Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ahhh, eraser brains !

2.2.13- "ground hog day"  Phil didn't see his shadow, so according to fable, we'll have an early spring. 


As you probably know by now , I have chickens.

 I am not obsessed with having chickens, but from "chicken watching" I sure as heck have learned a Lot about them. ( 'Chicken Watching' being when I take a break or am doing things outside the barn )

Ok- so I have chickens..... one in particular is a pretty neat hen. That would be Lilly, one of my Lavender Orpington hens. Lilly almost died when she was just a baby, so she lived for a Long time in the tack room, with a heat lamp and in a box. I fed her by hand for quite a while, making sure she DID live and had enough food. She began sitting up, then walking and now, is a year old, and laying delicious "lavender" shaded eggs. ( All of the free range eggs are SO much better than those washed out ones purchased at a grocery store.)  Lilly seems to believe that she is not REALLY a chicken, but a really short person. She finds what we do in the barn fascinating, following along with us as we mix feed, sweep, clean stalls and all the items associated with a horse farm... She will fly up Into our wheelbarrows, pecking thru the manure and misc. things in there as we clean stalls. Sometimes if we're really careful when we move from stall to stall, Lilly gets to go for a wheelbarrow ride.

Lately the weather has been Very cold - making chickens search out 'warm' places. They enjoy roosting in the hay, sitting in it, and scratching about in the 'manure mountain' during the day. At night- everyone heads to their chosen spot to sleep.

Lilly, however, figures she has the run of the whole barn and sometimes wants to be in with the young hens or is happy to be in a stall. One day this week, I filled the goat's hay bag ( it is one of those nylon ones with a top to add hay and a hole at the bottom for them to pull hay out- little waste that way & much safer for goatie girls) full of fresh hay for them to nibble on during the day. Forgetting about where Lilly was, I walked up the aisle to get another empty stall cleaned . All of a sudden, I heard this god-awful squawking ! I jogged down the barn to where the big ruckus was and looked into the goats' stall.  Lilly had decided that SHE was going to sit in the haybag on that wonderful cozy new hay. The only trouble was that she is a Big hen, and the hay bag ?   Yeah- little.
 MUCH smaller than Lilly's big ol grey behind...  So she was stuck, with her feathered behind hanging out of the hay bag and her face peeking out the other side of it.  All I could do was laugh at her !  She was Most embarrassed, and once she saw I'd come to 'rescue' her, her squawking died down to pathetic clucks directed towards me.

I helped her get free from the hay bag which surely was going to eat her, and after ruffling her beautiful feathers back into place, wandered off down the barn aisle once more.  I have discovered that chickens
 "cuss"; not so WE hear them, but to themselves .....  after they are safe.

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