Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Crowing Hen....

"A whistling woman and a crowing hen, are neither fit for God nor men...."

I have heard this saying many times. I know what it means. It is not fit or proper for a woman to whistle, and it is compared to an out of place "crowing hen." It has been said it is unlady like. It has been said it brings bad luck. Some say women should not whistle because of the silly face that is made while doing it. I disagree...what is cuter than a kissy face? That can't be the reason. So my question is WHY was it thought improper for a woman to whistle. I remember Jo whistling in "Little Women," Her sister told her "Don't do it! It is so boyish."
Of course Jo replied that is exactly why she did it.

Overall silence in women has been a long standing topic of discussion for hundreds of years. One principle is

"Silence is a fine jewel for a woman but little worn"

and another is

"One tongue is enough for two women."

From time immemorial women have been accused of gossiping. It was even made illegal in St. Helena in 1789:

"Whereas several idle, gossiping women, made it their business to go from house to house, about this island, inventing and spreading false and scandalous reports of the good people thereof, and thereby sow discord and debate among neighbours, and often between men and their wives, to the great grief and trouble of all good and quiet people, and to the utter extinguishing of all friendship, amity, and good neighbourhood; for the punishment and suppression thereof, and to the intent that all strife may be ended, we do order that if any women, from henceforth, shall be convicted of tale-hearing, mischief-making, scolding, or any other notorious vices, they shall be punished by ducking, or whipping, or such other punishment as their crimes or transgressions shall deserve, or the Governor and Council shall think fit."

It is ironic that the voice of a woman has been compared to the loveliest sound ever heard...

"The whisper of a beautiful woman can be heard further than the loudest call of duty"

And to the worst sound an ear could ever withstand ....

"a woman's tongue is only three inches long, it can kill a man six feet high"

Honestly.....this post isn't about feminism or whether or not a woman is more beautiful or wise when quiet.. My real reason for writing this is much more important.

I have a crowing hen.

This morning I walked outside to throw out the trash and I heard a sound that made me jump out of my skin. I turned around to the chicken yard fully expecting to see some animal ravaging one of my chickens. The screaming that hen was producing gave me the chills. It HAD to be bad. I ran over the the yard but saw nothing out of place. The chickens were just looking at me as if nothing was going on. Then my Rhode Island Red hen who was perched on top of the water jug.... started CROWING. I didn't know hens could DO that! And I have to agree with the above quote...I don't think it is fitting for God nor men to have to hear that sound. That is WAY worse than some woman whistling, in my opinion.

I am going to look into it, but I am guessing that she is taking over Chick Magnet's job. I noticed that she also is roosting at night by herself since he died. She must be the "head hen" now. I can't help but wonder what she will do when I introduce the new Chick Magnet in a few weeks. Will she be angry? Will she put up a fight and start some "movement"? Or will she meekly just go back to being a girl who holds her tongue?

No Whistling.
No Crowing....
Because everyone knows that....

Whistling girls and crowing hens,
Always come to some bad end"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Maybe I am a bit behind the times here. Maybe you all have all seen this and I am just out of the loop. The kids put movies on from time to time and I force myself to sit and watch. Every now and then I actually enjoy myself....Like when they watch Surf's Up, Emperor's New Groove, or Pete's Dragon. (Hey..don't touch that one.)

They turned on Fantastic Mr Fox and I stood there for the first ten minutes not moving. It was so interesting I couldn't tear myself away! It was so witty and unique. I loved it! It has to be good if I am going to spend two hours of my life sitting in front of it.

The cast is wonderful and the story line is amusing. Mr Fox and his wife get caught stealing chickens. She tells him she is pregnant. He promises her if they get out of there alive he will find another line of work. He ends up as a newspaper columnist. He quickly tires of living in a hole and decides to go back to his former life so they can move up in the world.....

I will leave it at that....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chick Magnet 2

I am happy to say our new Chick Magnet arrived. I know some of you are wondering why I seem so taken with my chickens. I do enjoy them, but I also spend my time doing lots of other things. This is just what I enjoy writing about right now. Chick Magnet is what you might call my Muse. (Thank You Tify!) He has spurred so many funny little stories that I am now turning it all into a collection of stories that I hope will then turn into a book. Front and back cover with lots of amusing pages in between. I am enjoying the process. It seems to be taking care of itself.

