Tag Archives: rain

The rain in Spain is totally insane

It has rained hard and steady for ten hours straight and isn’t done.  There is more standing water than dry land right now.  The chickens were all wading over their ankles, and the chicks in water up to their feather pants.

The rain gauge was over 120mm when I last checked.  That is insane!   The chickens spent the day in their coops and rain house; I didn’t even open them for eggs and risk letting the rain in.  The littlest chicks and mom got a greenhouse pass and probably had the best day of all plundering, although by evening they were up on a strawbale like a raft.  Some hens were camped in the rain house at night because they didn’t want to make the run to the coop at bedtime.  It’s raining that hard.

The guineas, when I went to let them into the GH for the night (extra early) were waiting by the door, soaked to the skin.  I feel soooo bad for the three missing hens, whom I assume are all sitting on eggs in the woods somewhere – exposed in this, soaked, days or weeks into a fast, and making their bodies into heating pads.  Some must be sitting in puddles right now.

We also had an epic thunderstorm.  It hurt my ears inside the house, and it (the sound– no wind at all) shook the house and made my pots rattle.  I felt the fear of Thor’s hammer.  It passed directly over, moved to six seconds away, and then it returned a half/hour later and passed right back over like it was going back where it came from!

This quantity of rainfall is pretty out of the ordinary, especially for (the entire month of) June.

Floods

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.

Saturation point

It’s been raining for almost ten days straight.  It’s just unbelievable.  No more water can be absorbed.  It’s just puddles and standing water everywhere.  The ground is so soft you can unexpectedly plunge in the ground over your ankle walking along.  then it tries to pull your boot off.

The chickens have had their coops outside for several days, but when the rain come hammering down, they run into the greenhouse, which remains empty, to shelter.

It was ok for awhile; rain is important, but today, I was done with it.  I had to start a fire, because I was chilled.  Luckily, it’s over now for a week!  A whole week of sunshine.  The bugs will almost certainly start up, and everything will begin to grow.

I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging.  In the meantime, THIS!:

The man who sailed around the world with a chicken

There’s more to chickens than they are generally credited :)

Rain day

What a day.  Buckets of water coming down, starting out with slush on the ground, and wind, blowing the cold rain into your face and coat.  All the chickens opted to stay in the greenhouse most of the day, only making brief forays out when the rain abated.

The guineas took one step out in the morning before jumping back in, the chickens got several steps out before pulling their necks back, wheeling around and running back in.  It’s gross out there!

I found it the perfect day for a nap, and that was glorious.  Never enough sleep!

Rain relief

The heat wave finally expired in a thunderstorm, as they often do.  After so many days sticky and gross, I decided to go out in the downpour in near swimwear and plastic shoes and just get drenched with the rest of the hot thirsty world. I had to move lots of water, as I always do when it rains, to make sure not to waste a drop that the roofs are catching, and shuttling water in a rubber suit to stay “dry” underneath was not appealing.

It was as glorious as I imagined!  I was even a little cold at first.  It’s good to be reminded of the true function of eyebrows.  They divert water from your forehead around your eyes.

The only thing lacking was listening to something; electronics don’t mix with water like that. No pictures either for the same reason, but I had to risk it for this: The hens were not as enthusiastic about a good drenching, and utilized the heck out of their hen tents.  They love their hen tents.   Perchick and her chicks were running around in the rain at first, the chicks shaking off like dogs, and then I didn’t see them for awhile.  I worried they were in a cold wet huddle somewhere, so I went looking, and found six of them in the coop!  The  coop they learned to use only the night before.  Quick studies.  The seventh was with mom:) They’re at peak cute, with their fuzzy little heads but feathered bodies, long legs.  Full of personality chickenality.  Well, I guess peak cute lasts a while.

The tomatoes are taking off now, the eggplants are coming, the cucumbers have decided to start growing after putting growth on hold completely for a solid month, even the melons are experimenting with a few new leaves – seems like there will be a crop of some kind after all.

