More on chickens

Cherisse has been splitting wood almost every day now, trying to get a stockpile for our stove. One of the Rhode Island Reds spent all day yesterday helping. As Cherisse pulled dead bark from some of the split logs, she tossed it to the chicken who picked off any bugs or grubs. When Cherisse filled up the cart with wood to stack, the chicken followed her, and then jumped into the empty cart to see if anything edible remained.

Two of the RI Reds always travel together…I haven’t tried to tell them apart, but I call them Lucy and Ethel. Then there is our wandering Dominique, Maria, who we now know has been laying eggs in secret. Each day since we discovered her hiding place, we have collected an egg from the rock cavity. Yesterday, for the first time, we had eight eggs—one from each chicken. But today we only had three (they don’t lay every 24 hours, but still it seems strange to have gotten so few…our smallest amount since they started laying).

Featherfoot, now that he is the only rooster, has been transformed. He travels around the house (he stuck close to the coop before), crows more often (although still not well) and seems to be master of all he surveys. To us, he is still ridiculous. However, at twice the size of the other chickens, I am hopeful he serves as some kind of deterrent to predators.

Inclement weather doesn’t bother them at all. In the rain today, they were still scattered all over the yard scratching and pecking. Chickens drink a lot of water, and at first we wondered if a third waterer should be placed in the yard somewhere. However they discovered an outdoor dog dish we keep filled for Koa and Oliver…and they drink from that frequently. Koa and Rebecca continue to ignore them (the dog and cat are well practiced at not seeing them, even when a chicken passes just inches away). Oliver, the friendliest of creatures, does acknowledge them, but he  sniffs them and the chickens scoot away.

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