Life's like that!

October 05, 2013

Sesame Street - It's All Right To Cry


July 31, 2013

Let's Share the Fresh Herbs!

Love your greens!

My dear sister brought some basil and eggplant plants from Ohio when she came to visit.

My chicks have been asking for some as soon as they spotted them.

This morning, I decided to share some small basil seedlings with them.

Happy chicks, happy life!


Quail Egg Lovers Unite!

Monday, before my dear twin sister drove back to Ohio, we  went to the animal farm to get more quails. My niece and nephew had a taste of fresh quail eggs, so it kind of convinced my sister to keep quails as food pets. I got four white bobwhite while she got four brown coturnix quails. All praise be to Allah SWT, yesterday afternoon , my sister and her kids arrived home safely.

Last night, husband built another triangular prism shape quail cage with hardware wire and wood. First, he nailed the wood into a 2 ft. by 7 ft. frame. Then, he used zip ties to secure hardware wire all around the frame.  Upon my demand request, the kind man divided the cage into two compartments so that I can put both male and female in the same location. Since we still have unused curtain rods, he decided to use them to lock up the quail cage entrances. We are very happy with the end product, and pray that the rascal raccoon will never have the chance to lay a paw on our our quails.

I am thankful that my dear sister is now a quail (egg) lover. I am sure that the quails will enjoy living in the spacious and beautiful new quail cage that my sister bought for them.


July 28, 2013

Sad Loss

We've been losing our quails to raccoons over the last few days.

Unfortunately, the rascals were able to somehow grab and eat all five white quails and three brown ones during the night. Now, we are down to two brown quails.

This morning, husband found four adult rats and seventeen babies in one of the boxes that we kept on the backyard patio. He also found a baby opossum in another box. He was able to capture all of them except for two adult female rats. I am glad that this happened while I was getting two black sex-link chicks.

Since DD1, DD2 and DS love to eat quail eggs, husband wants to get more female quails. Allah SWT willing, we will strengthen the quail cage with more hardware wire before we do so.


July 20, 2013

New Brown Coturnix Quails

On Wednesday, we went to the animal farm t get five brown coturnix quails to add to our current flock of five white bobwhite quails.

One of the white bobwhite quails started pecking at all the brown quails, so I thought it was having a Quail-Zilla (think Godzilla) meltdown. I had no choice but to remove it from the quail cage when one of the brown quail's head feathers were mostly pecked off. Yesterday I heard it crowing loudly, that's when I realized 'she' is actually a 'he'.

Is this a Quail-Zilla? No! It's Quail-Hulk!
The unfortunate brown quail 'Princess", whose head feathers are mostly pecked off, is in her own cozy cage so that she can have time for new feathers to grow back. This is for her own safety because other quails will peck at her bare skin until she bleeds and then they will peck her to death.
Featherback's mate, Princess
Although I asked the store owner to get five females, one of the turned out to be a 'he' when I saw him mounting on other females and crowing as soon as I put them in the quail cage when we got home. DD1 and my niece decided to name him 'Featherback".

Featherback, alpha male of the quails
I do not intend to return the male quails to the store because I find them fascinating and adorable. Husband thinks that they crow too loudly, so is not very happy about it. Allah SWT willing, I might need to put some sound proof materials to cut down on the noise level.


July 16, 2013

Ask Your Dad Blog

Good reads on

Awesome. Made me cry and laugh at the same time.


July 15, 2013

Video: "Sing Verdi Very Loud" (Live) - Beethoven's Wig featuring Richard Perl


Video: "La De Da Sonata" (Live) - Beethoven's Wig featuring Richard Perl


Video: "Beethoven's Wig (Symphony No. 5)"

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July 14, 2013

Video: $200 micro shelter/hut/vacation camp-simple to build/small budget


Video: "The GottaGiddaWay" Micro-Hut/Cabin - Tiny Yellow House


Chill Time with My Sister!

I am so happy that my sister is coming from Ohio to hang out with me for a week! Her two kids are coming along too, so DD1 is very excited about having the opportunity to spend time with her cousins. We might be planning to go out of town, but we are just thinking about it.

As requested by my dear sister, I asked a Malay auntie to prepare Beef Rendang (coconut beef curry) and Mee Robus (noodle in curry gravy). Hopefully it will be ready by the time they get here.

