Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chickens in Character - Book Discovery With a Good Story Behind It

Hey, Fellow Pet Chicken Enthusiasts! Hope the new year is coming along great for you! Or, too soon to guess? . . .  yeah, me, too, but "Think Positive's" the best response, right? I've got eggs, potatoes, my animals are doing good, my family is relatively healthy - always plenty to be thankful for.

I found another book . . . who could've guessed that would happen? Hope you love to read, too!

It's by David Boyett (he's a pet chicken enthusiast, too!). He wrote it to honor his late father; I thought that was a great gesture. He said it took about two years to complete, a significant investment in time.

 It's themed around the stories his dad told about the old timer's in the area (love old timers stories!). Now, keep in mind, I haven't finished the book, in fact I've only read the available sample. I'm really looking forward to actually reading it all, still not finished with the books I got for Christmas, though. Will get it and read it, but wanted to let you know about it right away so you could check it out, too - I loved the part I read about the baby chick named "Chick" (he sleeps in a shoe), his family and a bullying incident. I'm sure I'll be sharing more about it later! It's for adults, but kids would probably enjoy it, too. I'm sure it's going to be very funny, too.

You can get it on Amazon, at:

http://www.amazon.com/Chick-Homestead-Chickens-Grymme-Hollow/dp/1491827386

Tried to copy the cover, but failed - great graphics, Mr, Boyett created them himself!

Just goes to show - tons of Pet Chicken Enthusiasts, and each is really smart and talented. Little do they know (they know who they are) when they call us, er, me, anyway - "bird brain"! One of the books I got for Christmas has a lot of research on the brains of birds, and they are very impressive - just say'n.(-:

Anyway, I haven't even tried very hard and have still unearthed several entrepreneurial spirits who've created products around this great hobby. Congratulations to each and every one!

Oh, by the way, Mr. boyett has a video, too-on the chicken dance-very lively and fun to watch his chickens-I shared it from You Tube to Google Plus, or at least went through the motions. The channel is in the author's name, pretty sure. He's on Facebook, as well, I'm going to look him up and 'friend' him - and check out his Page - It's DVB Nonprofit Chicken Ranch - might see you there, look'n forward to it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

From Pet Chicken Acres - Merry Christmas!

One of my Pet Chickens decorating a tree, Merry Christmas from them all, and Moi, too!
That time of year - again! It's great, love it. Every year it seems to get here sooner, though, have you noticed?

Wanted to share this picture with you in case you didn't know about this website I found awhile back. It's called lunapic.com. If you find some time to play, you'll enjoy all the cool effects that can be applied to your photos - pretty easy, too.

A friend just loaned me a book I think you might enjoy, too, plan to read it during a few days off after Christmas. The title is About Dreams and Memories On the Old Farm, by Irv E. Francis. It's all about the author and his family's life on a farm in West Virginia. I think I'm going to learn a ton from it. Nothing like learning from people who've been around for many, many years.

I highly recommend seeking out the great Grandma's and Grandpa's at your Christmas gathering. Listen to their stories; such a different world from today's! But then, guess you might need to share my love of history to enjoy those stories. Either way, have a great holiday!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cyber Monday Deals for Pet Chicken Enthusiasts, Too


 Chicken Coop Wheels (TM) - Portable kit turns any chicken coop into a chicken tractor! See Below for details!


Cyber Monday Deals, closely following Black Friday (and even early bird Thanksgiving shopping opportunities) are made to order for those of us who love our pet chickens and are looking for related items.

The Wall Street Journal published an article, entitled 'Fowl Fans See Golden Eggs in Catering to Pet-Chicken Market', written by Sarah E. Needleman, in their online edition on July 8, 2010. You can read it here. It featured entrepreneurial ventures from chicken diapers to baby chicks. Since then, there have no doubt been many more adventuresome entrepreneurs catering to pet chicken enthusiasts.

This is a market, that, according to a recent study conducted by Eastern Washington University Communications Department student, Desalyn Graybeal, reveals that our pet chicken hobby does, indeed, make up a diverse 'sub-culture' of today's society. See the post immediately below this for details. The study has been completed . . . thank you to those of you who participated after having read about it here.

So, who are some of the other enterprising people who've started fulfilling needs for this "Pet-Chicken Market" since that article was published? Well . . .

