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weekend chickening

We mucked out the chicken coop this weekend, the first time I performed this bianual chore. I really wanted to write "I mucked out the chicken coop," because I want to be all confident farmer about these things, but the truth is that I couldn't do it all myself because I needed Dan to tip the wheelbarrow to the right level. And help me find a board to put over the coop entrance. And the shovel. And oh Lord I'm so hopeless by myself out there in the yard.

chicken muck in the compost

poop and pop, both hard at work

That's the used chicken bedding on the left hand side compost bin. As Dan said, "That's the least mucky muck you'll ever have to muck." But enough about me. Harvey was OVERJOYED to play in the newly cleaned out coop.

harvey in the chicken coop

hey, who invited this guy in? they both wonder

He enjoyed being up close with the chickens and even pet some of them! I get so excited when Harvey's brave. He isn't always (understatement of the year.)

harvey talking to a chicken

getting to know you

Since the weather was so eerily lovely we also treated the chickens to their first backyard free-ranging adventure.

chicken next to the garden

she only wanted to eat the grass

In the six months since we've had them outside we've only let them in their little enclosed area. When they were small I was afraid of hawks. And I'm still pretty afraid of hawks, actually. But I think a little supervised backyard time is good for everyone. The chickens love picking in the bushes, Dan would like them to eat grubs from the garden, and Harvey is crazy excited to run around and herd them in the yard. Even Zion liked watching the festivities, as long as he had something in his hands to chew on.

zion with a ball

enjoying baby-style

The only one who doesn't appreciate the exercise is Rascal. We locked him in the house for obvious reasons, and he spent the hour yapping and howling and trying to rip a hole in the door. Maybe he'll learn to play nice one day. I hope so, because I do have fun acting like our backyard is a barnyard. And it gives me an excuse to pick up four fuzzy chickens when it's time for them to go back in their home.

mama holding a chicken

hen mother

My God, how thin I look! From now on I only wish to be photographed from above and holding a chicken.

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