Cock of the Walk: When a Rooster Isn’t a Rooster September 12, 2018 No Comments

My son recently bridged from Cub to Boy Scouts. In Cub Scouts, boys are organized into dens. In Boy Scouts, they are organized into patrols. My son was placed into the Rooster Patrol Group. Now, not only were we in possession of outlaw chickens, now we had a rooster, a most egregious sin.

While backyard chicken ordinances vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the one constant seems to be the exclusion of roosters.  Contrary to popular belief, roosters crow at all hours of the day. Not needing a rooster for egg production, but needing a good night’s sleep, most backyard chicken farmers are just fine living in a roosterless world. But what about the hen’s? How do they “feel”?

Seven years ago, as a newbie to the world of backyard chickens, something quite unusual happened.

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Rare Chicken Breeds for Martha Stewart – 2018 June 13, 2018 No Comments

Every year for the past 8 years, My Pet Chicken has had the honor of delivering Martha Stewart a selection of rare chicken breeds —some of the rarest and most unusual chicken breeds available in this country. This year, we delivered a total of 50 rare breed chicks to Martha’s farm. The mixture of large fowl, small bantams, and colored egg layers will provide a beautiful assortment of new egg sizes and colors for Martha’s egg basket.

Martha Stewart welcomes a Frizzle pullet from the Fun and Funky hatching eggs collection.

Martha Stewart’s Rare Chicken Breeds for 2018

This year, Martha chose some great rare chicken breeds that will be beautiful additions to her flock, including these:
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Cats and Chickens Can Be Buddies…… April 25, 2018 14 Comments

Seriously, cats and chickens, seemingly mortal foes, can be good buddies!

A bit over a year ago, my ten year chicken dream was finally realized.

Four, seven-week-old pullets came home to our Tennessee hillside. My husband had built a fine coop and it was predator proofed to the max.  Said girls were named —names that had been planned for ten years!—and installed in their new home.

Within five seconds, literally, there were FIVE cats all lined up at the hardware cloth.

Spike and Sylvester hanging out with the hens!

Now normally, you might guess that those five male cats were figuring their chances for a snack. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Sprout Seeds for Chickens February 7, 2018 No Comments

When the winter comes and the cold sets in, there are fewer fresh greens for our chickens to forage. Fresh greens, grasses, and sprouts are a huge part of their foraging diet most of the year… that is, until winter. That’s why we love giving the chickens something fresh over the winter, a treat to keep their spirits and energy up. So we sprout seeds for chickens from some of their favorite foods, to spoil them over the cold days.

Beans are a good choice!

Sprouting seeds for chickens is a quick and easy project for your home kitchen. In fact, you only need a couple of things… Read the rest of this entry »

The Coop: Top 10 Tips Before Buying/Building January 10, 2018 No Comments

We all jump the gun sometimes. I did it myself. We fall in love with chickens, select and then order our birds, thinking it won’t be expensive or time consuming. We just plan to get the coop later.  You may have an entire 6 weeks before you have to get them into that coop, anyways. So what’s the harm in putting it off? Well, let me tell you!

Good planning avoids future headaches

If you don’t think ahead, when the time comes, you can look around and become overwhelmed with chicken housing options. Or maybe you realize the coop of your dreams is outside your budget or building expertise. Worse, maybe you procrastinated and time ran short, so you only had a couple of days to try to finish it… Read the rest of this entry »

Bring Your Chicken to Work Day! November 1, 2017 10 Comments

Have you ever wanted to bring your chicken to work? It’s always been a dream of mine, and it’s finally come true!  In fact, one of the best reasons, among many, to work at My Pet Chicken is getting to bring your chickens to work.

One of my favorite chicks to bring to work is my bantam Mille Fleur d’Uccle, since she is so sweet and well behaved. She enjoys perching on the phone throughout the day while watching the different lights blink. She’s curious about my actions and movements throughout the work day; she watches my every move when not napping.

Bring your chicken to work

I love to bring my chicken to work, and she loves it, too!

This Mille Fleur d’Uccle may be “on shift” when you call My Pet Chicken.

Chickens usually make great assistants, although staying on task can be a challenge since they can fall asleep on the job. Since she is a feathered-footed variety, she has trouble typing and often has typos. I try to help her out.  Despite these challenges, she never gives up and I admire her job dedication.

Nap break.

Chickens demand lots of mealworm breaks. LOTS!

I make sure to keep a secret stash in my desk drawer in case of emergencies. In fact, I’ve never met a chicken that didn’t love mealworms—a nutritious treat for them since they provide protein, vitamins, and edible oils. I often wonder if there would be an on the job strike if I ever ran out of them.

Requesting a 15-minute mealworm break.

Many chickens also like to snuggle. My d’Uccle usually gets herself cozy in her Peep Pouch and keeps busy for most of her work shift, cuddled up and supervising. She’s a dedicated employee and makes sure I give all the correct chicken advice and checking orders twice for accuracy.  She’ll often remind me to let customers know that their chickens probably need some more mealworms.

 

bring your chicken to work

Supervising from a comfortable position.

Do you have a favorite chicken you would bring to work if you could? Share in the comments below.

Top 9 Freaky Chicken Traits October 18, 2017 1 Comment

Trick or Treat! Could this fun, funky, and freaky chicken—with its wind-blown feathers—really exist? Or is this a just photoshop job?

