It’s hot, I ate too much junk last night before bed and my hair looks like steel wool, so I’m cranky. If you need me, I’ll be laying face down on the air conditioning vent with the temperature set to 62. We have a constant battle at our house over the temperature inside. I like it at a balmy 68. Tom likes it at a sweltering 72. Tom’s mom weighs about three pounds and just wears winter clothes all summer. I can tolerate Tom’s 72 degrees sometimes, but the real battle is over 1 degree of difference. Sometimes, he feels the need to try to bake us all by turning the temperature up to 73. I wake up in the middle of the night drenched with sweat and stumble out to the control panel and turn it down a degree and then I lay on the sofa in front of the fan for the rest of the night. He gets up in the morning and turns it back up to 73. I get home from work and turn it down to 71, just to prove my point that I’ll keep going lower if he doesn’t stop changing the temperature. I look at it this way…they can always put more clothes on, but they REALLY won’t want me to take more clothes off.
Last night when I got home from work, we (Greg, Tom and I) went to the farm supply store for straw and things to finally put a gate into the run so that I can go and shovel out the roughly 40 tons of melon skins that are building up. Greg really only goes for the free popcorn. Anyway, I stocked up on chicken snacks while I was there and picked up a couple of ceramic eggs to put in the nest boxes…you know…as sort of a HINT. I ran out of eggs this weekend while baking and I went out on the deck and yelled “I WISH I HAD EGGS!” so that the chickens would hear it. I’m sure the neighbors probably heard it, but they didn’t show up with eggs either, so the chickens and the neighbors can’t have anything I bake in the future. Losers.
As we were leaving the farm supply store, I made one last detour down the aisle of shiny yard things. Whoever ordered gazing balls for the store apparently got a little bit out of control because the darn things are everywhere in there. End caps, aisles, special displays, sale areas. Roughly ten thousand gazing balls. Then I saw this hanging gazing ball that soaks up solar power during the day and GLOWS at night! COOOL!!!! So I got one and hung it out on the deck last night. We call it the Shiny Solar Disco Ball. I can’t wait to see it light up tonight. I heart shiny things.
When I got home, I skipped out to the coop (don’t let me kid you…there is NO skipping in this heat) with my ceramic eggs and placed them in the nest boxes. The chickens were all outside scarfing down a cantaloupe and they could have cared less. Usually, if I go into the coop, it means something interesting or food related is about to happen, so they all storm into the coop, but hey….A CANTELOUPE? What self-respecting chicken would walk away from that?
I trudged back to the house and we ordered dinner because…you know…too hot to cook…and then I waited until it was darker outside and presumably cooler (it wasn’t) and went back to the coop to see if anyone wanted to free range. I dragged my chair outside and opened the door to the pen and went to sit and wait. Opal knew that it was time to free-range, so she ran to the coop, but Vinnie was in hot pursuit. I just assumed he wanted to come out too. I could hear the two of them inside the pen “talking” to each other for a few minutes. When I looked up, Opal was making her way through the door to come out to roam around. In a split second, Vinnie was on her. She screeched and tried to run out of the pen to get away from him and managed to get free. Vinnie grabbed her again, this time by the WING and dragged her back into the coop. Poor Opal was beyond screeching at that point and squealed in pain. Tom had just walked up to the coop and he shouted “KNOCK IT OFF!” at Vinnie, who released the terrified Opal. She ran out of the coop and back into the run, yelping as she went. Vinnie followed, chasing her, until Cluck stepped in front of him and told him in no uncertain terms to STOP IT.
Vinnie came over to where I was sitting at the side of the fence and made growling, low sounds. Opal was in the midst of the flock of girls at the other end of the run, looking confused and scared. Vinnie strutted back and forth in front of me while he complained under his breath. I told Tom, I think he was preventing Opal from going outside of the pen. He’s become VERY possessive of his flock mates and I think, if I have a problem with anyone in the group, it’s going to be Vinnie.
It figures. Favorite chicken, total jerk.