Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy Chicken Lady Day (Yes, It's a Real Holiday)

When Jay first told me that he wanted backyard chickens, I thought it was a phase and hoped that if I ignored it, he'd move on to something else. However, he persisted. Finally, I told him, "Honey, I don't like birds and I don't like eggs, but I really like you, so I won't protest if you get them."

If you've read my post Daylight Nightlight, then you know that one of the conditions of getting hens was that we would do whatever we could to make their life enjoyable (which led to the heat lamp fiasco). 

You also know from my post Hidden Hen Hazards, that I can occasionally take things too far.  

At various times in a chicken's life, she moults. This means the old feathers fall off and are replaced with new feathers. The birds usually look half-naked and, since feathers are made of protein, they stop laying eggs as they grow new feathers. Our chickens have a large yard in which to find plenty of protein-rich worms and bugs, so they grew feathers back as quickly as they lost them and never stopped laying.

This past winter, however, we had more snow than usual, so the bugs were few and the worms were deep in the hard ground. Our girls began to look a little scraggly, so I decided to supplement their diet with meal worms.

In the beginning, I was freaked green looking at all the photos of dried, freeze-dried, and live worms on-line as I shopped for the best prices, but out of love of our sweet biddies, I persevered. 

It was rather late when I read the blog of a man who raises his own meal worms.

Me: Jay, listen to this. He keeps them in his living room! Ewww!

Jay (half asleep): That's nice.

Me (still reading): Oh, he keeps them indoors because they need a temperature of least 70 degrees. How warm is our shed in the winter?

Jay (yawning): Not nearly that warm. It's not insulated.

Me (perusing further): He keeps them in a plastic bin with wheat bran for food and apple slices for moisture. He says they're an incredibly cheap source of protein for chickens.

Then I actually asked: Do we have an empty plastic bin somewhere?

Seriously! Someone help me!

If we don't have $7.99 for a bag of freeze dried meal worms, then our chickens will just have to run around half-naked until their feathers fill in.

Because I'm not one of those crazy people who would breed meal worms in her living room for her chickens!

But I am one of those people who would consider knitting them little sweaters until their feathers grow back...

Photo credit: happyvalleycrafters.com

Photo credit: lorainestevens.co.uk

Come on, aren't they cute? Or have I gone off the deep end again? I've lost my ability to tell.

Verse of the day: (Proverbs 12:10a) The righteous care about the needs of their animals..." Jay protests otherwise, but clearly chicken sweaters fall under the category of animal "needs." Which makes me, obviously, more righteous than Jay. Please pray for him to be enlightened.

For two other chicken stories, see "Hidden Hen Hazards" and "Daylight Nightlight." 

Since writing the above post, I've been made aware that a wonderful and magical place called Circle A Hardware (who knew a hardware could be magical?) is selling chicken harnesses! 
Don't have their website, but their # is 225-567-5453
Can you imagine Jay taking a walk with two dogs and four chickens on leashes? I can! 

He says he can't. He has no imagination. 

Which means I really, really need to buy the harnesses. 

To assist his underactive imagination. 

Because I'm helpful.

Helping those who are lacking is a good thing.



  1. Well, you didn't say whether you ended up breeding worms in your living room. Anyway, I'm praying for Jay's enlightenment. Hahahahahahaha. Too funny.

    1. Definitely no worms. I came to my senses as soon as the question about the bin was out of my mouth.

  2. It's lucky Jay has YOU, Pamela, to be a shining beacon of righteousness!

  3. Thank you for recognizing my gift. I'm sure Jerry is equally blessed by your righteous attitude towards the animals.

  4. Somewhere there are some really sad worms who missed out on a wardrobe.