Coop News—Slightly Out of Date

Here we are in the dog days of summer.  Pretty much everybody thinks of the dog days of the summer as that part of summer where the weather is so hot and humid that our lethargy reaches its peak and all we want to do is hang out in a cool and shady spot away from the mosquitoes, like an old lazy dog.  If I were a dog I think I might be offended by the phrase.  In fact “dog days” original meaning had nothing to do with lazy dogs, and I’m going to share it with you now so you can tell all your friends and impress them with your knowledge.

The constellation Canis major (direct translation from Latin:  “big dog”) contains the star Sirius, which is often described as being the dog’s nose.  Sirius is also referred to as the Dog Star and is one of the brightest stars in the sky.  During July and the first part of August, this bright star rises into the sky almost simultaneously with the sun, thus these days are called “the dog days.”  So now you’re impressed with my knowledge, right?  Well, don’t thank me, thank Google.

My wife and I are taking a “dog days” vacation to escape the heat and humidity and will be camping on the north shore of Lake Superior.  Since Lake Superior is such a huge body of cold water, it creates its own weather system and one can count on the temperature being at least ten degrees cooler by the lake, so it will be great.  The chickens, sadly, are not coming along and will have to deal with the heat and humidity in the care of our chicken sitter.  They wouldn’t have much fun anyway—there’s no place to roost in a tent.

I’ve prepared this post in advance, and will just need to pull my laptop out of the car at some roadside coffee shop with wi-fi, click a button, and this post will magically appear on my blog.  Ah, the joys of modern technology!  One can blog in the wilderness!  All one needs is a wilderness coffee shop with wi-fi!  So here’s the coop news, only a few days out of date:

Speaking of the weather, Minnesota continues to be hit by summer storms.  The latest one took down a small tree and a few large limbs.  Considering that I’ve got more than a few acres where trees and limbs could fall and not hit anything it is both ironic and frustrating that they seem to keep falling on structures.  As you can see, this one landed squarely on my new chicken run tractor gate.  I’ve been told that trees falling in the woods make no sound.  When I found this large limb on my gate, I made several sounds.  I got the limb taken care of relatively quickly, but it was a few days before I could get the gate repaired, so there was a huge gaping hole for that period of time.  I told the chickens that it was beyond my control and that they were on their honor not to fly through the hole and escape.  Amazingly, that somehow worked.  The gate is fixed now and all of the chickens still live here!

The broody rehab crate is once again in use.  Emily the Silkie tucked herself away in the depths of a nest box with the idea that she needed to hatch something.  Since no eggs were available, she was actually sitting on a small piece of cast-off cantaloupe rind.  It was sort of round and vaguely egg-shaped, but still sort of a pathetic grasping at straws, I felt.  So I put her in jail.  She’s recuperating and hopefully will be back with the other chickens before we leave on vacation.

Sweet Arlene Barred Rock continues to recover from her molt, lameness, and the battering she got from some of the other chickens.  She’s living by herself in the open area of the pole barn and whenever I go into the barn she always runs to greet me.  Maybe she’s just looking for treats, but I like to think that she’s being friendly.  Once we’re back from our vacation, I’ll try reintroducing her to the flock again, hopefully with a better outcome than last time, so stay tuned for that!

Finally, here are some new pictures of the Legbar pullets.  They’re starting to look so beautiful and grown-up!  They’re finally calming down a little, and will actually eat out of my hand now.  I’m sure we’re just a few weeks away from those first blue eggs!

Bonnie the Cream Legbar

Paulette the Cream Legbar

Marissa the Cream Legbar

Nicky the Cream Legbar

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