With Christmas well and truly out of the way, it’s back to the garden and the chicken house. Our Christmas was wonderful with family and friends gathered together. Daughter Number One came down from the sub- tropics to join us and brought with her a delightful bronze rooster. We consumed too much lunch and lots of sweets.
I tried my hand at gingerbread stars!
A selection of sweets – I have such a “sweet tooth” – Mango and Passionfruit Pavlova, Summer Pudding, Chocolate Pear Tart, fresh fruit and a delicious Plum Pudding with Brandy Custard were served. The chickens didn’t have too many of these leftovers!
One of my early gifts this Christmas was from Daughter Number Two (I am not much into gifts really) but this was a garden rooster in memory of Pecker who died six weeks ago – a Sad Day post. He is made of tin and shows off fancy tail feathers. He came wrapped in a hessian blanket – just like the one we placed over Pecker to keep him warm.
He now sits on my winter wood heater.
I guess the most enjoyable part of Christmas is in the giving. I loved giving goodies from my kitchen to my neighbours…
I made these to celebrate each of our little houses in the bush.
I hope you had a peaceful Christmas. It can bring out the best and the worst in people but it really is a time to stop and take stock of those who are with us and those who have gone before us. This year many of us have been touched in one way or another by loss – for us it was our beloved rooster Pecker. But we cannot be untouched by the unspeakable losses in Connecticut just before Christmas. We must mourn for these poor souls and for their families. Additionally, we must also care for our animals, our elderly, our earth and our selves. Above all else let us try to reflect on what is most important to us as humans, as stewards of our earth.
May we use the tools of our hands to benefit others and bring joy and warmth. Pecker’s Christmas Present is for all those who commemorate the simple life and for those who have left our lives but whom we remember with much joy.
I thought I was seeing things this morning. We were sure we had locked up all the chickens yesterday afternoon. We do have a renegade brown hen, she is always late and always the last to go in. So why could I hear her outside the kitchen window and why was she on the back deck at 9 o’clock? At this point I raced out to check on the others. Miss brown chicken eagerly followed me. She went in. A quick check confirmed that all the others were present. On returning back upstairs something caught my eye. Was that two brown eggs nestled on the stoney landing just under the kitchen window?
That means she had escaped twice – chicken Houdini! It seems that the construction of the new chicken house had dislodged some of the netting and she simply jumped up onto the 6′ fence and out!
Two friends on the back deck.
The whole gang out today.
This evening’s back deck view – 19’C down to 6’C at night – still cool.
As we continue to feel sorry for our Pecker, the Plymouth Rock rooster, we have plunged ourselves into working on the new chicken house. For many years we admired our neighbour’s little cubby which was built for their young daughters’ guinea pigs. His girls are now in their twenties and the house now has a new owner with new ideas for his garden. It was with much delight that we were informed that he no longer wanted the little house.
A working team was assembled to remove and reconstruct.
While the workers dismantled, it was clear that somebody – me – needed to provide food for these hungry builders. The day called for a hearty spinach lasagne, a large salad and perhaps a crisp white wine. The weather is warming up quite nicely but it is still cool enough at night for a substantial meal.
Now we have the walls and floor stacked up like dominoes and the tin roof nestled under the lilac tree. The remaining chickens scratch and scrape round it and this afternoon’s view from the back deck summons us to dinner after a hectic day’s work.
First thing this morning we checked on Pecker, picked him up and took him into the garden; sat with him and gave him his medication. His comb was still a little blue. There was a little shiver. We returned him back to the rabbit hutch; he stood up, looked around; his gurgling seemed a little less intense. I could see him from the kitchen while I prepared breakfast. We kept the lid open so he could look out. I even thought he seemed at ease listening to the morning household noises.
It was unusual to have rooster looking at me in the kitchen. The cats wandered around, quite in their own world. Remembering the vet’s instructions, we left him quietly and went about the day’s chores. We also had to go to the airport too pick up our daughter. In all, we were happy that he was standing; was comfortable and warm – he eve began to peck at some food and began making some faint crowing noises. He would sleep until we returned and then we would take him back into the garden for another look around.
Poor Pecker was not to see his beloved garden again. Poor Pecker didn’t make it – he left us while we were gone. I began to cry. Colin wrapped him up in the red blanket which had kept him so warm two nights ago. He found an old disused worm-farm box and gently placed him in it. He buried him at the bottom of the garden near the purple irises.
He was the friendliest rooster – enjoy the garden, Pecker. Our backyard view today is basked in sunshine. It is a tribute to all the pets who bring sunshine into our lives; who love us unreservedly; who make our lives rich by their constant companionship.
Poor Pecker the Plymouth Rock rooster is very sick. After consulting the vet – he was such a calm and cooperative boy, she informed us that he had a trachea virus which may or may not have reached his lungs. We had done the right thing and kept him isolated and warm over night. She gave him antibiotics and instructed us to administer the liquid twice a day for five days and to let her know if he was not much better in three days.
He is still resting in his hutch in the laundry. I hope he returns to his healthy self.
Meanwhile, we have been offered a new chicken house from our next door neighbour. It is painted duck egg blue with windows and a gabled roof. Colin, with the help of his dad and uncle and anyone else who was about spent the day dismantling it.
Fingers crossed for Pecker! Enjoy today’s back deck evening view. Take care.
Pecker the Plymouth Rock is sick. When we let all the chickens out this afternoon for a quick run, he didn’t sound too good. His breathing was “gurgling” and he did not seem his sprightly self.
Just lately he has allowed us to pick him up and give him a quick cuddle and a pat. He walks beside us in the garden and has become very friendly, especially since we returned from Italy.
We did a little bit of research and after phoning the vet – I’ve never taken a rooster to the veterinarian – we found out that roosters can get chest infections. Luckily for him, Colin had begun to bring over the rabbit hutch which we have inherited from our new neighbour, so we thought, poor Pecker, you know what, the night time temperature will drop to around 5 degrees C so let’s bring him into the house for the night!
Pecker had a good night. He is still “gurgling” but he was warm – now it’s off to the vet.