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I was wondering, Robyn, how many eggs do you get from your chickens? (and just how many chickens do you have?) If I wanted to have chickens laying eggs for two adults, how many chickens would I need? And do I have to have a rooster as well to make the ladies produce?? (Sorry, I’m realizing that last question is pretty basic – I could probably find the answer with just a quick Internet search. But I’m lazy and know that you can give me the answer.)

According to Fred, we currently have about 60 chickens, but in the next few weeks there’s going to be some processing done, and I imagine 10 – 15 of them will head off to Freezer Camp (especially most of the roosters.) At the moment we’re getting a couple of dozen eggs a day. Good laying hens produce an egg about every 36 hours – or to round down a little and make it easier to estimate, I’d say a hen lays an egg every other day.

How many chickens you need depends on how many eggs you use. We use four eggs a day, every single day, for breakfast. We also occasionally eat egg salad, and of course use eggs to bake with every now and then. I can’t imagine that we’d ever reduce the flock to a number smaller than 2 dozen hens for the two of us, but I also know that our egg consumption is on the high side and some people could go for weeks on a dozen eggs.

(I have my cholesterol level checked once a year and it’s always been ideal, if y’all are wondering. I know I’d be curious!)

Lastly, and YOU GUYS PAY ATTENTION TO THIS: you absolutely DO NOT need a rooster for hens to produce eggs. It would drive me nuts back when I watched Survivor, and the contestants would eat one of the hens instead of the rooster because they thought a rooster was necessary for egg production. IT IS NOT.

Roosters are necessary if you want fertilized eggs (and you cannot taste the difference between a fertilized and non-fertilized egg, I promise you), but if you’re not looking to expand your flock (or have adorable fluffy chicks to cuddle), a rooster isn’t required.


Are you and Fred getting any pigs this year?

No pigs this year – we still have a freezer full of pork. I miss having pigs – and that field is perfect for them – but I understand why we’re not getting them (it was Fred’s decision, since he’s usually the one to take care of them). But next year, for sure!


I’m curious about how all the kitties do with the Furminator. Are they compliant or do they put up a fuss? Any tips on how to successfully Furminate a kitty? Only one of mine tolerates it to any efficient degree. The others either slink their bodies away from it or just flat run off.

None of the cats are super fond of the Furminator, and in fact with most of them I can only get a few swipes in before they run off. Sugarbutt kind of likes it, but he gets bitey after a few minutes. Miz Poo will tolerate being brushed with it, but she whimpers sadly about it (drama queen.) Kara would probably let me brush her all day long, just because she likes the attention. Tommy’s okay with it for a few minutes, Jake runs and hides, and Maxi, Newt, and Alice act like I’m trying to beat them. I brushed Stefan with it a couple of times the other day, but he actually didn’t have much loose fur on him. The only tip I have is one that I don’t really like to use – you could hold them (gently) by the nape of the neck while you brush. But they don’t like it, and I don’t like to do it, so I mostly give up and expect to do a lot of vacuuming this time of year.

Interesting fact: if you pet Kara, she feels really soft and sleek. Not much fur comes off when you pet her, and I used to think that she just wasn’t a shedder, but when I do brush her with the Furminator, I get an amazing amount of fur. One day I’m going to have to make a video to show how much I get when I brush her!


I need this, maybe you have one.

I don’t have one – and I can’t imagine my cats laying that close to each other without hissing and smacking! But I’d love to be able to give it a try.


Seems like no one can be trusted in the foster room – everyone is keeping on eye on everyone else….

You know what? They’re all a bunch of shifty characters, and it’s good that everyone’s keeping an eye on each other! They’re all total tattletales, too.


Unrelated to this post: Robyn, a little while back you gave me some advice with regard to my senior kitty with cataracts who would dip her paws in the water dish to see where the water level was at and subsequently get litter clumped to her feet because her paws were wet.

