July 16, 2010

Roosting Hens & Chicks

Our Banty hens have flown the coop and taken their chicks with them. Stray cats and lord knows what else have been doing away with the two dozen chicks we had at one time, taking one here, two there, leaving a wing or sometimes the whole body. Repeat of last year's massacre. Trouble is, the hens don't care to roost in their chicken condo any more, preferring the life of a gypsy to that of a safe haven. We have been most unsuccessful at catching any of them.
Last night, we discovered that our Banties, so skilled in the art of flight, have taken to roosting in the cross beams of our barn! Some 14 feet off the ground, they appear to be safe, with their youngsters (now pullets, I might add), tucked safely beside them. Our egg supply has been next to none as of late, but it is such a joy to watch our chickens scratch at the dirt, scuttle through tall grass, and fly up to the rafters.

Photos: Top: Banty hens and pullets in the rafters of our barn.
Middle: A wayward banty pullet in the wood pile.
Bottom: Raj, always and forever King, grazing on the lawn at dusk.

Hay Diaries - here it is the morning of July 16, and we had to put another round bale in the paddock last night for the six (after feeding them square bales in the morning). That means, the previous bale lasted them a full five days: $65 divided by 5 = $13, divided by 6 = $2.16 per horse per day. Now THAT is a bargain!

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