oh my gosh it’s happening. it’s truly happening. and fast!
we are all so excited over here watching our home transform before our eyes.
it took me a little while to get used to how big the new addition looks from the outside and how different our house looks from our attached neighbor. but after a few days i began to fall in love and sort of like the whole off-kilter look. i like being a bit eccentric:)
we certainly are the tallest house on the block now and hannah’s view is amazing, overlooking the neighborhood roof tops.
one of her role models is julia butterfly hill who lived in a california redwood for almost two years. with her new room high up in the treetops she will feel a little like julia.
the roof and cedar shakes begin on monday along with the stair case and interior.
we are so very lucky to have been gifted this project by my dad and are so appreciative for his generosity. it still feels like a dream.
i love that we are getting closer and closer to using up every available inch in our home to it’s fullest. but don’t worry i have a few more ideas up my sleeve.
our hens bring us so much joy.
so much that we can’t stop talking about them.
so much that we actually teach classes about them.
so much that i want to focus on them a bit more here in this space.
there is always something to say and learn from from them.
and since we have several people popping in here from time time who take our classes i thought it might be fun to write about some of our backyard chicken adventures.
i am working on a downloadable backyard chicken guide complete with photographs and even movie clips.
but for now let’s talk broody
meet lemon. our americauna hen. she may be the plainest looking of the flock but her eggs are a pale blue-green and she is the sweetest of hens. the first to roost up on her branch at night and the quietest of the bunch.
yes chickens actually have personalities. and each one of our hens has it’s own distinct traits.
last week we noticed lemon was inside the coop more than usual and a bit grumpy (not her usual self). when she would come out to the run she was puffed up and clucking quite a tune. some of the other hens would peck and chase her and she would run away and keep to herself.
we knew right away that lemon was “broody”
broodiness is the tendency to sit on a clutch of eggs to incubate them. it is innate in a female bird to want to hatch her eggs whether their eggs are fertilized or not. so since we do not have a rooster, poor little lemon would have sat their til the cows came home.
This can be a problem since when a hen becomes broody they become so focused on hatching those eggs that they go into a trance as they sit on their nest, forgetting to take care of themselves. They will not eat, drink or exercise leading to illness and possibly death. if you were in the mood for a few more chickens you do have the option of finding some fertilized eggs for your broody hen to hatch. but since we are quite content with our flock of four off we went to help lemon back to her old sweet self.
it is important to collect eggs daily and if possible as soon as they are laid. broody hens will not only sit on their own eggs but eggs of other hens as well, so collect all eggs. you may have to get right under her and take them. she may peck and scold you but remind her you love her and are doing this for her own good.
try to scoot her out into the run which may mean closing the door to the coop so she eats, drinks and socializes with the other hens.
a broody hen will raise her body temperature to prepare for the nesting phase.i had read about placing ice cubes on the nest or a dunk into a bath of cold water to cool her down. i however did not have the heart for this and thought i would rather try to focus on not letting her get too comfortable instead.
we scooted lemon out of the henhouse several times a day and even let her out to free range away from the other hens to get a break and be reminded of her normal chicken ways. we fed her sunflower seeds and let her romp around in the garden for a bit.
it took a few days of staying on top of her but soon she was back to her old self.
:: we rescued an abandoned baby squirrel who has claimed chris as his new mama. his name is earl
:: i came around from gardening out front to find a big bouquet of lilacs waiting for me on my back porch. after playing detective i figured out which neighbor was so kind and left a half dozen eggs on her porch.
:: i have been sleeping on sheets that were hung out on the laundry line two days ago and they still smell like sunshine.
:: i have claimed my front porch as the world’s largest terrarium.
:: i have planted swiss chard, kale, cucumbers, beans and zucchini on my front lawn.