Okay, it SEEMS like a mighty victory to me.
Captives, I mean, the Outside Sleepers. By some miracle, when I came home tonight and started to talk to the other birds who were hanging out inside, the little bunch all came running in. I noticed that one of the Ameracauna girls was already up on top of the closet, and going up to the rafters with the bantams. I threw some bread out to keep them busy (after work is treat time)... and went around on the pasture side of the building, in through the pasture gate to their yard, and SHUT THE POPHOLE. There! They were all inside! They are now spending their first night under cover since they left the workshop! It's a good thing, too, because temps are going down to the lower 40's tonight. It will supposedly not be over 65 tomorrow! I'm hoping once they see that it is not so bad to be warm and dry, that they will come in every night, as we are supposed to have rain the next 4 days. I really don't want them wet and cold, they are nice little birds.
The Teeny babies are doing fine, there are two in this picture, and yes, the little buff cochin hen is still setting on NOTHING, you can just see her in the nest box.
My hyacinth bean vines superceded all predictions. (Ignore large weed in bottom of picture please)
The cypress vines, on the other hand, had to be planted twice, and then went nutso... they are eating the butterfly bush on the left.
Here is Keith plugging away at the henspa. I put the camera down then and held the piece up for him so he could screw it in, just having come along at the right time.
And here it is from the other side. It's really starting to look like the building it will be.
I will look again tomorrow night for my notebook with the feed receipts in it. I read an interesting article today about feeding the flock. The author said that unless you have enough pasture for the whole flock to be supplemented, they still need protein (pellets or crumbles) some grain (scratch) and some oystershell or grit. I agree. I know several people who feed only scratch (and their birds do not go outside) and several who feed a mixture of scratch and wheat, which is not a complete diet, either. I feel sorry for those birds. Ideally, our big henhouse flock will be back out on the pasture soon, as they always were until I put Butch out in his pasture pen with his girls. Butch and Rambo fight... and Butch, blind in one eye, is no match. I talked to Keith tonight and if the problem continues, it may be Rambo who must go. If we need to, Butch can spend this winter in the feed room again, safe and warm. He did not do badly last winter at all. His girls will be integrated with the flock in the new henhouse, and Butch eventually will be the only rooster over there, so Nirvana awaits him. Then Rambo can lead his flock around the pasture again.