Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Girls

People say that having goats is like having a permanent 2-3 year old. While I do not know what that is like, I do know what it is like to have goats. They are curious creatures and are either making trouble or getting into it.

We have been working on our chicken coop, trying to help it be more water resistant. This will be our big project as soon as the weather gets nice or we are done with school. Our current coop apparently is a temporary one as it is proving to not fit all of our needs. The extra chicken feed is in a metal bin inside the coop that the chickens roost on (and therefore poop all over the lid) so when we either need to feed the girls or add more food we get poop. The goats love it when the chicks need new food. We have to take the bin outside, take off the lid and then poor the chicken feed in and leave the bag on the ground while we mix it up and take it back inside the coop. The goats love to play with the feed bags. They crawl inside and get "stuck", they jump on it, they chew on it and drag it around the yard. It is definitely a sight to be seen.

The chickens love to get out in the yard and peck around. It has been so much fun watching them grow from little week old chicks to adults. It amazes me how much they already know at a week old with no mother to teach them. Of course if you get day old chicks in the mail you have to wet their beaks so they know how to find the water and food, but other than that they can fend for themselves. Their little personalities are already developing and the ruler of the roost becomes apparent quickly. My favorite thing was watching these little tiny chicks scratch around in the hay looking for bugs and they were only 1 week old. Since little ones need warmth to stay alive you usually have a heat lamp shining in one corner. This tends to be the favorite corner and the closer you are to the light the better, so the chicks pile on top of each other (I feel bad for the ones at the bottom). Now that the chickens are 1 year old they are able to self sustain. They know where they like to lay their eggs, their favorite spot in the yard to sunbathe, and where they like to dig holes for dust baths. They all have their sleeping spots and get angry if someone else is there at bedtime.

The chicks only get to go out in the yard when we are home, so we can keep an eye on them. Most of them roam all over the place, except one, Silver. She stays close to home and lays down most of the time (it might be because she is blind). Whenever we open the gate into the back yard the chickens come running to meet us, even Silver though she is pretty slow. They follow us all over the yard and all we have to do is tell the girls to go home and in they go to the coop. The twins, as I like to call them, like to stick together. The rulers, Bella, is dictating to the others where they should go, and the followers putz around if they find something good Bella is right there with them taking over. They are so much fun and bring a lot of smiles and laughter to our lives. I love it when they get spooked or really excited and try to fly across the pasture towards home.

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♥ Ashley