I would like to thank my pals at Elenbaas for finding me my new little rooster. He is so cute. He is sweet...and he even has a teeny little attitude. On the drive home he was throwing himself against the box. Each time he slammed into the side he would move it about an inch. If I hadn't stopped him he would have flung himself right off the seat. If I hadn't tamed one Leghorn I might have been worried. Instead I just lifted the lid and let him ride the rest of the way home on my lap. He even fell asleep for a while in my hand.
When I put him in the brood box with the other chicks he ran around like a...well....ya know...
The two week old chicks towered above him. He didn't seem to mind. He started pecking at them right away and herding them to a corner. I am sure they were thinking...

"Weren't we just fine without this little pest?"

Oh, and if you notice a red spot on Chick Magnet's head, it's just lipstick from me kissing him. No worries.

Udu's Oil

I add Udu's Oil to my protein drink each morning. This oil was developed for people who want the benefits of good oils without any of the bad fats they should avoid. What happens when we don't get enough good fats?

Dry skin
Low energy levels
Brittle hair and hair loss
Poor nail growth
Deterioration of liver and kidneys
Behavioral changes due to brain deterioration
Glands dry up
Immune system deteriorates, resulting in more infections, poorer wound healing, and increased cancer
Digestion problems, inflammation, bloating, allergies, autoimmune conditions
Bone mineral loss
Reproductive failure: sterility in males and miscarriage in females
Retarded growth of children
Tingling in arms and legs due to nerve deterioration
Vision and learning problems
Insulin resistance
Increased risk of overweight
Increased cancer risk
Increased cardiovascular risk
Decreased ability to cope with stress
In mental illness, increased symptoms
Decreased lung function
Decreased tissue oxidation

Udo's 3.6.9 Oil Blend is a certified organic blend of guaranteed GMO-free, unrefined edible oils. The Oil Blend includes oils from fresh flax, sesame and sunflower seeds, as well as oils from evening primrose, rice germ and oat germ.

Flax Seed: helps control blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation,lowers cholesterol, aids in digestion, helps protects against certain cancer.
That's a tall order for such a tiny seed.

Sunflower Oil: Softer skin, fights infection, fights free radicals, prevents muscle cramps, enhances sleep.

Sesame Seed Oil: Antibacterial, ant-inflammatory, antiviral, loosens joints, controls blood pressure, anti-depressant properties, improves circulation, enhances sleep.

Coconut Oil: Hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss

Evening Primrose Oil: Relieves PMS, Eczema, stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, prevents bone loss

Rice & Oat Germ Oil: Lower cholesterol, anti-oxidant, protects skin

Rosemary Oil: Digestion, relieves head aches, mild diuretic, anti-inflammatory,

Udo Erasmus has become an internationally recognized authority on the subject of fats, oils, cholesterol, and human health. His academic credentials include two years of post graduate studies in genetics and biochemistry, and a Ph.D. in nutrition. He pioneered the technology for pressing and packaging healthful oils, and continues to provide consulting services to health professionals and individuals. Udo is a frequent writer and speaker on fats and oils, and lives in Vancouver, B.C. His book, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill is a must read.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dr. Berry = One Great Vet

It's amazing the things I now know about chickens that I didn't know a year ago. I checked out all of the books. I thought I was prepared. Really, it's experience that teaches best. I was really sad to lose that rooster of mine. I still don't quite know what happened. It seems we had a "Romeo and Juliet" thing going on. None of the other hens got sick after Daisy and Chick Magnet died. She was his favorite hen and I will always wonder if he died of a broken heart.

In this whole process I found a vet I like alot. Dr Berry at Lynden Veterinary did a great job. I brought Chick Magnet to him because I remembered that a couple of years back he saved our bunny Edward after his stomach got blocked up. I took my rooster to him and I was AMAZED at the difference between the care and concern he showed compared to the other vet in town. My Mom was a bit hesitant about spending money on another chicken. But the thing is....Dr Berry is what some would call "Easy On The Eyes." After he came in and talked to us and told us he thought we should at least try to save Chick Magnet, my Mom was nodding in agreement. She was totally on board with everything he suggested. When he walked out she looked and me and said, "I need to get me some sick animals and fast."

