Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

The Sky is Not Falling, It is The Great American Eclipse: What to do with chickens

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Shaq, a Jersey Giant, tries on his NASA approved Great American Eclipse Sun Shades.(No animal was hurt during this eye exam).

 

Rare Eclipse in the United States

Tell the chickens the sky is not falling!

In the story Henny Penny, the hen gets hit on the head with an acorn.  From there she makes it a mission to go tell the king “the sky is falling”.

On August 21, 2017 some 12 million people in the United States will see the moon come between the sun and the earth , turning the earth into dusk and causing a rapid drop in the temperature. This is the first total eclipse for the United States since the 1970’s and this one will only be visible in the USA.

Many are calling this the Great American Total Solar Eclipse where from Oregon to South Carolina for about 70 miles wide the total eclipse will be seen.  Far and wide, all chicken keepers should have a serious talk with the flock to assure them the sky is not falling, it’s just The Great American Eclipse.

Here is a run down on what might be done to help keep the chickens safe:

1. The sky is not falling as Henny Penny may think, so have a discussion with your chickens concerning what is about to occur in their lives. Explain that this is a special event in the world and that although it will get dark during the day, it does not mean it’s time to retire.

2. Provide ample food and water for your birds as this may be a stressful time and generally speaking when live beings go through stress they like to eat and drink.

3. Remind your free-rangers that being aware of predators is still an issue. Because of this incredible event in history, a great many people will be off work and therefore will have their dogs possibly running free. Just because this is a huge phenomenon it would still be important to be vigilant. Other predators may be confused too and it is unknown how they will react to this special time.

4.. It will be important to note that a rapid drop in temperature will occur due to the sun being covered by the moon leaving the earth without the warmth of the sun. Remind the chickens that they may need to ruffle feathers for a short time during this brief cooling off.

5. Chickens should be reminded that they must stay on the egg-laying schedule. The brief darkness should not affect their egg production. The total eclipse should last only minutes. The very longest solar eclipse time will be 2 minutes and 38 seconds and that will be in Carbondale, Illinois.

6. It is doubtful, due to a chicken’s size that they would look into the area of the sun so glasses for chickens are probably not needed. However, for humans, NASA approved glasses should be worn. The chickens will need their keeper to be safe for future care.

7. This is an historic event and depending on where you’re located, it could be the event of the century for you. It is said that being in the “path of totality” will be an unforgettable experience.

Nan

The Chicken Matters Blogger

Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

Chicken Breeds

 

poultry-1868
The Poultry of the World poster- 1868-Library of Congress

American Game Bantam- (United States)

Characterisitcs– Hardy and often small, hardy birds, good egg layers, small birds, do better free ranging.

Personality- skittish, nervous

Color– Variety of colors, generally dark

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Americaucana, ( United States)

Characteristics– Many times called the “Easter egger”. Various light color blue eggs.

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people, easy to manage.

Color– Variety of colors including white and black,

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Araucanas– (Chile)
Characteristics– Rare breed, Many times called the “Easter egger”. High mortality rate, Various light color blue eggs.

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people, easy to manage, Non- aggressive

Color- Very unique appearance, no tail, ear tufts, Variety of colors including black , white silver, black red. Light blue eggs.

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Australorp (Australian)
Characteristics– Brown eggs, excellent egg layer,

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color– Black with large volumed body, Some have black ear lobe

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Names- Australorp, game, pit, langshan

Barnevelder (Netherlands)

Characteristics-Beautiful large bird. There are many dedicated groups who raise only this type chicken. The eggs are copper in color. Egg color is brown.

Personality– easy going, tentative,

Color- Black with copper in rounded or lace feathers, tints of green. Dark heckles, very red cone and waddle, black lobe. black with copper, and almost a green feather, red waddle and cone and black lobe, Rooster has a partridge plumage, Hens has a matching look as the rooster

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Buff Orpington ( United Kingdom)

Characteristics-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people, egg color is brown

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color– Light copper, bright orange, red waddle and cone, white lobe

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Easter Eggers (United States)

Characteristics– Green, blue, pink color eggs, good with humans, small birds,

Colors vary copper and black, black and silver, copper and gold and black

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Barred Rock– (United States)

Characteristics-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color-Black and white and beautiful. These are dainty yet hardy birds. They are good egg layers.

