There are still dirty dishes in the sink, but they'll still be there later. Laundry? At least the kids have clean clothes for tomorrow. The eggs are collected, the horses have feed and water, so what should I talk about? hmmmm. How about chickens (you know how I HATE them, ROFLMAO).
First off, any of you around here that mow and rake your yards and bag the clippings and leaves, I WANT THOSE BAGS. I'll even come pick them up. I always need more because I do deep litter indoors and out. Plus, the chookies like eating the little green bits they find when they scratch through. It was amazing how fast they turned their run (we used to call it Chickenyland) into a moonscape: from grass and weeds to bare dirt and craters.
It's hard to see in this pic (lighting and leaves) but there are pits out there. My mom took this pic--Stewie's in the middle, Vicky is on the left, Mary is on the right, and you can just barely see Bess' head on the bottom.Again, Mr. Ussery is my mentor here. Deep littering in a non-mobile run does the same thing as deep litter in the coop--grabs that poo and starts to compost it, so it doesn't create runoff into streams like ours. We can put it in the compost pile to supercharge it. Plus it gives them entertainment so they don't mess with each other so much. Pecking order is always an interesting thing to watch, and thank goodness I've had it easy--no bloody struggles or deaths. I attribute it to lots of fresh air and not overcrowding. So, looks like I need to expand the pen before the newbies get ready next year.
As much as I'd love to let them free range, we have too many predators out here. Hawks abound, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, and opossums lurk, then there's the road (where most people drive way too fast to stop for a chicken) and the dogs. I'm getting really creeped out and not looking forward to spring for the first time EVER: more than one person has told me to be on the lookout for snakes IN THE NESTBOXES. YIKES. So as soon as the snakes wake up, I guess I'll have to use my biker gauntlets to check for eggs and store a stick inside and a machete outside. One of my neighbors told me about a dozen eggs they put under a hen to hatch last year. Every day, one would go missing. No broken shells, nothing. Finally, when she only felt one egg under the hen, she actually lifted the hen . . .to find a 6 ft blacksnake coiled up UNDER the hen with bulges in its belly. EEEK. Here's hoping that the old tale is true: cats are supposed to keep snakes out of coops!
Here's Jack the Cat-ken who thinks she's a chicken (poor confused thing) that usually hangs out with the chookies. Hopefully she'll not just stand on my feet, she'll keep snakes away. That's Spiderman the Bantam Cochin hen next to her.
But at least I have a few more months before I have to worry. And hey, maybe the snakes will go somewhere else (yeah, pull the other one, it's got bells on). Until then, I'll enjoy my beloved chookies (they're better than TV!) and anxiously await my new arrivals.
Hope you all had a happy New Year, and may 2012 be good to you!