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All around update

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It's been a cold few days. On the farm, that means I need to make sure water is not frozen several times a day and hauling water because the hoses invariably freeze up on me.

I go out and check the bunnies' water 3 or more times a day. In the winter, I use crocks for their water because the water bottles just freeze up, and it is much easier to knock ice out of the hard plastic crocks, though my fingers tend to get a bit cold when I'm doing that.

The dogs... oh, the dogs, they have been dragging all kinds of deer bones and even a skin up the front yard. Poachers have killed some deer either deep in our woods ( unlikely, I think, unless they are crossing fences from another farm) or on someone else's land. Naturally, they also kill squirrels and leave them at the front door. (yuck) They don't eat the squirrels, they just kill them and leave them for us. (Double yuck).

Pat, the confused peahen who was born here last summer, has finally grown out the feathers she needs to be able to fly up to the rafters in the barn at night. One day last summer, I looked outside, and Gunner had poor, petrified Pat between his feet, plucking out some feathers, very gently, one by one. Well, I rescued Pat by running outside and yelling at Gunner, who knew he was doing something very bad, and he let her go immediately. I was afraid she was dead, so I ran over and picked her up, and she was literally frozen with fear for about an hour. So I carried her around with me until she started moving and then I moved her to the old chicken coop (which is fenced all around and over it) with the baby guineas and the little banty chick I found in the barn. She has recovered nicely, and know, finally flies.

Now, peafowl don't fly a lot, but they do like to roost up in high trees or in the rafters of the big barn at night, and if a predator is stalking them, they need to be able to fly away. They are pretty big birds, and they look really funny when they are flying, very awkward, but they get the job done.

The Chickens of Argghhh!

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Even though it's cold outside, our girls are still wandering around, eating grass and weeds and seeds in the pasture. This morning, I gave them some leftover Christmas cookies, and they really liked them.

Here is one of my girls: chicken.jpg

And another, outside the baby peafowl and baby guinea fowl coop - looking for treats. (Guineas and my little peachick need more shelter, they are too young and too dumb to return to safety before dark!)

rooster-and-hen.jpg

You can see a couple of the young guineas in their coop - it ain't pretty, but it works!

guinea-coop.jpg

Also, I was really happy to read that there are real people out there who appreciate eggs from happy, free range hens! Thanks!

Keets growing up

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Back in September, I found a bunch of keets among the guineas. They had surreptitiously sat on a nest out in the horse pasture and hatched several keets. Because it was so late in the season, and because guineas are not the best mothers, I took the keets and set up a brooder for them. They have been in the brooder (actually a rabbit hutch) under lights ever since.

Well, it is time for them to graduate to the big outside coop. I chased all the chickens out and put just the guineas (well, and that one little bantam that hatched at about the same time) into the coop with water and food and closed the door.

Within minutes, all the grown up guineas were on the outside of the coop looking in, they are seriously communicating with the nearly grown keets, and once I'm sure the keets know that the coop is home for good, I'll open the door and let them hang out with the rest of the guineas.

The hen house has plenty of room for the chickens I kicked out of the coop, so I'm confident everyone will have a roost tonight.

First of all, I think the puppies must have a lot of rat terrier in them. Why? Because yesterday, they killed and dragged up out of the woods a huge pack rat, and apparently ate it, because I went out looking for it an hour later (with gloves on and a trash bag), and I cannot find it anywhere! Yuk.

Secondly, we have a peachick. Only one, darn it. Veronica came back from her hidden nest a few days ago with one lonely peachick following behind. Because the puppies were way too interested in the tiny fluffball, I stole it from her to raise in safe captivity. We decided to name it Pat, as Pat can be male or female. Pat is living in a cat carrier at the moment that is in my studio, with a lamp next to it for warmth. Pat is learning to fly, as Pat's wing feathers are growing really fast. The little bird really likes us. He/she is happy to sit on my shoulder, making cute little sounds. It will be interesting to see if Pat will be more approachable than our other 3 Peafowl when he/she grows up.

Ducks and rooster hanging around.

Peonies are in bloom.

Puppies are wrestling each other.

Poor John was tasked with taking care of the critters Friday and Saturday whilst I attended an American Majority seminar in Kansas City. As soon as I got home on Saturday afternoon, we got in the car and went to a housewarming party at Josh and Ann Warren's home - an old Victorian that they are rehabbing - great house, but oh the work must be very hard with those hugely high ceilings (at least12 feet high).

When we got home, I went into the barn to feed the rabbits. Those sneaky goats managed to break into the rabbitry and eat about 20 to 30 pounds of Professional Rabbit Feed. They also knocked stuff over and freely pooped wherever they felt like it.

