Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicken Update


Penny the former house chicken is doing fine. She gets along fine with all the other chickens. She has no problem standing side-by-side with them when I give them treats. She still lays an egg every single day, has never skipped even one day. She comes running right to me when I go out to the chicken pen, begging me to pick her up. She's used to attention. And I spoil her. I pick her up and bring her into the kitchen when I have time, which makes her very happy. She looks at everything on the floor to determine if it's edible. If it was up to her she'd live in the house without any other chickens.
New Hen
The new shelter hen, who still is nameless, is also doing fine.  I call her Big Girl.  Surprisingly, she appears to have lost some weight in the past week since she's lived with us.  She's been locked in the infirmary coop; we haven't let her loose with the other chickens because we wanted to ensure she was healthy first.  She had a very hard time walking when we got her.  She would only take a few steps before she had to stop.  But now she's walking normally all over her coop.  She's now able to jump up into nestboxes.  But she has not laid even one egg.  I gave her another chicken's egg, which made her very happy.  She looked and looked at it, turning her head around to look at it with the other eye.  She made happy chicken sounds when she was looking at the egg.  I put a couple plastic eggs in the nestbox that she sits in every day to encourage her to lay.  Maybe she's too old to lay?  Maybe that's why her former owners let her loose into the city streets?  She has learned to eat chicken food.  The first couple days she wouldn't eat, but now she eats just fine.

New hen looking outside at other birds and Virginia in the nest box

We bring in other birds to visit the shelter hen.  One of our hens, Virginia, really gets along with the new girl just fine, so Virginia has spent a few days in the coop with her.  We are planning on putting the new hen into the coop tonight to roost with all the chickens, and letting her live with the other chickens starting tomorrow.  I'll have to keep a close eye on her to ensure she isn't picked on too much and I'm sure I'll have to assist her with the chicken proceedings, like how to leave the coop out the little chicken door in the mornings and how to come back into the coop in the evenings.  And then we'll have to work out an overnight roost spot for the new girl. 

Every chicken has a specific spot where they like to roost at night.  We have roosting posts put up in the chicken coop where all the chickens sleeps.  Muffin the lead rooster calls everyone into the coop when the sun goes down, and everyone gets onto their roost spot.  Only Penny stays out until the last minute, rushing into the coop after it's already dark outside.  Penny had a tough time picking out her own spot on her first night in the coop, I had to choose a roost spot for her, and she still always sleeps in that same spot.  Penny is such a good girl - she appears to be so smart, repeating what I show her immediately.  Hopefully it all goes as smooth for the new hen. 

While I was outside taking these photos of the chickens the adult guineas came running to greet me, so I had to photograph at least one of them.  This is our white male guinea.

At last but not least, here's Benji, who followed me to the chicken coop.  He was watching over my actions and watching over the guineas and chickens, as he the lead farm cat around here now.  When I took this photo Benji was watching the white guinea.  The guineas like to chase Benji.  They chase everything.  They even try to chase me.  Benji waits until the last second to run from the guineas.  As soon as I walked away the white guinea chased Benji and Benji ran up to the house beside me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shelter Chickens

Remember Penny the former house chicken?  We picked her up at the local shelter.  She was raised in someone's house and never saw other chickens before.  She knew only people.  Her owner couldn't keep her and dropped her off at the shelter, where we found and rescued her. The shelter calls us permanent foster parents.

Penny's doing great.  She immediately started laying eggs in the chicken coop and has laid an egg a day every day since.  She gets along great with all the other chickens.  I am surprised how well she fits in.  But she still prefers to be in the house rather than outside in the chicken pen. 

Whenever she sees me in the chicken pen she runs to me, hoping I will pick her up and take her inside the human house.  She tries to escape from the chicken pen whenever anyone opens the gate, which is really annoying.  I take her inside the house when I can and lock her in the kitchen.  I usually take her in when I'm cooking dinner so I can keep an eye on her.  She likes the TV to be on.  She is totally happy in the kitchen.  Silly bird.  She runs when I attempt to catch her in the kitchen to take her back outside again.  Poor hen thinks she's a human stuck in a chicken's body.

