We lost Precious for a while this weekend. Papa went to let the chickens out Saturday morning and she wasn’t in the coop. If you recall, Precious is our mostly-blind, non-egg-laying “pet”. She is Papa’s favorite, so of course he was upset she was missing. Usually if she gets lost she just hunkers down and waits for him to call for her. We were worried though that if she were hiding in bushes in the middle of the night, she wouldn’t be able to see any predators coming. He thought she was in the coop when he shut the doors the night before, but it’s sometimes hard to see in the dark – and with 20 chickens tucked in tight on the perches.
As you can see, she was found! After warning our female neighbor that he was going to walk around her house early Saturday morning (and that he wasn’t a pervert), Precious was found in one of their window wells. They are steeper than our window wells, so she couldn’t figure out how to get out on her own.
Whew. Happy day.
Opal was relieved too. Even though she can wander much further than Precious and so they aren’t often together, those two are the only “adults” in the group. Every time we stepped outside Saturday morning, there Opal was right by our side. She was worried.
In other chicken news…
This was our last rooster. He is no more. He made delicious (albeit chewy) chicken salad sandwiches a few weeks ago. It was time for him to leave this world because he was picking on Precious (see, I told you she was Papa’s favorite) … and he was posturing and threatening Little Chick. I have to say that as much as I don’t usually mind the crowing, the environment in the coop now is so much more relaxed and calm. The four female teenagers even seem to have adjusted to not having him part of their group.
Speaking of the teenagers …
WE HAVE EGGS!
Two of the four have started laying on a daily basis. They are tiny compared to these store-bought eggs. But there are eggs! I’m so excited. Opal’s laying has been inconsistent at best this summer. I’m hoping the other two will start soon – and it should only be about another month before the “babies” start laying.
Speaking of the babies…
Can you tell which are the teenagers and which are the babies in this picture?
Actually, it’s a trick question. They are all “babies”. But it wouldn’t have mattered if I posted a picture of a mixed group – they are all the same size now. Only Opal and Precious are bigger than the younger ones.
We are fortunate that Finley gets along so well with the chickens. Most of the time. A typical early morning is to let him out so he can chase squirrels and let the chickens out so they can forage.
He especially likes to go into the chicken run and scavenge for the food scraps we’ve left for the chickens. On occasion, he’ll get a little frisky with the chickens. Like last night. This is what happened:
There’s a chicken on our roof! She got scared when Finley chased after her and flew up there to be safe. Fortunately it was just the garage roof so Papa was able to get her down easily by throwing a big bouncy ball and scaring in the opposite direction (down).
Besides keeping the chickens on their toes, Finley spends most of his day like this:
Given the abundance of black walnut trees in the yard and the bump crop we’re having this year, there is also an abundance of little pine squirrels (the red ones) running around. It’s his duty to make sure they stay out of the yard as much as possible :).
Not much to post about the garden. Our grapes were finished off this week by some fruitaholic toddler. The tomatoes are packing it in, so it’s really just the carrots left in the garden. We were able to get three 5-gallon buckets of Haralson apples from the one tree. And Papa shopped the end-of-season sales at our local nursery to pick up a couple of pear trees to add to the yard.