Have chick, will travel; This little chick likes to go everywhere her human goes

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baby chick in car

Beans the chick, tagging along. Photo subject to copyright; used with permission of copyright holder

 

Just the above photo alone is worth a smile, but there’s a story that goes with it and that is one of a chick who likes to go everywhere with her adoptive human parent.

The photo is from the Facebook group, “Chickens, Chickens, Chickens,” which is a group for discussing everything pet-chicken- related and which has been featured a number of times before on wowmypetdidthat.com in various stories about chickens and their owners.

This particular pic was posted by a group member, Alexis Montelongo, who asked in the same post: “How do I deal with a chick who is so attached to me she think I’m her mom and freaks out if I’m not in eye sight. Her name is beans.”

Most associate attaching at a young age to ducklings. Chickens are far less likely to attach to humans. In fact, many chicks and full grown chickens can be downright skittish when touched or approached, no matter how careful or gentle the human is. But there are chickens who have been known to form a bond with a person or people, enjoying being petted or held or even living indoors.

Even more rare, according to chickenpals.com, is a chicken with the desire to be and stay close to someone. Beans, who can be seen going for a ride while confidently and determinedly perched on her human’s shoulder, seems to fall into this rare category.

So, what did others in the chicken group think of this adorable tag-along chick? Some related similar stories of bonding with a hen or rooster, so it seems like, although young now, Beans will probably continue to stay attached to her chosen “mom” in the future. Those with less outgoing or affectionate chickens expressed a wish for such attention from their feathered pets.

Others simply expressed adoration for Beans. One Facebook user advised: “Enjoy it and take her everywhere! I would.”

Another said:

So freaking cute. Just go with it 🥰
We couldn’t agree more!

 

For an interesting article on chicken and human bonding, check out: https://birdgap.com/pet-chickens-love-owners/

 

 

Chicken who can’t get into coop knocks on family’s front door

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How smart are chickens? With the general increase in popularity in raising backyard chickens in recent years and a spike during COVID, many are finding out that chickens are much more than just egg-layers.

According to an article on aarp.org, “Chickens are intelligent, sociable creatures that can form strong bonds with humans.”

As evidence of chicken intelligence, there are many anecdotes, including this story that was recently posted on the facebook group, Chickens Chickens Chickens by group member Megan Ryan.

“Tonight there was a knock on our front door. My dog went nuts and we were confused on who would be here at 9:45 pm. I opened the door and it was our chicken, Marge. 😂😂 it’s dark here and has been for a good 45 minutes.” 

Marge the chicken

Marge the chicken
photo courtesy of Megan Ryan

So, what brought this intrepid chicken to the front door, especially so late at night? In the same post, Ryan relates that Marge likely was looking for help:

“So she must have gotten out of the backyard earlier and couldn’t find her way back to the coop, so she knocked on our freaking front door for help😅😅😅😅😅

Ryan concludes: “I now believe they are smarter than I originally thought.”


The short but funny post has gained the attention of many, receiving over 1,000 likes on Facebook and 108 comments in the first 12 hours after being posted.

Is this chicken extra smart or simply acting on instinct? One comment explained that, rather than “knocking,” if the porch light was on at the time, the chicken might simply have been scratching for bugs.

Still, many other commenters posted other stories about their own and even chickens that weren’t theirs showing up at the door and making their presence known with a “knock” or two. One comment related a story about a chicken pecking at her back door to alert humans about a hawk attacking.

“She saved their lives that day,” noted the poster of the comment.

Regardless of the chicken’s actual intentions, Marge’s human-like behavior undoubtedly caused many to smile upon reading the post.

Said one Facebook member: “I have to say this little story made by day-haven’t laughed out loud in a while! You go Marge!!”

Small pets get their chance in the spotlight

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Pet brand Kaytee is on a mission to champion small pets everywhere.

Over 16 million people currently love and care for small animals or pet birds, but the world of pets can often feel very focused on dogs and cats.

To put deserving small pets everywhere front and center, Kaytee is launching its inaugural #SmallinShow Award Show, inviting pet parents of hamsters, bunnies, mice, birds and other small companions to share images and stories of their mini heroes across social media. The #SmallinShow Award Show will culminate with the crowning of three winners who will each receive a one-year supply of Kaytee products1.

Digital short

With the help of Kenneth the Guinea Pig and his human chaperone Rainn Wilson, Kaytee is starting the small pet revolution with “Small in Show,” a first-of-its-kind digital short film.

