We went again, and we’ll keep going…to the Critter Barn! It is local animal farm near our house. The Critter Barn is a wonderful place for people of all ages to learn about farming, agriculture, and sustainability through hands on experiences. It always inspires my husband and I with ideas for our hobby farm and the fact is, I just love being with the animals! My kids love it too! Here’s photos from our latest trip.

Holding the two-week-old twin goats


Gabe met goats for the first time, and they enjoyed tasting his stroller.
Selfie with the angora bunny.
Bella bottle feeding the baby goats.
It took Gabe a little while to warm up to the bunnies.



Petting Colonel Sanders the Rooster
Kitty Coral



The Critter Barn
9275 Adams St.
Zeeland MI 49464



In my books, humor plays a vital role. I love to laugh, and I think most readers do too.

One of the funniest people I know is my mother-in-law. She tells the best jokes! There is one in particular that brings me to tears each time she tells it.


There was a man who loved his rooster. It was his best friend and did everything with him.

One day, he went to the movie theater with his rooster.

The ticket clerk told him that the rooster wasn’t allowed into the theater. So the man left and came back minutes later with the rooster hidden in his pants. He paid for his ticket and went into the movie. Seated beside him were two elderly sisters.

The lights darkened, but the sister next to the man saw him unzip the front of his pants. She turned to her sister. “This man beside me just unzipped his pants.”

The other sister waved her hand and said, “Don’t worry. It’s nothing new. At this age, we’ve seen all shapes and sizes. Just ignore it.”

The first sister frowned. “Yes, but this one is eating my popcorn.”

Thanksgiving Rooster

My Rooster Named Morph

Our Thanksgiving morning was a bit unusual this year.

Of course, we first had breakfast while we watched the Macy’s Day Parade. But once we’d drained our coffee, we donned our winter apparel and headed into the snow to fetch the rooster.

Over the last few months, my rooster Morph has morphed into a bad boy. He has developed a big ego, probably due to the fact that he’s grown into such a behemoth and thinks he’s a stud. Morph constantly bugs the girls, especially my dear, Aretha. He has the biggest infactuation with her, which means he’s relentless. She hides in the nest box most of the time. And since the girls are so fast, he now tries to grab them with his beak. Poor Ginger, got caught by her cone. The little girl was bleeding pretty terrible.

Well, that did it, it was time for Mama Catie to intervene on behalf of her girls.

Opening the gate to the run, I scooped Morph into my arms. And that sucker hauled off and bit me in the hand! Let me tell you…that sealed the deal. Chicken dinner…coming up!

Step One: Cut Off The Head
Step Two: Stick Bird into Boiling Water for About Thirty Seconds
Step Three: Pluck Feathers Off the Bird and Singe Off Any Leftover Hairs
Step Four: Cook the Bird and Set the Table for Dinner!

Cordero Family Flock: Take Two

It’s been several months since my last post called: Cordero Family Flock. Since that post, our chicken coop has seen many transitions.

Please allow to me introduce to you: THE NEW FLOCK

Drum Roll Please…

ARETHA – Black Star Hen

Aretha- She is my Alpha Hen. Previously, Tiffany ruled the roost, but that is no longer the case. Aretha has risen to the top and has whipped the other girls into shape. Even my rooster knows that she is boss.

TIFFANY – Ameraucana Hen

Tiffany- She is my oldest gal. In January of 2012, we adopted her and her sister Lily from our friends. These two girls started it all. Tiff holds a special place in my heart.

GRETCHEN- Buff Orpington

Gretchen- She is my smallest hen and sweet as honey. When I visit the girls, she is the first to the gate and loves to be held. I have to admit, Gret is my favorite.

BLONDIE- Buff Orpington

Blondie- This bold and beautiful gal is quite the handful. If she gets out of the run, forget about it. Catching her is like chicken olympics.

