feeding chickens

21 09, 2018

Feeding Chickens – Like Feeding Children

By |2018-09-21T11:02:16-05:00September 21st, 2018|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

When I open the back door each morning the chickens run to the fence and begin squawking “Feed me, feed me, I’m starving.”

This continues as I fill the feed bucket and wade carefully through the sea of birds to the food pans.  More than once I have stepped on a chicken toe causing even louder squawking.  As soon as I put the feed in the pans, all is quiet while they eat.

It reminds me of feeding our children when they were babies.  They would scream as if they were dying until they found the food be it bottle or breast.  Then there was blissful quiet.

Our church is filled with young families with babies.  Wednesday evening I had the chance to hold one of our newest babies as he slept.  I thought of our gown son who is struggling with anxiety over a new job right now.

How I wished I could hold and rock him and make it all better.  But alas, he’s grown and would squish me.

Perhaps I will put some food out for him.  It works with chickens.

17 10, 2014

Too Many Chickens Underfoot – Miller Farm Friday

By |2014-10-17T06:00:11-05:00October 17th, 2014|Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

By Guest Blogger Chicken Wrangler Sara

The chickens that hatched at the end of July are doing fantastic.

chickens in transitIn fact, we have sold seven of them including Leo, the late bloomer. They were not too excited about the move, but I trust they have made the adjustment nicely.

Even with seven less chickens, it is still crowded in the coop.They seem to multiply at feeding time.

Rachel switched the birds to fermented feed this summer. Basically you mix chicken feed and water and let it sit until it smells like vinegar.  I suppose it functions like yogurt with good bacteria to help the digestive system of the chickens.  Anyway, the birds love it, and we have had no illness since switching.

The only issue is that I must put out fresh food every morning.

Sometimes I think the chickens run around the coop burning calories all night because they seem to be starving in the mornings. I put one scoop in a feed bowl and carry a scoop to put into a second bowl.

One morning a little chick jumped right up onto the scoop before I could put it in the bowl.

They have learned to associate my presence with being fed. It is kind of like my children. Even now when they come home from college, they are eager to know what I am fixing for them to eat.  The chickens unlike my children run up to me and get right under my feet.chicken feet

I find myself doing a new kind of “chicken dance” to avoid falling down. I imagine it like an elegant tango but it is more like a rodeo clown.

So far, I have managed to remain upright as I feed the chickens. Another accomplishment to put on my resume.

16 08, 2013

Fully Dressed – Miller Farm Friday

By |2013-08-16T06:05:00-05:00August 16th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

My summer routine has been to get up at 5:00, put on my swimsuit, go to the pool, swim, shower, get dressed, then come home to feed the humans and animals. It has worked pretty well most of the time.

Occasionally I get in the flight path of chickens exiting the coop and end up with chicken footprints on my shirt.

This is not a problem on Monday or Friday when I have no piano students or places to be. However, on Thursdays, I volunteer at a children’s Bible club where we wear a particular shirt.

I’ve learned that I should wait until just before I leave to put on the shirt to avoid evidence of chickens on it.

apronAnother option is to wear an apron over my shirt. I have done this, especially during the school year when I have to go to work in the mornings. I must be careful when choosing my apron, though. The one with red dots on it is particularly attractive to the chickens and the peck at it.

My shoes are another issue. I have a pair of duck shoes that I wear only in the chicken coop. That way whatever gets on them stays outside.  muck shoes

I had to rename them “muck” shoes because the chickens were offended at the use of the word duck. Besides, “muck” is a polite way to describe what gets on the shoes.

If I am just throwing something to the chickens without actually entering the coop, I wear my sneakers.

tennis shoesI looked down yesterday as I was teaching lessons and found a feather on my sneaker. I guess it had made its way into the back yard, and I had to smile. 

It reminded me of when my children were infants. I didn’t feel fully dressed unless I had a little bit of spit up on my shoulder.

Now I am a chicken wrangler, and I’m only dressed when I have feathers on my shoes.

15 02, 2013

Advantages to Raising Chickens

By |2013-02-15T06:45:30-06:00February 15th, 2013|Friday on the Miller Farm, Guest blogger, Miller Farm Friday, Uncategorized|2 Comments

A guest blog from Chicken Wrangler Sara

There are advantages to raising chickens. They get food and water and sometimes grass, and they are happy.

hens2

Humans, on the other hand, need many things.

Last Wednesday proved the last. It’s my usual my day to clean the bathrooms and mop the kitchen floor, but that didn’t happen for three reasons.

  1. Beekeeper Brian called at 8:30 to ask if I could bring him his ID, which he had left on the dresser. Not a problem – I had something to drop off near his school anyway.
  2. Then Rachel texted and asked if I could meet her at the band hall at 10:50 with her jacket. OK, I could still get some things done at the house between taking the ID and taking the jacket.
  3. Then Matthew texted – “Can you go by Thorn (music store) and pick up some drum sticks?” By this time, I was a little frustrated so I told him I would have to see.

After a bit of thougt, I decided taking care of family was more important than a clean bathroom.

As I left the house to make the deliveries, a woman was putting a flyer on my mailbox for a maid service. Rather ironic, it seemed to me considering I really wanted to be at home cleaning house myself.

Instead, I was off delivering things to my humans…

Beekeeper Brian his ID,
Rachel her jacket,
and drumsticks to Matt.

This morning as I fed the chickens I thought about how simple it was to take care of them.

Chickens don’t need IDs.
Chickens don’t need jackets.
Chickens don’t need drumsticks – they already have them.

However, not one of those chickens said “thanks, sweetheart” or ‘Mom, you’re the greatest.”

I realized while there are advantages to raising chickens, they do not outweigh the advantages of raising a family.