Penny loves to eat from the cat bowls and drink from the cat fountain.  She always spills the dry catfood all over the floor.  I'm very happy with her, she was totally healthy, is young and vibrant ~ less than a year old, has no medical problems or mite issues.  We told the shelter we were only going to accept healthy birds.  But I guess every bird that comes from the shelter is going to have a unique story and a unique personality.

And so, on Saturday we welcomed our next shelter hen.
I haven't named her yet.  She and a rooster were caught wandering the streets of Washington DC!  I didn't take the rooster, sadly, as I don't need any more roosters.  She's a huge bird - she must weigh approximately 20 pounds.  She's way overweight.  She hardly can walk she's so fat.  To me it looks like she was caged in a small area and was never allowed to walk around.  The rooster was caged with her, as she had evident signs of feather loss from mating with a rooster.  The rooster looked like a Rhode Island Red.  I don't know what she looks like.  Then her owners must have let the two chickens free for some reason.  Maybe they couldn't keep them anymore.  And so two chickens were found wandering the city streets.

So this poor hen and her rooster lived in a tiny pen in the city and were not able to walk around.  I 'm guessing someone got her for her eggs.  They fed her well, but who knows what they fed her.  I think she's over a year old.  But she was in the shelter for a week and didn't lay any eggs for that week.

She doesn't know how to sit on a roost, I think she's too heavy to balance herself.  She likes to sit on the floor.  She doesn't know how to drink from a chicken waterer and she hasn't eaten any chicken food, although she did eat some scratch grain.  I bet she was only fed table scraps.  They don't have many chicken feed stores in the city.  She's being kept in our infirmary coop for a few days and is being watched.  She has a window where she can look out and see the other birds; she really wants to be outside with the other birds.  She appears to be healthy, she doesn't have any mites and appears to be breathing fine.  I'm concerned that when we let her loose with the other chickens that they will pick on her and she will not be able to run away because she's too slow.  So she's on a diet.
I'll let you know what I name her... 

Every shelter chicken has a story, and this hen is quite different from the last one. 

They now have two roosters in my local shelter - one is this hen's mate, and the other is a lean black rooster.  The gal the works at the shelter told me they thought the black rooster was a fighting cock.  It was insinuated that he was going to be put down because he was a fighter.  I looked at him - he was young and scared to death, but he had no signs of ever fighting.  Maybe he was born to fight, but that rooster never fought.  People don't understand animals sometimes.  I entered his cage (the chicken cages are large pens in which a person can walk) and attempted to pick him up.  The girl looked at me like I was crazy.  The rooster was terrified of me, but he certainly didn't attempt to attack me.  I caught him and held him in my arms and pet his wattle and his head and within minutes he totally calmed down and fell asleep in my arms.  He was just scared to death before.  When he stopped being scared he was a great bird.  He woke up and nuzzled me.  I wondered if he was someone's pet at one time.  I showed the shelter employee that he was a lovebug.  If I needed a rooster I would take him in a heartbeat.  I bet he'd make a great flock leader.  But alas, I have 2 roosters already, which is perfect for my flock.  I kissed him on the head and put him down on the floor and he cuddled up and continued to sleep.  So sad that he is homeless.

As I left the shelter with the new chicken I purposely didn't even look at any of the other animals there.  If I saw them I'd probably fall in love with all of them.      

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guinea Keets and Cats

I know it's been a few weeks since I last posted, but as I always say, life doesn't slow down here at Razzberry Corner.  So much has happened I don't know where to start...
Benji the feral cat that we brought in for 2 weeks and released is doing fine now.  He's the ruler of the outdoors.  He's a farm cat.  He's putting on some weight so he's not all skin and bones anymore.  He seems to be very happy outside - he hated being inside!  He follows me around as I do my outside farm chores.  He's a sweetie.  Yesterday I found and caught a snake in the chicken coop.  Benji watched me, but wanted nothing to do with the snake!  I showed it to him.  It was just a black rat snake, but I didn't want it around my eggs in the chicken coop, so I released it about a half mile down the dirt road.   

