Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Silkie babies!

Well, these three little boys are four months old now and are ready to go... Looks like some nice lady is willing to take them, just need to call her today to discuss.

Kinda sad that out of five chicks, four turned out to be boys :-(

They are just SO cute and adorable, why can't they be girls!

I have 28 eggs collected so far for the incubation I'm starting in two days - so exciting! I've no idea how many are fertile, am crossing fingers to end up with a few sweet chicks at least... My friend who sold me Tyler last year said he sired more girls than boys so it will be a nice test on my end!

More news soon :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Jericho seems fine, I'm soooo relieved!

One of his eyes is a bit bloodshot and his comb seems swollen and lop-sided but other than that he's back to normal...

We had a nice cuddle and exchanged apologies.

Amen and thank goodness!

Now Christmas can be celebrated in peace :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

This morning...

My sweet and gentle roo, Jericho, viciously attacked me completely unprovoked. Flogged me, spurs flying, trying to rip my hand off through my glove (I have the bruise to prove it).

I pushed him back three times before I completely lost my temper and beat him unconscious with a big plastic spoon (which broke in half).

I wanted to kill him.

Only when I saw him laying there, eyes swollen shut, bleeding, trying to breath with bubbles gurgling out of his beak did I come to my senses - oh my god what had I done.

I panicked, picked him up, couldn't stop wailing, ran outside with him in my arms to get my husband, my poor roo was dying and we had to put him out of his misery, I failed him, what the hell just happened there...

However the cold air must have revived Jericho as he started to open his eyes a bit, looking around, dazed and confused, his poor crest smashed and swollen...

After a few minutes he seemed to be OK so we put him back in the pen with his girls, he's walking around fine - tail up - but he's not touching food nor water and will not roost up on the pallet with his girls, which worries me.

He either has blurred vision or brain damage, for sure I gave him a mighty good concussion...

I feel utterly horrible, sad, guilty, remorseful - how can I do this to one of my pets, let alone one of my best ones? What the hell happened? I've had this boy since he was a day old last February 16th, he's never been anything but sweet and submissive and kind - and now today, out of nowhere, I was the enemy that had to be destoyed? WTF?

I over-reacted and he almost paid with his life.

I still don't know if he'll be OK or not.

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a mom. :-(

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The circle of life :)

As comes death, comes life to replenish the energy cycle... 
and feed this mama hen's love of cute little baby peepers!

Come on, how cute are these?
Babies from my first incubation last March :)

Yes, I succumbed once again to the temptation and will be firing up an incubation of silkie eggs on Dec 30th! I've started collecting and rotating the eggs, not sure how many I'll end up with but it won't be that many I should think... Although the past two days I've collected 9 of them. Ooops.

I have a nice big forced-air Hovabator with turning tray, which I've used 3 times since I got it for my birthday last January. I'm totally way overdue :-D

But mostly, I want to secure some babies from Tyler - should anything ever happen and I lost him without having his progeny, I would never forgive myself, I'd be doubly heart-broken. He is truly one-of-a-kind, my absolute favorite of my entire flock. Hims my crazy lil'sweetheart, remember this video I posted of him last summer?

Awe, now I miss the little bugger,
have to wait until tomorrow morning
to "chat" with him :-D

Anyhoo. I've checked a few of the eggs in that pen and they're fertile, and he's the only roo mating with the hens (he is The Boss) so I assume any babies that hatch - god willing - will be little half-Tylers.

Moms are white silkies and white silkie/sultan mixes. 

Should be so! Cute!

I'll update once the incubation is on the way. Wooo!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Here we go again...

The time has come to bid our sweet Ember farewell, and send her over the rainbow bridge... I'm a terrible mama, she's been suffering for months but I just haven't been able to let her go.

She's visibly in agony now and we have no choice :-(

Her abdomen has been swollen like a water balloon fit to burst, she's been like this since last spring and I don't know what it is or how to fix it. I figured as long as she was roosting with the girls, free-ranging and eating normally I'd let her be.

