Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stay-at-Home Mom, P.I.

Today I had a mission: to find where the chickens were laying their eggs. We'd been having a low egg count lately so I knew they were hiding them somewhere. I waited until later than usual to let the chickens out of the pen for their daily outing. Two of the Rhode Island Reds immediately took off towards the pens. I followed them, but couldn't find a nest.

The dew was so heavy that the chickens and I left footprints in the wet weeds.

I finally found the nest in a pile of tumble weeds. The hen was sitting on 6 eggs. Since I didn't know how old they were--either 3 or 6 days, depending on if both chickens had been laying, I had to get rid of them.

I went back out later to check the nest in the pens. To my surprise, the Reds had come back to their house to lay. I did get the chance to stalk Wild Momma Cat this time. She is the mother to the three cats we bottle fed. I knew she had babies, but hadn't been able to track her. When I went outside, she was eating the cat food. (One drawback to bottle-feeding cats, if you don't teach them to hunt, they are dependent on you.) I was able to follow her to the old chicken house--now a storage room for lots of junk--that is on the back end of the shop. I looked in the window and saw three kittens. At the time, I thought I only saw two, but much to my surprise, the first picture I took caught a second kitten in the lower right corner.

I'm not brave enough to go in and investigate further--there is a good story about my sister and looking for cats in there that I'll have to share sometime.
T.S. can't get over how much they look like our cats. I've tried to explain that they all have the same mother, but he doesn't seem to get it.
Who knew that a morning of chicken stalking could turn into so much fun discovery?