Monday, June 21, 2010

Long Overdue Update

It's been forever since I posted an update, and I have no excuse, really. In the winter, I didn't have much to post because it got dark so early. Now that it is summer I should be writing more often. Okay, here's what's been going on:

The chicks love being out in the yard, but that also means that they like to lay their eggs in the yard. Myrtle, especially. She likes finding dark quiet places to lay her eggs--the "garage," the cast iron plants in front of the porch, the overgrown area in the back ... . Yesterday, I had to shoo her away from the back porch even. She wanted to lay her egg inbetween the screen and back door. Silly bird. I eventually picked her up and put her and the others back in the pen.

Ethel and Rosemary have been all broody since I got back from San Antonio in late March. They huddle up in a nesting box together, changing boxes only after another hen has layed an egg that they can rush over and sit on. They do come out occasionally to eat, drink and poop (really large poops!), but they cluck the entire time so the "chicks" in the eggs they are nesting on don't miss them. No, I'm not leaving eggs for them to nest on. It's just what they do.

I had a batch of thin eggs a week or so ago. I hadn't been giving them oyster shells, but I've started up again and that seems to take care of the problem. One of the eggs cracked under Rosemary and stuck to her chest, and I had to clean it off of her, which, of course, she hated.

Lastly, I had to net my blackberries and tomatoes, so I can have b's and t's for us. It seems to work for the birds and squirrels. (Although, I'm sad to report that I've seen two birds caught in the net. One I was able to rescue. The other was dead by the time I found it.) The nets are less effective for the chickens. They simply go under the blackberry nets, and they've found an opening for the tomatoes. Myrtle was in the tomatoes yesterday, but I think that she was just looking for a place to lay an egg. Because Myrtle and Birdie are now bff's, Birdie had to go into the tomatoes as well. I think she scared herself a bit because she couldn't figure out how to get out right away and kept headbutting the net. She figured it out soon enough, however, and all is well.