Mostly the adult guineas ignore the outside cats.  But in the photo below Benji got too close to for the guineas' comfort...

...And one of the guineas gave Benji a little chase!

We still have 5 adult guineas.  Nothing has killed any of them recently.  It's been a very good summer for the guineas.

Our guinea keets are growing up.  They are about as big as the chickens already.  There are so many of them - 18!!!  Soon it will be time to release them from the chicken pen into the wild with the adult guineas.  The adult guineas will be very happy to have company; they spend a lot of time at the chicken pen fence communicating with and watching the keets now.

They look like scruffy teenage guinea keets now.  With dirty feet!  They're losing the brown color and getting darker colors and spots.  I am very happily surprised that 18 keets lived.  We only lost 1 keet back on the first day we got them as newborns.  

When we get the keets out of the chicken pen it will be quiet again in the pen.  Right now we have 18 chickens, so we doubled the population with the keets.
There's so much more going on...
Next time I'll tell you about another new addition to the farm!!! 
Plus I'll give you an update on Penny the former house foster chicken. ...Dear Penny...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

There goes a little piece of my heart...

Last week we released Bejamin the feral cat who was brought inside back to the outside world.  We got him fixed and shots, kept him inside for two weeks, and it was time for him to be free again.  He was to be an outside cat again.  Inside he was very timid and scared.  He seemed to want to please us , and worked hard at trying to do what we wanted.  He was very passive to the inside cats, rolling upside down when they came into his room.

On the day he was to be released, I carried him to the front door and let him look outside.  He was very excited, happy even.  Randy opened the door, and I let him walk out on his own.  I thought maybe he'd choose to stay inside with me.  Nope, he chose freedom, no hesitation.

Below he walks from the front door, looking timid and hunched down still, the way he looked inside the house.

He turned and looked back at me and I spoke to him.  On the edge of freedom here.

Benji hesitates and looks around the yard.  He looks upset, ears partially back as he listens to me encouraging him.

And then he slinks off.  Yes, the yard is out of control.  It's been raining every day and we haven't been able to mow.

And now, look, he's back to his old self!  Ears are up.  He's walking tall, no more being hunched over.  No more being scared.  The old Benji personality has returned.

He looks around the yard.  His yard.

And he looks back at me with glowing wild eyes.  He's happy again.

Since he's been released Benjamin has taken up his old position as lead outside cat.  He's much more dominant than the other 2 resident outside cats.  We were hoping that by getting him fixed it would mellow him out some.  But he still chases the other cats and shows he's the boss.  Maybe it takes time.

He's very sweet to us now, he lets us pet him, even though he's outside.  He hangs out very close to our house, is always around.  On the first night outside I sat on the front porch and pet him for a while.  I brought out the little cat toys (little mice) he had when he was locked inside, and he was very happy to see and play with them again.  He loved his toy mice when he was locked up inside.

I wish we could have found a home for him, but there's so many stray cats, no one seems to want another.  And truly, Benji is happy being free.  He was different inside, a broken cat.  Now he's Benjamin, ruler of Razzberry Corner's yard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feral cat taming

This post is a continuation of my last post about how we took in Benjamin the feral cat to get shots and fixed.  Benji is an all black cat except for a small tuff of white on his chest.  He has big golden yellow eyes.  His eyes don't turn out well in my photos as the pupil turns yellow in photos.  He's prettier in real life. 

Benji didn't do very well his first night and the whole process was more complicated than I expected.

After Benji awoke on his first day inside he wasn't shaking or stiff or breathing quickly anymore.  Or foaming from the mouth, thank goodness!

