These are some featherless hens I rescued on Saturday. They really look bad. A couple are so featherless that I’m not sure what color their feathers will be when they grow back in. The guy had a ton of roosters and these hens are partially denuded by over-breeding. Could also be parasites or a skin condition, so I’m addressing that as well.
Naked hens get sunburned.
I brought them home safely in a couple of boxes, however, one box fell apart as I was carrying it up the stairs and the bald hens ran all over the neighborhood before i could round them up again. Suckers are fast without feathers - more streamlined maybe?
They can relax now and eat, dust bathe and one is still laying eggs.
My co-worker just came by, she’s sold all but the last two dozen eggs. 17 of 19 cartons of eggs. Impressive since the day is only half over. She’s taking orders for later this week. :) So incredibly grateful.
The hens all survived. They shivered, then snoozed under the heat lamp, ate, pooped, drank some water, and when they looked at me sideways, I threw feathery butts back outside. The truth is that they were pretty happy to be back with their peeps.
None of the girls seem any worse for the experience. It may be CA and warmer than the rest of the US, but it’s high 30s, low 40s at night so the water does get cold, and stay there. Hopefully the slant board will help if anyone else falls in. Fingers crossed.
Also, upped the number of water stations around the property, just in case.
Three hens in the hot tub. I’d thought the dog was chasing them in, but it seems that they lean over to drink the water and fall in. When hens fall in, they pull up their legs and sink. The first 3 years I lost one hen, last year I lost two hens, this morning three hens were rescued floating around. If they don’t have hypothermia, they will likely survive. They are under heat at the moment. I put a slant board in so that if the fall in they can hopefully walk back out. Oy!
This is how big a Barnevelder hen can puff up when she wants to. Normally she’s the thinner than the Ameracauna hen on the left.
Seven for Sunday - Bird Edition
I was invited to a 3 year olds Birthday Party a Lollapalooza & Pizza thing, but I passed and instead hired Francisco and Luise to build another chicken pen. It need it. It’s dark out there now and they are still at it, putting corrugated sheet metal on the roof to keep the interior dry-er when it rains. Nice guys, hard workers.
We made a Home Depot run and stopped at a local Taco truck for dinner - YUM! The place was packed with people. Took us 45 minutes to get our food, but it was worth the wait. In the down time Francisco piled up a tom of to-go salsa containers, to spice up his food…fill his fridge?
I was the only gringo, so everyone spoke to me in Spanish. It was a chatty group. I know Spanish words but have no idea how to put them into a sentence. So I come across as a dim bulb.
The guys I hire to work for me always want to know why I don’t have children. They are very persistent in wanting to know this…It’s a hard question to answer… :)
I got a bunch of multi-age chicks at the beginning of the month and it’s been a fiasco, 2 chicks died immediately, one has disappeared…no idea where it went. The folks that traded for my bantams, just emailed that they want me to swing by with a couple of chicks to replace the ones that died (no cost). How sweet is that? Nice folks, seriously.
I’m terrified to leave for the weekend. Yesterday, both dogs got out, a slew of chickens too, and one bird was stuck and had to be rescued. I have someone staying here but he doesn’t pay much attention to things.
My Craigslist friend Rubik, should have eggs hatching this weekend. A couple of dozen eggs this time are mine. I’m curious to see if his wonky incubator works. It is made of a pool noodle and a dorm sized fridge. He’s an engineer so it might be fine.
GARBAGE BOX HEN
I went into the front coop to throw out the trash (top photo) and when I lifted off the garbage bag, looks what I found! A broody Nankin! She’s setting a dozen eggs. I replaced the garbage bag, but need to find a better solution.
These aren’t my hens but this is the current status at my place. The latest bale of hay is crappy, it’s about 90% chaff - small pieces less than 5” in length. As soon as I clipped the bands holding the bale together, it started falling apart. By nightfall the bale will be even distributed on the ground. Chickens, it’s what they do.
Three Coyotes made a move on my hens this morning. I just happened to be in the front room when I heard the ruckus. The coyotes were on three sides of the pen, jaws snapping, panicking the chickens. I banged on the window HARD and got their attention. They stopped but didn’t move off until I came running out carrying a pellet gun. The pellet gun wouldn’t hurt them, but it would hurt. I’m unclear of the legalities of shooting, let alone shoot coyotes in my hood.
My apologies to any neighbors who may have glimpsed my towel-clad figure (with Carmen Miranda style headdress) running around like a crazy gun-toting Annie Oakley in the front yard.
I still have a TON of adrenaline pumping through my system over an hour later, the hens however are fine and seemed completely non-plussed by the event when I came out a few minutes afterward to feed them.
I have a call out to the handyman to come and shore up the security of the pen, just in case. I knew this was a possibility, I just didn’t realize how brazen coyotes are and how brutal the reality could be.
By the way - nary a bark was heard from my two dogs - until AFTER I ran outside. Slackers…
This is Smokyback, the hen that started laying blue eggs earlier this week. She’s an “easter egger” mutt, witch some Aracauna DNA which shows up in colored eggs. From the chicken list I learned the following info.
The pattern on her feathers is called “duckwing” - I have no idea why.
The dark color is melanistic overlay - meaning dark color laying over more the more traditonal light patterning—like a black panther is black over a spotted coat. Oh, and her feathers are irridescent, like an oil slick.
Some people are STICKLERS on hen ID - Apparently she’s a lesser specimen because she doesn’t have feathers growing out of her ears. or a beard and muff…for my part I’m excited to see her cool blue eggs.
This morning I went in the feed the birds, and heard the distinctive call of a hen laying an egg. I look around and everyone seems to be accounted for and is minding their own business, going about life as usual. I do a quick count and realize that the hen above is “missing”. Since the greenhouse is fully enclosed, I know she’s in here somewhere, but where? I look for a good 5-10 minutes skipping the inverted basket stuck in the corner which I believe that ONLY the quail can get into.
Finally I move the basket exposing the squawking hen, who is not at all glad to see me. She waddles off in a huff leaving two eggs - one blue (but cold so not from today) and one brown…which means that two hens have been using spot in the previous 24 hours. As I’m leaving I see her make a beeline for the back corner. 15 minutes later I return, she’s scratching around with her pals. I tip the basket and there’s a beautiful sky blue egg - still warm.
Things that make me happy on a rainy Monday…include:
my hens finally starting to lay eggs. The eggs pictured have all been collected since Friday. The brown eggs are from my Buff Brahmas, the blue is from an the prettiest hen I have, a partridge marked Aracauna mix with iridescent black sheen, the white is by request, a store-bought egg for size comparison :)
our dog doesn’t have a brain tumor, but she does have a brain (we weren’t sure) and now she’s down two teeth and is miserable, but she’s finally diagnosed and she’s her way back to being healthy
the STOOPID account exec I’ve been gritting my teeth to work with with has been reassigned, YEAH! I can finally move the project forward now, since the client and I are have been on the same page from the start and stuck working with this chick who is really CLUELESS when it comes to project management and communication
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and Kevin has offered to make me dinner down on the boat. Yeah! Don’t know where our relationship is going, don’t care, just plan to have fun, and wine. There will be wine…