Do you ever get to the point that your chickens think maybe you are just one of the more heavy-set girls in the flock? I think mine are getting that way with me. If I grow feathers, someone call the doctor!
Lately, I’ve been about living in the chicken yard, fixing this and moving that. Then starting new projects and working on stuff, bustling around, trying not to step on birds.
The mulch piles are in the chicken yard. That means repeat trips to drop in compostable items. They ladies are somewhat disappointed when I drop the bucket of stuff overboard in the mulch area. I can almost see them pout. Of course I keep some prize tidbits for them and that seems to redeem me in their eyes.
My decision to place work areas inside the chicken yard, was as much for me as it was for them. With me alongside them so much of the time, behavior and health issues are quickly noticed. Today Flakey, a lovely fat White Orpington had wet bottom. I don’t know what happened there, except maybe I over did the scraps yesterday… Her vent was pretty messy.
She seems to hang around my feet a good bit, so I picked her up and looked at it. Hum… Nothing obviously wrong there. So, I went ahead and took the hose to her bottom. Sounds sort of harsh, but the weather has been very warm here; she got a nice warm spray bath on her bottom end. Nice and clean now, so I dried it off a bit. Then of course she heads right into the dust bath area and fluffs up. Now she looks like a mucky-butt bottomed, mud-encrusted hen. Oh well, I figure she’ll dry off and that stuff will go with it when it does dry (crossing fingers).
Do your hens move out of your way when you work? I’m wondering if these are normal birds at this point. A few of them I totally have to dodge! Some of the chickens, I have to down-right bend over and pick up, then move them over. They just don’t get it. I have about six out there who feel it their god given right, to be under my feet.
Today I put in a small garden area. Yes, in the chicken yard. Why not? The mulch piles are in there, so is the ready compost pile. It stands to reason that the garden spot should also be in there too. I really didn’t want to plant much this year. Just a few tomatoes, cucumbers and whatever else I use in the salads. Fresh salad greens sound lovely.
Smart chickens should feel threatened by the tiller so loudly moving the earth, but my really spoiled girls are just wondering what the heck that big “snoring machine” is? They (even with that thing) are dangerously curious, so I shoo them into the hen-house and shut the door. It’s quite large so there’s plenty of room, but they are not happy with me. I could hear Maw’s protests from inside. She’s livid. How dare I shut her inside. She wants so badly to dig into the newly tilled soil and find grubs. I’m such a naughty Mom…
However, it’s going to be in the 20s by beginning of next week, and here it is March 1st! So much for that planting situation I had been dreaming of. Inside my house sitting in tubs waiting on the weather to decide what it is doing, are two Satuma Citrus Trees, and One nicely growing Concord Grape Vine. I’ll wait on buying the tomato plants. I could start them now in a seed planter, but I have no room in the house for flats of germinating seeds.The new area has 8 feet walled fencing. Mostly because of Victoria who can jump 4.50 feet, standing flat-footed. Ask me how I know. She clears my yard fencing, which is that tall. Now, with that resolved and hoping she does not scale this fence, I hopefully will have a nice little garden patch in a few weeks.
Oh well, when this cold mess passes you can envision me in the nice fenced in planting area of the chicken yard, putting down tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers and a few squash plants. I’m excited about the prospect! With all the composed chicken poop anyone could want… If anyone would have told me that chicken poop would make me smile ear-to-ear, I’d have laughed them out of the house.
The Chicken Mama