A bath in 12 acts.
Ursa’s first day in the chickery: she celebrated her first day out of the broody box as the hens always do, with a vigorous dirt bath.
I placed her in the former location of the peat bag (the over flow spot), for premium dirt bathing.
The kids start to come around, Hey, I’m kinda cold, can I get under you?
Stand back, kids, mama’s getting her bath on!
She’s like a round fur tornado, spraying everything down with dirt. Evidently, it feels incredible.
The chickens are having a ball with their dust baths. There’s quite a bit of spillover.
First dirt spillover out of the bag or box.
Then spillover of chickens bathing in the surrounding area.
Cleopatra is hogging one of the bins, but there’s plenty of bathing outside of the bin.
Cleopatra can spend all day in there. She regularly chooses to stay in come lunchtime, putting off eating. Eh, I can eat later.
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.
I heard the musical little sounds of the guineas approaching the house (doesn’t happen especially often), so I peeped out.
They were going for the bath! There’s a spot right by the trail where I was weeding out buckthorn, and the birds have decided that that’s the optimum dust bathing locale. Now there’s all divots and feathers. The guineas came in for the bath as purposefully as if they had little towels over their shoulders. It was their specific destination.
I went out to get pictures (all the keets tossing up a storm of dirt), and I felt like the paparazzi sneaking through the bushes, wishing I had a longer lens.
Galahad is hard to fool.He let me get closer though.
The keets have passed their peak cute. They are entering the small turkey phase. Scraggly necks, heads balding, and the fleshy bits that grow on their faces are starting to develop.Their behavior and mannerisms are still super cute. And still bright orange feet, although dark patches are coming in.Galahad is rightfully proud. He has kept them all alive and well, and they are model guineas. He’s a truly outstanding avian parent.They are very musical, the sounds they make. Also very NOT musical, when they’re in a certain frame of mind, and their kind is famous for that. It only took three generations of coddled guineas living here in order to get a non-neurotic batch of comfortable, quiet ones.Vigorous dirt bathing. Oh, now here come the chickens horning in. It’s like, just when you’ve got the hot tub to yourself, ten college kids show up at the pool.Oh, bathing? What a great idea. Don’t mind if I do. I’ll just, excuse me, I’ll just… get in right here, if you don’t mind, just pushing over a bit? Back to looking like rocks. There’s Cheeks sporting her jacket. She’s breaking it in. It’s working though, the simple design is keeping the right places covered. And… there they go. We’re done here. ‘scuse me.If we could just get by ya here.And, there they go. Back to the greenhouse area. That happened so fast that little brown rooster hasn’t moved. What was that just happened!?The chickens don’t always congregate by the deck, they don’t even show up to the house daily, but when they do, I love it. They come in a drove, and sprawl out, more like they’re visiting and comfortable here than that they’re rabid for handouts. It’s nice and safe by the house for them, so I’m glad they do. They love those sawhorses. Those’ll go in the greenhouse this winter for them
The new chickens smell.
I’ve never thought about chickens smelling before (I don’t think they have a strong smell if there’s lots of carbon to neutralize the nitrogen of their shit), but the new chickens brought this sick, tangy smell here with them. I don’t understand it.
Hopefully, a bath will clear up the problem.This should be good: chickens’ first bath.
Except, they didn’t use it all afternoon . It looks like no one even walked through it. I’m hoping that they’ll figure it out themselves, because bathing lessons could get awkward.
Maybe they have to see another chicken bathing to understand. That can be arranged. Puffcheeks spends all day in the tub.
The roosters have been amusing themselves with fighting through the fence. There are no winners. Only the fence loses.
It poured cats and dogs last night with a thunderstorm, and I happened to be outside with a light just in time to see a little frog climb up on the rim of a rain bucket and get comfortable. Cute.
The Silkies are dirty today. Yesterday I went through the whole flock and vaselined everyone’s feet (setting off a rash of feather adjustment). Then the Colonel climbed on everyone he could, greasing up their other feathers with his feet, and it was a hot, dust bathing afternoon, so now all the white Silkies are looking very grimy.Brown Bonnet is going broody. She threw a giant fit at being removed from the covered wagon at nighttime last night, and after a kamikaze plunge through the fence, got her way. She is also huge. She’s twice the size of most of the other Silkies, almost as heavy as the Colonel, or a normal layer hen. Every time I lift them in or out of the coop, there’s Brown Bonnet, and a whoa! moment. Big blimp. She’ll be able to cover a lot of eggs.
Inside, Apples the house chicken continues to be no trouble at all, happy to stay in her box or on her sheet-of-newspaper “yard”, even though nothing is actually keeping her from rampaging all over the house. She hasn’t taken that into her head, luckily (she only jumps out a couple times a week, and HW announces “there’s an exploratory chicken down here!”). She’s also growing, maybe twice the size as she first came in. She quickly got over being cuddling or held, protesting at even being pet (which is hard to resist trying because she’s cute and soft, like they all are). Hey! Don’t touch me; I’m a wild animal! I’m a chicken! Have some respect!
It’s nice to have a little life form in the house, even though we are really very much surrounded with many many life forms, we don’t really need them in the house too. But it’s still fun to have company. Today she has an extra thick bed of hay in her box, so she’s riding rather high and has a good view. Yesterday she was all about scratching.
I spoke too soon about her good behaviour. Today was an out-of-the-box day, and I got a helper chicken suddenly flapping over the edge of her box.. She landed in the middle of floor then made her way over to me where I was slinging dirt, repotting to give all the tiny tomato shoots their own cells. I also had some seed packets strewn about, and these interested her. It’s just like having a cat in your business, except it’s a shy chicken.After her big outing to the world four feet away, she ate and ate and then napped for the rest of the afternoon.
HW was watching a movie about a little girl with a pet chicken. She was always carrying her chicken around, hanging out (where did they get this stunt chicken?). Then as she spent more and more of the movie wearing rubber boots with her pajamas, he deadpanned “She’s getting more like you all the time”.“She’s a free range chicken today”
It’s wet, and warm, when it’s not cold, and muddy. Not much to see around here but the dust bath these days, which really, doesn’t get old. You’d be forgiven for thinking I have a kiddie pool full of dead chickens in the greenhouse. Toffee the rooster is doing his own thing on the outside, having a hay bath. They get all goth eyeliner from the dirt in their eyes.
Here we go.They’re over the privacy stage. They don’t even get out for food sometimes. Even the guineas.I can walk the perimeter and shake out my neck. (She’s got pool-edge walking skills)
They get SO dirty.Why? Why is this a thing? They clearly experience great pleasure at it, and I fail to see the appeal.There’s King David having a looksee.Jack appears to still have a little modesty.How many chickens are here? (Three)
What do they say about jacuzzis? Seats X? This tub “seats eight”, so far. I think once they finish off the bale, it could “seat” 14. That’s a lot of happy chickens.