I wanted to let you know that I took your suggestion to put something floaty in the water dish (I cut a straw into 1″ pieces and put two pieces in each water dish). I also bought a raised dish (the stainless bowls sit in an elevated framework). I am very happy to report that she no longer dips her paws! It’s working out very well & is such a huge relief that I just wanted to thank you very much for your help!

That is wonderful news! Thanks for letting us know that it worked out so well.


Awww, Miss Dorfy blew into our hearts three years ago today! *Waves to Dorothy and her mom!*

Can you BELIEVE it’s been three years since she showed up here? It doesn’t seem nearly that long!

And my favorite picture of her. Such an adorable girl! If you click on the link to 2011’s post, you’ll see her hussying it up with Rufus.


Is it me or does Tricki have a touch of the Loon.

Tricki IS slightly loonified. The loon particles must have floated through the screen door and gotten into her system!


I really don’t understand why Tricki wasn’t adopted right away. I mean, she’s absolutely beautiful, her name is awesome and she seems like a super sweet little monkey. I would have had a really hard time walking away from her.

She is THE sweetest thing. She’s also, unfortunately, a scaredy cat. I know that when I’ve been in the cat room while dropping off or picking up other cats, her response is to hide in the litter box. Even when I brought her back here, she spent the majority of the first week and a half hanging out in the foster room closet (I say “closet”, but it’s almost as big as the foster room itself – I don’t want y’all to think she’s crammed into the back of a tiny closet.) When she’s given time, she relaxes and starts coming around – if I go into the foster room and sit on the floor, she comes right over to be petted. I was laying on Fred’s bed yesterday reading, and she alternated licking my arm and flopping over on her back. She is gorgeous, she is sweet, but she just doesn’t “present” well. It’s going to take someone who’s willing to look past the scaredy-cat aspect and give her a chance.

I know it can happen, I just want it to happen SOON.


Nice pictures, and a plant we call the same name! Spiraea is very popular here too and its long arching branches of white flowers are why its also known as the Bridal Wreath bush. It is one of my favourites, however your Primroses are NOT the same at all. Ours are yellow and occasionally flushed with pink in the wild form and in many,many colours as cultivars known as Primula. We also have a long stemmed wild form called Cowslips which are mentioned in Midsummer Nights Dream.

I would be interested to know what your Primroses are and the field of yellow looks like Oilseed rape.

That yellow field is, indeed, Oilseed Rape. We initially thought that it was Goldenrod, but I got a close-up of the flowers and consulted the internet and found that it’s actually Oilseed Rape. I don’t know if this is the first year they’ve grown it in that field or we just haven’t noticed it in the past, but it certainly is pretty. I’m going to try to remember to pay attention next year and see if they grow it every year.

Our Primrose is the Showy Primrose, which is a type of evening primrose. They grow all over the place around here, and I’ve always thought they were really pretty. According to the Wikipedia page I linked, they can also be invasive. Which I guess explains why I see so many of them growing in fields and beside the roads!


I took this poster down off the wall because there was a big rip in the corner (and also, I was ready to put something different in that spot on the wall), and the INSTANT I put the poster on the floor, Thomas claimed it as his.


Pretty Miss Livia, in her favorite nappin’ spot.

“You gonna lay down and read so I can bite your book, lady?”

Livia and Dennis doing the move we refer to as “sniffing noses.” I know, we’re so creative.

Such a good girl, putting up with having that whippersnapper all up in her face. I didn’t witness it myself, but Fred reported that yesterday Livia was licking Dennis on top of the head, and then he started licking her, and it was just a big ol’ lovefest. I wish I’d seen it!

Tricki, curly-tailing it.

Tricki! Your zipper is showing! (She doesn’t have a scar, her fur happened to be laying just right.)



Speaking of gorgeous!

I did my best to get a video of Corbie’s squeaky non-meow. In the first section, I was doing my best to fake a sneeze, because usually when I sneeze he squeaks at me (I think it hurts his ears). He wasn’t fooled by my fakery, though. In the second segment, I did get his squeak a couple of times. I sure do love that silly boy.

YouTube link.