At first he wouldn't look at me, he kept his eyes down.  I think he was being submissive, or maybe scared.  If he doesn't look at the monster person, then maybe the monster person doesn't really exist?  I gave him lots and lots of pets and sweet talk, and brushed him with my soft hairbrush, and gave him lots of canned cat food, and then more pets.  Eventually he started purring and looking up at me.  He likes his bed, and when he's scared he lays down and looks down, refusing to look at me.  He happily accepts pets, even rolls upside down when he's feeling brave and lets me pet his stomach. 

That first day he didn't use the litterbox at all.  I was a little concerned when by 3pm he still didn't go to the bathroom.  We had caught him the morning before, now the next day, and no bathroom break?  I put him in the litterbox multiple times.  Each time he walked out and laid back on his bed, eyes down.  I scratched in his litterbox myself.  I put him back in the box and told him how good he was.  Nothing.  Finally I got a scoop of used litter from my other cat box and put that in Benji's box and didn't cover it.  Then I put him in the box.  He immediately smelled the other cat's poop and went to the bathroom himself.  I guess he didn't want to soil the clean litterbox?

He certainly doesn't eat much, he's all bones.  He eats only enough to survive, even though now he always has a full bowl of dry cat food available.  Our housecat Jack is very friendly and begs to go visit Benji, so we let him.  Benji immediately loved Jack.  Jack likes to eat Benji's food and drink his water, which encourages Benji to eat and drink.  If Jack eats, Benji wants to eat, too.  Jack is Benji's only feline friend right now.

Benji spent his first week indoors on his bed.  He refused to really go anywhere else.  He would walk around the bathroom if I encouraged him, but if anyone else came in he'd run back to his bed.  His bed is his safety net.  I encouraged him to leave the bathroom and go into the kitchen, which is the room beside the bathroom, but he refused for many days.  He needs constant praise.  He will do anything for me for praise and pets.  He'd rather be pet and loved than eat, even.

Finally, when Benji was ready, with a lot of praise, he walked into the kitchen.  Jack encouraged Benji to enter the kitchen.  Whenever Benji got scared he'd run back to his bed and lay down and look down.  If loud noises occurred, such as from the the TV in the kitchen, or if the dishwasher was going, he'd for sure be laying on his bed, looking down.  From then on he sometimes walked around the kitchen.

Once, during an episode of bravery, Benji started looking as if he may jump on the kitchen counters.  I do not allow cats on the kitchen counters.  My cats would never jump up, they know better, they would be yelled at by me.  Benji started looking up, nodding his head, anticipating the jump.  I said NO very loudly several times.  He had no idea what NO meant.  He was never told no before, so he ignored me and jumped up on the counter!  Before I thought, I hollered loudly, saying BAD, and Benji looked at me like I was a monster, and he flew off the counter and into the bathroom and onto his bed, which he didn't leave for 2 days.  He was so upset at me yelling at him.  I felt so bad for yelling, I really set him back.  He wouldn't lift his eyes to me for a day after that.  I praised him and pet him and brushed him, but it didn't matter, he was terrified of me again.  All he wants to do is please me.  I'm assuming this behavior is normal for a feral cat.  They just want to please people.  If I make sudden movements around him he jumps, thinking I may hit him.  Poor cat.  I wonder if anyone ever hit him? 

I showed Benji the window seat in the kitchen.  There's a cat window seat so the cats can look outside into the woods.  Benji is afraid of looking outside and will not look out.  Whenever I carry him to the window seat and put him down he runs back to his bed.  I don't know why he's afraid.  He's not shy anymore if I enter the bathroom.  He meows and walks around and rubs against my legs.  He seems to be afraid to do anything that doesn't please me.