I can't wait to show my dear sister our new chicks and quails! And I am so glad that she is going to prepare a year's stock of kimchee for me. We're going to have a party!


New Quail House

Welcome home, friends!

Last night, husband and I spent 3 hours to put this triangular prism shaped quail house together in the kitchen. Yup, the mosquitoes in the backyard were so unbearable that we decided to do it in the kitchen. Naturally, the kids wanted to help out in this project so we had a hard time getting them to stay away.

It is made up of six metal frames that were left behind by the landlord. The base perimeter is about 2 feet by 5 feet. We used over fifty zip ties to secure the metal frames and 1/2 inch hardware wire. Once we covered the three sides with hardware wire, husband cut open a 1 feet by 2 feet open in one of the metal frames. He then used metal clips to secure a metal gate onto the hardware wire. The metal clips were once used for clipping curtains onto a metal rod while the metal gate is part of an animal pen that was used for my pet guinea pigs many years ago. One top of the quail house, husband secured a 5 feet metal rod onto it so that we can use it to lift the quail house to a greener pasture. This metal rod used to be part of an Ikea cloth rack.

Allah SWT willing, our quails will have a protected living area from the dangers of raccoon, dogs or cats. Right now, the quail house is situated facing the kitchen windows so that I can check on them.

I am pleased that husband and I re-purposed most of the items for this project. We do not want to waste money on materials that we can salvage.


July 12, 2013

Video: My Life as a Turkey

Watch My Life as a Turkey on PBS. See more from Nature.


Game Bird Feed for Quails

Game Bird Chow - food for quails
In 2011, we used to grind chicken pellets for our first batch of quails.

This time, I read from that adult quails need 26-28% protein in their diet, so I decided to buy game bird feed.

No more grinding and my quails get the nutrition they need for a healthy life. BINGO!


July 10, 2013

Hot Days of Summer

Around the Water Cooler: Ice cubes to cool us down!

Yesterday, the temperature recorded at 100 degree F. I had to check the chicks several times to make sure they are coping well with the heat.

Rhode Island Red Chick
I also have to make sure that there is enough soil in the dust bathing container so that the chicks can enjoy a cooling session of dust bathing. In addition, I provided frozen slices of watermelon for the chicks so that they are not pecking each other out of boredom. It is so interesting to see them investigating the delicious treat.

The chicks are growing up so fast. The Buff Orpington chicks are the biggest among them while the Barred Rock chicks are the smallest. The only Rhode Island Red chick is a good size between the two breeds. Can't wait to see all their beautiful feathers soon!


July 09, 2013

Working Poor America


DIY Quaill Dust Bathing Container

This dust bath container is PERFECT for my five lady quails! This morning, I made five of them after reading the simple instructions, and VIOLA, the cuties are now having a blast dust bathing in them.


July 06, 2013

Ikea Hackers - Villa for Hens

Awesome idea! Wish husband would convert a piece of Ikea furniture into a house for my pet chickens and  quails...


White Bobwhite Quails

This morning, husband and I brought the kids to the animal farm to buy quails. We miss the chirping sound of the cute birds since the last one was sadly killed by a raccoon. We bought five female white bobwhite quails and they are staying in temporary housing until husband can build a bigger coop for all of them. This time, we are determined to build a predator-proof house for them so that they can enjoy their new life safely and productively, Allah SWT willing.

Snowflake and Snow White (named by DD1) chilling out in the critter cage that belonged to my twin sister's previous pet hamster, Fred.

Three other female quails hanging out in the guinea pig cage. DD1 is still thinking of names for them.

I made this quail feeder after following simple instructions from

Bought a bigger water container for the five chicks.

Three chicks dust bathing to cool down in the sizzling 98 degree F heat!

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July 05, 2013

一步一腳印 發現新台灣 - 熬一甕老佛跳牆


一步一腳印 發現新台灣 - 守住公公的客家菜




July 03, 2013

Video: Stupid in America


@katiecouric: "Waiting for 'Superman'"


Waiting for "Superman"


June 27, 2013

212: The Extra Degree


Paul Staments: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world


Mark Bittman: What's wrong with what we eat


Graham Hill: Less Stuff, More Happiness

Watch it here


June 25, 2013

New Nesting Box

The old nesting box has been used by the chickens for more than two years. Since it is made of wood, I don't think we were able to disinfect it entirely.  Last week, I found lice on the Rhode Island Red hen, so I decided to search online for alternative and cheap nesting boxes.

