chickens, no more

i grabbed jeannie from the coop and put her in a pillow case. she sat on my lap the whole way to the farm that belongs to one of my mom’s knitting friends on monday night.

i pet her back during the ride; it was the first time i’d held her since we got the flock over two years ago.

now, when i leave the house in the morning, i look at an empty chicken run and get a little sad that i don’t have my ladies to greet.

however, this will give us time to rethink the run and possibly insulate the coop a little. we also need to seal it, since i didn’t want to do that when it was occupied.

i miss having our little garbage disposals for my kitchen scraps.

not fort knox

we lost two more girls last night.

i felt like the cast of clue when they go around confirming the bodies after the second house-search.

this one could have been prevented if we’d have closed them in, tho.

ugh

i woke up kinda late this morning, wanted to sleep in longer but i had some client work to do, so i didn’t want to be at work too late.

i got into the day spa and looked out at the chickens and noticed a) they weren’t out yet and b) their water bucket was tipped over, which usually indicates an empty bucket.

i took off my gear and headed to the run, knowing it would be a while before matt woke up, and didn’t want to leave them without water.

immediately, i saw maryanne laying in a puddle, dead. my first thought was that she had an impacted egg, or whatever. but it was still weird that no one else was out, so i checked inside the coop and only saw three girls. then, i looked in the run again and Sam was next to the water bucket…

also, someone was missing.

there were so many feathers and guts.

i didn’t know what to do, but i woke matt up and asked for his help. eventually, we determined the intruder broke in through the coop window and probably scared the three out into the run and ripped a corner of the run to take one of them with.

the remaining three cried all day… i was fortunate enough to stay home and work, but around 1:30, i couldn’t stand hearing their sadness anymore, so i left. when i got home, two of them (lucy and mrs howell) were outside, looking around, their crows were hoarse. poor girls…

jeannie still wouldn’t come out. she had been stuck under the coop all night, probably watching as her friends were decimated. her comb is bloody, but she won’t let me near her to take a look. i hope it doesn’t get infected.

most of all, i hope the asshole raccoon, fox, opossum, or whatever doesn’t come back tonight. they won’t be able to handle it.

we reinforced all of the chicken wire that was clearly an issue, closed the ladies into the coop and shut the window, even though it’s so humid out. i added some dog fur and tin foil to the window frame, hoping it will deter whatever it is that came around last night.

they weren’t even done laying…

many faces to feed

the chickens are not enjoying this heat. i won’t be surprised if one or more stop laying for a couple days. it’s supposed to get tolerable by friday.
they seem to be going to bed earlier than i expect, but that’s probably because the sun is setting ever so earlier each day.
here’s ginger ready to sleep (pardon the levels, it was dark in the coop):
ginger.jpg
nero is finally coming around. he’s still skittish, but he’ll ask to be pet and then i tell him to get up on the cat tree and he does. then he rolls around like a silly fool until he almost falls off.
nero_cute.jpg
martin and burnie have become buddies. he’ll chase her around and attack her, then begin a bath. here’s the middle of that:
tooni_burnie.jpg
and, nora was on the couch, being cute so matt made them cuter.
matt_nora.jpg

it’s 2013

we had a snow day on the 20th and were stuck in the house playing cribbage.
snowedin.jpg
i couldn’t get out of my street and we had a friend over for a bonfire on the 21st.
bonfire.jpg
we had more friends over on the 22nd, matt worked on the 23rd, we went to mom and geo’s for oyster stew on the 24th, we had a nice 25th putting together a bookshelf.
bookshelf.jpg
we got two new kitties (one won’t let me photograph him yet):
magellan.jpg
we got to walk on the creek (it never got cold enough last year):
icewalk.jpg
and i made an omelet with fresh eggs from my chickens!
omlet.jpg

new door!

we *finally* got a door installed on the coop so the little ladies don’t freeze their cute, furry bums off.
popdoor.png
we also got one more egg out of mary anne on thanksgiving morning. it’s getting a little colder now, so i don’t think we’ll get any more eggs until the spring, but they’re always surprising us!

first!

i came home on monday night and, for some reason, decided to check on the chickens since they were in “bed” and i’d noticed the nesting box hay being moved around… and didn’t want them sleeping in there.
i opened the window and shone my iphone flashlight app and spotted our first egg!
egg.jpg
it’s tiny and oblong, but it’s still an egg.
matt found a second one yesterday. we’re hoping for two more before it gets cold so we can cook ’em up in the style that we like (him: over hard, me: over medium).

update

sorry it’s been so long. i’m not doing much in terms of exciting things, so there isn’t a lot to chat about.
the chickens are not laying yet, tho two of them decided to hop out of the run after we opened it to retrieve shards of glass that they keep digging up.
we made some progress on the soft goods room, filing away all the great fabric and cleaning up the closet. now i just need to get that sewing machine up there.
i’ve also been coveting this bike; it’s only $220 with free shipping and i get three paychecks in november, so i’ll have some extra cash.
i’m not sure, tho, if i should wait until tax return season instead, since the road tires are no good on ice and snow.
speaking of! i’m excited to knit again. i have a half-done hat that i need to send to a friend in seattle… hopefully she’s not freezing!
i’m off work tomorrow, and am looking forward to sleeping in.

party prep

our third annual labor day weekend party is coming up, and we need to get the chicken stuff out of the day spa. mostly because i’m 99% sure mice are living in the hay.
so, we need to make another trip to menards (incidentally, a couple of the checkers now smile and say hi when we go…) to get more metal garbage cans and bungie cords. i’ve never seen a raccoon by our house, but the last thing i need is one knocking over a can of organic chicken feed.
moving these containers outside brings me to some minor home improvement. we want to put them on the deck, below the windows, right where it drips all over when it rains… which means i might be installing a gutter and downspout as well. i thought of putting the chicken stuff up on the other side of the deck where someone thought it would be a good idea to make stairs so it was “symmetrical” *eyeroll*, but it’s a pain to get over there in the winter when the snow is all piled up… and i don’t want to make it a requirement to shovel over there.
it would be cool if we could hook up a rain barrel while doing the gutter install, but they’re kinda big and bulky.
we’ll see how ambitious we are this afternoon.

cooper’s hawk!

this morning, a hawk decided to pay visit to the chicken coop.
while i was dishing out my lunch, i heard the ladies squawk in such a way that i’d not yet experienced… so i ran to the day spa and opened the door. the hawk had just hopped from the top of the coop onto the run. that scared the girls under the coop. i yelled to matt, “hawk on run!” and slammed the back door, still holding the spatula.
i ran up to the coop and shouted, “you’re not getting in there, $*&cker!” knowing full well that there was no way he’d be able to get at the chickens. he hopped onto the fence, nonchalantly, and then flew into a nearby oak tree. the chickens were still visibly shaken, but came closer to where we were standing than ever before.
maybe this is a turning point, when they now realize we’re there to protect them and we’re not a threat.