Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Howling Winds

 One look at the neighbor's flag yesterday and I knew it wasn't going to be a clean the chicken coop day.
 Nope, the Wyadotte rooster we put in the hen house Sunday just about got his feathers blown off. So chicken coop cleaning will be reserved for another day. I don't relish being slapped with chicken manure in the face as I'm shoveling it into the pickup even if the garden is waiting for it.
I know it is a bit early according to our usual spring schedule but the Canadian geese have been coming north in droves for a good month now. I heard a Meadow Lark sing a few days ago and the Horned Larks are back too. Early, yes, but it must mean spring is right around the corner for surely the birds wouldn't lie and that must mean I need to up my schedule for hatching chicks and starting plants for the garden.

 And if the birds weren't enough indication, Sherman (the rooster)  {note how he is sidled up to Bella (kid goat)} has now all but abandoned the goats for our one black hen that runs loose. He also challenges the roosters through the wire of their coop, something he didn't do before. Yup, the rooster that didn't pay any attention to the neighbor's hen, Goldy, when she made advances is now all a flutter with hormones, so it's got to be time to put in a rooster in the hen house.

We house our roosters separately from our hens because they pester them unmercifully and they pull out feathers which the hens need with our cold winters. We kept three roosters this year to give eachh other company and warmth for the cold winter we didn't get this year and I'm grateful for.The extra two roosters will end up being chicken noodle soup soon and as for the one in the coop, he'll eventually go to the same fate. The older the rooster, the less sperm. One year old hens and one year old roosters being the most fertile.

In a couple weeks, I'll start putting eggs in the incubator to hatch. Just one batch this year if all goes well. The grand kids will be thrilled. It is one of their favorite things, watching chicks peck their way out of the shell. Got to love Grandma's house. LOL
 And while I'm speaking of critters. Chicory gives a big thank you to all those willing her a speedy recovery. She is feeling much better and is back to standing upright, though still a bit tender on her feet. The total of medications ended up being two anti-biotic shots and three doses of calcium drench given 12 hours apart. She must not of suffered too much because she is milking up a storm. I credit that to her being in excellent condition before this occured.
And what were her kids doing while the wind was howling, not playing on the upturned rubber watering pale, nope, hiding out in the goat shed. Big ole ears like these take flight in such howling winds and who knows who they might take with them. LOL
What are the bees doing in all the warm weather? They are doing spring cleaning. This is the time they remove all the bee poop, dead bees, and the like from their hives. I've given them a little sugar water as a refreshing snack. But yesterday they stayed tucked inside as the wind would blow them into the next county, so instead they just tipped toed to the entrance to grab a quick sip.  

Is spring early where you are, or for those of you down under, is fall early this year?

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