One Entrepreneur has solved the Problem of How to Mobilize a Chicken Coop . . . and Turn it Into a Chicken Tractor

His name is Harry, and he says his product is the result of a need his wife identified. "My wife decided to start raising chickens for the fun of it and so that we could at least partially control our food supply", he related.

He said that "As a romantic, she wanted to free-range the chickens, but was determined to keep them protected from predators all the while."

She had researched the issue before beginning to build a coop she fully intended would provide the best possible protection from dogs, coyotes, and other common predators of chickens. Then, he said, "she asked me for suggestions on how to stiffen it up; after awhile, I figured out how she could add wheels so it could be moved around."

It turned out to be just what she was hoping for! In an interview last week, Harry stated that "My wife showed me videos of coops that had wheels, but there were none available in the form of a kit that could be attached to an existing chicken coop so that it could be mobilized." Harry said he got ideas from existing chicken tractors that others had used successfully, and that "I think I managed to come up with a pretty good kit."

Quite possibly a modest understatement! Harry has been successfully manufacturing and marketing his Chicken Coop Wheels since early this year. You can learn all about them at http://www.chickencoopwheels.com. Harry provides convenient delivery to happy customers throughout the United States.

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This looks like a really solid kit, so check it out if you already have a chicken coop, but would like to be able to easily move it around your property.

Are you a member of the Pet Chicken Entrepreneurs Club? Okay, there's not really a 'club' yet - that I know of. Wouldn't it be interesting to learn about all the products created just for the participants of our growing 'sub-culture', though? If you're one of those like Harry who've set out to solve a problem around this hobby, you're special. Drop me an email at scott@fortheloveofchickens.com , I'd love to include your product here.

Oh, and please remember to check out the "Everything Chicken Store" over at my website. It'll save you a lot of time finding chicken decor, country gifts, chicken supplies, and more - because I've already gone to the effort to find them - often having to chase them down in multiple categories. Stay home and relax; you'll find more here than at any mall, if chicken-related items are on your list!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pet Chicken Study Being Conducted - Your Invitation to Participate

Do you love your pet chicken(s)? If your first thought when you read that was "Of course I do" this is for YOU! Below is your official invitation to participate in an important study! It's about pet chickens and our manner of communicating, understanding and interacting with them.

It takes just a few minutes to fill out and is administered by a student at Eastern Washington University, located in Cheney, Washington (the State). See all the details and contact information below.

Hope you'll consider participating. Sound interesting? Okay, read all about it below:



"Hello!

My name is Desalyn Graybeal and I am conducting a study on human with chicken communication as part of my studies via the Department of Communications at Eastern Washington University. I am hoping that you will take just a few minutes to complete the survey via the link below. Please know that your participation in this study is completely voluntary and that your responses are anonymous as this is a blind survey conducted via a third party survey service. If you have any questions about the study or would like a copy of the final study, please contact myself by phone at 509-953-1691 or by email at desalyngraybeal@gmail.com. If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a participant in this study, please contact Ruth Galm, Human Protections Administrator, 509-359-7971 or rgalm@mail.ewu.edu. In the case your pet chicken is no longer living, please respond to the questions as though they were written in past tense .In participating in this survey you agree to the aforementioned terms. http://surveys.verticalresponse.com/a/show/1697031/5bebc926a2/0

Thank you!

Desalyn Graybeal"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gardening With Free-Range Chickens for Dummies - book review

Due to a crazy, but not-so-fun schedule (not complaining, just yearning for more TIME), it's taken quite awile to read this book written by co-author's Bonnie Jo Manion (www.VintageGardenGal.com) and Rob Ludlow (www.BackYardChickens.com).

And, at 244 pages of solid content covering nearly everything anyone would be likely to wonder about chickens-integrated-with-gardens, it's not one of those 'quick reads', anyway. That's good because whether you already own virtually every book written about poultry, or are just now thinking about getting your very first chickens this book alone will provide both the necessary basics and most likely, at least a few new gems that will enrich the knowledge you've already accumulated, even if you're already experienced at both landscaping and chicken care.

For total beginners, this book fills the bill if you only own one book about raising chickens - and you do need at least one, you know (-: ! In addition, its concentration on integrating your chickens into your landscape for their enjoyment and good health, the curb appeal of  your property, and the addition of fresh veggies and other edibles to go with those cherished eggs (and for chicken edibles) is priceless.

