Sunday, July 13, 2014

Surprise in the Coop

Roye, who I have always had difficulty capturing with the camera, pauses on a post

Imagine my surprise to open up the chick room this morning and find Roye in there with the two mama hens and their little chicks.  She was down on her belly, head on the floor, and a chick was only three inches from her nose!  Apparently Roye had entered the room after the hens and chicks had gone to bed, and then gotten shut in by us before we retired for the night.

When we first had hens hatching chicks a couple of years ago, I worried about the cats when we let them go outside.  I soon learned that mama hens are fierce defenders of their young and there was nothing to fret about.

Roye is Captain of the Rodent Control Team here at Ole Lake.  No mouse, vole, shrew, or chipmunk is safe from her predations.  We haven’t had a bunny in the yard for years.  This useful characteristic helps us put up with some of her less agreeable traits (which I will not go into at this time).  She also has a fondness for birds, but fortunately, a healthy respect for adult chickens.  From her posture this morning, I would assume that she had been firmly put in her place.

One of the little chicks has died, so there are only nine now.  This loss cannot be attributed to Roye; I have been watching this little one for a while and it just hadn’t been growing like the others so I was expecting it to go.  
If you look close, you can see number nine peeking out from under Mama Red.  We decided on the name Lucy for the red hen.  I know, it's confusing that the black hen is Mama Red, but that's just the way it is. 

Meanwhile, we have hay down again.  We had a little rain last night, but Kevin is hopeful that we can still bale it later today.

Out in the garden, I’ll be picking peas today!  I visited the Isle Farmers’ Market yesterday, as I was there for the Mille Lacs Fun Run 5K with my good friend Kathy.  Much to my disappointment, the new potatoes were sold out, although I did score some green beans and cucumbers.  At home, I rooted around under some of the larger volunteer plants that are growing in the melon bed and was able to come up with enough spuds for our traditional “first pea meal” of the year, creamed peas and new potatoes… one of Kevin’s favorite things to eat.  I am also enjoying baby zucchini, sugar snap peas, swisschard, radishes, and arugula in my salad these days.  Things generally look good out there, although I would rather the weather were warmer so the tomatoes and melons would have a better chance of a good crop. 
Tasty little yellow zuchinnis
 So that is this week’s farm report!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to post a correction: Roye has no less than agreeable traits. She is a perfect and wonderful cat.