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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chatty, My big beautiful boy



Hello my Chicken friends!
By now you have an idea of what type of animal person I am, so i thought i might go off the path of one issue & write about many. I love reading & found that I have pretty much gobbled up all the info I can on my chickens. I have found some great books, which have become the books I use the most when I am at a lose of what to do. The Chicken medical book is a must in this household, though I must admit some illnesses look like too many listed in the book & can get you real scared real fast. To make my life & mental state easier, I have highlighted the area of each illness in that book on the chickens poo. Ok laugh, but to be honest, that is one thing that changes & is noticed usually first. Now, if you remember Nutmeg who had the mites, she eventually showed signs of Marckes disease & died. Just so you know I never let them suffer, my husband the chemist brought me home chloriform which has been a blessing, they go to sleep fast & never know. Anyway what I am trying to say here is books, web, magazines are a big help when you have a problem with your chickens. Now lets talk about Chatty, my big beautiful pet rooster. I had said at one time I trained him on a harness & leash. When he was really small, maybe two months old, I bought the smallest rabbit harness I could find, I turned it upside down so the top rested under the breast area & pulled the harness straps up behind the wings so he couldn't get out of it. The 2nd set of straps went around his neck area very lose. Reason for this, is they literally flip out if something is up tight on their neck & will lower their head until they pass out. Yes, it is funny the first time to watch but since I am not into cruelty I fixed it. Now I would put this on him when he was running around the house to get used to it for quite a while. Once he outgrew that one I got another larger & put him in that one. Well by the time he was 6 months old & the weather was nice, I attached a very thin cat leash to it & carried him outside. At first he was mad he couldn't go far on it & fought to get out of it mildly. If he had freaked, I would have picked him up & just carried him for a bit. We did this for days until he got so used to it he forgot he was leashed. I could hook him to the dog run lead & off he would go checking out the grass. No the dog didn't care, she is 14 yrs old, blind & lays pretty much in one spot like a door stop. Now, my southern neighbor was quite amazed to see us out walking around the yard & told her husband who was in Iraq at the time. Of coarse he thought she was just pulling his leg, until he came home in May & saw this big yellow rooster being walked by me. By the end of summer Chatty no longer needed the leash/harness as he then would follow me. I still put him in it occasionally if I want to make sure he is safe, especially when the hawks are out & about. Otherwise he is lose to run around while I am outside playing. He has now decided when I sit at the picnic table he wants to come join me & hops up on the bench next to me & talks. We have had some wonderful conversations about the things he sees. I also decided to see how he would react to a car ride when I went to my Co-op 30 miles away. I didn't bring a cage or anything, lucky for me now that I think about it. I put puppy pads down on the front seat & back seats & put him in the back. Well he got so excited & started talking up a storm. he is tall enough he can see through the window & was running from one side to the other telling me about all the things he could see. I must admit you do have to adjust the way you drive. Yes I did stop a few times too fast & had him fly across the seat into the floorboard. He now wants to be up in the front seat or arm rest between the seats so he is next to me. If I do have to stop fast, its great cause I can do the mommy arm bit & keep him from doing a beak dive into the radio. I wish I had an old beat up pickup but I have a red toyota which makes people do triple takes, where I think if we were in a pickup they would not be a bit surprised by the rooster looking at them from across the lane. That's what I believe anyway. Now please do not put your chicken in the car thinking you will get the same results as I have had with Chatty. I do not want to be the one blamed for your fender bender. I was just very very lucky, but I do so enjoy having him as company. But I also found out he hates the radio on, I think it is the sound pitches & he will peak at the side of my head if its on, so we have a nice quiet ride with just the two of us talking. I try to remember to bring him a jar of water & feed but sometimes i forget & have to stop at a drive thur for him. Now he is not complaining when he gets a sub with lettuce, roast beef, wheat bread, hold the mayo & mustard & a cup of tap water, no ice. I tear it apart for him into small pieces & put it on the clean puppy pad for him to eat while we drive back home. The water goes into the cup holder, 1/2 poured out so not big spills, for him to drink after his big lunch. See, I keep telling you I am no normal pet owner, maybe you will learn not to be surprised by what I do! He also loves when we go to the feed stores because he is allowed in & just loves all the attention he gets. As long as I hold him you can pet him. Well, things here are fine, getting ready for the spring thaw to rebuild the chicken coop but the girls in the basement are doing great & laying 5 eggs a day now. I gave 3 doz eggs to my southern neighbor this week & still have 4 doz in the frig. Well I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of information & will come back to see me again. Until then have a great Chicken day.

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