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Brahma

Characterisitcs-You can find this bird’s photograph on the front of the feed bag at Tractor Supply. This is a plump chicken, hardy and great for keeping the eggs on the table.

Personality- Good with people, easy with children

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Jersey Giant ( United States)
Characteristics- Good laying and prone to be broody,

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color- black,

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Leghorn ( Italian, United States)

Characteristics- Heritage breed, Small petite birds until they grow large and healthy. The male has a huge wattle and tall legs. The ear lobes are large and white. These birds are quick and agile with a fan tail. Good egg layers.

Personality- Our Leghorn are white in color. We have 4 hens and a rooster at this time. The rooster has a hot red comb while the hens have small combs and wattles. The all-white leghorn compared to the deep red comb and wattle really make them stand out. I’ve found these to be skittish more than other chickens that I have. They are quick and agile.

Color-The leghorn is generally white with bright red wattles.Theere are non-white Leghorns. The legs and toes are yellow. White eggs.

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Marans– (United States)
Characterisitcs- Good egg layers,

Personality- Easy with people, sometimes nervous, good egg layer

Color- Black with copper on the chest and down the front. Eggs are chocolate.

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Plymouth Rock, Barred Rock ( United States)

Characteristics- Dual purpose bird, produces a great many eggs. large eggs,

Personality- Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color- Black and white striped-type- Black and white runs horizontal, red cone and waddle, gray beak, red lobe, brown eggs

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Rhode Island Red (United States)
Characteristics- Produces a lot of eggs, friendly breed, large eggs, brown eggs,

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color- Burgundy in color, brown eggs, red cone and waddle,

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Silkie
Characteristics- Nervous, good with children

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people

Color- White with furry look, white ear lobe, cream or tinted egg color,
Names- cochin, pekin, croad, silkie, nankin

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Welsummer-

Characterisitc— Good with people, easy to work with

Personality- Good with people, easy to work with

Color- Eggs are chocolate

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Wyandottes (United States )
Characteristics-  Nice hardy bird for both table food and egg laying.

Personality-Adaptable, easy to work with, good with people but can be stubborn and can bully.

Color- Eggs are brown

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Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

National Ice Cream Day and Chickens!

Chickens are like any other pet you might have. You love them. Just as you would celebrate any pet’s birthday or some celebratory day such as “National Dog Day” or Cat Fancier’s Friend Day, chickens would enjoy a celebration as well. There are a few chicken celebration days such as – Rotisserie Chicken Day( June 2) Chicks Down South Month (August) and Chicken Lives Matter Month(November) and Chicken Dance Day(May 14) but it’s always good to stretch the love when you can.

Today was National Ice Cream Day so, we(us chickens) celebrated with a Nutty Butty. It was oh such fun too!  I hope you celebrate different events with your chickens.

Below are some farm related celebrations that you might consider with your yard birds.

 

January 5- National Bird Day
Jam 14- National Dress Up Your Pet Month
Feb- National Bird Feeding Month
Feb National Wild Bird Feeing Month

Feb 17-20- Great Backyard Bird Count
2nd week Feb- Homes for Birds Week
Feb 14-21- National Nest box Week

March 14-18- National Wildlife Week
March 19-25- National Poison Prevention Week

April-Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
April 1 (First Sat of April)- National Birding Day
April 4- World Rat Day
April 8- Draw a Picture of a Bird Day
April-10-16-National animal control Appreciation Week

May- Be kind To Animals Week
May 4- International Respect for Chickens Day
May 8- National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
May 14- Chicken Dance Day

June 2- Rotisserie Chicken Day
July 16- National Ice Cream Lovers Day
June 18- Turkey Lover’s Day( 3rd Sun in June
June 18-24- Animal Rights Awareness Week-

July Wild about Wildlife Month
July 1- American Zoo Day
July 22- Rat Catcher’s Day

August- Chicks Down South Chicken Celebration
September
16-23 National Farm Animals Awareness Week(3rd week Sept.)
September 29- Happy Goose Day

October- National Animal Safety and Protection Month
World Animal Month

October
October 21- Reptile Awareness Day

November 1- Chicken Lives Matter Month

December 14- Christmas Bird Count Week (Dec. 14- Jan 5
December 4- World Wildlife Conservation Day

Let the Fun Begin,

Nan
#chickenlivesmatter

Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

The Eyes Have It

Day 15- Blog 31 Day Event- 

The Eyes Have It- Chicken Eyes Matter

Chickens rely on their sense of sight in order to live and most assuredly if they free range or if they live in the wild. There are atleast 15 free range chickens on my dad’s land and really they are neighborhood chickens. No one claims to own them and no one feeds them. They truly live off the land. These wild birds must live by their wit and part of their keen living is that of having incredible eyesight.

