Hi All, Sorry it has been a while since I have updated you on our goings on around here, it has been a busy spring. Like most of you, we are over winter and ready to plant flowers and get the warm weather seasons started. So far our spring has been pretty cool so getting things in the ground has not been possible. So, instead of planting the veggie gardens in the ground this year I have then started in seed trays in the house awaiting the last frost to pass for planting.
The girls too have been rather busy. We designed their chicken yard or play ground this spring. This is the outdoor enclosure next to their coop that I allow them to run in when the weather is good. Unfortunately our spring has been rather rainy so it has been a slow work in progress. The girls and I finally completed it last week. I have been wanting to spruce up their outdoor run area and incorporate more things to engage them. This year I added a few new things that they are absolutely loving. A Sand box, that is right, I got the girls a sand box which they love to scratch in and dust bath in. I also purchased them a swing. I know what you are thinking, a swing, but yes. Apparently chickens love to swing. I have a few that use it, the rest are still afraid of it. I guess they are making double sure that it will not kill them. The swing is taking some getting used to but the sand box is a big hit!
When I let them out in the morning I first let them in their covered pen. I place their food and water in the section to keep the wild birds out of their food. It also ensures that their food will not get wet should we get a stray shower passing over. I then open up the side door that allows them access to their outdoor playground. Lately though, instead of being more exited about breakfast they are more excited about getting to go outside and play in their playground. They practically fly out of the coop in the morning heading for their sandbox then later go back into the covered pen area to get breakfast. It reminds me a lot of a elementary class of children flooding the playground as recess is announced. My girls love to play, it just makes me smile and laugh as I watch them enjoy their new playground digs.
Once the weather warms up I plan on continuing the cinder block row in front of the playground then filling the holes with flowers. I am hoping that the weather warms up enough for me to get to the gardening phase of my plan. The girls will not care too much about the flowers, but I think they need a few flowers to decorate their digs.
Now for some sad news. Along with the fun of raising chickens, there is also the reality that they do not live forever. Miss Lola passed away last week. She got sick and before I could even get to the vet the next day she passed in the night. Based on her condition and no appearance of any illness I think her heart just got tired, stopped and she passed. There was noting the vet could have done for her anyway. She is missed by both me and her flock friends. Chickens do have a mourning process, they all attended the funeral and cooed lowly and moaned as they said good buy to their fellow flock mate. The pecking order then had to be rearranged which aids in the mourning process for the girls. So far I think all is good, the girls all know where they stand in the pecking order line. I buried her in my wildflower garden in the backyard. A few that have gone before her are also buried there. They are missed but live again as my wildflower garden blooms this summer reincarnating their spirits in the form of beautiful flowers that feed the butterflies and hummingbirds that visit the flowers. It is a beautiful circle of life that takes place in my backyard.
Roy is doing fine, he has a coop mate now. Miss Katie, one of my larger hens hurt her leg and now has a limp. She cannot climb the latter that leads to the coop so I have put her in “Roy’s Roost” with Roy. Roy too has leg issues that occurred when he was attacked by a hawk a few summers past. Katie now having suffered an injury is now rooming with Roy.
Roy is so sweet to her. While out in the yard he watches over her and does not stray far from her. He knows that she has been injured and does what he can to take care of her. He will locate a grub or what not and call her over to eat it. Katie is loving her man, the two make a great pair. She does not pick on him like the other girls do, so their arrangement is just perfect.
I had to isolate Roy from the girls because they were picking on him badly after he was hurt in the hawk attack. He is such a good rooster that I ordered another coop for him to protect him for the other girls who were brutally picking on him. Roy and Miss Katie are great together and offer each other quality companionship. I assume these two will remain coop mates for the rest of their life. The vet says that Miss Katie will be fine but will limp the rest of her life. Roy also having a limp makes them the perfect pair.
Well that is all for now, I hope that my next post will encapsulate the completed decor of my spring plan of the girls digs. I hope to get the flowers planted in front of their playground in the next few weeks if the weather allows. I am sure that the girls will offer much help as we play in the dirt together. All girls need some flower gardens, my girls are no different.
Till next time keep on crowing!
~The Kuntry Klucker Crew~