Unique Creations by Shari Denise

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


Climb & Dine Phase 2; SUCCESS!!

Climb & Dine Gutter Garden

Climb & Dine Gutter Garden

You may have read my earlier posts about the idea I had to incorporate Herbs and more activity options to the Cackleberry Inn Patio. With such wonderful, sturdy rafters I wanted to make use of the “dead space” above my little chickens heads. So, let’s go vertical! And we did. 🙂 Designing and then constructing a collection of wire shelves into stairs (phase 1), I gave more space and activity to my little flock of chickens and guineas. Next (phase 2) was to construct a salad bar for them to munch from. Hanging a Gutter Garden was the perfect solution.

Morning sunlight glistens on tender herbs growing in the Gutter Garden.

Morning sunlight glistens on tender herbs in the Gutter Garden.

Seedlings were started inside, then transplanted to the PVC gutter pipes, still remaining inside while threats of frost continued outdoors. Now it’s time to bring the Gutter Garden PVC pipes out for REAL Sunshine. My little herb seedlings are still small and tender but big enough to grow outside. It was exciting to actually hang the plant filled pipes from the sturdy rafter. Currently the plants are out of reach of the Cackleberry Flock, however, as the herbs grow and overflow, I will adjust the hanging chains for easier access from the “stairs” of the Climb & Dine.  I truly had the attention of all the birds as I hung the Gutter Garden. They observed with fascination.

IMG_4881Oh, and see that lemon balm in the flower bed below it? That’s there for a reason. Read more on why I planted lemon balm around the Cackleberry Inn.


Spring Evening

IMG_4681Yesterday evening was such a delight to enjoy. Perfect temperatures laced with a sweet breeze. As the shadows lengthened I gave the Cackleberry Flock a treat. I opened the door of the Patio and let them out to scratch and peck in the fresh, lush, green grass.

IMG_4682I admit, I’m always cautious about the Coffee Cats around the chickens & guineas since they are such skilled hunters, killing mice, rats, weasels, and birds. Some of my little bantams are not much bigger than a little bird. The Chickens scratched and pecked the fresh grass as the Coffee Cats crouched and watched. My heart just about stopped when Maxwell crouched and then charged toward Little White Cloud, my solid white little banny hen. What happened next surprised me as well as Maxwell. Little White Cloud went on the defense and charged toward Maxwell! Maxwell was unaccustomed to such action thus making an immediate retreat. I watched this play out time and time again.

IMG_4688It was such a pleasant evening, watching the cats crouch and watch as the chickens and guineas scratched and pecked. The guineas wanted to roam and I had to encourage them to return to their little area, but otherwise, all was wonderful.

These sweet little critters never cease to make the world’s troubles melt away.





Climb & Dine phase 1; Success!

IMG_4563It’s just cool. No, it’s more than cool, it’s INCREDIBLE! I have dislikes, issues or problems and the wheels in my head start turning. Looking for a solution, looking for improvement. Then I gather the tools and items necessary for the project. Finally comes the moment to put the brain storm into action. I will admit, my physical ability runs short of the plan created in my head (in other words, I’m not too good at carpentry, plumbing, building, etc) but I sure have fun trying! For every idea that actually works, there’s a few that didn’t, or had to be revised, etc. So when something does work you can see why I get elated. Well, I came up with this idea for my little flock. Would it work? One never knows unless one tries. Well, this past weekend I completed phase 1 of a 2-phased project called the Cackleberry Climb & Dine. So, this afternoon I came home to find that indeed, Phase 1 is a success!! I love seeing one of my guineas enjoying a little climb today. Made me smile. 🙂  Click here for more about the Cackleberry Climb & Dine.



Excuse the Mess. My Critters are Making Memories



Fun Day on the Lane.

