March 11, 2012

Henhouse update

One of my goals as a blogger is to master the art of the short post. It's very difficult for me since I'm very long-winded. My first foray into the short blog arena was literally 5 minutes ago—to celebrate this blog's 5000th pageview. This post is not exactly short but neither is it one of my characteristic super-long posts.

What I want to say is that my experiment with the nesting chickens worked. In my last post, I described how I put up a removable door to protect the 2 nesting hens from their marauding sisters who don't watch where they step when laying their own eggs (although the other two are laying, they're not "broody," i.e. not interested in sitting on the eggs. I must be a shabby bird biologist because I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what makes a bird broody in the first place). The day after I tied a shield with custom air holes, fabricated out of a scrap piece of corrugated plastic, and affixed to the front of the next box with my crappy knots (no wonder my husband gave me a little guide to knots a few years ago...if only I'd studied it), I was pleasantly surprised to find 1) no more broken eggs up top in the occupied nesting box and 2) a fresh egg laid by one of the unbroody hens in the box below. Success. Since the 2 broody hens are sort of blocked in, even though they hardly ever get off the nest (I've never actually observed them do it—they kind of semi-fast for 2 weeks), I feel obligated to make sure they get out and stretch their legs, eat, drink, and take care of their business at least once a day. So that's a tad bit labor intensive, but if it results in cute little chickies pretty soon, I think it'll be worth it. Crossing my fingers!

My next post will be quite long because it will tell the dramatic story of something that happened here last night—a terrifying night of a huge fire on the property started by a lightning strike. But since we were up all night and are exhausted, it'll have to wait. Hasta pronto.

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