We’ve been raising chickens all spring and summer long, moving them another square forward, shoveling the feed in, and protecting them from marauders. Their blue-tarped, PVC shelters have become quite the tourist attraction, drawing several slow drive-bys a week. And here it is, autumn, and there are well over two hundred chickens out there, just waiting to be freezerized. Normally, we’d just up and start in on them whenever the weather and our moods aligned, but we’re doing so good with our school schedule that I just haven’t wanted anything to interfere with our workflow. I’ve been guarding our weekday mornings like… like… like something that guards other things with intensity and devotion. Which means, the only available day for freezerizing chickens is Saturday. I like to make sure the children have something to look forward to on the weekends anyway. We are already two Saturdays down, which leaves only… six or seven more, till all the poultry are processed and ready for eating. Don’t tell the kids, okay? They haven’t actually done the math yet.
We’ve had some unexplained chicken deaths here lately, in our laying flock. Eight of them came down sick rather suddenly and all at once, and all of them died in short order. We had no idea what it could be, but it seemed more like something they’d consumed, rather than an illness, which tends to start small and spread incrementally among the rest of the birds. We were talking about it at the table, two days after our mass casualties, when David, for some reason, mentioned that they certainly hadn’t eaten the rat poison he left out there a couple of weeks ago. I just stared at him. Then left for the chicken coop. I found the bag half hidden under some hay in the corner, and definitely pecked into. Mystery solved.
And on that note, how about a gratuitous baby picture? You can never have too many of those, right?
Today is her seven-month birthday. One of these days, I’ll convince her to sleep in her own bed, but for now, she still prefers full-body contact with another human. Also, her first tooth is just peeking through her gums. I think this is the longest it’s taken for any of my babies to grow their teeth!
These are just a pair of photos from down-by-the-river. I like ‘em.