One of the videos posted on YouTube shows how to make a nesting box out of an 18 gallon box with lid.

This afternoon, I brought the kids to the thrift store and found one for less than three dollars! I immediately grabbed it and worked on it after we got home.

It took me about 5 minutes to set it up. I put the blue plastic egg in the new nesting box. Hopefully the ladies will like their new hideout!

Latest update @7:30pm - the Brown Leghorn hen laid an egg in front of the feeder. I placed it next to the blue plastic egg in the new nesting box.  Guess will have to give them a few days to get used to laying in the new location.


June 23, 2013

Using cootie catchers to teach math!

Visit this web site to check out how to use cootie catchers to teach mode, mean, median and range!


Math Map

This math map can be used to teach about parallel lines, intersecting lines, perpendicular lines, a variety of angles and geometric shapes.


Multiplication Tables Using Your Hands!

6x6 through 10x10 tables. So cool!


Names for pets

The five gals are growing up really fast!  The Buff Orpington chicks are quite shy and timid, unlike the Barred Rock chicks who came up to the camera and investigating the action.

 I'm thinking of giving them names, but will have to get some leg tags first. In the past, I have resisted giving names to chickens because I didn't want to get too emotionally attached to them. But after losing my favorite ones to the raccoon, I changed my mind. All of them had such unique personalities, and they have given me countless hours of entertainment and companionship. It is only right that they get names that go along with their individual traits.


Location, Location, Location

As a constant reminder for the ladies to lay eggs in a regular location, I placed a plastic egg in the nesting box. Although they have been quite consistent in laying eggs in it previously, occasionally I would find an egg under some bush.  This morning, the Brown Leghorn hen laid a 6.5cm long white egg next to the blue fake one! )About four days per week, the Rhode Island Red hen lays 5.5cm long brown eggs.)

I am looking into getting a new nesting box to discourage mites and lice from hiding in it. Will be looking around online and at the feed store to see what options are available.



I have been putting off mulching my container garden until this morning.

Yesterday, after watching Jerry Baker's video about weed control, I got inspired to use newspapers as mulching material.


June 22, 2013

Chillin' Out with the Chicks

The ladies have been checking out the new chicks on the block (not the chopping block, my dear twin sister) since they got here. All five chicks are growing well and strong, and so far no sign of any raccoons attack, all praise be to Allah SWT. Sometime in late July, I'll put them in the chicken coop using this method.

This morning, I spotted some rat droppings on top of the chicks' cage. Maybe I should put in a mouse trap to catch the culprit. But somehow the idea of finding a dead mouse with it's paw clammed tightly in a trap doesn't appeal to me. Will consult husband and see what we can do about the rodent problem.


June 21, 2013

To The Playmobil!

My first memory of sharing a play set with my siblings is the vintage collection of dashing medieval knights from Playmobil.  The above set titled "Playmobil Vintage Knight Special Deluxe Set (1303)" is the exact set that I remember from my childhood and I found it on Amazon. (No, my dear twin sister, I am not crazy enough to spent a hefty $150 for it! And thanks for always snatching my favorite handsome knight away from me!)

Back in the late 1970s, my parents bought this set for the four of us to share. The main reason that I really liked this play set is because all the knights got to sit on the same table and have meals together, which kind of mirrored our family tradition of eating together at the same table. The guys seemed to have a real sense of comradeship and enjoyed each other's company. After a hard day of jousting and fighting off enemies, the best time of the evening is to have some "imaginary" hot stew and drinks with your pals before bedtime!

I don't remember whether my parents gave this toy set away or we lost them when we moved, but I plan to get a similar set and create some medieval memories with my own kids during this summer. This time, Dora the Explorer and Lego figures can join in the fun!

Playmobil Trivia: The largest Playmobil® display consists of 68,808 figurines and was achieved by Aesclick, The Spanish Association of collectibles of Playmobil (Spain), in Barbastro, Spain on 26 September 2010.


