Unique Creations by Shari Denise

From Writing to Chickens with lots in-between, Creativity Abounds!

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Brave Little White Cloud

Little White CloudLittle White Cloud has proven her bravery before. You may have remembered her from last spring when her gentle but independent personality began to emerge (Read about that here). You will see her little white dot of a body stepping the beat of her own little drum in many of the photos I post around Cackleberry Lane.

Little White Cloud is so independent that she prefers not to roost with the rest of the flock. She hops up onto her perch in the eave of the rafters inside the Cackleberry Inn. Little White Cloud, to say the least, has a lone heart. She cares nothing about visiting with the rest of the flock. She avoids them as much as possible but when necessary, should one of the other hens decide to pick on her, she stands her ground. She is indeed not a bully, but she will not tolerate BEING bullied either. As I watch this tiny life go about her normal day I find myself admiring her self-governing attitude. As independent as she is, one might find it unbelievable that she eagerly allows me to pick her up and stroke her soft feathered body. She is indeed an amazing addition to the critters around here.

Last evening when it was time to feed the Coffee Cats, I opened their usual cans of gravy coated shreds. I couldn’t help but find myself clicking on my phone video camera when I saw who had decided to dine with them. Of course, Roxi and Ivy were nearby as well and Roxi even offered to narrate the video that I filmed.

Keep in mind that the five Coffee Cats are mousers. DAILY we find the trophies they leave at our back door. Mice, moles, rats, weasels, and BIRDS!! To be honest, I held my breath as I videoed because I knew how successful these cats are with their daily hunts. I have never seen any aggression towards the chickens from any of the Coffee Cats but, just knowing that the birds they hunt and kill are not much different in size than Little White Cloud, it indeed makes me pause with concern.

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Shorty July

Came Home from work on July 1st, heard the chirp of a tiny thing. Upon investigating, found a banny hen had a hidden nest up in the rafters. One tiny little puff of a chick was up there, then before I could get to it, it fell. Appearing unharmed from it’s tumble, I made it a new home in the nursery cage. Such a tiny little thing!

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A few days later, my 7 year old grandson, Brycen came for a visit. Of course, he had to name the tiny puff. And so it is, Shorty July. Shorty, because it’s so tiny and July because it got this month started with a bang!

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Today, Shorty July is 18 days old and growing! Real feathers are replacing the baby fuzz.

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Size Irrelevant to Bravery and Adventure

When we think of the brave-hearted or the most adventurous we automatically visualize the strongest or the biggest of the bunch. This is not so and was proven this weekend within the confines of my little flock on Cackleberry Lane.

white cloudMeet Little White Cloud. You may remember Little White Cloud from back in the winter, during that polar Vortex we were having, She and Biscuit, another Bantam, had Dirt Ball Toes and special care had to be given the two little hens to remove the mud-caked build up on their feet. I’m not sure if it is her appreciation for the relief or just her own sweet personality, but each time I’m inside with the flock I find this little puff at my feet. Although some of the birds prefer to keep their distance, Little White Cloud doesn’t mind being scooped up and pampered, in fact I’ve come to think she’s expects it.

IMG_4556As you may have read previously here, I’m building a Climb & Dine for the Cackleberry flock. This is a collection of wire shelves strategically hung from the roof rafters with chains and linked together for sturdiness. Members of the flock can easily step from one “shelf limb” to another providing not only more area to “Be” in the Patio outdoor room, but it will also make the upcoming Gutter garden (the Dine part of the Climb & Dine) easily accessible.

So, this weekend, as I pulled weeds from flowerbeds and worked in the gardens I just had to share the fresh, tender plants with my flock. I got the idea that I could hang one of the wire hanging baskets (that I use to offer treats to the flock) in the middle of the shelf limbs it would inspire the chickens to venture on up more and they would become more accustomed to being on the shelves. So, that’s what I did. I knew it would take them a bit to adjust and “figure it out” so I went back to my weed pulling and the goats munched on fresh weeds on the other side of the Cackleberry Inn Patio.

When I rounded the corner of the house returning with more weeds, this is what I found.collage Little White Cloud was the ONLY one that had braved the shelf limbs and was picking the delicious morsels from the hanging treat basket. Where was the rest of the flock? Underneath her, still on the ground, gobbling down and fighting over the bits that fell as she pulled from the full basket. A giggle escaped my lips as I saw what was happening and my first reaction was to call out “Chicken!” Oh.. no pun intended. 😉

The early bird gets the worm, but the brave bird doesn’t have to fight for crumbs. She gets to enjoy the entire delightful basket, eating to her heart’s content!

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Weigels, Red, Crate

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Remember the 3 little chicks this Spring? Well, they’ve been busy growing! Such funny critters. And just like most siblings, somebody got outta line. Named after the nest of which they were hatched in; a Weigel’s Red Crate.

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Cackleberry Spotlight ~ Tweezer, Razor & Snips

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When I decided to I wanted some chickens back in 2010, My first purchase was 8 baby chicks. Of these 8, six were baby Cochins (which I erroneously called Silkies). Three of the 6 ended up being hens, the other three, Roosters. Such a lively trio these Roosters were! Tweezer proved himself to be the rogue of the bunch (more about him at a later date). As the 3 roosters matured and the testosterone began to flow, discord began to disrupt in the chicken house so one day I took the role as bouncer and escorted Tweezer & Snips out of the chicken house to have at it as they pleased! I was over it when it came to them upsetting the hens. Tweezer was beating up on Snips until I let Razor out of the Chicken house. Then Snips started beating up on Razor and Tweezer just joined in every once in a while. It was a frustrating event to witness but finally they seemed to get most of it out of their system.
Sadly, Snips was the first to meet his demise a few weeks later when a varmint got him. Then Tweezer met the same sad fate a few months after that. Razor… Well Razor still rocks on with his “little man syndrome” securely in tact as he secures his place in the little flock. Expect to hear much more about Razor in the future because he does indeed keep things lively wherever he goes.

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Cackleberry Spotlight ~ Gladys

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Gladys is our Chicken in the spotlight today. Hatched along with her sister, Agnes by Mommy Emily in the spring of 2011, Gladys is a sweet natured Cochin. Early summer of 2012 I noticed Gladys wasn’t moving around much. Upon investigating further, I found one of her legs was useless, limp. Gladys could not walk. She struggled to get to food and water. So, I put her in a private coop where she could rest, get food & water easily and hoped it would heal. At the time, Mommy Emily had hatched another 2 chicks and they were nearly half grown. Since chickens don’t like to be loners, I put “Blizz” in the coop with Gladys. Gradually Gladys began to improve. A couple of months later she was back to her normal self. I suspect the “cripple chick” had gotten her leg caught somehow in the wire floor of the pen and injured herself.
This spring Gladys decided to go broody and began to set. The first time she did great… For 14 days, and then got up. A few weeks later she tried again. This time yielding 3 wee fuzz balls. To date, they are 1 week old. Gladys is such a sweet mommy. Congrats Gladys, for being our spotlight chicken of today!