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Jan 28, 2010

Backyard Chickens Forum

Backyard chicken forum sites are not that many and if I had the time, I'd create a backyard chickens forum myself.

I have found several chicken forums. One of them is called simply Backyard ChickensBackyard Chickens is a popular forum that has been around for years.

However, it may just be me but I find that forum difficult to use.  I still haven't learned how to do photos and can't get my profile page to look decent. But the members are so helpful it makes up for that one small problem.

I went through about five blogs and sites before I came across another chicken forum that I think is top-notch: Urban Chickens.  This forum is easy to use, for me.  Try both chicken forums and determine for yourself which you prefer.  I am a member of both Backyard Chickens and Urban Chickens.

Forums offer such good information about backyard chickens, how to raise them, what to feed them, and more.  Plus the information you receive comes from another chicken lover who has already used the knowledge and found it useful.  Let me know if you know of a chicken forum you think is useful and I'll tell our readers about it. -- Susan

Jan 21, 2010

Fuzzy Top is Gone

Bantams (Pet Owners Manuals)Our sweet Fuzzy Top Bantam chicken was mauled by a neighbors dogs and she passed away in the hen house during the night.  Fuzzy Top is in the center of our logo banner above -- see her fuzzy little head, fourth chicken from the left.

Her best friend since they were little yellow chicks was Darth Vader, our black rooster.  When she came back wounded, we placed her gently in the hen house in a wooden nesting box on fresh straw.  We were not sure how badly she was hurt but her wing was broken.  Darth, her best friend, stood outside the nesting box all night guarding her.

Now all we have left are Darth Vader and Quail and both are traumatized by the loss of Fuzzy Top during the horrible experience of having two large dogs chase and attack them.  Larry blasted his 12-gage shotgun into the air to scare off the dogs and then we gathered up our little frightened sweeties and as I said before, put them all in the hen house.  Sad day

Jan 17, 2010

Brave Chickens

One of the first things I noticed about chickens is that chickens know no fear when it comes to protecting their young.  We watched, fascinated, as Henny Penny and Marilyn Monroe, our original two hens, protected and instructed their brood of young (9 of them).

These two wise hens trained their young well and that training saved their lives.  We allow our chickens to free roam.  We also live near woods that have plenty of wild life that also free roam.  Apparently these hens also realized the potential danger in the woods because while the chicks were quite young, one hen or the other would put out a high pitch whistle sound and all the babies would freeze.  If a chick had one leg in the air, that leg stayed in the air until the hens gave the okay sign.  I saw them hold their frozen positions one morning for a good five minutes.

But that training paid off one day around noon.  A raccoon came down out of a tall tree while the chickens were scratching around for insects.  It all happened so fast I would have to say it was all over in 20 seconds.

I was on the screen porch.  Suddenly Marilyn Monroe shrieked loudly and feathers started flying.  I ran towards the chickens screaming and trying to scare off whatever had hold of her and saw a raccoon run off.  Marilyn lay as still as death and there was not one sign of any of the other chickens.

I picked Marilyn up and Larry and I placed her safely in the chicken house, then we started searching for what we were afraid would be dead baby chicks.  We combed the area, we looked up in the trees, after one hour, I broke down crying and gave up.  They were gone.  I went into the house and laid down, broken-hearted.

About 15 minutes later, Larry came into the bedroom, smiling.  He found them.  They were alive but in the frozen state their mothers had taught them.  Amazing as it sounds, they were so still we couldn't see them.

But the bravest thing of all was Marilyn taking on the raccoon so the baby chicks could get away and hide.  Marilyn went broody for six weeks after that incident.

Jan 4, 2010

Below Zero Chicken House

I had to give away most of my beautiful little chicken family but did so to a very good home.  I kept three chickens.  I had to downsize my chickens because when we moved, we were too old to move the chicken house we had built for them.  It was the most perfect and secure chicken house in the world, to us.   It was insulated and large with two windows.  They loved their home.

But anyway, we no longer have even a decent chicken house now but we'd had to make due. Then the weather turned frigid reaching 0 degrees and lower at night.  So Larry found a red heat lamp and put it over the water and apparently it is working.  No frozen water this morning.  But I do wonder how the chickens feel about the red light; can they see okay?  They have such bad eyesight anyway.