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All Quiet in the Coop

Thank goodness for boring days without incident. Sixteen girls this morning, no stomach heaving, though it was touch and go when I went down there. It takes courage to turn on the light. Or rather, you have to send your emotions to a distant place, send your awareness away, just so you can cope with whatever the light reveals.

Yesterday, G* came by on his way to work when I called to tell him we lost another young one. He sees his egg source slipping away, he does. G spent about half an hour putting new fence over holes in the chicken wire attached to the roof of the coop, nailing on a board or two. When The Dude got home, he put more boards on spots he knew had weaknesses. Neither thinks something could come up through the floor boards, just over the top.

And when I came home from my writing group last night, The Dude had left me an email, which I paraphrase:

He was watching the chickens from the house to see when they went into the coop so he could go down and shut the hatch. He thought he saw one outside the fence, so he went down to check. One of the new girls got out. He rounded her up (much more difficult than one of the domesticated girls) and put her back in. Several appear to be pretty good fliers at their current weight. So his theory is that she flew out. We've both checked the fence line and can't find another opening. Shades of Walkabout. Not her baby, but has her genes. They came from the same farm, I'm sure.

So The Dude now doubts his count of 17 the night before. He's no longer certain he had them all locked in. Since there was no clear sign of a new struggle, no door unlatched, this is a welcome thought. Not something getting into the coop. Something getting out. Of course, if she did, she's fox food by now. The fact that I didn't see her in the morning outside the barn would indicate she's gone one way or the other.

And finally from The Dude's note, as he stood in the coop last night, rapping old girls on the beak for aggression, one of the babies flew off the top runf of the roost and onto his shoulder. Perched there and settled down, as if for the night. He was startled, but quite pleased. Animals like The Dude.

So to recap:
One baby lost because the door wasn't latched; full evidence of the event available
One old hen lost due to disease or injuries sustained when the door wasn't latched
One baby flew the coop (?) leaving no trace of her adventures
One baby flew the coop and was recaptured
The coop roof, walls, floor have all been tested and secured

I'm beginning to see stories in stories in stories in these farm adventures...

Frog Out

*I'm going to need a better name than "G" for G. He's a historical fiction writer (Virginia and Civil War his specialty) still waiting for his book contract. For food and shelter he paints and does various repairs. We met when he prepped our townhouse for sale and he's done work on this house for the past six years. He just finished replacing the roof on my cabin. He's also the big brother I never had, e.g. coming and spending half an hour sealing up the coop yesterday morning.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you've put the specter of something sneaking into the coop to rest. Hopefully things will settle down now. Say hi to G for me! (I remember he liked my writer's sweatshirt.)
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's good news.

Also, I'm glad you have a big brother!
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
"I'm not sure with is more difficult: literature or chickens." E.B. White in a letter to James Thurber
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
I like the bunny, shows a very different side of you.

Two authors who formed me. And a very astute comment.
Mar. 28th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have many sides. *grin*

The quote is from one of several brass plaques embedded in the street across from the NY Public Library Main Branch. This stretch of 41st Street in Manhattan is called Library Way. Both sides of the street are full of these brass monuments to writers.

I'm not so sure walking on Emily Dickenson and John Greenleaf Whitter and Mark Twain is my cup of tea, but when I saw this quote I immediately thought of you.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )