Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Henspa Update

Here are a couple of pictures of the henhouse, which Keith has been working on very hard despite the heat.

Remember, we are moving the laying hens into this house... and away from all the roosters except for Butch and Fancy, the adult porcelain D'Uccle.  I hope to be able to find all the eggs from then on out, and find clean eggs to boot.

The big henyard hens will lose their access to the pasture, but someday, when Lilly and Ranger have crossed the Bridge, we'll let the hens out in the yard. 

The trim will be white, against the chocolate brown.  I like this so much, that I am thinking of painting our interior this color.  My son has it on the walls of his house, and I have admired it very much.

But this is the really exciting thing... the electric, which was stubbed out underneath the front of the building, was brought in today and four of the outlets hung.  Tomorrow the electricians will be back to complete the job.  We'll have an outlet to hang a chick light (or run a fan in the summer)... and three others for whatever we need.  We'll have an overhead light, and Keith has started the steps up into the building.  We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Tomorrow after work, Keith will do some research about netting... we were warned today that even one inch net over the yard will trap wild birds in it.  We don't want to go out daily and find 20 birds trapped and in trouble, so we are looking at other options.  Does anyone have advice?  We would be glad to listen.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Pasture Visit

For four years, we have kept the dogs out of the pasture.  The chickens from the big henyard run free during the day, and the llamas were in there, and even though they knew our dogs, we did not want to take any chances. 

Now, they can go back in with us after the birds are locked up.

Lilly was taken in tonight..

and the pugs....

Lilly went in the barn, and sniffed around, then went around the barn sniffing.  Then she came out into the pasture.

(she doesn't have a feather in her nose, it was on the ground!)

She almost matches the grasses on the pad.

She went to the northwest corner, proceeded all the way around the entire perimeter of the pasture...

Here she is going up the south side... she stopped and investigated in several places, and finally, came to Keith and me when we called her.  Lilly Ann is VERY strong-willed, and we praised her hugely when she came to us.  In fact, she got a treat when we went in.

Of course, the pugs were causing trouble.
I finally had to remove them, since they had the mille pen in an uproar.

(you see there is no grass left, only weeds growing, our poor pasture!)

This is the mille pen, that the pugs were circling.  Yes, there were three new chicks in there... and today when I got home, there were five eggs at the door of the pen.  I believe the snake was back today, because two of the eggs were broken... and bloodied... and chicks were in them, dead.
I took this picture this morning... but by tonight, the hens were in defensive mode, and I only saw the yellow chick, not the two brown.  (click on the photo, there is a brown chick in between the two white hens, and one under the breast of the hen on the right)

That's starter feed in the ubiquitous frisbee I start all chicks out on in the foreground, and there is a waterer just outside the door.

Neighbor Kathy will be making another smaller pen for us like the one we are using for the chicks in the little henyard... and it will go in this dog pen, to sit a foot off the ground with rabbit wire on the door so snakes can no longer get in.

Poor little hens, poor little chicks.

Keith shook his head, he is working as fast as he can on the new henhouse (and it's looking good)... we will have a brooder set up in there. 

These happy little chicks, on the other hand... say goodnight!

(six cockerels, three pullets) 
Uh huh. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Hot Day

So what's new?

We're still standin' in the fortexes around here to stay cool.

Here's Clarabelle, lookin' cute and feeling much, much better.

Here's rooster Two, protecting his entire harem... a tiny hen I call Whitey. She is one of our own breds, and they were from the same clutch.  They have always hung out together, and you see that he had her back while she laid her egg for today. She's three and still laying daily. 
They hang out away from the others, since they are both so small.

We went to the TBones tonight, and saw a good game, and when we came home, we locked everything up.  We found the big snake I showed you two days ago in the pasture pen, in between the hens who were snuggled all together and staring at it.  He was helping himself to some of the thirty eggs in there. 

My Hero picked him up by the tail, pulled him out, and tossed him ten feet away gently... and I tossed him an egg.  By the time we locked the turkeys up in the little henyard, he was back in the doghouse amongst the hens.  I think he is going for eggs only, but he can swallow their heads and suffocate them, and there is no roost in that doghouse.  I had planned to talk to Kathy tomorrow to have her start the little hutch for that pen, and now that I have seen him in action, I will make it a point.  She is going to build a second little pen like the white one for the bantam chicks, only it will be a little longer, and a foot off the ground.  Then we can lock this batch up every night, safe from snakes and rodents.

