They do love a good sun day.This one started it all (Cream Puff).Oh that looks like a good idea.Whatcha doin’?Then the participants change.What’s even happening here? (There’s three hens)Then everyone’s in on it.There’s also a dust bowl a little ways from the sand box.The guineas like to lie in the grass in the sun.
Today was a torrential downpour in the morning. When it rains I run around like a mad person trying to catch or use it all. I filled several barrels today. I’m expecting a long stretch of rainlessness this summer, and that every rain we get may be the last for a long time, although it keeps coming and coming.
All the birds rushed under cover when
it came thundering down, except the little Silkie mama with three chicks. She never goes under any more cover than the pine tree, and I know when it rains I have to go find her.
She has two cheeklings and a cuckoo chick of her own. I set her on two of Cheeks’ eggs, once only one hatched from the first batch (they need little friends). She added an egg of her own, and they all hatched. So there’s one little black-legged Silkie chick, half the size of her siblings, always lagging behind, seeming tired, but getting along.
I find her out in the downpour just after it starts and she’s already soaked. I pick her up, trying to scoop all the chicks at once but I fail to catch the littlest. I plop the soggy captives inside the greenhouse and then I get a merry chase from the tiny Silkie chick, who alternately flees cheeping, and hides in the weeds. I pop him in too.
When I come back to the greenhouse to shift water (from outside stock tank to inside), she’s sitting right where I left her, inside the door, in a drip, in a fast forming puddle. But she’s keeping those chicks warm! I had to move her again (this time I picked them all up at once, little legs dangling out), relocating her to high ground and a pile of straw. She seemed appreciative, but she stayed there a LONG time.
It was thunderous in the GH.
The rain was coming down so hard and fast that it was filling the tank faster than I could bucket it out.
The moment it subsided though, the hens were out and about.
It’s a wet feet day, so they’re up on the sawhorses under the deck.
The pig house (pig-less this year) is repurposed as a chicken rain shelter, and they LOVE it. When it’s pelting down, almost the whole flock crowds in there, and the guineas come running in too.
The hens rock the rain pretty hard, but when it gets too heavy they jog for shelter. Rain makes the worms come up, but they don’t like to get too wet either. It’s a chicken risk/reward analysis.
Adding the laundry rack was one of my finer brain waves. It increases capacity and fits snugly in the peak. Won’t tip over. They use the shelter on sunny days as well. Some of them just get on a rung after breakfast and spend half the day. They like to have a nice safe perch for bird-watching.
That laundry rack has seen a lot of functions. I remember buying it around 15 years ago. It spent many years merely drying clothes. Then it was a keet ladder, and now luxury perching, and I imagine it will last quite a while longer.
One doesn’t think of chickens as being nest builders per se, but they definitely do nest construction.
Guineas, ground nesters like chickens, craft quite beautifully careful nests, if extremely minimal ones, out of a few blades of grass. It’s more of a saucer than a bowl – a slight bank to keep the eggs from rolling out, I suppose.
When I set the Silkies on eggs, I think I form a perfect nest in advance, but no. They always clean it right up, to the point of leaving bare floor around the form of their nest.
When a chicken is working up to getting broody, she makes a lovely round bowl out of straw with a thick underpadding. In this case, there wasn’t a lot of material in the coop because it has just been cleaned, but some hen gathered up just about every blade of straw in there and pulled it into her nest purposes.
I wish I knew how this goes down. Foot scratching? Walking with beakfuls? Beak raking?
I survived my mini-collapse, and have been digging my routines back out for the past few days. I hope it was worth it. I’m all sugar free now (again), so I hope that transition was worth a week’s lost productivity.
All is well. Cheeks persists, and is gunning for permanent house chicken status, like a pet parrot; the ten untimely chicks are all well and growing their feathers; all the birds are fine but getting cranky about the GH confinement, and my hives are all still alive.
The Story of Sidewinder and Sidekick retold on Steem today.
There’s Nosey, pecking at my pants. She’s growing!
It was a nice sunny day, so I figured it would be a big bath day, with the pool overflowing with Pigpen chickens, but I went out with my camera and only three Silkies were in that mood.This guy found he had the pool all to himself, and seemed kind of pleased about it, but was only thinking about having a bath:
While I’ve been gone over the holidays, my husband has been grabbing chickens.
He spends quite a bit of time holding Cheeks the house chicken, who seems determined to remain designated house chicken indefinitely, I’m no trouble. No trouble at all!, but also grabbing “wild chickens” in the greenhouse, to cuddle them against their will.
More at https://steempeak.com/@selka
This guy’s really into standing on the edge of the bath.
Now in a new location!
The girls have found their dirt bath. It’s bean awfully quiet in the GH.
I came in and everywhere, filthy chickens. Chickens walking around with dirt all over their backs, that had clearly just got out of the pool, and of course, a half dozen chickens in the pool.
The Silkies have already emptied out one of their baths (seats four).
Even Chris is in there, the big rooster.
There’s Jacket girl, pecking snow off my boots. She’s got her jacket perfectly in place, but she’s also full of dirt. I think it’s interesting that she grooms her jacket as though it’s a part of her.
The guineas have also found their new long perches. No problem.