Tag Archive: chicken clubs

Silver Laced Polish in Just A Couple Of Chickens

Silver Laced Polish Chickens enjoy heat lamps in the winter… and I learned to hang them high enough to clear their head feathers! But now I have to watchit for teflon-coated heat lamps as well!

I used red heat lamps extensively both when I was brooding my 100 poultry chicks, and each winter of their lives, to keep them comfortable.

Other than the Polish Chickens burning their head feathers on the hot bulb, I had no problem… but that was more than two years ago and there’s a new technology out there resulting in red heat lamps that are coated with teflon.

And teflon is extremely toxic to birds when heated… teflon fumes = dead chicks. The teflon makes the bulbs shatterproof, and these bulbs are intended for food warming, but this new development makes it important that backyard poultry farmers be very careful when choosing the right heat lamp bulb.

In another new technology development, there are energy efficient, ceramic heat lamps available that don’t put out any light… and have no teflon threat, and Rocio Crespo, DVM, MS, DVSc, Dip ACPV suggests that we use them for our brooders and not risk the red heat lamps.

Dr. Crespo presented a talk to the Pacific Northwest Poultry Association (PNPA) in November this year, and I was very happy to be able to hear her speak. For one thing, I totally would have used heat lamps for my birds – and potentially gassed them all to death, and for another thing, she had many other valuable pieces of information. I learned a huge amount!

Rocio Crespo is the Branch Director, Associate Professor at the Avian Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in Puyallup, WA. Her knowledge of chicken keeping, and her availability as a knowledge resource is amazing. People contact her with chicken health mysteries they cannot solve, and this is how she learned of the teflon danger. An entire brooder of new chicks expired one night, and Dr. Crespo narrowed down the clues until a light bulb moment appeared overhead. A red teflon light bulb.

I had kept my chicks in constant light, thinking that was better for them, and for me (checking on them in the night), but the lightless heat of the creamic bulb gives the chicks a chance to learn the cycles of day and night, which Dr. Crespo says is better.

SO!  good to know… no more red bulbs for me for poultry. And no more overheating my teflon frying pans… if it isn’t good for chickens it probably isn’t good for children. (Oops.)

Thank you Dr. Crespo and the PNPA!


Just A Couple Of Chickens tells about Buff Laced Polish Chickens

This Buff Laced Polish Rooster features in today’s scary Halloween chicken story… he was one of…. “Just a Couple of Chickens” (bwahaha!)

To celebrate October 31st, 2012, which is Halloween, I am going to tell you a story of a very scary chicken.

Only it wasn’t a chicken, was it?
How scary is a chicken?

It was a …………ROOSTER!

Now that’s scary.

By the time this true story took place, I had come to terms with the death of my rooster loving dreams.
I had raised several roosters, due to an unfortunate straight run order from a hatchery, and tried very hard to counsel them out of their brutal, blood-letting ways.

And I’d failed. I’d gotten scratched, pecked, slashed, and ambushed. I’d given up and perfected my rooster mole recipe.

But there was one guy left. My gentle, sweet, bumbling, slightly unsteady Buff Laced Polish.

He was a beauty. With a weird horned comb.

The day that I was down in a crouch, trying to collect eggs from the farthest corner of the hen house, I thought he was coming over to tell me a knock-knock joke.
Or show me a particularly good juicy bug in the straw.

It was therefore a complete surprise to see him, as if in slow motion, leap into the air like a nasty ninja and stretch out his wickedly sharp spurs in a full-out attack.

He could have laid open my face to the bone… if he hadn’t clotheslined himself on the hen house door.

It was kind of funny, but I was shaken. If he hadn’t collapsed in a whomping crunch on the hen house doorstep, I would have been in big trouble.  His spurs were over two inches long.

Pretty scary…

I acknowledge that there are lots of people out there who have good rooster stories, but I haven’t lived them myself. At the end of the day, there’s a reason the rooster is free....

Happy Halloween!


Modern Game Bantam Chicken by Tom Anderson

Fairy Chickens! The Modern Game Bantam Club of America has fabulous pictures of these fabulous chickens.

My first chickens were standard, durable, off-the-shelf, “normal” (meaning non-heritage, though shouldn’t normal really mean heritage?)… chickens. They were Buff Orpingtons, which are a hardy, robust, egg-laying meat chicken with beautiful strawberry-blond feathers.

At the time, I didn’t know anything about chickens, and these were a great breed to start with since I was learning-by-doing-it-the-hard-way, which was one of the possible taglines for the book I wrote about my chicken adventures, “Just A Couple Of Chickens”.

My second chickens were a mix of “hatchery choice” and therefore had some rare-ish breeds, most of which were still pretty hardy, like the Blue Andalusian.

But then I reluctantly left my rural adventure and moved to the city. I joined the Urban Chicken Movement (although without any chickens at first). I started to attend regional chicken shows here in the Pacific Northwest and I finally realized that I hadn’t even scratched the comb on the top of the weirdest and most wonderful chicken breeds that exist.

Since city chickens are kept in smaller flocks than most rural chickens, and city chicken keepers tend to have more money to spend on their chickens than rural farmers, the results are “specialty” chickens scratching around elegant coops in urban professional’s back yards. And that means chicken awesomeness for anyone who digs weird chickens, like me.

I’m starting my list for my next chicken adventure. A small flock of three hens in my backyard. Landlord permission, check. Coop prepared, no go. Budget set and saved up for, not at all… so it’s going to be a while. But it will provide the happy ending I am planning for my soon-to-be-available sequel to my first chicken book,  soon-to-be-titled “Just A Couple More”, and if you are interested in being on the release announcement list, please drop me a note on my contact form.

Top of my list are what my friend, Michelle Koppe, calls “Fairy Chickens“, otherwise known as Modern Game Bantams. Also top of my list are Seramas, which are mini-chickens, proud and stunning and fabulous. And expensive.

This is a faboulous benefit of city chickens… the variety and elegance and exciting connections possible. I miss my chicken adventure very much, but I shall console myself with fairy chickens one day very soon.


Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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