Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘hay feeder box

Hardy Hens

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Temperatures outside have been a rollercoaster of up and down lately. There have been a few passing snow flurries to coat the residual ice we are stuck with in the paddocks, but New Year’s Day yesterday was seriously cold and dry.

Our hens seem to be dealing with it all perfectly well. They are troopers now about traversing the snow-covered ground between their coop and the barn.

It seems they have some extra motivation lately to make the trip. The chickens have taken a particular liking to the hay boxes. It looks like they were having a little party in the sun yesterday afternoon.

With the length of daylight gaining seconds every day, the hens are going a long way to mastering survival in the battle against the elements. It should just get easier from here, right?

The success in avoiding predation for these nine, reveals¬†some wily cunning on their part, which I think goes along with some natural luck they’ve enjoyed that has helped to keep them from harm¬†thus far.

The birds are living up to the billing that these breeds are winter hardy.

Before long, the added daylight will have them laying more eggs again, too, so, we have that to look forward to, as well.

They sure bring us a lot of love every day. Here’s hoping they keep doing this well for all of 2019 and beyond!

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Written by johnwhays

January 2, 2019 at 7:00 am

Disappearing Delilah

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My inability to master the art of dog training is revealed in our lovely canine’s increasing confidence in behaving any way she pleases. Just two days ago, I was lamenting our failure thus far to stop Delilah’s behavior of jumping up on people engaged in hugs during greetings or departures.

She just wants to participate in the hugs, of course, but her nails on unprepared backsides are not something we feel our guests should have to deal with when they are otherwise occupied. Both Cyndie and I recognize that we have failed to gain the upper hand on demanding compliance with our instructions. The formula of training by way of rewarding good behavior, as opposed to a focus on punishing bad behavior, evades us when it comes to the current challenges.DSCN4015e

Cyndie has been doing a heroic effort of conditioning Delilah to stay close to us when we allow her the freedom of being off-leash, frequently calling her back for check-ins and rewarding her with treats when she promptly complies. It had been working well for quite some time, until I distracted Cyndie in the barn yesterday when I sought her assistance installing my first half-sized slow-feeder box in Cayenne’s stall.

That brief period of our distraction from Delilah’s whereabouts led to the hunter girl wandering off in search of irresistible prey beyond the borders of our property. Cyndie didn’t want to give up without a fight and scoured our trails, blowing her whistle and calling Delilah’s name.

She even drove the truck in a search of the roadways immediately surrounding us. The only thing that came out of that effort was a texted greeting from George, after he saw her drive past their place. Once again, Delilah was in the “dog house” with us. From past experience, I knew our dog would eventually show up at one of the doors, happy as could be, covered in burrs, and clueless to the level of transgression she had pulled off.

After a long spell, just as I expected, Delilah did return home. We treated her matter of factly, allowing her a long drink at her water bowl, after which, Cyndie took her outside to remove the burrs.

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I don’t know how, but she seemed to recognize our displeasure. Her behavior for the rest of the day and evening was akin to her having put herself on a “time-out” all on her own. She didn’t demonstrate any of her usual playful behaviors, repeatedly seeking attention by bringing a ball or other toy to us, or simply walking up and putting her head in our laps.

She demurely laid low the whole time. I can only hope she was using that time to think about what she had done wrong, and was feeling entirely remorseful. Sadly, the other possibility is that she was just so exhausted from having had such a fantastic getaway that she needed the rest and was saving up her energy for the next opportunity to do it over again.

Trust me, she is back on full-time leash protocol again, and will be for the foreseeable future, whether she understands the correlation, or not.

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Written by johnwhays

October 5, 2015 at 6:00 am