It seems there's a weather pattern stalled over the Midwest so yesterday was again a grey, rainy day. And, it looks like most of this week will be the same.
All this rain is good for the plants, though. As Mark commented yesterday, we typically don't have such a green lawn at this time of year. (I refuse to water turf, since it's such a waste of resources. I just let the grass go dormant in the hot summer, as nature intended. It greens right up in the fall, or in an unusually wet and cool summer.) The new plantings put in by the landscapers a few weeks ago are doing just great, too.
But, the rain is not so welcomed by the rest of the household. The dogs don't like getting wet, and usually it is a big pain to get them outside when the weather is like this. I think the only reason they eagerly rush into the back yard is because they are hoping to get near the chickens.
This weather isn't the best for the chickens, either. Even with both run covers on, the floor inside the run is wet. Thank goodness the run floor is wood chips or they'd be all muddy. I've always heard/read that chickens need to be kept dry, but I just can't figure out how to do so in this weather. At least their little Eglu coop is dry inside.
I actually found some time between showers to check out the inside of the coop yesterday and make a minor adjustment. I peer in there every day through the convenient hatch over the nest box to make sure it is dry, cozy and fairly clean. I've noticed droppings in the nest box, which seems to mean someone is roosting in there at night. Supposedly that's to be discouraged: the nest box is only for laying. So, I cleaned it out and put an upturned flower pot in there. When I went out to close up the coop last night, I heard quite a bit of shuffling going on inside as the girls figured out a new configuration for sleeping.
I think it was Maisy who was roosting in the nest box. She's also the more mature of the flock, and therefore the closest to laying. In a week or two I'll take out the flower pot and start putting some soft lining in the nest box for her. The pullets are approximately 17 weeks old when they ship from McMurray Hatchery; in Maisy's case, I think she was at least a week older than the other two. Since these birds can start laying in as little as 20 weeks, I've got to make sure the nest box is ready and they know what it is for.
The chooks are definitely learning the routine around here. Last night I ventured out to shut the coop door, hoping that they were already inside. And they were. Of course, with the weather like this, I don't need much prompting to snuggle down inside my house either!
All this wet, icky weather means that I am getting a good amount of knitting done, though. I hope to have a finished object to show in the next few days.
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