Oh, it got hot yesterday. And humid, even though the rain squalls never came near us for once. I was in a dreadful muck sweat: Just going out for a minute to check waterers was enough to get the sweat pouring, and inside was every inch as hot as outside. Just out of the sun.
(digression)Yesterday was a chicken-intensive day. I offed the #1 Araucana and roasted him in the morning – which did nothing to moderate the temperature inside the Lair for the rest of the day, but the roast came out tolerably well. And I found #7 the PTSD’d Brahma dead in the coop, that was kind of a bummer. Looked for all the world like she just fell off her perch in the middle of the night. The Brahmas were an experiment in ‘dual-use’ birds, and I don’t think they’re a good long-term choice. True they get fat and juicy and make darn good roasters, but if you want eggs you need to leave them alive and as egg-layers they’re pathetic next to Rhode Island Reds. My four little pullets are already out-laying Landlady’s whole flock. It’s true RIRs seem to be…well, closer to their savage roots than the Brahmas and you can’t always tell when they’re gonna go mental. By contrast the Brahmas we have here are very mild-natured birds, taken as a whole, and easy to work with. But I swear they’re also natural-born victims. Victims annoy me.(/digression)
In the evening, after all was done and it should have been about ready to cool off with the regular evening breeze, I went up to Ian’s and availed myself of his excellent shower. But the breeze gave us a miss and it never cooled off. Ten o’clock I gave up and went to bed but not to sleep except in snatches. Around four – I know it was four because circumstance allowed me leisure to take a good look at a clock as I mourned my fate and cursed the gods – it was finally getting cool in the loft and I thought perhaps I could get a solid hour’s sleep. Then #2 Araucana, who seems to be planning to take his promotion seriously, started tuning his pipes and #1 Araucana tapped the inside of my large colon and said, ‘remember me?’
Oy. Well, maybe I can still get back to bed, right? So I went down the ladder, (dogs out) took care of business (dogs in) went back up the ladder, laid down and was actually tuning #2 out rather nicely and might even have caught a Z or two when Ghost went to Defcon One. Oh, he wanted out right frickin’ now and he wasn’t interested in my opinion. LB, by contrast, considered himself off duty or maybe he’s just a bit more sensitive to the Wrath of Dad.
The garden spot-turned-chicken yard has been a noisy place lately, especially around dawn, and I’ve wondered how enticing it might be to the local ne’er-do-wells. I grumped down the ladder from the loft and opened the door for Ghost, who left a veritable rooster tail of his own as he streaked past the garden toward the wash, and damned if he didn’t flush a couple of coyotes trying to work up their nerve to come say hi. I saw them disappear over a fold in the ridge, and now an hour later with the sun finally making a direct appearance he’s still out there strutting and barking and generally being extremely pleased with himself.
BTW, as it became clear that the Araucanas were not going to be welcome guests and I started making my plans and preparation for them to enter the brief, useful phase of their earthly existence, I got to brooding over what a hassle it was going to be to catch them. The fishing net isn’t the panacea I’d hoped it would be, because all chickens seem to go crazy at the merest glimpse of it. The Araucanas are fast and athletic and I’m not and their yard has lots of little alleys around the planting boxes and the net wasn’t going to work well.
I finally decided, nobody’s keeping score and it’s my game anyway. So why am I not cheating?
As a tool for precise hole placement at a distance, the 22/45 is the best gun investment I ever made in my life. It’s a bitch to clean, but with the addition of some aftermarket sights this is the most precise firearm I own. And I can testify that if you shoot a chicken in the head with it, it behaves pretty much the same way as if you’d chopped its neck with a hatchet – but without all that bother about preliminary negotiations. Just saying.