Chicken Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles seem old fashioned in this high tech society, but doing puzzles have many benefits.  While working on a jigsaw puzzle, it has been studied that there exists continuous activity throughout  the brain involving all the cells.  People engaged in jigsaw puzzles stood to gain a longer life span and less chance of falling prey to memory loss.  It makes us alert, increases our concentration, and expands our creativity.  Looking at the images constantly helps us practice visualization, which is again good aid for any physical activity that succeeds with mental activity.  It also affects our physical health by lowering our breath rate, reducing heart rate and blood pressure too.  Now, add chickens into the mix and we have an activity that helps our brain and satisfies our love for our favorite bird.

81ApGYVZFSL._SL1000_Roosters on the Farm Quilt – 500 pieces by Bits and Pieces.

81BeL34nddL._SL1001_Barnyard Chickens – 500 pieces by SunsOut.

61oJrhG28NLChicken Quotes – 1000 pieces by Cobble Hill

51pq8insZTLRule The Roost – 1000 pieces by SunsOut

911CNL75H+L._SL1500_Bohemian Rooster – 1000 pieces by Lang

91tFL7lEvKL._SL1200_Down on the Farm – 1000 pieces by White Mountain

71RAVtIjuHL._SL1000_Hawaiian Rooster – 30 pieces by CafePress

91IjrMOQpwL._SL1500_Rooster – 500 pieces by Mega Brands

91avnQ3XcNL._SL1280_Romeo – 1000 pieces by Reflective Art

71e-Q+alAgL._SL1088_Morning Glory Rooster – 300 pieces by MasterPieces

912Ua9yMXNL._SL1500_Visit with the Hens – 500 pieces by SunsOut

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

Unique Chicken Christmas Tree Ornaments

I love sparkly, blown glass Christmas ornaments. I own many,  but the chicken themed ones are always my favorite.  These ornaments are heirloom worthy and can be passed down for generations. I like trees with different themes and these ornaments would fit in well with any county themed Christmas tree.

Old World ornaments are hand crafted in age – old traditions with techniques that originated in the 1800s.  Molten glass is mouth blown into finely carved molds.  The ornaments are all hand painted and glittered in a series of labor intensive steps to achieve beautiful creations.

812jA+ObXTL._SL1500_Hen On Nest

61GPmt9uoDL._SL1000_Spring Chicken

71rX2EaJDgL._SL1200_Rooster

512y18dEQML._SL1200_Baby Chick

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Christmas is synonymous with caroling, and one of the popular carols included in every party and caroling list is “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  “Three French Hens” signifies faith, hope, and charity. Crafted by artist Susan Winget and Ne’Qwa Art via the centuries-old process of reverse hand painting on the inside of mouth-blown glass. Each one-of-a-kind ornament includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

71+8EbqpGTL._SL1000_Three French Hens

211GxNNdVvLOn Holiday makes the glass blown chicken

61RDWxv+0DL._SL1050_Glass rooster by Crafted Class.

51c4MzOtf-LPinnacle Peak Trading company Rooster – made in Poland

61MgHAYBl0L._SL1050_Christopher Radko’s Christmas Rooster – blown glass

51g6LrsrwnL._SL1000_Cowboy Rooster blown glass ornament

61xkBkm1fvL._SL1000_BestPysanky Rooster in Winter Village glass ball – hand painted in the Ukraine

61dbRyCdI9L._SL1000_BestPysanky Rooster with Flowers.

Even though this isn’t a blown glass ornament, I really liked it.

71mJSVZKPZL._SL1500_resin Chicken Coop.

I hope that you enjoyed looking at all of these chicken themed tree ornament.  When you are passionate about something like chickens, it is easy to create all kinds of decorative decor that reflect your excitement.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

 

Chicken Themed Gift Wrap

When it comes to wrapping paper, we want something that reflects our own personal obsessions or those to whom the gift is for.  People who like chickens often like to find special or unique gift wrap featuring pictures of chickens.  Maybe someone you know is crazy about poultry and you would like to find a wrapping paper to show that you are thinking about what makes them excited.