“Small in Show” chronicles Kenneth and Rainn’s journey to enter the famed Westminster Dog Show and, in turn, celebrate all that small pets have to offer.

Watch the “Small in Show” short film here.

Incredible animals:

According to a press release, Mike McGoohan, SVP of Marketing and Strategy at Central Garden & Pet, relates that: “For over 150 years, Kaytee has been committed to providing high-quality products and support to small animals, birds and their guardians, and we are proud to champion their well-being. We hope that the #SmallinShow Award Show becomes a celebration of all small animal companions and brings together this highly engaged community in a way that has never been done before.”

Learn more about Kaytee at www.kaytee.com.

_________________________________________
1 Official rules for the #SmallinShow Contest can be found here: https://rules.creativezing.com/Kaytee/. No purchase or payment is necessary to enter or win.

Featured image: With the help of A-list star Kenneth the Guinea Pig (and his human chaperone and small-animal enthusiast, Rainn Wilson), Kaytee is starting the small pet revolution with “Small in Show,” a first-of-its-kind digital short film. “Small in Show” chronicles Kenneth and Rainn’s journey to enter the famed Westminster Dog Show and in turn, celebrate all that small pets have to offer. (Photo: Business Wire)

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220620005098/en/The-Small-Pet-Revolution-is-Here-Kaytee-Rainn-Wilson-and-Kenneth-the-Guinea-Pig-Champion-Small-Pet-Equity-in-%E2%80%9CSmall-in-Show%E2%80%9D

Business touts benefits of mealworms for chickens

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Over the last two years, the number of Americans rearing chickens has increased to around 26 million.

Recent trials conducted by Ÿnsect have shown increased performance on egg size for chickens eating mealworms.

But egg size isn’t the only consideration for those raising chickens. Most chickens live to eat and, for most of them, mealworms are the meal of choice.

Companies that create pet food are taking notice of both the increase in chicken adoptions and the benefits of mealworms, and some are flocking to mealworm production and distribution.

According to a press release, Jord Producers, based in Nebraska, has been incorporated into Ÿnsect’s production portfolio, signifying the global company’s entry into North American mealworm production. The move comes off the back of Ÿnsect‘s introduction to the US market in November 2021.

With the world’s largest vertical insect farm in France, Ÿnsect transforms Buffalo and Molitor mealworms into premium, sustainable ingredients to feed animals, fish, plants and humans. Ÿnsect exports its products worldwide.

 

The addition of Jord Producers reflects Ÿnsect’s expansion into the US market andtheir entry into the backyard chicken feed market. During the pandemic, the backyard chicken market saw significant growth in America. By 2026, the US market is predicted to reach approximately $400M, according by a recent study by Arthur D. Little.

Also according to the press release, mealworms contain the amino acids chickens (and other livestock) need for optimal development: very high protein content (72% protein), highly digestible, hypoallergenic and the potential to decrease skin diseases.

Antoine Hubert, CEO and Co-Founder of Ÿnsect commented, “We’re very excited to continue establishing our presence in the US, which is a priority market for Ÿnsect as we expand globally. As an impact company, sustainability and support for the environment is at the top of our agenda.”

 


Celebrating the beauty of chickens with a close-up challenge

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rooster

The Facebook group “Chickens, Chickens, Chickens,” is participating in a “Closeup chicken” challenge (#closeupChallenge). And, besides being an entertaining way for members to show off their chickens, it’s also offering a lot of proof that chickens are beautiful, albeit loud, creatures. “Chickens, Chickens, Chickens,” is a private Facebook group for chicken enthusiasts and it has over 90,000 members to date.

Here are a few of our favorite posts so far:

close up of rooster

rooster

 

rooster

Keep ’em coming fellow chicken lovers! And, if you’d like for your link to be shared in this post too, leave a message in the comments section.

The featured image is of one of the Wow My Pet Did That roosters with a lunapic.com effect added.

A review of ‘Chicken People’ documentary

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you haven’t seen it yet, but have even a small interest in chickens, or, better yet, a love of chickens, you may want to check out “Chicken People,” a 2016 documentary, which is available through Amazon prime. I’m not sure why I hadn’t heard of the documentary until now, given that it is from 2016, but, as soon as I saw it recommended by Amazon Prime today, I knew I had to watch it.

The documentary primarily follows three people (two men and one woman) who are among thousands of others who breed chickens and enter them in competitions, including the Ohio National Poultry Show.

