Well, we are about to descend into the snowbanks again here in Tonganoxie, starting tomorrow. The driveway has just turned into a fine sheen of ice, so I guess we are lucky that the snow will cover it. We had a bit of thaw yesterday, and could actually see gravel in the ruts of the drive, but they turned to ice at nightfall. It meant that the snowboots came back out, as we are both afraid of a fall and breaking a limb. I was on crutches a few years ago for weeks, and it is not fair to Keith if it happens again!
We are expecting some frigid nights in the next week, so will be back at it, making sure our little birds in the little henhouse have good water at least morning and evening. They did not get outside today, we are still worried that the tiny ones will not be able to get back up the long ramp and inside. Keith had to net one the other night, on one of the few days they have gone out.
This picture shows how we block the doorway, so that young chicks can't get out freely until they are able to jump up and over.
The chickens currently residing inside the little henhouse are bantam crosses, half silkie, half frizzle cochin bantam, called "Genevieves" by a friend. They are nice little birds, and they also have a little Old English Gamebird thrown in some of them, and a little Japanese bantam. Several of the new little birds are very, very small, almost smaller than the Old English birds. I like the little birds, and yes, you can eat their eggs too!
Some of the current hatch... they were born in September. You can see the silkie influence by the topnots on several, and the black bird looks just like her mother, who I am sure was our cochin bantam Blackie. The pretty brown bird is silkie and cochin, and out of Flicka, one of the three mamas that raised these. These birds are full grown, but very, very small... they have been breeding down for three years now. The little cockerel on the roost is full grown!
And THIS is one of the four birds left from last June's hatch who has GONE BROODY!
I have tried for two nights to get her off the eggs... I was able to get one out last night but she is guarding the rest with life and limb. We can't reach into the corners of the little henhouse (we are going to rectify that by cutting two cleanout holes when it gets warmer).... so on Saturday, I will have Nathan climb in through the back pophole and lift her up, and get all the eggs that have been laid this week by the four hens laying in there! ARGGGHHHH! This is NOT the time of year to be hatching chicks!
To be fair, her endocrine system is probably off, as I have had to run a warm light in there since September, first because the chicks were so little, and now because of the cold. It's a red chick light, but still, it affects the hen's sitting and egg-laying.
So far, she is the only one going down on eggs... we are hoping the other four grown hens in there don't get the same idea!
Tomorrow night, it's book review time!