Starting with a humorous one, we have Hands Off My Chicken Nuggets.

71608VEk-GL._SL1001_Roosters on a brilliant white background will be eye catching wrapped with raffia ribbon.

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Chickens in Profile is a beautiful teal green and grey premium gift wrap.  Vibrant, eye-catching and certain to build anticipation for the intended recipient.

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Rooster Cock a doodle do Kraft paper and matching gift boxes are a perfect wrap for the chicken enthusiast in your life.

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Keeping it Rural with this Rise and Shine Rooster Back 40 paper. Us some glitter chicken wire ribbon with it.7149fgS1u2L._SL1001_

Dress up a one-of-a-kind gift with this Keep Calm and Love Chickens paper.71H78MXd+nL._SY355_

Tassotti  and Cavallini have two beautiful sets of wrapping paper. Almost too nice to use, you may want to frame it. The first is Chickens and Roosters 51CqyJWqLZL

and the second is Common Breeds of  Chickens71CYe+eMjvL._SL1200_

Beautiful Italian wrapping paper featuring Baby Chicks. 61Bg0vJ9G8L._SL1000_

Alex Clark has a few designs printed in England. Checkerboard Chickens 512LzaXE3nL._SX355_

and Three French Hens61cPkfROwhL._SY550_

As long as we are thinking of Christmas, we have Peck The Halls, which is a whopping 100 square feet of paper.91hQulit-hL._SY606_

Everyone will be Oohing and Ahhing over your choice of Chicken and Peeps Kraft wrapping paper. This also has the optional matching gift boxes.71a5YSo5EmL._SL1000_

Sophie Allport has understated chicken gift wrap imported from England. It is a thick matte paper and very proper for your humble gift.91CFWVHpHYL._SX355_

Caskata studio has a stunning Egg print paper that is truly beautiful.81Xy65sWrkL._SL1200_

To store all of this gorgeous paper you may need one of these gift wrap storage containers.61z7dssQVeL._SL1000_

Who knew that there were so many chicken themed wrapping papers available. One last one is the I suspect Fowl Play gift wrap.

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This would look great paired with a rusty chicken wire ribbon615zyGmn9bL._SL1250_

For more tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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The Mysterious Courtship Dance of Chickens

20161105_140426Most birds perform some kind of courtship dance as a prelude to actual mating. There are many magnificent displays in the avian world. Think about what peacocks do in their foreplay to get the lady bird in the mood with their beautiful tails.

Roosters will try to lure and entice their mates by displaying their beauty as well.  They attempt to attract their mates as they fan their wings in a romantic manner.   This is called a wing drag or wing flicking.  He will begin to make some croaking sounds as he gets closer to the hen.

The rooster performs a dance, circling the hen with his wing dropped stiffly towards the ground and quivering.  As he circles around her making his croaking noise, she will either encourage him or try to come up with an escape plan. In a perfect situation the hen will daintily squat down and raise her shoulders to flatten out, welcoming him in every way.

The rooster then leaps onto her back and balances precariously with one foot on either side of her shoulders.  This is called Threading.  He grabs the female’s neck with his beak and pulls back her head. He then lowers his vent opening (cloaca) by sliding his tail under the hen and she pushes her vent opening to meet with his.  There is no penetration.  The sperm released from the male is taken into the vent by the female.  From there the sperm travels up the oviduct where it awaits the release of an ovum.  The sperm can be actively alive in the hen for more than two weeks. This whole sexual act takes about two seconds.  When mating is done, the hen will rise, shake her feathers and go on with whatever she was doing beforehand.

