Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chick Pics

Who does he think he is? How can we catch the worm if he won't let us out early.

Touch my maters and lose a finger!

Isn't there anywhere to hide from that damn camera?

Out of my face, Buster!

Vogue! Strike a pose.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hum Along...

If you don't know the words, you can hum along.  

Finally getting some decent shots of our hummers. Ernest, Margaux and Mariel Hummingway

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A New Friend For Morticia

* This is an old post (September 2011) I transferred from an old Blog I had. I'm using it as a Throwback Thursday Post. Both these birds have since passed on.

Remember a couple posts ago I mentioned I might've found some friends for Morticia?  Well, the feller never responded to my inquiry until last night.  He still had them.  We went back and forth with a couple emails.  He had 6 and would give me a deal if I took all 6.  I didn't want 6 but, told him, probably 2 or 3.  I told him I was going to the Sanford Flock Swap to look and I would call him if I didn't find anything.  ( we know how them Swaps are)  He said he was going to Chadbourne Chicken Auction but if he knew for certain I wanted some he'd save some.  I told him okay.  Send me your address and I'll be there in the morning about 8 - 9.  He comes back and says he'll be gone by then and didn't leave an address.  FINE.

I made the trip to Sanford.  Did I find anything?  I found a couple of goats and quite a few chickens.  There was another truck with cages set up and some men yakking but, I never saw any animals.  Maybe just hanging out.  Next to them were a few cages on the ground filled with Polands, Cuckoo Marans, Cochins and Guineas.  Then another truck had a plastic storage container filled with young chicks (I didn't want to go to jail so I left them alone)  I was interested in the Polands, also known as Top hats. Why?  That's what Morticia is.  2 roosters and 2 hens/pullets double the size of Morticia.  Age?  18 - 20  weeks was the guess.  Morticia's only 8 weeks so, that's where the size difference came to play.  Well, the roos weren't in the equation but, the hens...
A buff-laced and golden-laced.  Both fine looking birds.  Did I pick one?  Which one?

Oh, several months ago we had a slew of tornadoes come through and tear some stuff up.  The Lowe's in Sanford was leveled.  On my route to the Swap I passed right by a brand-spankin' new store.  Had something going on in the parking lot.  I couldn't get a good look because that pesky driving was butting in.  I saw a fire truck with a group of folks gathered.  I dunno.  Maybe a grand opening?  Maybe a fund raiser?  Maybe a FIRE?  Wouldn't that be the luck?  It wasn't a fire and I should know better than to holler Fire in a public post.  I doubt it was the grand opening.  I'm sure they've already had that.

Anyway, when I get back from Sanford I checked my email and there's one from the feller with the Polands.  He had said he'd be back after lunch.  The mail had his address and a short blurb explaining he had forgotten to include it last night.  I checked the time sent and it was 7:30 this morn.  Unless he sent it with a blackberry or I phone he was still at home?  I had already left for TSC and Wally World by then and was planning my road trip.  Arrived home, unloaded the chicken and rabbit feed and our groceries.  Told Susan I was going to Sanford and headed out.  Sucks to be him.  I found one and brought her home.

(I was told) Goldie Flocks is a golden-laced Poland. (Incorrect. Buff-laced)  I'm going to pick May 1st for her birthday and age her at 18 weeks.  You decide if she's gorgeous or not.  I'll get more pics as soon as she gets settled in and starts wandering outside.  Morticia seems to like her.  They've done minimal pecking.  I was a little concerned at the size difference.  I thought maybe Goldie would hurt Morticia but, she stands her ground and told Goldie this was her coop.

Morticia's on the roost.

Again M on the roost stretching to show she's taller. 

Goldie on the roost.  M is tiny but, holds her own. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pics of the Week

House finch


..and again. 

Couldn't decide which way to go. 

Hot stuff. (she thinks)

Spa day.

Banty noods

The trio of Banties

Mags showing her colors in the sunlight

Alice without a care in the world. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

So Many Pictures

Eaaasy. Just a little bit to the left...

Andy (the Goose) Rooney

Everybody's favorite

More spaghetti. Sadly, Esther was laying and missed out. 

Goose likes apples best but, gave this pear a go.

Butternut squash doesn't appear to be a favorite

Alice says no to the butternut. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Backyard Chickens

A Few Things I've Learned Raising Backyard Chickens...
  1. Security! My number one priority is security. If you don't keep your chickens safe, you won't have any chickens. Even in the city, there are raccoons and possums. Guess what's up above? Yep, the hawk. I have one visit several times a month. My girls are in an enclosed run and so far, nothing, but the occasional rat, has gotten in. Stole some feed, far as I can tell.  

    We've named this guy Bob Ewell (another story) He lives right there in the neighbor's shed and has taught me a few lessons. Pretty much a permanent fixture, live traps won't hold him and I will not use poison.
  1. Have a large enough run to walk around in. I started out with a small tractor. Still an enclosed run but, was 2 foot high. The only hands on interaction I had with my birds was if they were in the coop. That was the only access I had to them. I fed and watered them in the coop. They had a ramp at the back they used to enter/exit the run area. It was secure. Mr. Hawk tried but couldn't get in.  My run is attached to the coop so, everything is protected. 
    Once upon a time, I removed this run. I thought the girls would enjoy free-ranging - they did. Worked out well for quite awhile. Then, it caught up to us and we lost some birds. I have since rebuilt this set up and, once again, everyone's safe
    My first set up was this tractor. I had 2 chicks. As they grew, I expanded the run area.
  1. Watch your step. My birds love to get under-foot. Never take you eyes off your feet. You'll end up tripping over one. Also, you may not see chicken poop. But, almost every time I go in the run, I come out with dirty shoes. There's chicken bubble gum everywhere and it hides until you put your foot down.
  1. Visit with your birds regularly. They are so relaxing to be around. I take a chair and the camera into the run with me and just sit. Picture taking is challenging. Chickens are fast and will be out of the view finder in a clucking mili-second. Take treats. They go bonkers for treats.

    Store bought eggs. As Edgar Allen Poe's raven would say, “nevermore.”
I cannot stress it enough. SECURITY is number one. Always check for security. Always. If you get complacent, you'll lose some chickens. The predators always know. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Pictures

Did I post this before? This plant/weed has made it in the run 4 days. They've looked at it. They've pecked at it and they've scratched around it. But, it still remains. 

The tomato plants are loaded with maters, have outgrown their cages and are falling all over the place. I'm tired of tying them up. Let 'em grow!

Had a short but strong rain storm the other day. Knocked a few of my basil plants down. Hopefully, they'll stand back up. 

Seeded my sunflowers. I believe I have enough for next year.
 The whoa-man finally captured a few decent shots of the hummer. They've been extremely evasive this year.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Banty Run

I've finished with the interacting Banty run. I can now get in and walk around with them. I left a shorter section and will devise a shelter from the elements. As for now, I'm done.

From this used, tight spaced monstrosity... this spacious walk around area.

I can now get in and chase them relentlessly about until we all drop from exhaustion.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Pics

Attempting another plant in the run. It's the same as one I tried before, only bigger. I also guarded the base and roots with chunks of concrete this time. How long will it last? It's been all day and is still standing. However, they've been scratching and pecking at and around it. 

The mourning doves coming over to clean up the thistle seeds from the finches feeders

Chatty soaking up the sun.

After seeing Chatty, Esther decides to join in on the bathing.

Then the Goose joined in.

Then, Esther moved and continued.

..and fell into the 'trance'.