The Bad Egg


Size Matters
May 6, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Chick Pics, Stories

The adult chickens are definitely talking about the two month old chicks even though they like to pretend they don’t care. We can’t let the old and the new mix until the new chicks are full grown, otherwise I’ve read I’ll be inviting violence, mayhem and death.

Just look at Frida and Wanda plotting with each other already:

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It’s hard to see, but the chicks are in the pen. They are still that small compared to the adult chickens.



The End of…2009
December 31, 2009, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Stories, The Experiment

I think this picture nicely sums up the effects of the last year of events on our household:

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The Dog decided his favorite stuffed animal was no longer his favorite.

I try not to write about troubles any larger than your average backyard chicken, but some evils cannot be born–like say, the incident of the pomegranate tree killer. Other troubles are so large…this is just not that kind of blog.

Most people have had to scale back on, well, everything–that’s definitely us this year. In a lot of ways it’s a good thing, but being forced to do something isn’t as fun choosing to do it. One thing I did actively choose to do was to scale back on goals for the coming year. To me, goals imply that an individual has agency, time and effort to complete the goals, but life over the last year showed our household that this is very far from the truth.

But, and.

Wishes–that’s a different story. I think of a wish as something I would like to be true or to happen, even though I know it might be unlikely given the circumstances. I have plenty of wishes for the New Year–things I wish to dwell on, develop, create, cultivate. A wish is something nice that might or might not happen; it’s out of my control. A wish not coming true feels disappointing, but a goal left uncompleted feels worse, like a personal failure. A wish fulfilled–it’s like an unexpected gift.

So here are some wishes for the New Year:

I wish for time and energy. Time and energy to plant a garden, raise a few more chickens, take more photos, read lots of books, hike in beautiful places with the S.O. and The Dog, enjoy the rain, enjoy the sunshine, steal a few oranges from the fruit tree belonging to the vacant house next door, work on my writing projects–and the list goes on, but you get the idea.

I also wish all of you lots of time and energy to pursue what you love in the New Year!



Winter in Sacramento
December 8, 2009, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Stories

We were supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow here in Sacramento yesterday. Our house didn’t get any snow, but I know other people in the area who said theirs did. This kind of thing happens maybe once every 20 years or so in Sacramento. I think the last time was in 1990.

Anyways, no snow, but lots of rain yesterday. Lots of ice this morning:
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Coming soon: The Rat Problem, Wanda’s Foot Surgery and SAD Chickens.



The Flour Thief
November 23, 2009, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Stories, The Dog

This is what we came home to over the weekend–I wonder who the culprit is?
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Cross-species First Aid Kit (For Humans, Dogs and Chickens)
September 18, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: News & Resources, Stories, The Experiment

A Family of Injuries

Those of you who know me in real life — which, let’s face it, is probably all of you cause who else would read my chicken blog besides friends and family? 🙂 — and follow me on Facebook, know that The S.O. injured himself while mountain biking last week. A week before that, we were horribly irresponsible and let The Dog run around on a bunch of jagged rocks at the lake. The rocks cut up his pads so bad he limped and needed to wear the Cone of Shame for a week. Just a few days ago, I managed to cut my hand pretty bad on a broken piece of glass.

Injury of the Week

The chickens are not immune to our bad luck. We’re not sure how it happened, but Wanda injured her foot at some point during the last week. Possibly she jumped off something a little too high, or maybe pinched her toe–I don’t know. What I do know is that one of her toes swelled and twisted a bit so that it doesn’t lie flat on the ground.

She’s still laying an egg every day, walks around ok and jumps up and down from her night perch, but leaving it alone has only increased the swelling and she has a bit of a limp.

I researched the forums on www.BackyardChickens.com to see what other people do with an injured, possibly infected, chicken foot (it’s a pretty common ailment). Many people suggest antibiotics, but I don’t want to go there if I can avoid it.

Cross-species First Aid Kit

After sorting through the various advice, and figuring our family has further injuries in our future, I took a trip to the local drugstore with the specific goal of only purchasing first aid supplies safe to use on ALL members of the family.

Yes, that’s right. I am putting together an all-purpose, cross-species, basic first aid kit.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • Aspirin (just need to be careful about correct dosage for our various species and weights.)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Neosporin (MUST be original formula. The ‘with Pain Reliever’ version is lethal to chickens. Otherwise it’s fine to use on all members of our family–human, dog, chicken, cat–but should be wrapped well when used on dogs. It’s not healthy for a dog to ingest a lot of neosporin.)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Bandages (I got the kind that’s easy to cut to fit dog-sized paws, chicken-sized toes, and human-sized shins.)
  • Bandage Tape
  • VetWrap (self-stick)
  • VetBond (super-glue meant to replace the need for stitches. Regular super-glue is toxic when it enters the human bloodstream. A prescription is needed to obtain medical grade super-glue for humans. VetBond has, from what I’ve researched online, the same formula as super-glue for humans, but because it’s for ‘animals’, you don’t need a prescription. Well, humans are animals too, especially when it means saving ourselves a trip to the emergency room. Just be super careful about really cleaning out the wound before sealing it over.)
  • Latex Gloves (I got a nice big box of gloves. It makes me feel less when squeamish dealing with various family members blood and other liquids, plus, it’s just more sanitary.)

I’m sure I will add to the above list over time, but it’s a good enough start for now.

One specialty item I added just for Wanda’s toe was a razor blade. I will need to cut into her foot soon and take out the infection.

Stay tuned …



A Pomegranate Atrocity Continued
September 15, 2009, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Stories

Yes, our back fence neighbor’s pomegranate tree exists no longer. I was riding my bike with The Dog by the house and saw the owner in the front yard. I started a pleasant conversation with him to find out why he cut the tree down!

Twenty minutes later, after getting a tour of all the remodeling he’s done (he bought the house about 3 months ago in order to flip it), and commenting on all the nice upgrades, I casually asked if me and The Dog could check out the backyard. He said, “Go right ahead.” So I did. I immediately saw the massacre he had committed against the pomegranate tree. It was gone, gone, gone. Brutally chainsawed through the trunk.

I kind of looked around, and then, totally nonchalantly, said, “Oh, it looks like you did a lot of work back here. I hope it wasn’t too much work to cut that tree down.”

“Oh yeah, no big deal,” he said.

“Really? That’s cool, cause it seemed like it would be a lot of work with how full and heavy it looked with all those hundreds of pomegranates.”

“Yeah,” he said, and then grinned. “I just got in the mood to clear things out one day, so I did. I came out here with my chainsaw and cut everything down.”

“Huh,” I said, trying not to choke or to let my facial expression turn into a scowl. “I had my eye on a couple of the pomegranates hanging over the fence, but yeah, I guess I can see how chainsawing down fruit trees cause you’re ‘in the mood’ would make sense. Bastard!”

(Okay, I didn’t say those last couple of sentences. All I managed was a “Huh” and then I said I needed to take The Dog home cause he was thirsty.)

Whatever. It’s this guy’s house and he can do whatever he wants to it. But still, I long for what could have been:

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A Pomegranate Atrocity
August 20, 2009, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Stories

Something’s happened.

Not in our backyard, but in one we share a fence with. I’ll have more details later when I can better investigate, but all I can say for now is that someone cut down a pomegranate tree. A pomegranate tree that, as of last week, had been heavy with almost-ripe pomegranates. Almost-ripe as in ripe in just a couple more weeks … I feel sick.

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