So I was scouring the internet today and came across this little gem. “Chicken or the Egg”, is an offbeat romantic comedy about a pig who has an addiction to eating eggs. But when he falls in love with the hottest chicken in town, he must choose what comes first… the Chicken or the Egg. By Christine Kim and Elaine Wu of Kimwu Productions. Great work girls!
Roosters come in a multitude of breeds including the Golden Laced Wyandotte which is the rooster pictured on a certain breakfast cereal box. Growing up to 8 1/2 pounds the rooster is one of the most handsome of all breeds. The Black Jersey Giant is a prized show-bird weighing in at 11 pounds; standing out from the crowd, his black feathers have a green sheen and he has greenish-blue legs. Both these large breeds have good lungs for crowing at length and are extremely protective of their harem of hens. Acting as “look-outs” you will find these breeds frequently up trees scanning the horizon for danger.
A capon is a rooster that has been castrated. The rooster’s reproductive organs are mainly internal although a short organ is produced from his body for mating purposes only. Once these organs are removed through surgical procedure, the capon will develop a buff, meatier appearance; the meat will not be stringy and tough like a regular slender rooster, but melt-in-the-mouth tender dark and white meat. The capon loses his aggressions and territorial instincts that he once possessed and acts more like a hen; he also loses his need to crow. The capon’s dark and white meat is considered a delicacy to connoisseurs of fine meats.
A rooster crows because he has an internal clock that helps him anticipate sunrise. Like all birds, roosters sing – or crow – in a daily cycle. Almost all animals have daily cycles of activity known as circadian rhythms that roughly follow the cycle of day and night. Roosters anticipate sunrise to get a head start on their daily hunt for food and defense of territory.
But if one rooster in the neighbor has an internal clock that’s set a little early, he can stimulate other roosters to crow early, too. The rooster’s sunrise song is actually a way of establishing his territory. When a rooster crows, he’s sending a signal to other roosters that if they trespass, they’re asking for a fight.
A rooster will often crow from a vantage point above his territory so he can make others more aware of his presence and so that his songs travel farther. Even though roosters are the most famous crooners of the chicken world, hens aren’t exactly silent, either. When a hen spots a hawk, she’ll let out a harsh scream to send her chicks into hiding. But if she sees a less-threatening human, she might just cackle.
Bantam roosters as well as standard roosters crow as loud as the other despite their small size. Rooster’s start crowing at around five months of age and crow regularly until they die of natural causes or get put in the crock pot, which is the only way to cook them tender enough to eat.
What stands out is the way she packaged her manok (chicken).
This is something that will generate interest among customers in the market, at least for visitors from the peninsula.
Customers come and buy one or two live chickens, and she neatly wraps the birds with newspapers and ties them with rafia string, leaving the birds’ heads protruding at one end. Customers hold the chickens like carrying a tote bag.
Mrs Wong, as she wanted to be known as, had been selling live chickens wrapped in newspapers for the past two years.
There were at least 30 red and brown-feathered chickens at her stall, wrapped and placed nicely on a wooden plank on a two-tier position.
“These are chickens bred for their meat. They are slim and tall like the fighting breed,” said Wong.
The chickens seemed relaxed and docile, perhaps because of the way they were comfortably wrapped. They didn’t struggle to free themselves, even while being carried around.
Wong said the method of selling live chickens this way was unique and could only be found at the market here. Selling live chickens wrapped in newspapers had become like a tradition and the people here preferred it that way.
“It is always better to buy live chickens as they are guaranteed to be healthy. If people buy ready-cut chickens, how can they know if the meat they are buying come from sick or dead birds?”
There are many other chicken sellers at the market. On average, Wong sells up to 100 chickens a day and on festive days like Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the number could go as high as 300. A chicken is sold for RM12 (S$4.8).
Wong doesn’t rear the chickens but gets her stock from a farmer.
Unlike regular chickens that were slaughtered once they reached three to four months old, Wong said all the chickens that she sold were at least a year old.
“The meat is not easily broken into pieces when cooked like the ‘injected’ ones,” she said, referring to chickens raised in farms that use hormones and antibiotics.
“The chickens are raised in the way intended by nature and as a result, the meat is better when cooked and can last longer.”