JOSEPHINA- Rhode Island Red

Josephina- Bella named Josie after the American girl doll in her magazine. Josie is quite the little señorita, and my rooster Morph is always hot on her trail.

GINGER- Rhode Island Red

Ginger- This gal is very shy. I have to move very slow in order to get close to her. But boy, she loves the treats! This is my way of coaxing her to come to mama.

MORPH- Buff Orpington Rooster

Morph- I never wanted a rooster, but gee whiz, Morph has stolen my heart. He is such a big cloddy thing that I can’t help but love him. The fella makes me laugh and he’s so friendly, (a little too friendly with the ladies though. They get tired of his advances.)

The ones we loved and miss:
We said goodbye to some sweet hens. Charlene, Lola, Lily, and most recently, Stella. They were good girls and laid a lot of eggs. They are missed.

Rhode the Rooster– You were a naughty boy. You liked to peck at us and pick on the girls. But boy, you made one fine dinner on the grill!

RHODE- Rhode Island Rooster, a.k.a, Grilled Chicken



I’d like to introduce to you to my Hooster named Morph. Morph started out like all the other chickens, but as time went along, we couldn’t tell if it was a hen or a rooster. So we called the he-she, Morphodite, a.k.a. Morph.

As Morph grew, he looked like a rooster, but he didn’t crow and he didn’t try to mount the girls. Trouble was, he wasn’t laying eggs either. It was a real pickle.

My dad was certain Morph would be a late bloomer hen, but I was convinced Morph was simply one sorry rooster.

Recently, we came to a verdict.

Morph is indeed a sorry rooster.

His instincts have kicked in, and he has decided he’s interested in the hens. But he is so retched slow, he can’t ever seem to properly mount them. He’s tried several maneuvers:

  1. Circling. He walks around the girls until one seems “unaware” of his hulking presence. Then he attempts a pounce. However, by the time he throws himself toward the girl, she has already run clear away. IMG_0352
  2. The “Subtle” Side-Step. This is Morph’s favorite maneuver. He pretends to be pecking the ground for food, inches right up beside the hen, and lifts his claw. But by the time he actually extends his leg over her back, she has scooted out from under him and has scampered away, leaving Morph confused and alone. IMG_0376
  3. The Clamp. He grabs ahold of the girl’s neck feathers and tries to pull himself on top of her back. Nevertheless, the hen wiggles her body and shrugs him off with little effort.IMG_0345

I have to hand it to the poor boy though, he doesn’t stop trying. Today, Morph resorted to chasing my oldest and slowest gal, two-year old, Tiffany. But even Tiff had him off in under ten seconds. Poor Morph. He failed again.

Even when I throw out treats, he’s extremely slow and stupid. The scratch grains hit the ground and the hens are on it like flies on manure. But good ol’ Morph will be looking around like, “Did you throw it yet?” I shake my head and say, “Morph, look down at your feet.”

I can’t help but laugh.

Tonight, Morph enters the coop a sad and lonely soul. No loving for him.


The hens however, enter the coop happy and content. They’ve evaded him for yet another day.

When Two of My She’s Turned Into He’s

At about nine weeks, I began to have some doubts about two of my new baby girls.

One of the Buff Orpingtons and one of the Rhode Island Reds were looking different than the other females. The cones on their heads were getting taller and redder, and they were developing red goattees below their chins. Yet, I had hope that maybe I was reading the signs wrong. Maybe they’d be manly ladies.


Then the crow came.

Of course, it wasn’t much of a crow. It was like a rooster hitting puberty. His voice cracked during his attempt to be loud and obnoxious.


It was official, two of my supposed she’s were now he’s. Trouble is, I don’t want any he’s. All I want are hens.



Thus, I have a dilemma. I’m not a fan of roosters fertilizing my precious girls, and Mr. Rhode Island Rooster is already developing a hefty attitude. He might think he’s gonna rule the roost, but I have news for him: try and peck me again and you’ll be simmering in a stew.