Little Frizzled Rooster

 

Well, we’re not playing tricks on you!

This Frizzle is a real treat, a true (and absolutely adorable) type of bird we offer here at My Pet Chicken. Chickendom has moved beyond just run-of-the-mill chickens, anymore! Now you can get truly freaky chickens to wow your neighbors with what pecks and scratches its way out of your backyard coop.

Let’s take a look at some of the more unusual traits chickens can have—the kind that might make your neighbors do a double-take when they see your freaky chickens!

Top 9 Freaky Chicken Traits

1. Crested

Some freaky chickens have a showy crest of feathers like a top hat or mohawk on top of their heads! However, others have smaller top knots that are more subtle.  Silkies, Polish and Cream Legbars all have crests of various sorts.

Polish have large crests

2. Bearded

Some birds, such as Easter Eggers, and Ameraucanas, have fluffy cheeks that meet under their beak for a full coverage beard—for both hens and roosters.

Poofy Cheeks, Oh My!

3. Frizzled

Frizzled chickens have distinctly curled plumage. Did someone put curlers on that chicken? Of course not. IN fact, frizzled feathers occur in many chicken breeds, such as Serama bantams.

Freaky chicken: Frizzled with beautiful curls!

4. Silkied

Silkie-feathered chickens have soft, fluffy fur-like plumage. Those genetics can be bred into mixed breed birds, but of course the Silkie Breed is the prime example of silkied-feathering.

              Freaky chicken: silkie

5. Sizzled

This type of soft feathering with a distinct curl combines silkied and frizzled feathers. Sizzles can sometimes be found in our Fun & Funky assortment packs.

6. Feather-footed

Feather-foot chickens have feathers that grow on their legs and feet, in addition to their bodies. They sometimes look as if they’re wearing bloomers, for example Cochins or Brahmas.

“Can’t see my toes!”

7. Naked Neck

Self explanatory! Naked necks have no feathers on their neck, giving them a turkey-like appearance.  The hen below also has frizzled feathers and came from the Fun and Funky Chick Pack™

Freaky chicken: frizzled naked neck

             “Only I can pull this look off.”

8. Bow Tie

Bow-tie chickens have naked necks, but with one tuft of feathers centrally located on the neck imitating a bow tie. Then there are Silkie chickens with bow-tie feathering, which are often called “Showgirls” (including the roosters). The little hen pictured below came from Fun and Funky Hatching Eggs.

Look at that little collar of a bow tie.

9. Fibromelanosis

Most breeds have natural pink or yellow tone skin. However, there are a handful of special breeds that carry this gene for hyperpigmentation,. They not only have black skin, but even black combs and wattles, and black beaks!

Freaky chicken: Svart Hona, black from tip to tail.

There are many more freaky chickens out there—chickens so unique in appearance that people who don’t know much about chickens may wonder what sort of exotic bird you’ve trained up as a pet!

Do you keep any freaky chickens? What is your favorite type?

 

Chicken Leggings – DIY Project August 20, 2017 1 Comment

Chicken leggings? You bet!

Actually, I never used to be big on leggings, but it seems like they’re everywhere now! Once I picked up a few pairs from a thrift store to layer under dresses, I got hooked—they are so comfortable! But my entire secondhand collection of leggings consists of solid colors, so I thought about branching out into some prints, but nothing really caught my eye until Bitty Bee Fabrics recently ran a chicken print that I fell in love with.  I love to do chicken DIY projects, so I hatched a plan to make DIY chicken leggings!

"mise en place" for my chicken leggings DIY project

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DIY Chicken Leggings

Find your pattern! My go-to leggings pattern is Read the rest of this entry »

My Chicken Ate My Earring! August 16, 2017 No Comments

Believe it or not, even chicken keepers like to glam it up every once in a while. For a gal like me, this includes a pair of diamond earrings that my husband gave me when we had our first child. But I had no idea that my chickens would like my earrings just as much as I did!

Big Mama, the Barred Plymouth Rock

One day I went out to sit with my flock. My favorite hen, Big Mama, flew into my lap and nestled down for a nap. (If you haven’t trained your chickens to be lap chickens, I highly encourage it!) I was busy looking around, doing a visual inspection of my flock when I felt a surprise tug at my ear.

Reaching up, I could feel that my earring was gone. When I looked down Big Mama was standing in my lap with my diamond stud clasped in her beak.

Oh, no!

Diamonds are a chick’s best friend

This next step is where I went wrong. I should have carefully lifted my bird and calmly retrieved the earring from her beak. What I did was scream like a mad woman and fling my arms into the air, causing my flock—and Big Mama—to fly away in terror.

Where was the earring? Read the rest of this entry »

How I trick my chickens into growing my garden July 21, 2017 No Comments

I will admit this up-front: I want my garden to be great.  Not just okay, but great.  But here’s the problem: I don’t want to work hard. Here’s how I trick my chickens into growing my garden.

Yes, I’m a lazy gardener.

Thankfully, chickens are NOT lazy. They love to forage, and that can help make wonderful garden compost that you can use to grow a truly great garden.  Combining chickens and gardening is itself actually pretty fun!  You can also trick your chickens into doing your yardwork. Below, you will find my secret to growing one of my favorite foods—sweet potatoes—and how I use my chickens and my local eco-loop (the circle of organic resources around me) to get those delicious, healthy tubers.

Let’s get started!

How I trick my chickens into growing my garden

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