The cacophony of Spring has definitely quieted us down on social media lately. There’s been quite a bit going on here at the ranch.
Our second batch of chicks hatched out, with another Wyandotte momma, about twelve days ago. They are coming along beautifully, bonding with mom and exploring exciting stuff like corn bit pickin’ in the shavings and dust baths. I have been calling this group the Catalog Chicks because they just look so bright, fluffy, and picture perfect – like they belong in the magazines.
One of our two Partridge Cochins has been broody for the last couple of weeks, so she is about ten days into incubating eight eggs now. So far she has been completely committed and incorrigible, accruing a perfect pecking average for bops to the back of my hand when changing out her food and water. Thanks, mom.
The heat wave that started for us at the top of the week was a bit of an adjustment for the younger birds, who have not been through a summer yet. A lot of drooped wings and panting going in the afternoons as everyone did their best to stay cool. We try to help by replenishing waterers with cool water and wetting down shady areas. And on the real scorchers, I’ve also been known to cart ice cubes out to the coops for ice water pans. Some like to stand in them, some like to drink from them, and those two groups greatly overlap – ha!
First thing this morning we made a stop at Los Osos Community Center and dropped off some eggs to their pantry day. One of the most satisfying parts of the week for me.
Things took a bit of a sad turn later in the morning. A little Townsend’s Warbler became a casualty of our big front window. I was sitting close by when the little buddy hit and I immediately went and checked our deck. I watched as the wings made several small seizes in and out against the body as if trying to continue the flight. A moment later the she started to relax all over, head tilting, toes unfurling, nowhere else to fly.
Jack heard it too and immediately asked to go outside. Being a gamey little terrier, I felt suspicious of his interest, but decided to go out there with him. He quickly approached the little body and did a thorough sniff job. Then he sat down a few feet away and started to shake through the top half of his body.
After a bit, I moved the bird to our compost pile area and performed a brief, but reverent avocado leather and Sycamore leaf above-ground burial. Jack has made several more requests to go outside today, and he mostly just hangs around this area, sitting and sniffing.
I’m not exactly sure what all of this means to him, but his behavior around it has been fascinating, and for me, moving.
When it comes to whipping up a quick meal, the chicken friends are one of my favorite groups to feed. Today we’ve got some herbs from the neighbor’s garden, purple cabbage, and corn tortillas to add to the afternoon rations. I gotta go feed the chickens!
Life is good.