Sour crop and impacted crop, also known as crop binding, although relatively uncommon in chickens, is still something you need to watch out for in your flock. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the web about how to deal with this condition; many of the home remedies and solutions are extremely dangerous, and often very cruel for the hens.
Typically, a hen’s crop will become impacted by something the chicken has ingested. The blockages could be the result of the hen ingesting tough grasses, sawdust, straw, hard grains or meat bones that get lodged in the crop.
Chickens may exhibit a large bulge in the crop area, diminishing weight, isolating themselves from the flock, hunching down or protecting their injury. The bird may also jerk their neck around trying to dislodge the blockage. Additionally, the stuck items in the crop may begin to rot, resulting in a sour smell coming from the chicken’s beak.
The Chicken Health Handbook explains that ‘Even if the bird continues to eat, nutrition cannot get through. The swollen crop may cut off the windpipe, suffocating the bird’.
To determine if your chicken may be suffering from sour or impacted crop, gently pick up the chicken and see if you can feel a hard or squiggly bulge in the chest; gently running your hands over the chicken’s breast area should be enough to feel if the crop is distended.
There may be a food bulge in the crop, particularly if the hen has just eaten – the crop is similar to a food storage pouch. However, if the hen is exhibiting any of the other behaviors associated with this condition, such as head jerking or refusing to move, then a blockage in the crop is a distinct possibility.
Carefully open the chicken’s beak and have a sniff to see if there is a sour smell. Although the odor is difficult to describe and may vary depending on what the bird has ingested, it should be obvious that there is an unusual and unpleasant smell coming from the chicken’s beak.
If you suspect the chicken may have a blocked or impacted crop, it is best to isolate the chicken and only provide water or organic vegetable broth (we use kale and broccoli broth) to confirm that the hen is not able to pass faecal waste.
If you determine that the chicken does have an impacted or sour crop, there are several options on how to deal with it. The first option is to contact a qualified veterinarian for advice. Many of the farm vets will have experience with this condition and will be able to offer suggestions on how to deal with the problem.
Our largest, most healthy, hen recently had a combination of sour and impacted crop, and although we were able to help her pass the blockage, our veterinarian explained that often the chicken may have something else going on that causes the initial blockage problem such as tumors, sores or ulcers. The blockage may also be lower down in the hen’s innards and the only evidence you see is in the distended or engorged crop.
An impacted crop will generally feel much harder than a sour crop and a lubricant may be needed to help move the blockage. The application of small eyedroppers of organic vegetable oil (do not use petroleum-based oils) mixed with water into the chicken’s beak may be used to help lubricate the crop contents. However, it is vitally important to ensure the liquid is inserted well past the small hole at the base of the tongue that leads to the hen’s lungs.
Once the oil is added, the crop can be gently massaged in a downward motion to help further lubricate the crop and move the blockage through the hen. This may take several applications over the course of two days.
Keep the hen separated from the flock so you can monitor if she is passing any blockage. Provide her with access to water and/or vegetable broth. See the Recovery information below.
If the crop feels very squishy and there is a foul smell coming from the chicken’s beak, the chicken can be assisted to help remove the sour liquid.
One option is to ‘vomit the chicken’. However, this is a dangerous procedure and should not be undertaken in a careless manner. If the ‘vomiting’ is done incorrectly it may result in the rotten fluid ending up in the chicken’s lungs which could lead to pneumonia. The procedure is best attempted with two people and under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Wrap the bird in a clean towel and gently tilt the bird forward (not backward) so that her body is vertical to the floor and the head is close to the ground while massaging the crop contents gently toward her mouth. You may need to open the beak to allow the vomit to flow out. The chicken should remain upside down for short durations only – 15 to 20 seconds maximum.
Repeat one to two times only. Allow the chicken time to rest and do not handle the bird roughly. When you think the hen has emptied her crop (partially or fully), be sure to keep the hen separate from the flock and give her time to rest. This may be repeated in two days time, though it is extremely important to not overdo this procedure.
Some veterinarians recommend assisting the chicken to pass the contents of the sour crop through the stomach and waste system as explained in the Impacted Crop section.
Surgery should not be conducted at home, and at no time should someone cut into, or expose the innards of, a fully conscious animal as this is a form of animal cruelty, and may, in some states or provinces, constitute animal abuse. There are numerous accounts on the web of backyard farmers cutting open a chicken’s chest and crop and removing the blockage. These accounts are not verified and it is important to consult with a qualified veterinarian before conducting ‘surgery’ on an animal.
