January 20, 2017

As we observe the inauguration of a new president, we welcome the signs of spring coming with some trepidation. With cold and snow followed by a week of unusually  warm wetness here in the High Country; we have yet to come close to having enough moisture to take us out of a severe drought category. Even so, through the mist and fog, I see daffodil green emerging (at least 2 weeks early) and with the longer days, evidence of growth in our greens. It feels like a good growing year on the horizon and as old timers recommend, we’ll be planting peas on Valentine’s Day. These little seeds will hold themselves close until conditions are just right, then start to emerge, giving us a good indication of what we can do next. Last April was too hot to raise seedlings in the hoop house, so we’ll be watching weather patterns closely.

Our chickens have thrived through the cold under the loving watch of David, our ‘chicken chief.’ Before the extreme cold set in we were able to add new hens to the flock that had been donated by an Eagle Scout along with 2-A frame chicken tractors. One chicken in particular struggled to find it’s place in the flock. We took her out and put her back in a couple of times. As the cold approached it was essential that we get her in with the rest. All made it through the cold and Lauri went to visit David and see how the ‘ladies’ survived the cold. He was just starting to give an update which included reporting some odd behavior, when right next to the fence our struggling hen let out a loud “cock-a-doodle-doo!” and jumped on the back of a hen next to her! That was no hen who learned hoIMG_20161014_133002185w to CROW! She was a rooster! Fondly re-named Rooster Cogburn (from Longshanks – a sign we should have seen), we separated him from the flock and found him a new home with one of our staff.

Now Bob relates a story he knew about a flock of chickens whose egg production was falling off quite dramatically for no apparent reason. Sensing that these ladies needed a little ‘inspiration’ to get them laying again, the owners added a rooster to the flock for a couple of days — and what do you know! Those girls got all excited and started laying like crazy! Now that flock gets occasional home visits and that seems to keep the hens happy. Can’t have eggs without Happy Hens! Guess we’ll have to bring Rooster Cogburn over for an occasional visit.