The past two days she's been waddling around like a penguin, I can see her great discomfort with every tiny step she takes. She cannot roost anymore, she looks so tired... and she has a huge tumor on the back of her neck that the other hens occasionally pick at, she bleeds everywhere, it's horrible.

I adopted Ember in August 2009, I was her 3rd home and I have given her the best possible life all this time - so why does it hurt so much to say goodbye?

I hate this part of pet ownership, I really do.

And I'm angry at myself for hurting so much.

Thank you Vegas, my dear husband, for being the brave one - taking a life may be easy for some, but it's hell for us.

RIP my sweet angel...

You are loved, now and forever.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hotel Chook

As promised, here are a few pics of the girls (and boys) in their new winter digs!

Ti-Lou's group have the biggest space
since they are 23 birds in all
(notice proud Ti-Lou in front!)

Basically, two 10 x 13 stalls with a door in between,
plenty of space for everyone. 
Sleeping quarters on one side,
nesting boxes on the other.

Lunch time!

The photos don't show how nice and big the space is,
specially for me cuz I can stand up straight in it!
Not like the 5 foot high coop they were in before...

Jericho's group (13 birds) also have two stalls,
about 6 x 13 each - joined by a walk-through .

Proud Jericho with his flock o'girls!

Again, difficult to photograph the space
but it's very bright and there is plenty of room
for everyone!
In the corner is their sleeping pallet,
they all snuggle up there at night.

I would need my good camera with wide-angle lens to get a good photo but there is too much dust in the barn, I don't want to risk crapping up my expensive equipment for nothing soooo you'll have to use your imaginations, LOL!

Got everyone moved JUST in time.

We've been slammed with a huge blizzard the past two days and it's not over yet, still two and maybe three more days of snow to go! And it's bleddy freezing! :-o

Hope your birds are all safe and sound for the long winter ahead :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Worshipping the sun god

Because, you know, sun can melt this evil white stuff that's been keeping everyone inside the coop the past two days..! Ah, drama... how you make us smile!

A few brave souls ventured out today, picking their way through the snow to find safe green spots - in the process they discovered it was maybe cold on their feetsies but it certainly wasn't deadly!

Diva, leading the way
(she's just about my favorite girl):

Diva, with Nessa in tow:

Maddy, posing like only a proper lady can!

Proof they really are tiny little dinosaurs...

Raven: "You gonna eat all of that in one mouthful?"
Nutmeg: "Get your own clump of whatever it is that I have stuck in my mouth!"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we roll here at the technofarm ;-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

*waves wing hello*

The flocks are all doing well, laying lots of gorgeous eggs and making momma smile with their antics!

They've not been out the past two days due to snow on the ground (their choice) but it should melt this week so they'll be out free-ranging again before being transferred into the stables for the long cold winter...

Not sure they'll be impressed but it's for their own good.

And mine too :)

I wish I could catch a photo of them perched on the edge of their coops, staring at the white stuff on the ground with a look of horror in their eyes - LOL!

No snow chickens in my group, unfortunately.


Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm finally done! Winter coops are ready for the chooks, they'll be moved to their new quarters as soon as the temps are steady cold and the snow hits the ground, should be within the next two weeks.

Talk about months of work, geez!

The barn was sanitized, all the windows changed, walls stripped to the studs to make way for new insulation, horse stalls converted to deluxe quarters with sleeping pallets, perches, nesting boxes, lots of scrubbing and paint to brighten things up... whew. I'm officially sick and tired of the renos now, LOL!

But oh, so worth it to keep the flocks happy, healthy and warm for the winter.

The girls are laying quite well these days despite a few of them still molting or coming out of a molt, and a few girls whose hormones seem to have dried up - so weird.

I'll post pics once the flocks are in as the bedding and sand boxes aren't being set up until the last minute to keep things fresh.

-Technodoll aka Worn Out Mama Hen

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hen fruit rainbow

One of my Easter Egger girls started laying turquoise-blue eggs a few days ago and I have no clue which one it is! I wonder if it's only a temporary glitch in the paint factory of if I really could be this lucky and have a blue-laying girl? OoooOOooooO!

Sunlight washed out the colors so you can't really see,
but in real life the colors are stunning, trust me.

