There's always lots to discuss about life here on the farm, and I'm always short on time to talk, it seems! So most likely this blog post will include lots of topics!
Guess what??? Remember that big fat hen that I got from the local shelter? I named her Bonnie. Big Bonnie. She's laying eggs now! Yeah for Bonnie! Bonnie was abused before being picked up by animal control in the city. I determined originally she was a farm hen, who was caged in the city. Then she was let loose to wander the city streets. Only thing, she was caged without being able to stand or walk and she lost the ability to walk much, she lost her muscle ability of her legs! And animal control called me, and I took her home to my farm. She loves the other chickens, she fit in well, easily accepting status as the lowest hen in the pecking order. Thing is, she didn't care. They picked on her, she just turned away. She's not really even part of the pecking order. She learned how to walk and even waddles a funny-looking run sometimes. And the other hens stopped picking on her. She eats side-by-side with the other hens and has gained enough strength to sit on the roost at nighttime with the other hens. She's lost some weight. And now, dear Bonnie has started laying eggs! I thought she was too old. I guess not, I guess she was too unhappy. Now she's a happy bird and lays a medium-colored brown egg every day. I'm so glad to have rescued Bonnie.
Pennie was the other shelter hen we rescued. Only she was someone's spoiled house chicken. She still loves to come into the house. I used to bring her in the kitchen every now and then for an hour or so while I cooked. She'd walk around, talking the entire time, would spill the cat's dry food bowls and drink the cat's water. Only, last time I brought her in she ran from me when I attempted to catch her. It was terrible. It took me a very long time to catch her. She didn't want to go back outside and fought me terribly to be free in the kitchen. I felt bad for her. She doesn't act sad to be outside with the other chickens, but she prefers to be inside the house, and that's not gonna happen, sorry Penny. And so I stopped bringing her inside, it was just too hard to catch her last time. I thought she was going to break a leg running from me! She was slipping on the ceramic floor and sliding across the kitchen in her hurry to escape my grasp. It would have been just terrible if she hurt herself trying to run from me! Dear spoiled Penny. Penny also lays a medium-colored brown egg every day out in the chicken coop. Yes, Penny, you really are a chicken.
I saved the best news for last. Tommy Cat has returned! He was an outdoor cat who disappeared for months. We thought he was dead, killed by a fox or hawk. I searched the local shelter, no Tommy. Then one day Randy saw Tommy come sneaking out of the woods, sneaking to the front porch, and the other stray male cat, Benjamin, attacked Tommy, making Tommy run away. Randy realized that Tommy left because of Benji. Benji must chase him away whenever he comes to eat. Tommy is a lover, not a fighter. Benji is more wild and doesn't like to be pet or hugged much. Tommy prefers hugs and pets to food, and runs from Benji. Hmmm, Benji is a guard cat, it seems. It's good that he'll keep all the other stray cats away. Benji likes Brindle, the female stray, but that's it; he only tolerates Brindle and nobody else. Too bad for Tommy Cat.
And so Randy went out into the trees where he saw Tommy, and Tommy of course came to him for pets. And the rest is history. Tommy Cat now lives inside, away from mean Benji. Every day Randy brings Benji in and locks Tommy and Benji together in the bathroom, often letting Benji stay in overnight - both cats locked in the small bathroom together. He's trying to make them be friends - both are fixed male cats. We don't plan on keeping Tommy inside forever, but I cannot imagine putting him back out in the cold at this time. I really don't know what we are doing with Tommy, but I know Tommy loves being inside, he loves the attention, loves to sleep on the bed, and has made a fast adjustment from outside stray to inside spoiled cat.