Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is It The Heat?

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.

(July 17, 2009)

[5 eggs today]



Vicki Lane said...

I wonder if chickens would ever use a shallow wading pool the way wild birds use a birdbath?

Little Messy Missy said...

I love the little story about you and the muddy irrigating water when you were a child, what great memories. Thanks for sharing. I still can't see Morgan..hahahaha!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

That poor chicken is confused.. We sure hope she finds her way..
Oh you playing in the mud. Now we call that fun.. he he

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Marie Anne said...

My chickens are doing ok in the heat, except for one broody hen. They aren't laying much, though, only get one or two eggs most days in the last week. Did get four yesterday finally.

Hopefully the little gals will be laying in a few weeks.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Of course I'm no help with the chickens...If one was pacing I would want to pick it up and console it, but I think that's what you do to a dog! :-) Our pups will disappear into the woods too and can be so hard to spot, but thankfully they eventually turn up again! Glad they're catching the poachers!

Anonymous said...

Love your photo of chickens on the porch. I'm so grateful to have a neighbor to get eggs from but she has times when there is an overabundance. What do you do when you have so many?

Anonymous said...

Love your photo of chickens on the porch. I'm so grateful to have a neighbor to get eggs from but she has times when there is an overabundance. What do you do when you have so many?

LindaG said...

Poachers are so disheartening. They don't care if they drive something to extinction because then what they have will be worth more. That is their mindset. Makes me so angry. :|

Your dog and flock are just so cute. :) Maybe the chickens like the softer (cooler) grit of the mud?
And the one going back and forth, perhaps she's, um, broody? Or she may be getting ready to molt. Some of the blogs I read, their chickens do that in the heat.

Hope your Sunday is going well. :)

John Gray said...

some of my chickens are little brain boxes, some are thick as mince ( as are the turkeys)
but ll love that fresh cool water straight out of the bucket!!!)
good post

Denise said...

I love reading your posts about Morgan and the chickens. I was just thinking that people pay a lot of money for having mud pasted all over them :)

I never knew there were still actual poaching rings out there :(

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.
An English Girl Rambles

Kateri said...

Chickens seem to have stomachs (well, gizzards, really!) of iron. Things that would make us seriously sick, they gulp down as if it was the most delious thing in the world. I don't have any muddy areas, but the chickens seem to hanging out mostly beneath the pine trees with very low branches on these hot days.

Becky's Barnyard said...

Sometimes simple things get complex. Like finding the gate. Mine have some of those signs sometimes.