Archive | 9:20 pm

Katie Understands Writer’s Block

18 Apr

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse.

Dear Katie, I am a 35 inch tall miniature horse.  I would like to write a book.  But I have no idea what to write about.  Or how to write.  What can I do? – signed Writer’s Block

Dear Writer’s Block, the best way to get really good ideas is to escape your fence and go wander around the neighborhood looking for food.  That’s what I do.  If you are lucky, someone will think you’re cute and give you carrots.  Or try to bribe you and catch you with grain.  If not,  you can just eat someone’s garden.  – Katie

Why Is My Lettuce in a Cage?

18 Apr

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That  was the first thing I had to ask upon coming home and finding my lettuce starts inside a pet carrier on the picnic table.

On closer inspection, I saw the decimated plants were mere shadows of their lush, leafy selves.  I had left them peacefully basking on the deck rail in black plastic containers.

Now they were tattered bits of leaf.

“The chickens were eating it.  So we put it in the cage,” my daughter informed me.

“Well, thank you. Couldn’t you have set it in the garden inside the fence?”

“Oh.”

So that’s how my lettuce ended up in a cage.  The lettuce is fine and has been transplanted.  No plants were permanently harmed in the making of this blog post.

Chicken and the Egg

18 Apr

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Having chickens should mean cartons of fresh organic eggs and a steady income from selling them.  However, like most things, reality has a way of intervening in the quest for a picture-perfect existence.

Of our two lovely, off-the ground nest boxes, one is occupied by a pile of broody banty hens on a mound of eggs in various stages of rotting.  The normally mild-mannered hens refuse to leave their pile of eggs, puff up and emit a horrible screech while viciously pecking if you attempt to remove their eggs.

They have no problem rolling the eggs with their beak to rearrange the pile and sometimes give them too vigorous a push so the eggs fly out of the nest box and land in a cracked mess on the coop floor.

This is the state of one nest box.  That leaves a second nest box for the full-sized hens, and it is usually taken up by a particularly large Cuckoo Maran who has the bad habit of pecking a hole in her own egg when she’s done laying.

The addition of on-the floor cardboard nest boxes didn’t lure a single hen.  They prefer to lay in nests inside the potting shed behind the lawnmower, in a thick patch of stinging nettles behind an old flower pot, or in the rhododendrons in front of the house.  We usually discover these nests of 30 + eggs when they have reached the nearly exploding stage.

So, we have about one dozen eggs in the fridge when we should be collecting 14 eggs a day and selling them for big bucks.