HONEY ROCK DAWN

Hatching

One of our hens got broody and made her nest on the edge of the haystack, three bales high. One day, I went into the barn and saw a scattering of eggs on the ground that the hen had kicked from her nest. Nestled under her body were two little chicks. I’m guessing the hen kicked out her eggs so her babies would have more room, to protect them from falling off the haystack. But it was still too dangerous for them there on the edge, still too easy for them to fall.

I put the chicks in a bucket, then grabbed the hen and carried her to our chick nursery – a dog house made out of logs and filled with straw, which the dogs have never used. It sits in my garden and is the perfect interim home for chicks before they graduate to the chicken house.

I put the hen in the nursery, trapped her in with the chicken wire door, then brought her chicks to her and set them up with water and food. Then I gathered up the eggs, which had landed gently on the loose hay blanketing the floor of the barn, and put them in my yogurt maker to see if any would hatch.

It was a long shot – I didn’t know if the eggs had sat on the ground overnight or if my yogurt maker incubator would even be the correct temperature. But two days later, this happened!

They say baby birds imprint on whoever is present when they hatch, but I imprinted on this chick. I tucked my sweater into my jeans and carried the chick around in the pocket of warmth between my sweater and skin like a chick-mama-kangaroo. When I was in bed, the chick slept on my chest under the covers.

The following afternoon, once I was sure the chick was healthy and strong, I carried it out to the nursery and introduced the chick to its mama. When I placed it in the straw, the chick began cheeping desperately. The hen ran to it, gently herded it to the far corner, and nestled down on top of it as her other two chicks scurried beneath her body.

Doing the right thing is so hard sometimes! But they’re a happy chicken family now. And who knows, maybe another egg will hatch – the rest are still in my yogurt maker.

Snippets

Interesting turn of events: the Rooster Pouf must have telepathically received all the suggestions of “chicken soup” in response to my recent post about him, because he has been polite to me ever since. Really truly.

I spent my midday break-in-the-sun brushing and cutting frozen diarrhea blobs from an ailing horse’s tail. It was simultaneously disgusting and rewarding. Sunshine, who is nearly 30 and is having digestive issues, appeared to be in a state of bliss during the 40-minute procedure and I must have lightened his tail by ten pounds {icky face!}. His condition has vastly improved over the past two weeks, and he is in great spirits, so I, of course, have hope. He’s living in the front yard and wears a thick bed comforter under his horse blanket for extra warmth and looks like Merlin in horse-form. The other horses hang out on the other side of the yard fence, so he’s never lonely. His tail is now slightly shorter, but clean, and my hands still smell gross.

I have finished all my tax prep. You know I love doing it. Done!

I’ve also been watching Making A Murderer. I’m up to episode 9, just a few minutes in, and I’m stuck there – watching Brendan in court (and, previously, with police and investigators and LEN) feels like watching state-sanctioned child abuse and I just can’t deal. My cortisol is through the roof.

Mellowing out with an old pic of a cool cloud……

SSCb

Sir Psycho

still psycho

still psycho

still psycho

The Rooster Pouf.
He’s a handsome devil, devil being the operative word.
He’s the only mean rooster I’ve ever met, but he lives up to the legend.

Chloe’s obsession has turned to terror. She literally hides from him. I discovered that you can prevent an attack by pointing at him, so, when he’s in a mood, I cross the driveway or pasture walking sideways, firmly pointing at the manic rooster dancing beside me.

He’s fun to look at, though.

4 Roosters, 2 Hens

roosterstogether

Try as I might, I could not get all four roosters in the same frame. They are currently figuring out their pecking order and are very hyperactive. But there are four of them, and they are identical! They will remain part of the Farmily.

The four yellow chicks all became roosters and the two black chicks grew into hens – one solid black, like their mothers, and one brindle. They are so pretty.

henstogether

So, at this moment, there are/were 191 comments on the chicken contest post – of those, 15 had the correct answer. I added up the numbers attached to each correct comment and the sum was 1513. 1+5+1+3 = 10. AND, when I added up the numbers of each correct comment (comment 63: 6+3=9, comment 111: 1+1+1=3, etc) and then added those numbers together, the sum was 136. 1+3+6 = 10 again! KIM (comment #10) you are the winner! I’ll be emailing you directly.

Thanks for playing, one and all! Now accepting chicken names in the comment section…….

Catch Up & A Chicken Contest

Ahoy! I started a new dose of thyroid meds about ten days ago and am finally feeling RIGHT. It’s so nice. It’s so easy! Every day is no longer a battle, as it has felt for the past six months. I wake up smiling again, like I used to. I am so glad.

I did find out that one of my vocal cords is paralyzed due to nerve trauma during surgery. The nerve is not severed, so it’s possible it will heal and my voice will come back. In the meantime, I am scheduled for a temporary fix: an injection of collagen right into the vocal cord. This plumps it up enough to move the cord to the midline, so the other working vocal cord can meet it and make strong sounds – right now, there is an air gap, which is why my voice is weak and breathy. It’s a simple office procedure and, like a Real Housewife’s face, it’s temporary – the collagen will eventually be absorbed by the body. At that time, I’ll know if the nerve has healed or if I need to repeat the injection or have a permanent procedure done.

One of the boons of my lengthy recuperation has been the chance to devour a giant stack of books. I just finished I Am Malala. INCREDIBLE. So riveting, so profoundly beautiful, so worth your time if you’ve not read it yet. (The audio version is great, too).

The Farmily is excellent, everyone is peaceful and happy and well. Maia has become mother of the year, always doting and protective, and Luna is thriving. And the chicks are nearly grown up! I always wondered how many would be roosters and how many would be hens, and it is almost clear. In about two weeks, I think we will know for sure who is what. In the meantime, let’s bet!

There are six little birds in total – how many will be hens and how many will be roosters? Leave your guess in the comment section. The correct answer will win one of my special Wyoming care packages, filled with treasures made by Mother Nature and me.

dos chickies

If multiple people guess the correct rooster:hen ratio, all names from that group
will be raffled randomly to select the winner – so go with your gut!

tres chickies
Photo taken June 27. They are much bigger now.

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