Monday, June 07, 2010

Thank goodness for grocery stores.

This post could also be titled:  We suck at agri-business.

So remember we got four chickens?

And here they are at about 1.5 months old when we moved them to their coop:

Well, life has been hard on our chickens.  About a month ago, the black one just disappeared.  We didn't see or hear any signs of struggle.  Just no black chicken one day.

And then this week:
A lone dark brown/red feather.  And the night before, I had heard some noises outside (not unusual here) and then smell a skunk.  So I'm guessing chicken #2 was picked off by a skunk.

And then there were two:

And then one morning when I left to exercise, I saw this:

And just like the Golden Girls, my group of four was down to one:
She seemed so lonely, though she is the only one of the bunch that I can actually hold, so at least she's got that going for her.  But frankly, if I were her (or Betty White, actually), I'd be nervous...

In other agri-business news, however, we may have some bees around again.  As of last October, it wasn't looking good for our bees.  They had failed to make/keep enough honey to get them through the winter.  So we fed them sugar water until it got too cold to open the hive.  And then we just crossed our fingers and hoped for the best, while secretly writing them off as goners.

One day early this spring, we saw some activity at the hive.  Could they have survived?!!  The next day, we opened the hive to give them sugar water as a jumpstart to their spring time feeding, and the hive was completely empty save for four mice who had apparently wintered there.

Discouraged and too busy with school to focus on bees, Alan put the hive in the lean-to of our barn, figuring we'd order another set of bees next year sometime. 

Lo and behold, it appears that some bees have found the hive and may be trying to make their home in it.
You can't really see the bees in this picture, but there's the hive, stacked haphazardly on a tractor mower, next to the chicken feed and the fireplace logs.  And there's a steady stream of bees flying in and out of the hive.  Some day soon, we'll move the hive out to the yard (so I can get to the chicken feed without fighting through the swarm) and we'll see what the heck is going on in there! 

Man, we'd make terrible farmers and ranchers.  We just don't have a clue.  But apparently we have a bit of dumb luck, which sometimes works better!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oh no...I can't believe there's only one left. That little explosion of feathers on the ground is just too sad. Hopefully the fact that this last one is still alive means she's smart and resilient, like the girl who kills the bad guy at the end of a horror movie. I'm rooting for her! (Also for the bees. And Betty White.)