Sunday, April 15, 2012
Yesterday Jerome arrived with a major goal for Saturday, bringing the birds home.
They look a bit rough around the edges after their winter away, but took to their old yard and house with gusto.
Our little punk rocker, now all grown up and definitely male, proved himself king of the barnyard despite the fact that Eli and Lovina's rooster outweighed him by about 50%. Now our big guy has a much reduced harem and Eli's fella has his hens all to himself.....
Along with our rooster we have one hen of each breed. These girls were wearing the bracelets I put on them last November, so it was easy to identify them.
Amelia still has her crooked comb. She followed me all over the chicken yard yesterday whenever I went into it. I swear she knows her name, especially since she was the only one her winter family knew by name.
Phoebie got right to work checking out every corner of the chicken yard. While in the crate on the way home she busied herself pecking little critters off of her rooster's head, eating them with relish.
She enjoyed taking several dust baths under the chicken house, coming out from beneath there and giving her feathers a good shaking with clouds of dust flying like Pigpen in the Peanuts comics. I sprinkled a good dose of diatomaceous earth under their house, in their nesting boxes, in their bedding and even a little in their food. It serves to kill parasites without causing any chemical concerns to the birds.
Minerva looks really sad. Named for Minerva McGonagall of Harry Potter for robes of black with bits of green, was once a glossy black, shining deeply iridescent green in sunlight and heavy with inner and outer feathers. She is currently scraggly and skittish. I'm keen to restore her to her best health.
LadyHawk refused to stand still for a photo. She is our smallest hen, and also has lost much of her beauty along with her feathers. She enjoyed the dust baths greatly and perhaps can now feel more secure back at her old home.
It was touching to watch Lovina lean into the Jeep to say goodbye to the chickens just before we closed them in. So uncharacteristic of the Amish to show attachment to animals. I invited her to come visit them any time, and all the children too, as they all helped in their care since mid November. I know they'll miss the green/blue eggs LadyHawk produces.
All of the chickens greatly enjoyed the chicken yard they knew as young birds and neatly tucked themselves in at dusk, though all the girls were in the nest boxes and the rooster all alone on their night perch!!
We had a good heavy rain in the night with lightning and thunder. We needed the rain so badly, though the timing is not the best as I was hoping my friend Dave with the tractor would be able to stop by and turn the vegetable bed. Now it'll have to wait til the ground dries out. Also Jerome and I had many outside jobs planned. Some of that will have to wait at least another day. That's fine, as we have many inside jobs that are waiting too. Ah, farm life.
When I stood in the chicken yard yesterday watching and listening to the birds settling in, tears of joy sprang forth. A simple pleasure deeply felt.
Welcome home my fowl friends.