Buds are appearing all around us today. The woods are a haze of green. Of course … that means the black flies are at their peak …
Rosie and Bella are well familiar with the routine. I had the fans up the day before the flies arrived. Now they each have their own fan (if they want it) – and their own dark barn to hang out in during the worst of the biting day. We had such a great breeze this morning that we all got a break from the biters. Both jennies are content to let me rub bug repellent cream into their ears. It makes a big difference. Bella likes to have repellent sprayed onto her back, belly and legs. Rosie is not so keen – I have to manage a quick swipe if I am going to catch her!
These two, on the other hand, were zonked by today’s heat. MayMay’s coat is a mess! Ha! But will she let me brush out the shedding hair? NOT! 😉 I try to remember that having a shaggy coat in black fly season is not such a bad idea. I think it helps to keep them at bay. These two DID let me put bug repellent into their long ears.
A few days ago I was removing one of the chicken pop door entrances to the Palace. (Now it being the goat house and all.) I had the frame in front of me as I carried it behind the Palace to the chicken’s Clubhouse. May got one look at me – swallowed whole by the tower – and panicked! Never seen anything like it! She backed up and RAMMED the fence line. It just tossed her back into my path. She disappeared around the corner – but was only building up more steam. I saw her streak by me and again throw herself into the fencing. This time it gave a little… I started calling to her to calm down – which seemed to only aggravate things. In her mind I’m sure she was hearing my calls for help. The third time she threw herself at the fence it all let go – and she SAILED off into the front yard.
She is still spooked … the littlest things moving or making noise in the paddock send her running. I have to make sure I announce myself before I open the door to their sleeping barn. I forgot yesterday and poor MayMay shot out the other door like she was once again rocketing out of a cannon. Wonder how long this will last?
Today these little gaffers arrived. Five tiny Welsummer hens. They’ll be next fall’s layers. For the next month they’ll grow out their feathers in the cozy little grey coop.
They are curious and active – enjoying exploring their new space. I’m going to use the heat lamp to start – it is secured twice from the ceiling in there. Tonight we’re down to 1’C. In another week it looks like we’ll be into more normal May temperatures and then the Cozy Coop heater should be fine.
Speaking of hens … the little Reds are into their moulting stage. They are looking pretty scraggly. This breed (Red Sex Links) keep on laying … which can drain their bone mass pretty quickly. I need to keep bringing them good protein treats. I THOUGHT they were taking a break from laying …
… until I found fourteen eggs hidden up behind the bedding bales ON TOP of their sleeping perches. Can you see that one of those eggs actually says ‘Hi’! I’ve spruced up their nesting boxes so they can lay in more predictable places!
So far … so good.
Hope spring is shining in your neck of the woods too!
Hugs from the Meadow Mice!