Feathers – after Roosting in the Tree

This is about 2 roosters, and their feathers after a night in the tree and life and death and what we don’t know. So if you were looking for info on rooster feathers or some such thing – this is not it.

Background: A few evenings ago, one of the blue blue Andalusians was sitting tucked away on a sturdy twig in a v-shape opening between 2 trunks in a tree where the rooster hang out during the day. Since he was not willing to budge, I managed to take him off and put him in the newly made enclosure, which they had a chance to get used to for a couple of days. He did fine. The next day he came into the coop with all the others. The next day also, but then there he was again …in the tree without showing signs of wanting to move – … I sat by the pop-hole enticing the others and  – he finally did come too. Then, 2 mornings ago – one of the blue Andalusians was out there so fast – I wondered if I had missed him in the coop, though I thought I counted them.

Last night, there were 3 of them in the tree – Mr Blue on his twig and 2 others, 2 splashes – looking all compfy on their branches. Enticing them to get into the coop did not make them budge, it was getting dark – so I said, to them and myself: ok, if that is what you want, and, not have had a trace of predators in 4 months, I left them there.

This morning: on my way down, but still at the house around 8am … i heard a commotion/upset chicken sounds  … it was brief – but once I arrived down there, they were nowhere to be seen. With a sinking heart, I looked around, found feathers, and further away, by the blackberry thicket, the half eaten body of one of them – the  splash, a small one, the one that had the injury to his wing when he was 5 days old. Sweet guy, holding his own, though always a little smaller, beautiful splash blue Andalusian. He had spark – his real name was Frank.

Could have been one of the cats … or a bird of prey.

I buried the rest of him, his body, after going about the morning chicken chores . Then I collected some feathers – feathers, they were beautiful birds – what is left – some feathers – amazing feathers, tender feathers – feathers are magical …. just some feathers left….. I have no idea who got them .. we have 2 cats …but…

It was a penseful day – contemplating about mother nature – and wondering if they felt fear or panic when chased and killed or if nature has a mechanism that makes being prey tolerable?

I recall being clipped while driving on a highway, spinning around in the car and hitting the mid-separator. There was no fear at all, no pain – I wonder if that is what animals go through? Some sort of state where there is no fear of pain? I think a death at the hand of the folks they were originally destined to go to is no worse, or is it? Maybe getting caught and put into the cone is more fear inducing? Though they get prayed over, they get told the day before that it will be their day to serve as food.

For me – it seems it will be difficult to deal with their deaths as I got to know them, and something of their unique beingness. There really is no such thing as “just a chicken”. There is something – something  about cessation of life of another living being – life is sacred – but then ….and here is were words fail: IT IS ALL SACRED. It all is, all the time …..

In what seems to be my life, I have had some experiences and realizations – and – lately it feels that I am re-questioning everything again, going through considerations and questions about life god and everything anew.

Feathers – beautiful feathers – all that is left of these 2 beings which used to have life flow through them just a couple of hour before – what happened? The structures got disrupted – and not more life force flowing though that being – how fragile life is.

And as  I sat there by their area next to the orchard …..

Where did they go? what happens really? there is Being – God, energy, vibration, quantum physics tells us there really is nothing there. It is all in the mind. Where did they go?



Feathers, soft beautiful amazing feathers …


Letting go

Considering  the beloved animals since last May of 2011 I have had to let go of:  Lessons about letting  go? Letting go  ….

Sitting there – realizing – feeling

More questioning

Wondering about what is conventional consensus reality and, given latest discoveries in physics – can it all be different, just like that?

What if roosters CAN get along – and don’t HAVE to get killed?

What if the ENTIRE dominance theory in animal behavior everywhere is WRONG and simply so called because of the way the observers described behavior they saw?

What if death of domestic animals is merely a matter of contribution – they are slated to contribute for their flock to live and be protected by serving as meals/ What if their souls, prior to being born – KNEW THAT?

Consciousness – manifest as this world and untold others.

And don’t tell me this how it is, or that is how it is: HOW DO YOU (YOU)  KNOW? You have been taught the same crap in school as everyone else. And even if this is how it is NOW – what about the next moment? How much of what you KNOW have you personally experienced and realized?

If life is like a video game, then there are certain limitations, and rules – but then – you can easily switch to another game with other rules.

Gulliver checking things out this September morning

Whatever you believe – where do you REALLY go after life force stops flowing through your body? And maybe we all go to the place we believe in. Maybe we all simply are part of the big BEING – contributing with our life to it’s beingness.

More and more THIS here seems to be true: be kind whenever possible – and it is always possible.

Feathers – so soft, so beautiful – fly free

I gave you the best chicken life I was able to.





When deeply feeling, there is no such thing as JUST A CHICKEN.

What you do to anything or anyone – you have done to BEING ITSELF.

It is ALL sacred.

Feathers and Lessons

and Gratitude.

