Sunday, January 30, 2011


This image and text was in National Geographic magazine.

Stylish Mae Vavrea tops off her turban with a black-tailed white Japanese bantam rooster at the Chicago Poultry and Pet Show in 1926. Though not published in the story, this photo was probably acquired for the Geographic's April 1927 article "America's Debt to the Hen." In it author Harry R. Lewis notes, "For untold centuries the hen has been a companion of man in the onward march of civilization…The hen might be termed a universal favorite, in that a greater number of persons are interested and actually concerned with poultry than with any other form of live stock." No mention was made of the bird, however, as headgear.
—Margaret G. Zackowitz

Love it! This woman has some serious faith that her chicken will not poop on her. I manage to strategically hold my chicks in my hand, with their butt hanging over my arm so that if they poop, it will hit the ground, not me.

This photo did get me wondering though. Chloe as a hat? So fashionable, so chic. I'd need to invest in some chicken diapers though.

Amazon also had this option. Safer, but not as stylish.

(private note to my Dad: Do not purchase this for yourself.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review: Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens

A friend and fellow chicken-owner recommended this book. It has rave reviews on Amazon, and I'm liking what I've read so far. I skipped the chapter "Butchering Day (And Good Eating to Follow)", and focused on the chapters on breeds, chick care, and chicken coops.

I found out that both the Australorp (Chloe) and Wyandotte (Mirabelle) are considered endangered classics. And I loved the photos of the different combs, depending on the breed. Who knew that there are 9 different comb styles, going by such flashy names as V Comb, Strawberry Comb Rose Comb Spiked, and Buttercup?! Chloe's comb has already started growing in on her forehead, and starting to on the sides of her head. As the photo shows, she will have a very large single comb. Mirabelle will have a rose comb, which hasn't started growing yet and will be much smaller.

Speaking of the girls, I must go check on them. Their water cup constantly needs to be changed due to their naughty antics.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

pug + monkey

Serious cuteness. He's a snub-nosed monkey from China. Read all about him here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

chickens, 5 weeks old

Five weeks.  The chicks are almost done with molting their feathers.  They are less chick-like and more small-bird like now.  They are really friendly and comfortable with us, and Mirabelle has lost all of her timidity.  We just put our hands under their feet and they step right onto us.  They are curious, and will look around the garage and often try to take flight. 

The other night, Mirabelle flew from my hand to the windshield wiper on the back of the car.  Once she got there she froze up.  And, um, took a big poop in the car.  Today both birds flew to the top of their cardboard box when I took off the top screen cover to feed them.  Once they flew to the top they got scared, and they couldn't get a good grip on the thin cardboard, and I had to rescue them.  Too cute.

The box is definitely getting too small for them. I changed their water this morning,and checked on them a couple of hours later to find the water dish completely covered with pine shavings. Naughty birds.  There were also random small hills of pine shavings they had made.   So this weekend is The Big Move---to their coop in the backyard. Very exciting.

It's hard to get their picture as they don't sit still!  You can see some of their fluffy chick feathers still left around their neck, but most of their real feathers have come in.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mirabelle, 4 weeks

The chicks are getting BIG. They are molting their feathers and looking puffier and less fragile by the day. Mirabelle is quite a beaut, her feathers are a shiny chocolate brown with gold.

Mirabelle is still the shyer one, she will let Chloe come over first to eat out of our hand before she does. She pecks daintily and likes to scratch at the pine shavings. Chloe is curious and not at all scared of us. She will take big pecks out of our hands, rings, the husband's arm hair, and my nail polish.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


So cute, I had to get this lipstick...

You can buy it here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

chicks, 3 weeks, 1 day

Oh, so cute!
I took the red heat lamp out so these photos came out better.

They were curious about the camera when I took these pix. Chloe also really likes my wedding ring, and will peck at it to see if it tastes good.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Breaking news: Jailbreak attempt by Chloe!

Chloe managed to fly a whopping 27 inches high today, and got to perch on top of her cardboard box. Luckily the husband was standing right there and caught her before she took a tour of the garage.

Note to selves: We need to clip their wings. Soon.

Chloe and Mirabelle, 3 weeks old

Here's our girls, a little bit older and a little bit bigger.

They can "fly", or more like jump while flapping their wings, to reach their roost. They were really unsteady at first with their big feet, but they manage to move around on the roost, balance themselves and squat for a rest. They like to huddle together for company and to keep warm.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

our pet chicks, 2 weeks old

We got two chickens, our babies!

Chloe is a black Austrolorp, Mirabelle is a gold-laced Wyandotte.

Here they are on the day we got them, they are 2 weeks, 2 days old.

They are super cute and growing up fast. Right now they are living in a big cardboard box in our garage, with a red heat lamp giving them lots of heat. In a couple more weeks, we'll move them to the backyard, where the husband is building them a fancy coop. They flap their wings and try to fly, but don't get much air. They are very chirpy, and have different personalities. Chloe is the dominant one, while Mirabelle is shyer and tries to hide under Chloe's belly. Chloe will come running over to us when we open the box and put our hands on. She'll eat out of our hands, and Mirabelle will eventually come over as well.