gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

A new Summer Menu

on June 11, 2013

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After the success of the yoghurt, I have been giving the Gillybirds a few new food items to see what they prefer. It must be hard to get excited about eating dried meal pellets day after day. With the high temps and bright sunshine I wanted to give them fruits that had a high water content to help the hens feel cooler.
A couple of overripe nectarines were welcomed with joy. Some fairly black bananas were treated with suspicion. And melon was a huge success. As with introducing new food to small children, these were not all introduced at once, but over ten or so days. Hens poop enough without putting their little digestive systems through unnecessary trauma.
I also made them a formal dust bath from an old washing up basin filled with sand and soil. The aim of this was for them to get into and “splash” themselves to cool off. However they treated it with disdain and spent a couple of hours walking round it. So I dumped the contents into their run and they were happy enough to scratch through it.
To give them some more exercise, inspired by Gillyboy number 4’s Sports Day, getting the girls those bikini ready bodies (LOL), after raking the run I brought in some new big branches and laid them out like hurdles. It also gives them some new perches to watch all the garden activities we as a family have enjoyed on these long summer evenings. It has been still bright at 10.30pm.
I have been closing the coop door only partially as it is so warm, and the sun is up so very early. The hens can let themselves out ( their eyes can detect sunlight at least 45 minutes before ours) and start their day well before ours. However on Sunday morning I was awoken by lots of cross hen noises again and again. I sleep at the front of the house, the coop is at the far back corner of the garden so this was Very Loud indeed. I ran downstairs thinking they were being annoyed by a cat or even a fox…but no, the coop door was closed too narrowly and they couldn’t get out and were just letting the entire neighbourhood know what a lazy owner they have! A rooster could not have made any more racket. After a quick feed they had all laid within ten minutes so I guess they forgave and forgot pretty quickly.

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I meant to say that the best way to ripen soft fruit so us humans can eat it is by keeping it for a day or two in a paper bag.
If things get too ripe I have an excellent banana loaf recipe that is a family favourite.
Enjoy the summer!

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