Weekend Workout

Hachi matchi! We are exhausted, after spending seven hours yesterday cleaning out animal bedding from the coop and barn. (And yes, we wore masks!) That is a lot of poop, let me tell you. Hard, heavy work, but worth it, because the chickens and goats now have clean living quarters. Well, except for those places where they’ve already pooped again. Bah!

The chickens thought the hot date was going into the barn so that they could scratch for bugs as we cleaned. And I also think that this pair of Picards (Silver Duckwing Bantam) thought that the fly paper strip they were perching above last night in the coop was a great late-night diner.

We had a bit of a scare yesterday – after stocking back up on chicken feed at our local feed-n-seed, we were dumping the bags into our feed barrel, and noticed that the tag said “animal or plant fats.” Well, in our previous dealings with the owner, she had told us the ingredients in her custom chicken mash, and it did not include any animal by-products. This was quite a cause for concern. Thankfully, a quick phone call cleared matters up –  there was a misprint on the tag, and she was investigating what happened with the printer. She feeds her own flock of 300 birds the same mash, and doesn’t want animal by-products used in it either – she reassured me that it is a plant based protein that is used in the mix.

Now, that’s not to suggest that chickens are vegetarians – they aren’t, and they couldn’t survive as such. They are omnivores by nature, and will eat worms, bugs, and even the occasional frog that they manage to catch. But we want to avoid any animal by-products in the feed, because that is often a source of contamination and illness. The source can be the leftovers from the killing floor of a slaughterhouse. Yuck. So none of that for our flock!

Buddy Hen came in this morning and spent a couple of hours eating and roosting on a basket by the door. She’s such a well-behaved chicken! Lovely girl.

We had my parents and brother out this morning, and enjoyed lunch together (chili, bagels and cream cheese, and a butter crumb cake for dessert.) George is napping, and I would be too, if I wasn’t managing to keep myself awake by composing this postzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

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