Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy times, henpecking and hay

We had a great afternoon at the beach yesterday. Went to Neskowin first, where we enjoyed good scenery, no wind and fun romps with Jackson. (He is such a good beach dog!) After eating our picnic lunch, Rick wanted to try somewhere else, so we loaded back up and drove north to Pacific City. We didn't know there was a Dory Festival in progress; I don't think I've ever seen an Oregon beach that crowded! Reminded me more of my childhood visits to the Southern California coast! Although the sun was out the wind was brisk, so it was colder. We walked to the leeside of Cape Kiwanda, where my MIL and I settled into the warm sand while the boys climbed the sand hill (slowly) and eventually ran back down. We took the scenic route home (not that there's an UN-scenic route home from the coast) and enjoyed a supper of pesto-zucchini pasta (first zukes from our garden) and fresh picked berries.

When Rick and I did chores, I noticed that Lucille, she of the cast-less broken toe, was feebly moving towards the door of the henhouse where most of the girls were already at roost. I went in to see why she was getting around so much worse, and discovered a terrible case of henpecking. So of course I scooped her up and installed her in the straw-bedded dog crate with fresh food and water (I'll spare you the close-up of her raw, featherless head).This morning she looked worse, with one eye swollen shut; this evening she looks a little better, so I think she'll make it. Chickens are easy to like - but easy to hate, too, when they show their vicious side. Men joke sometimes about being henpecked, but they have no idea of which they speak!

We've been working on tracking down second- or third-cutting orchard grass hay for the sheep (horses, too), and located some big 3'x3'x8' bales in central Oregon that even delivered were an attractive price. We were set to commit this morning when, almost by accident, Rick stumbled on some local irrigated second-cutting orchard grass with about 25% alfalfa - the same price, but in easier-to-manage small squares. We got the 7 1/2 tons the man had left; we'll probably need 2-3 more tons (third cutting if we can get it) to feed horses and sheep until next year's haying season. I was down to the final flakes of sheep hay, so getting hay today was a big relief, if a big job.

That's it for now from . . .

14 comments:

Franna said...

Isn't it a good feeling to have next year's hay taken care of? ...and it always smells so good!
- Franna

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Sounds like the purrrrrfect weekend and if you think that I did not want to be there with all of you....well you would be WRONG!
Sorry about Henny Penny but so glad about the HAY...

Kara said...

My RI Reds are being henpecked too. I am at loss at what to do. I am tempted to ship them all off in the fall when the new chicks start laying. Terrible I know, but I can't stand to see their featherless heads. They even eat one of the RI Reds eggs everyday! The same chicken seems to be targeted for that. New understanding of the term "pecking order".

Laura said...

Chickens are mean! We've had our share of chickens beating each other up. If her wounds do get infected though you can give chickens penicillin.The does is 1/2 cc (I gave it in the leg muscle.)A local big time pure bred chicken breeder and judge told us that.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thank-you so much for that info, Laura! Rick doesn't have a clue how to treat chickens, and I have been intending to go online to figure out if there is an anti-inflammatory that would work for her. Any other tips welcome!

kenleighacres said...

Chickens can be so cruel. I hope the girl recovers quickly.

We used to take our horses to Nekowin - it is beautiful! Looks like you had a great time.

A barn full of hay is the best feeling :)

Shula said...

The pictures of the beach are beautiful, what a wonderful coast line you have. Your post also reminds me that I need to start looking for this winters hay. With all the rain we are having I might have trouble. If you have a chicken problem http://www.backyardchickens.com/ is a really good resource.

C-ingspots said...

It does feel absolutely wonderful to have the barns loaded with the winters' supply of hay!! Love it!! Feels like a huge weight being lifted from off the shoulders - at least that's how I always feel. :)
We will probably need to get an additional 2-3 tons as well. We got 14 tons the early part of June, but I would feel more secure with a little more.
The beach on the other side of that sand dune is where we used to live - Tierra del Mar. We lived there for about a year and a half and loved it!! I didn't think I'd enjoy living right on the beach, but I did, and would do so again if given the chance. The front of our house was all glass and we saw some amazing storms and beautiful moonlight over calm seas too. Gorgeous!! And, talk about great sleeping - open windows to a direct ocean breeze is as good as it gets! It took a long time before I slept well after moving back to the valley - the absence of the breeze and the ocean sounds were greatly missed. I'm going to the beach for 2 days this week with my girlfriend - can't wait!!

I'm sorry about your chicken mishaps - mean old chickens!! Hope she is going to be ok.

Kathy said...

Looks like you answered your own chicken question. Good for you! :)

I sure wish we had grass hay here. All the feed places want is you to buy alfalfa, grown in AZ. I keep trying to tell them that'd be like throwing gasoline on a fire with wool-breed sheep, but it falls on deaf ears.

Juliann said...

Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL beach photos, looks like Heaven.
I use Blue-Kote on hen picked chickens, it's antiseptic, anti fungal, and covers up the bright red color that the chickens can't help picking at.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful beach pictures. Bad chickens. They are definitely frustrating.

Sharon said...

My first thought was - I've been there! Then I realized that I had only been to a look-alike there. I love the Oregon coast and miss it so much. I thought we'd be there this summer, but we've going to NYC instead. Retirement choices are limited. Thanks for sharing those pictures.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Sharon, if you're talking about the haystack rock at Pacific City, you're right - there are TWO haystack rocks on the Oregon Coast. The second is at Cannon Beach.

Tina T-P said...

Oh those chickens - they can be so darn mean! I hope that she recovers - it may always be hard for her tho - coming into the flock as an only.

Looks like you had a great time at the beach! & Lucky you to get your hay nailed down. The farmer where John gets his is worried because it has been so dry that the second cutting on the field that he gets our hay from (our sheep are VERY picky) is not growing - He has other fields - but they have nixed most of the hay from those fields - picky, picky, picky - but it is a good price - $7 a bale, I think - where as others even in this area are paying up to $17 and I think Kat is paying $20 for hers in AZ.

Take care - T.