Due to my down time in the fall, I have been far behind on my spring gardening activities. That means that I don’t have loads of beautiful garden photos to show off right now, though rest assured things are greening up and growing nicely. The spring rains have even helped me do some springtime lawn seeding.

What I can do is report on the animal front. You were worried about my chickens, right?

T. Boone Chickens has made an amazing recovery from the fateful attack that led to the loss of our beloved Johnny Cash.

But you know how some people are improved by the trials, tribulations and crises that life throws at them? They develop a sense of calmness, serenity and patience? Love for their fellow beings?

Well, if chickens are the same way, T. Boone isn’t one of them. Although he has survived and is thriving, his temperament was not improved by the near-death experience.

Now that Johnny Cash, the former top rooster, is gone, T. Boone has the opportunity to indulge in his full roosterness. Sadly, he is not a gentle lover. In fact, he’s downright mean to my poor little hens. When Johnny was their lover, he was at least gentle with his attentions. T. Boone is clumsy, rough and—how can I say this?—not a particularly good aim.

T. Boone's clumsy attentions to the hens have left them a bit ruffled--feather tufts here and there.

T. Boone’s clumsy attentions to the hens have left them a bit ruffled–feather tufts here and there.

The hens have to tolerate him, of course, but they are very put out by his attentions. And although he does seem to stand guard over them when they are out of their run and walking about the garden, he does a ridiculous stomping tantrum if one of the hens dares to get to close to one of the little treats he finds in the yard. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp with those big chicken feet, like a toddler who hasn’t gotten his way.

I do worry about the new hens who have arrived here at Bumblebee. How will they ever deal with this brute?

Four young girls—two Black Starters and two White Leghorns—arrived a couple of weeks ago. We are keeping them separated and allowing them some supervised and separated meet-and-greet time for now. In a few days we’ll allow them out of their runs together to get an even better up-close look.

Maude greets one of the four new hens.

Maude greets one of the four new hens.

(By the way, send me your egg-intensive recipes. We’re getting six eggs/day and there are only three of us. When Ben heads off to The Citadel in August, Harry and I will have to deal with half a dozen eggs/day by ourselves.)

With all this talk about chickens, I suppose you’re wondering if I’m still a gardener. Yes, indeed.

In fact, I was working on doing some planting this past weekend and what should I find? Well, look here…

A nest of baby bunnies in the garden--right next to the lettuce patch.

A nest of baby bunnies in the garden–right next to the lettuce patch.

Yep, a nest of baby bunnies. And the mom bunny very cleverly located them right next to our lettuce patch. Just a short walk to the salad bar!

I have touched the nest and talked to the babies about having mom relocate them. But she seems happy with their current digs next to my lettuce. So be it.

Harry, of course, is devastated, what with lettuce being his favorite food and all.

And so it goes here at Bumblebee…

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  • The cuteness! *swoon*

  • Thank you for the update on the chickens! As for the rabbits, I’ve encountered such a nest in my strawberry patch, last year I think, and the mama bunny moved them out shortly after I found them. I’m surprised yours hasn’t done the same. They are, by the way, cute as… well cute as little bunnies when they are little, but they have voracious appetites.

  • keewee says:

    The old story of the rooster rules the roost, and it sure sounds like he does. There’s nothing as cute as baby bunnies.

  • I’m think what you really need is rabbit recipes. Those look tender and tasty.

    As for too many eggs, can you donate them to a soup kitchen or food bank?

  • Cindy, MCOK says:

    I know the bunnies are pest but they’re so CUTE! You & Carol need to read today’s Hagar the Horrible comic strip … I thought of y’all!

  • Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Good to hear you are out and about. The chickens appear well. That rooster should be looking at the inside of a pot of boiling water for some chicken and noodles. Cute bunnies.

  • Kathleen says:

    Your T. Boone stories make me laugh and I love the baby bunnies. They are precious.

    As for gardening, well, I’ve been trying to get caught up my entire life. It is never done.

  • feralchick says:

    Give T. Boone a chance. He’s been second fiddle and had no chance to, uh, refine his technique.

    I have no idea whether he’ll figure it out, but it seems he should at least have the opportunity if he’s not seriously injuring the hens.

  • Barbara H. says:

    So glad you are back. Also glad T.Boone is looking so prime – maybe he’ll mellow out a little when springtime moves into summer.

  • Gail says:

    You know I love your Chicken Chronicles (There is a book here…a 21st century version of the Egg and I). I am still laughing from the comment about his poor aim! I can’t wait to see what MMD has to say about the cute bunnies! gail

  • Lisa at Greenbow said what I was thinking in a much more tactful way.

    Robin, you mention that T Boone’s job is to guard the hens, but who guards them from him? Aren’t roosters allowed at the hens because one wants fertilized eggs for chicks? If you’re not trying to increase the flock, why should mean-old T Boone get any action? Is a sex-free life detrimental in some way to the hens?

    So many questions! Enlighten us, please!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  • Greg says:

    In defense of T-Boone, because, well . . to give the hens something to talk about!

  • MNGarden says:

    I’m glad to hear TB has recovered and all is well even if he is a bad boy lover.

  • Some roosters do a little jig in front of the hen as part of the courtship ritual. Do you think T Boone is stomping to keep the hens from the treat, or doing a courtship dance & offering the treat?

  • Cindy says:

    I love your chickens and those bunnies are adorable.


  • Tina says:

    your critters are all very cute. well, I think mama bunny is pretty darn smart..ha. But yeah..your lettuce patch will probably show some thinning this year.
    hope you have a geat week.

  • Mary says:

    Here’s the most delicious rich (my husband calls it “Killer Cake”) with all the butter and eggs.


    4 sticks (1 lb.) real butter softened to room temperature
    4 c. sugar
    10 eggs, room temperature
    2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp. vanilla
    4 c. sifted cake flour

    Cream butter and sugar thoroughly, using heavy-duty electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, with mixer running continuously at medium speed. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Finally add the flour a little at a time, mixing well with other ingredients.

    Pour batter into a greased and floured 12 cup tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Then turn out on rack to finish cooling. This makes a large cake. Serves 16-18.

  • I love the photos Robin, and yes, roosters are so very rooster-like. They are enthusiastic lovers, I’ll give them that.~~Dee

  • karenleigh says:

    I so love your chicken stories. I’m really sorry about Johnny Cash (which, next to my niece’s one-eyed rooster: Rooster Cogburn, is the best chicken name ever).

  • Layanee says:

    Creme brulee and pavlova…T. Boone has attitude and he does look quite handsome. Will those Papillons chase bunnies?

    Those little Papillons will chase anything–possums, raccoons, cats, bunnies. See, they don’t know they’re only 9 and 10 lbs.


  • For the last two years we have had a rabbit in our yard and gardens. Would be thrilled to find a nest of bunnies. I understand that the mom leaves the nest during the day and feeds her young at night or very early in the mornings.

  • Garden Lily says:

    Wow, the bunny nest is a pretty neat discovery. Even if they will help themselves to your garden. I think I’d be happy to find such a nest in mine.

  • Betty819 says:

    You don’t have a soup kitchen for the homeless near you that you could share your egg supply with or any nearby needy families?

  • Rick Roberts says:

    Those bunnies are so cute. If I found them in my garden, i would let them have it. I would eat from Whole Foods and the farmers’ market the rest of the season.