Critters

December 4, 2013

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It may seem odd to those who aren't keen on animals, but I feel fortunate to be surrounded by all of the small beings that reside with us in the nest. Maybe it's because I was raised by a major animal lover. To give you an idea, when I was growing up, my mom would bring home injured skunks and opossums and all sorts of critters, and nurse them back to health before sending them off on their merry way. And although I've never lived on a farm, I was surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, goats, llamas, and even rabbits. I can't imagine life without companions such as these.

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Some of you have been asking about the chickens, so I went through my posts and realized there's a lot to update you on! First, the last of our girls stopped laying in early November. We've opted not to extend their natural laying cycle with artificial lights, so they probably won't start laying again until February when the days get longer, but that's a-ok with us. We'll just eat less eggs for now, and buy them from the store when we really need them.

Second, the only obvious molting came from Seven of Nine, my Black Australorp. It started during the week she went broody, when she surrounded the nest box with her own feathers, after which appeared bare patches on her tummy that have since grown in. The molting on the other ladies has been less obvious, but they are all looking decidedly fluffy, and if I dig around, I can spot a few pinfeathers here and there.

Third, Miss Amelia Pond finally decided to hop the fence into the neighbor's yard a few weeks back. I knew it was only a matter of time because she's such an avid flyer, but I was secretly hoping she'd never get curious enough to try. In any case, we've extended the height of the fence with some chicken wire, so I doubt it'll happen again. I hope, I hope, I hope.

And lastly, the cold has arrived, so Matt and I have double-checked the hen house to make sure the weather stripping is secure. From everything I've read, the girls should be fine as long as they have adequate ventilation, and are protected from the wind. Aside from that, we're bringing their water dispenser in with us at night to keep it from freezing over, and we'll be filling it with warm water before hooking it back up in the morning.



Oh! And Miss Olive's leg is doing just fine these days. See for yourself in the video above. Pro rail-walking skills. :)

5 comments:

  1. When the chickens where younger and we had more (down to 2 now) we never put heat in the coop and they did fine..even down to the teens a few times. Since the ladies are old now we did put in a red heat lamp just to warm their old bones.

    About the water, several years back I got a heated dog water bowl. I don't remember how much it was but it was so much less expensive than the real heated chicken waterers. It doesn't have to be big with just a few hens. We leave it out in the covered run and they are very happy with it.

    Love the update! xo

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  2. Love the idea of the heated dog waterer, especially if it's less expensive. Thanks for the tip!

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  3. I love your chicken updates, so glad Olive's leg is better!
    Dito on living with animals. I have always had a least one pet in my life and I couldn't imagine living without my pets or even my bi-weekly visits to the pony.
    They make life so much richer and warmer (for lack of a better word) and more grounded in our technology-focussed world. I was rewatching "Victorian Farm" recently and there's a scene where little piglets or sheep (don't remember which) are born and one of the protagonists is just beaming and says something like "THIS is it. I will remember this moment forever". Animals are good for us :)

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  4. I'm so glad to see your chickens are doing well. They have grown up so much and are right handsome hens now. :)

    I don't know how I could live without my pets (3 rabbits). I also came from a zoo-like home thanks to my soft-hearted mom and can't imagine life without a furry love nearby.

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  5. since I'm writing this message with three dogs and a cat here with me...I'd say I too am an animal lover..love the update on the chickens, they're beautiful

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