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Random Ramblings

April 07, 2010

Another Spring-like day. Actually, I take that back, a summer-like day. It was in the low 80's. Although I had to enjoy it from the window in my office, at least I had a window. The chickens were thrilled. They love digging, dust bathing and laying in the sun.

Baby Sam got out of the coop on Saturday. We have no idea how she managed this, but Jay heard Clyde make a strange noise and he looked out back to see the stupid neighbor's cat stalking something around the chicken coop. Just to clarify, when I say "stupid neighbor" I do mean the neighbor and not the cat. That's the nicest term I can use to describe him. Enough said.
Any-hoo, Jay scared the cat away and went outside. Seconds later I hear "hon, one of the babies is out". Oh boy. Jay went around the backside of the coop and I stayed in the front. Little Sammy was getting herself a snack. She'd found an earthworm that was as long as she is and was trying to figure out how to eat it. The rest of the chickens were drooling from inside the coop. Baby Sam had no idea she had been in danger.

We ended up cornering her, grabbing her and returning her safely to the outdoor coop with Mama and Big Sister Renee. The drama was soon over and the chattering in the coop picked back up again. The outdoor coop is now encased in a finer mesh for the time being until the babies get a bit bigger. Can you see how much they look like the handsome Mr. Clyde? He's such a good boy!
The Spring "to do" list continues to grow. Now added is turning the old chicken coop into my garden shed. We'll take the outdoor coop off and turn that space into the strawberry patch. Next, Jay will spruce up the shed a tad bit and add new flooring. He found a work bench on the side of the road one day and brought that home. It'll be perfect! We can still store the scratch grain in there as well.
Currently Jay's working on a screen door for the chicken coop. They asked for it and they got it! Lucy Lou will be talking about it for days I'm sure. She and Kessa talk (loudly) from the moment they get up in the morning to the time they finally fall asleep. Not sure how we got so lucky with the two of them!
My asparagus is popping up. I just planted it last year, but it looks like we'll have stalks worth eating this season. I'm so excited!

My strawberry plants are looking great and waiting to be transplanted into their new bed where they can spread out to their hearts content. I think I'll be investing in some bird netting this year as last year I only got 1 strawberry. I must say that I didn't plant them until last year, but still, in the morning I'd see a couple of red, shiny, strawberries and when I'd get home from work there would be nothing but a stem. Not this year!

Here's one of my supervisors, Zach, a.k.a. the old man. Although he can't see me he can hear me just fine and enjoys keeping tabs on where I'm at.

My other supervisor prefers to supervise from the comfort of her bed in the Master closet window. We wouldn't want to make the princess come downstairs to do her job.

Why is it that chickens always play "follow the leader"? It seems that if one does something, the others are quick to follow. They just love the outdoor waterer. We just put it out there a few weeks ago and you'd think it's the best present they've ever received. The water must taste better outside.
And then there's the "dust bathe" tub. It's used for pretty much everything but dust bathe's. We dig and eat in there, we watch for bugs in there, we perch on the sides and we can't walk around it, we must walk thru it when doing the rounds in the outdoor coop. They are something else!
The poor girls have lost a tremendous amount of feathers thanks to Mr. Clyde and is inability to balance while "doing his thing". Lucy Lou seems to be a favorite, proven by the lack of feathers on her back. I ordered some "hen savers" for them. I'm hoping that they work. I know they're probably a simple thing to put together except for one small problem. I don't sew. Ordering is a lot easier than trying to learn to sew right now. Allie is very photogenic!
Mr. Clyde is still looking handsome as ever. Boy is he a pain at times though. I must say that he takes his job of ensuring that the girls are alerted to new food sources very seriously. In the mornings I give Clyde and the big girls their treats in the outdoor coop. Then, Claire and the babies come into the indoor coop with me so they can enjoy their special treats seperate from the big girls. Now that Mr. Clyde has caught onto this, every morning he barges in and insists on announcing his find to everyone. Next thing you know there's 8 chickens surrounding me and squawking up a storm. He just can't keep any secrets. We're working on this.
Little Kathy is still the smallest (other than the babies) of the group and is very shy and skiddish. The poor thing is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order. Sunday I brought out some chicken granola mix that I'd thrown together. It seemed to be a big hit (raisins, chopped unsalted peanuts, oats and unsalted sunflower seeds). Little Kathy kept getting pecked at by the big girls. She'd finally had enough and flew up onto the roost. I put a little granola mix on the roost for her and she was so excited. As she ate though, some of the granola would fall onto Clyde's head who was standing under the roost. He was so confused by the wonderful granola that seemed to be falling from the sky. The noises he made had me laughing out loud. He's truly a character!
They truly are a lot of fun.

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