Monthly Archives: April 2014

Old Love Birds

I’ve never seen two old love birds like Billy and Imelda. They’re not exclusive, mind you. Billy continues to cavort with plenty of other hens, but Imelda has a special place in his heart. They spend a lot of time … Continue reading

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The Beauty of Growing Produce

Growing vegetables and fruits is like living in an art museum. Every time I step out into the vegetable patches to weed, thin, and pick vegetables, there is more beauty than I can possibly absorb. There are many artists who … Continue reading

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Teaching Them to Feed

Chicks will grow up without a mother hen to teach them how to feed. But when they do have one, they follow her around everywhere, watching what she is doing, what she eating, how she is digging it up, and … Continue reading

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Dandelions

Biking home from the post office this afternoon, I had to stop and take some photos of a field full of dandelions. Look closely at each dandelion, and you quickly realize that it would take hours and hours for a … Continue reading

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The Continuing Evolution of Genes

Carl Zimmer writes today in the New York Times in The Continuing Evolution of Genes that scientists used to believe that the some 20,000 genes we all have, came from our parents, which came from their parents, and on backwards … Continue reading

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They Are All Unique

How do you tell them apart? When they are this young, like these eight chicks hatched yesterday, there is one that pops out because it is a different color. The rest look the same, but if you look closely, you’ll … Continue reading

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Places Chickens Love to Roam

Today is the type of day chickens dream about. The weather is nice, and there are plenty of good things to eat around the pond. On days like this, they wander far. It’s not unusual to find a hen, hidden … Continue reading

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First Trillium

While clearing one of the forest trails, I saw two trilliums in bloom, the first of the year. It won’t be long before the forest floor is wall to wall trillium blossoms. It’s a luxury being able to leave the … Continue reading

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Mothers making baby food – a pernicious trend?

Sometimes I wonder if some corporate executives ever stop to think what their words sound like. I was reading an article in the New York Times yesterday, As Parents Make Their Own Baby Food, Industry Tries to Adapt, by Stephanie … Continue reading

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Blocking Traffic or Early-Onset Alzheimer’s?

I have yet to figure this one out. Cognac has taken to sitting in the doorway of the chicken yard. She likes to roost on the doorsill, facing the inside of the chicken yard, causing a chicken traffic jams. Is … Continue reading

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What Has Caught Her Eye?

The chickens spend a lot of time in the woods. I can follow them and watch where they go, but what is it that they see with their amazing eyes? (see Disordered Hyperuniformity) Do they care about the tulips blooming … Continue reading

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Soft on Their Feet? Imagine the Impossible

When a chicken walks over moss in the woods, does it notice how soft it is? Does it pause, close it’s eyes and wriggle it’s toes in the moss? The one month old chicks are quite independent now. Can you … Continue reading

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Red Hands

This is what happens to your hands when you strip the bark off alder with your bare hands. It’s no wonder that alder bark is used to dye fabric. The type of alder that grows in this area is Alnus … Continue reading

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Battle Scarred

There is no denying that violence is an integral part of chicken society. Battles erupt between chickens primarily over space. Hens will make a fuss if another hen is using the nest she wants to use. Roosters will fight over … Continue reading

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A Little Rain – A Morning Round

Even a steady rain doesn’t stop the chickens from being outdoors. A rain-soaked Sven, so wet his tail feathers drag on the ground, doesn’t seek shelter as he stands guard. I’m making one of my morning rounds, and here are … Continue reading

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What Laying Hens Deserve

This is how one hen lays her egg. Afterwards, she spends a few minutes doing a little nesting, and then she leaves the nest. Each hen is different. Some leave the nest soon after laying their eggs. Others will settle … Continue reading

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FDA’s Response Regarding Heavy Metals in Imported Food

When I read that the Government of China reported that nearly 20% of its farmland was contaminated with heavy metals and toxins, and knowing that billions of dollars worth of Chinese agricultural products were coming into the US, I sent … Continue reading

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How Apple Pie Starts

This is how apple pie starts – as a small flower. It’s late April and the apple trees are blooming several weeks early. Soon, wild bees will pollinate these flowers, and all summer long the apples will soak in the … Continue reading

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Transitions

The gang of 5 chicks born March 25 are nearly a month old and spending more time away from their mother. This afternoon I found them resting together, their mother happily feeding by herself. While these one day chicks, born … Continue reading

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The Importance of Herbs

Herbs serve many useful purposes. Besides enhancing the flavors of dishes and providing vitamins and minerals, borders of perennial provide habitat for spiders and beneficial insects. When the flower, they attract hordes of bees which then pollinate flowering fruit trees … Continue reading

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