This is Jennifer's coop. Meh, I've seen better on Pinterest. ~
She can go to her celebrity friends for advice. Ellen Pompeo, Reese Witherspoon and Martha Stewart are all old hands at back yard chicken farming. I still want to put my two cents in before the girl gets in over her head.
She's obviously in the honeymoon stage of chicken keeping when she says,
"They're very social animals and they like it when you visit them with a cup of coffee in your hand. According to my groundskeeper, they love pasta."
That's exactly what my groundskeeper said! Oh wait, I'm the groundskeeper and I was talking to myself. My chickens have never shown the slightest interest in anything that was in my hands that wasn't food for them. It must take a California chicken to appreciate a fine coffee. Anyway, Jen, (I call her that now that we are close) you have to be ready for some nasty moments in the coop. Let's say a new chick moves in and the rooster gets all enamoured of her. They start hatching eggs a mile a minute and the old favourite gets all crazy and starts pecking the new hen to death. Oh wait, you already know how to handle that one!
Okay, here's some real chicken advice that comes straight from a vet and has made a big difference to my feathered girls. They still live in a converted garden shed and don't get any celebrity visitors, but they are super healthy and laying great eggs. The vet said that heritage chicken breeds automatically shut down egg production when they become calcium deficient. Modern breeds keep right on laying until their bones look like Swiss cheese and the birds are weak and sickly. The first sign of calcium deficiency is uneven, weak or missing shells on the eggs. Adding oyster shell to the feed helps but it isn't nearly enough calcium for the birds.
I gathered the foods he said my girls needed. ~
I'm not such a devoted chicken keeper that I measure this all out, so this will give you an idea of proportions. ~
Pour some water on and pop it in the microwave for one minute. Stir and heat for another minute. ~
You have to cook the rolled oats. Anything like that, fed uncooked, to chickens will swell in their stomachs and kill them. Ekes! Make sure you let the mixture cool down before feeding it to the hens. It's not that chickens are stupid; they just don't have any common sense and will burn themselves gobbling it down. Don't we all have a friend that we know is smart but they do the dumbest things ever? Now, all my friends are wondering if I'm talking about them. Or, am I the smart friend with no common sense? Hmmmm I'm talking to myself again and that really has to stop!
Have the official food sniffer, Maeve, check the concoction out to see if it's fit for the chickens. ~
When it's done, it looks like this. ~
Now, my girls are mighty picky about food. If they don't like it, nothing on earth will convince them to eat it.
Do you like it Gertie? Are you kidding, Human Slave? Look how much I've stuffed in my gob! ~
Up until now, their favourite veggie was corn niblets but they are positively wild for edemames!
Seriously, Jen, feed this to your chickens once a day and toss them some sunflower seeds for scratch and you won't have a single shell less, weak shelled or bumpy egg. Your chickens will have bright red combs and they will be the picture of health!
Oh, and one other piece of advice Jen, if you paint your toenails (and who doesn't in Hollywood?) and wear open toed shoes in the coop, the chickens will peck your toes, non stop, thinking they are berries.
I'm available for celebrity consultations daily, Monday through Fridays. On the weekends I'm tied up being a secret rock star!
YOU have to write a book. This is hilarious. I'm going to show this to the retired guy because he is convinced raising chickens is a piece of cake. Me...not so much. Thanks for this great advice. I'll pass it on to an 'ordinary' person.ReplyDelete
You are hilarious and I love Jen, (yes I can call her that because I am Greek too) haha. You are so funny, I love your post and I didnt know that about chickens, I wonder if its good for humans. Thanks for the laugh.ReplyDelete
Well, I hope Jen contacted you to thank you for your great advise. I'm going to pass this along to Heather at the IC who has just got chickens. Im so jealous, free organic eggs, yep still not allowed to have them, Julian still says they're mighty difficult to flush!ReplyDelete
Mel sent me over here, and I am going to start feeding my chicks this. Luckily I don't have a rooster, so I won't have to worry about that, but I am worried that my chicks are very picky eaters. I have given them raspberries and they gave me a look like, are you kidding? We'd much rather eat the tender young leaves off of the tree next to the run. I'll keep trying new things. Can't wait to get an actual egg!!!ReplyDelete
Oh look what I learned! That was so fun, like all of your posts .....I bet your chickens think you are a celebrity!ReplyDelete
I have GOT to try that!!ReplyDelete
And my chickens and ducks go crazy for black sunflower seed. :)
And groundskeeper? What??! Ah, the lives celebrities lead!
That Jen is one cocky chick talking about her hatchlings. I think that one Starbucks would be good to split amongst them, don't you? I wonder how stilettos are when walking thru chicken poop? lol xo DianaReplyDelete
Oh Maureen, you are hilarious! I really enjoyed reading this post and still have a smile on my face. Backyard chickens seem to be 'the thing' today in Hollywood. I'm sure Jen spends a lot of time with hers and has them all named and collects her own eggs and spreads the 'manure' on her gardens. Oh, "Jen" is probably the groundskeeper's name too. Imagine! Your recipe sounds good enough for humans to eat. I love edamame beans. Enjoy the day!ReplyDelete
I hope Jen's chickens are as lucky as yours are. You don't need no stinkin groundskeeper.ReplyDelete
Heh heh heh! That me laughing that Jen will actually be the one taking care of her chickens. Edamame who knew?ReplyDelete
LMAO Maureen! I'm sure your consultation services will be on all the stars speed dials soon! Your chickens really are looking good these days.ReplyDelete
Maureen, thanks for the laugh! I'll have to remember this concoction when we (hopefully before too much longer) get some chickens.ReplyDelete
You are so dam funny. Wise too.ReplyDelete
Too funny - would that recipe work for my bones do you think?ReplyDelete
P.S. Gertie looks like a very angry Chick!!!
Hi-sterical, Maureen. I hope Jen googles her name and finds your post.ReplyDelete
Great info! What if I don't happen to have flax on hand....do you think I could use Chia seed? And, about how much do you give them? Thanks! xo wendyReplyDelete
Ha! Awesome post. Totally made my morning... smileReplyDelete
Ha!!!! Girl, you are too funny. Perhaps you should send her this advice in a tweet, email...something.ReplyDelete
Top chicken info Maureen. I hope Jen appreciates you putting together this witty and informative post for her !!ReplyDelete
My Mom always said chickens were not very bright, but if they can get you to cook for them in exchange for eggs which you cook for yourself, maybe they are smarter than she thought! Love your unique perspective on chickens and well, pretty much everything else in life!ReplyDelete
my daughter has 6 chickens...can't wait to share this with her!ReplyDelete
So glad I ran across this tonight. Got a good chuckle! I love reading about bloggers' chickens since I have known nothing about them. :)ReplyDelete
You have taken chickens to a whole 'nother level with this post. I did not know you had to cook for the hens. Actually the edamame and oats looked pretty good to me for a snack - Gertie is no fool. Also, I appreciated the Chive article.ReplyDelete