Kindness is essential in our daily lives.
I will share weekly a new post with a message of how powerful kindness really can be.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hanging Outdoors with the Chicks

Today was dedicated to the hens who have been holed up in their coop until their outdoor run could be made more predator proof.

The hub did a fine job placing galvanized sheet metal across the area where we think the mink entered and took the life of two of our chickens. The digging was tough because the ground was still sort of frozen but it had to be done in order to bury the metal deep enough to prevent other predators from visiting. The height of the run is less than 5' tall so the job had to be done either sitting down or on your knees. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. Tomorrow we'll be heading to the farm & tractor store to get tighter fencing that will also provide better protection for the chics.

Wearing my cutesy powder blue knee-high farmette boots and cutesy powder blue leather-palmed work gloves I raked out the inside of the outdoor chicken run that was filled with lots of old hay/straw, leaves, chick manure and tell-tale signs of the chicken massacre. Another bale and 1/2 of straw was torn apart and spread evenly inside the run for the chicks to get comfy once again. Not only does this provide them with lots of seeds to pick at, their momma likes them to have clean feet. The run is 8'  wide x 16' long and less than 5' tall so I would honestly describe it as a back-breaking job. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. Three wheelbarrow fills were dumped onto our garden plot and spread in anticipation of good compost for our future garden.
The chickens were let loose to free-range to their hearts content. For the most part they stayed together in one area so it wasn't hard to keep an eye on them. They scratched and pecked like there was no tomorrow.

I took the opportunity to clean out the indoor coop also while the girls were busy doing their thing outdoors. With flat bottom shovel and wheelbarrow I got two loads to dump into my newly-started compost pile that would be used next year on the vegetable garden. The chickens followed me to the new dumping grounds and had a field day scratching in this pile. As you probably have guessed by now, the boots and gloves are no longer cutesy!

By this time I was dead tired and I might add starving as it was way past lunch time. The hub wasn't quite finished with his project yet but I recruited him to assist me in getting the chicks back inside. As I corralled one he would lift up the door to the coop and I would gently push her inside. One down, three to go. Two down, two to go. Three down, one to go. The last bird was determined that she wasn't going in and ran in circles for me to catch her. Who needs a gym??? After getting cornered she squatted for me to pick her up and inside she went with the others.

As I entered the coop to make sure it was locked up tight they were all sitting on the roost letting me know how much they appreciated their scratch and dig outing. Just another day as a chicken momma.

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