By Cyndi Watson
It’s another month and a new week with GRIT. I was going to blog about the thousands of leaves frolicking across the lawn but I know everyone’s all set with that. I couldn’t possibly blog about Obamacare and how crazy people in my area are over the whole confusion, but that didn’t sound like a great match for GRIT. However, I do know what makes total sense to share with my fellow bloggers and readers on GRIT, chickens!
Let me first tell you my usual day routine. I get up early and I let the dogs in to say their morning wag and kisses, I set aside a few minutes to allow the cats to knead my chest and plop across my face, just to be sure I am awake, then it’s feeding time. When I head out for the day, I visit the coop. The coop is pretty dark at this time of the year, I hate the coop. The coop is dark and, well, poopy. My pretty chickens are usually cooing and gurgling and ready to break out. When I finally open the door a few roosters usually run past my feet, a few ladies fly down from the perch and others jump down from the nesting boxes like B-52 bombers, and I can forget playing with them – chickens might look pretty enough to pet or cuddle, but mine firmly dislike my attempts at cuddling.
Still they get cuddled and some mock petting goes on. What? You know what mock petting is, right? It’s when you bend down to pet the chicken closest to your feet, figuring she is giving you the opportunity to pet her. It’s when you just almost reach her pretty feathers that she pops off a few inches just out of your range, so you just hover there not actually getting to pet her = mock petting. What, you have never heard of it? Surely my chickens didn’t invent such a move. After the girls get table scrapes and some oats, I usually change out their water receptacles. Oh, the joy…
With the seasons changing once again, I forget that my chickens will be hunkering down for some chilly days and even chillier nights. I haven’t even begun to windproof their coop yet this season. Even though one keeps a fairly clean coop, it is never clean enough. Not until the chickens start to use a porta john (a chicken-John/porta-chicken?) or maybe if a chicken diaper is invented, it will be clean enough in the coop for extended visits.
When I came home one afternoon, I noticed all the number of chickens running up to me seemed to have diminished. I can’t say when I started noticing the flock was thinning a bit, but it is apparent. Lady, Thing One and Thing Two, the three girls, the twins and one my husband named Cindy for some reason, were gone. I usually call out “Chickens!” and they all come out from wherever they are and run towards me or fly down from the smaller trees, but in the past day or so, fewer have been answering the call.
I usually shut and lock up the coop at night. I lease the farm, which I prefer because when you aren’t originally from the country like me, it can be expensive to run a farm. I have learned these old buildings can be a hella project if you don’t have experience fixing old stuff. Since, I am originally from the city, I tend to know my limits in terms of repairs of out buildings. I just don’t go there. If I could poll the remaining chickens, I am sure they would all vote for a newer, prettier and safer coop. Dually, noted.
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