Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Hypnotism...

Ok.. so I got to watch first hand 4 of our chickens get hypnotized... it was insane!!! I have never seen anything like it. One of the chickens fell asleep. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen, and yet addictive, weird, creepy and fun. I am confused now. I am finding humor and fun in hypnotizing chickens. I need to go play my guitar...and find new hobby's

Friday, August 7, 2009


I had heard you can pretty much hypnotize a chicken by laying it on its back and snapping your fingers out beyond their head...even drawing a pretend line away from their head. So, I challenged my daughter and my niece to this task and "Alllll be!" Millie and Hoot are sufficiently catatonic and pretty much useless.

My daughter told me they laid like this for about 2-3 minutes and needed to be helped back to their feet. Pretty much sounds like any human-being in the morning. Good thing they don't have the inclination to do this themselves, otherwise think of all the things that would need to be developed for the chicken; coffee makers, Red Bull, Monster, Amp'd, Fitness Clubs, Doctors, little mattresses, Xanax for Foul.. then you'd need the opposite as they would become over medicated so casinos, bars, dance clubs, all night Chicken restaurants and then, of course - Chicken Police to reel in the insolent behavior...

I think we've started something bad.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So, if any of you are living in a cave or on a spaceship, you may not have heard about This is the foremost spot on the web for chicken knowledge, chicken wisdom and chicken mythology. The Greeks were big into chickens and has all the relevant history on the Chicken gods of ancient Greece. OK, maybe not "gods", but BYC has 38,000 members - 38,000! and this does not count passer-bys or "lurkers". Information shared on the site is incredibly thoughtful, respectful and worthwhile.

Anyway, I got chance to sit down with the guru behind, Rob Ludlow and I felt I was in the presence of greatness. The only other time I get this feeling is when I sit down with me and simply talk to me... It's breathtaking.

Rob and I met for a chicken-flavored smoothie and for me to get a chance to chat with the master of what is fast becoming the iconic site for backyard chicken farmers. There really isn't any thing else on the web like it and I would encourage you all to visit it and stay a while. Rob mentioned he has been covered by numerous, heavy hitting newspapers and magazines and was recently interviewed by a radio station in New Zealand. Yes, this is becoming worldwide a worldwide phenomenon.

Anyway, go check it out.

Garden Amendment...

I want to suggest this mixture as a way to bring incredible life to your garden. I have been having fun with posts over the past few weeks, but, on occasion, need to dump in a real-life useful post.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago about my adhoc compost pile, which consisted of ABM bedding material (from the coop)... made up of white spruce and pine shaving pellets, chicken manure and some clippings from my garden. As water has been wetting the pile, the run-off has been feeding some of my plants, not all. The growth and health of the plant is overwhelming. Those which do not have the luxury of being near the compost pile are but mere shadows of plants.

Since ABM bedding is not prevalent, I would suggest pine shavings by themselves, mixed with chicken manure and some other organics, maybe grass clippings or vegetable garden clippings. Allow this to compost for a few weeks and I suggest real chicken poop, not faux-poop imported from a foreign country. Hardware and/or garden centers should have chicken manure, but be aware, this manure is probably pre-cut or diluted with some other carrier, like peat moss. I would suggest finding someone with chickens and getting the doodle specifically for this purpose. I am about to off-load some of my leftovers to neighbors for their compost piles as there is nothing like chicken/rabbit manure to kick start the composting process.

Here is to making &%$# happen!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nightmare's Are Us

As this blog grows... we are seeing emails and contributions come in. One was sent in from a family member who thought this was funny...

Frankly, I don't think these are funny. Large roosters - Leghorns no less... pose a serious threat to us all. There is no defense against them and to glorify them in statue is like glorifying Bigfoot.Look what it is standing on a "tool box". This obviously represents mans attempt at progress and desire to build coops and chickens need to stop the oppression. Maybe not

I was told a funny story by a fellow I worker, where his father used to raise Leghorns. They kept one rooster for every 10 hens. I think he told me they had 50+ at one time.

