Friday, March 06, 2015

Happy Chickens, Happy Me

 Today was a sunny day at last, with the temperature a balmy 17 degrees.  I decided to give the chickens some fresh air,since they have not been able to get out for weeks.  They were certainly happy to see the world, but they weren't interested enough to go out in it.  Dottie put one foot down, but changed her mind.  They all took turns sampling the snow from the doorway, though.  I left the door open all day, hoping they would enjoy a change from looking at four walls.

This morning I read some entries in a blog about taking care of chickens.  I felt very guilty about the way I care for mine.  The author talked about what a chicken environment should be, complete with pictures of her coops which are nicer than my house.........certainly cleaner.  She emphasizes ventilation, light, and fresh air.  All of these are pretty much absent in my girls' world.  Their one window fogs up so they can't see through it, and the only fresh air they have comes through two silver dollar size holes I drilled in the end walls.  Of course the door does not close tightly, so maybe that counts.  She recommends artificial light to keep the chickens laying eggs all year round.  I opted out of that from the beginning, thinking that the natural day-night rhythm would be better for them.........and give them a vacation from egg-laying.  If I were in their place, I would certainly need a vacation from producing one of those monstrosities every day.  I don't know how they stand it.

My happy news is that I finally got a new stove.  I have been without one that works since October.  My landlady, wonderful as she is in so many ways, is never happy to spend money on her rental properties.  She seems to realize that she will have to do her landlady duty eventually, but she drags her heels and makes sure her tenants know that they are totally at her mercy.  She insists that she is making no money and is crazy to have rental property.    On the other hand, there is almost nothing she doesn't allow us to do with the property.........this house is mine to do with as I please.  For that, I will happily (pretty happily) wait six months for a stove.  This picture shows it waiting for its first job.........baking a loaf of home-made bread.  It wasn't a complete success because I'm not familiar with stoves under fifty years old.  I didn't know that the oven would shut off at the end of the cooking time I set with the timer.  I set the timer much earlier than the full cooking time so I could check on it.  It wasn't until I checked again ten minutes later that I realized what had happened.  The oven had cooled with the bread half done.  I turned it back on and left the bread while it heated up and resumed baking.  In the end the bread was satisfactory, but certainly not up to my usual standards.  Today I made cinnamon rolls with the rest of the dough and they are perfect.

1 comment:

P. J. Grath said...

Your chickens look plump and pretty and happy. They do not look neglected or abused in any way. And I love your new stove! It looks a lot like the one I'm using in our winter rental property here in Arizona. A distinct pleasure!