Saturday, February 19, 2005

Red Beard the Magnificent

Red Beard the Magnificent
Originally uploaded by kwshoes.
Finally, a quiet day to sit, reflect, and write. At the Coffee Plantation.

I'm wearing down. Janet's niece, Mary Lou is here with her boyfriend, Tom. They arrived on Wednesday and are staying at the new Radisson Grand Hotel across from (the former) Houseboat Row, until checkout time today, then they'll be staying with us for their remaining three days here. Having guests in town, even when they aren't staying with us, is always a little wearing on the body, since "going out to eat and drink" is such a standard part of the Key West experience -- for the visitors. Don't get me wrong, we love having visitors, and wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to show them our Key West favorite places. But we've been to Schooner Wharf three times since Wednesday; had dinner at The Meteor on Thursday; went to a recognition dinner in honor of Black History Month at the VFW on Emma St. last night; and miscellaneous other adventures, with more still planned.

I worked for about seven hours at the Chicken Store yesterday, helping out as I could since Katha is short-handed for a while. I've learned to feed and water the chickens in the morning, though someone else has to move them from their inside night cages to the day cages in and about the store and the Chicken Lounge. I'm not interested in doing the end of day clean-up, which involves washing down the rubber cage-bottom liners with disinfectant, soap and water. Katha has hired another person for the Chicken Lounge, Lisa, a young woman with a nice personality. I hope she works out, as that would give Katha some peace of mind until Kate is able to return from her daughter's home in the midwest.

Red Beard was adopted out yesterday, after Katha considered for some time whether she really wanted to let him go. Red Beard came to the Chicken Store via the Rescue Team some time ago, and had become a fixture on the front porch of the store. He'll be moving to Sarasota, to a 64 acre farm with proper coops and a good-sized poultry yard, safe from predators and with a good supply of hens requiring - ahem! - "service". The new owner is also taking another rooster and a number of chicks. At present, the brood hen, the one that Katha gives the foundling chicks to, has around eighteen babies to look after, so many that they don't all fit under her at once. Baby chicks, I found out, need to be kept very warm, that is, they are susceptible to even cool weather such as we have here at this time of year. This particular hen is very accommodating to chicks that aren't her own, so she has a brood now in several different colors, though they are all about the same age.

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