A possum is making a visit to us every morning early, about 4 AM... we keep catching him on the game cam.  I made sure it was on tonight so we can see what's going on out there.

And now to bed... I actually am going to fire the tractor up tomorrow and cut weeds for a while... it has been six weeks since I had to cut anything!

We Pause for the Opening Ceremony

I admit it, I was glued to the tv with the pugs, watching the opening rites.  They were kind of humbledy-jumbledy, weren't they?

Huh?  Whassis??????

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Little Rain

Indeed, that's what came our way last night... a little rain.  How grand it was to see lightening in the sky, and to hear rain on the windows!  We had a puddle in the driveway this morning, but it did not do much towards helping the poor earth, I'm afraid.  It WAS 20 degrees cooler while I did chores, however!

The view from the deck.  There was about a half inch of water in the yard cart you see by the seed barrels.

With apologies for all the chicken pictures this week... here are the standard chicks again.  These are turning into beautiful birds.

And they love to bathe communally!

Here is a picture that came off the game camera the other night... I finally got the pictures off it and it is set up to take pictures tonight.  It was fascinating to see dawn and dusk while sleeping in my own bed.

What IS the creature you see to the right?  We think someone's fluffy dog, but we can't identify it!

At 1:37 in the morning, we can't imagine whose dog (if a dog) it might be.  We know there are feral cats down below us at the Spehars, they feed them around their woodshop.  But it almost looks like a little dog, doesn't it?

I hung the cam on the pasture pen that you see in the picture... pointing toward the henyards.  The other night it was hung on the henyard gate.  It'll be interesting to see what's on it tomorrow.

Why I only got 7 eggs today.  I wasn't going to argue OR interrupt his dinner.

Because of the rain, I am taking a watering break tonight, and will hit it again tomorrow night when Keith has returned from Salina.  I'll go out to batten down the henyard hatches soon... and at least it will be comfortable in the henhouse tonight for the big flock.

This week I have been to two wakes, or visitations.  One last night and one this afternoon.  It reminded me, again, how fragile our lives are, and how short they can be, as one young man of 31 died tragically, and the other, at 57, of cancer, leaving a family to mourn him.  It makes me more than ever ready to retire, to have a few years here (at God's will) to love this little plot of land, to take care of my dear family, and to be a good companion to Keith.  I know it is not far off, and the thought of it is very sweet.  My heart went out to those poor people who have lost loved ones, especially a grieving mother, my friend, tonight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time for a Laugh

No more dead hens today, so far, but another brutal day.  If you look on the weather map of the U.S., you'll see that the Heart of America is in the hotspot.  I have arranged to take off Thursday and Friday afternoon to take care of everything, and Keith worked from home as much as possible  today in order to do water.  We have a 60% chance of rain for Thursday, with maybe an inch expected.  YEE HAAA!

(Dandy wants to know what those white things in the sky are)

Sooooo it's time for a laugh.  Go here to the Dancing Donkey, and take a look at the cutest little thing you ever saw, having a good time playing on his mama.  Ramsey has a lot of featured posts lately, and you will see why... very, very funny.

 Our hundred-year-old walnut tree, now slowly dying... and hastened by the drought this year.

And, for those of you who are horseback riders (Cheyenne)... take a look at Stacy's blog here (Behind the Bit) and look at the Smartpak story from Saturday, but I warn you, you have to be barnrats (riders) to get some of the jokes and beware of the rather bald language in some of the You Tube clips which are howlingly funny. 

The standard chicks have learned how to roost....sort of!  They are almost as big as the standard hens now.
For great pictures of Olympic-mania in England, check out Barbara here and see the Olympic torch coming into London.  Barbara has featured many wonderful pictures of the Olympic structures over the last year on her blog, and she also features many ramblings in the English countryside. (where they have actual rain).

Keith has been to two Olympics with his family as he grew up... Montreal and Los Angeles.

I have a newer Sony camera, the 16 mexapixel variety... and cannot get it to load into the computer.  Yes, the heat has gotten to me, and while I sat here last night trying this and that, I finally gave up because things were going so slowly.  Of course, somehow, over the last three weeks since I bought it, I have misplaced the driver disc.  Uh huh.

