Tag Archives: house chicken

Apples in the greenhouse

I took Apples on a field day.  I needed to spend some time broadforking the greenhouse, and thought she could do with some enrichment.  Even the world’s meekest chicken needs a little time out of the box.

I carried her out and set her down in the middle of the greenhouse, and turned around to shut the big doors because it was windy.  I look back – no chicken!  I go to the other end to shut those doors, all the while looking for her. I can’t see her anywhere.  I get back inside and start looking behind the things still piled around.  Nothing.  I start panicking a bit – I turned around for two seconds!

Then I found her.   It seems she’s a little bit agoraphobic.

I sat with her on my lap for a bit, savouring being able to really hug a chicken (they mostly do not prefer it), then cuddled her next to me on the hay bale, then got up and went to work, and she started to poke around.

She didn’t go far.  She found a little corner behind the hay bale to scritch around, looking out at me, or through the plastic at the action outside.

She rapidly garnered herself a suitor.Hey baby.  I ain’t never seen feathered feet like that!

He bobbed and strutted back and forth, thoroughly frustrated.  She settled down to wait for her ride back to her box, where she ate like she’d just done a workout.  I hope she’s a little more exploratory tomorrow.

Well, I’m back

Back on track.  I survived my alarming and exhausting 5 days of wretchedness.It started out a big rain day.  Only Cleopatra is out there wading for worms.  The barred rocks say Nah, too wet for us.

The first broody hen of the year has her own box, finally.  She’s been determinedly trying to warm eggs in the prime nest box of the big coop for a week, but I haven’t been able to manage getting her her own box.  That means that the big hens have been laying eggs right on top of her some of the time.  Some of the others have clearly been put off by the little witch always in their box and started piling eggs in another corner.  She settled in to the box well, considering the risky daytime move.  Often hens will flip out at the move, certain that their eggs are really where they last left them.  She’s inside the tomato safe in a private box, and I’ll build her a kennel asap.  This will be much more peaceful now.

Inside, I potted up a pile of various melons, cukes, and peppers, and I had a little helper.I expected her interest; she’s come trotting out of her zone for potting up occasions before.  She likes picking around at the dirt, or maybe just something different.  Just like a cat.  Whatcha doin’?

I’ve kicked some dirt around.  Pretty good, right?

We’d peacefully “worked together” like this for about an hour, and she’d perched up on the edge of the box for a better view, when suddenly:

Ta DA!

I’d almost met my goals of the day, so it was fine.  I finished up around her, and there was a little potting soil left.

I’ll take it from here.

All in all, we made a right glorious mess, but all the little starts are very happy in larger homes.  My start factory has turned the corner now, from still having seeds to begin or divide, to the starts heading out the door.  Cell blocks are being retired.  We’ve passed peak start, in other words.

I’m very pleased this year with my experiments in fabric potting bags, from China, and also homemade, but that’s another post.  All cleaned up.  I left her in the tub (she seemed happy).Two hours later.

I was watching for signs that she was hungry, needed a hand out?  But no, wriggle wriggle.  At three hours she started looking over the edge and I lifted her out.  She’s going to have some sleep tonight.  What a big day.

She’s all grown up now.  Any day she’s going to lay an egg.