The female chicken does not have a separate vaginal structure.  The vent or cloaca is used for both defecation and reproduction.  The males also have a vent or cloaca but they do not have a penis to actually penetrate the hen.  The rooster’s sexual organ is called the papilla. It is located inside of the bird, just inside of the vent.  It looks like a small bump.  Semen exits through it.  Ducks have a penis but chickens do not.

A hen lays an egg every day or so regardless if there is a rooster around or not.  In order for it to be a fertile egg, you will need the rooster to do his part.  Each time a yolk ripens, the sperm will fertilize it provided it is in the hen’s oviduct.   The white is created and then lastly the shell will form around the egg.  A fertilized egg will have a dot surrounded by a ring around it which looks like a bullseye on the yolk. In an infertile egg there will only be a white dot.  You can check this out by cracking open an egg and looking at it.

Chickens also engage in a little dance called “tid-bitting.”  If a rooster finds a choice bit of food that looks really tasty, he bobs his head up and down and makes his “tid-bitting” call.  He picks up the food and drops it repeatedly in order to attract the hen.  He may even offer the morsel in his beak.  It all looks very romantic and sweet but he is also establishing his role among the hens as a provider and leader.

There are many different recommendations as to how many hens per rooster to give you adequate fertility in your eggs.  Most say eight to twelve hens per rooster. If you have a heavier breed, the ratio would be lower. If you have a smaller breed the ratio would be higher.  If you would like more information on how to improve fertility in roosters check out this article.

You may want to isolate breeders to make sure that you know who the father is. Wait at least two weeks if your hen has been exposed to other roosters to make sure that all of the sperm inside the hen is no longer active.  If you are interested in showing poultry or are just interested in improving your flock you can set up breeding pens where you can isolate certain pairings in order to get certain types of chicks.

As winter ends and spring begins the testosterone in the roosters starts to rise.  Roosters will begin to mount challenges to each other as they fight for the rights to the hens.  You may want to separate the roosters, but remember, once you separate them it will be very hard to put them back together again.

Crowing is both an invitation to hens and a warning to other roosters in the area.  Serious fights can happen between roosters. They can use their sharp spurs as weapons.  Aggression when establishing dominance is normal behavior in the chicken world.  If you give them plenty of space, they will usually work the dominance hierarchy out themselves.  Chickens have strict pecking orders. The alpha rooster is at the top, then the hens and lastly the younger pullets and cockerels.

A rooster can mate up to thirty times a day depending on how many hens are available to him.  Not all roosters are interested in mating or are built for it.  You should have a similar sized rooster matched with a similar sized hen for best chance of fertilization. If you want to try and improve the virility of your rooster, you may want to add some vitamins and electrolytes to his water or some Rooster Booster Poultry Cell. A little B-12 would perk him up a little too.

Most roosters are very interested in mating with the hens. They will chase hens causing them to lose feathers. Constant harassment on the part of the rooster can cause bald spots on the hen’s back. The roosters do have favorite hens which they will mate repeatedly.  You may want to invest in hen saddles.  They protect the hen’s back and sides.  They can also be worn to prevent self-picking or feather picking from other hens.  Pick no more and Blu-Kote are also products that can help prevent the picking and aid in treatment . Vetericyn Spray will help to treat wounded birds as well.

If you want to aid in feather grow back, Feather Fixer  feed can help increase protein in their diet. You may also want to trim the spurs and toenails on your rooster using a diagonal wire cutter.   Information on how to do this is Here.  This can help to prevent any wounds occurring on your hens.

A well mannered rooster who dances for his ladies and waits for them to accept him is a joy to behold. Your pens will be much calmer if you keep and breed roosters with this special ability.

For tips and tricks for raising outstanding silkies check out our Chicken Learning Center at VJPPoultry.com .  VJP Poultry is an NPIP and state inspected hatchery located 30 miles north of St. Paul.  We hatch out silkies all year long so we always have stock available.  Like us on Facebook to get weekly updates on what we currently have for sale.

Victoria J. Peterson

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Silkies For Sale – 2/8/18