Dumb clucks saved from themselves

25 July 2010
It's cold (for here) and raining.  I just filled a bowl with old bread, a sprinkling of milk powder and warm water and took this most prized of all treats to the chook house.  I'm not letting them free-range today.  It's too wet, they walk around in the coldness like dumb clucks and I worry they might catch cold.  Of course, they never do, but that doesn't stop me.

I brought my crocs out and transferred my feet from the warm toastiness of my woolen slippers to the harsh reality of cold hard plastic and walked into the backyard.  In the coop, it's sheltered and dry, I emptied the bread into their bowl and watched them devoured it all in record time.  Then realised they had no feed in their hopper.  So back to the verandah for a bucket full of their feed; while I walked away I could hear the hopper lid open and close several times.  They knew I'd checked the hopper and that it should be full and couldn't work out why standing on the step at the front didn't bring them food.  It didn't take me long to fill it for them and for a line to form.
This is Anne Shirley, our New Hampshire chook, standing on the step that opens the hopper.  When there is no one on the step, the hopper remains closed.

Two of our little ladies - Germaine and Mary - are broody and have been sitting on imaginary eggs for about a week. When I collect the eggs each day I pick them up and make them go to over to have something to eat and drink.  Germaine really hates this and fluffs herself up trying to scare me off.  But I'm a mean old bird myself and don't get put off.  ;- )

I put in some extra hay for them to sit on during this cold and wet day.  They're all warm and dry and their bellies are full.  That's the best I can do for them today.

I hope you are having a good weekend and that you're warm and dry and have a full belly.


  1. Just love this post sigh, oh I do wish I had chooks~!

  2. Oh for the life of you chooks. They are truly lucky birds to receive such thoughtful care.

  3. Rhonda I wouldn't mind spending the day with your chooks-- it looks rather nice in there. :)

  4. Oh what a sweet look at your chooks lives. You are such a wonderful chicken momma!
    I am sad today, because my daughter didn't get the wire tied down tight enough on my chickens coop last night and the danged racoons got in to them. I only had two, one was just a hang out chicken but the bigger one was giving me an egg about every other day. I will miss them. I told my kids, no more chickens until we have built a fortress for them to live in at night, I don't want any more heart break!

  5. Hello Rhonda Jean - that sounds like a nice treat for your hens. I should try it for my own. It has been very cold and wet here this week and the backyard is turning into a mud bath. I know the hen house needs a good clean out too, but it has been hard to find hay and straw around these parts this year.
    My hens are enjoying free range at the moment with there not being much in the garden they can't make too much damage.
    Hope you are having a nice weekend. I love the weekends because my husband is home for two days in a row!

  6. Aww, what we do for our loved pets! I'm currently sitting here with my 16 year old arthric dog next to the heater. He smells and sheds hair everywhere but his poor old bones just can't cope with being outside in the cold anymore and I can't bear the thought of him suffering, so I just have to put up with the mess, oh well!

  7. Hi Rhonda...the hopper is a great idea,I have not seen one is it one of Hanno's works or a bought one? if it is Hanno's is the "how to do"going to appear? have a lovely day..Carole

  8. i love your blog. i grew up with chicken coops in portugal every summer and miss them terribly. been thinking of getting a small coop in the yard. those hens are lovely. : }

  9. To be warm, dry and have a full belly....how blessed are we!

  10. Hi
    My chickens are dealing with 115!

  11. How do you train chickens to eat from that feeder....i think mine would starve, they are awful dumb ;)

  12. Aww..Rhonda...you are a good mom even to those chickens!!! I think I like "Anne Shirley" best...but I love the "Anne of Green Gables" books, movies etc...so anything that reminds me of that...including chickens named Anne Shirley...are much loved :) :) Glad they're doing okay...and you, too!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  13. Hey there Rhonda.
    We all warm and full bellies here.
    thats riches enough. one thing I have learnt over the last few years is thats to be safe in our beds and have a meal on the stove and blanket to warm we really need very little more.
    The chooks look grand.

  14. Love living vicariously through your blog. Someday we hope to buy a minifarm and live where we can have our own chicken. Till then (and probably long after), I have your blog to fill that emptiness. Keep em coming!

  15. Bless their hearts, I loved the bit about them stepping on the hopper after you'd checked it, clever girls! :)

  16. This was a perfect post for today as my 3 yr old was asking for chicken photos. We're finishing up our garage sale today where we made just enough to build our coop for our first 6 chickens. Should be ready for their arrival in a month or so! So excited for these silly critters to join our little family.

  17. My hens are enjoying life too - especially Henrietta who is gorging on cherries.

    Inspired by your blog, I have spent some of today, cooking with cherries and baking with great results.

    Recipes, etc are on my post of today and includes a link to here.

    Please keep up the wonderful task of inspiring me!


  18. I dearly love the feed hopper that you have for your girls. I wonder how well this would work for a larger amount of birds. We have 13 grown layers in one house and 13"almost" pullets in another house. I will have to check and see if I can find a feeder like that here in the US. Good luck with keeping everyone's feet dry and toasty...especially yours! :-)

  19. Rhonda, what do you do when a chicken is broody? do you just let it get on with it and wait until it gets over it? We have one broody right now and regularly lift it out when we go to check for eggs but not sure what else to do as it would be complicated to seperate it from the other birds and block access to the nest. It always goes back on the nest pretty quick.

  20. Broodie hens are funny and very cute. I love my chookies. Yours look very happy and I do like your feeder.



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