Hi you all! I just discovered I had this page! Now I'll have to put stuff on it! More to come soon!
I keep forgetting I have this space to post about life at high altitude raising chickens. Just to give you an idea of what we do on a nice-weather day in mid-January in the Rockies, here's a taste:
The weather warmed up and I've been going like a fiend, trying to get as much done as possible before the freezing cold returns, along with more snow, which is coming tomorrow. I went cow pie hunting the last two days and hauled home two full truckloads of them for my chickens by way of adding them to the compost pile. There are all sorts of tasty bugs and worms and weed seeds in them. My neighbors all think I'm nuts out there picking up cow poop, chopping the pies loose from the frozen ground with a pick.
Then this morning I decided to line up all the chickens and scrub crusty butts. All fifteen. Or rather, fourteen - one hen had a perfectly clean butt. All the others had impressive build-up. It involved filling a wash tub with children's bubble-bath, grasping a chicken firmly with one hand while positioning their posterior over the tub, and scrubbing the offending crust with the other hand. Then all I had to do was towel dry them and they air-dried the rest of the way since it was so warm and nice. Usually I have to blow-dry them with a hair dryer, and they love that, by the way. Even the boys. Also, all the feather-footed ones got their feet scrubbed since their feet don't self-clean and they're more susceptible to foot rot if not kept clean. Again, I doubt if Charles ever gave this issue one second of thought in all his years of chicken-farming.
So knowing the fleet was clean and fluffy again, I went off to gather cow pies and got myself thoroughly filthy. Do you call that a paradox or ironic?
One other interesting thing I tried this week was to try to break my rooster Penrod from biting. He doesn't attack and flog like my older, now deceased, rooster did, so I can't really box with him to show him who's boss. So I thought I'd try grabbing him and massaging his back and little shoulders to relax him. Okay, you're thinking, now I know she's gone off her nut, but hey, it's worth a try! And it worked! Well, it worked for about two days, and Penrod really did seem to enjoy his massages and seemed more trusting and relaxed. But then yesterday, all of a sudden, he hauled off and bit me again. Twice. So I'm back to just showing him tough-love and kicking him on occasion when he really deserves it.
But he didn't bite me today when I scrubbed his extremely crusty and disgusting behind. So maybe we're making progress after all.