Many chicken breeders, including those who keep chickens as house pets, are interviewed for the documentary. Besides seeing what makes these “chicken people” tick, which largely seems to be a fondness of chickens, there are also lots of camera shots of the competing chickens, from hens with a “here-we-go again attitude” as they are poked and prodded by judges to roosters with an “I’m the only rooster worth looking at” expression in a row of cages of almost identical roosters.

The film does a nice job of capturing the overall spirit of competition, from what drives the competitors to breed literally thousands of chickens in the pursuit of the perfect chicken to prepping chickens for judging with blow dryers for fluffing and other beauty measures. We also learn a bit about the family and work lives of each of the three highlighted competitors; each of whom are so open about their love for their animals and so dedicated to what they do, that it’s hard not to root for each of them to have a bird that snags at least one trophy.

Those not terribly familiar with chickens might also find it surprising to see how many varieties of chickens there are, with some of the more exotic ones barely resembling what most people think of when they hear the word “chicken.”

The documentary doesn’t delve too deep into the differences between breeds, which would probably be too complex to try to explore in what is overall a light and cheerful portrait, and would likely take away from the focus on the competitors. Instead, it helps give a cursory understanding of what judges are looking for when making decisions about which chickens are the closet to being perfect standards. These standards are noted as being in-depth (examples include feather color, beak shape, stance, comb directions, shape of various body parts,  and size) and specific to each breed. Those who have chickens as pets or are chicken fanatics (or “chicken-aholics” as one chicken lover jokes in the documentary), will likely find themselves taking note of multiple types of chickens they would love to add to their flocks while watching the documentary. I know I saw more than a few I wouldn’t mind giving a home to, except that I promised myself to keep my backyard flock small.

I do think “Chicken People” doesn’t quite take enough of a look at the chickens and their often endearing personalities. There is some adorable footage of a broody chicken who is lying on a round-shaped spoon, seemingly looking forward to hatching it.  Another moment that stands out is a little girl kissing a chicken with curly feathers the way one would normally expect to see a child cuddling with a kitten. But, while the documentary  does an outstanding job of focusing on the  people in the chicken world, it doesn’t really focus on the chickens in a way that lets viewers connect with the animals. If I hadn’t gone into viewing this documentary with a love for my own chickens and experiences raising my own little flock, I don’t know if I would have really understood the attraction to chickens or why or how people come to feel such a close bond with these free-spirited creatures, which are often simply seen as livestock.

Maybe, and especially as the number of people keep backyard chickens grows, someone will make a documentary that explores that relationship between human and chicken as human and pet.

Still, “Chicken People,” which has a runtime of 83 minutes and is directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes,is an entertaining and informative look into the competition aspect of the chicken world, a nice step in the direction toward hopefully more looks at chicken raising, and definitely worth checking out.

For more information, you can check out the trailer (below) or visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_People :

Featured image from: http://www.cmtpress.com/program/chicken-people/images/

 

 

Our top favorite calendars for pet lovers for 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pet calendars are a great way to keep smiling all year long. Once again this year, here’s a list of our top 10 picks for the coming year:

1) 2022 Walkin’ Pets Calendar (7th Annual version)

 

All proceeds for this calendar go to the Handicapped Pets Foundation, which donates wheelchairs to animals in need. The calendar features 13 winners from a contest. Handicapable pets featured along with their stories include dogs, a cat, a cow, a raccoon, chickens, sheep and a goat.

For more information, or to order, go to: https://www.handicappedpets.com/calendar/?hsCtaTracking=5f52a6dd-9ff6-444e-91df-ac8f99cc9d4f%7Cacfdb603-f0ae-44c4-8ba0-d1e0a984e43b

 

2)Sellers Publishing Glamour Chicks 2022 Wall Calendar 16-Month 

Chicken lovers will likely enjoy this look at the series of various breeds of chickens all shot in fancy studio lighting by photographers Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini. For more information, visit this link at Amazon.com.

3) 2022 Gary Patterson’s Cats Wall Calendar, 12″ x 12″

This cat-themed calendar features the artwork of Gary Patterson, an artist that many know for his ability to capture the humorous side of cat attitudes and behaviors.

For more, visit this link at Amazon.com.

4)2022 Square Wall Calendar – Piggies, 12 x 12 Inch Monthly View, 16-Month, Animals Theme, Includes 180 Reminder Stickers

See what these little piggies are up to each month for 16 months. Plus, the reminder sticker idea is a cool one for those whose New Year’s resolution includes getting organized.

