Randy's Chicken Blog Has Moved

Well, Randy's Chicken Blog followers, this is it.  This is my last post on the old website.  I've moved from Blogger to a brand-new platform with a new domain name.  I feel like I've barely moved in at the new site--most of the furniture is moved, but I'm still doing some painting and there's still a lot of stuff in boxes.  My new home is with Square Space. Making the move is a bit of work, but ultimately, Randy's Chicken Blog will have a fresh new look with a lot more functionality! Go on over and take a look!  Like it says in the picture, the address is randyschickenblog.squarespace.com .

Need to check out the info from one of my old posts?  For the time being, all the old stuff will continue to be archived right here!

Meet the Flock Roundup - May & June 2018

The latest bit of paraphernalia that I've added to the coop to keep the girls entertained is a small mirror. Here Moe the Faverolles takes a quick look to make sure her feathers are all attractively in place.

A Carton of Eggs: Part 5—Vital Farms Organic Pasture-Raised Eggs

An egg carton: Great for keeping a dozen fragile eggs grouped together and cushioned.  Also, great as a blank canvas that can be filled with written and visual messages.  This is the fifth in a series of articles about all that info printed on an egg carton.

Also in this series:

For my fifth venture into egg carton messaging, I picked up a dozen eggs from Vital Farms at my local Whole Foods.  I first heard about Austin, Texas based Vital Farms when I ran across their very amusing and spot-on ad on the net.  In addition to being really funny, this ad calls “bullsh*t” (their word choice!) on all those eggs labeled “cage free.”  When you buy eggs with “cage-free” stamped on the carton, you probably think you’re doing the right thing.  Cage-free eggs are a huge improvement from eggs that come from hens living in tiny, cramped battery cage torture chambers.  But as Vital Farms points out in its ad, hens laying cage free eggs probably live in one square foot of space in a cramped barn and never get to go outside.  Vital Farms advertises its eggs as “pasture raised” and guarantees that each hen gets 108 square feet of outdoor space.  These seemed like my kind of eggs, so I bought some and then took a look at the information on the carton.

Meet the Flock Roundup - March & April 2018

 Moe the Salmon Faverolles saunters through the tractor alley in the pole barn. I let the girls into this normally chicken-free space occasionally in the winter to break the monotony. On warm days I open the pop door to the chicken run whereupon all the hens rush to the door, take one look out and exclaim, “What?? There’s still snow out there!  Why would we go out there?”

When Your Hen Dies

I dedicate this post to the memory of Snowball the Silkie Rooster, whose good and happy life in my coop ended just last week.  And to Arlene, Emily, Courtney, Angitou, Buffy, Willow, Veronica, and Charlie - all of whom passed within the last 12 months.  It’s been a tough year for the flock—and for me.

There was a hen who lived in a coop in your backyard.  Now she’s gone.  Her death surprised you, but what surprised you even more is the sense of emptiness and sadness you feel after her passing. 

There’s an unpleasant fact about keeping chickens that you probably didn’t think about when you first brought home your little peeping bundles.  That someday they would die.  Nobody likes to talk about it, but it’s something that you can’t ignore.  If you have chickens, you’ve no doubt become attached, and sooner or later you’ll have to deal with their deaths.

A Short History of Organic Eggs

You’re pushing your shopping cart through the produce section of your favorite grocery store.  You remember that you’re almost out of eggs, so you steer toward the refrigerator case with all those egg cartons.  You care about the food you and your family eat and you want eggs that have been raised in a natural, sustainable and humane manner.  So, you grab the eggs with the green and white USDA Organic label and put them in your cart next to the organic lettuce and hormone-free milk.  You feel secure knowing that these eggs have been vouched for by an agency of the US government and you’re satisfied that with your purchase you’re supporting farmers who raise their hens in a sustainable and humane way. 

Did you make the right choice?  Perhaps not.  The USDA Organic label more than likely doesn’t mean what you think it means.  To get the real scoop on organic eggs and other organic food, follow me back in time to the ancient past of my youth.

Randy’s Chicken Blog Celebrates Two Years

Last year as I celebrated the first birthday of Randy’s Chicken Blog, I announced that the blog had just achieved 10,000 views.  Now, a year later I’m just shy of 30,000 views and am happy to have readers all over the US, as well as a variety of other countries.  Some of you are faithful followers of my Facebook page, but many folks have read a single post on a single topic and found that post through Google.  I love my followers of course—each and every one of you, but I’m also happy to provide information to those people trying to get an answer to one nagging question.

There have been, if you include this one, 132 posts.  All of them are always available in the archives, and they have covered every aspect of a chicken’s life from hatch to death.  Some posts stray off topic a bit to talk about the woods around the coop and the wild plants and animals that live there, or a few good books about chickens that I’ve read, or the treatment of chickens on farms, or well…life, the universe, and everything!

The subjects of the most popular posts cover that same wide range, from stories about specific chickens to information about egg cartons.  Here are thumbnails of the ten most popular posts from the past year with links to the actual posts.  Thanks for reading them and stay tuned for more!

On Halloween Day last year, I posted this article about the mystery of the unusual chickens in South America.  It seemed to me that it would fit with Halloween if I gave it an outer-space theme. Paulette the Cream Legbar modeled as the alien chicken.