(blame this on the heat!).

I also bought a game cam, and hung it on the gate in the pasture to see what was happening out there... and of course, I can't get IT to unload it's secrets either.

However, tonight, it occurred to me that all I needed to do was pull the SD card, and I proceeded to do so! 

Sometimes, the answer is right in front of us.

And with that, dear friends, I bid you goodnight.

The bantam chicks are learning to roost, too!

Clarabelle the Turkette is still with us and is doing well... her wound is healing, and maggot-free, thank heavens.  I credit this to the fact we have used equitrX on her, a wound spray for horses made by Bayer, and given to me by a vet friend.  I am on my second bottle, and I am telling you it made all the difference.  We did use Iodine at first, but I have sprayed it with equitrX twice daily, and used a pyrethrin fly spray to prevent the maggots, and she is walking around, eating, drinking and pooping.  I can't tell you how glad we are, as we really like our turkeys. 


We do have a fan in the big henhouse... it is just stinking hot in there.  We are almost afraid to shut it up at night, because we feel the heat is worse at this point than danger of possum attack.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Now I'm Taking it Personally

Okay, I can tolerate the fact that the gardens are fading before my eyes.  I live to water, you know that.

And I can tolerate the fact that when we are home, we do water at least 3 to 4 times a day, so that there is cold life-giving water for the birds to drink and stay cool with.

But this, I take personally.

Yes, that's an older bird, Martha, but one I especially liked, and one that laid daily.  In fact, I have expected Buffy, the Polish, to be the first to go, as the heat is bothering her terribly.

I think the sustained heat is beginning to take it's toll, and I won't be surprised if some of the other older birds can't take much more.

Despite the 108 temperature, we got a bucket o' eggs today, but it does not make up for losing the pretty black Martha.

Addendum at 10:17 PM:

Martha wasn't the only one.  We found Wilma, an older Welsummer hen also still laying, out in the big henyard, I don't know how I missed her while doing the water.  She was in the dust where many of them are laying, trying to conserve their energy during the day.  We thought she had been attacked by a possum, as she appeared to have no head. 
When I picked her up...it dangled, and we realized it was another heat death.

Tomorrow the prediction is for 105, and I expect more.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Taking Shape

Keith worked in the heat of the weekend on the new henhouse... and it's really taking shape.

This is the east end, where the "people" door will be located.  He put the siding and flashing up on both ends, and got both ends painted.  Here you see the gable end going up.  There is a hole under the middle piece for the vent... he will cut it out soon.

And the west end.  I particularly like the color of this building, and I think we are going to paint the other buildings here the same color (eventually).

Here is the henyard door.  The pophole will be to the left of this door, and will actually have a switchback, as the door is pretty high.  The house sits up off the ground a little over a foot, so that the hens can get out of the sun. 
Roosts will be to the left, and a brooder cage to the left of the window on the far wall... nest boxes will be on the wall to the left of the door.  We'll have the electrician out for the wiring of the building soon, and then the fence around the yard will go up.  Hopefully, by mid-August the layers will get to move over to their new digs.

While Keith was working on this new henspa, I was doing this:

Life, as it is this summer of 2012.

Faye Henry at The Blessed Hearth is having a Giveaway  here  right now... I would go enter it if I were you!

Night night!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We Now Take You To New Programming

When Keith was a boy growing up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, his grandparents had a cottage on Chase Lake, in Deer River, Minnesota.  During the summers, the whole family would gather there, and fish in the lake that was so clear you could see down 15 feet deep.  In the evenings they would play cards, and talk, eat S'mores, and listen to Minnesota Twins games on the radio, as there was no tv reception in the woods.

Two or three times a year, Keith's mom and dad would load the three kids in the car, and go to Minnesota to see the Twins play, so Keith was very excited this week when there was an ad in the paper that his favorite player of all time, Tony Oliva, would be making an appearance here:

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, in Kansas City, Missouri, celebrates baseball as it had to be played during segregation... when black men had to play in their own leagues, at their own fields.   Keith had wanted to see the museum, and the appearance today just made it better.

There was quite a crowd, made up mostly of Twins fans who had come to the city for the current Royals/Twins stand.  Keith was able to ask a question which Mr. Oliva answered at length, talking about his youth in Cuba and how he learned to hit as well as he did.  After the comment session, another former player, Diego Segui, approached Keith and they talked at length about what a great hitter Mr. Oliva was, and the merits of hitters then and now. 