You'll find information about every ingredient to landscaping products, fencing, construction materials, and its all concentrated upon providing a good home for your chickens while, at the same time developing your land into a place of beauty and bounty. There's a section reminding you of the plants to avoid that will be poisonous to your chickens to ingest, a detailed discussion on creating a "layered garden", and even designing innovative housing for your chickens that fits into your overall landscaping plan.

There's no lack of important information on caring for your chickens, selecting a breed, or protecting your precious pets from predators, either. Like all the "Dummies" books you'll find the familiar icons that provide helpful tips, vital bits of information, warnings, and additional information you may be interested in. It's well organized and easy to understand for both young people and adults. and, there are great photos, landscaping models, and illustrations included that will add to your reading enjoyment.

As the authors point out, the trend toward raising chickens is in full swing, so if you're just considering joining this sustainable movement that includes chickens in your backyard you won't be a slow adopter. Like most books nowadays you can get this one in ebook form, too. In the U.S. the hard copy retails for just under $20 - so treat yourself or get it as a gift that will be sure to be appreciated! That magical gift giving season will be here before we know it.

Note: I was informed that one lucky reader would be able to win a free copy of this book, too! Watch for a new post where I'll give you all the details! Study up on your chicken facts, too - so you'll have a good chance to become that one lucky contestant!







Saturday, May 18, 2013

You Love Your Beautiful Chickens - How to Predict Whether They're Qualified to Show At The Fair

Have you thought about signing your chickens up to be shown at your local fair this summer? Not quite sure how or where to get started?  There are both health and appearance requirements.

In the United States, anyway, there are NPIP standards. It stands for the National Poultry Improvement Plan. If you ordered your chickens from a hatchery, they will usually identify themselves as a NPIP approved hatchery - it means the baby chicks you order from them have been vaccinated for Pullorum, Typhoid, and other diseases.

If you bought your chicks as babies from a feed store, they will most likely have gotten those babies from one of these hatcheries . . . and will tell you which one. Each fair can have different requirements, but for the most part they do require these vaccinations. To learn all the requirements of your local fair, you'll need to read and understand the information contained in the Premium Book that will be available from your local fairgrounds. Sometimes, you'll find them at the counter of your local feed store.

Don't fill it out and submit it along with a check or money order for the entry fee (usually, $2 - $3 per bird), though, until you've looked up the breed of your chickens in the  The American Standard of Perfection, which you can usually find on Amazon.com. It is your 'bible' for deciding whether your beautiful chickens have a chance of winning a trophy or ribbon. You'll learn what your chicken must look like in order to compete for its breed, age, and gender. This includes things like body shape, stance, color of every body part, feather design, and much more. If there's a "Barnyard Chickens Category", you can probably disregard this step, but there will no doubt be some standards to meet in that category, as well.

How to Get A Copy of the Premium Book
Online, Google the name of your fair. Any more, each one normally has a website with a search button. Look for the Poultry Superintendent or Poultry Department-there may be a phone number or email for you to use in case you have any questions after you've read the premium book. Don't expect a response immediately, as this superintendent may be a volunteer with a full-time job elsewhere. Note: if your kids are showing their chickens as members of their 4-H Club, they will be given all the information they need from their leaders. As an adult hobbyist, you'll be showing "Open Class" - if both you and your kids will have entries, be sure to understand the details about each. Many times there'll be a pdf of the Premium Book on the website that you can print out. Read it carefully, as it provides all the rules and regulations, as well as times you need to bring your show birds in for 'Vet Check', whether you need to come each day to feed your chickens or whether volunteers are in place, whether you can or should bring your own feed, when judging will occur, and the date and time you must remove your chickens. 

Common Errors That Will Get Your Chicken Disqualified
The judge may disqualify your birds if you haven't entered the complete and proper name of the breed and other required information in the registration process. Watch out, though - try to visit before judging is to take place. Once in awhile, the cage tags get mixed up, as they are sometimes placed on the cages by busy fair volunteers. Clear up any such mix-ups before judging takes place. 

Not passing vet check (a Veterinarian will be present on the first day during registration) will mean you'll need to take your chicken back home right away. Examine each chicken yourself on the day before the fair (the day of the fair, you'll be too busy packing up to get there by 8 or 9 a.m.). Listen to it breathe, inspect it's eyes, check for any parasites, monitor appetite, droppings, and activity level - if everything is normal, you'll probably be safe.