Leghorns are named because they get horns on their legs. This guy was told by his Dad to go in the coop and grab a certain hen. When he did, the rooster went nuts, came up from behind and locked his horny legs into his legs. His Dad thought it was the funniest thing in the world and my fellow co-worker is not forever damaged by a chicken.

Sad story and a sadder commentary on demented parenting.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grit Blogger...

So, you can see my work on

This is more a regurge of this blog, but with some posts I go a little further..

I have put the pressure on myself to try to post 2-3 times a day on Le Coop, whereas Grit only needs/wants something once a week.

This week it is the Rat Story with the added "Gun Play"... weeeee....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rooster Removal = Nicer Hens?

OK... not sure what this is all about... but the hens are like puppy dogs now. I arrived tonight thinking; "something will change, not sure what, but removing the rooster from the coop will alter dynamics somehow..." OK so what is the how?

I arrived and opened the coop door and they walked out casually, looked up at me and nodded. One of them curtsied... looked up and winked!
Now I am confused...
I have read that the rooster picks one or two of the hens and focuses his attention on them. The others fight, on occasion, for the attention and try to work up the pecking order, but in the animal/foul/human continuum, I think this behavior mimics in species. The dude spots the girl and makes his move. The girl plays it coy, wide-open or disinterested... I experience the latter. I think this stinks... someone gets lost... "Oh the big rooster doesn't like me" and then the hen is in therapy and the eggs are small or not yellow or muddy green. Then the other hens talk... "Oh look at Sunny's eggs their puny and weird looking" Let's play "scratch" in my corner of the coop. The judgement, the labeling, the hurt... it is simply too deep for me to think about any further.

The coop is calm... the coop is quiet... the coop is easier to manage right now. I like the difference at present, but that is like saying I am having the best vacation ever and I am in the plane on the way there. Juuuuuust a tad bit premature.

I do think this was perfect timing, since they have not starting laying eggs... and I think had I taken the rooster out of there later they would be upset and possibly affect the egg laying production. Or, they are simply happy the big goon is out! The rooster did wear one of those torn up ribbed tank tops with grease stains all over it.
Ohhhhhh great - I just walked out there and the Buff's are consoling the Rhode Island Red - you know red heads all fiery and what not.. She is crying and one scratched in the dirt that that she was upset Kap was not coming back!!!!
I am surrounded by women!!!! A wife, two daughters, a niece, a sister, five sister-in-laws and 5 hens...

Rooster Home!!!!

OK, so as reported before, we have a rooster! And in our search, we found a home. Hosanna Boy's Ranch in San Ramon, CA is taking him. (Actually, just heard he is gone!)

We are so stoked about this, as we did not want this rooster going somewhere we did not trust or to a smaller confined spot - he is on a ranch!

This makes up for my poisoning rats!!!!



I have had rat problems off and on for the past 15 years, I've lived here. This year, it seems to have exploded! It is purely anecdotal, but this is also the first year I've had chickens! These are not roof rats, but rather fruit rats...much smaller, which in all candor make them more difficult to catch. They are really too big to be caught in a smaller mouse trap and too small for the rat trap. Plus they seem to Mensa Rats, because they are smarter than years past. Which makes them smarter than me. So, we are now in for a battle and a HUGE conundrum. So, let's hit the launchpad.

I am, by nature/up-bringing, conservative, but have have a strong bent towards proper stewardship of the our planet and balance between man and beast. Rats, for me, are the tipping point of environmental consciousness and militant insanity. I go to my local hardware store looking for rodent control . My mind races between utter simplicity of a snap trap to devising new, yet invented robot rodent killing machines. I have even jumped on Raytheon's website in hopes they have a some military grade laser rat destroyer, maybe something they've used in Iraq... hmmmm? Or maybe a mutant cat, that I can stuff into my crawl space and seal it up. Listen for the tussel and then coax the cat back down with some catnip. Anyway, my mind races between joy and guilt... as I stand there I juggle "green/humane" option or utter mayhem.

