Our city zoo is awesome. I have been involved with the Potter Park Zoo for several years now and love how they reach out to children and give them a deep love for wildlife. I recently received an email from one of the docents there and she wants to give me some chicks! I have too many already, but who can resist? They are giving me three Buff Orpington pullets and a matched pair of White Japanese Bantams. Ooooh baby! Of course, you will stay tuned for Ruth's pictures when they arrive? The Orps are four weeks old and the Bantams hatched June 28.
The green barn in which these nestboxes reside is over 100 years old. I am not sure how old they are, but they have been here for a long time. I have been tossing ideas around in my head and am coming to a conclusion. I have been studying nestboxes and looking at many different kinds, including Amy's at Twelve Acres. I love hers and if I didn't have these, I would copy hers. However, since I have these in place, and there are about 25 individual nests, I am going to make do with what is here. Besides, I love them. Should I paint them? (whitewash ala Tom Sawyer?)
As you can tell by looking at them, the hen would be pretty much out of sight, and who wants to stick a hand into these dark, mysterious nests to gather eggs every day and meet some very crabby broody hen!? Check out the video Farmchick Paula has of one of her broody hens.
My plan is to remove the top half of the face boards so that the hens will have privacy, but they can still be seen from the front. So, if I get hen-pecked, I'll at least see it coming!
Chickens and Roosts (An original Aesop's Fable)
The Bee and Jupiter
A bee from Mount Hymettus, the queen of the hive, ascended to Olympus to present Jupiter some honey fresh from her combs. Jupiter, delighted with the offering of honey, promised to give whatever she should ask. She therefore besought him, saying,"Give me, I pray thee, a sting, that if any mortal shall approach to take my honey, I may kill him." Jupiter was much displeased, for he loved the race of man, but could not refuse the request because of his promise. He thus answered the Bee: "You shall have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life. For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make, and then you will die from the loss of it."
Tribute to Stiggy
That heading sounds like he kicked the bucket, but no, he is alive and well. I named Stiggy after an Englishman who has a great flock of his own as well as a great flock of well-loved children. Stiggy is a Buttercup rooster and is still the top roo. He has some future competition in the form of a Cuckoo Maran, who is twice his size, but is at the moment quite docile.
Stiggy was strutting around yesterday, picking up sticks and rocks and clucking up a storm. This must be a tough guy thing to do, because another smaller rooster started doing it too and Stiggy proceeded to chase that rooster all over the run. This went on for a few minutes! They were both running, open-beaked, and obviously getting tired! I wish I had it on video. Finally the pursued rooster ran into the coop with Stiggy hard on his tail. I expected to hear lots of squawking and noise, but it remained quiet. After about ten seconds they both came out the little door and acted as if nothing happened. They bellied up to the outdoor waterer, (chicken bar), got carded and bought each other a drink, and then went off to scratch around in the grass.
Life is Great