Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chores in the Dark

It's that time of year, again.  It seems like summer just began, and now I am going out at 6:20 to do chores in the dark.  I should be glad.... with the departure of the waterfowl, and the larger animals we no longer have, I need only check water daily, and refill water every two days.  My chores are considerably shorter, though I will have to start earlier in true winter.  It's chilly now in the morning, and the crisp air wakes me up fast. 

The yard light lights my way as I cross the deck.

I usually start at the llama gate, because Tony and Inca know when the kitchen lights go on, it means I am about to come out, and they are waiting every morning for me.  Tony loves the fall air, and he is excited, hopping and kicking for his breakfast. 

Llamas wait in the dark patiently (or not so patiently!)

Then I proceed to the henhouse.  During the summer, I leave the popholes open at night to provide for airflow.  The big henhouse has fans blowing as well, because it gets so hot.  The birds pant on their roosts, but all go in for the night.  The Little Bunch sleeps in the rafters, and the bigger birds, on the roosts. 

Sleepy hens still on the roosts.

I open the front door and check on Butch, my rooster pet who lives in the feed room side.  Butch has one eye, and I don't let him interact too often with the others, because they bully him.  He has a 4 x 4 pen outside that he is put in on the weekends, with a covered top.  Because he is inside so much, he is pure white. 

Then I go around and open the two popholes, and peek inside to make sure everyone is coming down.  "Baby" Rambo is usually first, and then Studley, if he has slept in the big henhouse, because Rambo runs him out.  Lately, he has spent some nights in the little henhouse with Ratchet the rooster and hens in there.  Then the big girls begin to come down, the two latest, Liberty and Rosy, and Little Brownie, who was raised by Helen, the Turkey. Then Lola and Sprocket, no longer laying, and Ruby, who roosts high in the rafters with the little birds.  Dovey has been sleeping down on the low roosts, one of my two gray birds left. Her sister Rosewitha is setting in the little henhouse.

Then I open the pophole of the little henhouse, and check on those birds before leaving the henyards and going to the workshop, where the three survivors are living. They are fed and watered, and their living area policed, and then the farm assistants and I proceed out to the gate to get the paper before going in and getting them fed, and myself ready for work. 

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