I was pretty concerned about the goats - they can get bloat from eating too much grain or rich grass and die from a bacteria that develops from all that gas. The goats always have free choice baking soda available to them (yes, baking soda), as it helps to keep the PH in their rumen at the correct level. I decided to encourage them to have more baking soda by putting about 12 cups of it in a feed bucket - they all ran to me when they saw the bucket and all of them ate at least 1/4 cup of the baking soda. This apparently worked to stem the gassiness that was sure to turn into Bloat, they are all just fine now.

Oh, and the baby bunnies have all opened their eyes - they are teh cute!

I was looking at different hatcheries on-line, as it is getting to be time to buy some new chicks to replenish my egg-laying hens.

I found this hatchery, Larry's Poultry, and thought, oh, maybe I'll buy from them. I started checking out his website.

Then I noticed a link on his front page that said: IMPORTANT NEWS.

So, I clicked on the link and lo and behold, it was a notice from the Democrat Party warning people of those of us who don't like the Obama Agenda.

Yes, we are "Anti-Reform" Mobs. We are evil. We must be stopped. Oh, and we are afraid! Because we are too stoopid out here to understand the nuances of Obama's Socialized Medicine push, I suppose.

It goes on and on and sounds like a Nancy Pelosi sound bite.

The whole screed was signed by

Jen O'Malley Dillon Executive Director Democratic National Committee

Apparently, Jen is unaware of the many Democrats who have joined Independents and Republicans in protesting the "transformation of America" that far-left Democrats and the President and the Left Democrats in Congress are trying to force upon us.

I wrote the company, Larry's Poultry, and I told them why I would never purchase anything from them. Ever.

Never. Never. Never.

(Cross-posted at She Who Will Be Obeyed, the 2nd Coming)

This is a photo of Darling from last July. She likes to sit on the steering wheel of our Polaris Ranger until I start it up and then she flies off.

Darling has decided that she will not sleep with the other chickens this winter. No, she has made herself quite at home in the feed room in the barn. She perches atop an old, no longer hooked up, water heater in the corner of the room at night, and in the morning, when I enter the feed room to get the chicken feed, goat feed and horse feed set up for the critters, she flies to my shoulder and "talks" to me while I'm working.

What she really wants is the entire barrel of chickenfeed to herself, so after I load up a couple of pails with feed I will distribute to various feeders outside, she flies into the large barrel of feed and helps herself.

For an hour or so.

You would think that Darling would get fat. I know if I ate that much in relationship to my size, I'd be humongouser than I currently am!

Darling spends part of her day in the Rabbit Room, too. That is where my 6 French Angora rabbits are housed.

She hops around the cages, fussing, and when I go in there to feed the bunnies, she usually hops on my shoulder and supervises.

Sebrights are very friendly little chickens. If you have ever thought of getting a chicken as a pet of sorts, you can't go wrong with Sebrights.

What would you do?

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There is a nice woman whose husband is going through CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth. She likes my eggs, and calls every couple of weeks to buy a couple of dozen. Typically, I just meet her at the PX.

Well, she called on Tuesday, and we agreed to meet at the PX at 10:00 AM yesterday. I was there at 9:58 and waited until 10:25, and the nice woman did not show up.

When I got home, after giving my eggs away to some friends, there was a message on the phone that she had waited at the Commissary for me and then realized she was supposed to meet me at the PX.

Now, I'm not really mad that she made an error. But, that was 30 minutes of my life that I will never get back for $6 worth of egg money that I won't get. I'm thinking that from now on, if someone wants eggs, they can call, and if I have some, they can just drive out to the farm to get them.

Honestly, I'm not making a penny on the eggs in the winter. I'm not even sure that the little bit I make during the market season even pays for the chicken's feed during the non-market season.

Most likely no one will bother to drive out here for eggs. Ugh.

I could just get more egg recipes and use them up and freeze the culinary results until we get around to using them.

Comments, suggestions?

One of my ducks is missing. We only have five ducks, and they are always together and always close to the house. John came home around 6 pm and told me that one of our Pekin ducks was missing.

I put my coat on and went out with the dogs - Buffy (the coyote slayer), Gunner and Kiki. We are indeed missing a duck. He must have been taken by surprise, as I could find no sign of struggle anywhere in the area the ducks are known to frequent.

Buffy and Gunner picked up a scent and ran down the field behind the house and into the woods on the other side of the creek. Kiki, being an elderly dog, trotted behind them and then sat down until she figured she had been gone long enough to impress me and then returned home.

In the meantime, Buffy and Gunner could be seen racing through the woods and then back across and to the field to the West of the house - where I have seen coyotes before. They were gone for at least 30 minutes before they returned.

This happened between 4 and 6 pm - prime coyote attack time, in our experience. I am going to have to start keeping watch with rifle in hand during those hours. Last autumn, John shot several coyotes during that same time period - as they started up the hill toward the fowl.

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Barnyard Fowl category.

Angora Rabbits is the previous category.

Castle Argghhh!!! Creations is the next category.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Barnyard Fowl category.

Angora Rabbits is the previous category.

Castle Argghhh!!! Creations is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


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