Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween! No TRICKS, Please!

I was preparing some goodies for SHARING at work (we are not allowed to have "potlucks", but we CAN "share").  I made Caramel Corn and DEVILISH EGGS -
They turned out fabulous - Goblin Eyes Recipe HERE!  The recipe calls for black olives, and since I had a few left over, I tippy-toed out to the hen house and offered them to the "girls" for a treat!
They loved the olives, of course!  I generally get 'gang-rushed' when they see me approaching.  They love ME, and the TREATS!  It will soon be time for them to try on their costumes....scroll down......

- and Monday Night is the BIG NIGHT FOR TREATS!  After all....I don't want them playing any TRICKS!!!
the ChickenWrangler

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Treats to Keep Your Hens HaPpY - or you might get a TriCk!

My hens have gotten access to wild seeds, bugs, and grasses during the months when the weather cooperates.  In Michigan, those days are becoming shorter and shorter.  Soon Old Man Winter will be arriving.  The food that Mother Nature provides is what's best for laying hens, and the greens provide Omega 3's which contribute to the health of hens and the tasty and healthiness of the eggs those hens produce.
 This past summer I started offering the Purina Feed with extra Omega 3.  The price is the same as a 50 lb bag of Purina Layena, except there is only 40lbs in each bag.  Boo.  But, the hens seem to like it as well as the Layena.  I'm not noticing any difference in color of the egg yolks since switching to the Omega 3 brand.  But, in winter when the greens are non-existent, I offer frozen spinach greens and other fresh greens to the hens to help keep their boredom at bay, and to add to their micro/macro nutrient levels.
Another product that has been popping up in our TSC stores is the Meal worm Frenzy - freeze dried Meal Worms!  I thought the idea was unique, and creepy....but, the worms are packaged when dried, and actually smell like peanut butter...AND - the Working Girls and new Pullets alike are actually crazy about them once they taste 'em! 
 The meal worms packaged in this fashion are a little pricey (almost $10.00) and so I ration them out, using them for training or just special occasions...Live meal worms would be less expensive, I'm sure.  And perhaps healthier.  And probably don't smell much like peanut butter.  But, just look at the response I got to an open handful of these treats!
Yes, they ARE spoiled, aren't they?  But, they provide us with those tasty eggs, so they're well worth the pleasurable treats I "shell out" now and then!  Currently I have been collecting 6 eggs a day. 
 That means 2 pullets have not yet started to lay.  Maggie May is one of them - her comb is not large enough nor is it red yet - but I'm not sure who the other "slacker" could be - perhaps one of the Buff Orpingtons - one has a pinker colored comb than the other.....So hard to tell at a certain point in time. 
Maggie May is pictured above.  She's not as full bodied as the other hens, but she's very pretty.  She has lovely green legs - perhaps she will lay green EgGs to match!  She's the prankster - this evening I found her roosting at the peak of the hen house, outside, 6 ft in the air!  Hubbs had to remove her - but her little toes were clutched around the edge of the rooftop!  Think she needs her wings trimmed back a bit..... More later!
the ChickenWrangler

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Funnies

Happy Sunday!
the ChickenWrangler

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vacation From the Flock!

In September we were able to find appropriate pet sitters to care for our hens, horses, and dogs, so we set off for a weekend away from it all - to visit one of my sons families in Illinois.  My granddaughter, his oldest child, was awarded the lead in "Oz" - her first Community Theater play, which would run for 3 days.  We would be in attendance for the 2nd evening.  I was really "geeked"!
Hubbs and I were so proud of our little "Dorothy" - she remembered her lines, acted with enthusiasm, and sang her solo songs wonderfully!  How happy we were to be in attendance that evening!
We were also able to make a stop in Iowa at "Antiques Archaeology", where portions of American Pickers is filmed.  Their shop is small, but packed with many of the items that were "picked" during the filming on various property locations.  We noticed the Laurel and Hardy rubber heads that we had seen on one episode.  How cool is that!
 I was glad to have my camera along for a few photo ops to help us remember the time spent there, and also in a small dutch town of Fulton, Illinois, where the Hubbs (right) and my son (left) posed for another great shot - -
We toured the windmill, that was built in the Netherlands and transported to Fulton several years ago.  It's now a "working" windmill where grains are ground and the flour is sold to local residents.
So fun to visit the areas where I used to live in the late '80's until 2000, and to see how much (and how LITTLE) things have changed in the small towns that I frequented so long ago.  And so nice to come back to our hens and other critters - and back to the same-ness of daily chores!

the ChickenWrangler