Monthly Archives: May 2015

chickies and lots of rain

From a private post made on May 30, 2007

All right, time to play catch-up.  This first batch is from the other day.  Apologies for the first one being blurry, on zoom, but you can see the black chicky climbing on top.  I’ve just missed getting pictures of them sitting on her, usually don’t have a camera with me when they stay up for a long time.  One time the white one was on top, and mama got up and started walking around with it riding up there until it slid off, very cute.

Thinking about another try.

Talking to les enfants.

When you see moms wrestling with their kids, think of chickens holding this half-crouch, sometimes for a long time, while the kids wiggle around under there.  They poke their little heads out, or go in the front and suddenly pop out the back.  Very busy in there.

Like this one popping back out and taking off…

But she told it to come back.

This is today.  I told my niece I would come home and take this picture to put on her comments on myspace, because I’m such a dork.

She knew I was hiding this.

I swear, I’m always the messiest person in the group.  But I had my alibis ready in case strangers had to ask.  I won the food fight, you shoulda seen the other guy.  Or, that’s what I get for holding a two year old in a white blouse.  I’m pretty confident that I can Shout it out.

I came home during another deluge.  We’ve gotten several inches of rain in the last few days.  That dirt down there is the little chicken dirt we made for the chickens to dust in, now a mud pit in an overgrown swamp.  A month ago it was barren.

You can’t see the water sheeting off the deck.  It’s not just wet, the entire walkway is like walking through a little quarter inch stream that is all constantly moving.

Let’s compare this rain forest/jungle to last winter…

The sunflowers are really enjoying this.  The two back rows are the mammoths, they’ll probably get higher than that window.  In the winter there will be birds all over them eating seeds that I can watch.  The middle row looks delictate, about two feet high, more ornamental, all colors of oranges and yellows and browns will pop later on those later.  The front row right behind that little fence– I forget exactly what kind of sunflowers those are.  Guess they’ll be a surprise.  But they look pretty thick and tough.

We aren’t having the best of luck with any other flowers this year.  All the bushes and bulbs froze and killed the flowers, except for the irises, but they didn’t last long because a heavy rain stripped them out, then the pentunias suddenly shriveled up for some unknown reason and now they look crippled and pathetic, and who knows what happened to anything else Scott planted in the barrels.  We’ve never had such a bad flower spring.  But there are orioles and hummers everywhere at everyone’s feeders, wonder if they’re feeling a little desperate.

We’ve had a new bird this year, guessing it’s in the cuckoo family, sounds like this one (hit the sound link when you get there) .  Black-billed Cuckoo – Whatbird.com The only thing that bird in the picture lacks is a solid light yellow belly, but the closest other bird I can find on that site to the same general size and shape and closest to the colors is Brown Thrasher – Whatbird.com but the bird we see in our yard doesn’t have the dashed lines on it of the thrasher.  I’d like to guess that we got a cuckoo that ranged too far into the wrong area, but I don’t see any others in this site that look right, so I don’t know what to think.  We spent several hours scouring the internet over two weekends and haven’t yet been able to identify that bird.

My very fave bird in the whole world is the Mountain Bluebird.  I rarely see it here because it’s mostly a western bird, but occasionally I’ll see one way off track and lost in Missouri.  I grew up in New Mexico just south of Colorado, where they were pretty abundant, and I really miss them.  You can see from these pics that they have a variety of hues, depending on age, season, native locale, etc.  Ever since I was a small child I wondered why I couldn’t be a bright beautiful blue like these birds.  I’ve talked to salons about getting hair that blue, but it’s impossible to do a permanent bright blue that won’t go green, apparently.  Wah!  Oh, well.  Anyway, if you’re interested, I didn’t take any of these, I got them off the internet.

                           

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Respect for Chickens Day

Chickens as a species remain iconic across borders and histories, not only capable of interacting with the human race, but responsible for feeding billions on a global scale that almost has no equal when marine animals are counted. More chickens are consumed than any other land animal in the world, according to Counting Animals.

Chickens are easier to raise and transport than all the rest. They adapt to climate and condition changes better than all the rest. They train easily to schedules and habits as long as a basic understanding of their temperament and instinct is adhered to. In spite of being a migrationless bird species, they’ve become the most extensively tucked into every nook and cranny the earth has to offer because their relationship with humans has become so codependent that neither one could live well without the other.

“Live well” is what Respect for Chickens Day is all about. Thanks to several years of growing awareness, chickens are slowly coming to live less like slaves and more like the energetic curious creatures they were born to be. Strict genetic reengineering may have somewhat solved some cost-benefit problems, but also reveal a disturbing darker side of human industrial development. While we hope to be advancing beyond our own racial and gender socioeconomic typecasting, large and small scale chicken keeping both reveal a dastardly willful ignorance as the science of suffering measures the limits of tolerance and growth rates down to the jots and tittles of personal space and nutrition. Raging debates continue regarding the definitions of cage free and free range, with the public being trained to look approvingly upon pastured flocks.

Chickens by nature are born into what I like to think of as small tribes. They become proficient athletes and have been known to free range for miles. They stringently guard their own and prevent new disease by driving off or killing tribeless wanderers, while thoroughly inspecting every inch of range along the way. Their diet is so varied that they are able to subsist on nearly anything they find, and their gut is healthiest when that is exactly what they do. Raising chickens on milled feed, grit rocks, oyster shells, inoculations, parasite purges, and vitamins in drinking water is a poor substitute for what we now know are vitally missing prebiotics and probiotics found everywhere in nature. Interestingly, chickens in captivity seem to mirror humans living in big cities, far removed from our original nature, subsisting on processed foods and enhancing our lives with toys and meds that help us psychologically tolerate our crowded conditions.

Chickens are one of the most studied animals in the world, along with humans. I daresay a good look at chickens side by side with humans is telling of a world where we have all become slaves to markets, housing, shipping, education, governments, and many more interacting world systems. It might sound cheesy, but I’m going to say it- We must look to the chicken to see the future of man.