Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer cuke madness and more broodiness

As August passes by, we have more and more amazing produce from the garden. We've been cooking, canning, drying, freezing, and just plain eating raw, bell peppers, hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, raspberries, green beans, black beans, okra, tomatoes of all sizes and shapes, sweet and tangy tomatillos, zucchinis and cucumbers. Lots and lots of cucumbers. Its amazing how fast and how much these things grow. Now that we've canned at least a decade's worth of every kind of pickle, we still have a surplus. As we cant stand to see any of the product of so much sweat and dirt over the past few months go to waste, we decided we would toss some excess cukes in the chickens pen and see if they liked it. Let me tell you, .. they did. It was really unbeliveable how quickly they could devour a fat 8 inch long whole cucumber, leaving nothing behind but a nearly perfectly intact rind, picked absolutely clean. We started giving them bigger and bigger cukes each day, and each day the same result when we got home from work: a perfectly cleaned green rind. Its become a sort of entertainment by this point. I threw them an apple the other day, and when I got home from work the whole thing had vanished. Not even a core or a stem was to be found. I think this fall, Im going to leave them with a big pumpkin and see what they do with that!

In less happy news, Cluck is broody......AGAIN. I dont know what the hell is wrong with this bird. One week she refuses to leave the nesting box. The next week she is happily clucking and scratching for treats with the rest of the flock, and now she's back to camping out in the nesting box again. One day I actually found scabby in the nesting box with her. How the two of them managed to both get iin the box simultaneously, I have no idea. It actually looked quite ridiculous, and I sort of laughed. But its starting to get annoying. Its hard to get in to get the eggs when Cluck puffs up and does her high pitched angry chicken "growl", and we have both been pecked by her enough to know she doesn play around when she wants to be left alone. This weekend, while I was sweeping out and scrubbing the pen down, I had Big Crown and Scabby in their pet carrier waiting patiently as "room service", ie: me, was sweeping and scrubbing. I was fed up with Cluck, so I just picked up the whole nesting box, with her still in it, and set it down outside the pen while I worked. Of course, NOW Cluck wants to come out and squawk, and flap, and poop in the human side of the basement. Great. Just great. I was finally able to cram her into the pet carrier, but by now the whole job had taken twice as long as it should have.