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

Shelter Choices

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Around dinner time yesterday, we experienced a brief but oh-so-welcome rain shower that provided a glimpse of the choices our horses make. I had finished my mowing and manure management chores and was headed back up to the house when it started to sprinkle. The two chestnuts, Mia and Light, were happily grazing in the middle of the big paddock.

Cyndie had left the two split pieces of poop board out on the grass to be cleaned now that we can resume using the one-piece board again after removing the divider in the coop. When I came upon her tending to the vegetable garden, I mentioned they aren’t waterproof. As the rain intensified, I decided to go back down right away and put them in the barn.

When I arrived, I noticed the chestnuts had disappeared. I looked toward the back pasture but didn’t see them. I was curious whether they would stand out in the rain or seek shelter.

From inside the barn, I looked out to find Swings and Mix under the overhang, but not Mia or Light. Where did they go?

I stepped out under the overhang and found my answer:

They’re not so dumb. Even in its gradually dying condition, the fading willow tree provides shelter from the rain.

In comparison, Mix was standing half under the overhang, leaving her butt out to get wet and Swings chose to stay completely dry, standing all the way under the roof while munching on some hay.

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For some unexpected reason, there was no raccoon activity evident overnight Monday. I’m wondering if they caught on that the traps lead to disappearances and are staying away for the time being, but that must take some strong willpower given the sweet marshmallow bait being offered up.

In their first night together in the undivided coop, the Rockettes and Buffalo birds appeared to get along just fine. Our timing to merge them seems good. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to tell the difference of who’s who between the two groups, as the difference in their sizes is much less obvious.

Here’s hoping their relationships continue to develop smoothly and they all get along as well as the horses have been, at least until the cockerels’ testosterone kicks into gear and the roosters all try to fulfill their desires of becoming the big man on campus.

At that point, Cyndie and I will likely be the ones choosing the best places to seek shelter.

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Written by johnwhays

June 30, 2021 at 6:00 am

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