I wanted to catch you up on a few storylines going on here.

The good news is that, what with the extra shade and the addition of pond salt, The Beast is fully recovered from her bout with sunburn.



The thermometer is registering temperatures above 90º F and it’s been humid, but I don’t need to look at a weather gauge to know that. I just have to observe Phoebe. She’s stretched out on the cool concrete inside of the Little Barn. If you want to see her active, check the cams at nightfall. She’s been letting us know that she needs a hop-around then, and not to ask her to come inside until it’s fully dark.



The new feeder trial has ended. The hens finally got over their fear of it and stepped on the platform. So, I adjusted it for the next step – slight movement while they step on the lever. That totally freaked them out, and they have remained freaked out for two days.

scared of feeder


The hens crane their necks to grab a few pellets, but they’re not eating like they should. This is a group of eleven, three-year old hens. They’re laying six to eight eggs daily. The shells are thin because they’re old hens. They absolutely have to eat in order to make the eggs and stay healthy. I took away the lever feeder and returned their old hanging one. They rushed to get breakfast.

old feeder


I guess that you can’t teach an old hen new tricks. I’ll hold onto that feeder, though. I do think that it’s a good idea, and I’d still like to be able to use it to keep the sparrows out of the chicken pellets. I’ll just have to wait until I get a new batch of chickens (which shouldn’t be for a couple of years yet!)

Lastly, Scooter has been working hard. My oldest son is home from college and recovering after a demanding semester. Scooter is helping.

Daniel and Scooter


  1. OMG Scooter looks like he is working so hard! Happy summer!

  2. That picture of Scooter and your son made my day! What a good puppy.

  3. Just like the hens on tick patrol, Scooter has complete job satisfaction!!

    Happy Independence Day everyone. I’m out of town until late Sunday afternoon. Only going to check the phone once a day! Tech free time off.

  4. Yay! for a healthy Beast! So glad she’s okay!

    Your son looks like my son, home from college. I would pay to be able to sleep like they do (and I did at that age, *sigh*).

  5. What a great update. Have been wondering about the Beast. Hot here in the mountains also, humid and rain shower every day like Florida…..yuck. Scooter and your son have the right summer attitude.

  6. Last picture depicts what home and family is all about. Obviously Scooter remembers your eldest. Sorry the new feeder didn’t work, but will be looking forward to the year you bring new chicks home. It was such a fun time last year. As always, I love the pond pictures. The colors are so vibrant and I never realized what a pretty fish The Beast is. She seems to have the “gentle eye” too, only with long lashes. Little Pond just looks amazing. Saw the video. Hope you have a good holiday. Happy 4th to Ken and hope he has a good out of towner. Husband just went back to work after being laid off. Will be sending a coffee or two your way.

  7. Looks like Scooter is having a very rough summer!!

  8. I’m so glad your hens (like mine) freak out at anything new. I thought mine were just oddballs. Lovely photo of Scooter and son.

  9. What wonderful photos, and I love reading all of the responses to your posts! Your Little Pond Farm blog is a virtual neighborhood, and I bet I’m not the only one who hates to let a day go by without strolling through it, even though my “farm” consists of one very elderly cat :)

  10. Hi Terry! I recently stumbled upon an older blog you wrote about Mt. Healthy Hatchery. I was wondering if you could tell me what hatcheries you recommend?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for that. Most of the big hatcheries get their hatching eggs and chicks from smaller farms. This includes My Pet Chicken. The suppliers vary, and so one year the quality is there, the next it’s not. Small hatcheries might have a better breeding program, but they have a limited selection, and often do a poor job of sexing. That said, I’ve gotten chicks from both Meyer and McMurray. Both groups of chicks did fine (with the exception of a blue cochin, a breed renown for genetic issues.) So, despite the problems, I’d still use McMurray. But, if I were set on only one breed, I’d go with a small breeder.