barnyard tricksters.


Sometimes, the farm animals give me little mysteries to solve. I pretend it’s because they’re all in cahoots and want to make sure I don’t get bored.

Like that time the kittens were breaking into the chicken coop to eat the eggs and we patched all the holes and then the hens started pecking the eggs to make us think the kittens were still getting in (and I went bonkers every morning). Good one, hens!

For the first time in history, the hens licked their feeder clean this week. Crumbs and all. (And they never eat the crumbs. It’s usually a sad expensive waste of very crumby organic chicken feed.) I congratulated them on finishing their plate (I actually did this because I’m a preschooler’s mother), pet them, and filled their feeder.

Yesterday, I notice the empty feeder again, am sort of puzzled, but then I see a huge cow pie as welcome mat. Ah ha!


So I assume it’s Bossie , the dairy calf. I leave the coop door open still because you can’t restrict happy hens because of a mischievous calf.


(Here, Harvey hangs out with the Ursula and Bossie, because he’s got a nice playful friendship going with Bossie. It’s nice that there are finally cattle here that he’s not afraid of.. although Bossie will grow, so it may be short lived).

So today, same thing. Empty feeder, empty waterer. It’s getting less funny; the hens need food and water throughout the day too. I notice the cow pies in there are suspiciously large, though. And while I’m gathering the eggs, with a sleeping babe on my back,  I notice Ursula trying to join me in the sizable but not that sizable chicken coop.




And tonight, P. finds Ursula locked in the chicken coop. The door must have closed shut while she was in there. The hens were nowhere to be found despite the late hour, but happily returned to roost once Ursula was liberated.


The most amusing part is that no animal here seems to want to eat the food that is bought or grown especially for them. The cats eat the dog food–which the dog will often ignore, the hens pine for the cat food–despite their expensive organic layers mash, the dog used to eat the cat food–until I started feeding the cats on the top floor of the barn to keep the hens from ingesting chicken, Ursula doesn’t much care for the organic oats we’ve grown and harvested especially for her and she apparently eats the hens’ food. And the hens, cats and dog wrestle for the compost and miscellaneous leftovers.

I wish I was an illustrator and could make little graphic novels of their exploits.


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