Big day

It was one of those days, where I get up for the hens, but am not ready to commit to being awake, so I bargain with myself, Well, I’ll just wear my sweat pants to do the chickens.  It’s like, bringing the comfort of bed with you.

Then the next thing, I stop for “lunch”, and turns out it’s 5pm, and I’m still wearing my sweat pants.  And of course I’m full of ticks, because I haven’t been dressed appropriately.  All day.  Those are good days, though.

I see this is how I come to be found wearing pajamas and rubber boots so often too – the early morning “I’m not really getting up this early, I’m just going to do the chickens and then I’ll make tea” rationalization.  What really happens is HW catches me in the middle of the day and I get a “wrath of god” bossy lecture:  “Little Nibbler, operating power tools in your pajamas is NOT appropriate!  Go get some work pants on, and some real shoes!”  And I can’t really argue with him, at all.  “But I’m just-I only have four more cuts! -Ok fine“.

First thing- chicks on grass!  First day outside for the cheeps.  Mom is beside herself to be on grass. She’s not waiting for the box to be opened.  She was out of her mind excited, cropping grass as fast as she could between clucks.  I haven’t had a salad in weeks!   The little brown one thinks it’s cold on the feet.  She jumped back in.They’ve got her surrounded.  I don’t know if chicks are as interesting to them as birth is to people, or just that they haven’t seen her for awhile.  They all have to stare.

I cleaned a bunch of junk out of the greenhouse and  put in the irrigation, working “with” my sidekick pet chicken Apples.  I’m working.

She still “lives in the house“, but I take her with me outside pretty frequently.  She rides along on my wrist like a falcon, her wings slightly out like she might have to throw them open for balance.  But she doesn’t seem ready to jump off when we walk through chicken land.

She’s a different little bird.   Just watches the others, while they watch her.  What the…?   Is that chicken riding the human?  She moves around the greenhouse pretty comfortably, getting some food variety and real dust baths.

All assembled, and as an added bonus, it actually works.   The lines charged, and it seems to drip evenly.  I wasn’t sure if the passive pressure from the stock tank that catches the water off the GH would be enough.  An experiment.

It’s not.  Half the tank emptied, but it took all day to happen.  The tank fills much faster than that in a good rain, so the drip will never keep up.   I was expecting as much.  I need a little submersible pump to push water.  That’s ok;  I needed one anyway to move water from where I catch it off our roof to the greenhouse where it needs to end up, the part I’ve been doing manually for years.  So done with that.  First I need to measure the head, and I haven’t managed that yet.

Then near the end of a full day I go to just do a couple repairs on the old coops that keep going and going, and discover … four broody hens! Now I have to make broody accommodations in a hurry!  One express broody kennel.  I can make them in less than an hour now.

line up the covered wagons

One hen will go to a friend, one goes in this broody kennel, and the other two – are full size!!

This is new!  I’ve never had a layer hen go broody before.  That’s what the Silkies do.  This is a new world!  I don’t know why I didn’t expect it – Chanticleers are heritage birds; it’s reasonable.   Perchick and Cream Puff, full sisters, broody the same day, different coops.  Perchick is serene, but Cream Puff is all fluffed out, and looks both surprised and irritable, which seems about right.

What to do with them?  A broody kennel is not big enough for them.

I evicted the rooster that was baching it, staying alone in the “temporarily” converted chickery-to-coop, and moved Cream Puff in.  I elevated him to the big coop, making his wildest dreams come true.  He’s been trying to figure out how to get in there for days, and every night after making a hundred circles around the ramp gives up and goes to bed in the wall tent.

I put Cream Puff in the “temporary” coop at dusk.  It’s the perfect size.  I tried to carefully gather her and move her, with her eggs.  Yeah right.  Big flapping drama, chase scenes.  I should have waited another hour.  She’s such a nervous nelly, always jumpy, of course it would go badly.  I should have waited until pitch dark.

I locked her in with her eggs and hoped.  I could watch  her through the gap in the canvas, pacing around, trying to escape.  I’m in a box!  I must get out!  Must.  Get out.  Oh, eggs!….eggs….I’m in a box!  Must get out! 

It’s like a switch flipping in her brain.  From agenda, to egg trance.  Must get out!  Oh, there’s some eggs….eggggggs…..Must get out!  Egggggs…..  Luckily, she settled on the eggs finally.  We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.  I hope all the action didn’t break her up.

She’s in there, but fully alert

The Silkies moved effortlessly, of course.

Perchick must wait until tomorrow for me to build her an eggery.  She’s hoarding all the eggs in B coop.

 

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