If you cannot afford a veterinarian and are determined to perform the surgery at home, it is extremely important that you do not cut into a fully conscious animal as, aside from it being an act of cruelty, the animal’s ability to recover may be greatly diminished from trauma and/or shock. Ask your veterinarian for a sedative to ensure the animal does not experience pain during the procedure.
Use extremely sharp, sterile scalpels, wash your hands and the area where you intend to cut thoroughly with alcohol (not the kind you drink) and ensure that you know where you should be cutting. Carefully clean and close the wound after the procedure and isolate the hen until the wound heals.
Alternative treatment options: Add a drop of Rescue Remedy to the chicken’s water with a pulverized homeopathic Traumeel tablet and/or the remedy Arnica – these supplements will aid the hen in her recovery.
When your hen is recovering, provide her with a clean, quiet and safe environment where she can remain until she recovers. Provide clean, filtered drinking water and/or an organic vegetable broth with the addition of a few drops of organic oil such as olive oil or vegetable oil which will lubricate the inside of the chicken and help her continue to pass any blockages. Ignore all suggestion to use petroleum based oils or kerosene with chickens.
If the hen is droopy, consider inserting small eyedroppers full of blueberry water (mush up blueberries and extract the liquid) with the addition of molasses, honey or brown sugar. You can also add the homeopathic and flower remedies suggested above.
Withhold food for one to two days until you are sure she is able to pass waste again. Once she is passing waste again, slowly reintroduce soft foods – options include soft corn, finely grated apple or lettuce, plain yogurt, overcooked and finely chopped vegetables including chopped broccoli, kale and chard, or favourite fruits like mushy ripe watermelon and honeydew.
Choose food options that you know the hen will enjoy, but that will not lodge in her crop again. Monitor the chicken to ensure she is passing the food properly again and it is not building up in her crop again. Do not allow free access to large quantities of feed until you are sure she is out of danger and the blockage has passed. When the hen is back to normal, always ensure that she has access to oyster shell or grit.
Consider adding small amounts of lactobacillus or acidophilus to the hen’s food to ensure the repopulation of healthy bacteria in her stomach and aid in healthy digestion.
The chicken may need antibiotics if an infection develops from the blocked crop and/or surgery complications. Speak to your veterinarian.
Alternative treatment options: Add a drop of Rescue Remedy to the hen’s water or food along with a ground up homeopathic Traumeel tablet – both these supplements will aid the hen in her recovery.
Do not feed hard treats, grains or table scraps that can lodge in their throats or crops. Chickens should not be fed bones or large chunks of meat that they are unable to break up. Always ensure your flock has constant access to grit and oyster shells.
One of the main obstacles that all chicken owners face at some point in their lives, is what to do with your hens when you want to go on holiday? If you’re lucky, a neighbor or family member will be on hand to take care of them. But sometimes that just isn’t the case and you’re left stuck between a rock and a hard place Well, not any more! David Roberts has opened a Chicken Hotel in the UK just for our feathered friends.
Services at The New Chicken Hotel in UK
UK’s chicken hotel provides a generous and nutritious buffet dinner, lunch and breakfast made of locally grown produce. The meals are served in open air (of course). The coops have been specially designed for the chickens with each housing around 8 chickens.
Chickens roam around freely in the extensive verdant grounds at the hotel. At night, they are gently cajoled back to their apartments, to spend a safe and comfortable night on the tiles!
The hotel also offers e are pleased to be able to offer a special chauffeur service to ferry your chickens, stress free, to the hotel.
A visiting butler
If you have a LARGE flock the Chicken Hotel offers the visiting butler service, where they will come to you and your chickens , checking on the well being of your chickens and feeding and watering them twice a day.
The FULL Spa treatment
Turn your Chicken Hotel holiday into a full Spa holiday with a few added egg-stras!
Trim your chickens nails and even use emery boards to gently round the tips! In the wild, Chicken ancestors nails would naturally be worn down through scrabbling. But through breeding and domestic enclosures they often don’t wear down (especially with lighter breeds like bantams). Roosters nails are especially a problem for the backs of their lady-friends.
