Chickens and Other Critters

I feel as if I am moving very slooooowly this week. I’m getting a few tasks done, but slooooowly.

If we had been real homesteaders, we would have butchered our ducks to eat. By “we,” I actually mean EJ. I was born and raised in a small town, and I have lived all my life in small towns until we moved here to our Enchanted Forest. I know nothing about butchering. EJ grew up on a farm and he knows how to butcher poultry. If he had wanted to eat our ducks, and he said he did consider it, I would have agreed because I have no problem with people growing animals to eat. I like chicken and beef and venison. But EJ doesn’t enjoy killing poultry, and I most certainly couldn’t do it, so we decided to give our ducks away instead.  I’m glad the ducks are gone.

I’m really enjoying having to care only for the chickens. Ducks are rather endearing, but they use a LOT of water, and quickly get it dirty, and splash it all over everything, which makes mud in the summer and ice in the winter–ice that a person could potentially slip on. That is now a concern after I fell on the snow-covered ice in the driveway last winter and broke my wrist. Ducks also dig holes in the ground with their bills. Chickens aren’t so messy. They only need a bowl of drinking water. They scratch the ground with their feet, which actually prepares it for gardening. Chickens also are very curious and they all come running up to the fence when they see me, which is nice, and they follow me around to see what I’m doing. I actually read that chickens adopt the humans who care for them as part of their flock. It’s important for a person to establish themselves as the dominate “chicken” or the rooster will try to boss him. That’s when roosters get mean. Sassy, our alpha rooster, understands that I’m the boss so he’s not mean at all. In fact, Sassy, is amazing. If I hand him a treat, he will take it politely and then drop it on the ground for the hens to eat. I love the chickens’ soft cluckings, which I find comforting. I even like the roosters crowing. Yeah, I like chickens best. Here’s a video I took today of the chickens following me when I went out to give them fresh drinking water and gather eggs:

Repurposing the pool.

Yesterday I dragged a couple old pallets in the garden and set the ducks pool on top. I punched a few holes in the bottom and will put some stones in it for drainage. Then I will fill it with dirt for another raised bed, which we will plant next Spring. It only makes sense to repurpose the ducks’ pool.

Turkeys meandering along the hill.

I went to the garden yesterday afternoon to get some herbs to use in our supper. I usually go through the garage into the back yard. It’s the quickest route. I opened the garage door and was surprised to see the turkey family on the hill. Usually if I see wildlife outside, I quietly go back outside until they leave so I don’t disturb them. However, I had to start fixing supper so I just quietly went into the garden and picked the herbs I needed. I was surprised that the turkeys weren’t alarmed by my presence. They just kept meandering calmly along the hill eating grasshoppers and other insects.

Fawn eating berries

This morning we had visitors of another sort. Three deer wandered across the driveway and up to the house. One of them was an adorable little fawn. The fawn and one of the older deer paused to eat the berries from the bushes near the big rocks while the doe came right up to the house to lick the mineral block that we had put out for them last winter. After a while, the other two deer joined her. They were only a couple of feet from the house. Usually they come that close only in the winter. I stood at the window with my camera, and was surprised that they didn’t run away. Usually they are more skittish. I could have enjoyed them all day but EJ had to leave for work. I took several photos and videos, including this one in which the deer ran away when EJ went out to his vehicle.

I love living in my Enchanted Forest!

Yesterday we heard news reports of a car/bear accident not very many miles away from us. It reminds me that we really do have bears in the area. I think it was last year that I was standing behind a guy at TSC who was buying a birdfeeder. He told the cashier that he was replacing his previous one which had been destroyed–he thinks probably by a bear. The guy lived near a town only about four miles from us. Bears are why I don’t keep my birdfeeders up in the summer. They are attracted to them as a food source, and I really don’t want to attract bears.

Last night after work EJ worked a bit on the floor. I hate that he has to do it when he’s tired after a long day of work, but it has to get done before Saturday when the installers come to lay the new flooring. EJ removed the trim and pulled up the strips of wood that the carpet had been nailed to. After a bit he had to stop because his back hurt. He will work on it again tonight. This afternoon, to help him out, I pulled up the wood strips that he hadn’t gotten to yet.

Michigan had some elections today. I voted this morning. EJ will vote after work. An elderly man  ahead of me in line had a lot of trouble getting the electronic voting machine to accept his ballot. It kept spitting it back out. He hadn’t quite filled out the circles correctly, so he had to redo it, and he still had trouble getting his ballot accepted. Finally it went through. I felt kind rather sorry for him. Everyone in line was very patient with him though. Sometimes it sucks getting old.

This afternoon I picked a few herbs, took them to the kitchen and washed them, and then put them in the dehydrator to dry. As I picked the herbs, I considered my tasks in the days ahead. The wooden gate into the garden is rather rickety and isn’t easy to close, so I’m considering taking it off and making a new gate out of a section of cattle panels covered with chicken wire like I did with the gate to the chicken pen. I bought some small cans of exterior paint to repaint my enchanted sign. The craft paint is not holding up.  Friday the weather will be sunny so I think I will try to mow the lawn. Saturday the floor gets installed…

Today is National Lighthouse Day. I bought EJ a lighthouse gift on-line to celebrate. Actually, I bought the gift because I knew he’d like it and then I discovered it was National Lighthouse Day. I can’t tell you want it is because then EJ will know what it is because he reads my blog. It will be here in a few days.

In my spare time I’ve begun reading a detective novel set in Michigan. I’ve only just started it but so far it’s interesting. I love reading books set in my state because I’m familiar with the places it mentions. It’s fun. I love Michigan.

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4 Comments on “Chickens and Other Critters

    • I’m always so thrilled when I see the deer. Usually I don’t see deer so close to the house in the summer. It was special to see the fawn.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It would be a thrill for me too TJ. I love watching wildlife, but especially the babies. One of the bloggers I follow (from Sweden) found a group of ducklings in a pond last Monday. This is late in the season for ducklings in this pond because he said it takes 50-60 days for them to be able to fly, and they are in a pool of water that is drained when it gets cooler. He is taking them food to eat so they can get big and strong so they are able to fly away before the pool is drained. Sweden has had the worst weather – a drought so bad that they went months without a drop of rain. It is the hottest Summer in 256 years he said. Farmers lost their crops and could not feed their animals and they had to go to slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouses have too many animals and there is a six-month waiting period. Amazing and very sad.

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