Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hairstyles from the ladies of Downton Abbey

Lady Mary, Edith and Mrs. Hughes are all grown up now, 
laying eggs and strutting around the estate like they own the place. 
Each has a unique fashion sense, evident in the manner in which they wear their combs.

Lady Mary goes for the prim and proper, straight-up look.



Edith tends toward the floppy. I wonder if this is the poultry equivalent of a comb-over?



Edith: I do not like to be mocked.



Lady Mary: And she wonders why I'm inheriting the estate and not her...



It's difficult to get a good picture of Mrs. Hughes. She's always busy biting something...usually me.
How does one discipline a chicken anyway? 
Here are some things I've tried that have not worked:
1. Respectfully asking her to keep her beak to herself.
2. Calling her names.
3. Telling her to back off whilst wagging my finger in her face – she, of course, bit it.
4. Sending her sideways with a bleeding leg.
Is it too late to change her name to O'Brien? 



As long as they all continue to serve me breakfast, I shall put up with their eccentricities.


24 comments:

  1. ... Mrs. Hughes bites? Perhaps she's O'Brien in disguise ...

    Maggy

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    1. She is O'Brien in disguise...thanks for catching my error!

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    2. She could be Vera, the first Mrs. Bates .. that woman was *wicked*! :-D

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  2. Do you get tired of eggs....and instead whip some scrambled eggs for Smooch? Or does Johnny Cashcat get some? Or maybe it is like my daily bowl of granola that I love to have day after day.
    Lisa G in TN

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  3. My grandparents raised chickens for the egg market. Not on the scale that that the large producers do now, but they could have up to 1000 hens in multiple houses.

    As a child, there was one R.I. Red that I could pick out of the other 300 or so hens as 'the mean one'. My brother and I learned to ALWAYS be armed with a sturdy stick when we went into that particular hen house.

    I wasn't large enough (brave enough) to grab her by the back and toss her out of the way. Whether she was in her favorite box (and they would have 30+ boxes in the house) or just roaming around, I could pick her out.

    When I warned my mother about her, she wanted to know how I could pick out one rogue hen that looked like all the other RI Reds. It was the 'mean expression' and body language.

    She believed me because she grew up on the farm and knew that there is always one in the flock who is trouble. Sometimes they are just escape artists and sometimes they are fighting a guerrilla war.

    So my advice is always be armed, do not let your guard down. Since this is one of your primary egg layers, you may need to research chicken behavior to start inforcing good ground manners. I recommend a good broom. It doesn’t need to be a large one or too heavy.

    Good Luck. I don’t thing chickens are susceptible to black mail. Outting her in the blog may just feed Mrs Hughe’s (aka O’Brien) ego. (ego … eggo … egg ??? ehhh, it’s early on the east coast )

    Looking forward to more chicken tales (it’s going to be one of those days ).

    M in NC

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  4. how about a water gun for Hughs-Obrien....

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  5. Chickens who bite need a spray bottle at the ready. A little mist of water is harmless, yet effective. No Lady of Substance likes to have water squirted in her face! It will have devastating effects on her coiffure and wardrobe.

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  6. Anne Boleyn8/19/14, 6:13 AM

    I trust it was YOUR leg that was bleeding and not O'Brien's, else we must needs call in the Chicken Abuse authorities!
    I don't think it's too late to change her name.

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  7. Love Downton Abbey-----Love your girls-----Love your blog !!!!!!!! Linda--in Tn.

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  8. If the water squirting doesn't work, you could change her name to Kiev or Marsala. ;-)

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  9. If the water doesn't work......well.....you could try Fried Chicken. ( I know I am going to get kicked for that comment)

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    1. I was going to suggest showing her a picture of a roasted chicken...

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  10. Chickens can be easily clicker trained (in fact, they are often used for workshops to teach dog owners and trainers about clicker training) - maybe you could clicker train her to 'back up"?

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  11. You could try clicker training. We have been clicker training our puppy and I was looking at methods online when I found chicken clicker training. The idea behind it is that if you can clicker train a chicken you can train anything. It's really a lesson in timing for dog trainers, but you could try it with yours to maybe help curb the biting? Just google chicken clicker training.

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  12. Try lavender oil on your legs, most animals hate that smell

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  13. I have never had a chicken do that and I have raised many pet chickens...they would however like to peck at my toe nails because of the red color. Wearing flip flops and shoveling chicken crap is really not a great idea. Mrs. Hughes does not live up to her namesake. Happy Tuesday.

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  14. I have a small green rake. It is very powerful, this tiny landscape implement. I have never used it in any way other than to "herd" my hens in a specific direction, yet they scurry like mad when I bring it out. Sometimes all I have to do is pick it up and they'll run in the direction I'm pointing. It has also been used, much less frequently, to fend off a grumpy rooster. Perhaps you need something like this? Just to show who's in charge? :-)

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  15. I think that until the Goose with the Golden Egg shows up, your girls have got you right where they want you...with egg in your face!!

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  16. I'd bet you could teach her to jump up and grab a cracker from your fingers!

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  17. Love the personalities and the close-ups!

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  18. I really miss having a few chickens when I read your posts. Most of the chickens I had would lay their eggs in the nests but one would wait until late afternoon, come up on the porch and drop her egg in front of the door. Since the eggs are a little soft when they come out, none were ever damaged and Ronda always got a thank you for it

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  19. Wow, I never had a hen do that to me, though I've had nasty roosters and geese. A broom sorted the geese, and the latest rooster was sorted with an axe after he gashed my mum's head when she bent down to lay out some treats. Could as easily have been her eye. I did read up on retraining agro roosters and one technique was to grab them up and snuggle them a lot to show them that you are the boss and can do what you like with them, and not to let them go till they are quiet and relaxed, but also never to let them come up to food when you are there or to approach you first. Unfortunately my rooster upped the ante before I got the training finished. My hens were glad to see the back of him. He was a sod to them too.

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  20. Have you tried a water pistol ?

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