June 18, 2013

What Teachers Really Do


June 15, 2013

Video: The Private Life of Chickens by BBC


My secret counselor

When I decided to take on the responsibility of teaching, I told my dear twin sister that I would count on her as my counselor and adviser.  I am very blessed to have her stay by the phone every time I needed her honest and blunt feedback on how I should balance work and home.

I don't think that I survive my first year of teaching this well if it had not been for her. She helped me to clarify my thoughts, reinforce my self-confidence, and supported me emotionally to carry on till the last day of school.

So, this summer, I will honor my dear sister by spending quality time with my children. I am trying to work out a plan to get husband to bring us to visit her and her family in Ohio. Allah SWT willing, I would love to enjoy her children's company and dig into her garden!


Vegetable Garden - Summer 2013

My dear twin sister in Ohio has been bugging asking me to post photos of the vegetable garden. I finally decided to get it done just now.

This year, I started planting the seeds in early May because I was busy focusing on my teaching job. I thought of giving up gardening this summer, but my fingers were yearning to feel the soft soil and I couldn't stop dreaming of harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden. So on an early Saturday, I bought a bag of potting mix and spent about two hours preparing the pots for the seeds. Three years ago, I kept packets of vegetable seeds in the fridge and prayed that they will still sprout later. All praise be to Allah SWT, all of the seeds sprouted without fail!

The seedlings in the potting trays are Thai chill peppers. The ones in the bigger pots are eggplants which husband loves to eat. The green bean plants are growing well in the rectangular pots on the right side. DD1 is helping me to water the plants as and when needed. She is excited about growing these vegetables checking their growth. I am sure the chickens are keeping an eye on the vegetable garden gate. I better double check that it is secure every day in case the ladies get to feast on these yummy treats.


New Chicken Coop

Since we have been losing chickens to the cunning raccoons, I asked husband to rebuild the chicken coop.  The existing one is not as secure as we thought it to be, so he agreed to get it done this weekend.

 I helped husband dismantle part of the old chicken coop while he was nailing chicken wire to the new one. It took him about 8 hours to get the new one up to this stage.

 This part of the new chicken coop will be their roosting area.

I put the nesting box on an old towel rack so that it will stay dry and above ground level.

Allah SWT willing, husband will finish getting the new chicken coop ready for the ladies.

The new chicks have been moved into the old quail cage, so they have more space to roam around. DD1 and DD2 have been asking to touch them, but I keep reminding them the chicks are living things, not toys for our amusement. This afternoon, I let them pet the calm and demure Rhode Island Red hen, so they are little happier. I bet the kids will be happy to feed some cabbage to the ladies during this summer.


June 11, 2013

Old Friends, New Friends

Last night, husband saw a raccoon attacking our two Brown Leghorn hens and a Rhode Island Red hen in the chicken coop. We have no idea how the little rascal got into the chicken coop. Unfortunately, one of the Brown Leghorn hens was dying due to a vicious bite wound, so my brave husband decided to put it out of its misery.

The White Leghorn Chicken that we had since about a year and half ago disappeared sometime two months ago. Husband and I suspect that a raccoon got hold of it too.

This is what is left of our existing backyard residents...

Bottom: Rhode Island

Here are the newcomers!

Rhode Island Chick (about 1-2 weeks old)

Top: Buff Orpington Chicks
Bottom: Barred Rock Chicks
(about 1-2 weeks old)

I hope that husband will strengthen the chicken coop enclosure so that we can safeguard our ladies from the hungry predators.


June 10, 2013

How to plant a garden

Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul
Squash gossip
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce really love one another
Turnip for prayer
Turnip to help each other
Thyme for each other
Thyme for family
Thyme for friends
Water freely with patience
Cultivate with love
Now how is your garden growing?
Always have love and faith

Cherokee Billie


Garden of Life

The adventure of life
is to learn.
The purpose of life
is to grow.
The nature of life
is to change.
The challenge of life
is to overcome.
The essence of life
is to care.
The opportunity of life
is to serve.
The secret of life
is to dare.
The spice of life
is to befriend.
The beauty of life
is to give.

- William Arthur Ward


My green thumb...

My green thumb came only
as a result of the mistakes
I made while learning to
see things from the plant's
point of view.

- H. Fred Ale


Gardening is cheaper...

 is cheaper than therapy
And you get tomatoes

Every child...

Every child
is a different kind
of flower.

