Sometimes I'm all set to do a blog post, and then I seem to have too much to say, and it seems like just too big of a deal to actually get the post done. So I took a few pictures this evening, thinking this could just be a simple and quick post.
We have been enjoying Summer for two months. Now it is getting a little old. Hate to complain about the sunshine, but we desperately need rain. This is just not what we are used to. The grass is turning brown, it looks more like mid August than the end of June. Some of the vegetables are protesting and are going to seed sooner than usual. I'm having to water a lot. The arugula is one of those 'going to seed' vegetables. There are still leaves there, and I was cutting the stems and picking the little leaves off, but that makes for a pretty labour intensive $1 bag of arugula. Time for it to go, and make room for the tomato plants that have been languishing in too small pots for too long.
It's handy having one of the chicken fields right next to the garden. A lot of the weeds and old veggies just go over the fence to the hens, and they are happy to get them.
Today was arugula day.
And this is what hens do in the heat. Kind of like me, holding my arms out a bit to keep air flowing in the 'pits'
Now I would have ended this post here. short and sweet. But....while I was pulling out the last of the arugula, there is some cackling coming from the other chicken field. Kind of the 'I've laid an egg' type cackling, not the 'help, the coyote is after me' kind of squawking, but still, since Luna was barking at the fence I thought I'd better go and have a look. So I let Jake and Luna into the field, and Luna right away gets distracted by the sheep. Jake is out there wandering around, and then I notice he is down along the fence by the road, and his tail is up high. I go down to look and find a hole dug under the fence, and feathers near by. So I go and get Larry and we fill in the hole with a huge rock and check for other spots and put down more big rocks and blocks and big chunks of rotting lumber and whatever we could find. The ground is so dry and light and easy to dig in. Jake found a partial chicken carcass and munched on that. Now that one was not fresh, and I'm guess that was a hawk kill, as a coyote would have taken the hen with it. There was a hawk hanging around for a long time on Saturday afternoon, and who knows what might have been going on there for the 3 1/2 days we were away last week. Only saw the hawk once or twice, most of the time it was in the trees, the crows were giving it hell and the robins were shrieking 'hawk, hawk'! The hens were all in hiding, and then on Sunday morning they didn't even want to come out of the coop. Anyway, hopefully we have deterred the coyotes for a bit, and the hawk didn't seem to be around today. I did a head count tonight on the hens, and we may be down 2 or 3, which was better than what I was imagining, considering that egg production has dropped off in that coop, but that is probably more a factor of their age and the heat.
Never a dull moment.
I do the same thing in the heat! We are due to warm up, I like the 70's just fine. I have heard on the news that the temperatures out that way are way above normal. Hope you stay cool:)ReplyDelete
You are right about there never being a dull moment! Your hens are so pretty and healthy looking. Our few hens had almost stopped laying because of the extreme heat. Thankfully it has cooled off a little this week. The last two week were almost unbearable. High humidity and high 90's...even a few 100 and 101 degrees. It has been a hot summer so far! Sounds like you and Larry work all the time!ReplyDelete
A friend of mine who raises chickens is busy fighting the foxes in our area. I bet she has some coyotes too as they run everywhere. I hate that you are losing hens. Hawks would be a tough one to fight.ReplyDelete
Those hens are like lawn mowers BOLReplyDelete
Lily & Edward
It amazes me that Jake will eat a chicken carcass but not go after a live hen, Well trained or does he not associate the one with the other?ReplyDelete
Some guardian dogs will eat a dead lamb when there job is to keep the live ones safe.Delete
I think it is a combination of both. When I was considering adopting Jake, I took him in with the hens on leash. He pulled towards one, I said 'eh,eh' in the back of my throat, and he had been fine ever since. If hens are fighting or there is a lot of coyote scent and he is wound up, he likes to blast through the flock, but on whole he is fine. Luna is too. She showed intense focus on them when we first got her, but we eventually figured out that it was herding behaviour, which is actually prey drive not taken to completion, but she has never gone for one. Calli shows no interest. An Irish Setter I had many years ago, did kill a few chickens, but eventually got over that, and used to just 'play' with the rooster. They would dance around each other, it was fascinating to watch. The Lab we adopted previous to Calli, had to have a bit of training when she first came here, but she had more prey drive/herding behaviour than Jake exhibits.Delete
I like the picture of the chicken with her feathers flapping in the breeze. Looks like she is saying Phewww to the heat and to the fact that she wasn't one of the ones that got eaten. Last summer our hottest day was 88 degrees. This summer we have already been in the mid 80's. The grass is browning up and yes, we have to water, water, water :0(ReplyDelete
We have a hybrid wolf in the area that is giving the chicken owners fits right now here in Sequim.ReplyDelete
Oh geez! I did forget to mention that a cougar was spotted about a mile and a half from here less than two weeks ago. Hope it was just passing through, but there have been occasional sightings over the years, so we may have a resident one, along with a bear or two.Delete
Never a dull moment! Hope you get some rain! We have not gotten much either and plenty of forest fires burning up here.ReplyDelete