Friday, October 24, 2014

Alice is Molting

Having a bath in her early stages of molting

Advanced stage of molting

Taking a nap. She's feeling puny during this phase of molting

The new pin feathers in casing. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jimmy Cagney

'you dirty rat'

...or, perhaps Templeton. Paul Lynde's Templeton. The rat from Charlotte's Web. And, Wilbur. That was some pig.     Okay, no Wilbur.

With chickens, not only do you get egg rolls, you also get an assortment of different creatures. Other than predators. I'm referring to them seedy characters. The hidden. The shadow dwellers. The scavengers. They steal food from the feeders. They invade your feed storage facilities. I've had a few storage areas over the years. A metal shed and a wooden silo-shaped one, I built. The rats tunneled into the metal shed and devoured, slept in and ruined feed. I also use the shed for a work shop so, smelling and working around rat excrement wasn't working for me. The silo worked out pretty good for a year or so. But, the rats finally figured out how to break into it. Plus, it wasn't big enough for my needs.

At present, I have my feed in plastic tubs inside a good sized, heavy duty plastic 'shed'. It's actually a trash can shed I picked up at Walmart a few years back. End of the season and marked down to half price.

It serves me well and the only thing that has gotten in are spiders. They don't bother me, but if I see one getting a little too close, I 'remove' it's existence from the premises. I have layer pellets in the blue tub and scratch (an assortment of grains) for a breakfast treat, in the grey tub. A bale of straw, behind the tubs, for coop cleaning days and some hardware and tools for whatever comes up. The red bag on the shelf drives the girls mad. The goody bag. Chicken crack! Meal worms. Raisins. They know it's in there and they know what it looks like.

Most of our yard items have names. Wild bird feeders, lawnmowers, chippers...even this shed. It took a while but, we finally came up with one suitable. Gordon Ramsey. We tried Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. They were unacceptable. Now, I don't care for Hell's Kitchen but, his name fits the shed's mission and we can remember it. And, of course, we only use the first name so....
Oh, get over it. It's Gordon!

While taking pictures of Gordon, Alice was standing at the ready for a treat. Not this time, clucker!

Anyway, since the weather is changing and food is getting scarce, the rats are moving more and more. Brazen bastards. I've been watching them for a few weeks. I've tried my snapping trap, Victor. But, this year he just isn't catching them. I reckon they've smartened up enough to keep clear of him. Hurts his feelings but, what can you do? You can bring out Betsy. Ye olde pump pellet rifle. At a distance, it only stings. But, get up close and it's real personal.

Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. Hunting season is open. I tagged one this morning.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Black Magic

Since I lost Morticia in February, I haven't had a bird to hold and pet. I picked up a couple of young bantam cochins in hopes of rectifying that. I was 'told' they were friendly. They weren't.

Black Magic and Chantilly Lace
Well, I've noticed while unlocking the coop in the morning, Mags would allow me to pick her up. She'd also, eat from my hand in the run. But, wouldn't allow me to touch her outside. So, I've been working with her, in the mornings, at the coop door. I'll pick her up and hold her a short while, then set her down and keep hold of her.

She'll stay put for a bit and then scurry off and won't let me touch her again. A couple days ago, I knelt down and she came over to investigate (for a snack). I slowly reached out and she squatted. Ha! The submissive squat. I have her now. I still have to move slowly but, I can pick her up anywhere and play Lenny from the book, Of Mice and Men. Only, I won't squeeze her like he did. Right George?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Rain Barrel

Storms swept across America this past week. I watched, on radar, as it inched its way closer and closer. However, we have mountains in the way and I knew once those nasty bands ran into them, they'd be broken up and knocked down a bit. Least, I figured that would happen.

It did! The mountains busted a move on them. They aren't near as big but, still have some rain. So, we're in the barrel. The birds are out in it, foraging for worms and such. Dodging rain drops. Singing BJ Thomas songs and dancing like Gene Kelly.

Even though, they don't look it, I know they're aggravated. It was raining so hard this morning I didn't throw any scratch. They are on their own, for now.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Slice of Bread

Who knew?

My large fowl: Alice, Esther and Goose will not eat bread. Never have. Turn their beaks up at the sight of it. Run off spitting and honking in disapproval and disgust. After several attempts, I finally removed bread from the menu.

When I brought the banties in, it never crossed my mind until today, they might like bread. I found a misshapen end piece on a new loaf and decided to give them a shot. No sooner did it hit the ground were they on top of it. Grabbing, running, gobbling and running some more. They acted as if they'd not eaten in a week. Loved it!

The big girls had a fit on the other side of the fence. Esther was whining. I even got a few disgruntled honks from Goose. Really? It's bread, you silly birds. Whine. Honk. Whimper. Squawk.

Alice was the only one to hold true to her beliefs. Didn't pay one lick of attention to the bickering from Esther and Goose, nor the feeding frenzy of the banties.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Backdoor-ing Facebook

More pictures of days past. Facebook is updating and not allowing me to post my daily pictures. I'll backdoor them and use the blog.

The Banties hanging out. 
Goose getting into her feed.
Goose still molting. It'll be awhile, yet. 
Big girls aren't too excited with butternut squash. Until, I give it to the banties. 
An older picture of Goose talking the talk.  She's been quiet since the molt grabbed hold of her. 
Not very patiently awaiting treats. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pictures Galore

No. Not a misprint of a James Bond movie character.

I have an over abundance of pictures in my Blog folder. Time to un-ass them. So...
in no particular order:

We have 2 of these plants on the porch. They're on either side of the door and loaded with bumble bees. Good thing bumble bees are non-aggressive. 

The main man around here. Higgins.

Breakfast of champions. And chickens. 

Goose in molt. She's filled in since and, I think, is on the downhill slide. 

Fluffing up and no place to go.

Chatty catching a drink

Goose looking rather perturbed. Actually, she looks like this a lot. 

Chantilly (Lacey) Lace

Black (Maggie) Magic. Looking at my empty hand. Her thoughts have been censored.