Tag Archives: chickens

We lounge hard

Chickens do an awful lot of lounging.  They lounge under trees, in the sun, lots of time on the paths, and in dust baths.  Their favorite seems to be dappled shade.

Big group lounge under a secondary pine tree.Early post-breakfast perching is common.Big dust bath near the house. Barred & Brahma lounging.The birds have this odd tendency to sort themselves out by colours, like laundry.  The darks.The lights/colours.

There’s some big boys emerging out of the tweens.

It’s adorable how much they cuddle.  They lean on each other, pile up, stretch out their legs, and when they’re young, they crawl under each other’s necks like going under a mama.

The misadventures of rabbits

I was carrying some wood past the house with my friend, and paused to pick up some tools off the deck.  Through the open door, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a brown…shape passing the rocking chair.  It might have hopped.

Things I never thought I would say out loud:  “Uh, I think there’s a rabbit in my house.”

I dropped the wood and stepped in, and the very-definitely-a-rabbit leapt up on the windowsill and hunched under an arm of aloe vera.  My first thought of course was for the camera.  It was so cute, guilty and terrified.  I don’t know how I got in and I don’t know how to get out!  I don’t have any answers.

It proceeded to hide under the stove and in the boot tray and I got pictures of blurry streaks passing piles of stuff (it’s canning season).  He didn’t do so well on the hardwood floor.   Zero traction.She was happiest with hiding under the bench by the door in the firewood.  This is familiar stuff.  A little “half-growed” bunny.  Petrified and adorable.

I don’t even see bunnies close to the house that often.  A rabbit on the porch is an amusement.  It’s not like they’re nosing around all the time, waiting for a chance.  A chipmunk, that wouldn’t surprise me at all, the little opportunists, but I guess that’s happened.

Where I do see rabbits, every day, many times, is with the chickens.   I saw Galahad chase one out of the grass.  Coming through.

Today another (or maybe the same unlucky) rabbit got itself stuck in a chickery.  Foxy and her chicks were already in there, in their box for the night.  Four heads poking out from her watching the rabbit pace (it figured it out just before I got back with camera).  What’s going on out there!?

 

 

Oiseaux Tableaux

The Famous  Five.  These didn’t grow up together (different Silkie moms), but they have found each other.  They clearly share genes.  These are the smallest of the free chicks (they grow up so fast!), and they’re very adventurous.There once was  a time when chickens perching  in low branches was a novelty.  Now it’s de rigeur.  The tweens.  At least one of these culprits is starting to practice his crowing.  Little Pepper is still in this mix despite getting quickly outgrown (Silkie/Barred cross) by the big Chanticleers.Inky, Velvet, and Speckles, utilizing my recent brush pile.  And Cleopatra begat Inky and Velvet; Speckles is a Silkie cross – possibly with Puffcheeks? On the ground level of Silkieland, Daisy the digger and her chicks just moved up to the  big house.  The chicks can leak out in various ways.  The run is not a secure facility, just intended to give the hens some peace from the roosters, who spend the day on the outside of the fence, and are allowed back in at night.  The hens preen and take dust baths and lie around in the sun, or the shade, and the roos bob around looking and not touching, and it drives them wild!The chicks are better at getting out than back in.  Daisy is watching over them, but the roosters are into chicks too.  The Colonel especially likes when there’s new chicks to show off his old tricks.  Even when chickens are good, they don’t come close to guineas in the co-parenting department though.  You’ll see a rooster sharing food and skills, but not sheltering chicks.   This guy’s a rock star:Galahad hosting perching practice on the rim of Silkieland. Uhoh.  Somebody jumped into a vacant chickery and isn’t clever enough to get out!

Perching faithful

Interest in the new trees was muted.  There was some investigation and hay scritching,  but the first tree is still the crowd favorite.I do mean crowd.  I mused “Why is it always the chicks that are so excited about the trees?”  And HW said it makes sense; kids usually enjoy climbing trees more than adults.