Chickens can snatch a gnat out of the air in less than a nano-second. They can peck up an insect from the ground among a pile of leaves and debris. They have the ability to forage the forest with ease using their keen eyesight and beak. Due to the chicken’s quick eye sign, they have excellent motion sensing

Chickens have 3 eye lids; an upper lid, lower lid and a covering eye lid. Just as a human has a cornea, a chicken does also. It is clear and covers the iris and pupil of the eye. A chicken’s pupil is also like a humans in that it is the center black circle in the middle of the eye. With chicken’s eyesight the light enters the corner and iris and stimulates the retina nerve endings in the back of the eyeball. Chickens have tetra-chromatic vision. Humans have tri-chromatic vision. The Iris is the area of a chicken’s eye that has color.

Chicken’s have keen and sharp eyesight. As a result, they are often find themselves spooks by the quick movement of something. This is why a flock of chickens might run quickly towards their coops if they catch an eyeful of something moving quickly across the sky. This keen eyesight was an adaptation given by God in order to help chickens ward off predators. Many a life has been saved by being quick to find cover or run to safety.

Chickens do not roll their eyes. I fact if you are around chickens often enough, you will see their 3rd eye or eye-covering open and close periodically. Very often when they sleep they might close that part of their eye and when chickens are sick that eye often can be seen. Unlike a human, the outside eye lid of a chicken does not blink and chickens do not blink like traditional animal’s eyes.

Chickens do not see well far away nor do they see well at night. As a chicken keeper, I have seen my hens run into a deep corner after dark and appear totally discombobulated. That is why chickens are wired to go into their safe space at dusk.

Chicken Lives Matter

Nan

 

References: Mike The Chicken Vet , Dummies-Poor Sigh and Sore Eyes in Chickens, by Julie Gauthier and Rob Ludlow,

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

Coop Days -Cool Ways-Everybody’s Happy

Day 6- Blog 31 Days Adventure

coop2

Construction of a home is important. Of course, happiness is derived from being loved, and cared for but a coop can say “I love you” too.

We have 8 coops and 2 extenders and we’re fast becoming experts on what works and what does not. There are definite things in a coop that are important and then there are things that do not matter regarding a home for chickens.

Three of our coops are professionally designed and constructed. The others were put together by us folks. Oh my! All of our coops are operational and functional but each has good and bad points.

The least favorite of our coops are those in which there is little light, no drop down-doors and no inside nesting box. Any of the three of these things missing can be a nuisance.

Light is important for the chickens past dusk and in the early morning times so having an open window or drop down box to provide light can be so helpful. It does not need to be much light but available light in order to help the hens see during late evening entries and early morning wake-up times. Truly, you may not think of it but if hens cannot see, they can fall off of their perch and hurt themselves.

Drop-down doors provide needed air and the opportunity to close the coops at a whim. We have had several coops without a drop-down boxes and have installed them to give a nice breeze in the summer and to close the coop during the cold winter.

Inside nesting boxes help discourage hens from laying eggs in the far corners of a coop which can be challenging when wanting to get out eggs. Also, when hens go broody, it often presents a problem because hens like to share the nesting area for laying eggs. If a broody hens chooses that site, it creates a real kerfuffle. If there is more than one nesting box, the broody hen can be moved into the other box (not happily, of course) and its a win for all hens until the babies are born. This all depends on the size of your coop of course. In our home-made coops, we did not realize the importance of having nesting boxes inside the coops and built them outside. The hens used the outside boxes but on occasion would scratch out all of the hay which then led them back into the corners of the coop to lay their eggs. Inside nesting boxes are definitely the best solution.

Just as our lives revolve around our homes, and we derive pleasure from our own space meeting our needs, so is is for our hens and roosters. As we are the caregivers of our chickens, it should be our goals to work in an effort to make them as happy and comfortable as possible. God has done that for us and we should do that for our yard birds.

Build a happy home for your hens and build a happy home for yourself. Everyone will be happy.

Psalms 122:7 – Peace be within thy walls, [and] prosperity within thy palaces.