Benji has a few toys on his bed which he loves.  He plays with them and sleeps with his paws holding them often.  Today I introduced him to a toy banana which had catnip.  He loved it and loved rolling around kicking it.  Then later Jack came into the bathroom, found the catnip smell everywhere, and immediately got a catnip high.  Jack rolled around on Benji's bed, then attacked Benji playfully.  Benji attacked him back and they rolled together playing, having fun.  But then Jack screamed and jumped up and ran away playfully, and Benji looked at me, terrified, and laid down on his bed and averted his eyes from me as if he did something bad.  I pet Benji and attempted to show him it was ok, as Jack was just being goofy and playing, but Benji was terrified that I was mad at him.  I put him in my lap and pet him until he purred, and Jack returned to see why Benji didn't chase him, as he was attempting to get a game of chase going on.  Poor Benji hasn't left his bed since.

I'm guessing it takes time to get a true feral cat to act like a normal housecat?  These wild cats have issues.  It's sad to think that someone may have been mean to this cat, he's such a good boy and would never do anything to displease a human.  Although I've asked around, I have not found anyone who wants a cat, so dear Benjamin is going to be let loose outside again soon, as I don't want anymore cats inside my house.  He's been in captivity now for 2 weeks.  He will probably be happy to be free, and I hope he remains somewhat friendly.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

To help a feral cat

On August 1st we decided to take one of the stray outside cats, Benjamin, to the local shelter to have him tested for cat diseases, get shots, de-wormed, de-flead, and lastly, neutered.  A big day was planned for him. 

This was the same shelter where we got the house chicken, Penny.  Penny is doing great living her new life as a chicken, by the way.

We have gotten so many stray cats outside and Benjamin was fighting with them all as he wasn't fixed.  Benji, as I call him, was a sweet boy.  He would let us pet him if it meant he was going to get food.  But other than a random pet, he was a wild, feral cat.  We planned on getting this work done to him and then releasing him back outside.  Unless we could find a home for him, of course.

So Randy teased him with canned cat food on that fateful Tuesday morning, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and ran him inside the house to the waiting cat carrier in the hallway.  If we took the cat carrier outside there's no way Benji would have come near us, with something odd like a cat carrier sitting outside.

But of course, Benji escape from the carrier before we could close the door.  He ran around the front of the house, crashing into windows at full force trying to get out.  Finally he was captured, thrown into the carrier, and toted off to the shelter.

We learned that he had no diseases, and he was quite young, still was a teenage cat.  Somehow they said he had no fleas nor signs of worms, but was treated for both anyway.  He got his shots and neutering.  Randy picked him up about 3pm and was told he would be groggy but awake.  Randy dropped off the carrier into the bathroom that I setup as a temporary home for Benjamin.  I had a litter box, 3 towels folded up the floor into a bed, and food and water dishes ready.  Randy took the door off the cat carrier and set the carrier in the bathroom.  He didn't want to scare the cat more by dumping him out, but decided to let him walk out on his own.  Randy had to leave, and I came home about 3 hours later to find the cat still wadded up in the back of the carrier. 

I talked to Benji, but he wouldn't look at me.  Finally I reached into the cat carrier, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, and pulled him out in a heap.  He was all stiff and hot and breathing shallow.  I put his stiff body onto the towels.  He didn't move, didn't acknowledge or even look at me, but started quivering.  I petted him and talked quietly to him.  The quivering turned into full shaking.  It was weird that he wouldn't look at me, he kept his head averted.  As you can see, he would not look at me, so you can't see his beautiful, big, yellow eyes in these photos. 

After a few hours I was concerned about Benji.  He was so stiff, all his muscles were tightened and shaking.  I tried to get him to eat some canned cat food, but he wouldn't open his mouth.  Finally, by 9pm, I was downright worried.  I put some canned cat food on a teaspoon and forced the spoon into his mouth.  He ate it without a fight.  I fed him two more teaspoons of food.  At least he had some food in his stomach. 