The American Jazz Museum is right next to this museum, so Keith is going to have his parents come down so we can all go through both museums. 

I can't explain how nice it was to see the glow on Keith's face when he came in after speaking with his childhood hero.  Everyone should have such a pleasure... it made his day, and made mine seeing and hearing him.

We went out together and had a lovely dinner at Olive Garden, served by a wonderful waitress, and then stopped to do the short grocery shopping on the way home.  Keith had worked on the henhouse all morning, so he is in bed already, and I have set up to do tomato preserves tomorrow, which I'll photograph for everyone. 

I also got a critter-cam today... and it is hanging out on the gate to the henyard so we can get to the bottom of what's going on in the pasture at night.  I think we are missing the little standard cockerel... I did not see him anywhere despite doing chores three times today.  Yesterday evening an owl was swooping back and forth at the edge of the pasture, so we shall see what's up, I hope, when we look at the disc in the camera.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I know everyone is sick about hearing of the heat, since you are all going through it yourselves.  So, here's what's going on besides heat stuff....

Hey, we're just hangin' out here watching the world go by!

Wait!  What's that over there?

Let's all go see!

(And that's just how they act... like little kids!)

Here is Annabelle the Turkette in the corner of the barn tonight.  It was actually dark, and the flash lit up the corner.  She was on a turkey egg and three hen's eggs.  I'm not sure if the turkey egg was hers or Clara's, since I let Clarabelle out this morning.  We just went out and checked, and Anna is still in the barn, so we locked the henyard up and I'm praying nothing smells or sees her tonight.  (Yes, I worry more with Tony out of the pasture).

Speaking of the llamas... they are doing fine in their new home with Renee and Brian.  Renee is much cuddlier with them than I was, and has been kicked by Tony already, so she is straightening him out in short shrift.  They have been sheared and had their feet trimmed, and have fans for their comfort during this hot summer, though they are about 200 miles farther east and north from us.

And work is continuing apace on the new henhouse.  Keith thinks I'll be able to call the fencing company in about two weeks... once the fence is up the final things will go in... nest boxes, roosts... and a brooder cage to use in the spring.  We'll also need an isolation box too, our nursing cage has come in handy so many times in the big henhouse. 

BTW... have the reading lists disappeared off your blogs?  My reading list of blogs to which I subscribe seems to be gone from my blog... not the featured blogs, but the many, many blogs I like to try to keep up with... they just seem to have vanished!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Down for the Count

We're down for the count here tonight at 107 degrees.

Trying to stay out of the direct sun.

Jackson has even pulled in his snood.  I am giving them wet feed in the evenings now.

Nowhere is the lack of rain more apparent than right here in this corner.  The trough for the llamas used to sit here, and you can see the grass that has gotten water next to the dead grass that has not.  The green in the distance is weeds.  I put a plain plastic bin out there in place of the water trough, and believe it or not, as green as it is.... it stays cool most of the day, and one of the turkeys has been standing in it regularly.   When I dump this bin daily, it waters the short strip of grass you see the hens eating, and yes, they run out there each night to eat as I dump the bin and refill it.  The rest of the pasture (except for the weeds) looks like the grass on the left. 

However in the hoop house, two of the tomato plants have put on a bunch of new growth, and have sent up some side branches in the last three days.  Keith suspects we are going to have an okay fall growing season... and so do several people at my office.   I know one thing, it's been a struggle keeping water on everything and everyone, and tonight it got to me.

I want to apologize for missing some posts lately... I can't get pictures to load, and can't get Hughesnet to cooperate. About the time I sit down to post/type/load pictures, the internet stops sending and receiving.  Tonight it has worked, hoorah!   Same with reading your blogs... I can't get to them often here in the last few days.  Must be the extreme heat (!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The System is Stalled

The weather system is stalled, and my system is, too.  Not sure what's going on, but was nauseated all day today.  I chalked it up to my new glasses, and the change in vision... but nausea and dizziness was my lot.  We had T Bones tonight, and I asked if we could leave after sixth inning, since we were losing and had 2 hits to their 11! 

Here is our good little Clara,  (taken today) who is getting so very tired of me lifting her sore wing to treat her wound.