Found and interesting link, wondering about why it feels so difficult with animals for me

The first 2 pics here are from the little chicks with the injured wing at 5 days. he did well – and the pics describe him 🙂 he was sweet but knew how to hold his own – nice character.

That’s him with one of his friends, August 28 – Fly free
That’s him September 5

and here a couple of pics of MrBlue4toes:

Mr Blue4toes – in August – he had a good life – it was probably a cat that got him September 17, 2012

also in August

HELP – I think I spoiled my chickens!!!!

Hahaha – I conclude after this afternoon’s little experiment: They seem to consider me a treat and food dispenser – much easier than to forage. Did I spoil them for good? Will they ever work by “working the soil”? They SEEMED to forage …..

Hey, I’m ready for the treats ….

My goal is:

  • Happy healthy free range and predator safe chickens who work for a living by composting, fertilizing and tilling.
  • Chickens providing eggs for the family and some friends
  • A beautiful bountiful all organic and no till (no commercial till that is) garden, both flower and food, with areas where chickens can meet humans 🙂 with it being a positive experience for both.

I am working on solving this: how to get them to be well fed AND work the ground, eliminating the need to weed and buy fertilizer come planting season next year – without having a chicken tractor or raised beds available?

Ok, these are my first ever chickens, a straight run of 26 light assorted chicks, now almost 4 months old. Since yesterday, the chicken coop is separated into 2 pens with a separate exit/entrance for the rooster group, which stays in the orchard area. That leaves the 9 hens (or pullets at this age) and 7 other cockerels in the compost run and garden field. That garden field yielded very little produce this year — I used no fertilizer at all and barely weeded. So I found out: this does NOT work AT ALL to get any vegetables worth mentioning, thought the beans did ok. But then, I kinda suspected it. Looking at the overgrown garden I wonder HOW ON EARTH is that gonna get chicken-tilled? Sure, the chicks pretty much got rid of all the compost run vegetation, but giving them access to the garden field has barely lefty a mark so far.

Ok, it really has been TOO HOT so far to do much foraging out there, and it is also much more open, and they definitely prefer protected areas.

The little experiment:

Today, at 4 pm, I went out there to check on them:

They came running, their crops were empty and they wanted food. Since after some consideration I know that there will neither be time nor resources for a proper chicken tractor this year, I did an experiment: I took  a couple of hand-fulls of my night-time feed mix and threw it onto an area of about 1 square yard, right next to their current feeding area, where they get the kitchen scraps. They all eagerly went for it ….so I sat down in their old feed area, compost run 1, which I cleaned out yesterday. Wouldn’t you know it: they soon come over to where I was sitting and then – started gently pecking me – peck peck peck – the kind of peck that they know usually miraculously produces a delicious treat – only this time I didn’t have anything.

I went back to where I had thrown the grain/crumble mix and checked, just in case they had eaten it all – but NO — just a little “scratching with my fingers revealed PLENTY of grains still on the ground.

Did I spoil them for good?

That is expensive grain – not really an option chickies!!! I played mother chick (something I maybe should have done better and earlier ?) and showed them a couple of times that “scratching” does reveal food on the ground – BELOW the grasses – and some sure got it and were busy for a bit – there’s hope! Maybe????

Considering the garden weeding needs,  an absence of a chicken tractor, I am now thinking to “till” without a chicken tractor by doing this:

just giving them their food in a new area each week – progressing at about a 1 x 4 foot area every couple of days, at least until the rain starts, after which they will do their compost work in a covered heavily mulched area.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the tilling by moving the feed area.

Here is the current chicken feeding schedule;

Chickens will get fed kitchen scraps in the morning after having been left out. The feeding will be in a designated square footage. This would be easier if one had raised beds, but as it is, we’ll do the best we can.

Chickens can free range forage ALL day, weather permitting.

They will get kitchen scraps (provided by the householders of this property) again in the late afternoon  plus commercial soy free organic feed.

The feed is also available at night in the coop, just so they have something to do in the morning while they wait to be let out.

The goals again:

  • Happy healthy free range and predator safe chickens who work for a living by composting, fertilizing and tilling.
  • Chickens providing eggs for the family and some friends.
  • A beautiful bountiful all organic and no till (no commercial till that is) garden, both flower and food, with areas where chickens can meet humans 🙂 and it being a good experience for all.

I am working on solving this: how to get them to be well fed AND work the ground, eliminating the need to weed and buy fertilizer come planting season next year – without having a chicken tractor or raised beds.

Will keep you posted.


…oh – 4 months – I better get some kind of a nest box soon …..

Adding heat tolerant survival plants – or weeds next year

In addition to sun flowers, clover, a small patch of winter squash, container/raised bed tomatoes, pole beans, greens, I am looking at planting/seeding out these heat tolerant plants next year, which just happen to also be edible. ( – some considered weeds – or survival food plants – depending who you ask):

lambs quarters,
canna lily,
nut sedge,
sweet potatoes,
black eyed peas.
I think I will have my hands full adding just these.

