Barnyard Fowl: December 2008 Archives

Damn.  Some critter got to Satchmo today and manged to kill him.  Of course, he was a little rooster - smaller than a standard rooster, but quite a lot bigger than my banty roosters.  Satchmo had class.  He stood out from the crowd.  He decided that an old ladder was the perfect roosting place for chickens, even if it was outside of the coop, so we had to build a covered chicken run around the ladder to keep him safe.

Satchmo was quite the ladies man.  The Americauna chicks hung out with him all the time, and actually fought over who got to roost with him at night.

Satchmo would come running to me every time I ventured outside.  Of course, he was probably hoping that he would get a special tidbit - and he often did.  
Anyway, I will miss him very much. And the next time I get a fancy chicken breed, I guess I will need to keep them inside the covered run. Sigh.

They want to start posting.  After seeing what happened at Three Dog Blog, I better give them logins so they don't decide to just hack into the blog themselves!

My favorite little rooster, Satchmo, had a close call today yesterday.  Seemed he was stealiing some of Buffy's food.  That is a vey bad thing. Buffy roughed him up a bit and left him in the snow in the pasture.  I walked out to the pasture to feed Buffy, and I saw a black feathered chicken in the snow.

Damn.  I was afraid it was a dead chicken.

There was some movement of black feathers in the snow.  Buffy bounded over to bark at the bird.  I screamed at Buffy.  Buffy does not listen much.  It's her job - she decides what is dangerous to the goats.  Unfortunately, she is also a puppy, so she does not quite get the idea that chickens are her friends, even if they snitch some of her puppy chow.  She doesn't try to kill them, but until she is more mature, I'm a bit concerned, and I'm trying to keep all the chickens well away from the goat area.  Only the damn chickens love the goats.  Oh well. 

Back to my long-delayed story - I realized that the black feathers in the snow were Satchmo. 

I managed to get to him before Buffy decided to play fetch with him again, and poor Satchmo was soaking wet, cold and shivering.

I rushed (well, as fast as an overweight, 55 year old with arthritis in her knees can rush- LOL) him into the house. Yelled at poor John, who had just arrived home, to get some towels, and I filled the kitchen sink with very warm (but not hot!) water and plunked Satchmo into it.

I was able to wash off his feathers - a little blood from blood feathers that had been plucked from his head by rude big roosters, and a lot of mud and ice. Poor little guy was shivering. I wrapped him up in towels and held him close until he started to be a bit more responsive.

John set up one of those radiant space heaters in the garage, and we put Satchmo in a cage with lots of food and water. He ate a lot, then went to sleep.

So, today, I hope to build a larger cage for him - hopefully about 4x4x4 and I'll put hardware wire and chicken wire around it all, hopefully wheels on the bottom, and some nice roosts for him. He ended up living in the garage last winter, because all the other roosters picked on him, but this time, he is NOT getting the run of the garage - what a mess to clean up!

I think I'll put Darling, my little Seabright hen, in with him so he can have company.

I'll get pictures later.

Keep warm every one!

Eggs Eggs Eggs

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What does organic mean? Organic means that chickens are raised without any antibiotics whatsoever on feed that was grown without any pesticides or non-organic fertilizer. It really has little to do with the treatment of the chickens, though the regs are changing somewhat.

There is an USDA Certified Organic label that can be used by farms that have paid the big bucks and waited 3 years to be certified "Organic" by the USDA. They figure it takes 3 years for any non-organic residue from previous use of pesticides to be leached out of the land. Last time I checked, earning that "Certified Organic" label cost from $400 to 1,000 a year.

Because I have such a very small business, I am exempt from going thru the certification process. The regs allow those of us who sell less than $5,000 a year of organic products to use the organic term. A good story about how all that works is here:

Anyway, the only time I can say my eggs are totally organic would be in the summertime, when the birds fend for their own on the farm every day - they eat seeds, grasses, bugs, even frogs, toads, snakes (apparently a great delicacy among the chicken folk). I don't have to supplement them unless it looks like they are not getting enough - then I give them "Natural" scratch grains from Purina - which means it is all grain and fruit, no animal by-products. A lot of feeds have things like feathers ground up in them, and other lovely things. Not that there is anything wrong with feathers - they help to make a great compost, but as food, eh, I don't know.

This time of year, my birds still eat grass on the ground, hay from my own hayfields, and the Purina Natural scratch grains. They also get leftovers! They love leftover veggies, casseroles - just about anything, but I never feed them leftover chicken casserole!!! You can, but to me, that's just not right!

