Monday, December 17, 2012

T'was the week before Christmas and all thru the farm...

So much time has passed since I last posted.  So much has been going on.  I work a day job, in addition to managing the farm.  And sometimes the farm takes second fiddle to the job that brings in the mortgage payment.  Luckily my husband is usually around to take care of the farm, in addition to his day job.

Since I last posted I traveled to three continents for work.  My job is very interesting and I love what I do.  And the travel is a bonus.  Right now I'm loving Italy, the food, the outgoing people.  I will never have pizza as good as real Italian pizza.

And then I returned to the farm, where the work awaits.  I found that Bonnie, one of the shelter hens, had a huge mass of poop stuck to her rear.  What the heck causes that?  It was hard and dried and huge.  I scooped her up, realized that she is one overweight chicken, and lugged her into the house.  She was obese when we got her from the shelter.  And so Bonnie had a bath in the sink.  A good long soak for 30 minutes.  She napped, she liked the warm water.  But the dried poop didn't come off, so I had to cut it off.  Now her soft and fuzzy butt feathers are all chopped. I'm not good at cutting feathers evenly.  But she's clean at least.  Immediately after I cleaned her she pooped a normal but large poop on my bathroom floor. That's her way of saying Thanks!

While I was dealing with Bonnie my sister Cheryl called, wanted to know how the overseas trips went.  I told her I had a hen on the bathroom floor who was needing a blowdry before returning to the coop.  She knows my passion for my birds.

Chloe hen is broody.  She had a good molt in the fall, then turned broody.  I have a welt on the back of my hand from pulling eggs out from under her yesterday.  I'm not letting her raise chicks right now, it's too cold for chicks.

The hens are laying good again, after most of them molted.  We're averaging 6 eggs a day.  Most of our hens are older now and are slowing down with the laying.  The 2 shelter hens are our best layers.  I'll have to check back and see if the shelter has anymore hens!

The guineas are all doing fine.  Today Randy had company, the and guineas enjoyed scoping out a new truck in the driveway.  Randy and the guys who were visiting went out in ATVs, leaving their white truck behind.  The guineas checked themselves out in the white shiny paint.  They love reflective surfaces so they can see themselves.  They inspected the wheels.  They circled the truck and announced it's presence.  Finally they accepted the truck and wandered off, although they didn't go far from the new visiting truck.  They wanted to keep their eye on it.

Last night the guineas decided they wanted to change roosting trees.  They chose an overgrown bush in the backyard to roost, right over top of a fox hole.  It was getting dark and they were all out in the bush singing their nighttime squawks.  I quickly went out with a flashlight and shooed them back to the big pine tree, which is much safer than the bush.  They are just not that smart.  The bush is not safe, provides no protecting from owls or hawks or raccoons, and the foxes will be waiting for them to fly down.

Randy starting putting birdseed outside on one of the windowsills to attract birds so the inside cats can watch.  The cats love to watch the birds during the day and the mice that come up to the outside sill at nighttime! 

Well, Christmas is literally around the corner.  I'm off to start writing out cards.  I'm so late this year!

I'll have to make a "T'was the night before Christmas" poem about the farm as my next post!  Stay tuned!  I have lots of ideas!

Merry Christmas!


Farm Girl said...

So glad you are home now. Just in time for Christmas. It is nice you get to travel. You are such a good chicken owner. I don't know if it would ever cross my mind to give my chicken a bath if she was like that. Thankfully I don't have any like that. My hens are slowing down too.
This summer really cleaned out my flock. Do you know what I noticed. I had mice in my coop this summer. I had hens that would eat mice.
Did you know they all died? Have you ever heard of that?
Well glad you are home.

Mary Ann said...

I don't let my hens set in winter, either... though some have been trying. I'm glad you got the hen with the pasty butt sorted out!

Carolyn said...

How nice of you to provide CAT-TV for your kitties!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Sounds like life is good on Razzberry Corner. Merry Christmas to you and Dan!

Dog Trot Farm said...

How interesting your work must be. Last December, Josephine, one of my banties was so insistant about sitting on her eggs, I let her be. Three little chicks hatched one frigid December day. Into the house they came, I learned my lesson, winter hatching is out!!! Merry Christmas and blessings for the New year, Julie.

Leigh said...

Wow, what fun to do that kind of traveling! And how wonderful to have your farm to come home too.

LindaG said...

Glad to hear you are home and safe.
Have a great week!

Chai Chai said...

So you think you miss your birds? I bet they miss you too!

Welcome back.