The Happy Hens at Wild Things Farm get a lot of attention. One of the key players in the lives of the Happy Hens is Mr. Rooster Sir.
Mr. Rooster Sir has been with the Happy Hens ever since the beginning. He did have a partner to watch over the chickie chicks but his partner was mean to the girls so he went bye-bye.
I've noticed that Mr. Rooster Sir watches over the girls constantly. While they are busy pecking and scratching, he's watching out, looking, ready to sound an alarm if there's danger.
One day a hawk perched in a tree way too close to the chicken universe and Mr. Rooster Sir sounded an alarm. All the girls scurried into their safe haven (aka chicken house) except one. I didn't actually see what happened, but I think the hawk actually almost made contact with her because she was hiding underneath a corner of the coop. I gathered her up and put her back in the house with her companions. They were upset for a day or two after that incident.
The next day after that encounter, I took fence wire and went across the pen in a zig-zag manner so birds of prey wouldn't be able to "swoop" down and grab one of the girls. So far it's worked really well keeping critters from swooping. It does take my hat off occasionally when I stand up too tall in the pen.
A few months ago one of the CSA members shared a sourdough starter with me. I've been keeping it fed and tried a few bread recipes but they've all turned out to look and feel like one of those discus thingees they throw in the Olympics. The chickens love testing my mess-ups!
Another observation: Mr. Rooster Sir will stand there and wait until all the girls have gotten their piece of bread before he will even attempt to get one for himself--a true gentleman. So appropriately named.
Back to the successful breadmaking experience. The recipe I used makes a "sponge" from warm water, yeast, and the starter, then let it set for 10 minutes then add flour, sugar and salt, mix together and let rise for 2 hours then knead. This is where I was messing up. I wasn't kneading the dough enough. Kneading sufficiently gets the gluten broken down enough to hold the dough in shape while it's baking. So knead, and knead, and knead until it's really pliable and holds it's shape. I "googled" sourdough bread not rising and figured that out. The bread turned out perfect.
Don't tell the girls!