Also, most of my girls have started laying again after months of molts and self-appropriated vacations - woohooo! I had also switched their feed to something I thought was better but after a steady decline in eggs I switched them back to their old pellets and bam! One week later we are back to lots of nice fat eggs. I don't really understand how this works, but it does and I'm leaving it at that :-)

-Technodoll aka Happy Egg-Collecting Mama Hen

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Winter coop, phase 1 - completed!

Hurrah, hurrah!

So exciting - I finally moved the first flock into the barn yesterday after many long weeks of renos and it went super well!

The banties are settling in nicely, everyone's calm and adapting beautifully to their new surroundings - mind you, the weather's been so cold and wet lately that their summer coop was getting miserably cold, damp and way too small so this is a big upgrade for them.

They're afraid of the sandbox that's under the pallet, how funny is that?

"Dude, what the hell is this stuff?"

"Dunno, it's probably poisonous - don't touch it!"

And then they go and dust bathe in the woodchip bedding...

What do you think of their new winter digs?

I also moved the babies into their temp quarters, they're in the lower condo with the red light - this is my corner for breaking broodies, storing food and bedding, special needs or sick birds, etc:

Now I just have to finish painting and setting up the space for my two other flocks (sleeping quarters, sandbox, nesting boxes, perches, food, water, etc) and then everyone will be in one cozy place for the long cold winter!

I hope they won't miss the acres of green grass and warm sunshine too much... :-/

Are you guys all ready for winter?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Clucking along

What a roller-coaster of an autumn!

Some nights are below freezing and some are t-shirt warm, most of the time it's raining or just about to rain (or just finished raining), then you get bursts of cold or hot sun, one day the wind tries to carry the chooks away and the next day not a breeze stirs the flies - it's just nuts!

Luckily the birds are more patient than I am with this kind of stuff.

Zen chooks.

Barn renos: the end is finally in sight!!

All should be ready to bring the banties in by end of week and by mid-November everyone will be in their new digs inside the barn. Just need to prep their sleeping and nesting areas, sand baths and playing spots as well as patch up drafts and make sure the ventilation is good... those horses sure do make a LOT of moisture with the gallons of pee :-/

Someday I'll be able to afford a nice big brand-new coop JUST for the chooks. For the moment they have to share, ya gotta make do with what ya got.

Over and out!

-Technodoll aka Carpenter Mama Hen

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Friday treat n'giggle for you :)

Meet Tyler, our crazy little partridge sizzle roo...

He's got to be the silliest, most entertaining little thing
you've ever seen in a flock!

I rescued him last year from a tiny, dark, stinky cage at the bottom of a shed, he was very sick and we had to syringe meds down his throat for three days before he got better - and get better he did, he's been in splendid shape ever since!

He's going on four years old, we think.

Tyler has an incredible joie de vivre, he gets excited for the tiniest crumb of food and seems very grateful for his life - as you can hear!

And yes, he's always like this ;-)

We love him to bits!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Around the farm this morning...

Today's nice sunny weather has got the flock frisky..!

Or rather just Ti-Lou, my six-month old blue laced red wyandotte roo whom I put in with the big girls a few days ago - I should have named him Hottie McHornypants!
He's been a... very busy boy...

Amazingly the girls line up to be his "girlfriend of the moment"!

I guess it's because he's so handsome?

He's actually very sweet and must smell really sexy because the girls (all 23 of them) couldn't wait to cuddle up next to him, they all follow him around the yard like he's the pied piper or something...

*shakes head*

I'm just glad everyone's happy :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Zombie chooks

I can't leave the house or go anywhere 
on the property without THIS happening:

Dooo! Duuuum! Doooo! Duuuuum!

Admit, I'm so lucky ;-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I love me some new layers!

It's always a thrill when one of your pullets lays that mysterious first egg!

What color will it be? What size? What shape?

And oh that funny squat, LOL!

The coop has been pretty quiet the past few weeks, we're dealing with lots of rain and clouds but when there's an occasional sunny day the chooks are all out free-ranging to their little heart's content. Mind you, a few of them still go out in the pouring rain - specially the new girls who spent the first months of their lives inside small pens, the rains must be a thrilling new thing not to miss!