For soil development and/or as cover crop: amaranth and rye as well as more clover.
keep encouraging the dandelions.

I already have strawberries, though they need water, a couple of comfrey plants and a few other grasses and bushes, mullein and an apple orchard, and walnut trees, which also need water. I am nurturing a few baby trees – a walnut, a couple of oaks, and Japanese maples, as well as some poplars, which are trying to form a grove and then there are 3 baby olive trees.
I am gonna give pumpkins a better shot next year …and maybe, in some strategic spots, cucumbers and watermelons.

Chickens – origin, habitat, needs

Chickens – where did they come from and how did and do the males of “chicken-like” species live in the “wild”?

My 14 week old Buttercups don’t seem so diffeenet from the “Jungle Fowl”

My straight run has almost 70% roosters, and, not wanting to kill them right off the bat, I am wondering: how did the chicken’s ancestors deal with all the roosters ….. ? …and so the searching is leading to chickens around the world – it’ll be interesting. But where is this notion that there have to be 5-12 hens for every rooster coming from? Is it a function of space? Overbreeding to relentlessly mate? Overbreeding for aggression for fighting? So I am investigating …. and copied/pasted some info from the www , giving credit where available.

What I want to know, other than having to feed the roosters too, without them giving any eggs, is there really a need to kill them (name it as you wish, but there just will not be enough “good homes” for all those brothers of all the egg laying hens everywhere. However, for those vegetarians living in the country, is there really no way to coexist? What happens to the Wild roosters? Here are a few articles that shed a little bit of light onto the subject.

The Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) is a tropical member of the Pheasant family. It is thought to be ancestral to the domestic chicken, with some hybridisation with the Grey Junglefowl. The Red Junglefowl was first domesticated at least five thousand years ago in Asia, then taken around the world, and the domestic form is kept globally as a very productive food source of both meat and eggs.
photo from wikipedia

The associations between individuals in a free-living population of red junglefowl are visualised in a cluster analysis. The flock structure is shown for the population when females are with and without chicks, and the differences described. Various kinds of groupings are present, from solitary individuals to mixed-sex flocks. The strongest associations maintaining flock cohesion are shown to be female-female pairings and it is these which break down when the females produce their chicks. *Department of Wildlife Sciences, Centre of Wildlife & Ornithology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202 002, India, **Bombay Natural History Society, S.B. Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023, India

Abstract: The habitat use and flock composition of the Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus in Dudwa National Park, India was studied between 1991 and 1994. Six habitats were monitored during winter and summer throughout the study period. Data on habitat use, flock size and flock composition were collected from monitoring of six line transects and regular sightings along the road. Bonferroni simultaneous confidence interval was constructed to determine ha-bitat use by Red Junglefowl. It showed preference for mixed forest and showed avoidance for teak forest. A total of 1174 individuals were seen more in summer, especially females. Maxi-mum flock size was observed in sal forest in winter 1992. More than 80% (n=465) of the total observations were of single bird. The Red Junglefowl though not threatened and a species of less concern, needs continuous monitoring and proper management inputs so that it does not follow the fate of some other pheasant species. one of the available studies of these ancesters of chickens: http://www.tropecol.com/pdf/open/PDF_41_1/kp41102.pdf
Reminds me so much of my buttercup hens: Ceylon Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii) female, Sinharaja Forest, Sri Lanka – 2009

Whilst the domestic chicken was previously believed to be a descendant of the Red Junglefowl, recent research done by Eriksson et al. suggests possible hybridisation with the Grey Junglefowl. It was first raised in captivity at least several thousand years ago in the Indian subcontinent, and the domesticated form has been used all around the world as a very productive food source for both meat and eggs. Some breeds have been specifically developed to produce these.

interesting blog on the chicken origin subject
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/02/29/the-origin-of-the-chicken/© Girish Ketkar
Location : Tadoba, Chandrapur, Maharashtra, India
Date : 25 February 2012
delightful article worth your time: http://www.discoverwildlife.com/animals/jungle-fowl-remarkable-bird – image – a few of my chicks in the “field”

BUTTERCUP fowls originated in Sicily. The breed name refers to the peculiar form of duplex comb. Experiments with birds of similar comb morphology, imported from Egypt (Bateson and Punnett, 1905), suggest that Sicilian Buttercups may have derived from Nile valley ancestors (Punnett, 1923, p. 94). Since indigenous fowls of the East commonly carry wild type plumage pattern, it may be ventured that a

Sicilian breeder crossed duplex-combed Egyptian birds with a Campine or Braekel strain, and after a backcross to the Egyptian, obtained segregants from which buttercup plumage was developed. Experimental evidence submitted below makes the preceding highly probable, and it would be interesting to know if confirmatory Italian records exist.Buttercups display sexually dimorphic and dichromatic plumage pattern. With folded wings, the male is a black-tailed russet fowl; ground color in the female is lighter, varying in different strains from golden-buff to orange, and a unique form of black . . .Received December 15, 1952.

Poultry Science Association Inc.