Water off a chick’s back

Butterfly party by the GH door.  There’s a bit of mud there, and it drew a butterfly crowd (why?) Mama hen and her chick duo slip in and out of Silkieland, but stick close by to it.  They seem comfortable over there, rather than the far side of the greenhouse.  All the chickens could come and go from Silkieland, it’s not a secure facility, but most stay.  They’re a little too crowded for my taste but they show every sign of contentment, so – good enough for now.  When I make the next one the space will be doubled.The little chicks are very precocious, handling the ramp from day 1, making their own decisions.  They aren’t very needy, or whiny.  They still stand on Mom once in a while.They all got caught out in the rain, though.  “Caught” – being out in the rain was optional.  Mom looks like a wet schnauzer, and the chicks look dipped, but they are unperturbed.The other hens all jog off when the rain starts, and hide under a tent.  The last guinea spends all his time with the hens now that he’s alone.  I’m disappointed to mysteriously lose those guineas.  I had a nice, peaceful flock, and they roosted in the greenhouse every night.  wth?  Now have to start over.  I’m thinking of getting keets and hoping this guy can bring them up.  The males are  active parents when the pair is intact; can they do it alone?

Final notice eviction

Today was transplant day in the greenhouse, so the chickens were officially OUT.  They took it pretty well.  I expected sad puppy at the door behaviour, but they have spent enough time in transition that they were pretty content outdoors.

However, the forecasted 1mm of rain was a bit more than that, and earlier, so just like last year, transplant/eviction day was a big rain day (complete with  thunder).

So I spent the morning running around hastily throwing up rain and wind shelters for these birds that haven’t seen the elements in months to hide under.   The big birds are all just fine in rain, but Silkies don’t fare so well when they get wet, the little hair chickens. After this hasty contriving I got the three fowl weather hen tents out of mothball and repaired them and put them back in action too.  They are quite effective.  Just as attractive.  Nailed that tent city esthetic. I even put the converted chickery in the mix, and they loved investigating that (finally! we get to see inside!), but didn’t shelter in it.  The stock tank hay bale cave was a hit.

The rain came and went, and as it let up, the hens would disperse into the grass and surroundings, and then the rain would start drumming down again and all at once, you’d see them on the run, (even the guineas) legging it back to get under some kind of roof, where they’d crowd together, with no necks, quietly waiting.

After that, I brought my camera into the greenhouse for transplanting, (57 tomatoes – cue Heinz jokes) and completely failed to take any pictures at all!  Next round.   There’s more to plant.

Lush

There’s that green.  The world is overwatered right now and the grass is growing with all its might.  Expect to see it in the eggs soon – the chickens are free range again (fair weather only).  

HW comes home and says ” Where’d all these starts come from!?”  “You grew these?”  Yep, they’re the same ones as were there yesterday, and the day before…  “They’re so big!”  Yes, they are.  And so green.  Ready to go outside.

I was shuttling tomatoes and set a box down for one second to empty the wheelbarrow….oh…oh!  Here they come, creeping.  Is the hand faster than the beak?  No, she got a leaftip!

Back down to two

Only two guinea chicks running around today.  Life is brutal for latecomers.

They’re so funny!  Little bitty chicks, the size of ping pong balls, scuttling around on their orange legs right in the middle of the big flock, like they belong there.  They’re hard to even find in my pictures.

It’s a big rain day.  The rain is thundering down; I caught 300 gallons of water in an hour off two roofs.  Everything is puddled and the hens are mostly huddling under their new tents.

Wet chicken

Bats back

So many exciting things today!

Mama Silkie I completed hatching out her eggs for a grand total of seven little Silkie chicks, three white and four brown.  They are at liberty in the greenhouse but haven’t gone more than a couple feet from the box.

A restorative friend visit and blueberry pick- 10# of fat blueberries that the piglets and chickens will be ecstatic to have a little taste of.

The promise of rain!  The smell is light relief in the air.

Then the guineas decided to level up.

We win. We’re up higher!

While I was taking pictures of these clowns, a BAT! came flapping around.  100% bat!  It was flying right over my head to hoover up the bugs that I was attracting and I saw the whole bat silhouette against the sky (much clearer than my camera saw it).  It seems like the bats might be on their way back from the brink!