Investing in Comfort for the Flock

Dedication, that’s what it takes when raising chickens in the Sonoran Desert! These ladies are just four months old and experiencing their first summer in temperatures of 116 degrees. They’re a bit frazzled looking at times, but incredibly resourceful in finding ways to stay cool. Of course, I’ve given them a hand providing those resources, but it’s up to them to actually use them. Most members of the flock do, but there’s always those few who insist on going broody in hottest place possible.

Willow & Dottie 8716
To make them as comfortable as possible, a mist system is available at one section of our open air shedrow barn. It certainly has helped, but without air movement it just wasn’t enough, especially for the broodies who stuff themselves into oven-like nest boxes.

This week I hired an electrician to get power to the barn.  I don’t even want to think what the cost of having fresh eggs has risen to now! Nevertheless, we now have airflow from a giant barn fan.  Feathers are blowin’ and the flock is happy! Whoo hoo!
Not so much whoo hoo over the $$$ though. Oh well… love my birds.




Christmas in the Desert


This is the view from my kitchen window. I planted those pine trees myself when they were only four feet tall, only four years ago. My how they have grown! It is Fall now, the grass is what we call Winter or Rye grass here in the Southwest, and it will stay green and beautiful all the way until about March. It has to be planted in October while it’s still warm, but then dies, making way for the summer grass to take over.  I love this time of year, everything comes alive after the horrendous desert heat is over. It’s impossible to keep flowers alive in the summer, but in winter there might be only a few nights when frost is a threat.

Being from the Midwest, it still seems odd at Christmas time when Santa, reindeer, and oodles of lit decorations are situated around colorful flower gardens. I put up my Christmas tree today and it was 82 degrees!

When I was a little girl the family piled into the car all bundled up in mittens and hats to go buy our tree in single digit temperatures. The tree lots would have big rusty steel drums with a fire blazing inside, and we’d all warm our hands over them.  By the time we picked out a tree we were all so cold we couldn’t even feel our toes. However, here in Phoenix I saw a hot dog vendor at a tree lot, and everybody was walking around in shorts and t-shirts.

I moved to Arizona twenty five years ago and there’s never once been a white Christmas. But the spirit is everywhere and neighborhood homes are glowing in celebration. It just doesn’t matter if Santa and Frosty are standing in snow or a bed of purple pansies. It’s still Christmas!