Friday, July 31, 2009


Peri named the other naked neck. Yes, Daffodil. She seems to have a soft spot for the 2 ugly birds. Yes, I know what I have said before, but compared to the others . . .

I think she was thrilled that I would let her name one and wanted to before I could change my mind. (I wouldn't have, but you expect things you are used too)

Peri is my eldest child's best friend from kindergarten. She lives a couple of suburbs from Minneapolis, but we try to have her over a couple times a month. Beautiful isn't she. The picture is just over a month old, the birds are so flighty now it is hard to hold them long enough to get a photo.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

chicken greens

I have never kept up with weeding so much in my life. The chicken yard is bark covered - and they devoured the kale and hosta I had growning around the edge- so I throw weeds in everyday. They seems to like that better than the leftover lettuce or spinach that is on its last legs from the fridge. The morning glory and pole beans don't dare venture inside anymore - anything below 3' feet is fair game. (As you can see) I didn't realize hens could jump! Tweety is the most aggressive, she seems to spend much of each day hopping for the leaf...just...out...of...reach. Only a watermelon rind is more exciting to them.

I'm not sure what I will do come winter. The local grocery stores have a contract with a local pig farm. Although one produce manager made a point of telling me where the containers are left and what color they were, so maybe the pigs won't miss a few pounds a week. I know they can survive on feed for the winter - and I can live on beans and rice- but I don't think any of us would want to.

Shelly and the naked necks still cause the most stir from the local spectators. I guess they are just lookers.

Friday, July 17, 2009

permit update

Animal Control finally showed up to inspect the chicken coop and yard. This was supposed to happen before chickens were living with us. What a process.

I went to Animal Control in mid-April to get the permit. I stood in line behind a man getting a dog permit/license. It went like this. Ask his name and address. Proof of shots. $35. Done.

I had to leave my name, number and address and someone would contact me.

A week later I get a packet of papers. In it is a place for 20 of my neighbors to give their consent. If there had been an apartment building in 100 ft of my property line I would have had to talk to every renter. Luckily I don't and both duplexes near by are both vacant. 80% (or 16) had to be okay with it. (I wish the backyard breeder had to get my consent before whelping pups.) Also in the sheaf is basic poultry care guide and notice that the city can reinspect my coop at anytime and pull my permit if I am not taking proper care of my animal. (Once again the dogs next door living in their own shit . . .)

I spend a week getting signatures. I knew most of my neighbors anyway and only one did not sign. I sent it in with a check.

A week passes

Two weeks pass

Three weeks pass.

It is now 3/4 through May. I expect the chicks to arrive the first week of June. I call Animal Control who says my forms are all in order but they don't know when they will be able to inspect.

I week later I get a receipt for the check. I figure they cashed my check, I have a permit.

Anyway it is now the 2nd week of July.

We passed inspection with flying colours. Apparently the gentleman doing the dirty was shocked at how big the run is. (16x20) But, my husband tells me (I was at work) he was mostly interested in our backyard. He spent more time asking Chris about the plants, the waterfall, etc. that about our chicks.

I assume I will have a permit soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


There is a downside of kids and animals.


You always end up with a cat named Blacky or Orangey. My old roommate in college ended up with a rabbit named Kitty because of the boy she was nannying at the time called all animals kitty.

The Dominique has always been the most forward of the bunch. She was the first to figure out what the water was for drinking. She has the worm half eaten before the others are aware that there is a worm available. (Then it devolves into some kind of chicken rugby) She is also the first one at the feet of anyone who comes into the run. She has yet to figure out begging, but . . .

So the youngest is able to catch and hold her, both having learned that leftover breakfast muffin is tasty. So she has started calling her Tweety Bird. "Because she tweets," she informed me. When I tucked her in last night I capitulated, but asked her if we could call her Miss Tweet instead. She agreed with the slight change with the condescension of a princess.

I should consider my flock lucky. I could have been whined into naming them Blacky, Fluffy, Browny, Yellowy One, and Yellowy Two.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

yet unnamed

Two of the still nameless hens. On the right is the larger of my two Transylvanian Naked Necks, and on the left a yet unknown breed. I think she is either a Speckled Sussex or a Gold Laced Wyandotte. My fingers are crossed for the latter. I timed my order for the Wyandotte hatching hoping to get one.

I didn't want a Naked Neck, but now that I have 2 I have changed my mind. Their feathers are gorgeous. This pose makes me think of a miniature ostrich more than a turkey.

The plastic next to them is to keep them from squeezing through the chain link. I didn't think they were small enough - but I was proven wrong.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The neighbors call her "the chicken with the afro" but we call her Shelly.

All the other chickens will be in the coop and she will still be wandering around the darkened yard. We end up sounding like Marvin Tikvah from MadTV.

"Shelly, Come ON!"