Sunday, April 27, 2008

Amidst Grumblings and Squawks......

Two or three weeks ago, one of the cats had 5 kittens. Three died within the first few days. About 10 days ago, one of our dogs found the nest of the remaining two and "snuffled" them pretty good. They were ok, but the next morning, there was only one in the nest. I figured that it got snuffled to the point where mom rejected it.
We've been down to one kitty ever since.

This morning, I fed the Boer goats their daily rations of grain (basically, to shut them up.......). I decided to feed the chickens before giving the milk goats their grain. They were being so quiet (for a change.....), that I didn't want to disturb them.

I have a couple of hens who always make a "Bee Line" for the barn as soon as I let them out in the morning. One heads DIRECTLY for a tub I have filled with hay in with the milk goats. It's comical to she her running as fast as her legs will carry her toward the barn. It's almost like she's gotta hurry before the egg comes.

Once she is on her "nest" she usually lays her egg in a few minutes. She will sit there and let the goats eat around her.

This morning, I heard squawking and carrying on - general hate and discontent - coming from her as soon as she got to the tub. It didn't sound like her normal "I laid and egg!" routine, so I went to investigate.

When I got to the gate and looked over, I was VERY surprised to see the second kitty that had been missing. It was in the hen's nest and she wanted it OUT! I went in and extracted the poor, scared kitten, and put it in the nest with the other one. It was still there tonight, so I guess it was ok with mom (so far...).

I cut a metal door for the "chicken door" of the new coop. I don't have a latch yet - just a wire, but won't need to open it for 2 or 3 days anyway. I used some DE on the floor, followed by some wood shavings. (my neighbor borrowed my planer and is saving the chips...). It should be pretty nice for awhile in there.

Tonight was "Moving Day" for the chickens. There were a lot of grumblings, a lot of squawking, and a few (like Stew, the rooster....) who could care less where they sleep. I really only had trouble with one - Russel Crow - he managed to escape my capture attempt TWICE, but I snagged him in the end. I don't think they were impressed at first, but it didn't take them long to settle in and start to roost.

I had the chicken door open all day and had put some food in the feeder in there. During the day, I had seen several of them go inside to investigate. We'll see haw feeding goes in the morning.

I am in the process of building a small "run" on the brooder house for the chicks. It won't be anything special - just enough to get them used to being outside and to get them some fresh air. I got the poles up and the roof framed in. Now I just need to put tin on the roof and wire on the sides. I hope to have it done in the next 2-3 days.

Now I need to clean the old coop out and get it ready for use as a storage shed. Then I can build the other room in the coop......

So much time, so little to do.......

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