Had a thing yesterday. I have a little story to tell. I had to go for some tests so I was in a hurry to let the birds out and come and get showered, ready to go out by 8:15. That is a big deal around here with so many routines that are set. Usually I spend a good half hour with my birds in the morning.
My first step is to open the guillotine door for the blue cochins and their 19 ravenous little babies that I think are gonna kill me and eat me. They had all the food they want, but they know when they hear me coming that that means a great little treat is coming. We get the squirrelly breads, the nutty type breads from our local bread store, free, as they throw it in the dumpster. I really get a lot of bread from them. With the amount of birds that all get a snack in the morning, that amounts to two loaves of bread. I have it, so I give it. I have a bright green pail that I bring with me, that has all these little broken up breads in them. I spend about 10 minutes before I go outside to break it all up. Anyways, I open the little door and they literally all pile out. They run over my feet they run out into the run, and then run back and they are out for food. I throw them all a whole whack of bread crumbs and they go nuts. It is almost terrifying how ravenous they appear to be, but I know they are not, they have tons of free food in their night house.
So, off to the next house, in the same old horse box stall, but has a divided wall. That is where the black Cochins are. That black rooster is a monster. I swear to the stars above, he would break down every wall he encountered if he could, he is so anxious to get out that he almost climbs that poultry wire wall to be released. They run outside too, and they get their treat.
Onto the next horse box stall, which again is divided in half. These birds come out the side of that box stall, a guillotine type door. The light Brahma, buff Orpington and Barred Rock crew are in there. I let them out first, they are little more calm, they are mature and they just stand outside looking at me, just waiting for those little tidbits flying through the air. They are graceful and very calm, they are mature enough to know for surely that they will get their snack.
At this point, I should got back to the front of their house and open up the front door, the entire door, so the gold laced Wyandotte and the older Cochin pullets are housed. But I didn't. Not knowing this right then, I forgot, oops. That came later....
Ya, I know, I know, get to the point, I will, but I am just that ramblin' gal.
Now go to the old stand alone chickenhouse. A huge yard that houses all the light Brahma cockerals. (I took 15 of them to the auction on Saturday, not a great price, but 15 less mouths to feed). There are about 10 remaining, a little younger than their fellow pals that went on Saturday. I let these ravenous little beasts out. I really have no clue why they act like they have never been fed, they have more than they could ever want. Fed.
Onto the next house, that is the chicken tractor that my Husband built. Now that place houses all the splash and black Cochin and buff Orpington pullets and cockerals. They are just the same. I open the door and they come flying out. No clue how so many can fit through an little 18 X 18 inch doorway, but they do, never any harm done. They are ravenous, like they were never fed too. Oh my chickens love me, smiling. They are all little users, the only love me for one thing. I know that. But they are still beauties.
So, yes, where was I in this great and lengthy tale. Hold on. You may learn something this day, take it from one that has gone through that school of hard knocks, over and over, still haven't graduated. Been there, done that, with my bees and my chickens too, smiling.
Right. Into the house, I am now hurried to get my shower done and out the door in that timely fashion. But made it to the appointment in good time, was only like 10 minutes late. That was because we couldn't find where we were going, and I guess stopping at McDonald's for that greasy and grimey breakfast didn't help, smiling that big smile. Nothing nicer than that greasy, grimey breaky to head one off on a merry day.
So. Get home about 12:00. That was a good many hours later than when I had firstly gone out to the babies and adults to feed, feed, feed.
My Husband, thank goodness for his help, went out to let all the birds out for their daily free ranging. (Well, except for the light Brahmas, they have so much free ranging that they don't need to actually get released out to the wild blue yonder).
Guess what. I was a very bad girl. I had forgotten to go to the front of the box stall to let out the gold laced Wyandotte and Cochin crew in that one box stall. Holy freaking freak.
They were stunned. He said that they didn't really even run to get out. Just kind of looked at him and probably though "what?".
They did go out. But guess what. I didn't get one single egg from the GLW yesterday. There are four pullets, (they are 10 months old). I always have 3 or 4 eggs a day, nary a one. Hmmm.
So, that is the lesson learned. Clearly chickens get stressed out over the silliest of things. Whooda thunk that just being kept in for a few more hours would have rocked their socks. Well it does. Stress causes a lack of eggs. Clear as that day yesterday was warm and sunshiney. (I even got a bit of a tan on my arms -- I could tell by the white line on my arm where my watch sits). I was a little lazy yesterday and spent a good couple of hours hanging around outside, on my great grey plastic chair, along with my Husband on his, watching our little marvels of nature -- our mountain of happy chickens, all happily free ranging on the mountains of bugs and lots of young fresh grass growing, oh yes, they also like the myriads of little garlic greens that are now getting so big, growing all over that devil's half acre. Enjoy this day, the summer and beautiful dog days of same are coming, and enjoy it with the most wonderful wishes of health. Cindi