Last night we snuck into the barn and kidnapped the four chickens (three hens and one rooster) who were living there. Kyle let them live separately from the rest of the chickens because the one rooster is the lowest on the totem poll, but their refuge had ended. Like most buildings Kyle uses as chicken coops, the chicken space in the barn was originally intended as people space. This morning we entered the chickenless barn and cleaned out all the poop and hay. It ended up being only our first job with poop this day.
Alpacas are camelids, and one thing camelids (llamas, camels, alpacas) have in common is they poop in the same place every day. They literally will back their rumps up to the communal poop pile and unload. If horses did this my mom would save 100 hours a year cleaning up horse poop. So, all over the homestead in the different pastures, there are alpaca poop piles. So, we took a bucket and shovel and found all these lumps of treasure and brought them back to the garden to enrich the soil.
At the end of the day, the refugees were not excited about joining the other chickens in the main coop. The rooster was worried, running along the fence, and two of the hens were barred from entering the coop by some territorial hens at the door. But where was the third hen? We went up to the barn to see if somehow the hen had gotten back to her old digs, and we saw a strange thing. An upside down plastic bucket was moving along the ground. Three alpacas, one cat, and now two humans were watching this sliding bucket with interest. It was the third hen. We freed her from the bucket and threw her into coop for the night.
Sorry about all the poo talk. Here’s a sweet birds nest I found!