The winter is going to be interesting.  I’m going to have to build some serious multi-level structures in the greenhouse this year.Somebody left me a nice feather in the garden.   Hawk or owl.

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.

All you need in a heat wave is a pine tree

Because of the crazy (now four) days of heat, I’ve been releasing all the birds, so that they can manage their own needs, and won’t ever possibly be trapped without water.  The Silkies move no more than 4 feet, piling up under the pine tree they’re under anyway.

Some of them are panting, and some hold their feet wide and wings out flat like airplanes for a draft under their wings, but they’ve been just fine.  There’s a stiff breeze, and under the pine tree, it’s quite cool.  All they need is for the drinks to keep coming.  I come around checking on them, worried, and they just look at me.  What?  We don’t need anything.  Unless you’ve got snacks?

I check on the broodies, but they’re never panting.  It’s quite temperate by the door of the GH when there’s some wind.  It’s me that is ready for this heat to be over.  But no, two more days of this.  An overnight low of room temperature.  Sheesh.It turns out that Apples and Sprout (Sprout has made a total recovery from the broken leg– not even the bump remains) prefer the other chickery, as do the first chicks.  Conveniently, Perchick etc are out of there in seconds in the morning.

These are the first chicks of the year, and their mother on the box(airplane-winged). (I always, always, need more name suggestions – so many important chickens remain unnamed.  Maybe I can auction naming rights, like newly discovered stars ).  I’m kidding.

There’s one rooster that gets stuck in Apples’ chickery, not ever dipping his head low enough to see the way out, or jumping over.  He’s a bit dim.I suppose we should expect this of Perchick.There are other pine trees too, several of them used as bird oases.  Perchick’s chicks disappear in the jungle of weeds.  That must be very cool, like us in an evergreen canopy.Her chicks are so bold and self-assured.  Adorable.

 

Bunch’a house sitters

The chickens like to stand around all afternoon on top of their houses.  All of the houses are fair game.And a bale sitter.  I love this hen.  The little silver adventurer.  She’s the best.  She needs a name. Cream Puff.

They are just, just about to get evicted from the greenhouse.  And those old dusty poopy houses will get a good rinsing in the next rain.  And then the birds can’t sit around all afternoon indoors.  They’ll have to play outside.  Right now they wander around outside for a few hours, and then, like they’re slacking off work, they wander back into the GH and flop around.  Off duty. Time to scratch, ladies, it’s spring!

Ever have one of those days?

Cream Puff is just giving up on life.

Really, it’s just a bright sunny day, so it got tropical in the greenhouse.It was the first time I put the screen door on.  The birds will be outside very soon.

Some of the birds were relaxing in the shade of the coops or behind hay bales. Others were making hay while the sun shines. The girl’s fort was mixed between shade and sun basking.Chickenland is a very relaxed place on a sunny afternoon.  Everyone is restful, chill, quiet, in a sort of dreamy zone.  Moving slow, and ready to sink down into a doze at any moment.

And then there’s Cream Puff, who either got so relaxed she just tipped over, or is tinkering with her rubber chicken impression.  I about died laughing.

Cowcheeks

Cheeks is eating hay.   Consuming it, like a cow.    I got some new hay bales and she’s up on one, picking it apart and eating the hay.  Like spaghetti. You got a problem with me eating hay?!  I didn’t think so.

Cheeks has turned out to be a bit bossy, and quite a loner.  She doesn’t have a little hen clique; not that I’m sure how important that is to chicken mental health. I was hoping that she would make friends with Puffcheeks, one of her kind and a distant relation.  But not so far.  Puffcheeks has been sticking to the Barred Rocks she knows.

It appears that Phillippe Petit came out on top, as he is still playing guardian to the new girls.  Particularly pompously, I might add.  He’s very important now.  It’s good to see him food clucking and surveying his domain, though.  I like him and want him to turn out well.