My five Dominique hens (aka, the Girls) are enjoying all this wonderful spring weather. They are clamoring to get out of the coop almost as soon as the sun rises. They zoom through the pop door when I open it like feathered bullets!
While I am cleaning under the roost, clearing the litter from their oyster shell floor feeder, and tipping the stale water and waterlogged feed crumbs out of the font, I can hear them complaining out in their yard. They are calling for the scratch to be scattered. They are, like all of us, creatures of habit. They know what is coming next— a few handfuls of cracked corn and oats.
I open the door to their yard and a few girls squirt out and begin grazing on the new green grass. They would gladly eat it rather than the scratch, especially at this time of year after a long winter of making do with cabbage leaves, kitchen scraps, and the occasional pumpkin. They yearn, as we all do, for a nice green salad.
Fortunately, I have plenty of what they crave in the lawn: the chicken (and human) super food, dandelions! I keep a hand trowel and container handy and dig them a little every day from the lawn. When I garden, I keep the dishpan handy and throw the dandelions in as I weed vegetable and flower garden beds. It doesn’t take long to fill the container.
The girls watch as I dig and make encouraging singing noises. They know what is coming next: crops full of greens filled with the vitamins and nutrients they need after a long winter. I also know what is coming next: busy, contented chickens and eggs with dark orange yolks that taste like butter! Begonia