Monday, June 28, 2010

The Chickens are Taking Over....

Taking over my back yard, my extra time, my lettuce supply...but I love it!  They are so much fun, I can't believe I waited so long to get them :)

They have changed things around here; there is no more sleeping in; at about 6:30 am, the ducks start skwacking (combination of squawk & quack) until I stagger outside & let them out.  I have learned to make a cup of coffee & take it with me: otherwise, when I go back in to make said cup of joe, the skwacking commences, louder then before, until I come back out...
This is the new chicken/duck house--in the morning, the ducks are at the door & run out as soon as I open it up; the chickens spend the night upstairs in their house with the little door closed.  When I open it up, they are all lined up, waiting to get out & hunt bugs :)
I used an old wood tool box, rescued from the burn-pile up in Crouch to make the nest boxes, & old game mallets for perches :)
Anyway, back to the morning routine: once everybody runs out of the house, they trot around & look for bugs, scratch the ground, & look at me like they know I have something good to eat for them... The ducks wander about & vacuum the grass & the cats watch the whole scene, usually from a distance.
At this point, I try to get the ducks through the gate to the front yard, without any chickens.  Sometimes, they just follow me, a lot of the time they get distracted & I end up herding them, & sometime I have to catch them & carry them--they don't like being picked up & wiggle with all their might...  Once we make it through the gate, I shut it quickly, & then the cats start to climb the fence: notice in the above pic; the cat on the fence on the right, & back towards the house--Skwishy Cat is looking over--he is sitting on top of the chicken house...
The ducks then resume vacuuming the grass--they suck up slugs, worms, & anything else they can get their bills on...  After wandering about for a bit, they usually find their way to the pond & climb in.  They swim around & eat & splash & dunk; talking the whole time; if they can't see me: more loud skwacking...
When they have had enough playing in the pond, they climb out, flap their wings & groom their feathers; at this point, I try to get them to go back through the gate (without any chickens escaping); usually more herding, skwacking, & wiggling...  Once they rejoin the flock, I can make my escape for another cup of coffee.  This whole affair takes about an hour, at least: it's alot of fun & I get my containers watered, weeds pulled, & everybody fed during this time too.


So far, everyone is getting along: Bootsy chases the little chickens every once in awhile, but the other cats just watch them & run if the if the birds come their way :)  They crack me up & I can spend hours just watching them do their chicken/duck thing.  I'm looking forward to eggs; don't have a clue as to when that might start...  No names yet, besides chicken-birds & puddle-duckies. 


I hear skwacking...gotta go :)

Amber