We left Chick Magnet there overnight. It was so sad. He held his head up as proudly as he could and looked at me. I told my Mom to look at him. He just stared at us, not moving. I could tell it was so hard for him to feel weak. For those who say, "It's just a chicken"......that is just not so. He was more than just a chicken. He was our silly, moody, funny, little friend.

I will now bring all of my animals to Dr. Berry. He took time to listen to us. He did more than I could have asked in that situation. It is so obvious that he understands that each person walks in there with concerns, cares and fears. He puts things into great perspective and makes you feel at ease about hard decisions. He didn't give me "canned" answers. He sat on the counter with his coffee and chatted. He did all he could for Chick Magnet. He said he felt sad when he came in the next morning and he was gone. That meant a lot to me. He called me and told me he was sorry I lost him.

I am now letting my chickens roam free. I think it will keep them healthier. Before I was worried that an eagle or a dog would kill them. I would rather risk that in return for the health benefits of scratching for bugs and eating grass all day. They don't pick on each other anymore. They are too busy having fun. They are so much happier. They are making a huge mess kicking dirt everywhere, but it's worth it. They are just so funny to watch. I wish Chick Magnet could have ran around free all day like that. He would have loved it.

Oh well, I am learning as I go......right?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bird Flu?? ME?!

I woke up this morning and felt a little odd. I felt dizzy and off balanced. I felt like every time I looked to the right I was spinning. Things seemed out of focus. I took my glasses off over and over and kept blinking my eyes to "fix" the blurry feeling. I thought that maybe my perscription changed over night for my glasses. I checked my email and then got up to make breakfast. Scott walked into the kitchen. I told him I felt like something was "off". He got his coffee and headed back up the stairs. I heard him say on his way up,
"Maybe you caught the Bird Flu from the chicken."

Ha.Ha. Very Funny. I hate to admit it, but the thought did cross my mind. The hen was leaning to the right. She seemed dizzy....great!

Well, for those of you who even just barely know me, you understand that I could really run with something like that and totally freak out. I took my glasses off, squinted, put them back on began loading the dish washer. As I bent down, as I so often do, I pushed my glasses up. My index finger gouged right into my eye.


There was NO LENS. I pulled my glasses off, laughing. I was such a Dum-Dum. I put them on, ran upstairs and told Scott I didn't have the Bird Flu after all. I leaned down and said,
"Look really hard at this picture... tell me what is missing?"
It took him a little while to see the problem...He thought that was pretty amusing. Mostly I think he was relieved that he was not in danger of catching the Bird Flu himself...

Now I just have to find that lens!

Daisy The Hen

I have not been writing on my blog for a few days. I have been a bit busy trying to keep my chickens alive. It all started with Daisy the hen. She was a Buff Orpington. She was the sweetest of all of the chickens. She was also Chick Magnet's favourite. I went out to check on them and she was just sitting there by herself, tilted to the side. I understand that most (if not all) chicken farmers would not take their hen to see a vet. I felt helpless looking at her. I had raised her from babyhood and was attached. People don't get harassed for taking their dogs to the vet. So I put Daisy in the box and off we went. Oddly enough on the way there, a bird smacked into the front of my windshield and died. I found it a bit ironic I was racing my bird to be saved from an untimely death, and in the process I killed one.

Evidently chickens are considered "Exotic." Which means this in vet terms...
"We are going to charge you twice as much to treat this rare exotic chicken." I thought $60.00 was steep but I was already there so I agreed. The vet said she didn't know what was wrong with Daisy. We would have to do $150.00 blood work. I just blinked at her. I had literally just hung up with my Mother who had blood work done that day and it was the same price. I couldn't do it...beloved chicken or not. I asked her how much it would cost if we just assumed she had everything they were testing for.


Ok....I choose door number two.

She sent us home with anti-inflammatory, anti-biotics, and pain killer. "It is SO EASY to give a chicken medicine" she said. "Just pop her beak open like a snap-dragon...nothing to it!"

