Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just some photos of happy chickens

No Camp Cous Cous

Well, spring is here and Hedwig is laying her beautiful green/blue eggs again and Stretchie is laying her little whities. Legs laid her biannual egg. Life is good. Freeranging is good. Not having to deal with freezing water is good.

I forgot, my chickens are pets that happen to lay eggs, not egg layers who happen to live near my house. That's how it felt all winter, but now I am able to enjoy them again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Worth it

The chickens were out freeranging a couple of times this week, and it all seems worth it all over again.

For St. Patrick's Day, the O'Possum family is apparently drinking a few green beers at Half Time Wreck, as we haven't seen them.

At work today, I was the only one wearing green. My coworkers said black is the new green.

Life is better for the chickens and for all surrounding families.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken camp

My friend Mary is married to a guy from Morocco. He and his brothers are very used to "dispatching" chickens and that is what happened to her little flock of Aracana - they are in freezers around the Twin Cities. Mary is way smarter than me, obviously, because she hasn't had the winter problems I have had.

My chickens can be dispatched using this method as well, one that I've devised a code name for: Camp Couscous. I am considering sending them to camp next fall, but it goes against all the vows I made when I started this project: that all my chickens can live out their full lives in our backyard, egg layer or not.

So, I've got a dilemma. I am hoping spring and summer can renew my interest in the flock, and that seeing them back out in the garden will remind me why I started this project in the first place. OK, OK, I'll up my Vitamin D levels, too.

Uninvited guests

It appears that a new family has moved into the neighborhood. Don't know if they are Irish, but their name is opossum. We have spotted them leaving the coop itself, probably after eggs. Of course, the chickens have much to say about it - it's our neighbor who told us the chickens were worked up about something. While she was delivering eggs to Mr. Kolden, Marcy and Mr. Kolden discovered some scratch marks on one of the eggs.

I love animals but possums are ugly - there I said it. The one I saw slowly ambled its way across the yard in broad daylight, brazenly showing off its ability to stay awake during the daytime.

Since the coop door is frozen open and has been pushed off its hinges, there isn't much we can do about it. I know if Big Mama were here, she would not stand for it.

The chickens know

Last night, in light of having three dogs, too many vet bills (Fetch, the Jack Russell had pancreatitis), two parents working full time and a kid who doesn't help out, we discussed the fate of the flock.

There are certain chickens I would have a hard time parting with. Hedwig, Coco, Legs. Maybe even Blanche, because you just can't replace her weirdness factor.

But this winter has meant only chores and frozen open doors and fences. No time to enjoy, no temperatures allowing anything more than running out with food and water then running back in.

They must have overheard us, because today, there was a record 10 eggs in the nesting boxes. "Let's get to work, girls!" Hedwig must have told them. And they did.