With a nod to "green" I begin with sticky/glue traps. I put my finger on it to test and it is like a tractor beam. I can barely get my finger out of it. I nearly grab the trap with my other hand only to catch a glimpse of myself in the future, with both hands stuck together as I struggle to release to myself from it, only to fail and die of starvation. Irony? I nail them to the tops of fences where I know these germ infested creatures are making their midnight dashes. I put a scooch of peanut butter to draw them in, with anticipation I go to sleep. I awaken with an extra jump in my step to see the peanut butter gone and no rat, nothing, not even a mark in the glue trap. Are you kidding me? I barely get away with my life and these rats dance across it like it was a parkay floor. Fine, let's try this again. Repeat the same steps with more peanut butter and push it into the glue a little deeper. Awaken the next morning and shame on me.. peanut butter is gone and not a tarred rat in site. Honestly, how can they sell this stuff? If rats dance across it, how can Rat Glue Inc. still be in business? You know, I think when stuff doesn't work, most of us move on. You know, just "Oh well, it was only $4.99" it didn't work", and move on to Plan B. Which I did.

I now elevate my quest to - snap traps and these stooooopid "plug-in" electronic emitters which are suppose to attract them and then make them nuts and drive them away. I get two rat traps, which take super-human strength and dexterity to set and nerves of steel to take your hand away while the spring of death is "loaded". Hoping beyond hope that that hook is making full contact with the clip. I put peanut butter on the trap - organic of course.... want to make sure their last meal is healthy and plug in the emitters. Keep in mind the rats are in our crawlspace and are keeping my kids up and grossing everyone out... they truly sound like they are acting out a scene from Bonanza with stagecoaches and horses galloping through the attic.

I set the traps and come out the next morning only to see the peanut eaten down to the clip and no rats. You've got to be kidding me, are these "zero-point gravity" rats? I can't breath on the trap without it springing and these things are eating off it? Argh!!!!!!

I leave well enough alone and decide to set the traps that evening. As I lay my head on the pillow I remember, "set the traps". All snuggly, wuggly in bed, I get out, slip on some flip flops and a t-shirt, go to the kitchen to get the peanut butter. Walk out to the fence, stand on a log, where I pull the snap back, slip and the snap gets my left index finger spot on the knuckle. I think my cursing scared the rats away that night. My knuckle swells up like a balloon. I set the traps and again, the next morning bait is gone and so are the rats.

Now, the internal struggle begins - these rats are not going away, not getting caught in the glue, not tripping the traps and not put-off by the waste of money noise emitters. And, they have my entire family sleeping in different rooms because of the cacophony of noise they are making. I am beginning to become militant. This is where the eco-friendly me leaves and the rat killing me appears.

I have had to resort to poison... and while I hate it! I know it works. I proceed to nail the poison to the tops of the fence so pets don't get it. I would normally remove it in the morning so not to kill squirrels and birds, but I don't have to, cause every piece of bait is gone! I repeat the process the next night - again, every piece of bait is gone. For 5 nights I do this and each morning all the poison is gone. Finally, on Saturday, I see a rat, which is "in process" of dieing. My biggest fear is unraveling in front of me... I believe in instant death of these creatures, not a lingering death... I know... it is a rat, but ugh. I hate to see this. My Dad always said, "get it over with" when referring to homework... So I applied this to the rat as well. As humanely as possible, I killed it so to not have it suffer unduly. I have now seen 3 more dead in and around water sources. However, they are still there. More poison is going to get place in the crawl space tonight.

Wiped Out

Sorry to be a little slow this weekend... sick kid... family in town, garage that needed cleaning, furniture that needed building, lawn-mower that needed purchasing, rats that needed exterminating, that ultimately turned into the Gun Fight at OK Corral... which I will save for the next post, and a party at my sister-in-laws.

Need to get to work now...