Friday, March 25, 2011

Narcissus the Guinea Fowl

This is the funniest story I have written in awhile. It seems that my guinea fowl have discovered their reflections in my Smart Car. These 2 guineas spent the whole day attacking my car. They have literally become obsessed with themselves. My car has little scratches where they have been spurring the guinea guy that they keep seeing. I ran them off several times but they come back immediately and resumed their chaotic frenzy. Does anyone out there have any suggestions on what to do? If so please e-mail me at

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I can not be trusted around poultry
Look at that cute face....some folks say its a face only a mother could love?  Well let me be honest, there's absolutely nothing to love about a raccoon once one has attacked your poultry. I recently had a pen full of Coral Blue guineas ravaged by a raccoon. It was absolutely horrifying to see how my birds were killed and one nearly dead when I woke up and found them. The night before that the coon tried to kill my White China goose but the gander alerted me with his stressed out screams. I ran outside to find him fighting off Mr. Rocky with his bites and wing slapping. Raccoons really can be your worst nightmare, because they will slaughter every last bird that is in a pen that they are able to get into. One of the best deterrents is a coon proof pen.This can be accomplished by following these tips.
  1.  Never use chicken wire, use strong wire that is used for cattle. (No chicken wire ever, chicken wire is a death sentence for your birds)
  2. Do not leave the top of the house or run uncovered, it has to have a roof or a heavy duty wire top.
  3. Do not leave small openings or gaps unless they are covered with wire.
  4. Always put several locks or latches that are difficult to open. (Raccoons have hands like monkeys and can figure out how to open certain latches)
  5. Cover the ground around the outside of the house where they sleep at night (locked in) with wire or metal so that the raccoons can not dig under.
  6. Always lock all doors to the house where they sleep right at dusk because raccoons come out at night and sometimes they arrive early.
  7. Remember the words "Fort Knox" when you build your coop/hen house.
 After the attack I rushed out a bought three types of traps, the Pied Piper, a hand trap and a regular ole' trap from tractor supply. Results are no raccoon yet. Tomorrow we are making a barrel trap that we made as kids. It worked very well. A barrel trap is simple, inexpensive and considered humane. Any type of barrel or smooth trash can works. Set it next to a picnic table or something else that helps the raccoon to climb up to the edge of the barrel and fill it about one third of the way with water. Place a board over the edge of the picnic table that should end midway over the mouth of the barrel. Set bait on the board, such as sardines or tuna. Do this nearer to nighttime so that other animals will not eat it. The raccoon should walk onto the board to eat the bait and will fall into the barrel. The water in the barrel will weigh the raccoon's fur down, keeping it safely trapped in the barrel proof pen. Another great deterrent is a Livestock Guardian Dog or a LGD. I will be naming the 2 LGD's I just purchased Hansel and Gretal. I recently purchased them from a lady in Holland, Texas. If you need a LGD I will give you her contact information. I will be calling them Chicken Guardian Dogs.
I am a chicken guardian dog

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rhode Island Reds - An American Classic

"I'm just enjoying the view out of my pen"
What can I say, the name speaks for itself, they originated from Rhode Island and were developed by crossing the Red Malay Game, Leghorns and some Asiatics in 1904. There are 2 varieties the Rhode Island Red and the The Rhode Island Whites with 2 different types of combs the rose comb and the single comb. There are also bantam versions of the Rhode Island Reds. This is a dual purpose breed that makes an excellent choice as an egg layer of brown and dark brown eggs or as dinner with their nicely colored yellow skin. Reds can be also seen at poultry shows across the nation and are the subject of breed club chat rooms. I am posting pics of some RIR chicks that I purchased recently from a breeder who has many generations of his red own specific bloodline through the mail from Minnesota. They already possess big chunky breasts and legs, and are richly dark red in plumage.  I was thinking how good they would taste but I think I will show them first, I have some hopes for them. I will also have another bloodline to study in separate pens. I am curious to see the difference between these two bloodlines and will document the outcome. If you are interested in Rhode Island Reds be sure and join their breed club. Enjoy the pics. If you are interested in breeding Rhode Island Reds and showing them I have started a Rhode Island Red Breeders site called Red Barrons.
Wow look at that grasshopper over there, do you see it?

Well he's gone now, I swallowed him with one gulp !!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Javas- Second oldest breed of chicken in America

We are really old
Read about Javas in this months issue of Exhibition Poultry magazine. It is a free publication that may be downloaded off the Exhibition Poultry Magazine website. The article was written by Christine Heinrichs who is a professional journalist who began writing about heritage poultry after her daughter and her acquired their first chickens in the 1980s. She has written regularly for publications such as the Poultry Press, Backyard Poultry Magazine, Exhibition Poultry Magazine and has written her own books, "How to Raise Chickens" and "How to Raise Poultry." She is also a regular guest on Andy Schneider's Chicken Whisperer radio program. Visit Christine on the web at The Official Poultry blog.