickens lately?

Last edited by The Wids, 9/12/2012, 12:16 am
9/11/2012, 10:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 
everf Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 08-2010
Posts: 365
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


Baleful polymorph for the win :P

---
Kedri Senderthen- The Spring Storm
Fredegar Bumbleroot - A Happy-go-lucky Halfling
Pug - Half-Orc Dock Worker
9/12/2012, 1:56 am Link to this post Send Email to everf   Send PM to everf Blog
 
The Wids Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 07-2012
Posts: 337
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


quote:

everf wrote:

Baleful polymorph for the win :P


I don't know...some of those roosters out there are pretty big, ornery and scary. I'll stare down a minotaur before I try to deal with a berserk rooster. emoticon

Fortunately, all of my boys are pretty easygoing. Mr. Poopsy (Pepper's youngest son) nips my fingers when I go to pick him up, but that's the worst of it. emoticon
9/12/2012, 3:45 am Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 
Soliea Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 12-2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 59
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


do you ever put bunny ears on them and get them to make cute noises?

Hehe, cuuute.
9/12/2012, 5:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to Soliea   Send PM to Soliea
 
Mr Enigma Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 08-2012
Posts: 36
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


Lookin' tasty!
9/12/2012, 5:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to Mr Enigma   Send PM to Mr Enigma Blog
 
Valyndyral Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 01-2010
Posts: 30
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


As someone who cares a lot about factory farming and the way we, as a society, treat our animals (and more generally as an animal lover), I love you a little bit for keeping chickens as pets.

I'd like to do that someday, when I don't live in New York.
9/12/2012, 5:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to Valyndyral   Send PM to Valyndyral
 
The Wids Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 07-2012
Posts: 337
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


quote:

Valyndyral wrote:

As someone who cares a lot about factory farming and the way we, as a society, treat our animals (and more generally as an animal lover), I love you a little bit for keeping chickens as pets.

I'd like to do that someday, when I don't live in New York.


Would you love me a lot if I gave you one of my c0ckerels? Pepper has had plenty of sons. emoticon

But I have seen videos of battery cages and the "egg mills" that use them, though. It's enough to break a mountain man's heart. And I'm like, "Why can't these guys scrap the battery cages, invest in a ton of nesting boxes, let the chickens run around and send someone out to collect the eggs twice a day like normal chicken farmers do? If they're worried about egg-collecting efficiency, they can get those nesting boxes with the inclined bottoms and the egg chutes in the back. They couldn't possibly cost much more than those battery cages do."

You would think that common sense would dictate "No cages = exercise and freedom of movement = fewer diseases and maladies (physical, psychological and social) = healthier chickens = longer-living chickens = better quality eggs and several more years of eggs". But I guess I'm just not as smart as those big-time corporations, huh? emoticon

Last edited by The Wids, 9/18/2012, 8:58 pm
9/18/2012, 8:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to The Wids   Send PM to The Wids Blog
 
Valyndyral Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user

Registered: 01-2010
Posts: 30
Reply | Quote
Re: Chikkins!


Man I wish. Unfortunately, I don't think chickens are all that well-suited to city/apartment living.

The reason that factory farms exist in their current set-up is that even though the per-chicken output is lowered by the appalling quality of life the chickens are put through, per-cage output is increased such that it is still a net gain.

Thus, for a company that cares only about profit without any concern for the welfare of the living things that generate that profit, there's a clear choice.

It's a shame because it's hard to get away from this stuff. Even eggs marked "free-range" aren't necessarily actually free-range, as I'm sure you know already. The legal requirement to be able to slap a free-range label on your product is that your birds can get out and wander in the yard for a few hours every day. The other 20+ hours they can be crammed into one of these battery cages and you still get the "free range" label on your egg carton.

Last edited by Valyndyral, 9/19/2012, 11:23 pm
9/19/2012, 11:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Valyndyral   Send PM to Valyndyral
 


Add a reply

Page:  1  2 





You are not logged in (login)