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Saturday, May 22, 2010

I've decided I'm going to throttle my chickens.  Usually they're at the farm, but I have three over at my house for R&R.  Today they found their way through the hanging screen door and were in the house when I came home. I shooed them out, and then stepped in chicken poop in the middle of my rug.  Aaargh!

A couple of days ago I had my plants outside, and brought them in at night. I missed one, a flat of oriental greens, just at the right stage for picking and eating.  It rained the next day, and by the time I remembered them, the slugs had them half eaten.  I brought them in and nurtured them until today, when I put them outside again.  When I was watering my plants this afternoon, I discovered that the chickens had found them as tasty as the slugs.

I think I'm going to have to throttle my chickens.

Oh, did I mention that they pushed their way through the hanging screen door again?  Apparently they don't know that it means "keep out".  I was in the kitchen cleaning up, when I heard little clucks at the door. 
Turning, I found they were not outside looking in, as I'd supposed, but had pushed their way through.  I had to close the glass door, because they just don't get the hit.

I really do think I'm going to have to throttle my chickens.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


My beautiful Maine Coon cat, Jethro, has disappeared.  I let him out a couple of mornings ago, and he never came back.  There's so many reasons I can think of--coyotes, Great Horned Owls, bobcats (though I haven't heard any for a long time), an occasional wolf.  So many dangers, but perhaps he wandered into someone's yard and decided to stay.  i can only hope that's the case, and that I'll see him again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life (and death) on the farm

Life and death occur together, and nowhere is a microcosm so apt to show itself as on a farm.  I have two hens setting, one an Araucana bantam and the other a Buff Orpington.  The Banty is setting on about 9 eggs, the Orpington on about 15.  I snuck a few extras under each of them.  My Silkie rooster now thinks he's the Cock of the Walk, because he happily struts his stuff in the coop where the hens are setting, happy as a clam.

On a less happy note, when I closed up the chickens tonight, one of the other hens was in distress, wheezing and making odd noises as if moaning.  I checked her for egg impaction, but that's not the problem.  Birds are so much harder to diagnose and treat than mammals!  My homeopathic poultry book wasn't handy, and I don't know where I put it.  I don't think it's going to matter, though; I think she'll be gone tomorrow morning when I get there.  Birds get sick so fast, and fail so quickly, that it's hard to save them.  Injuries they recover from, but illness--seldom.

I took out the hen that I think is breaking and eating eggs, too.  If I'm right, then she'll be the next to go.  I have 6 or 7 hens laying out of 17.  When these two go, it'll be 4 or 5 out of 15.  By the time winter comes, though, I'll have a slew of new hens to replace them, and perhaps some meat birds as well.  They should hatch by the end of May, and will be laying by the end of October.