Saturday, January 12, 2013

Charlotte helps with barn chores

We're still having our January thaw, but temps are supposed to start dropping again on Monday. Today our friend Pierre came over and rigged up a whole new pump system for our barn well. It's fabulous. No more frozen hoses!

I did a whole bunch of sweeping, cleaning of nest-boxes, and sprinkling of wood shavings. Charlotte decided to sit on my shoulder while I worked, after McGuinty the rooster made a very unwelcome pass at her.
 

She stayed there for a good 20 minutes!



Doesn't everyone sweep with a chicken on her shoulder?

I would love to replace that broken-up concrete floor. It's just about imposible to keep clean.



Doesn't Charlotte look content? And she laid a very nice egg this morning! (In her next box, not on me.) I hope she grows in some new feathers soon. A few of my hens are looking really tatty.



Tristan and Sophie like to help with clean-up by eating all the poop they can find. UGH!

Meanwhile, it was so warm today that my bees were zipping out for cleansing flights. Unlike the ducks and chickens, they won't poop in their hives. If the temps go above freezing, you'll see them zipping out for a quick dump. This bee is actually a drone (a male) who somehow escaped the ritual drone execution fiesta that goes on every fall in a beehive. Some drones always manage to make it through. This guy came out, landed on my hand, and vacated his little bee-bowels right on my hand (yellow droplet below him!)


I desperately need a manicure. And hand cream!

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend.

44 comments:

  1. Do the worker bees tolerate drones in their midst after the queen has mated? If this one is still alive, they must have left him alone.

    Charlotte is adorable, as always. A sweeter chicken you will not find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they continue to produce drone, who fly out of the hive to mate with virgin queens from other hives! Usually in fall most of the drones get the boot, but a few always seem to manage to stay in the hive all winter!

      Poor CHarlotte is looking pretty tatty right now. A few of my hens are in moult and desperately need to grow in some new feathers. She really is so sweet.

      Delete
  2. I couldn't believe how warm it was when I walked out today. I almost put the top down on the car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bugs were hatching! It was just bizarre.

      Delete
  3. I think Charlotte makes a very good supervisor and shoulder warmer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's a very good girl. Even preened my hair a little bit!

      Delete
  4. Beautiful chicken. And another wacky hat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have an assortment of whacky hats. That's one of the tamer ones! :)

      Delete
  5. Did you steal Bonhomme's hat?!
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not much you don't know about bees. It's one reason I like following your blog. You keep a very clean hen house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Red! I wish it were cleaner, but I try. The duck coop is hardest to keep clean but we do our best. I move a lot of wheelbarrows full of dirty shavings...

      I still have stuff to learn about bees. The learning curve was quite a surprise to me. Four years on, and sometimes I still feel totally ignorant. So glad I have a good mentor!

      Delete
  7. Ah, my day is complete. Whenever I feel an absence of bee poop in my life, I know I can count on Knatolee. Much better now.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can mail you an assortment if you like. I have lots here, all varieties!

      Delete
  8. Oh! I need a chicken to sit on my shoulder when I clean their coop. I will have to have a talk with my flock. Isn't that just like dogs?! What is it about poop?? Yeah, I can tell it's cold there. Your hands say so. Mine look worse than yours by far and my excuse is, the farm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get a little chick and train her up to sit there, Jean. :) And dogs have no taste! Amazing what my two will eat. I've given up trying to stop them unless it's something I know is truly harmful

      It was actually unseasonably warm this weekend but the temps are going back down this week.

      Farming is always a good excuse for rough hands!

      Delete
  9. Is there a chicken magazine? YOU should be on the cover with Charlotte. This comment is a chore because Audrey is chasing the mouse on the screen. I am lovin' this weather. Tomorrow the same, so enjoy. Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THere are several out there!

      Delete
  10. Actually that floor is cleaner than my house...Send me a broom, and Charlotte. No poop around though, so keep Tristan and Sophie. Love your outfit!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Okay, can I just say I love your life....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, even the chicken and duck poop disposal? :)

      Delete
  12. My Lab' Monty usually goes for Horse manure, but just yesterday he dined on a fresh lump of Chicken poo. I shan't let him go in there again.... Dégoutant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no doubt my doubts would devour horse poop (and roll in it) given half the chance! Mon Dieu!

      Delete
  13. Hi Knatolee. I don't remember exactly how I stumbled onto your blog! I think I was looking at some photos from the Williamstown Fair and one of yours came up. Anyway, I'm from Toronto, but my fiancé grew up in Apple Hill (but has lived in Toronto for over a decade). Her mum currently lives in Williamstown. We get out there as often as we can and I love it! It's been great reading your blog.

    All the best...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Frank! Glad you are enjoying it. We both grew up in Toronto and moved out here (via a few other provinces) in 2007. Love it here... definitely the quiet life compared to Toronto. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. I love Charlotte! I can't imagine how you get work done with her on your shoulder! I'm going out right now to clean my coop! My Charlotte is broody right now... Ahhh, the exciting life of chickens!

    ~Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She gets kind of heavy after awhile! Kisses to your chickens. :)

      Delete
  15. re: hand cream: can't you just get more bees to..."evacuate" on your hands? Bet that's as effective as anything on the market!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... I wonder how effective bee poo is as an emollient? It's very bright orange-yellow (like the pollen they eat!) and stains like the dickens!

      Delete
  16. Dear Knatolee -- just want you to know I've been incredibly busy with my work the past few months but checking in on your blog every so often when I need a break and a smile. Love LOVE all the awesome photos and just had to show these of you and Charlotte to my hubby! I deleted my blog (Cog. Dissenter) awhile ago but may start a new one some day when things slow down (Hah!).

    "Agi Tater" : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, glad to see you here! I saw your blog was gone and I figured you've been busy. Nice to hear from you. I often think of you! Love the new moniker. :)

      Delete
  17. Given the life you lead, you can be forgiven for have less-than-pristine nails!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Bee bowels. My day is complete.

    How about using a leaf blower on the barn floor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not a bad idea at all. I wonder if it would dislodge the poop stuck in the cracks? And blow it all around the barn in poopy whirlwinds? :0

      Delete
  19. I never walk around the coop with a chicken on my shoulder. I do, however, usually have Gert tucked under my arm. She hates the new chickens and prefers to jump up into my arms than be on the floor with them! I think you qualify as a chicken and bee whisperer at this point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geri sounds very sweet!!

      Delete
  20. Looks like the foreman is riding you hard Nat!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A wings on supervisor?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love the photo of you and Charlotte together ....always nice to have help with chores Natalie.
    Dogs and their habits eh!!
    Love finding out more info about bees, thanks for the info.
    So much snow around, can't imagine Winters that cold....

    Claire :}

    ReplyDelete
  23. Charlotte on your shoulder is hysterical. Love it.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!