The young chickens (aka pullets) are doing grand. We gave a few of the biggest a little time outside today. It was too windy to let out the littlest ones, but they seemed quite content to stay in their sun-warmed shelter.
The first place the pullets explored was the blankets we cover the coop with at night. They seemed to find the soft folds comforting. But after a bit, the bravest one began to peck around in the grass. I'm not sure she was eating anything, but it's the thought that counts. Even got a few classic chicken scratches.
The others followed her into the wide world but generally preferred to stick close to the coop. The pullets are pleasantly cuddly, and a few seemed to prefer our hands to the grass. The gray pullets have bluish eyes and feet, pigmentation that will be mirrored in their eggs.
Lillian and Concetta popped English and snow peas into the middle of the strawberry rows. The peas will grow upwards on a trellis and therefore not compete with the low-lying strawberries for space. The peas will also grow quickly, and be ready to rotate out of the bed by high summer.
We also planted artichokes, which will hopefully be returning perennials. These cultivated thistles will get fairly large, so we gave them plenty of space at the end of a bed of spinach and lettuce. (I cleverly did not take a picture of any of those cute leafy plants).
Down in the cherry guild, we planted 2 rhubarb crowns, which looked exceedingly ugly. They'll grow into huge bushy perennials, and in a few years, some of their scarlet stalks will be ready for harvest.
My lunch kiwi was too ripe for me but perfect for a chicken treat. I visited them with my mom after we had mulched the rhubarbs. Our ladies have recently been enjoying a extra lush pasture. Though their yards nearly touch, they don't seem to have noticed their young, new neighbors yet.
The wizened plum trees have exchanged their flowers for leaves. Thin, dry stamen are still visible, though the showy petals have fallen. If the pollinators carried enough pollen from these stamen to the pistils of other flowers, we'll have plums in the fall.