Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Making Modifications

with 3 comments

Our three surviving adult hens were presented with a big change in their sleeping and nesting quarters yesterday. In preparation for moving the new chicks out of the brooder in the coming weeks, we gave the coop a thorough cleaning and then installed some temporary barriers to subdivide it.

We opted for netting up above to allow the young chicks and adult hens to become familiar with each other behind protected space that will allow the youngsters to stay out of reach of aggressive gestures.

So the thinking goes, anyway.

Cyndie was reading to me yesterday from a multitude of internet sources on raising backyard chickens and introducing new birds to an existing batch of hens. There were very few where we meet all the precautions and instructions described, but I sense they were written with an overabundance of caution in mind.

Real-world situations are never as precise as the theoretical instructions convey. We are taking the information as a rough guide and will rely on good old trial and error to learn what works for us.

I will always remember the effort of yesterday as being burdened by the tropical dewpoint temperature and the looming threat of thunderstorm (that in the end barely slipped past to the south of us) which complicated my tasks and hurried several steps, capped with my getting attacked by a hornet as I rushed to put things away.

My shirt was plastered against my skin, saturated thoroughly with sweat, and my arms were ridiculously full with tools and equipment I was rushing to return to the shop when the angry beast of an insect unleashed its burning venom as I stepped out of the barn. I screamed into the thundery dark sky and frantically contorted in attempt to pull my shirt loose from my skin to eject the attacker.

After failing twice as the burning increased, I dropped something and finally got a grip of slippery fabric behind my neck and yanked violently. That’s when I caught a glimpse of the almost humming bird-sized monster as it instantly found a second perch on my bare forearm. At that point, everything I was holding went flying in every direction, and flailing of arms and wailing of curse words dwarfing the ominous weather in ferocity were unleashed.

As quickly as possible, while ducking the continued threat of the hornet, I grabbed everything I could find and ran to the shop to lay down on my back on the cold concrete in hopes of soothing the fire raging in the flesh of my back.

That grand finish will always be my memory of fixing up the chicken coop for the soon to be mixed batch of our free-range backyard chickens.

Today’s project will involve mitigation, and hopefully, removal of stinging insect nests near the barn.

Oh, joy.



Written by johnwhays

August 9, 2020 at 10:22 am

3 Responses

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  1. First, John, I am so sorry you had to experience that…BUT…wow! Your description made me feel as though it were happening to me! Hope it feels better!
    The other day I was floating in the pool and opened my eye to what looked like 2 inch+ yellow jacket sitting on my chest hitching a ride. I was in the deep end. And my reaction was similar to yours, though thank God he did not sting me. Then he was struggling to survive so I took my floating dumbell and rescued him. I’d like to think I would have been as gracious if he had stung me…but I kind of doubt it 😉
    It’s nice to stop in and see what you’ve been up to. All good here, though not OUT and about as they have taken to calling us the epicenter of the virus now 😦
    I have been busy and I am grateful for everything.
    Hope you both are well and stay safe ❤


    August 9, 2020 at 10:50 am

    • Well done on the rescue! All good here, considering. Sounds like you are facing things as well as can be expected. Thank you for the light you shine into the world!


      August 9, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      • Awww…thanks John! I feel like I have a very long time of shining light to make up for the time I lived in the darkness! I just hope I get to do it!!
        Yes…I am managing things. And I am grateful for all of it!!!
        I hope your week ahead is filled with understanding and peace!


        August 9, 2020 at 1:12 pm

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