Other disqualifications mean your chickens will remain at the fair, but won't be judged. Know your chicken's breed, and don't show a chicken that clearly doesn't measure up according to the Standard. You must know whether it's a bantam or full sized chicken, spell the breed names correctly, get the gender right, and understand the difference in name between a young bird and the adult hen or rooster. It should not have any glaring disqualifications, such as a completely wrong color of leg, for example. You must not have engaged in any "fakery" in preparing the bird for show - such as glueing a missing feather in place in order to qualify.

What are the Advantages to Showing Your Chickens at the Fair? 
  • Getting your chickens trained, tamed, and groomed can be a fun family activity, assuming everyone involved enjoys raising chickens.
  • Hanging out with other chicken hobbyists can be fun and informative
  • As an exhibitor, you'll most likely get free admittance to the fair, any time you wish to visit
  • If your birds win, you'll get a "premium check" - not much, but it buys a little feed. It's based upon whether you get a trophy, a best of class, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place ribbon
  • Winners will be awarded ribbons or trophies. Not so many trophies in the recent past, unfortunately, but ribbons are still dispensed 
  • If you volunteer during the day, you'll enjoy meeting fair visitors and answering their questions about chickens
  • It's a great educational opportunity for you
  • You'll benefit year around from having tamed chickens - advisable for fitting and showing, but an added pleasure when interacting daily with your flock
What if You Want To Learn More? 

Coincidentally, I've got you covered. Benefit from my 30 plus years experience raising chickens which translates into showing at fairs every year other than the four I was serving in the military. I could show you all my ribbons and trophies, but I'm pretty humble; plus, it would require unpacking them.

If you'd like to understand how to tame and train your chickens for fitting and showing I'm confident the books below will help you (if they don't, please take advantage of the generous return policy, which I heartily endorse). They're priced low enough for anyone to afford - my goal is to grow this hobby: 



This book is available on Amazon.com - scan the QR Code below it and you'll be directed right to it. It's priced at a whopping $2.99. The rooster in the photo is Spike, a "Holy Terror" to even the most manly visitor.



This showing book adds to the information in this post. It does not detail the rules and regulations of every area in the U.S.! The time required to do that - and to update continuously- would make it very expensive. Like the taming book, it, too is priced at $2.99. You can find out about the rules and regulations for your local fair just by performing an online search and spending a few short minutes. The photo is of me at the fair my first year in 4-H. I was showing my white silky hen. The tall guy was the judge.

Scan this QR Code in order to directly access the Fitting and Showing book on Amazon.com.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Loss of a Pet Chicken, Memorial Stones, Bereavement Help

A pet chicken inspires the same attachment we feel for a pet dog or cat - now a business in New York, by the name of Adirondack Stoneworks -http://www.adirondackstoneworks.com has added memorial stones for chickens and other pet birds to their selection. 

Below, are the graphics they currently have for pet birds:

In addition to the graphic, you pick your preferred lettering, and  content - then order online, they send the stone to you.
 
Just a few of the stones from their website, above. Seems like a really nice family business - they deliver all over the U.S. and prices appear reasonable. This isn't the sort of thing you hope people will need, but since we typically have quite a number of pets in a lifetime, losses are sad, but realistic.
 
It's nice to have something visible to reflect on memories and remind us of the good times our special feathered or furry friends brought into our lives, right?
 
Note:  I don't have any affiliate relationship with this business, just received an introductory message from them, thought it was a cool service, and wanted to share with my fellow pet chicken enthusiasts. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Without Baby Chicks It Just Wouldn't Be Spring

I tried to resist the baby chicks urge this Spring.

But, somehow, I found myself inside a little feed store I'd never visited before . . . can't remember a thing about how it all happened, but suddenly, I had a brooder with baby chicks in it! It's like MAGIC.

Okay, you're smart and know when you're being snookered - that was an outright lie. Or, maybe, I should just say I "mis-spoke", sounds better? Except for the part about resisting the urge until yesterday! I was conscious through the whole experience, enjoyed every second of it, too!

Got lot's of variety, will post photos soon. In the meantime, just put together some photos from the poultry show in Monroe, WA last month. Second one is from a little museum they have there - It's of a tractor just like the one my Dad used to work with when he was 10 or 12 years old. Highly recommend you stop by this place if you're in the area.

Monroe, Washington is North of Seattle - take the Highway 2 exit to the East. Lot's of old farm items in this museum, and a caretaker even showed me how rope was made back then - cool place for fans of history.