Chickens on the Run

Well, not really, but sorta. I think I mentioned how they have been able to get out of the pen; I don’t even close it when I let IMG_0427them out of the coop in the morning. It’s really a wasted effort. They spend most of their time in the back yard, occasionally taking trips into the neighbor’s yards. One of my neighbor’s was very sweet and came over, very concerned they would get lost or the family cat would take one out. I reassured her neither concern was an issue and apologized profusely, offering to get them out of her yard for now. But she was okay with it, especially since they eat bugs. I promised her eggs when the quints start laying.

So maybe when the guineas are up and running, she’ll be okay with them as well. One can hope!

I actually like the girls in the yard. I find it peaceful. We have to work on containing them in the yard, though. It will be interesting, the quints are flyers. Beulah and Brownie are not. Many times the quints are out and about while B&B are in the yard. And that’s another reason why I leave the pen open — B&B were often left behind.

The good news is so far no damage to the garden. They’ll walk through, but have not gone after any plants. But I need to keep an eye out. As much as I love walking among the girls, I really don’t want the garden ruined. We’re having enough problems with getting squash to grow, I really don’t need the girls eating everything.IMG_0426

I checked the bees this week and they seem to be doing well. I still have not found the queen, but to be honest, I have not looked very hard. I saw capped brood (baby bees in capped cells, growing to be big and strong!) so that confirms I have a queen. I’ve found that, for me, opening the hive early, or late, in the day works better. Most of the hive is there so I get a better idea of size of the colony. I don’t sweat as much either, so I can see nor worry about passing out from the heat. And I’m getting better with the smoker. That is my achilles heel. Getting that smoker going and using it helps me keep the hive confused and less worried about what I’m doing.

Funny story… I kept hearing a bee buzzing around my head so I would “smoke” my head in an attempt to get her to fly away. But she kept coming back. Then I saw her fly in front of my face, in my hat! So I flung it off, confirmed she flew away, put it back on and completed my inspection. She did not sting me — bees prefer not to sting unless they feel they have to. They will die as stinging ends up disemboweling them. But I am glad I kept smoking her.

Have a lovely weekend!

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