The vet have us 4 oral syringes of Tramadol 50mg (pain medicine) for Benjamin, with instructions to give him one orally every 12 hours.  I thought maybe he was in terrible pain after his surgery.  Maybe that's why he was shaking?  I quickly gave him one of the syringes, he didn't fight at all and drank the medicine.  He was still in the stiff quivering state.  However, then he started foaming at the mouth terribly!  I grabbed a new roll of paper towels and started wiping foam from his mouth.  After about 10 min I had used about a third of the paper towel roll to wipe foam from Benji's face.  I have never seen a cat foam from the mouth so badly.  I was holding him in my lap, he was shaking violently and was stiff as a board, foam pouring from his mouth.  I was soaked from the foam, as was Benji.  I was talking to him, trying to sooth him, petting him.  I force-fed him another teaspoon of canned cat food to maybe stop the foaming.  Then I gave him an oral syringe of plain water to rinse out his mouth.  He started choking violently on the water.  I rubbed his throat and held him, hoping he wouldn't throw up the medicine, thinking maybe the medicine was too strong anyway.

And then, suddenly, Benjamin's body went limp.  I felt all his muscles loosen and he passed out in my arms.  I was really concerned that I killed him.  At least he stopped foaming from the mouth.  He was still breathing, but was just knocked out.  I cleaned him up with warm water, checked his surgery site, which looked fine, and put him to bed for the night.  I think 50mg of Tramadol is too much for a little cat.  But at least he was relaxed and able to sleep. 

Stay tuned for the rest of the story about Benjamin!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Penny the House Chicken lays her first egg!

Today I decided to bring Penny the former house chicken inside my house as a break from the chickens.  She's been doing so good outside, learning how to be a chicken, but I figured she missed life inside a house.  Just in case you haven't read my former posts, she is a foster chicken from the local county shelter.  In her former life she lived in someone's house as a pet.

I put her in the kitchen and locked the cats out.  She lovvvvved being inside.  I turned the Olympics on TV and she didn't mind the noise one bit.  She's used to household noises, evidently.

She was very quiet when she was inside.  She walked all around checking everything out.  She liked eating cat food from the cat bowls and drinking their water.  Maybe she was fed and watered from a bowl before?

She was constantly scanning the floor, looking for things to peck.  She seemed very happy and ran from me when I attempted to pick her up and take her back outside to the chicken pen.  She prefers life indoors.  I brought her in the house first thing in the morning for about 30 minutes and later in the afternoon brought her back inside for another 30 min visit.  She begged to stay inside the second time.  She seems to be totally happy without other chickens around. 

This afternoon I collected eggs, and lo and behold, there was a new egg. 

Penny laid her first egg today!

We were told Penny never laid before.  Look at the small brown egg on the left.  It has an odd white crusty layer on the outside of the shell.  Sometimes a pullet's first eggs are odd, until her body gets used to laying regularly.  I've seen the white crust on many first eggs.  It was a small egg, which is normal for a first egg, too.  The large dark brown egg is from Candy, a Cuckoo Maran, and the green egg is from Virginia, an Amercauna.  The light brown egg is from Lucy.

And, dear Penny laid her egg in the guinea keet coop.  Of course she didn't lay it in the chicken coop like a normal chicken.  She's going to do things her way!

Penny must be happy if she's started laying eggs.  Hopefully she adjusts to life out in the chicken coop!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Penny the Hen update

The first night we had Penny the shelter pullet we put her in the chicken coop and she roosted with the other chickens.

The next morning all the other chickens left the roost, but I found her still sitting on the roost well after daybreak.  She didn't realize she was supposed to go outside with the other chickens by herself.  I showed her how to walk out of the coop.

That first day she spent out in the chicken pen and she loved it.  She rolled in the dirt and ran around the large outdoor area.  That evening she didn't know to go in the chicken coop, so she stayed outside after all the other chickens went into the chicken coop to roost.  I gave Penny some fresh chicken food out in the pen, and she enjoyed the alone time with me before it got dark.  I showed her the chicken waterer.  Evidently she didn't know what it was, as she was very thirsty.  I guess because she was a house chicken she had some sort of different waterer.  She loves the Menonite chicken food we get.  All the chickens love it, actually.  I showed her how to walk up the ramp into the chicken coop and put her on a roost and she slept the night.

