Category Archives: Life: lived

All they needed was a keet ladder

Last night when Galahad and the keets went to bed in the greenhouse, there was a lot of noise, and G was running laps around the greenhouse like he wanted out.   He settled down, but I felt he was distressed, and maybe frustrated with sleeping on the ground.

Tonight after bedtime, I thought the greenhouse was remarkably quiet.  I peeked…and just about died!   In case it’s unclear what you’re seeing, that is one keet perched on Galahad’s back, yes, and all the keets lined up on the (swinging) perching rail, at 6′ in the greenhouse.  They are all very content.This is how they got up there.  I gave them a laundry rack last night (I’ve offered it before as perching media).  I thought it would be a starter perch, and they could probably hop hop hop up and maybe get on their final destination, the rail (in a day or two).  They wasted no time about it!

The before bedtime lounge

Before it’s bedtime, 7-8pm ish, it’s the hour for serious lounging.  The various chicken cliques are scattered around, and more likely to be settled down on the ground than perching above ground.  They just sink down in the grass/weeds (or wherever they are) and have a little lull, maybe even a proper nap.

Two of Ursa’s new chicks came supplied with the most amazing permanent eyeliner.  It’s too bad I used up the name Cleopatra already (although it was entirely appropriate), because these two have totally Egyptian eyes.Mom’s already gone to bed.

I chickened out some pine trees.  I’d given up on getting anything intentional done, so I just did whatever, and now the chickens are getting some new tree forts.  Tomorrow’s going to be good.

The various sized chicks use the main pine tree so much, as club house central.  Now they can branch out.

The process is easy – scythe underneath, prune out all the little inner branches, and throw in some hay. They like visibility, and easy access. I did three trees.  The Family came lurking around, watching what I was doing.BeforeAfter

I’m going to let them distribute the mulch themselves.

Full perching potential

Well the chicks are all out.   I figured it was today.  The hens let me know when it’s time.  They become dissatisfied with the playpen and start doing this.  Can you let me out?  Then usually a chick leaks out (all of them can jump out the top anytime and sometimes do), and instead of helping it back in, I let all the rest out.  Ursa Minor came out first, and launched into a scratching demo the likes of which have never been seen.  She was scratching and scratching, like crazy, like she meant to dig a hole.  Very excited.  Fierce!  Don’t get near her.  She can be a bit of a Major Ursa, in fact.

Start of day:

The overseer

After Ursa Minor was out, I propped a stick under the other chickery, and the chicks figured it out pretty quick.Philippe seems to like chicks.

There’s a tiny chicken at my feet

The hen had more trouble finding her way out.

I’m helping.
there ya go, Mom!

Then, minutes later:I swear my chickens are more connected to their bird source all the time.I have to zoom out here to show you how many chickens  there are in the pine tree.  There’s three dark ones in upper right.Including Pepper.  So many chickens in the tree.   I pruned the lower branches of this tree last year hoping to make it more useful to the birds, and scythed under it, because there are thorny raspberry vines, and mulched it to kill the vines, because chickens can’t resist mulch, they’ll scratch it all up and kill everything.

Um, it worked.  I never expected this kind of response.   Best half hour I ever spent.   I’ll have to do the same to a couple more pine trees.

Habitat tree

The teen roos, hanging out in the abandoned chickeries.

We used to live here.


Definitely a dirt bath day

It’s a dirt bath lineup.  They’re lovin’ it.  They get really satisfying results from their pint sized scratching practice in the fine mulch of the greenhouse.  The dirt flies!She’s  panting  because she’s hot, so within a few minutes, they were back out on grass. The heat wave wasted no time arriving.

We got the rain overnight, and early, and then the sun came out again, and wow, it’s already hot, and muggy, and the bugs are terrible!!  The mosquitoes are awful, lying in wait in big clouds, and the noseeums are eating me alive, right now.   The night isn’t cool enough to tone them down; they’ll be lurking at the door at 6am.  I think it’s the end of the cool, bugless mornings, at least for a bit.

I just might resort to wearing my beekeeping suit as leisure/work wear.  Check back shortly.  I always think it’s so cool and comfortable, when I’m in it.  I’ll need another one.  One for the bees, one for work coveralls.  Oh no, I’m not working with the bees today;  I just live in this.

Waiting for rain

The guinea got into the greenhouse adjunct garden and while I was helping him find his way out, I came across this little fellow burrowed in.  Almost, but not quite, completely hidden.  I hope he’s not responsible for eating my lettuce heads.  There’s 20 missing.

We have rain on the way, followed by a heat wave.

I’m finished the course of antibiotics for Lyme disease.  On the whole I feel better than I did before I got bit, except for the sudden powerful episodes of fatigue that put me to sleep in the middle of otherwise productive days, force me to pull over because I’m getting the head nods, and I wake up on the floor or with my computer running on my lap, or parked, and don’t remember falling asleep.  Other than the weird narcolepsy, I’m good!

I’ve got a few garlic scapes.

All the chicken families are doing well:Perchick, etc, almost, but not quite, ready for bed. Apples and cohort, very active. The orphans.   They’re settling down.They like to sit on and run over those covered wagons like rolling hills.  It’s a raised vantage point. The hens inside are near due.  At night they crawl under the loose canvas on the left, and I let them into that left kennel with the resigned hen.

Circus chickens

What’s happening here?  I know it might be hard to tell.  That would be the notoriously mom-surfing chick, the yellow one, sitting on her mom.  Not only that, mom is perching on the swing.  With other chickens.  The swing is swingy.  I rarely see them use it at all.Obviously, she is far too large for mom-sitting at the best of times, but like one of those huge dogs that still thinks it’s a lap sized puppy, she doesn’t realize she’s outgrown it.  And while perching on a swing might not be the best of times.  Mom put up with it for awhile, too, but dumped her off when she’d had enough.  Next, it will be chicken pyramids.

Almost bedtime.  The mama hens got a box today, so that I can move them around soon.  They got very excited.  Did you know your mom was hatched in a box?  They like boxes. 

June frost

The frost looks like lavender.According to my “research” (and I forget my source), in the last eight years it’s only frosted once in June, and that was the 1st.  Here we are in the first week, and we got a doozy.  It’s going to throw off all my planning numbers (this year I planned for a May 20 last frost).

I got to try out the Almanzo Wilder splash the plant with water before the sun hits it thing.  The potatoes were just poking up, and a few of the squashes were frozen in spite of covering, so I ran around with a bucket and freezing hands in the morning.  Everything will live.

Most things are fine, because I covered them.  I’m good and sick of covering everything by now.  Some of the squashes, the ones I put buckets over, took some damage, but the plants will live.  The ones with boxes over were untouched.  The walnut trees took a lot of damage, to the new branch-tip leaves.In the GH, in the chickery, the new chicks are whizzing around.  Two Brownies and two Oreos, one mysteriously tiny – I suspect a Silkie cross.Mom is fierce!  She attacks my hand sometimes when I dare reach in to feed them.  Then all the chicks run and jam their heads under something, and she savages my arm, thumping it with her feet.  She’s climbed it to the elbow.  Take that!  And don’t come back.