Spring Chickens

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Yes, I know that it’s only the end of January; days are still short, nights are still cold (I hear you folks up north snorting at me with disdain… you don’t know what real cold is, you are saying), but fine days in winter feel like spring in Israel, with everything turning green and fresh and blooming, and chickens busily digging around among the new grass.

In the photo above you see two of our hens, quite happy to be turned out of their coop, which I was at the time cleaning out (a long-overdue practice). I spread some of the manure and rotten straw around our fruit trees, not working it into the ground but just on the surface to let it slowly sink in with subsequent rains.

We’ve had an up-and-down season with our chickens this year; many chicks, but also many losses to predators. We have acquired some few more nuggets of wisdom, I hope, and are ready to apply the lessons we learned now that our girls are picking up laying again. More on this topic in my latest Mother Earth News post:

“We’ve always been big enthusiasts of free-ranging our backyard flock and, in fact, have practiced this for the larger part of our career as chicken owners. Recently, however, we had to rethink our strategy a bit due to the appearance of a particularly sneaky fox that started to make its way on our property at the most unexpected hours.”

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