Category Archives: Chickens

Chickens having fun

I know I’m enjoying this beautiful, mild, and warm November week, so is my dog, Sunny and my chickens are, too.

After coyotes raided our yard and spirited away five hens, the leftovers haven’t ventured far from their coop. Today was different.

Though this isn’t far from their home coop, it is the farthest they have been away from the scantity of their roost.

I handed out grape treats. Only Bonnie comes to take food from my hand, but the others are thinking about getting closer to yummy bits held between my fingers.

I hope you can enjoy these last lovely days of fall, too,

Too soon we’ll be back to regular November weather.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

National Chicken Lady Day

I celebrate this day with many other women who raise and love their chickens.

These days I only have hens, four to be exact. They are the survivors of a coyote raid and do not like to wander far from their coop, if they go outside at all.

a beauty of a hen
Of this group, only Bonnie, second from the right, is alive and well.

Bonnie (above photo) is friendly and will take food from my hand. She hasn’t started laying yet, but I’m hopeful. She came to live here after Kathy couldn’t keep her in her back yard.

The eggs I get are precious as they are so few, especially during the winter.

Free-range birds give the best tasting eggs around. Don’t just take my word for it, try some for yourself.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A bird’s eye view

On my drive home the other day, I spotted this bald eagle. Since I was on a quiet country road, I stopped to take this photo. I zoomed in as best I could, snapping a quick picture before I spooked it and it flew away.

I didn’t have to go anywhere for the next photo.

A couple of my hens came looking for me.

I think they learned how to beg at the window from the cats who often lurk by the same window when it’s close to feeding time.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Here chick, chick, chick

I had one slice of bread and broke it up for my hens.

They came running when I called them, both the old girls and the young ones.

Watch as they steal and run with little pieces of bread.

These two came begging for more, looking in the kitchen window.

Usually, it’s cats looking in the window, but not today–the other day I had one chicken looking in and one barn cat. Both wanted a treat. The chicken doesn’t care what they get, even a cat treat. The cat would turn its nose up at chicken feed though.

They are all fun to watch.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Chicken as prey

A city friend asked me about having chickens and cats on the farm. “Don’t the cats kill the chickens?

The answer is, “No.”

Mostly the cats and the chickens ignore each other as displayed in this short video.

“What about cats eating chicks? Surely they would attack a tiny chick.

The answer is the same. “No.” But for a different reason, that being the mother hen. If you want to be attacked by a chicken, just try to pick up one of her babies. Hens become wild (mad as a wet hen), like any mother having her child/children threatened would.

When I was a teenager I raised chickens and ducks. A Chicago cousin wanted to hold a baby duck. I advised Keith to leave it alone. Keith didn’t listen. I let the mother do the rest.

Keith grabbed a baby duck. It cheeped a cry to its mother. The hen heard the call. Enraged she flew across the yard, attacking Keith. My cousin quickly put the duckling down. The mother grumbled at him in duck language as she ushered her baby away. Keith never touched another baby after that day. I never had to warn him again. That duck said it all.

Dogs may grab a chicken if given the chance, so will raccoons and coyotes. But as for cats eating a healthy chicken, no. At least I’ve never had that problem.

Copyright 2020 Susan Manzke, all rights reserved.