Proverbs 24:3 – Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

Psalm 127:(A Song of degrees for Solomon.) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.

 

~Nan~

Visit the 31 day blog~~~

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series, chickens

Happy Independence Day for Chickens

chickenredwhtieblue

Do you know that chickens love their independence? They do! We have our chickens in 6 runs. We try our best to keep them by breed. The first run has Jersey Giants, the 2nd has Rhode Island Reds, the 3rd hosts Buff Orpington, the next, Ameraucana , the 5th houses one huge brute of a rooster aptly named Buster and the 6th run is home to our teenage group; a mixture of breeds soon to be divided into the stable runs mentioned. We feed twice a day but we check on them often to be sure they have ample grazing food and fresh water.

When we come out to our runs, the chickens gather at the doors almost pushing them open. They want their independence. They do not want to be closed in the runs all of the time depending on us to feed them and so often during the week, we open the gates and give them their freedom. They are free to roam our acres and enjoy the fat of the land.  They can go, do and be…

Now there are restrictions. We monitor their whereabouts all day when they are out. We constantly walk the road, look down the paths, look specifically for certain ones that may appear to be AWOL(absent with out leave). While they are allowed to have their freedom, we do expect each yard bird to be on her best behavior. If they are in the road, we shu them back to the yard. If they jump in the feed bin, we run them away. If they eat the garden and plants, we scold them, so there are definite restrictions. We do this for their safety. We don’t want them to get into trouble or to bother the neighbors.

Today we celebrate our Independence as a Nation. This is a very special day for our country. The significance of this day is that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776. This would remove our country from the rule of Great Britain. We as a Nation would be free. During this time it was said that “these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states”.

We celebrate the birth of our Nation, The United States of America. The people of these colonies wanted to be free. They wanted to go where they wanted to go, do what they wanted to do and make choices themselves and not be beholden to Britain. As the ceremony was begun in the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell rang out, the coat of arms of the king of England was removed. Cannons blasted and “a new nation sprang to life”. (Pat Boone, Newsmax.com)

We all want our freedom and chickens do too. Just as our Nation found it’s freedom chickens need independence as well.  (Did you know where I was going with this story? LOL)

Here are 5 ways to provide independence for your chickens:

1. Open the chicken doors and allow your chickens to free-range in your yard.(foot loose and fancy free) .

2. If you cannot completely allow free-ranging, set up an area to change it up for your flock allowing them to graze in a different place than their normal run. (Use a baby gate, small fence, plastic fencing or netting to help you).

3. Select a few days a week to allow free-ranging. Maybe you cannot do this every day but you possibly can a few days a week.

4. Sometimes we allow free-ranging at the late time of the day because we know it gives them a limited time to be free in the yard which keeps them closer to the coops.

5. Place them in a separate fenced area for free-ranging. ( We have a backyard fence and sometimes we put them in that area and close the door allowing them to free range inside that fenced area. What area could you use?

Whatever you do and however you can provide Independence day for your chickens, try to do it for their physical health and mental health.

Nan

#chickenlivesmatter (Join our Facebook group!)

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

Presidential Order-Pecking Order

Being in charge is huge! There are those elected to be in charge, gifted to be in charge, talented enough to be in charge and then there are those who peck to be in charge. On the chicken front, it would definitely be “to peck to be in charge”. Pecking order is a real event in the chicken yard.

On July 2, Ann-Marie AlcÁntara a tech editor, wrote an article “18 People Who Are in Line For the Presidency”.   Using the the Trump administration, she created a list of names in order of power. Here is her list of the powerful:

1 Vice President Mike Pence
2 Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
3 Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
4 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
5 Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
6 Secretary of Defense James Mattis
7 Attorney General Jeff Sessions
8 Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
9 Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
10 Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
11 Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta
12 Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price
13 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson
14 Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao
15 Secretary of Energy Rick Perry
16 Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
17 Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin
18 Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly

So, for us folks in the chicken business, this is how it would come down in the world in which we live in terms of power.

In the chicken yard in regards to hens, dominance begins with a peck and the worst situation is for the lowest hen rated being pecked by all. It is suggested by chicken keepers that the most dominant hen pecks everyone. The 2nd dominant then pecks everyone except for the very powerful and so on. By the time it gets to the last hen, she is pecked by all. It is truly called “pecking order”.

