Monday, July 14, 2014

Around The Farm, A Midsummer Update

I ring a cowbell once each day to summon the cows in for grain. Sometimes they come, sometimes they can't be bothered, an indication of how well fed they are on green grass in the field. But the chickens always respond to the cowbell, racing over to the barn for a feast of spilled grain:

One pair of fantail pigeons seems to have bonded but don't appear to have an active nest:

One female seems to have an active nest but I never see her mate sharing nest duties with her. Or perhaps I just can't tell them apart. At any rate, I am hoping for babies soon:

And speaking of babies, the five little Barred Rock Bantams have been growing like weeds. Their water bottle, as you can see, got so filled with algae that I had to bring it into the house and scrub it clean:

They began passing out of the cute, baby chick phase and into the homely, vulture phase:

Outdoors every day, rain or shine, the adult chickens roam far and wide, picking up bugs and seeds and tender greens:

All in all, it has been a fine summer so far and now I remember why I wanted to retire here. Last winter I began to doubt the wisdom of my choice:

The chickens like to hide beneath the roses and take dust baths in front of that gate:

They are attractive and peaceful hens, a pleasure to have around the house and yard (except, sometimes, for the inconveniently placed poop). The rooster, however, is not so pleasant and I have had several run-ins with him:

I have tried to stay out of the north field to allow the hay to grow, but I had to drive across it once and stopped, mid field to take a closer look at the wildflowers. The purple flowers were Cow Vetch, of course, but what were those white flowers?:

I looked them up when I got back to the house and learned that they were Lesser Stitchwort, in the same genus as Chickweed:

The cattle knocked around their mineral feeder rather badly, but so far, at least, have not ruined it. The chickens discovered it and decided that they like to eat the minerals also:

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