Monday 23 July 2012
Every day is different here.
You never know what's going to be going on.
And that makes life fun and interesting.
But for certain, there are chores that get done every single day,
regardless of what might be happening.
Evenings are more or less the same each night.
And they have been ever since we started keeping chickens.
Some nights have been hilarious as we try to get the chickens into the safety of their coops.
Other nights are tiresome and frustrating for the same reason.
If the birds don't go inside, they'll likely be taken by the night.
The mature chickens take care of themselves;
all we do is close the door for them.
The younger birds are fairly independant too.
At the moment, the bulk of the little chicks, the three remaining young roosters, and the ducks, all sleep in the same building.
They each have their own spots so there is no conflict.
The trick is to open the door at the right time.
Too early, and the older hens will cause trouble.
Too late, and the little roosters will roost outside.
The ducks are good at waiting for the door to be opened for them.
Once eveyone is inside, the door is closed for the night and they will all be safe from harm.
Then it's time to collect the eggs and close the door for the older birds.
They're in a separate building.
By evening, all of the hens are done laying so there are no feathers to ruffle.
That is, as long as there are no broody birds.
The broodies need to be taken off the nest and put elsewhere,
if we don't want them sitting on eggs.
Some nights, it's tedious to stop what you're doing to take care of the birds.
Especially if they are at the uncooperative age.
But it can be a beautiful time of day.
A contented quiet fills the yard, as all of the creatures are settling in for the night.
The collection of the eggs signals the last of the day's duties.
There may be time enough to survey the grounds and reflect on what has been accomplished,
and what lies ahead.
And then we settle down too,
for sleep is always welcome after a day on the homestead.