This morning we woke up to the first real frost of the year - eeeek!

Winter's coming, are you ready?!

-Technodoll aka Don't Like Winter Mama Hen

Monday, October 4, 2010

More from my crazy bunch

I wish I had a 'do like that!

(sweet Lafonza, 6 month old leghorn/polish mix)

Saturday, October 2, 2010


It's been raining and flooding here the past three weeks, really not cool...

Some of the chooks don't mind or even love getting wet as long as it's not cold, I guess they figured out that the earthworm buffet is at its peak in those times!


I'm still hard at work trying to get their winter quarters in order, I can only put 2 or 3 hours per day in that big barn and the progress is slooooow. Makes me nervous. If all goes well the new windows should all be in by next week, then I have to attack all the giant cracks in the foundation to try and block drafts and vermin. Still so much to do I don't know where to put my head.

But all for the love of the birds :-)

-Technodoll aka Working Farmer Chicken Mama

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Green eggs and ham?

Hah! Found a way to upload images by sneaking into Explorer... for some reason Firefox isn't working with Blogger's new post interface, go figure...

Anyways, here are some of my Easter Egger girls:

I just love their pretty, pretty eggs!

Plus they are too gosh-darn cute with those beards...

Now if only I can one day fulfill my dream of adding some BLUE egg layers and dark chocolate brown ones, too... ah! Someday :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stupid blogger!

It's broken again...

I cannot add any photos to my posts (seem to be a wide-spread blogger issue) so I can't spoil you with pics of the flock goofing off - so annoying!

Anyone else having the same problem?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Well, that was a disappointment...

The two new girls, Millie and Confetti, are going back to their breeder on Sunday... They are just waaaay too wild and flighty and apparently come from a line of nervous birds so they won't calm down over time.

Such a disappointment, they are sooo pretty!

I have a hard time putting food and changing the water in their condo, they freak out and slam themselves against the walls, screaming and hyperventilating, feathers flying everywhere until they fall in a heap of exhaustion - even if I'm sooo gentle and slow and quiet - man it's stressful. I'm afraid they'll die of a self-induced heart attack FFS!

Never seen anything like this - ugh. And I had researched the breed beforehand, too - Mille Fleurs are supposed to be very calm and docile, perfect for children even.

Whoooa. Not these two.

They cannot be trusted in a cage-free environment and will stress out my other banties so back they go... The breeder was very understanding and is happy to get them back, in exchange I'll get two black production (laying) hens that are 6 months old, he assured me they were laid back and smooth. Perfect!

All part of the learning process, I guess...

-Technodoll aka Decision-Making Mama Hen

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Newest additions :)

I think I'm all set now until next spring... or so I hope!

On Saturday I traded a bantam BLRW cockerel for these two pretty ladies, aren't they sweet colorful things? Flighty and nervous as heck though, but that's understandable as they have never been handled and lived in tight quarters with a roo all their lives...

They are Mille Fleur d'Uccle hens,
a Belgian breed:

I've named them Millie and Confetti :-)

They are almost 10 months old now.

One is bearded and one isn't but they're just coming out of a molt so we'll see how their feathers grow in... They've never had fresh greens or been outside so they've hit the jackpot here, that's for sure. I expect them to look (and be) in much better shape in a few months after eating mama's special breakfasts!

I do hope they mellow out over time though, they almost give themselves heart attacks whenever I stick my hand in their condo to top up the food bin :-(

-Technodoll aka Full House Mama Hen

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prepping for winter - yes, already!

Is it me or aren't the seasons just crashing into each other at breakneck speed?

Scary Mary!

We're soon getting near-freezing temps at night so one of my projects today includes winterizing the small coop where our banties sleep -

Remember the re-purposed ice fishing shack?

The windows have gaps all around them so they need sheeting with plastic to cut the drafts - I also need to clean up all the cobwebs near the tin roof and try to plug the gaps there with pink insulation fiber. That will allow me to use the 175W heating lamp during the night so the wee ones don't freeze when the temps dip below zero.

