Hen House Diaries
By Sunshine with Emily
This is not a nose. It’s a beak that I use to eat. I can also peck you. You see, I am Sunshine, the Warrior Queen of the coop. Don’t mess with me or my hens or you will get it. Now, back away!
Answered by: Rocket with Henry
I was five months old when I laid my first amazing blue egg. It was–about an inch long–probably bigger–much bigger. I laid my first egg because Henry cuddled me. I am an early bloomer–it probably has something to do with all the cuddles.
By Ellie, age 10
I smell the fresh air,
I breathe in as much as a can.
I am tired of my egg,
I want to experience and I want to live.
I want to eat.
I want to run.
I feel the warm breeze on my beak.
I try to peck my way out as fast as I can.
I am free; I am free to waddle as far as my heart takes me,
I am free to stuff my face with crunchy fresh lettuce,
My life has just begun.
To the cutest little chickie—Rocket
By: Addie, age 9
I am Rocket. Everybody calls me the awesome chicken; at least I think so. But enough about that. When Mama was putting us hens away, she could not find me because I was laying an egg in the corner of the coop. Mama opened the door and exclaimed, “There you are!” She realized that I was laying an egg and needed my privacy so she closed the door and left me alone. I gave her a delicious egg.
By: Emily, age 9
I woke up this morning and it was very cold. I thought about going in to the garden and digging for sweet worms. I love to slurp them in my beak. I am the best worm finder—even better that Goldie—and she’s the queen. Sometimes Goldie shares her sweet worms with me.
Today, I am going to teach my sisters, Rocket and Rosie how to dig for worms.
By: Sophie, age 9
Chickens: Rocket, Rosie, Starlight and Goldie
Starlight: Hi Goldie
Goldie: Hi Starlight
Starlight: Have you seen Rocket, Goldie?
Goldie: No, have you seen her?
Starlight: Where do you think she is?
Goldie: You check the coop and I will check the garden.
Narrator: Starlight darted off in one direction towards the coop and Goldie darted off in the other direction all around the garden. Starlight had checked the whole entire coop and Goldie had checked the whole entire garden and had only found a few of Rocket’s feathers
Goldie: Look, Starlight! The gate is open!
Starlight: Look over there. There’s Rocket she’s going down the hill.
Goldie: After her!!!!!!!!
Narrator: Starlight and Goldie followed Rocket all the way down to the creek and down to Schoonmaker Beach.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ms. Barbara came to let the chickens out of the coop but instead she found the gate wide open and all the chickens out. Worst of all, there were three chickens missing. Miss Barbara walked up the hill to Miss Siskin’s fourth and third grade class not bothering to close the gate because she was so worried about Rocket, Starlight and Goldie. She walked in, in the middle of history not even bothering to ask Miss Siskin if she could interrupt the lesson and she said …
Miss Barbara: Rocket, Starlight and Goldie are missing! We have to search for them! I will take a group down to the creek. Miss Siskin, can you look around campus and alert ever person you see. Miss Mayes, will you make posters?
Miss Siskin and Miss Mayes together: OK
Narrator: 3 pm came and went; then 4 pm. Miss Barbara’s group came back to school. Miss Siskin and Miss Mayes’ group had already gotten dismissed. The people that went to After School went to After School and the people that went home went home.
Mr. Noah: Today in After School we will take a field trip to Schoonmaker Beach.
After School kid: Ok.
A few of the Siskinites noticed a few colorful birds as soon as they were let out onto the beach the Siskinites ran to one side of the beach and found Rocket, Starlight and Goldie.
Narrator: As they walked down to Schoonmaker Beach the Siskinites looked for Starlight, Rocket and Goldie. As they got to Schoonmaker Beach, one
Siskinite 1: We found them!!!!!
Siskinite 2: When are we going to leave, Mr. Noah?
Siskinite 3: Because we need to return these chickens to school.
Goldie was obsessed about finding out what the four little chicks eat. This afternoon we were all in the garden digging for worms when she announced that she had a plan to sneak into their coop and take a look at their food. We hens—Sunshine, Peanut, Goldie and I all waited in the bushes until the chicks left for their afternoon dirt bath. While they lazed in the sun, Goldie ran through the tomato bed and crept up the ramp to the coop. She immediately saw their food bowl, waddled over and took a bite. As we all watched, she took another bite and another. Soon she was face first into the feeder gobbling the food.
We were lost in the moment when a long, dark shadow slowly moved across the door. Oh, no. Mama! I wanted to scream, “Run!” but nothing came out of my beak. “Goldie! Why are you eating the chicks’ food? Out!” she cried.” Goldie froze so Mama took the feeder and helped her out of the coop.
I figured that as long as Mama was there I would ask her why the chicks got different food. She told me that babies eat a ground starter meal that is high in protein for growing and medicated to keep them from getting diseases like coccidiosis which can kill them. Mama said that chicks can’t eat our big girl food because it has lots of calcium in it for laying eggs and that would damage their little kidneys.
Mama asked if I had any other questions, gave me a nice scratch and went back to work. I told Goldie what I learned and she felt bad that she ate their food. “Hey, Brownie—it tasted really good! Maybe I’ll grow.” I didn’t tell her that she was already big enough and didn’t need to grow anymore.
We hens of Sunflower Sentry Garden are healthy and strong and eat very well. Maybe too well. Just take a look at our fat little bottoms as we waddle through the garden in search of worms and bugs.
Want to know our secret? Mama feeds us crunchy, organic feed pellets filled with vitamins and minerals, and crushed shells for the calcium we need to lay our eggs. We also eat corn tortillas, fresh greens and organic vegetables and fruits sent by the school chef after the kids finish their daily lunches. During the winter and on cold days, Mama gives us our favorite chicken scratch made from different seeds and dried corn to keep us warm. Truthfully, we are pigs when it comes to scratch and would probably eat it until we popped.
All of us love fruit—watermelon, cantaloupe, apples and pears. Plus, vine-picked tomatoes and strawberries are over the moon wonderful—but please, nothing from the supermarket.
Here is my question. What is Mama feeding the four chicks? They seem to get bigger every day. Some mornings she opens their door and exclaims, “Did you grow overnight? You chaps are huge!” Ms Ana, our Auntie says she has never seen chicks grow so fast or big and she used to raise chickens on her farm in El Salvador. So tell me, Mama, what is the secret?
Hey! Where are all the kids? Someone said that they were on vacation whatever that means but we have a blog to get started. So, guess I’ll do it until we can find them.
Did you know that we have four chicks living at the far end of the coop? They are cute and I’m sure we will all get along once they grow up and move in with us girls. Mama doesn’t know this, but they cry at night. Every noise scares them and they huddle together to protect each other. I get up and sit below their coop window and sing to them. It takes a while but they settle down and go to sleep.
Did you know that we chickens like being sung to? Really! It’s so soothing. Mama sings to us hens. We all fall asleep in her arms. When I was really sick a few weeks ago, she always held me for a long time and sang softly. I felt so safe and happy when she was taking care of me.
During the daytime, the chicks sing to each other while they bask in the warm sun. It is so sweet. Maybe they will sing to me some time soon.