Some use the the term "all natural" for their chickens and/or eggs - that only means that they are on a vegetarian diet. Only chickens are NOT vegetarians, they are omniverous, like humans. I find that the more insects, worms, snakes, frogs, etc., that my chickens find, the more wonderful their eggs are.

It is the time of year when people are baking - pies, breads, cakes and COOKIES!!!  Eggs are a vital ingredient for these great recipes.

I am selling fresh eggs for $4 a dozen.  And I mean fresh.  I collect eggs 3 times a day, and they are immediately placed safely in a recycled paper egg carton.  The Hens of Argghhh, have the run of the nearly 80 acre fram, and are not given any hormones or antibiotics.  These are pure, beautiful, yummy eggs.  

Did you know that most eggs you buy in the store are at least 3 to 4 weeks old?  Did you know that they come from factory egg farms, where the chickens never get to see the light of day are are feather to feather, forced to lay until their short life is over?

Shouldn't you consider paying a bit more for lovely eggs from local, happy hens?  My hens have names.  They know me.  They run to me when they see me because they know I'm there to protect them, feed them and make thier lives as happy as a chicken's life can be!

Make your baked goods the best they can be with fresh eggs from the Farm at Castle Argghhh!!!!

If you are interested, leave a comment, and I'll get with you asap.

Late Tuesday Farm Report

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Yesterday was kinda busy.  Chickens produced 14 eggs.  All other animals are alive and well.

My good friend Robin took me out to lunch at The Ten Penny in Leavenworth yesterday.  I had their fried oysters.  Gosh, darn, I love, love fried oysters!!!!

They we went over to the old Castle, which still has many, many items remaining in it.  I mean many!  Robin helped me to get through one work bench full of tools and stuff.  We separated the good stuff from the bad, and brought a fair amount back to the current Castle Argghhh!  

I also brought over at least 30 plastic model kits still in their boxes.  John needs to decide if he wants to keep all of them, or perhaps we can thin the ranks of the model kits ( I once counted nearly 300 different kits that John has not had time to build.)

I have been reading about other breeders of Angora Goats - and with the price of feed so high these days, many of them are decreasing their herds and not breeding this season.  Most of those folks do not have their own hay fields, like we do, so we are very lucky.  We don't have anywhere near the costs that other breeders have.  Well, I'm not sure we are a breeder yet!  I only have one doe that is likely breed. 

The plus side for me, though, is perhaps there will be less mohair on the market a year from now, and it will be more valuable.  Also, I plan on increasing our heard.  We have a lot of room here, and can easily handle 20 goats in the current pasture alone.  If I can earn some money, I'll put it into fencing and then I'll turn one of the old outbuildings into another goat barn and pasture, and I'll separate the bucks from the does.  

I am still looking for someone who spins who could test out some of the fleece from my angora goats.  Also, I'd like to find a dollmaker who would like to try out some of the mohair locks.  Please leave a comment if interested.

The idiot hens that refuse to leave the barn have created a toxic dump in a water bucket.  Honestly.  It stinks like rotten eggs.  Why?  Because at some point, a chicken thought it was a good idea to sit in the dry water bucket (hung at horse level, but not used because the horses have been in the pasture for months) and lay eggs, and then NOT TELL ME!!!

I went in a stall to get the water bucket (You can never have too many buckets on a farm!), to fill it with water that I could haul out to the chicken house and chicken coop.  As I approached the bucket, I was nearly overcome with the odor of what I thought must be propane gas!  You know, they add the smell of rotten eggs to it so that you know if you have a leak!

I was getting kinda concerned, but I looked down into the bucket, and there were about 40 smelly, frozen, rotten eggs in it.  

Now I know why I can't make any money on the dumb buggers!  Heck, I only want to break even!

So I gingerly carried the bucket of nasty stuff to the trash bin in the barn and threw the nasty frozen eggs in there.  I went about my business taking care of critters, then I went back into the barn and again, was nearly knocked over by the stench!  So, I put a lid on the trash bin.  And as it gets warmer today, I'll likely take the trash bin outside and put the contents into a barrel we use to burn trash with and burn it.

Odious, odorous chickens!

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Barnyard Fowl category from December 2008.

Barnyard Fowl: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Barnyard Fowl: February 2009 is the next archive.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Barnyard Fowl category from December 2008.

Barnyard Fowl: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Barnyard Fowl: February 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.