Bathing Beauties

Our girlsI can’t tell you how many times I have gone outside to see the chickens in the dirt taking a dust bath (or I should say ‘writhing in the dirt’) and it looked like they were in the throes of death. It always catches me off guard and I have to do a double-take to make sure they are okay.

This, however, is even more disturbing. That cement is piping hot! It was well into the mid-90’s when I took this picture. I almost expected to go out there and smell grilled chicken!

Our girlsLeft to right, this is Corla, Lucille…and, of course, Henrietta (who always has to be like everyone else). “Monkey see, monkey do”…or should I say, “Chicken see, Chicken do?” It’s definitely one of the unspoken and little known rules of the chicken world. If one of your chicken friends is doing something, it’s bound to be better than what you are doing, so you’d better go join in.

PlantIncidentally, the plant in the background is not some plant we put out there just to imbibe it’s beauty. It’s a volunteer.

June 23 2013 008I have often given the chickens watermelon, but there were a few times I threw some acorn squash seeds (with guts) out there to see if they would eat them. I think this is an Acorn Squash plant.

Bud was speculating that the flowers would be hard pressed to be fertilized because any bug would be too terrified of the chickens to be hanging out on a flower in chicken territory. Amazingly, the chickens have not eaten the plant, like they do most everything else in the garden if it’s not protected. Those flowers would look especially tasty to me if I were a chicken.

It already has about three squash starting to develop.

June 23 2013 004

June 23 2013 005

I’m actually very surprised, because anytime I have tried to grow any kind of squash (especially zucchini) it has always flopped. I have never gotten even one zucchini, while the rest of the world is bragging about how they have so many they don’t know what to do with them.

We are big acorn squash eaters, so I’m hoping that these make it.

Update about the house: An update is coming soon! We did not close on June 21st, but we have some exciting updates that will be forthcoming as soon as I have all of the details!

4 thoughts on “Bathing Beauties

  1. This cat we have goes out and rolls in the dust in the driveway. It is a funny sight. She is black, so you know what she looks like when she is finished. I don’t want to touch her UGH. It is odd seeing your chickens do that.

    And congrats on having a plant making its fruit or whatever a squash is called. The only kind of squash we like are zucchini and I have tried and tried to grow them and never got one thing off of any of them. The plants get big & beautiful like yours, tho’ and then they keel over. I have given up on them altogether. I just pulled 3 onions each about the size of a golf ball. Hooray! If all we had to eat is what I grow, we’d starve.

    PS Do chickens ever get into shallow water for a real bath?

    Love the pictures. I wish I knew how to post and send pics.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I guess I don’t feel like such a loser, then, if you can’t grow zucchini either. I consider you to be an experienced gardener. Congratulations on your first produce of the summer. I didn’t plant my garden since we were hoping to be gone for most of the summer.

      In answer to your question, often, if there is a puddle of water, they will wade through it looking for critters, or if it is really hot, they will crouch down in mud to keep cool, but they never wallow in it. They will often go out during the rain hunting for critters that might be stirred by the rain, but they are unlike regular birds who like to splash in the water. They prefer to ‘bathe’ in dust, which is their method to keep down mites and other pests.

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  2. After I became a chicken-person and got to know their ways, watching the dust bathing became one of my pleasures in life. They really seem to enjoy every squirm. How funny that yours have taking to rolling around on the hot cement!
    And, volunteers are also very fun and unexpected.

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    1. It really is strangely gratifying to watch them do that! Sheesh. I can’t imagine why they do do that on the cement! If they continue to do that with these extra hot days we are having, I’m afraid they are gonna cook!

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