IMG_4709Yesterday was such a fun day. Nothing special, nothing earth shaking, just a fun ordinary day. You know, the kind that you always dream of. A happy, and contented day of joy.
I started out by mixing a feed recipe that I found from Fresh Eggs Daily. She calls it the Breakfast of Champion Layers. Well, it appears it passed the taste test here on Cackleberry Lane. Looks like we will be adding this to our Breakfast Menu at the Cackleberry InnIMG_4246

I also set out a “Flock Block” (photo above) that I had picked up this week at Tractor Supply. Gives my little flock something to peck on with nutritional benefits.

IMG_4168Later, mid afternoon I shared a bit of a suet ring that I had made earlier this week. The Guineas LOVED it!!  And where did I get my recipe? You guessed it, Fresh Eggs Daily. I love that lady and her vital info about chickens!

IMG_4258As the Coffee Cats scampered around me with every step I took, I spent a bit of time socializing with the Cackleberry Kids. Roxi & Ivy are always a joy to be around. They never cease to make me giggle with their Kid Play.

I set my chair back up against the old Mercury that Roxi & Ivy enjoy using as a shelter. Immediately Ivy had to take a seat.IMG_4267 Then, as many times before, she just had to jump a bit higher.

It never ceases to amaze me how their little hooves can hang onto most any surface.

As they run and romp and jump and stomp, it is obvious they are contented and happy little goats.

TIMG_4266o end the day, I put them on their leashes and took them for a little walk around the farm, allowing them to nibble on whatever green stuff they might find here in this mid-winter season. Yes, here in Tennessee, even with ice and snow only days ago, there is green stuff still around to nibble on.

The evening continued the easy-going pace with roast from the crock pot and then some relaxing in our easy chairs soaking up the warmth and aroma of the crackling fire in the fireplace while watching a good movie.

Yes, it was a good day.



GroundHog Day 2014

IMG_4201It’s Groundhog day. And the furry rodent has seen his shadow. Not happy about that. We’ve had enough winter already. It’s also Super Bowl day. Lots of activity about that.

Here on Cackleberry Lane, we are taking it in the slow lane. Tomorrow will bring the rat race once again and that will come way too soon.

My Guineas have refused to leave their suite since they arrived as little keets. Well, today I “encouraged” them to venture out to the patio area of the Cackleberry Inn. This was the first day Hitchcock (my hugh black rooster) has been around them except for seeing them through the chicken wire that separates their suites inside the Inn. I was rather proud of how sociable Hitchcock was. The Guineas handled their outing rather well even though they were a bit skittish. And of course, the Coffee Cats were always in and around all activity.

Here’s a taste of our Day. Come join us.


Cackleberry Cold

As the temps drop and snowflakes fall, the Cackleberry Critters want to wish all of you a warm winter.



Camera Shy Keets

My little Guinea Keets are a week old now, and very camera shy. That said, they ARE settling in rather cozily into the Cackleberry Inn Brooder. Repurposed from an old chest of drawers, it makes a comfy little nursery for the babies. Although it’s currently in use, the Brooder still needs a good bit of work to be completed. More photos to follow soon.

Keets 1 week old Aug. 5th, 2013

Keets 1 week old
Aug. 5th, 2013


They’re Here!!


6:00am phone call to my USPS office. “Hello, this is Denis–” before I could announce my name the Post Master exclaimed, “They’re here!” I could tell he was smiling just by his voice. I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. Never had I ever felt so much like Fred Flintstone running in place!
I ordered my variety of Guinea Keets on the 22nd of July from Stromberg’s in MN. I admit I was surprised with the quick filling of my order! I received a courtesy call Monday, July 29th saying my order would be shipping out on Tuesday the 30th. I received another courtesy call Tuesday afternoon informing me my order of baby Keets had been shipped and should arrive (within 48 hrs) at my local Post Office early Thursday morning (Aug 1st). Sure enough they arrived eagerly announcing their presence. The Box notes that my little keets hatched on 07/30/2013 at 10:00am. Amazing. 🙂