By end of October the flocks' new winter quarters should be all ready (I'm fixing up part of the stables for them), it will be sad to not see them free-range outside during the day but what can you do - it's gonna be cold, dark and full of snow until next spring so we have to adapt.

How do you deal with winter and your flocks?

Monday, September 13, 2010

...and the girlfriends!

Since it wasn't fair for Ti-Lou to hog all the attention, here he is with Lola, one of his girlfriends (same breed, blue laced red wyandotte) - isn't she beautiful? I wish I could have caught her in sunlight instead of shade, I'll try to get better photos soon...
(pic clicks bigger)

She's as cuddly soft and as sweet as she looks!

Here is her sister Lady,
who has more red and less blue:
(click to see lacing details)

I love these girls :)

They both should start laying sometime in October, they were born in April but the breed isn't that fast to mature. No rush, I'm enjoying their eye-candy factor every day!

Happy Tuesday, peeps!

-Technodoll aka Proud Mama Hen

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Meet Ti-Lou

This is one of my roos, Ti-Lou (pronouned tee-loo, slang for little wolf in french) - he is a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, going on 6 months old soon:

(pic clicks bigger, go take a peek!)

Isn't he just so handsome?

He's the 2nd roo in command in the flock he lives with, a real sweetheart - so gentle, so afraid of me during the day (I can't get near him) but when night comes and he's perched up on his sleeping quarters with the girls I'm allowed a cuddle session, LOL!

He's not done growing and maturing yet, I can only imagine how amazing he'll be next summer - I'm so lucky to have him :-)

-Technodoll aka Proud Mama Hen

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The deadliest hunter

Today I saw my sweet little tame Diva (a small white leghorn pullet with the biggest personality ever) running around with A DEAD MOUSE in her beak :-o

Of course she was being chased by a few other girls who wanted some o'dat tasty snack -


I don't know if she found the mouse in the bushes or if she killed it but oh wow, I never expected to see that... I mean I've heard of chickens killing and eating mice and small rodents but seeing is believing, LOL!

I love my girls - they've got SKILLZ! :-D

-Technodoll aka Proud Mama Hen

Sunday, September 5, 2010

When the heart breaks :-(

Losing a loved one is never easy - no creature is too small to mourn...

Our youngest little silkie girl, Pichounette, passed away this morning at barely five months of age, after a life-long battle with an enlarged crop - a defect she inherited from her mom.

She never developed properly and fit in the palm of my hand, her massive crop comprising most of her body weight. Poor little angel, she fought until the very end and I cannot help but shed hot tears as I see her last moments nestled in the tall green grasses, a tiny ball of fluff in the sun wasting away - she should have had a long and vibrant life but never had the chance.

I held her cold little body in my hands as she gasped her last weak breaths this morning. I never want to live through that again.

Mommy loves you, little angel... you will be missed very much...

RIP beautiful one.

-Technodoll aka Weeping Mama Hen

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ah! Finally over!

The week-long heat wave finally broke overnight and the flocks are looking mightily relieved, they've stopped panting like dogs and waddling around with their wings outstretched, hiding deep in dirt holes.

I hope to get more eggs soon!

Mind you, the heat triggered giant molts in many of the girls so it will be a while until their systems are rebooted, but still.

Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lazy bums!

I'm quite peeved right now.

Of 28 laying girls I'm lucky to be getting a dozen eggs a day. Yesterday I got ten and today isn't looking any better, despite the main flock having been locked in their coop and run (no free-ranging) today as a test. It's pathetic.

46 chickens:

5 roosters,
4 chicks,
9 girls too young to lay yet,
and the rest on welfare!

Anyone else having a dry spell lately or am I just unlucky? :-/

-Technodoll aka Frustrated, Egg-less Mama Hen

Friday, August 27, 2010

The chickens know

Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.
~Palmer Sondreal

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I knew it!

Some of the girls have been laying eggs in secret (yet undisclosed) places since they've been free-ranging - grrr!

I got suspicious when the daily egg collection
dwindled down to about this:

Yep, a dozen eggs for over twenty laying hens - not normal!

