Thursday, July 7, 2011

Here A Chick, There A Chick, Everywhere A Chick,Chick

Our rhododendron always blooms so late

Last Friday was the big day.  I opened the gate to the chicken yard to let them "free-range".  My biggest concern of course was Rowdy.  He has such a strong instinct and desire to herd and I am not trained properly to help him control those urges, so I was worried how he would react to chickens on the loose.  

Backyard Chickens

We did lose one hen the first night the chickens were here.  They were in the chicken yard and I was trying to herd them into the coop for the night.  I would get all but 4 into the coop and then while I was rounding up those 4, 6 more would exit the coop.  I am sure it would have been amusing to watch, but would have required an R rating for  "adult language" (what does that mean anyway?).  So Sam came into the chicken yard to help and he did not latch the gate behind him and Rowdy was not tied up since we were in the yard.  Well durned if one of those hens didn't push against that gate and out she went, right into the waiting jaws of Rowdy.  He got a mouthful of feathers and said hen took off up the hill and out of sight, never to be seen again.  I am sure a coyote had a nice chicken dinner that night.  So now here I am letting 17 silly birds loose to roam our yard.  I have been pleasantly surprised.  While Rowdy will grab one if they walk up to him (and this HAS happened), they don't squeak, so he lets them go... with my help.  They also don't really run or fly away from him, so he will walk past them without his prey drive going into high gear.  I did have to rescue one hen from the big dogs in the alpaca pasture the first or second day and then one got in there that I did not rescue and she came to a bad end.  So we are down to 16.  As of yesterday, we are getting 3 eggs a day.  And some have double yolks!

Chickens by the studio
 The chickens are making themselves at home and are all over the place during the day.  By dusk, they have made their way back to the chicken yard and shortly before dark, I go out and close the door to the coop as they are all in and roosting for the night.  They are quite amusing to watch as they chase bugs and scratch them up.  I have come to realize that the reason there are no wild chickens is they are just not smart enough to survive on their own.  They will walk right into danger and they lay their eggs and desert them.  They are friendly and don't seem to mind being picked up.  Their feathers are extremely soft and hide the fact that there is not much bird under there.  So far, I am enjoying having them.

The creek is dry
 It is truly summer.  The creek has dried up, so I am having to fill a water trough for Apache.  He seems to be doing all right with the supplement I have been giving him for his hips and joints.  I have not seen him laying down unable to get up in some time.  He is looking good, his weight is great.  I think the Purina Equine Senior I have him on has even improved his coat. 

Feeling his oats!

In other news around the farm,  the guys all got 
together  Saturday and installed a zip line across the pond.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a photo yet because it really needs to be an action photo and the opportunity has not yet arisen to take such a photo.  Hopefully by next week's post I will be able to get someone up to the pond with me who will either ride the zip line or man the camera while I take a turn.  Sam did test it out a couple times on Saturday, but it was about dark and I had not thought to take my camera.  What was wrong with me?

I've had a little time to knit on my lace vest.  I sat outside one evening and enjoyed a glass of wine and an audio book and knit.  What decadent behavior!  I should have been working in the garden.  Ah well, one needs time to unwind once in a while.  And the work needing done in the garden will likely still be there when I get around to it.


1 comment:

  1. I hope you are printing this out and keeping it Cathy. It will be great to pass down to your grandkids someday. I really enjoy reading it each week and you always make it sound so interesting.