2013: Aslan’s eating style is what I call “crumb catching” – long after everyone else is done eating, he’s still there licking up what’s left.
2012: The Downfall of Senator Stanley J. Boogerton
2011: The little hussy.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: She kicked Sugarbutt’s butt but good.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



5-9-14 — 31 Comments

  1. I think you were mistaken. The caption under that Dennis picture was not “You gonna lay down and read so I can bite your book, lady?” because that would indicate he was ASKING, and that face clearly shows he was NOT. He was TELLING you “You gonna lay down and read so I can bite your book, lady.”

    I wouldn’t care one iota about Tricki’s skittishness, I would still totally scoop her up. Then again, I volunteered in a shelter for years and completely understand that some cats don’t present well.

    Then again, I am also totally okay with adopting cats who aren’t lovebugs. Sometimes there’s just an attraction, you know? What am I saying? Of course you do! In fact, I’m sure you know this all too well!

    And there are different kinds of attraction, too. For example, my love for Dennis is completely different than my love for Tricki, which is different again from my love for Livia, so while I would adopt any of them, it would be for different reasons. That’s part of the reason why it makes it soooo hard to choose if you’re restricted to the number of kitties you can have living with you.

    Ultimately, I’m starting to think fostering is the best of all worlds. You get to spend quality time with ALL THE KITTIES!

    • I totally get what you are saying. I volunteer at our shelter, too. Yep, some cats are sooooo scared at the shelter that they have to be fostered. Some start off sooo scared and we just sit and talk with them as we slide them treats. Then slowly we can pet them and then take them out of their cage of kitty-cuddle time. Of course we have those that are soooo confident that they are rolling on their backs flirting with everyone! Yep, they get adopted the quickest. Fortunately, we have “love notes” on our cages, where we (volunteers) can checkmark character traits and write in notes. This helps explain shyness and state that they do warm up quickly, or just look UNDER the bed that there IS a kitty in the cage, etc. If we know that they get along with dogs/cats/kids etc that is on there too. (We often know that if they are an owner surrender.) It is wonderful to see them blossom out of the shelter. Every kitty in every shelter has something wonderful about them to offer. (dogs, too!)

    • Fostering is absolutely awesome, and I highly recommend it for everyone (though I am still saddened at the loss of my second foster room!)

    • Now that I am fostering, I agree that it is great – I just hope all my little fostees will go to good homes.

      And yes, I have a few kitties that are why some people don’t care for cats… ha ha. But I agree; sometimes it’s chemistry. I love even my most standoffish recalcitrant feline. I enjoy the challenge of caring for them and getting as much back as they are capable of giving.

  2. Kong makes a thing called ZOOM GROOM – a purple rubbery thing with thick inch long nubbies. My cats actually line up to be zoom groomed! And boy, does it ever take out that loose fur. Maybe that would be a good alternative to the terrifying furminator.

    • Our furball finds one of us and demands that we Zoom Groom her. Of course we obey because she’s extremely vocal and neither of us is strong enough to hold up to a cat following us around yelling at us.

    • I’ve thought about getting a Zoom Groom… neither of my cats is too keen on getting brushed, which isn’t okay because they both have medium to long hair. Holly WILL NOT STAND FOR ANY BRUSHING and Figaro will tolerate it for a little bit, but then he just wants to bite the brush. Maybe I’ll have to get a Zoom Groom and see if that pleases their highnesses.

  3. *snicker* “head off to Freezer Camp” – I see what you did there!

  4. thanks for the fabulous Friday post! Always look forward to Friday here more than anything else about Friday…
    What is it about cats biting books? I always picture the next reader with a cat,wondering what on earth is so fascinating to their cat (mine are usually library books-I don’t let the Ellie do more than rub on those fascinating corners…). Can definitely tell when a cat person has had the book prior to me!
    And love skittish cats all the same. Keeping on with keeping fingers crossed that the forever homes are in the wings. And my current 2-cat limit would be threatened if I lived anywhere near Alabama!

