A Chicken Chorus Line

February 28, 2011

We can find our chickens roosting in diverse places. 

They like to roost on top of the rail holding up the chainlink fencing that separates the front of the sheep shed from the back of the sheep shed.

picture of chickens roosting

All tucked in for the night. . .

The like to roost in the catalpa tree beside the sheep shed.

They like to roost on a beam in the outside part of the chicken coop.

And some of them actually roost inside the coop!

We even have one little Seabright Bantam hen that roosts in with the peafowl on a little bitty ledge on the side of their pen.

During the day the get even more diverse.  Besides resting under bushes and on a lumber pile, one of their favorite perches is on a trailer sitting in the backyard.

picture of row of chicken birds

Chicken City Rockettes

They remind me of a chorus line, so I call them the “Chicken City Rockettes”…

Manna From Heaven

January 25, 2011

Around here, our chickens get manna from heaven.

picture of chickens under bird feeder

Waiting for manna from heaven

They look for it when there is sunshine, and they look for it when there’s rain.

picture of chickens in rain

Munching on Manna

They do not, however, stand around in the snow waiting for manna or anything else.  The chickens do not want out in the snow.  Neither do the guineas.

This is a pretty good system for the chickens.  They just stand around under the bird feeder and wait for those rotten little English sparrows to throw out some corn and sunflower seeds. . .

picture of english sparrows at bird feeder

Corn throwing Sparrows

However, as messy as the sparrows are, they are amateurs compared to this crew. . .

picture of blackbird

Hey! Can't you make these perches bigger!???

.

picture of 3 blackbirds

Manic Manna Makers

The reason the blackbirds make such a mess is they have a tough time balancing on the little perches so close up to the feeder.  So they flap their wings and the feeder swings…. and out drops manna from heaven.

Our chickens are so blessed.

Midnight Southern Snowstorm

January 10, 2011

It’s midnight here in the south, and the snow is falling thick and heavy.

picture of snow falling at night

Midnight Snowfall

As you can see here, the snowflakes are fat and there are LOTS of them!

picture of snow at night

Snowflakes at Midnight

Toby the Tough doesn’t mind a little snow and runs around all over the place.  Where I go, he goes.

picture of dog in snowstorm

Toby braving the snow!

I tried shining a flashlight on The Farmer’s tractor to get a picture of all the snow piling up on it.

picture of tractor in snow at night

Allis Chalmers with a blanket of snow.

The snow is piling up fast, and the ramp to the work shed is buried in snow.

picture of snow on ramp

Lots of snow!

I was out checking on the animals.  I wanted to be sure everyone was in their proper place.  They weren’t.  The goat had pushed her way through a gate and went into the sheep shed.  Now there is plenty of room for 1 goat and 3 sheep in this shed, but there’s just one problem.  The ornery goat stands in the doorway and won’t let the sheep in.  So I had to chase her back into the pen with the llama.

picture goat and llama

Getting tucked in for the night.

If she would just go up into the corner of the pen, she could be snug and dry.  Of course, the little rascal caused the sheep to be covered in snow because they were standing out in the snowstorm.

picture of snowy sheep at night

Snowy Ewes

At least they can spend the rest of the night in the shed and not become abominable snow ewes from being outside all night!

The chickens are smart and roost in the middle of the shed.

picture of chickens roosting in shed

Snug and safe for the night.

The guineas get in the mix too, and get in out of the snow…. some of them anyway.  Others choose to stay in a tree, even though there are plenty of places they could be in out of the weather.  Others roost along the outer parts of the sheep shed.

picture of sheep, chickens and guineas at night

Guineas looking for shelter.

I’ve done all I can to make sure everyone is snug and sheltered from the snow.  Now I think I’ll go to bed myself.  It should be interesting to see how much snow there is tomorrow morning!  Many pundits around here are styling this SNOWMAGEDDON in the SOUTH!

Baby it’s cold outside!

December 6, 2010

It’s winter and I know it’s supposed to be cold.  And I also know it’s not near as cold here as it is in other parts of the world.  But I’m still thinkin’ … Baby, it’s cold outside!  It’s a sharp contrast to the balmy weather we were enjoying in Florida over the Thanksgiving holidays!

The animals have their own ways of keeping warm.  During the day, the guineas like to nestle down in some leaves in the yard – of which there are plenty due to the huge oak and walnut and other trees around the house!

pictue of guinea birds

Two guineas nestled in fallen leaves.

Some of the chickens like to shelter under a big viburnum bush in the front yard, even though it’s in the shade.

photo of chicken under bush

Buff Orpington Chicken hen under viburnum bush.

I suppose it provides some shelter from the wind, and they apparently want that more than heat from any sunshine there might be.

picture of chickens under shrub

Chickens 'parked' under shrub.

Meanwhile, the squirrels are still scampering around the yard gathering up nuts.

picture of squirrel with nut

Squirrel on fencepost.

Once the nut is buried, off the squirrel goes to find another!

picture of squirrel on fencepost

"I think there's one that-a-way!"

A little cold weather doesn’t slow down our mighty hunter, Spot the cat.  He was playing with his food again, and chasing this rodent around.

picture of rodent

Food to go.

He’d catch the thing, then let it go … then catch it again.  I don’t know if he ever ate it or just played with it.

While all this was going on, the goat, llama, sheep and Maremma sheepdog just took it easy and rested in what sunshine they could find.

picture of goat, llama and sheep

Resting in dry grass for warmth.

They like to nestle down where there is some dry grass to provide a little insulation.

And me, once I’ve made sure everyone outside has food and water, I’m headed back to the house to get WARM again!