Thursday, July 10, 2008

Free Roto-Tilling Service

There is a bare patch of earth next to the front porch. I haven't bothered to plant anything in it because Jim and I are planning to extend the front porch to make better use of the shadiest part of the yard. The chickens discovered this lovely dust bathing area today and proceeded to dig three large bowls in the soft dirt. They were in chicken heaven! If you've never seen chickens dust bathing, here's a demonstration courtesy of Roo, Achilles and their girls.

Achilles has just recently begun to crow. I'm still trying to capture a crowing rooster on video but their crowing practice is sporadic at best. They began crowing at different times and Rudy has yet to be seen trying his lungs out for size. First to crow was Roo, our Barred Rock, followed by Silver, our Silver-Spangled Hamburg. Then Achilles started this week. I wonder if Rudy will feel competitive and start crowing soon. The chickens will be 13 weeks old in two days.

Derek and I were in the yard yesterday and saw something startle the chickens. They all came running out from their favorite napping spot beneath the Arborvitae near their run. Then we saw a big, fluffy tail swishing about in the tree and realized that it was Rocky playing squirrel games! I went over to try to talk him down from the tree but he refused to come down. Darn! I was hoping to squeeze the little fur ball again. Maybe next time.


  1. That's some happy chickens!
    Ours have built numerous dust baths and those holes get deeper and deeper....I think 'dust baths' are just a cover. Chickens are really just planning their escape to the other side of the planet!

  2. That was a cute video! It's like watching one of my own chooks! I've never caught mine "bathing" outside yet. They usually do it in the pine shavings. Re: your comment on my blog: I wish you had some of my coneflowers! They take over my flower beds. Every year I have to dig up tons of them. I don't want to get rid of them completely, because the butterflies and goldfinces love them so much. I leave them standing all winter so they can eat the seeds. By the way, I had to look up the butterfly name in my book. I sort of knew, but not the whole thing.

  3. Dustbathing chickens are so spazzy. They almost look like they are in their death throes!

    I have five roos and five crowers. I need to do something before we have death and destruction. I have a neighbor who is about 1/4 of a mile away and I'm sure they are hearing these new sounds. I'm not too unhappy as they play their radio so loud I can sing along in my yard on Saturdays and Sundays! Revenge of the roos!

  4. twinville, I don't know who's better at digging up dirt...pigs or chickens!

    Susan, mine love to stir up their pine shavings too. I bet they'd love pure sand but we have no beach in our yard so plain ole dirt will have to do! Don't they look so happy? Good thing I hadn't planted that area!

    Don, sounds like poetic justice to me. Radios are more obnoxious than roosters, especially when you can't choose the station. Roosters are just background noise. I'm just glad I can't hear them when I'm trying to sleep during the day! Whew!

  5. Chickens sure do look funny when they dust-bathe. :)

    It's amazing how small animals can move so much earth when they are so relentless.



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