Sharp pointy beak? Eating your own eggs? Want a cute, trimmed and rounded schnozle? When you book in for a stay why not add a beak-trim! Gently clipped tips and filed with a slight natural round, if they could smile I’m sure they would.
Ever feel like your chickens are trying to re-enact The Great Escape? You can even have them booked in to have their wings clipped while they’re staying at The Chicken Hotel!
The Chicken Hotel Nursery
They’ll incubate your eggs for you and even offer a brooding facility to bring your chicks on to adolescence.
If there was a symbol of Thanksgiving it would have to be one of these. But this is no ordinary turkey. In fact, this one is really pretty lucky since it’s not on someone’s dinner table and it has been raised in a very unique way.
This bird and all of his friends are being grown not the conventional way in large houses, but with a more old fashioned approach, they are all field grazed. Grazing them on pastures like this is a spin on the free range idea except this goes one step further. It sort of serves as a mobile corral that protects the birds and keeps them under control, but also allows them to feed on fresh green grass daily.
Moving them is simple. This entire coup can be rolled forward by a single person. It’s made of light weight materials and it has wheels at the rear.
An added benefit to this controlled grazing is the poultry litter. You see, it’s loaded with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, all the things that make our garden grow. And it can turn this pasture green seemingly overnight.
But too much of anything can be a problem. How the poultry industry disposes of its waste has become a major issue in many states. With this method the waste doesn’t concentrate in one area building up in the soil or water so it doesn’t pose a problem to the environment.
This isn’t a new concept, it’s the way turkeys were raised in the 1930’s and 40’s and just as it did then, today it allows a small farmer to raise a crop in a sustainable way.
The Benefits of Keeping Chickens In Your Backyard
Many people keep a variety of domestic pets and animals. However, of all these domestic pets, chickens are the most unique because they are a constant source of edible food unlike the other pets such as dogs and cats.
They are a rich source of organic fresh meat and eggs, produced directly from your backyard instead of purchasing them from the supermarket. All you have to do is to feed your chickens with organic chicken feed and also allow them to roam freely in a chicken run. Chickens raised this way are proven to have eggs with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E while having lower cholesterol content.
Chickens are also easier to maintain than other domesticated pets. You just have to ensure that they have adequate food and water, clean the coop every other day and change the straw bedding every 3 or 4 weeks depending on weather conditions.
A third benefit of raising chickens in your backyard, is that they help take care of the environment. When you allow them to roam freely, they eat garden pests and help you trim your grass as they love eating grass. Eventually, they turn all they have eaten into a form of organic fertilizer that is naturally nitrogen-rich and can be used as manure for your flowers.
What Should You Consider Before You Start Keeping Chickens?
If you decide to raise chickens, it is important to evaluate the following factors;
The Time You Have at Your Disposal: Although chickens are relatively low-maintenance, they do require at least 15 to 20 minutes daily for daily care and maintenance in the form of replenishing their food and water and ensuring the bedding areas are dry. They are also great fun to watch, as all chickens have their own characters and traits, and nothings better than a cold lemonade on a hot day while watching you hens chasing a big fat bug.
The Space Available: The chicken Coop should be at least six square feet per bird is allotted in the outside run to allow them to run freely. Chickens are natural foragers and they eat insects, grass and weeds that they can find in the run – the more they are able to forage, the healthier and more contented they will be. This is to your advantage since you will reap the benefits in tastier eggs and poultry meat.
The Neighborhood Policy: Determine whether the keeping of chickens in your locality is authorized and if necassary, be sure to secure the requisite health or zoning permit
The Cost: Consider the initial investment in constructing the chicken coop, feed supplies, the cost of the birds, and maintenance. It may be more than you thought! But believe me, when they start laying fresh eggs, you’ll be hooked!
Number of Chickens: This should be determined by the space available for them and the time you can invest in them.
Size of the Chicken: Another important factor for consideration is the size of chicken. There are Standard (normal-size), or Bantam chickens, that are a fraction of the size of Standards and are mainly raised for ornamental purposes. Although bantams lay edible eggs also, they do so on a less frequent schedule and their eggs are smaller in size. There is no problem in having both sizes in your flock as Silkies, Belgian Bearded D’Uccles and Sebrights are available only as Bantams whereas there are other breeds which are available in both sizes. Of course you can combine both sizes in your flock if you want both types.