Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not Dead Yet

This chicken is not dead.

But when you first walk into the coop and see her half-covered in shavings and dust, it might be difficult to believe she's happy.

On a hot summer day, chickens take dust baths. It is a blissful time for them.

They kick up their lizard feet, squirm and squiggle in the dusty litter on the floor of the coop, throw tons of dust into the air. It is hen heaven.

I believe that there is a drying action of the dust in their feathers that absorbs chicken sweat. Bugs are knocked off or smothered.

But more than anything, they seem to really enjoy the action.

Dead? Au contraire, Pierre!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

10 Years Old!

Ten years ago tonight, Leila gave birth to Charlotte, and then Oskar. In the wee hours of August 7, eight more puppies were born, so the litter got the 7th as their birthday. We always celebrate on the 6th, however, combining Oskar's big day with my sister Melissa's!

As a large dog, living into the double-digits marks quite an accomplishment. These days I hear more and more of Briards achieving 13, 14 or even 15 years. Oskar is a healthy 80 pound boy who still takes great joy in being outdoors, likes a walk, and enjoys a good bowl of dog food twice a day, thank you, right on schedule. One of his favorite activities is napping (we are quite alike there!). He is not cuddly, preferring his own space, but occasionally will lean up to me and smile, which absolutely warms my heart.

Here's to ten years, and many more to follow!

Look who's roosting where!

In the past couple of days, Tweedledum has made great strides incorporating himself into the flock. Just look where he's roosting this evening!

The chickens have always liked hopping up to the shelf made by the window flaps being open. It makes for quite a mess (they poop wherever they are). But I think they feel safe being up high, so I allow them to continue.

The hens don't appear to be thrilled with Tweedledum's joining them, but their need to be up high supercedes their reluctance to, well, sleep with him.

It's progress!