For more, visit this link at Amazon.

5) 2022 Square Wall Calendar – Cute Bunnies , 12 x 12 Inch Monthly View, 16-Month, Animals Theme, Includes 180 Reminder Stickers

Based on the preview of included images, it seems like suckers for adorable bunnies won’t be disapointed with this one, which also includes reminder stickers.

For more visit this link on Amazon.

6) TF PUBLISHING – 2022 Dog-A-Day Wall Calendar.

If you can’t get enough of dogs, this calendar should be a good buy. This calendar is formatted a little differently, with every month featuring a new dog for each day of that month. Plus, there’s extra large space for writing notes on each date, so you won’t forget an appointment and wind up in the dog house.

For more, visit this link at Amazon.

How to choose the perfect chicken coop

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Whether you’re new to raising chickens, or looking to buy a new coop for a flock you already have, the choice you make can mean a healthier flock and a happier person/people caring for them.

To help with the decision, Roost & Root, maker of Round-Top Chicken Coop™ designs, has put together this list of five things to consider when buying a chicken coop.

Motivation: Let your motivation dictate the coop that you select. For example, if you are looking to conveniently and quickly feed your birds, consider a coop with an outside feeding option that saves you from having to enter your coop.

Many prefer walk-in style coops (https://roostandroot.com/product-category/coops/) to allow for easy accessibility or outdoor style feeders & waterers for convenient & quick feeding.

Alternatively, your goals may be more focused more on egg production. If gathering eggs is your main initiative, then figure out how many eggs you would like to collect in a week, the number of chickens needed, and search for a coop that will meet your flock’s capacity and needs.

Security: Consider your surroundings. Whether you live in a suburb or rural area, make sure the coop you select is predator-proof. This can be achieved by using a high gauge hardware wire cloth, ensuring you always lock up your hens, and using a heavy, well-built coop. (The company doesn’t mention it, but a heavy, well built coop is also important if you live in an area with strong winds. There have been videos posted on Facebook showing some coops blowing apart in strong winds.)

Important numbers: There are a few key measurements and rules for building a healthy chicken coop. A chicken coop should have approximately 1 square foot of ventilation per 10 square feet of coop. This is particularly important for chickens because they have the propensity to develop respiratory challenges over time.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your chickens have enough space for their daily activities, including roosting and nesting.

When building a chicken coop, you will need 1 nesting box per 4-5 chickens.

Also, keep in mind that your coop will need 10-12 inches per chicken for the roosting bars.

chickens roosting graphic
Make sure chickens will have enough room to roost. Graphic by Barbara Bullington

Cleaning: A walk-in chicken coop, like that of our Round-Top coop line, will provide convenience as they are easier to clean and ergonomically friendly.

Appearance: Like anything else, buying a chicken coop is an investment. (https://roostandroot.com/blog/6-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-…) An attractive chicken coop can be a nice addition to your property, especially as you watch your chickens enjoy it.

Related:

Chicken website debuts Chickens Got Talent contest and results show


Recycling feed bags into cute items, like this tote bag

Reading Time: 5 minutesAwhile back, I read an article about how in the early 1900s or so, a lot of packaging for items was designed to be what was now refer to as “upcycled,” so that pretty much everything someone bought, even the packaging, would go to some use.

For example, some companies used to print dolls on feed bags and these “dolls” would be cut out and played with by kids, which I think is such a simple, sweet and fun idea and it makes me sorry that we don’t see more of this today.

So, I recently bought some chicken feed and noticed an announcement on the back of the bag that said the bag could be upcycled. As you can see in the picture below, it shows that you can upcycle the empty feedbag into a wallet, a planter, an apron or a tote bag. I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately, so I was excited about the idea of creating an apron for that and gardening.

Upcycling image from feed bag

I waited a couple of weeks and, finally, all the chicken feed was used up, so I washed out the bag and went to the website address — all ready to make my apron.

Unfortunately, Kalmbach feeds no longer has the upcycle instructions on its site. I even did a Google search to see if it was maybe in a different location, but couldn’t find anything.

I was all hyped up to make something, but had no instructions, so I started to think I was going to need to change my plan. I can’t sew and don’t have a lot of craft supplies, so I would need to make something fairly simple, but I also wanted to make something I would use. At that point, I switched to a tote bag because I was doing some searching online and found some really cute tote bags that had been created from feed bags on etsy and pinterest. There were also a lot of tutorials on youtube.