Pecking order entails a lot.  Not only does the top hen eat and drink first, but she get the best insects and bugs if they are plentiful.  She  also chooses the best roosting spot and selects the time and where she wants to lay her eggs.  She’s top hen in the chicken run!

Below is the order of power in the Chicken Lives Matter run:

1. Juliette
2. Haus-Lady
3. Lena
4. Goldie
5. Janette
6. Sylvia
7. Dotty-T
8. Carol
9. Lillie
10. Sadie
11. Rhodie
12. Ronella
13. Olivia
14. Lavender
15. Octavia
16. Laverne
17. Labran
18. Crooked tail Tess

No matter what organization you’re in, there is a power structure. One thing we know for sure though… God is the ultimate power and He wants each of us to know these things concerning this.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.(Philippians 4:13)

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,Ephesians 3:20

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Trust God everyone because He is our ultimate power. Since being in charge is huge…we can trust God to be in full control.

Nan

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

I Wonder What The Neighbors Think

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We make a difference in the lives of people just as we do in the lives of our pets.

It’s 4:47 in the morning. There is an automatic light that stays on throughout the night beside my barn. It sits above the door and shines sort of near the coops. The huge amount of trees cause shadows on the ground so when I go outside in the early mornings to take the dogs to piddle, I try to stand in the dark behind a tree. It is early and I’m never fully awake when I take out the dogs. They are completely stoked, barks and all. The shadows help me stay in my sleepy mode long enough to get back in bed and snooze another 30 minutes or so. I try to quiet the dogs and get them back in quickly if at all possible. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

While we live in a secluded area, house lights from a distant neighborhood can be seen. As I stand in the dark waiting for the dogs, I wonder what the neighbors think. Do they hear the dogs? Do the roosters’ crows wake them? Do they care? Do they know that dogs matter and crowing roosters do too? They matter to me and I don’t even know them but I hope my pets aren’t disturbing them.

Moments before I get to the door’s threshold the dogs begin to bark letting everything out there know they’re on a mission. Their mission takes about 15 minutes. By the time they make their coop rounds and return to me, I feel as if the whole neighborhood has been put on alert. Again, I wonder what the neighbors on the other side of the woods think.

The first run the dogs take is by the coops. They chime in with the roosters’ crows, and I have 3 large cockerals. What a melody so early in the day. I don’t know how far the loud crow goes but when the coop draft doors are down in the summer, I’ll bet at least a quarter of a mile or more. With that in mind, the neighbors are hearing what I am. It’s frequent sound and awfully loud.

This morning I counted all three roosters crowing; 7 cock-a-doodle-doos in one minutes time. I wonder what the neighbors think. What I think is that these animals make a difference in my life. I am beholden to them for a variety of things and one is to awake from my sleep and care for their needs. I do this every single day with pleasure. (Am I crazy? Is that what the neighbors think?)

If dogs barking and roosters crowing make a difference in the lives of people, imagine how much impact each of us can make on the lives of others if we have purpose and mission in our day-to-day run.

Here are 5 ways to make an impact on the lives of those in your circle of influence:

1. Personal Contact
We live in a busy world. Each of us have things that we can do, want to do and must do. People matter so there are ways to use our personal contact to impact others. A face-to-face visit is a must if you want the very best relationship with someone. Who have you visited lately?

2. Passive Presence- The beauty of the day in which we live is the availability of social media, computer access, and all that comes with that. Use every possible avenue in the area of these tools to make a difference in the lives of others. Today, take time to call, write or contact someone you love. Send a text photo, text, video or write an email. It’s not as good as being in person but it’s still valuable and important. Who will be the next person that you seek to influence? Who gets your next email or text full of compassion and caring?
3. Active Mentor – Being active in the lives of others is important. You can be active in a variety of ways. You can take food, drop off something, mail an item or bring something needed to a friend or family member. Sending cards or actively doing something for someone is such a pleasure. Put hands and feet on this project. They won’t be disappointed and neither will you. Who is your next package going to be delivered from your hands?
4. Alert Action– Sometimes you might be the only one in a person’s life to see a struggle he or she may be going through. Use your opportunity to do something to help this person get through this situation or time. What can you say or do to be that encourager, listener, confidant?
5. Prayerful Partner- The scripture says that we should be in a state of constant prayer. How can you use your relationship with the Father above to help those around you? Pray for those in your life. What words to the Holy Father above can you request and for whom?

