Saturday, June 30, 2012

Melting Chickens

Whoa, it is hot.  I was much relieved to find this pen of spring pullets spry and in good form this morning, as when I came out yesterday afternoon to give them a cold treat, they were nearly comatose.
I mentioned yesterday that I had moved this pen out of the coop, so I could access these girls without opening the coop.  I didn't realize I had sat them in such a sunny spot.  Back in the day, well, for 22 of the years we've lived here, the area behind the garage was the woods.  Now the area around the chicken yard and coop is shaded, but everything green and growing within has been systematically removed by the girls.  It looks like concrete.  Anyway, I spent all day yesterday feeding them cool watermelon edges and cold squash and icing down water and ventured out to be sure all waterers were still full, oh about oneish,  and happened on the four of them huddled in one corner, practically lifeless.  I usually keep their waterer on a tree stump, as chickens are scratchers and they fling the bedding into the waterer.  Well, they were to weak to even get over to the stump to get a drink. I iced the water down, sat in on the ground and individually dipped their beaks into the water until I revived them.  Next I grabbed whatever was handy to provide some shade.  I had Handy Man keep this box with the intentions of turning it into a puppet stage.  Instead, it is a chicken's salvation. Lastly, I ran for the fan and quickly provided a breeze.
I was very relieved to see them back to their scratching, pecking, clucking  selves this morning.

 My newest hatch decided to blow that hot coop as well.

They are so very tiny that it makes me nervous when they are out and about, but Mama Yellow Chick Awesome stays close and doesn't let anyone near.
I'm freezing old milk jugs of water to sit in Arwen's drink bowl and to put in the pen to help with cooling.  The girls love squash, cucumber and melon, so I keep them cold and pass them out like Popsicles. Supposedly those melon type seeds prevent worms, so hey.

How heart wrenching is it to know my dog and chickens are more lovingly cared for than many children on our planet.
Since October, I have followed the journey of a little girl named Katie.  It is so hard to learn of what goes on in the place where she came from.  I don't feel I'm young enough anymore to go fetch one of those poor children, but it seems wrong to turn and look away.  If you click on her name you can learn all about it. 
There's another man I know (a boy/man to me) who shall, for security purposes, remain nameless, in a place that must also remain nameless. He visited a school this week, though there was evidence of adequate furniture, students were on the floor, guards all around with sticks, hitting the students at will, no actual teaching happening, no one engaged.  How have we come to such a place.
 At least the man has found the chickens there aren't treated a bit better.

On a happier note, I was happy to find tomatoes for my brunch.  I would likely have toast for breakfast every day, but I know I need less of carbs and more of protein. Since my protein is packaged so nicely and delivered fresh daily to the coop, I try to include that, but nothing perks it up like green and red freshness from the garden.
Last night it was a veggie medley of squash, cabbage, potatoes and onions.
I nearly squeal from delight with each garden meal.

I am now off to see the Wizard one last time.

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