Friday, April 20, 2012

Nest Boxes, Yay!

Hen happiness is cool new nest boxes! Thanks to husband doing some building, the cardboard boxes are out and real wooden boxes--deep enough to hold all those big, fluffy butts--are installed, compete with loads of fresh, sweet-smelling hay and snappy black landscape cloth privacy curtains to make those dark hidey-hole nests so near and dear to every hen's heart.

At first when we placed the nests, before I added the curtains, there was much chicken excitement.

Weedcat is so excited that he gets a bit confused and plonks down next to the nest boxes instead of inside them and starts burbling softly and excitedly to tempt his girls over...

But Weedcat finally gets it together and goes inside the nests...

Followed by several very large hens.  Knowing how they all love to cram in there together, we planned ahead and made them extra large and extra deep to accomodate this nonsense.

More hens climb in...
After a while it's like the old phone booth stuffing fad, only for chickens.

And of course the hens all have to stuff behind and under Weedcat.  It's some kind of chicken comfort thing. The hen left outside becomes convinced that secret egg-laying is taking place and starts her Egg Song at the top of her lungs.

Weeds kept going from one nest to another, calling girls in nonstop--they all had a grand time.

Then I added the curtains!  More chicken excitement...
Bear takes position on top to direct everyone while the hens start peeking in...
The roos come along to inspect them and place their stamp of approval...

  Meanwhile serious and sober hen inspection continues.

 And inside, the baby chicks have their own structure, built by the kid out of LEGO.
They really dig it and climb inside to pile up and sleep.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools, In A Variety Of Ways...

The other day I had to make a mad run down to southern California and then back again the next day, and as I always do, stopped at the Coso Junction rest stop along highway 395 in the Owens Valley. The ravens were out in force as usual, croaking at each other and begging for goodies.

OK, so we always feed the ravens here. As a matter of fact I packed along some peanut butter filled pretzels just for them, which they heartily approved of. But being ravens, they can't just hop up and grab the goodies--goodies must be approached in a flighty, ninny-hammer manner, though with an element of style.

If you can manage it. Otherwise, just run up and awkwardly grab the food while practically lying on the ground in a retarded manner while your buddies look on in saddened dismay at being even remotely associated with you.

Also, today being what it is, we pranked the kid a bit. The hatch is supposed to be a week away, but around noon we set this up and started asking loudly and excitedly, "What's that noise? Do you hear peeping?!" and got her to go over to the incubators, where she found this:

Well, she bought it for about half a tick, then started to laugh.

She's used to us messing with her by now and isn't fooled easily.