Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mrs. Q Thinks She Is People!

Mrs.Q wanting to be on the inside.
Today was another hot day.  When we weren't down by the creek we were hanging in the back yard under the trees and who was hanging out with us... Mrs. Q.  My dad commented that he had never known a chicken that liked to hang out by itself.  That is when it dawned on me that she wasn't hanging out by herself.  She was hanging out with us.  We are her new flock.  She thinks she's people!
The other day when we were gone but my parents were in their trailer they said she stood at the slider door off the deck and cackled and clucked for us.  Today when I was inside for a moment she followed me right up to the door and thought she was coming in.  She squawked with indignation when I didn't let her follow.    She also hangs out under the picnic table when we eat outside.  We don't have a family dog... we have a family chicken!

Martha making Mrs. Q. Jealous.
 Martha isn't sure what to make of Mrs. Q and I'm sure Mrs. Q wonders why Martha is on the side of the door she wants to be on.  But here's a hint... Martha uses a litter box and I'm not buying chicken diapers.

Making rope and keeping cool.
 When we weren't hanging with the "Q" we were down at the creek.  Farmer John doesn't like to just sit around and he doesn't like to read or write like I do so he gathered a bunch of dried grass along the bank and wove rope.  Very ingenious! Last year, after a shoulder surgery, he used his downtime during recovery to make himself a "straw" hat out of dried daylily leaves.  We'd sell them but it took a lot of time to make and I don't think most people would pay $100+ for a daylily hat.

$100 or more for a handmade hat?

Ingenious Chicken Feeding Contraption
Earlier in the day he finished setting up our teenage chicks' "Protein From Thin Air" bucket.  There is a smaller bucket inside the larger.  Inside the small lidded bucket are the entrails from butchering our roosters.  We allowed flies to land in there and lay their eggs.  The eggs will hatch and the maggots will fall out of both buckets. (Courtesy of the holes drilled in each bucket.) Then the chickens can feast.  The smell is masked by grass clippings stuffed in the bucket to keep predators away. You can read about the process in depth in Harvey Ussery's book The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.

Snowball the teenage rooster
Clearly the maggots aren't dropping yet or Snowball wouldn't be escaping his enclosure and free ranging in my garden!  He is so funny to watch.  He'll fly to the top of the chicken tractor and crow to let all the ladies know he's in charge!  Only his crow isn't quite developed yet.  My mom thought she was hearing a cat in the morning.  She figured out today it was snowball "crowing".  Keep at it little guy!

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