Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicken tales

Tiny is back out with the other chickens.  I have been bringing her in the house during the day, when the chicks are more active and of course more apt to run over her.  This is especially true while in the box for the little ones, a box which is really getting too small for nine chicks that are a month old today.

I got the brainstorm to build a small pen inside the big pen this morning, using a post and chicken wire, and attaching it to the perimeter fence of the existing pen.  It would provide more light, they would be able to see the other chickens, and of course the air flow would be much better.  So that is how I spent the first hour of my day.  Tiny seems to be doing pretty well inside it.  They just needed more room.  The bigger chicks are not picking on her, and with more room, they are not running over her accidentally.  But it bears watching.

I also opened the barn doors, which I have been reluctant to do because of the raccoons around here.  But it needed airing, and I wanted the chicks to get some real sunlight, not just the light from an incandescent bulb over their pen.

Last thing I did was to pick some clover and spread it out on the floor of the big pen and the little pen inside the big pen.  Oh, do they love that!  It was fun to watch them.  Some of them grabbed the biggest piece they could find and ran off into a corner by themselves.  Others stayed right on the pile of clover and pecked away at it.  They ALL loved it!  So there is another task to add to my morning routine - get them their greens!

After taking care of my chicken chores, I ran uptown to arrange for the repair of my wood chipper.  We need it to chop up small branches and larger weeds before putting them in my new (well, it's old, but new to me) composter.  The carburetor needs rebuilding.  Mr. Foster will be out to pick it up on Sunday.  Hopefully it will not cost too much, but it is worth nothing to me now.  I am hoping for a bill around $50.  We will see how good a guesser I am.

I was gone from the farm for about an hour.  When I got back, as I drove up my lane to the house, I saw a dead raccoon on the side of the lane closest to the barn, where the chicks are.  You go, Tashi!  Yes, that killer instinct of hers can come in very handy.  Hopefully she will become a true protector of the chickens.  And hopefully the word will get around in the raccoon community that it is much healthier for them if they stay away.

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