And all together,
make this world
a beautiful garden.


Your mind is a garden...

Your mind is a garden,
your thoughts are the seeds.

You can grow flowers,
or you can grow weeds.


Life is a garden - Dig it!

I have been dreaming the day when I can start gardening every since DS was born, so that was exactly what I did last month.

At the garden center, I bought some marigold plants, a big bag of potting mix, and some bamboo stakes for the green bean plants.

It feels so good to dig in the garden, and starting chili pepper and eggplants from seeds. Most of the seeds have sprouted, and in a couple of weeks, they will be transplanted into bigger plant containers. Thanks to husband's effort, the chickens are unable to chow down on those delicious seedlings.

Now that DD1 is older, I plan to assign watering duty to her. I hope that she will enjoy observing the plants' growth and appreciate the beauty of nature.


Rest In Peace - My pets

Since the last entry on my blog that is dated October 2012, two hens, a quail and a rabbit have been killed by some dogs that got into our backyard when we forgot to lock it.

We have no idea who those dogs belong to, and I broke my heart that their owners were so irresponsible to let their dogs loose in the neighborhood.

Allah SWT willing, I hope that my pets will forgive me for the negligence and that they are now at a better place.


5 new chicks

This morning, my husband discovered one of the Rhode Island Red hens died.

He mentioned that he heard the chickens crackling loudly in the backyard. Since both backyard gates are locked from the inside, we concluded that maybe a dog had sneaked into the backyard.

After husband buried the dead chicken in the garden plot, I told him I would go to the farm feed store to get new chicks. So this afternoon, I brought the kids to the store and bought five of them. After we got home, I housed them in the guinea pig cage and kept them on the patio.  DD1, DD2 and I are looking forward to seeing them grow into beautiful hens.


I survived my first year of teaching!

All praise be to Allah SWT, I survived my first year of being a 3rd grade Islamic Studies, 5th and 6th grade science teacher!

It has been a wonderful and stressful journey for me. Although I wish I was more prepared for the enormous workload involved, I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. Starting November 2012, I took on my most challenging career path ever, and came out stronger in my faith and more self-confidence.

Every teacher at the school had been tremendously supportive towards me. They have generously shared their insights and wisdom with me whenever I approached them. They are truly my lifesavers.

Truthfully, I would not be able to take on the responsibility as a teacher if my husband had not supported me throughout these last few months. He had stepped in to take care of our children while I was busy preparing PowerPoint slides, typing out test questions, grading papers and making foldables.

Here are some things I tried in the classroom and they worked well:
1. Fill a bucket
2. Twitter board for students
3. Using Bill Nye videos and teacher created worksheets for science classes
4. Survivor Science (last few weeks of school)
5. Foldables
6. Game board design as a group activity (last few weeks of school)
7. Classroom jobs
8. Curriculum based readers theater for science (last few weeks of school)

Here are some things that I wished I had more time to implement in the classroom:
1. Junkyard War
2. Better organization for paperwork
3. Whole Brain Teaching
4. Team building activities

I hope that I will next school year, I will be better at communicating students' academic performance and behavior with their parents. One issue that always haunt me was how to communicate effectively with parents and guardians. This may be due to my own perception that parents hold on to their biases when a teacher approaches them about their children.

I am thankful to Allah SWT for the wonderful experience to connect with my students, and I am looking forward to next year's teaching assignment.


October 14, 2012

Cinderblock Planter


Together is Our Favorite Place To Be


Paper Rose Craft


Life is like a camera...


October 06, 2012

Blogging by DD1

This morning, I created a blog for DD1 to write about her thoughts on life, growing up, and the world around her.

I thought about the name and decided on 'My Curiosity Journal'

When I told her about it, she was quite excited to be able to let the world know more about her. I also modeled how to post blogs correctly.

Allah SWT willing, I hope it'll help her learn more about self-reflection through writing.


