After a night of gusting winds in December, we awoke to find our chicken coop upside down and our chickens discombobulated, but, thankfully, alive and squawking. They certainly gave us an ear full when we arrived on the scene; it seems they have some grievances with our top heavy portable chicken tractor. Glenn made a few adjustments that seem to be riding out the fierce winds that we have been experiencing. However, the chickens were not so confident at first. Though we had righted and secured their home, they were not overjoyed to return to their roost that evening. They reminded me of young children daring each other to the be first to jump from the diving board as first one chicken then the other would jump on her platform to ascend to her home roost and then change her mind and jump down and go to the back of the line. After several minutes, courage or sleepiness prevailed and they each ascended to have sweet and calm dreams.
All has been well, and our plump, shiny chickens are strutting, scratching and laying eggs.
The wild turkeys are enjoying our buckwheat, and Glenn sees our chances of the buckwheat reseeding itself being gobbled away ; the flock of 30+ are grazing daily and taunting Tillie on our morning walks. Glenn and Tillie have informed them not too push their luck too far or one of them might be the lucky bird to be marinated in bourbon and apple cider and roasted to a golden brown next Thanksgiving.
Our hens have finally slowed down egg production, but we are still getting two eggs a day which is fine from the five hens. They were thankful for the cornbread dressing that they received after Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the fresh eggs that definitely make a more delicious quiche.
On a sad note, we lost our yellow hive of honey bees; we are still analyzing the evidence, but it looks potentially like colony collapse disorder. This hive was always weaker from the start, but we had left all their honey in the hive in the hope that they would be able to survive the winter and gain strength going into next year. We had seen a lot of bee activity during the sunny days when we looked out at their hives, but upon closer inspection, Glenn realized that those were robber bees enjoying all the yummy honey. It seems that they had a Thanksgiving feast as well.
Yeah…the girls gave us four eggs yesterday (up until now we were getting one or two per day). They are now saved from Glenn and the roasting pan. Actually, they are fattening up and looking much healthier and happier. Maybe we should rename ourselves “second- chance farm.” I, of course, attribute some of their improved laying not only to their new healthy farm habitat but also to my sweet-talking encouragement and grateful acknowledgement when they give us eggs. I will be making an Egg Custard pie with their gift tomorrow.
The sun is bright in the evening sky,
The rain is steady and rhythmic,
and the fresh eggs are warm in the palms of my hands.