About Me

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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Questions Answered and Other Commentary

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Thanks for another wonderful graphic Gayla. :)

 

Its Saturday morning and it is just beautiful out and the sun is warming the day up nicely. My kind of day. :)

I was asked if anyone has ever called me chicken crazy. Well...besides myself...my husband, my daughter, relatives. Who knows who else. I am okay with it though. They call me the crazy chicken lady. :) I am indeed a chickenaholic. I am not alone though, there are many others that exist out there like me! There are message boards and whole sites dedicated to Poultry lovers everywhere.

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For some, wresting a 10+ pound Sumatra roo may not seem like a lot of fun. It isnt. I try to raise most of my birds from chicks so they will be used to handling. When I got Johnny he was full grown and had not been handled. It is very hard to tame one once they are grown. This particular breed is very spirited anyway, whereas polish are very easy going. I got Kuckoo and Coco as young adults just under a year old. They were easy to handle and not a lot of trouble at all. I would have liked to show my Serama as they are just easier to transport, easier to handle, not so much fuss with a bantam bird.

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Spur trimming. Many bird fancier/keepers will tell you to use a dremel. To cut cleanly halfway down the spur. There is less bleeding that way they say.

What you have to know is this. Underneath that hard long spur is a soft spur. It is kind of like our fingernail, hard on the outside, but tender underneath.

The first time I did this I had Ian hold Hank. When we got him his spurs were so overgrown he was tripping over them. I used the only method I knew of, which was using the dremel. It was horrible. His spur bled and bled. Even with stiptic powder applied.

I went for a long time not trimming anyone after that. Then by accident, I discovered something. I decided I would just try using some really sharp snips further down toward the end of the spur. Grabbing a hold of the spur I inadvertantly twisted it and POP. It easily came loose at the base of the leg...like a hollow horn, and slid right off! VERY minimal bleeding. The soft spur in time hardens, then you can file the end down so it is not so sharp, but it achieves the goal of a shorter spur without cutting that tender sensitive tissue. So that is the way I do it nowadays. I take pliers, and wiggle the old spur loose and slide it right off.

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Dont feel awkward about laughing at me and my birds antics! Laugh away..this is what it is all about. If I can get a chuckle out of you, all the better.

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I dont eat my chickens. I don't keep meat chickens even though some consider layers to be meat chickens. Meat chickens are usually the Cornish breed that I have seen. All of my chickens are for eggs, for fun, for show, for pets. My first girls I ever raised are still with me. They will be 5 years old in a month or so. They dont lay eggs anymore, but they have earned their retirement and they will live out their lives here in contentment. Some will butcher these old birds after they dont lay anymore, but that is just not going to happen here. I have had to do three mercy killings since keeping chickens...and let me tell you, it was hard enough just doing that. To actually pluck, gut and cut them up...I am just not up for all of that.

With that said, I do know that the poultry industry is just gross, along with the pork industry..and so on. I pay close attention to where my meat comes from and try to buy chicken that has been raised naturally with no antibiotics, steroids, any of that. Being more rural makes that easier as the small grocery stores here buy locally.

I am a stern label reader, so that helps too.

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I wont have to prep Johnny like the other birds. He is black and I wont be giving him a bath and blow dry. So really he is mostly done other than the morning of the show I will put baby oil on his comb, wattles and legs to make them look nice.

The white birds take a lot more doing as they have to be given baths and kept on shavings and kept clean til the show.

This may not be the way some others do it, but this is what works for me. I have been told by other exhibitors that they dont wash dark birds, but always wash white ones, makes sense.

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When you buy chicken from the store, whole or cut up, does not matter, it is not a rooster. It is always a hen. In order to eat rooster you would have to look for CAPON on the package. I have only seen this at one grocery store and it was not with the regular raw chicken, it was in the freezer section with other unusually carried things like quail and pheasant.

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Dad...I wanted to say...I SO wish you and Mary could come to the show. It is a long way to drive though. I will have plenty of pictures to share from the show just like I did last year and the year before...so dont you worry, there will be plenty to post afterwards for you to see. :)

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9 comments:

bojgill4375 said...

Sun is shinning here too & getting warm. :-) So ready for spring! Like a dog's toenail too. lol Cherokee hates to have her nails trimmed. As good as she is it takes 2 of us to trim them. lol I bet the good dog nips would work good. German Shepherds have hard nails and big ones. Wishing you a wonderful day. Janie

plieck30 said...

I think Crazy Chicken Lady is a compliment and I would guess you would feel that way too. John has had to do mercy killing on cows and I just hate it but it just has to be done on occasion to minimize suffering. I'm glad you found a good way to trim the spurs. I wouldn't have the patience. I don't even like to trim John's thick toenails. lol Paula

frankandmary said...

I see the little chicks as magnets of need, soup or Briege food, but I know you love them :-).
~Mary

rdautumnsage said...

In all honesty before reading your journal, I never saw chickens as pets. Then again I grew up on a working farm, where the animals were our primary food source...(and yes, I can do it all down to quartering a pig, cow you name it...these days I prefer not to...)..

In short I find your journal, funny, enlightening and soothing to read. (Hugs) Indigo

malagutigrrl said...

I LOVE these little chicken workshops you do!  I loved everything about living on the farm in Canada, but raising the chickens was my favorite.  It rather surprised me at the time.  
LOL I feel like I always write the same thing here over and over!
:)
MJ

wwfbison said...

I never knew how to do the spurs, your method sounds easy, well easier.  I will have to try that out next time.  If I can be the crazy cat lady you can be the crazy chicken lady..LOL.  I always learn something when I read your entries and I love the vids of them too.  Has your dad been putting new songs up lately?
Love ya,
Lisa

solace223 said...

Wow, I ask a lot of questions.  ;)  Thank you for answering them.  I find the spurs to be really interesting and I'll keep your tactic in mind for when we finally are in the country and able to have some of our own.  I didn't figure you would eat your own (I know how much you love the little cluckers and you get attached just like I do) but I had to ask.  We buy most of our meat from the little store down the road and all their meat comes from local farmers.  They are definitely not animals that live in horrid conditions.  People would complain, BIG time in this area.  Animal cruelty is a major issue here and I KNOW people would set those animals free if they were here.  We do have a huge hog farm about twenty minutes from my house but even they live a life of luxury compared to most.  Their livers are used in medical research so they are fed the BEST food, clean water and have wonderful living conditions.  The other hogs that aren't used for medical research have wide open fields and good housing.  
Jamie

geocachelinda66 said...

That is a great thing you learned about the spurs!  I know you are a good chicken momma!  LInda

schoolgal040 said...

Hi Kelly~
I absolutely, or "WE" (lol), love these entries you write with all the info. We're both learning so much---THANK YOU. That is quite the neat little trick with the spurs that you do and totally makes sense. I remember the spur issues (bleeding) from years ago. This will help us when we get ours :)
I'm so excited about your show. Your love and dedication is amazing. And if I can just be "crazy in Las Vegas, tryin' to get to the country", then you can be the "crazy chicken lady" (LOL!!!). Love it!

Glad you like the graphics and I'll keep them comin' for ya.
Huggers,
Gayla

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