It’s been a tough week, here in my neck of the woods. After such a beautiful weekend, the clouds and cold weather rolled back in, on Monday, and haven’t left since! I’ve been marooned inside of the house all week, with nothing to keep me amused, except my trusty little laptop and five feathered hens– who are always lurking just outside of my kitchen window! I’m grateful to those five ‘not-so-little’ red hens for the laughter and amusement they bring into my days.
Watching me through the window, and waiting for a treat!
Each morning, all five hens are crowded against the door, waiting to be fed. They always greet me with excitement, and it never grows old. Each one will be ‘singing’ a different ‘song’, and at least one of the impatient ‘girls’ will tug at the hem of my house coat, while I’m getting the feed out of the chicken house. I always greet them by saying “Good morning, girls.”
I’m grateful for my ‘rays of sunshine’ for giving me a reason to walk out to the garden each day–to bring them some garden-fresh ‘goodies’ to enjoy. Because of ‘the girls’, I get a daily dose of morning exercise–come rain or come shine! The greens and vegetables are always appreciated, and by the end of the day, they are always looking for more!
Because of ‘the girls’, I’m able to have my own egg hunt each and every day! Oh, most of the time, they all lay in the same nest, but I never know how many eggs I’ll find there. It will always be a number between zero and five, though! Once in a blue moon, one ‘girl’ will surprise me by laying in a different nest, or, occasionally, on the ground! I’ve found over 2000 ‘surprises’ over the past twenty months!
Still enjoying their chair…
Ed and I have discovered that our hens have keen eyesight. We often watch our hens through the kitchen window, and, the moment we step up to the window to look out, all five hens come running to the door of their pen to watch us, too! The chicken’s pen is several yards away from our house, so it amazes us how they can ‘spot’ us, in the window, so quickly! Once they’ve seen us, they crowd at the door, in anticipation, hoping we’ll bring them a treat!
Recently, I’ve discovered that our hens love bird seed! They especially enjoy the tiny seeds that I feed to my parakeet. I can throw a few of the tiny seeds inside of their pen, and they’ll scratch for hours, looking for every last one of those seeds! Their other favorite treat is bread, but I haven’t found many things they won’t eat!
Chickens make great garbage disposals, but I have discovered that, while they do love them, table scraps tend to upset their stomachs. I, also, discovered they don’t care for brussel sprouts very much! I usually stick to feeding them a little bread, salad left-overs, scratch feed, dried meal worms, and fresh veggies from the garden, as treats.
One hen, in particular, thinks she’s special, and always comes up into the chicken house while I’m getting the bowl of scratch feed out. She hops up on the perch, and gets right in my face, because she’s learned that I’ll give her a couple of free pecks out of the bowl! She’s a bit like the child who gets to lick the frosting bowl 🙂
The girls continue to enjoy sitting in their chair, and most of them will still sit on my lap, if I let them. All of them weigh at least five pounds, now, so I don’t hold them much because they are heavy! It’s sort of like trying to hold your children, once they’ve gotten big.
Of course, raising chickens isn’t all sunshine and roses. Sometimes they get sick, and we have to give them medications to help them get better. Fortunately, we’ve only lost one hen, so far, and she died before we even realized there was a problem. Most of our problems have been due to having too much rain. It’s not a good thing when the chicken run can’t dry out properly!
Our girls will be celebrating their second birthdays in about a week. I can’t help but think back to the days when they were so tiny. I used to get up and check on them several times a night, to make sure they were warm enough. I always played country music radio for them, too, so they wouldn’t be lonely when I wasn’t around! We’ve all come a long way since those days, but not a day goes by that those girls don’t continue to put a smile on my face!