After you do things to help other including spending personal time with them, sharing posts, emails and photos, recognizing their life-issues as well as praying for them, you’re going to make a huge difference. You won’t need to wonder what your friends and neighbors are doing. They will let you know and God will reward you good and faithful servant.

Nan

Chicken Lives Matter even at 4:47am

Blog31Days, Chicken Lives Matter Series

Blog 31 Days- A Series on Chicken Lives Matter

Greetings and welcome to Blog 31 Days: A Series on Chicken Lives Matter.    We’re about to launch our “Blog 31 Day Series” and the first one will be on “Chicken Lives Matter” so here we are lovin’ chickens.  ‘You with me?  I sure hope so.

Go to the bottom to see Day 1~

Day 2-  I Wonder What the Neighbors Are Thinking.

Day 3- Chickens Can Be The Best of Friends

Day 4-  Independence Day for Chickens

Day 5- Presidential Power- Pecking Order

Day 6- Coop Days-Cool Ways- Everybody’s Happy

Day 7- Chicken Breeds

Day 8- The Sky is Not Falling, Tell The Chickens About The Great American Eclipse

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15-   The Eyes Have It

Day 16 –  National Ice Cream Day and Chickens

31 Days About “Why Chicken Lives Matter”.   Why Would Anyone Want To Keep Chickens? Would this be a time that you need to assess your level of love for chickens? Are you a chicken keeper? Should you be a chicken keeper?

Thank you for visiting Chicken Lives Matter. A new writing project begins today. I hope you’ll stay with me as we go on a journey about our chickens. If you’re not a chicken lover, you may actually love this trip as we simply talk about yard birds with names and personalities. I know! “Chickens?” I get that all of the time. “Chickens?” If I’m late to a party, my response as to why is always, “I’m sorry I’m late but the chickens were out!”. When I need to go somewhere for the night the conversation is something like: Me: Will you keep my cat? My friend: “Yes”. Me: “Will you keep my dog?” My friend: “Yes” Me: “Will you keep my chickens?” My friend: “Chickens? So, I get it when a person wonders about chickens.

This 31 day project is a take off of Myquillyn, “The Nester’s” writing project 31 Days to a Better Dressed Nest from 2009.  You can find her link here.

This series for 31 days will talk about “Why Chickens Matter” and ways in which you can create a haven for your own backyard chickens. Hopefully you will discover if you are truly a chicken keeper. If you have chickens you will be better versed in keeping them. If you’re not, you will determine if you want to get your own flock so stay with me for the next 31 days as we discuss Why Chicken Lives Matter.

Day 1~ Chicken Lives Matter

Why in the world would anyone want to keep chickens? Chickens don’t particularly like to be cuddled. Chickens find interest mostly in eating and on a whole, they are nervous birds. Unlike ducks, they don’t like water. Chickens like flies, and bugs and enjoy bathing in sand. Who would want to be a chicken-keeper?

My great grandfather of South Carolina, Medicus was a chicken keeper, as was my grandfather, Alec P. Vaughan, Sr who kept a chicken yard full of birds. My father, Alec P. Vaughan, Jr. as well, provided for chickens although I really think that it was my mother, Geneva who did the naming, feeding and actual keeping. We’ve been a chicken keeping family off and on for as long as I can remember. Growing up, our chickens free ranged on our 10 acres and as recent as last week at least 8 chicks roamed that same land with a mother hen leading the way. The rooster coud be heard in the distance when spending time at my father’s property.

At least 2 decades ago, we had at 6 chickens on our land. Today, we have a couple of dozen and are all the merrier for it. It’s hard to explain the chicken math thing. Chicken math has been described on the Little Cluckers Facebook page as “ the inexplicable phenomenon known only to chicken keepers whereby a desire for “a few laying hens” quickly turns into a delirious whirlwind of coop-building, covetous chicken buying, and egg hatching, all of which leads to a world of “a few dozen hens, a couple of roos, a turkey (OK, 2 turkeys), the eggs in the incubator, the chicks in the brooder, and oh yes, that’s right, the spring hatchery order”.

Chicken math is a “thing” whereby a chicken keeper has a phenomenal desire to have more chickens regardless of the number at hand. This desire supersedes most any rational thought and the chicken owner wants no part of rational thinking. Chicken math can be dangerous but we learn from it that “Chicken Lives Matter. To go to “Day 2” click here…

Nan

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