Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ghastly Moments in Gardening V: Red in Beak and Claw

Yesterday, the boys came rushing in to tell me that there was a mouse in the chook food bucket.  The bucket was nearly empty and the poor mouse, not a very large one, was unable to jump out.  I roused on the boys for leaving the lid off overnight and took the bucket outside.

There we were as I tipped the bucket slowly sideways to let the mouse out: the Geek, the Twig, the Sprig and the chooks wandering near us.  The mouse finally leapt out and bolted between my husband's feet, looking for safety in the grass nearby.

But too late!  One of our chooks saw the movement and tore after it.  To my surprise, she was able to snatch the mouse up in her beak -- it shrieked! -- and then all the chooks were after her.  The poor mouse was dropped and snatched up several times before one of the girls triumphantly carried off the now-lifeless body to a corner of the back yard.

I had no idea chickens would attack an animal as big as a mouse!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Back Yard in Early Spring

A lot has happened, but not much in the back yard. Rain and family activities have cut my gardening back a trifle. Then I looked up and saw spring everywhere.

Remember those sweet little chickens?

They've grown up a bit! The chook at the front is laying. Note her fully-developed comb and wattles. The one at the back has not come into lay yet.

Our guinea pigs have decided on a feral lifestyle. They have spent most of the winter outside and DO NOT want to be caught!

I finally pruned the quince.

And after having no tomatoes last summer, the plants have decided to bear through winter instead.