Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mystery Solved!

I sometimes see Myrtle coming and going from the area that I call my garage. It's actually a car port that has been kind of fenced in. It's not fenced in very well, and the hens can get back there pretty easily. I had a feeling that Myrtle, and sometimes her buddy Birdie, have been laying eggs back there, but I could never find them.

Not until today, that is. Tonight we heard chicken sounds coming from back there, and sure enough Myrtle was noisily laying an egg. (I've never heard any of them making noises while they're laying. It's usually not until after they've layed that they make noise, and then what a ruckus.) For all my looking, I never thought about looking under my old hammock. I guess I need to see the world through chicken eyes.

Not only was tonight's egg there. Several days worth of her eggs (and a couple of Birdie's) were in the secret laying place.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I think the chickens are starting to molt. I'm seeing more feathers in the coop and on the ground and egg production has really slackened off. I've seen some pictures of molting chickens online, and it's possible that they will lose almost all feathers. So far my chickens still have most of their feathers. I have to say that featherless chickens are pretty unattractive (ha, ha, if you can be pretty unattractive).

I am pleased to report that Ethel and Rosemary have stopped brooding. They brooded for most of the summer, which was quite annoying. They didn't lay any eggs most of the summer, and by constantly laying on the eggs, they made collecting the eggs a bit harder.

Now that the weather has become less severe I've been able to spend more time outside with the hens. I'm not saying that chickens are as companionable as dogs, but I do think they are pretty sweet creatures. Not that this is a new idea for me, but I guess not spending as much time with them, I kind of forgot just how sweet they are.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Okay, So Roaches Can Survive a Nuclear Bomb, But Can They Survive a Chicken?

I never have a video camera when I need it.

Last week I discovered that the wood chips that I put in the hens' boxes had gotten wet and that a nest of roaches had moved in. I know, pretty gross. I'm always in such a hurry that I didn't have time to do anything about it ... until today.

I decided that I'd give the hens a treat and rounded the hens up for a morning snack. I dragged the bag of chips into the chicken pen, and the first thing I saw was not a roach but a little really black spider, not that I'm afraid of garden spiders, but I didn't recognize this one. Not to fear, however, lovely, brave Birdie came over and promptly ate it. And then the six of them ate all the roaches that I shook from the bag. I would say that there were no less than a dozen living in the wood chips, and I don't think even one got away. Not all of them were full grown. Maybe five or six were over an inch long, but I can tell you that a good time was had by all, including this big mother hen. If you haven't seen it yourself, I just can't tell you how much fun it is to watch chickens chase and eat bugs, and there is something extremely satisfying when that bug is a roach.