Most people think of hens as vegetarians, because, you know, they eat "grain and stuff."
Actually, chickens will eat just about anything that won't eat them first.
Worms are a big favorite, but they also love bugs, grubs, weeds, seeds, and absolutely ANYTHING that a human might consider edible. Sometimes when you eat are eating eggs, it might be better to not think about what chickens eat. It's not always pretty.
Today I decided to demonstrate that our chickens are not so much "barnyard fowl" as much as "piranhas with feathers."
Exhibit A: a bowl of food scraps. Specifically, some watermelon, some watermelon rind, an overcooked cob of corn, and some of the crumbs left at the bottom of the chip bag.
Exhibit B: a few seconds after dumping the food scraps from the bowl into the chicken pen.
less than 10 minutes after dumping the food scraps into the chicken pen. The rind of the melon is gone--all that remains is the skin. The corn cob is stripped bare. The chip crumbs are gonegonegone.
Now, they want dessert.
Flowers around the farm continue to bloom,
despite my complete neglect of them.
The only thing I've done in support of flowers thus far is to walk by and take photos.
(and, in the case of the Peace roses,
cutting a few blooms for the kitchen window).
Oh, look! My Giant Pumpkins are sprouting! Hooray!
Jim and I took the mares out for a few hours this afternoon.
Even the clearcuts are full of green plants that are growing like crazy right now. There are fir tree seedlings, and also alder trees, foxgloves, and (of course) blackberry vines.
Fiddle really looks tall in this photo. Okay, she is tall. But not that tall. I stick-measured her in the spring, on her 7th birthday: she is 15.3 hands high. That's all, I swear. She doesn't seem that big when I'm riding her. From the ground, she looks like a really big girl. I wish I had that problem.
In the woods, the salmonberries are so big! I've never seen them this big and sweet before--a result of our recent bout of sunshine. Sunshine is pretty rare for spring in the Swamplands, and usually salmonberries are sour and bitter, but these actually tasted pretty good. We did some extensive sampling during the ride, just to make sure.
We weren't the only onces eating the salmonberries. Jim took this photo less than a half-mile from the parking lot. The doe looks fat and happy, and didn't mind sharing the berry patch with us.