There was no easy about it. I had to lay on her and man handle it down her throat. I could hear the surrounding farmers laughing at me from all over the county. I took such good care of her that night but the next day she was worse. I called the vet and they told me it would be $85.00 to put her down. I had to make a choice. That seemed silly. I could buy the kids new shoes for that price. I had a friend who has chickens and knows what to do in these cases. He gracefully ended her misery. I was so thankful to him. It wasn't easy but I didn't want the other chickens to get sick. Especially my Chick Magnet. I knew she was not going to get better.

Daisy will be missed...I tried my best.

I guess that is all part of this Chicken Adventure.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chicken Saddle!?

I could have gone my whole life without knowing what a Chicken Saddle was. I have a hen that was getting pretty beat up by Chick Magnet. I joked about about putting a little white tank top on him and getting him a tiny black and white T.V.

I guess what I call "Abuse", he calls "Love." She is his main squeeze. He is head over spurs for her. Still, I don't think she loves getting her feathers pulled out all day long. I don't think she likes getting pecked on the back left and right. I mean it's great to be creative in the bedroom and all, but enough is enough. I owed it to her to find a solution...poor thing!

So I have ordered a lovely camouflaged "chicken saddle" to protect her from her hormone charged mate. I hope it helps. I hope he doesn't pick a new "favourite." If so then I will have to make the next saddle myself. Jerry found a pattern for them online. That was so nice of him to research that for me. If Chick Magnet wants to be Don Juan, then I will be better off making them instead of dropping fifteen bucks a pop.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Is it illegal to drive with a rooster on your lap?

Jerry and I decided that when Chick Magnet got 100 followers we would do a reunion photo. It just so happened that when he reached that mark, it fell on Jerry's Birthday. I woke up today fully prepared to drive my rooster down the road to Elenbaas for a social call. We would visit his beginnings, and wish Jerry Happy Birthday.

Autumn had Alexa and Chloe over. I told them it was time to go catch Chick Magnet. Out to the yard we marched with bunny ears and a large box. After much laughter on their part I caught him, took pictures of him in the ears and then started for the rooster under my arm. I told the girls to just forget putting him in the box. I would just belt him in with me. They tried in vain to talk me out of it. I assured them it was fine. He would behave. He had no choice.

As I pulled out onto the main road I looked in the rear view mirror at the girls in the back seat. They looked so unsure about this. Chloe said I won the "Psycho-Mom" award and Alexa told me she would never forget me and would tell her kids about me one day. They watched for police the whole mile and were very relieved when we pulled into Elenbaas and parked. I am happy to say, CHick Magnet did great.

Jerry was genuinely happy to see us. Chick Magnet and I wished him a Happy Birthday. Jerry told the customer at the counter that I was a great writer and gave her my blog address. He told her she could read all about Chick Magnet and his life. She agreed that EVERY chicken has a story. Nobody thinks about what happens BEFORE the frying pan.... but they all have something to tell.
I am so touched that Jerry truly enjoys my writing. It's so sweet of him to brag about my blog to his customers.

Two teenage girls came into the store and watched us taking pictures of Jerry and Chick Magnet. They didn't say anything to us but they did look a bit shocked. They looked even more surprised when I got back into the van with my rooster in my lap and buckled him in with me. Jerry ran out to take my picture and to give me Chick Magnet's birthday present. A new container of ROOSTER BOOSTER. I don't know quite what it will do for Chick Magnet, but I intend to find out!

Jerry asked me if it was legal to drive with a rooster in my lap. I honestly didn't know. Jerry's sister came out to say hello. She didn't know either. are going into law enforcement. Is it legal? Help us out....because Chick Magnet is invited back to Elenbaas for the Mother's Day sale. We should probably find out before then.....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Can you lick your elbow?

Ace and Chase are so cute. They were trying so hard to lick their elbows yesterday. Ace was trying so hard that he almost did it. He got a little help from my Dad who was standing behind him pulling his arm back for the picture. We were all cheering him on, even though he was obviously uncomfortable. I was told in that same conversation that it is impossible for a man to pee while walking backwards. I am glad the two little boys didn't hear that one or they would have been out there trying it for sure. I can't stop thinking about that one and wonder if it is true. I hate to admit that I spent the good part of my morning googling it and surprisingly found nothing on the subject. I realize this post might very well be a waste of your last two minutes. I guess what I really wanted was a reason to post that photo of my Dad licking (or failing to lick) his elbow. Have a great day. :)