Their Ways

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One of my favourite things about looking after animals is learning their ways. That seems like an old fashioned saying in my mind. ‘People have their ways’. Animals certainly do too.

Paddy’s coop needed a little ‘pick me up’ today. Those little Red Sex-Link hens lay eggs day in and day out. They are so tiny and feather light. They are also starting to moult! What a cold time of year to have that added into the mix of things they adapt to. I delivered some scrambled eggs to add a little protein to their diet.

I hauled a fresh bale of straw into their coop and let them have at it. Now THAT is THEIR WAY to have fun!

Meanwhile I’m working away at encouraging the duck hens to use their new exit into the main paddock. (The drakes have access to their regular run on the other side of this barn. They are not so keen to be out there without the hens. It does suddenly put them into a group of two … which must feel different than a flock of eight.)

I laid down a pathway of straw to help direct the hens to a couple of sunny locations. Their first favourite was sitting with the Brahmas … just on the ‘out’ side of that coop window.

While Penny and Tiny (first brave ones out) were exploring I went to work mucking out the jenny’s barns. I stopped at one point to hear ALL of the hens chirping and chortling and smiled to think they’d all come out. When I looked back I could see them all digging in the straw shelter. The strangeness … of them ALL coming out so quickly got me wondering … and sure enough … they’d had some help from their goat neighbours. May and Dottie were IN the duck house – enjoying the leftovers of this morning’s feed bowl…!

When the chickens had pop-out doors that were within reach of the goats I learned I needed to create an ‘L’ shaped barrier on the inside. That makes it impossible for the goats to squish through and ‘up and over’. So I walked the goats back to the sunshine and put the ducks away until I could think up a way to goat proof their pop-out door. I took out my first attempt this evening – and will see if that works tomorrow.

The sun was gorgeous today. If you could get out of the wind it was down right balmy. This is the kind of day we hang out in the front paddock. Faces south – hillside blocks the north wind – house blocks the northwest wind.

Bella’s coat was warmer than my electric gloves!

Even with the sunshine it was lovely to have a few hours to chill inside this afternoon. Obviously THIS couch was already taken. 😉

Apparently – IN THEIR books – three’s a crowd.

Happy February out there. Looks like some nice mild days coming up this week. I’m ready for that.

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