Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summertime update

As this summer stretches into August already, we have been way behind in keeping up the blog. Our garden is at the point where its nearly bursting with produce, which unfortunately means lots of time devoted to picking, harvesting, chopping, drying, canning, pickling, making jams and jellies. All of which is great for enjoying home grown food well into winter, and not so great for keeping current with the blog.

The flock has been enjoying the cool comfort of their home in the basement, totally unaware of the scorching heat outside this summer. I like to think they appreciate how good they have it in their basement abode, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but this is as delusional as our hope that they see us as anything more important in their lives than mere treat dispensers....

Despite having it made in the shade, the girls' behavior is back to being bizarre. It all started when 2 of the 3 of them stopped sleeping in their usual places on the roost, where they would perch all right next to each other in a little row each and every night. For no apparent reason, one began roosting on the top of the chicken wire enclosure, while another began sleeping in a little nest she made for herself down in the shavings. This we attributed to her going broody and wanting to sit on her eggs all night long. Things continued to get weirder as the peace that has prevailed in the basement coop all summer has given way to recent bouts of loud squawking and flapping coming from down in the basement. One of these bouts even happened while the home appraiser was here (how embarrassing!) He took it in stride, remembering the last time he was here. "Oh, right.... The chickens" was his response. So by this point of course, the chickens are starting to show the signs of all this ruckus when we go down to feed them in the mornings, sporting fresh new scabs on their combs. Poor Cluck, never known for her sunny personality, seems to be getting the worst of it by the amount of cuts and scabs on her comb. Ironically, Scabby --so named because she used to have a rather large scab on her comb-- is the only one of the flock without any scabs or cuts on her comb. So we have no idea what the hell is going on with the flock. Maybe a re-alignment of the pecking order?