Cluckin-Better Farm

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June Coop News 2019

We’ve been fortunate with just a few days over 90+, but we’re also certain July will fix all that soon. Our last day was wonderful with a high of 84 and cloudy skies, and a chance of rain in the late afternoon. I’ll take it! The girls have been fine and are already used to enjoying a cool pool when the temps rise so they are ready! I’ll be buying more cantaloupe and watermelon and they will enjoy the chilled fruit with their supper.

Eggs!   We are doing good! Well, not ‘we’, The Ladies! I’m just there to bring them inside, fluff the nestboxes and have them ready and fresh for the next day! They do the hard work! Not bragging, but our ladies have been super egg layers, giving us an average of nearly 4 eggs daily, with a 5-egg day thrown in to show off! Thanks, ladies! Rosie and Ms. Russell were the hero egg producers this month, since Blondie was busy bossing everybody again. Whatever works! Of course, Daddy Chicken got a beautiful omelet with sausage as his ‘Thank You’ from the hens. He helps out where he’s most needed, doing the roof-fixing, the fence mending, and occasionally feeding and bringing water when Mommy Chicken can’t. Our ladies appreciated his hard work, always, and so do I.

Out! Out!    One evening while closing up the coop, I ran several rats from inside the coop. They had tried to hide in the wells of the concrete blocks holding the water jug. What?!? I’d seen them scampering across the metal screened ceiling, to disappear under the coop, so this was a first! Lisa Steele, of Fresh Eggs Daily (see her on FB and Instagram) has always moved water and food out of the coop during the day to keep it rodent-free. Yep. It was my turn now. I set them under the shade of our beautiful crepe myrtles trees, who were in bloom and providing excellent shade! Perfect! I haven’t seen another rodent inside the coop since. I do the usual security sweep with the broom where I can’t see, look into the concrete block wells, check the nestboxes, the roosting area, before putting down supper for the ladies and closing the coop for the night. By then, I’ve moved the feeder and water jug back where they were. Good enough for now. I hate to use lethal means on animals just trying to survive in the suburbs along with everyone else, but I may have to resort to something since I know I have more than six. Anybody got an extra Rat snake?

Pecking Order   Blondie continues being Queen of the Coop and everyone seems content to bow in submission as she passes them. She’s first out of the gate in the evenings to lead the ladies on the Backyard Tour for bugs and she gets the best spot to dust bathe. Oprah, our Coop Matron, bring up the rear, now that she’s Poultry Security, scanning the area for predators. She’s our oldest, at 6 this year so she’s not moving as fast as the others. Perfect for the job! I make sure she gets her share of good treats to keep her healthy.

A Slow Start  With all these eggs coming in the kitchen, I was ready for happy customers’ calls, but that didn’t happen. Oh no! For two weeks straight, not one text, email, or phone call. Eggs were stacking up and I was gifting neighbors and relatives just to have room for the next days’ eggs. I even made a note I sent to former regulars, hoping to get a request but nobody called. Finally, on the 17th, I answered a call and I was elated to hear a new customer needing fresh, nutritious eggs for her home baking business! “I have a dozen fresh eggs today! Would you like them delivered or do you want to pick up?” Yay! A customer! My egg business wasn’t dead! I’m sure I did a Happy Dance! To celebrate, I produced a New Customer Card, explaining why we don’t wash their eggs, but how they should right before use. It looked perfect! I packed the eggs and delivered to a sweet lady who was looking out for us by her apartment! Then, the following days, calls from new customers came in! CBF was saved from doom! On this last day of June, I have three customers awaiting a call that I have a dozen eggs for them! I’m sure lots of home businesses go through this same experience and have felt that same anxiety. This has been a CBF first! I’m hoping not to have it happen again, but I know I can keep my spirits up until that next call.

Hope everyone had a nice June, and Dad’s got hugs and appreciation in abundance. We will enjoy fireworks, once again, from our driveway with friends and family over for dogs and brew! Please have a safe but fun 4th and here, the chicken drama will surely continue! We’re sticking home this summer to take the ladies their splash pool water and frozen water bottles in afternoons and chilled fruit and bugs in the evenings. We’ve found a great source for June Bugs at our Senior Center’s front door. They’ve been allowing us to scoop up the poor things in our bucket. We give the ladies a small amount in the evenings so they’ll have great protein to digest as they make eggs and have energy to battle the heat. We are so thankful! And so are the ladies! Take care everyone! Stay Cool!