September 25, 2012

Video: Dancing the Place Values

(left hand stretch out) Who is on the left? HUNDREDS!
(right hand stretch up) Who is in the middle? TENS
(right hand stretch out)Little ONES is on the right!
(point index finger at teacher) Sing the song all day and night.
(move to the left) Hundreds, Tens and Ones (Clap, Clap)
(move to the right) Hundreds, Tens and Ones (Clap, Clap)
(Partners hold hands and twirl) Round and round, over and over
Hundreds, Tens and Ones! (Clap, Clap)


Video: Teacher Tipster (Place Value Song)


Video: Place Value to Millions


Video: Super Base (WSHS Math Rap Song)


Video: Teach Me How To Factor (WSHS Math Rap Song)


Video: Gettin' Triggy Wit It (WSHS Math Rap Song)


Video: All I Do Is Solve (WSHS Math Rap Song)


Video: Do The Quad Solve (WSHS Math Rap Song)


September 22, 2012

Fill Your Bucket by The Learning Station


Go Bananas by The Learning Station


Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by The Learning Station


Video: Monkey in the Middle by The Learning Station


Growing - from the DVD "Read and Sing With Hap Palmer"


Milk Song - Food Songs For Children

I love my milk
I drink it for breakfast
That's when I like it
Best, my milk I drink it cold or hot
With or without chocolate
Tastes, so good
With my macaroni or even cannelloni
Don't forget
To drink your glass of milk
Before you go to bed!

Written by Wendy Wiseman and Sari Dajani


Get Out and Stay Out! a fire safety song


STOP (Children's Song) by Patty Shukla (DVD version)


Sammy / I'm Glad I'm Me -- by Hap Palmer

Words and Music: Hap Palmer
Vocabulary and Concepts: - Recognizing and moving like a bird, fish, bug, and bunny. - Appreciating and accepting yourself as you are.
Action: Children move like the animal or insect that is named in each verse.


September 19, 2012

I'm So Much More Than Just A TEACHER

I'm So Much More Than Just A...


I am a counselor and psychologist to a problem-filled child,
I am a police officer that controls a child gone wild.
I am a travel agent scheduling our trips for the year,
I am a confidante that wipes a crying child's tear.
I am a banker collecting money for a ton of different things,
I am a librarian showing adventures that a storybook brings.
I am a custodian that has to clean certain little messes,
I am a psychic that learns to know all that everybody only guesses.
I am a photographer keeping pictures of a child's yearly growth,
when mother and father are gone for the day, I become both.
I am a doctor that detects when a child is feeling sick,
I am a politician that must know the laws and recognize a trick.
I am a party planner for holidays to celebrate with all,
I am a decorator of a room, filling every wall.
I am a news reporter updating on our nation's current events,
I am a detective solving small mysteries and ending all suspense.
I am a clown and comedian that makes the children laugh,
I am a dietitian assuring they have lunch or from mine I give them half.
When we seem to stray from values, I become a preacher,
But I'm proud to have to be these people because-
I'm proud to say, "I am a teacher."

- By Stacy Bonino

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September 18, 2012

Video: Wakko's America United States States & Capitals song


Book: Me on the map


Book: There's a map on my lap: all about maps


Video: The Seven Continents song

Tune: Are you sleeping, are you sleeping, Brother John?

The Seven Continents

There are seven, there are seven,
in between the oceans
in between the oceans
let's name them
let's name them

North America
South America
Europe, Asia, Africa
Europe, Asia, Africa

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September 16, 2012

Amazing plants

This zucchini plant has been growing out of the crack of a concrete walkway outside a portable classroom. It is an amazing reminder for me that we should be determined and focus like plants-when there is a will, there is a way.

Beautiful zucchini flowers coming out! Can't wait for the harvest!


Video: Kimchi Chronicles


September 08, 2012

Article: Background On The Brown Leghorn Chicken

Article extracted from this web site:

Background On The Brown Leghorn Chicken

The leghorn is a lightweight, long tailed breed of chicken originating in Italy and highly refined in this country. It is known for its production of large white eggs. The poultry breeders of the last century created many varieties of leghorns. The American Brown Leghorn Club, incorporated in 1901, promotes the breeding and showing of light and dark brown leghorns in both the standard and bantam (miniature) types.

In the brown leghorn we find a rare balance between beauty and productivity. The small farmer, the hobbyist and the fancier agree that this breed of chicken exceeds their expectations in the laying pen, in the showroom or just strutting around the yard. Over 140 years of careful selection have ensured an overall high level of quality in today's birds.

