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Category Archives: Australorps

One of Them Must Be Pitied

My old girl, Henny (almost 8 year old Black Australorp) is slowly losing status on the totem pole. She’s not top bird anymore — Nutty has taken over that position. So lately Henny and my 6 year old Wyandotte Pansy have been hashing it out as only chickens can.

Also, Henny has adopted my seven guineas as her babies. Where they go, she goes; if they make noise, she’s gotta make sure things are A.O.K. Interestingly, the guineas seem to have completely accepted her as mom and protect her.

This arrangement doesn’t play out so well though, as I discovered today.

Pansy’s been challenging Henny’s authority a lot today and they got into a good number of squabbles, which caused the guineas to gang up on the old Wyandotte. Twice I had to go outside and break it up. The second time I found that the guineas and/or Henny had torn out a bunch of Pansy’s feathers… and that definitely does not bode well, especially since a dear friend of mine went through a similar scenario in which her guineas severely picked one of her young cockerels and completely scalped his back end.

The one good thing is Pansy and a couple other lawn ornaments have a special appointment soon… So she’s going to live in the barn until then. Plus she went and got bumblefoot in BOTH feet, so it’s just as well, since she has a bit of trouble walking.

Ah well. It’s hard to decide which bird should be pitied most… Henny, because she is being demoted from her rank as general, or Pansy, because the guineas are ganging up on her and she’s got bumblefoot.

I could pity them both, I suppose…

Photo Friday!!!

You read it right! Photo Friday is back this week. Here are a few of the pictures I took with my new camera. I haven’t quite figured out all its quirks, but  I’m lovin’ it so far. Super pleased.

Aspen

Icarus

The garden is thriving now that we got some rain!

Lazy old bean of a cat….

Milkmaid nasturtiums! They are beautiful but don’t have quite as much fragrance as the orange ones.

This camera captures color so vividly <3

Two of my pullets enjoying the sunshine

A red maple in town (and more vivid colors!)

Cream soda on a humid day… Lovely way to cool down.

Another lazy feline…

 

Photo Friday – ON TIME!

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Photo Friday a day late

Yes… I’m a day late with my Photo Friday. But hey, as long as it’s posted and close to Friday, that’s ok, right? ;)

Just a few photos this week…

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The Iron Feathered Queen

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Henny is my oldest chicken, a Black Australorp, going on 7 years old. She is the top hen, dominant biddy, coop queen, et al, and rules with an iron feather. She has survived multiple hawk attacks, fox raids, illnesses, frostbite, heat waves, etc. and still going strong.

LL

Henny is from my original flock, started back in 2004. We took a big leap and got 17 birds our very first time! Quite adventurous, if you ask me, especially when I read of so many other newbies who only get 3 or 4. But anywho, out of 17, two were cockerels. They didn’t last very long. So. From 17 to 15. I have no idea who was the dominant hen in that flock, but it wasn’t Henny. I know that much.

LL

So, through the years, the girls got old and unproductive; others were killed by predators, and still others contracted illnesses of sorts and ceased to exist. New birds were introduced to keep eggs coming to our table (not that we eat them very often, but oh well). Eventually Henny was the only original bird. Everyone else was “new” and unschooled in the ways of genteel poultry living. It was up to her to teach them how to survive and be neat and clean at the same time.

She warns of danger with her chirring sound, and if it’s a real threat and someone could get hurt, she hollers. I always know something’s up when it’s Henny hollering. She doesn’t do so for any other reason. I can count on her to take care of her flock.

Henny never was the type of girl to go ga-ga over boys. I’ve had 4 roosters in her lifetime, and none of them could tempt her. In fact, the last boy I had annoyed her so much that every time he got “fresh” with one of her girls, she ran over and pecked him until he stopped. Needless to say, henny4.JPGshe was quite happy when he left the scene.

Australorps are one of the best brown egg layers out there, according to some folks. I tend to agree. Henny laid eggs right up to last year, 6 years old, an egg daily. It was super easy to tell which egg was hers. It always had a little extra calcium deposit on the pointy end. Every time. Without fail. They were quite large too, and a nice light brown color with strong shells.

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henny6.JPGLL

The Mesh Warrior ℠

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SCALPEL. ©

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