The hurt side is the other side, of course.  You see she is up and walking around, eating and drinking.  We kept her in the little henyard today, because Jackson keeps breeding her, and there were two spots that appeared as if he had raked her sore side.  One of the vets at work is giving me advice, and he said if it looks like she is going south, we need to isolate her and put her on terramycin in her water.  If we do this, we can't let the other birds drink it, so we are prepared to make a small pen with a cover over it for shade, and put her in it with water to stand in, and water to drink. 
Fifteen minutes ago when we got home, we found her in the little white pen with the porcelain chicks!  She was laying there with them, so we put her meds on her, then the fly spray, and then closed her up with the babies.  We have to get out there early in the morning to let her loose, so she doesn't stomp them to death, but she clearly did not want to come out. 

This is what's happening in our garden... as I'm sure it is in many of yours.  I am watering as much as possible... but fighting a losing battle.  The shrubs are doing okay, but I am going to lose a lot of perennials, I think.

The other side is doing marginally better, but I have laid the water on it to get it established.
The bare branches are from the dying huge old walnut tree.  We think it will take $2000 to take it down, and believe me, the buyers don't come to your house to get your walnut any more...you have to haul it to them if you want to sell it.  

Keith has worked all weekend in the heat on the new henhouse, and though you can't tell from this picture, the siding is up now and he will be painting shortly.  We hope to have the electrician in the next week or so and then a few last things and doors will be hung and screens up.  Then the fencing company, as we are splurging on chain link, because of Lilly Ann.

Now to bed, as I have got to get rid of this stuff!  I apologize for not commenting much lately... between the heat and chores, I have gotten behind.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hot Again

It got up to 101 again today, but really, was not as bad as it could have been.  The birds were suffering, but not horribly so as they were two weeks ago.  We changed the water 3 times, and that kept them going, I think.

Buffy suffers so in the heat, more than the others.  I found her by the waterer, all spread out.  She really looks dead.  This picture was after I had changed the water and it was nice and cold again.

The waterer sets on a concrete block, and she loves to lay near it; she moves the litter aside and lays on the cement floor.

Today some friends came to take a porcelain D'Uccle cockerel and pullet home, and I also gave them an Ameracauna hen I raised here last year.  I tried to give them her sister, but the wily girl went to the top rafters of the henhouse.  They wanted a green egg layer. 
Yes, I gave away a producing hen, but I also gave away another cockerel and a pullet.  I'll keep the other two pullets, and will have to make a decision about the mille fleur cockerel, and the other two porcelain cockerels.  That's the Mille cockerel on the right, and a mature Mille in the middle, eating the corn.  Notice how the younger birds are waiting their turns.  They got what was left.

Gertie and Abby say "Sweet Dreams"!

(Pugs can't go out when it's this hot)

Yes, our good little Clarabelle is still alive.
She is in the little henyard tonight, but can't fly up still to her roost. 
Tomorrow we are going to build a small pen in the big henyard, and during the day, she will be kept in it, away from the other birds, but where she can see them.  She will have plenty of water, and we'll put a shade over the pen.  That way, we can give her Terramycin in her water, to prevent and fight infection in her wound, without letting all the other birds get it.
So far, the wound is not nasty... we have sprayed it with antibiotics, with fly spray to keep anything from laying or hatching... and with iodine to keep it clean.  No, Clara doesn't necessarily like it, but she is eating and drinking and walking around so we are cautiously optimistic. 

I'll try to get a picture of her tomorrow.

As Tweedles (that's me!) says... .

Nitey nite!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Sad Friday Night

This is Clarabelle, aka "Sherman".

One of the Turkettes, she is so very tame and follows me around a lot. Recently, she has been nesting in the pasture, where I left high grass for the girls to lay their eggs.

Yesterday, I noticed she was hanging a wing down. 

I looked underneath, and found an area that appeared to be 5 x 5, where skin had been pulled off by a predator, probably a raccoon.

I treated it with iodine spray three times, I have a real fear of maggots, having lost a wonderful goose to a maggot infection.