I figured ok, a couple were molting, a couple were broody or coming off broodiness, a couple stopped laying for no apparent reason whatsoever... but come on, it's ridiculous - where the heck are those eggs?

This morning I found a hen in the garage, nesting in an empty box. I picked her up and brought her to the coop. Five minutes later she was back in the garage, trying to get comfortable in another corner - on a cement floor! Back to the coop and into a nesting box. The third time I caught her in the garage, I secured her in one of the chicken condos and not five minutes later - bam, a big perfect egg.

Gooaahhhh! What am I going to do?

Short of locking them all up just to get a few more eggs per day, there's nothing much I *can* do. I've searched high and low for those missing hen fruit but nada. Thems good hiders!

Ah well. Eggs are supposed to be a side-benefit to owning a big flock of sweet birds, not the main purpose. It's end of summer, soon cold winter will settle in and there will be plenty of time to collect eggs while we all wait impatiently for spring to arrive.

For now they have the run of the land and my blessing to go with it.

I love my (stubborn)(adventurous) girls!

-Technodoll aka Columbus Mama Hen

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Of course you want some!

Everyone should have a few chickens as pets.


Even city dwellers with tiny back yards should have access to a couple of hens - did you know that many cities and suburbs allow you to keep a few as pets? You should totally check it out, you may be in a lucky zoning and be able to discover the joy of chickens!

They offer you:
  • fresh healthy eggs
  • pest and weed control
  • excellent fertilizer
  • hours of entertainment
  • chatty, personable pets
  • great subject of conversation
  • excellent for kids
  • chicks are sooo sweet
  • easy and inexpensive to keep
  • etc, etc

The only problem is they're quite addictive, you start with just a few and end up with a bunch... a big bunch... :-D

Speaking of which, I may be due to add a couple of girls to the flock soon.

He he!

-Technodoll aka Addicted Chicken Mama

Thursday, August 19, 2010

C'est moi :-)

Photo taken by my husband Vegas last spring...

Or was it autumn, judging by the leaves on the grass!
Oh, how times flies.
Live now, love now.
Peace :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The coop's been quiet!

I can't seem to find any funny dramas to write about lately...

The girls have been behaving, everyone's happy and healthy (hurrah!), I still have a little roo to re-home but nobody wants him, egg production could be better but isn't too shabby - I'm convinced some girls are laying under a bush somewhere though, since they've been free-ranging a couple of my best layers have mysteriously "stopped" laying... hmmm!

Warm summer days.

Gotta love 'em!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No dramas, but...


At least one of the four chicks I hatched July 18th and kept hoping they were all girls is a boy. With my luck I'll end up with three boys and only one girl!

Oh goodness, please not again - I'm just cursed that way.

*need good girl hen vibes, peeps!*

This weekend we're going to an agricultural fair that's a couple towns over, hope to see lots of sweet chickens!

I'll take pics :-)

-Technodoll aka Testosterone Magnet Mama Hen

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The possy, part II

They wait.

They plan.

Then they pounce! and follow!

I do love their sweet intentions though...

-Technodoll aka Treat Machine Mama Hen

Monday, August 9, 2010

The possy

Our girls run this neighborhood.
Chicken Mafia-style:

Sometimes they like to leave us little "presents" on the front steps.

Mostly though, they just want to know we're OK
and that they're watching out for us.

Chickens ROCK!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gotta love a new layer!

A few days ago one of our young girls, Molly, surprised us with a lovely egg!

And then another, and then another :-)

It's a pretty amazing feat at only 18 weeks of age, I'm just thrilled. She was part of my first incubation ever last spring, an experience of sorts to see if I could create an olive egg-layer from a regular brown egg-layer and a rooster that carried the blue/green egg gene.

Judge the result for yourself!

Molly has two sisters from the same hatch,
can't wait for them to start laying too...
Crossing fingers for more lovely olive eggs!

I'll have to post a pic of the different shades of green eggs the girls are laying... One of them is molting right now so no laying for a while, and the other one isn't laying for who-knows-what reason. Old age?

Ah well... It'll happen when it'll happen!

-Technodoll aka Proud Mama Hen