The next day was today.  She made it outside this morning by herself.  She's learning.  Tonight she put herself to bed ----in the guinea keet coop.  We have 2 coops, one is used by chickens, one is for guinea keets.  Both have a little door and ramp going into the chicken pen.  The birds know which is which and all roost in the proper coop.  Penny didn't know.  I went into the guinea coop to check on the keets at 8pm and found Penny standing tall on a roost, beside 18 guinea keets.  Penny was talking her jibberish, quite proud of herself for putting herself to bed in a coop.  The guineas all were making their guinea keet songs, which is quite different from a chicken and definitely quite different from Penny sounds. 

Guess she didn't realize there's a difference between guineas and chickens.  I guess poor Penny doesn't understand either of their languages, does she?  She doesn't know where she fits in.  The guinea or the chicken languages, that is.  She was never around another chicken.  When the roosters cluck to tell the hens there's food, the hens all come running.  Not Penny.  She doesn't pay any mind to them.  I bet she doesn't understand their language.  Or do all chickens automatically understand one another?  She's definitely not deaf or anything.

The other chickens really don't pick on Penny too much anymore.  Some of them are old and moody, so they peck at her if she gets under their feet.  But mostly no one bothers her.  All in all, she's learning how chicken life should go.  Maybe this weekend I'll bring her in the house for some house time.  I bet she misses people.  I bet she's used to children.  I bet she misses human interaction and attention and human voices.  Maybe I'll like having a chicken in the house.  I think I have a chicken diaper already from when a chicken had a broken leg and was brought in...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We're foster parents!

I have some good news and some more good news!!!
Which news do you want to hear???

Ok, let's start at the top...

Last Saturday I was surfing the local county animal control website.  I'll tell you why I was there later.

And it was so sad.  I was viewing the photos of the animals for adoption.  And I found a chicken in the local county shelter!

I could picture her in my mind...
Poor chicken in a cage, surrounded by barking dogs and cats.

Of course it was Saturday evening, and the shelter was closed on Sunday.  According to the webpage she was there a week already.  Poor bird!  It broke my heart to think of a bird in a cage at the shelter.

So on Monday Randy went visiting the local shelter.

And without further ado - let me introduce our latest resident here at Razzberry Corner!
I think I like the name Penny, but I'm still determining if it fits her.

Penny was someone's house chicken.  She has not yet started laying eggs.  She never was around other chickens.  She does not make normal chicken noises.  Instead, she makes noises in her throat like a person talking jibberish.  It's very cute.

Penny has a lot to learn.  Last night she slept in the coop, her first time in a coop beside the other hens.  This morning she discovered dirt and took her first dirt bath.  She doesn't know to go in the coop at nighttime, so right now, at almost 8pm, she's still outside in the chicken pen while everyone is sleeping on their roosts in the coop.  I'll put her in the coop shortly.  She's very friendly, just like my other birds, and runs right up to me to be picked up.  The other birds pick on her, of course, like chickens do.

Back up a bit.  We signed up to adopt Penny and ended up becoming foster parents for chickens and guineas for our county.  The county came out Tuesday and inspected our farm and approved us.  Penny is a permanent foster chicken here at Razzberry Corner.  In the future when other chickens or guineas are brought into the shelter we told them we'll permanently foster them.

What kind of chicken does she look like?

Recently I mentioned the trees in our enclosed chicken pen, so I thought I'd show a photo of the big pine tree, from inside the pen.  The fence comes right up to the tree so no one can get in or out.

The chickens are all going into their coop in this picture.  Everyone except Penny, who's off somewhere else.  It's bedtime.

And here are the guinea keets inside the guinea keet pen, getting ready for bed, getting their final snack.  You can see the keet door that leads to the chicken pen in the back of the picture.

I'll give you my next good news in my next post!