The first thing I heard and saw when I went out to collect eggs today was this hen pacing back and forth. Why didn't she go out the door and join the rest of the chickens? Curious...
Is it the heat that is causing some of the hens to forget where the exit is to the pen. Their poor little brains are fried? Or? The poor things wandered around in the pen clucking away and I was left to wonder "what are they doing?" A puzzle...
In the summer I put out an extra water pan next to the compost stack so Morgan and the chickens will have three water sources handy. Morgan steps right up for a cool drink. The chickens hang back and let Morgan drink in peace.
Then do the chickens drink the nice cold water out of the pan I washed? Ha! No!
The chickens love, love, love to drink the water that pools in the dirt. And they love to stand in the mud and scratch. I can understand how the cold muddy water between your toes would feel great on a hot day.
(When I was six, I used to enjoy stomping around barefoot when the orchard was irrigated. It was shady and cool among the trees with the soft silky mud up over my knees. The feel of cool muddy legs and mud squishing between my toes on a hot, hot day was delightful. I should ask the chickens to move over and give me some room.)
But drinking muddy water? What's the deal with that?
Here is a page about how to build a homemade chicken waterer. We have an automatic waterer so I don't have to haul water, but this would be a great backup waterer. I would like to make one.
This is a find Morgan photo. I love how the chickens and Morgan can disappear in plain sight.
Morgan is in the middle of the photo in front of the bottom of the two trees in the back. Sneaky, huh? I wonder if the fox or the skunks watch her.
I haven't seen any bears this year and wondered if they had moved to an area that was less crowded. I expect to have some of the chickens over the years become chicken dinner for predators. I don't like it. I don't want my flock killed off, but one or two a year is to be expected. Morgan can't watch all the chickens all the time.
Ah! I just read about an international poaching ring that was captured in the area. They found a bear baiting setup that also had taken mountain lions and other wildlife. If they found one ring then there must be other poachers out there taking deer, turkey and other animals. I wish they could catch them all. People can call caltip to turn in poachers. You don't have to leave your name.
I haven't heard any mountain lions in a long time.