Today, Keith and I gently held her to doctor her, and we discovered the wound is much more grievous than I thought, that it extends down into the leg, and is deep. 
So far, no maggots, but Keith who is ALWAYS an optimist, doubts that it's survivable. 
We are watching her, and I have antibiotic spray to put on it.  She cannot fly up to their "roost", the roof of a dog house in the little henyard, so Keith has put them in for the night, and Annabelle is up on the roost.  Clara cannot get up there.  We don't know if the attack occurred in the pasture... or if a raccoon came over the top and down into the henyard and got her during the night. 
Keith has promised me that she will not suffer like Samantha did, whose infection we found far too late. 
So far she is eating and drinking, and walking with a real limp, very slowly.  It hurts my heart that this good girl who is so trusting is in pain.
Keith will do the right thing if we think the pain is too great for her, but darn it... it's a fact of life on a farm that you can't get around.
Would the raccoon have come in with the llamas here?  We don't know that.
We know possums always have, so we are not blaming ourselves, it's just nature.
It still hurts.

Linking tonight with Farmchick, for Farm Photo Fridays.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yum Yum Yum

If I have not commented on your blogs in a while, my apologies (Cheyenne!)...our internet service is being very intermittent... sometimes I will start a post, lose the internet, and come back a long time later to finish it.  Same with reading blogs... I'll try to comment, and lose the connection.  It's Hughesnet, and they are famous for it.

Tonight I tried something new. 

I have become interested in making my own dog food.  I always hesitated to do this, but have talked to several who feed their dogs from home, and the dogs have done fine.   We have gone through several different kinds of dog food, and right now, all four dogs are overweight.  This makes it even harder on Abby and Ranger... Ranger has arthritis, and it makes it harder for him to get up and move around.  Abby.... she is so overweight right now that we sometimes have to carry her back in the house, and we don't want to lose her.  From research, I have discovered that some homemade formulas are so dense that a little goes a long way.

My main recipe calls for ground turkey, but tonight I had some hamburger that had to be used.  I fried it with no salt, etc.  I made four cups of brown rice... and opened a can of green beans and then ran them under a faucet in the colander to drain salt off them.  I cut up part of a potato that I had baked last night that Keith was too tired to eat.  I mixed all this together while it was still hot with an egg and a little canola oil.

Here it is in the bowl:

Yum-O!  (I cut the potato up even more, and as you see, there is not much meat)

Here is the proof it was tasty:

Gertie has become a finicky eater of late.  She is overweight, as are the other three...but I am hoping this new food will satisfy their hunger as well as slim them down.  I gave each a little taste of it tonight, and they all lapped it up... so we shall see!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing Birds

Our babies are growing up.

The standard birds are quite beautiful and healthy, and go out in the pasture daily with the big flock.

They still sleep in the little four x four hutch, though, out in the henyard, and as many as can fit on it's roost, do.  Unlike the batch last year, they have not started roosting in the trees growing in the henyard.

They LOVE their bread treats.

Cockerel?  I say yes.  Anyone want to suggest what breed?   That coloring is often called "Crele", but I am not sure what breed he is.
The chick man threw in two "extras" when I bought my chicks... I'm thinking that's how he reduces his "fryer" numbers.
He's the only standard rooster I'm sure of. (in the chicks)

These heavy-booted and muffed porcelain D'Uccle chicks are very nice.  Several of them will be going to new homes this week, though I hope to retain at least one pullet. 

And this guy, Jackson (ever thinking of love) is booming for the first time tonight!  Turkeys have a particular sound, vibrating in their chests, especially when trying to impress their lady loves.  Jackson had never done it until tonight!
Look what good condition he is in now, and Clarabelle, too.
Here they are when they first came:

The poor Turkettes, their feathers clumped together with mud from the pen they were in... and missing half their feathers underneath... and Jackson, thin, and with his tail feathers half out... and yes, he has molted since being here, but his condition was not good.

And here he is, romancing Clara last night... you can see his tail is filling in very nicely!  We are so happy with these birds.

Keith has begun working on the new henhouse again, and we hope to have it finished and fenced in by summer's end.  The layers are going to be moved into it, so that I don't have to get down on my hands and knees and figure out where everyone is laying now.  I am missing probably two dozen eggs in the last week, since the girls have begun hiding them again.  They won't be able to do it in the new henhouse.

By the way, the Kansas City Star featured a story on it's front page today about the fact that the corn is dying all around us.  We feel so very sorry for all the farmers, but of course, for everyone, because the death of the corn means higher prices for everything made with it.