Friday, October 19, 2007

Limping is getting better

Tweedy seems to be getting a little bit better. I've increased the amounts of treats the chickens get (more sunflower seeds, and more mixed grains) so that if she needs extra energy right now, she gets it. Her limp yesterday looked really bad, but today it seems less painful, more mobile, and she looks more fluffy. Unhappy hens are not a fluffed up, while happy hens are fluffy and perky looking. Yesterday her feathers were definitely downcast, which concerns me.

I really hope she feels better soon. Poor girl.

Also, it has been wet here for a week or two, so the hen yard is a muddy, filthy mess. I really hope that isn't making her recovery more difficult. Her nails are pretty sharp so I doubt she is slipping in the mud, but still. It can't be making it any easier!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tweedy's limping!

Poor Mrs. Tweedy! We don't know how or why, but sometime in the last two days she has hurt her leg. Both Matt and I have inspected her for injuries and failed to figure anything out, which is puzzling. She is still her aggressive, large, fluffy self- except that she is limping when she walks. Also, today she has been sitting on the ground (probably because standing is uncomfortable) which made me very nervous.

I hope she is OK soon. Matt replaced all the shavings in the coop today to make it fluffier and softer for her, so maybe that will help. With a sore leg she probably can't jump up onto the night roost, so I think she's sleeping on the floor. I really hope she gets better soon. There is nothing sadder to watch than a limping hen slowly walking across the hen yard.

Of course, she is still laying huge eggs. It is in her genes- I hope at least she is proud to keep that hard work up under such strain.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adventures of Carrotzilla and Timmy, part two

"Don't move! Stay calm!" yelped Carrotzilla as he desperately tried to think of a way to escape.

But the giant birds could smell the fear in the air, and it was too late. They moved in closer, and closer.

"AAAAAAhhhhh my eye! My arm!" shrieked Timmy.

The red bird had made her move. Pleased with her predation of Timmy's right eyeball, and she sauntered off into the grass to consume it in private.

As Carrotzilla saw Timmy's disfigured face and severed arm, he gave up all hope for survival. "I'M DOOOOMED!" he bellowed.

One of the black and white birds moved in for the kill. Once she was done brutally dismembering Timmy, she moved on to Carrotzilla.

In a few brief seconds of brutal pecking and clucking, Carrotzilla was reduced to an eyeless, legless wreck.

As the orange juices seeped out of his nearly lifeless body, he regretted letting Timmy convince him that walking in the garden would be a fun and safe pasttime.

-- THE END --

Monday, October 8, 2007

Adventures of Carrotzilla and Timmy, part one

This story is dedicated to my mother...

One day, Carrotzilla and Timmy decided to venture out of the house for a walk.

"Such a nice afternoon!" Timmy declared.

Carrotzilla agreed, "Oh yes, delightful!"

They walked along in the pleasantly dry grass and came upon an overgrown chard.

"What a horribly large chard plant! It sure makes a nice place to sit down for a moment."

"Well, we shouldn't stay too long." Carrotzilla was concerned- he had noticed a gang of monsterous birds milling ominously in the distance.

Then, the birds began to approach.

"I'm scared!" Timmy said.

"Don't be frightened, I'm sure they are harmless." Carrotzilla was trying to comfort Timmy, but he didn't like the look of the black and white striped ones. Too... thug-like. All of a sudden, the birds were upon them.

"Eeeeek!" screeched Timmy.

to be continued...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Giant egg report

I promised I'd write about the occasional giant eggs that the chickens lay. One of the chickens (we think maybe Tweedy) laid an absolute monster a few weeks ago. Because it takes months for eggs to go bad, we just kept it in the fridge until we got around to photographing, hardboiling, and dissecting it.

Recently I remembered that darn giant egg I was stockpiling. Here is the size comparison- on the right side is a normal sized egg. You can clearly see this egg is especially large!

After I took the photo, I hard boiled a bunch of eggs to make egg salad. Before I got too involved with the salad, I did remember to cut the giant egg in half and photo document the results. Results? Two yolks! This is pretty normal for free range chickens, especially in small flocks. One of our friends even found a triple yolker from one of her hens. That has to hurt coming out, I would think.

For the curious- A double yolk or a triple yolk is a mistake of the hen's reproductive tract. The yolk gets made first, then the white gets wrapped around it, and then the shell. It is kinda like an assembly line. In this case, two yolks get accidentally wrapped in one white, and then the shell just ends up encompassing the whole thing. Also, you would never get fraternal twin chicks tucked into the egg somehow- the egg is large, but it is not big enough to allow for two fully grown chicks at hatching age. The poor little twins would not survive.

I ate the whole thing, by the way. Delicious!