We have an EGG!!! With the discovery of this EGG Sojourn Farm is officially a farm. (Dad, stop calling it a petting zoo!) Now, there was some confusion as to who this egg belongs to. This egg came into the world amidst animal habitat confusion and many animal complaints. Here are the facts. This egg was found in the duck hut. So you would think we could assume it was a duck egg. Not so fast. About two days before this egg showed up, the chickens claimed the duck hut as their own, the ducks claimed the back yard as their own, the big goats claimed the barn as their own, and the baby goats claimed the living room as their own, and the dogs were hiding in Sydney’s room. The humans who live here were left to pick up the pieces.
With the discovery of the egg, I decided to try to let everyone sort this out. But the next day things got worse. I found two eggs in the duck hut. Downton and I also had to chase the chickens out of the duck hut that night. They had really started to stake a claim. I put all my Poultry 101 class knowledge to work. (I majored in animal science for two years, until we had to slaughter cattle I was all in.) I figured the chickens had out grown their coup. I don’t mean to body shame anyone here but our coup says it can fit 12 chickens. Ah-hem, our chickens must be super-sized because they stopped fitting in the coup a few weeks ago. We tried to make the best of it and put a roosting bench outside in their scratching pen. The problem with chickens is that, well, they are chicken. They are scared of everything and only feel safe at night when they are all together up off the ground. They were telling us that they were unsatisfied with their house by taking over the duck hut. Saturday morning we set out to rectify the situation.
We took the duck hut, which is actually a dog kennel and moved it into the barn where the original chicken coup was. We (Jesse) re-engineered the door out to the scratching pen so they could get their chubby rumps in and out easily. Now the scratching pen is more of a vestibule at this point because they are in there long enough to yell at me in the morning to let them out. Once free, they roam the whole property like they own the place. They do have a scratching pen though, in case I have to keep them locked up. I can’t imaging the chicken profanity that would cause.
We then took the original chicken coup and moved it over to the other side of the barn. We turned it into the new duck hut. We had to entice them with something good because they really love the back yard. I don’t know if you are familiar with ducks but they are way more messy than dogs, so I don’t want them in the backyard around the pool. Jesse cut a hole in the barn wall to make a way from them to have the coup and a little scratching pen. We also had to engineer a way for Downton to keep the chickens out of his pen. Downton totally remembers when he and the chickens lived together as chicks. He just wanted to be friends and the chickens shunned him because of his big feet. So now he and his wife have nothing to do with them. We are working on loving your neighbor around here. We also needed to keep them separated so we could solve the mystery of the eggs.
A side note on Downton and Cora. They have a huge pond that they could live in and swim in. When they were younger we moved them down to the water’s edge with a sub par duck enclosure. A raccoon broke in and attacked them. Downton defended Cora valiantly but lost a few feathers and bled like he lost a wing. Sweet Cora must have been in the raccoon’s mouth or something because she had a huge puncture wound in her chest. I wasn’t sure if they would survive, but they did! The residual effect is that they do not like to be very far from the back yard. They do not swim in the pond. They get their water time like this….
Don’t ever question what kind of life the animals around here have. I dance around all day making sure everyone is emotionally groovy. I will not have ducks in my backyard pool area. I have to draw the line somewhere. I have goats in my house for goodness sake!
Now everyone’s houses look like this….
And finally everyone is singing my praises again. The chickens are happy as clams. (There you go Jonathan, that saying just works!) The ducks are slightly confused but love their new house. It is right under the night-light so it always has bugs in it. And now the mystery of the eggs is solved…..
dun dun da….
It is a duck egg!!! Cora is laying an egg everyday for us! I’m trying to come up with a marketing slogan for this. “Sojourn Farm Eggs: Every dozen includes a duck for luck!” I don’t know, but I crack myself up coming up with stuff like this. I’m so thrilled because this means, not only that she did not get permanently injured in her attack, but also that we might get little ducklings in the spring! If I see her or him start sitting on a pile of eggs I will stop taking them away from her.
But for now….
They are delicious! (I had to try them first before anyone else around here because they were unsure.)
At the time of writing this we have had two random chicken eggs. I think their little layers are just getting revved up. The new problem is that they lay them wherever they want. With the move they are all jacked up and confused. Supposedly if you put ceramic eggs in the nesting boxes they will “get the point.” I crack up thinking about what goes through a chickens mind the first time they lay an egg. “Look what just came out of my butt?!?!?”
I just love our little farm. I love caring for the animals, even though I complain about it. I love learning to be flexible and thinking outside the box to fix problems. I love learning what they need to thrive. I love what the Lord is teaching me out here. He is everywhere in all these little creations. More to come on that later. For now, just know we are officially a farm, and I’m so thrilled with it!