Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Coop

The coop is a working coop. The back part opens to a large area and houses the chickens. I have Buff Brahma Bantams mostly. Buff is the colour, Braham is the breed, and bantam designates size. This rooster is darker than the hens, has a plumy tail and feathered feet. The hens fade as they age but are definitely less colourful. They lay small brown eggs. This year they are babysitting my farmer's spring chicks. He ordered some Canadian chicks. Chanticleers from Quebec. His are full size and will live free range on the main farmyard.
My favorites are the call ducks. They live in the front of the coop and exit from the side. They have a smaller area but I've given them a pond. Call ducks are minature ducks that come from England. They were originally used as decoys to lure in wild ducks. They are very noisey and their small size enabled them to be kept in pockets. I particularly like the butterscotch/apricot colours. I can watch them in their kiddies pool from the upstairs windows.
They, too, are babysitting as my farmer ordered 3 Indian Runner Ducks and 3 Kahki Campbells. They are full sized ducks and quicly outgrew their surrogate mothers. Actually they'd kinda run them over! 8^) I've been leaving their gate open so they can get used to the big wide world as they'll be living over at the barn. Mine often forage about in That Faerie Place near them. I lock them back up at night as an owl visited and 'did in' my male a while ago.
Yesterday when I returned from the city I could hear a call duck. Usually they are quiet in the heat of the day, chillaxing under the shrubs in their pen. I found the neighbour's dog in the pen and much carnage. The chickens also did not escape as they often find ways to 'visit' the ducks and perhaps they feel the bugs are juicier on the other side of the fence!
The final tally is still not in as some were driven off into the bush behind the coop and the stress on the live birds is huge and they just sucumb later. So it has been a sad day, but nothing for it but to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again! Hmm, maybe the Faeries can console the survivors! I'll have to see if there are any faerie lights tonight!

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