As you can see in this picture, the package actually has really adorable artwork. Thinking about it now, I could have even cut it out and framed it or made some kind of sign for the chicken coop. But, anyway, I decided in the moment that I really wanted to make a tote bag that would display the artwork and the green and blue color pattern.

 

Kalmbach Feed package

Here are my very general directions on how I made my bag. I’m not being too specific because it was a first attempt and I kind of think people might have more fun adding their own touches. And, if you can sew, You can probably make something a little more durable.

But, here’s what I did:

I started by cutting some of the extra string off the sewn part of the bottom and pulling off the ingredients tag. Then, I folded the bag down the sides and pushed in the bottom of the bag so it would be flat. I put two pieces of cardcoard on the inside bottom of the bag, so it would help it to stay flat and give it a little more strength.

cardboard in bottom of bag

I cut off the top part of the bag all in one big loop above where the artwork started and I kept that loop for the handles and the smaller bit of decoration you can see holding the handles together. I did that so I can hang it. I plan to use this one to store plastic bags in, in the kitchen.

I folded over the top so that it was down to where I wanted it and used a glue gun in a few spots so that it would stay folded (although being able to sew it would have likely looked better and would be more durable). I cut small holes in the bag and the handles loops, which I doubled up, and used baggie ties to attach the first handle. But, then, I decided that string would be easier, so I used that for the second handle. I thought about using a glue gun, but didn’t know if that would hold. I also thought about using a stapler, but I have a pet peeve about getting scratched by loose staples, so sturdy string seemed best. The handles look pretty good, but again, ones that were sewn on would probably look best.

Overall, I really like how the bag came out and think the more practice, the nicer ones I can make.

Tote bag

Finished tote bag.

Acutally, I’m excited. This opens up a whole new world to me. As a dog, cat and chicken person, who knows how many bags I have thrown out at this point. But, now, I plan to start making all kinds of items with the help of some youtube tutorials and just some more creative imaginings about what I can make. Plus, I can always use more tote bags for storing pet supplies in a cute way. And, I love the idea of keeping usable items out of landfills.

The cat food usually comes in paper, and I’m not sure if the dog food bags might have too much of that “oil” from the dog food on it to effectively wash them out and re-use. But, even if that’s the case, I will still have plenty of bags to experiment with, thanks to the chickens.

I hope this inspires others to upcycle. And if you do, please share some of your creations!

Update: After I wrote this article, my mother emailed me the following, which was really cool to find out.

Your great grandmothers, Grace Cofield and Alice Pittard, both sewed dresses, aprons, and quilts and many more household items from flour and feed sacks!! In the 1920’s, 30’s and early 40’s the fabric from the empty sacks was a good source of material in rural areas. Simplicity and McCalls sold patterns to help create dresses for women and children.”


Related:

https://blog.etsy.com/en/feed-sacks-a-sustainable-fabric-history/

https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1105750

https://blog.generalmills.com/2016/08/how-flour-sacks-went-from-kitchen-to-closet/

Chicken website debuts Chickens Got Talent contest and results show

Reading Time: < 1 minuteAnyone who has chickensas pets know how fun these birds can be to watch just going about their daily activities. But, one website is helping show that chickens can also be very talented.

Chicken’s Got Talent” features a collection of fun chicken antics.

“We received hilarious and impressive videos,” said Chickens.org program director Molly Sutton in a press release. “We have chickens dancing, running obstacle courses, playing instruments, riding a bicycle, doing card tricks, and more.

Chickens.org is a non profit website that offers ad-free, open source information about how to raise chickens, and a program of Capax World (www.capax.org), which implements practical, sustainable solutions to malnutrition and poverty. The site works directly with communities to establish and expand coops and gardens, noting that chicken eggs are full of protein and can be an excellent food to help keep people healthy.

“A single hen can lay more than 500 eggs in 2 years,” Sutton said. “This is a powerful tool in fighting malnutrition.”

Chicken’s Got Talent winners were announced on May 2. All the contestants and the top ten selected by a group of judges can be viewed at https://www.chickens.org/chickensgottalent/

Here’s a compilation showing some of what’s in store. So, if you’re on the fence about watching, you’ll probably be crowing with excitement after seeing this!

Related:

Chickens are increasingly being seen as pets, and some are even becoming celebrities