Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chicken Camp Out

Well, I can't believe it, but I'm letting the kids camp out.  They're only 5 1/2 weeks old.  I sure hope they do OK and that nothing tries to eat them.  I did have to scare a hawk off earlier today.

They were getting WAY too crowded in the brooder.  Scott built me a chicken tractor with the intent of putting the Cornish meat birds in it, but with the layer chicks needing more space NOW and getting ready to slaughter the meaters next weekend, we thought we'd let the layers have the space.  After all, the Cornish only walk about 6 inches at a time anyway.  I can hold my nose for one more week.

I've been getting the babies used to being outside during the day, but this is the first night.  I'm a little worried.  OK, I'm a LOT worried.  I know that there's a raccoon under the barn, and the coyotes have been coming awfully close lately.  I got paranoid enough that I wrapped extra wire around the whole shebang.  I put bricks all around the screens on top.  Now the only worry (hopefully) is the snakes.  I haven't seen one big enough to take on one of these chicks, but there are always some you don't see.  ARGH!!

I'd post a picture here, but my camera is refusing to either flash or focus through 2 layers of fence!

On a much happier note, I got a present tonight!  From strangers!  Turns out that a few weeks ago, a couple of guys asked for permission (from Scott) to hunt some turkeys on our land.  Of course, he said yes, but the turkey must have heard and promptly disappeared.  They asked him if they needed to pay us and he said "oh, just bring my wife some feathers."

So imagine my surprise when the dogs sounded off after dark.  There were strange people here.  As it goes, they didn't get their turkey on our land, but they remembered that I wanted feathers.  So they gave me an ENTIRE turkey tail--bones and all!  How absolutely awesome is that?  I know I go on at length about good neighbors, but you really can't appreciate people like that enough.

I confess, I did tell them that if they wanted coyote, that we have some that are coming way too close.  Wonderful people that they are, they asked if I wanted the tails!  With regret, I said no.  I don't have the time to cure them. 

It seems to be part of the magic of this place that even a badly begun day can turn into a good day.  I miss my delivery pizza and convenient Chinese take-away, but I wouldn't trade this for the world.

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