One of the benefits of a rainy day around here is a little more time to hang out in the study. Now – truth be told – I went out before breakfast to let the donkeys out onto the pasture. (And the ducks out into the puddles.) The sugar is the lowest in the field between sunrise and about mid-morning. They are allowed up to an hour out there… so I decided to see if they were game to graze even in the rain. They must love that grass! They were out there lickety-split! After breakfast I headed to some piano practice. I had to go get the piano bench – which has spent the last few years as a shoe bench by the front door. Usually I use the wooden chair. But Smokey has taken that over with his bed. Sometimes I use my rolling desk chair … but that was filled with Oz. It now takes THREE chairs to outfit my corner of the study! Ha!
Later in the morning Oz moved to his next favourite haunt – the fireplace room – and HIS couch. He does share it with me occasionally… IF I let him lay on my stomach.
Mid-morning I headed back outside. The trio was ready to come back in from the field. They are being very cooperative about that. I walk out to where they are and call ‘Out! Out! Out!’ They jog (yes … JOG!) to the paddock gate. There is always a contest between Rosie and Joker to see who gets there first. They’d had enough of the rain and spent the next few hours snoozing at their barn door.
I had set my sights on the Palace (aka the chicken coop). It needed a good mucking out and I needed to improve the perches beside the nesting boxes. The Welsummer hens like the highest box. I built a sturdier perch for them to head for. I also rigged up this season’s ‘Broody Jail’.
This time of year a few of the hens will go broody. Their hormones kick in and all they want to do is hatch some eggs. That means they’ll plunk themselves into a nesting box and stay … STAY … there. Sometimes even without any eggs to sit on. That is what Izzy was up to this week. They need a bright airy spot to sit in for a few days in order to cool their jets. This seems to turn off their hormonal surge and they can get back to hanging out with the flerd. I was trying to figure out where I was going to place the Broody cage in such a wet week. The coop can be pretty busy with the other hens avoiding the rain. Then I looked up …
Usually a hen in Broody Jail is bothered and complains loudly to be let out. But this is Izzy. Izzy has only ONE friend in the entire flock of eighteen chickens. She growls at – bites at – runs at – yells at – anyone but Lady Bird. And anyone but Lady Bird shoves her off the perch if she is anywhere near them. So … I think she was quite content to be ‘above it all’ today. I hope it still works to cool her down and help her get out of her broodiness. Woe to the chickens who roost underneath her tonight! 😉
This afternoon I was doing some work in the hay barn – enjoying the drumming of the rain on the roof. I didn’t notice when it stopped. But these guys did. The barn door slowly opened to a donkey nose. Joker and Rosie had arrived for ‘take out’.
With the rain on hold I treated them to the pickings from the barn floor. That is everyone’s favourite when they can get their faces past the door. Look at Jill’s eyes. Doesn’t she have the nicest face? I love her expressiveness. So does Rosie. Rosie is absolutely BESOTTED with Jill. Where Jill goes – Rosie is right on her heels. Seems Jill is the heart throb of the herd.
Our well head is still holding about a foot of water. However, the ‘plug’ (rubber glove and plastic bag) I used to block the pipe carrying the wiring to the basement is holding. So dry basement. AND I’ve tied the rest of the wiring up out of the water. So hopefully I won’t get zapped by any stray energy. The weatherman on the news tonight was cautioning us all about the high level of ground water. I can sure visualize where ours is!
When the sun does peek out between the clouds you can see all the green is growing!
Happy spring from the Meadow Mice!