Production: The egg industry today relies primarily on white leghorns for the eggs sold in grocery stores and used in restaurants. High productivity is a quality shared by brown and white leghorns alike, and while the brown's different colors make her undesirable to the factory farmer, for the smallholder they are an asset.

Brown leghorn breeders report consistently receiving large numbers of eggs from their pullets. The hens have been known to lay well into old age. Num-bers are not the whole story, however. A flock of hardy brown leghorns will maintain a high yield, even on forage alone. This is one of the premier free range breeds. They are lightly built, but sturdy: capable of moving swiftly and flying well to elude predators, but with a rugged frame that withstands the rigors of year round laying and supports a considerable quantity of meat for its size. On pasture particolored plumage particularly pleases passers by as well as providing protection for the pullet. The subtle earth tones help conceal the bird from predators. In fact, the light brown leghorn coloration is similar to the red jungle fowl, which is presumed to be the domestic chicken's wild ancestor. Given a suitable structure in which to roost and lay their eggs, leghorns will roam far and wide to procure their food during the day and return in the early evening. They also do well in a fenced enclosure, although if the birds' wings are not clipped the yard must be roofed or quite high to prevent them from flying out.

History of the Breed: The ancestors of the American brown leghorn appear to have arrived in Connecticut from Italy in 1853 and were known as "Italians." Widely bred in New England from that time onward, they were first called "leghorns" at Worcester, Massachusetts in 1865. This was a time when Americans were exploring the potentials of breeds from around the world to improve the domestic stock. Lightweight, active Mediterranean breeds, such as the leghorn, the minorca and the ancona were highly sought after for the year round production of white eggs. In those days the farm flock produced meat for the table as well. The leghorn breed, although not extremely fleshy, provided high quality, fast growing fryers for Sunday dinner. In fact, through 1938 the Pullman Coach Company bought only brown leghorn cockerels for fried chicken served in their dining cars.
To ensure the purity of each valuable type of chicken, breeders elected in 1871 to agree upon breed standards and to organize poultry shows at which the individual birds could be judged against each other according to these accepted standards. By the turn of the century competition at these shows was intense. Equally intense were the laying contests held to determine the most productive breeds and strains. Some brown leghorn flocks were able to hold their own in both.

In 1920 one brown leghorn breeder was able to advertise that his famous strain won the Great American Egg Laying Contest with offspring from show birds that had won Best Display three years in a row at the nation's biggest poultry show at Madison Square Garden. These great lines are the foundation of today's birds.

As the brown leghorn was coming into its own, around the turn of the century, breeders prized darker, wine colored male birds while preferring a light olive brown female. This eventually gave rise to two separate varieties. The Dark Brown Leghorns, male and female, are a deep shade of mahogany, accented with fiery dark red and lustrous greenish black. The Light Brown female is a warm olive brown color over the back with a breast of rich salmon.

The light brown male sports a bold combination of orange, bright red and greenish black. The females of both varieties should be stippled subtly with a single comb dark brown hen darker color and both males are extremely glossy. Each variety was further divided between common or "single" combed birds and those with rose combs.

Bantams: Each of these four types was later reproduced in miniature or "bantam" form, thus increasing to eight the varieties we have today. Bantam leghorns can be as vigorous and hardy as their large counter-parts, and although they don't lay those large eggs, bantam breeders proudly say that three bantam eggs equal two large fowl eggs. Their size and thriftiness make bantams ideal for the backyard enthusiast.


Remodeled Chicken Coop

White Leghorn Chicken
Left: White Leghorn's section / Right: Rhode Island's section

Husband remodeled the chicken coop last weekend so that the white leghorn chicken can move out of the 3 ft. by 6 ft. cage. He also built a ramp for the chicken to walk up to the roosting area.

I hope the brown Rhode Island chickens do not harrass the white leghorn too much since she is their only neighbor. Allah SWT willing, we will move the brown leghorn chicks into the white leghorn chicken's section when they become six months old.


Danish Brown Leghorn

All praise be to Allah SWT, husband and I bought the kids to the farm store in Haltom City to buy 4 Danish Brown Leghorn chicks.

They are one week old, and will need about 8-10 hours of daylight. Until they turn six weeks old, they will be eating chick scratch only.

DD1 and DD2 are fascinated byinterested to find out more about these cute chicks. I am hoping that when they lose their fluffy down, the girls will find their transformation even more fascinating.