    • I imagine they bite books for the same mysterious reason they bite cardboard! I always say they’re sharpening their teeth. 🙂

  5. A friend who has chickens explains the chicken/rooster thing to people this way: “Well, humans produce an egg every month with or without a male around…”

  6. My old cat is a prolific shedder and does not do a good job of cleaning herself. I tried all kinds of brushes, including a Furminator – which she hates. Finally I was vacuuming around her bed one day while she was still in it and wondered what would happen if I tried to vacuum HER. Well, she loves it. She stretches out and lets me vacuum her everywhere. I use a small shop vac with no attachments at the end of the hose.

    • Oh, I wish my cats would let me vacuum them! They skedaddle whenever the vacuum’s out, though. SIGH.

  7. All three of my cats love to be brushed and furminated. They will actually push their way in if another one is getting brushed. All I have to do is sit on the floor and tap the brush/furminator on the rug and they all come running! I guess I am really lucky!

  8. OMG, another tabby that squeaks when you sneeze! Phew! I thought I had the only one, LOL… colds season is always delightful… Yoda could be fast asleep and one sneeze or big sniff and he’s all shuddershudder”mew”shudder…over and over and over..and over…
    Keep up the good blogging! Kitties rule!

    • Holly does that teeth-chattering/hunting noise thing when I sneeze. It’s awesome.

    • Trixie also gives me a concerned meow when I sneeze. And with the record high pollen count she’s very concerned about me right now! 🙂

  9. Thanks so much for the long and REALLY informative answer to my question(s) about the hens and egg production. That’s really helpful.

    I have always LOVED eggs (so your egg consumption habits don’t seem at all out of line to me; happily, like you, high cholesterol has never been a problem for me), and when I moved to where we live now, in the countryside with farms all around us, and started buying eggs straight from the farm, I realized how different — and how much better — these eggs are from the ones in the supermarket (produced by those poor hens caged their entire lives and never seeing the light of day or breathing fresh air — makes me sick just to think about them). But they are a whole lot more expensive than the supermarket eggs, so that got me thinking about having my own hens.

    Someone a week or two back posted a link to an outfit that rents out hens, and I was absolutely DELIGHTED to discover that they are in our general geographic area. So that really got me thinking that maybe this was something I could try….

    Anyway, that’s way more than you need to know….

    • Aside from the excellent product the chickens produce, they’re also just a lot of fun to watch. I highly recommend them for entertainment purposes.

      We’re so accustomed to the way our eggs look that on the rare occasion we see store-bought eggs, it catches us off-guard. The yolk is so much paler!

      • You don’t need to worry about eggs and cholesterol any more, the old advice from the 70s/80s about them has turned out to be wrong, the tiny amount of cholesterol in eggs is good cholesterol and wont make humans get heart disease or strokes. We eat loads of eggs as our healthy diet plan (slimming world)calls it a “free” food, in other words eat as many as you can or want to and my husband has to watch his naturally high cholesterol and eggs make no difference to it.

  10. P.S. — is it my imagination, and possibly my wishful thinking, but has Livia slimmed down some? She looks thinner in that pic of her in her favorite napping spot. And, awww, so sweet to know that she and Dennis have been getting it on — so, she’s the Cougar and he’s the Boy Toy?

    • She very well might be a bit thinner. She looks it to me, but I unfortunately didn’t weigh her when I brought her home. She spends plenty of time playing, though, so I imagine she’s worked off some of the weight.

      I think it’s more of a mother-son type of relationship. 😀

  11. My Harley LOVES the Furminator. I think she would like me to brush her forever with it! Allie, however, is quite suspicious of it and doesn’t think she needs brushing at all (and actually, I don’t think she does, either).

  12. So happy you used my comment on the flowers, I love your showy primroses! Pink Ladies is my favourite of their common name, our Evening Primroses come on tall spikes so they are quite different to them too. I doubt they would grow in our climate(or be allowed here if they are invasive)next time Im in the South I shall look for some.