Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

It's been a few weeks since I posted and somehow during that time, Spring has arrived.  I know - I hear that we're expecting a storm in a few days too but, even so - spring is in the air!

Since this is my first spring with the Ladies - I am discovering a few things I don't enjoy about spring and chicken keeping.  The sun is rising earlier and earlier every day.  While normally that's a good thing, it also means that the Ladies are up earlier and earlier every day.  It seems my body is already trained to wake up with the sun (groan!) with "Time to feed the chickens!" ringing in my ears.  Ah the mornings of deepest darkest winter when the Ladies and I got to sleep in a bit.

JiJi is still the sleepyhead - last out of the coop in the AM

Another negative - the run is an absolute mess.  With all the melting snow, it gets pretty muddy in there.  Mind you the Ladies don't seem to mind but I'm looking forward to everything drying out.  Collecting eggs with muddy chicken prints on them isn't quite as enjoyable as gathering a bunch of beautiful clean eggs!  It does help that the Ladies need to walk through the sand in the coop.  It's a little like a sand pedicure.  But the coop is small and it would probably help if they walked a few blocks in the sand before going into the nest box.  I wonder if they could be convinced to use a door mat...

Bella just might learn to wipe her feet

In general though, Spring is good.  The Ladies got the memo from Mother Nature and are laying eggs like there is no tomorrow!  We get 4-5 eggs a day from 5 Ladies.  Not so shabby!  I'm still not completely sure which egg is from which Lady but I know they are all doing their part.  So no one needs to get carted off to Chicken Jail!

Safe from Chicken Jail

The Ladies are also feeling a little frisky (is that an appropriate adjective for chickens?).  They are ready to be out.  They want greens.  If I'm not careful when I open the run to fill up the water, they make a break for it.  And once out they settle down quite contentedly, scratching at any areas where the snow has melted to see if they can find any green sprouts. 

Checking for greens.

If I let them stay out for what they deem is a reasonable amount of time, they will gracefully allow me to herd them back into the run. And yes - everything about their body language says "No problem, dear, we were going in anyway."  If the field trip is too short, they make it a little more difficult for me.  Particularly Luna and Ebony who we probably should have named Thelma and Louise!  The other day when I opened the nest box to collect eggs, Luna and Ebony were waiting for me and leapt out of the nest box.  I did inform them that it wasn't meant to be an exit.  I don't think they cared.  Hopefully they don't plot a major escape.

The Great Nest Box Break

Another plus.  Although it is earlier than I'd like, when I go out to do my chores in the morning, I am treated to a chorus of greetings from all the neighborhood birds.  The Ladies certainly have a lot to say in the morning but so do the robins and cardinals and chickadees.  The air is a tad warmer.  And if I'm lucky I get treated to a pretty pink sunrise. 

Still I'm looking forward to late spring so things get a little easier in terms of taking care of the Ladies.  It will be nice to not worry about the water freezing, or eggs freezing, or snow collapsing the run.  And of course I have projects!  I read about landscaping the run and think I will plants some climbing roses to decorate the run.  The Ladies will like the shade, bugs, and rosehips that the roses will provide and I will like the view!

So not to rush but come on Summer!!!!