Saturday, October 17, 2009

Here, chick-chick!!!

Today's blog is devoted to the chickens.  I have given up on keeping them in their pen, and I see no reason to spend $600 on an electric fence.  The electric fence is four feet tall.  They are now flying over the seven-foot fence, albeit in places where the fence is drooping.  They are flying up into trees.  They are ripping through the woods and thoroughly enjoying themselves.  Their little pen is just that - a little pen.  I don't like to be fenced in, so I tend to err on the side of giving all of the animals here as much freedom as possible.   "Do unto others . . . "  However, even if the electric fence won't keep the chickens in, it would keep predators out, so I have not eliminated it from my farm wish list.

The chickens come to me when I walk out to the side yard that they now occupy during the daylight hours.  They don't hop on my lap, nothing that friendly, but they definitely welcome my presence.  Yesterday I was looking at their brilliant feathers while they ran around under the fall foliage.  The similarity of colors was striking, and I ran for my camera.  Of course they had scattered by the time I got back, so the photo op was lost.  Today I went out with the camera a little earlier and stayed a little longer.  So here goes.  This is sort of like pictures of someone's vacation - far more interesting to the presenter than the reader, I know.  But I must share these pics!

This was last night at dusk.  Buster is the one with the big comb.

These are all hens.  In this particular breed, the hens have what is called a "pea comb," that is, it is very small.  Since our winters here are quite cold, chickens with this type of comb are more suitable.  Big combs can get frostbitten.  Poor Buster!  He might have a problem . . .

 Here is Buster with three hens.  You notice I do not have names for the hens.  I can't tell them apart, except for one that I do not believe is a purebred Campine.  She has almost no neck, and her tail doesn't fan out.  Her name is No Neck. 

Here is Buster sitting on a very small branch in a sassafras tree.  He nearly fell off when he flew onto the branch, but after a bit of precarious teetering, he got it together and spent a few minutes there.

This isn't quite as good a shot as the one I missed last night, but it's still pretty good.  I love how both the leaves and the birds are red and gold.

Isn't he magnificent?

Hope you enjoyed the show.  I enjoyed putting it together.  :)

Tonight there are 15 chickens, three calves, three heifers in their proper place, one large young black dog, one large old black dog, one yappy cute dog, and one small white cat.  The cat's name is Holly Berry, a.k.a. Poltergeist, and I will tell you more about her tomorrow.

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