chickens in a bag

Of soil.

I bought peat moss, for the first time in years, because it’s a horrible unsustainable thing, since the potting soil I was buying is about 90% peat moss anyway, so it was still a fail.  

Much cheaper, and it doesn’t have the little white things that the birds pick at and sometimes eat.

There are two halves, both being thoroughly enjoyed.

What?

The greenhouse and the baths are largely vacant, because it’s a thaw day, and everyone is outside.

The netting was all down, but there was just enough overhead clearance for chickens.  I tied it all back up for them.

This little one is a little bit smug about being up on the high perch, far above the other chickens.

unseasonal chicks

Who has chicks in winter?  Ursa Minor does.

Ursa’s got four little chicks (living).  Two were already dead.  The future is not bright for chicks hatched at the beginning of winter.  But I’ll do my best to help her.

One piece of cardboard and she’s got a student apartment now.  That’ll be enough space for a few days, as they’ll spend most of their time under her.

I moved her back from the kitchen so the chicks would tumble out so I could get some pictures.

Turns out the chicks were super into some more food.

The other four crazy broody hens (down from six crazies – turns out it IS contagious) are busy playing egg burgle bingo, trying to steal eggs from each other.  We’ll see if any of them also successfully hatch.

Chill and chilly

Melting ice for water.  It’s so pretty.  It looks like thick glass.

It’s a goldfinch convention.  They are usually here with the grosbeaks, but the grosbeaks are late today and the goldfinches have the place to themselves, for a bit.

Cheeks is having a good day.  It’s warm in a sunbeam on a lap and her head is high.  She’s wearing a festive holiday scarf.

She can see herself (and me) in the mirror of my computer screen, which is hilarious.  Do the think the scarf is “me”?

guinea lift

I can’t believe this just happened.  I was closing up the birdies’ coops in the almost completely dark, and there was one guinea that wasn’t up on the perch.  It’s tough; their perches swing, and they fall off, or knock each other off, but they are usually all back on by nightfall.

He was sitting on the edge of the chickery slash confinement module.  I was already crouched beside him to shut the big coop, so I reached out, like, here, I’ll help you up (haha).  He let me touch him!  Not a hint of a flinch.  They’re dopey at night, but we could still see each other. 

I started prying his little toes off of the edge to take his feet in my hand.  Once he was standing on my hand instead of the wooden edge, I stood up with him.  He settled right down on my hand, squeezing my fingers with his feet like he was ready to stay. One foot was colder than the other.

It was Flash, one with the white wingtip feathers.  I raised him up to the perch, but since he was not at all motivated to jump from my hand to the perch, he did not (Oh, I don’t mind staying on the heated perch), and I’m not tall enough to reach their pole. 

I had to stand on a hay bale and stretch over, and then he shuffled his feet from my hand to the perch.  Adorably, the next bird over on the perch then side shuffled over to cuddle, which was friendly:)

Best day ever

The girls have found their dirt bath.  It’s bean awfully quiet in the GH.

I came in and everywhere, filthy chickens.  Chickens walking around with dirt all over their backs, that had clearly just got out of the pool, and of course, a half dozen chickens in the pool.

The Silkies have already emptied out one of their baths (seats four). 

Even Chris is in there, the big rooster.

There’s Jacket girl, pecking snow off my boots.  She’s got her jacket perfectly in place, but she’s also full of dirt.  I think it’s interesting that she grooms her jacket as though it’s a part of her.

The guineas have also found their new long perches.  No problem.

New things! New things! – Greenhouse Rearrangement

 I got some more work done in the greenhouse.  Specifically, I untied all the strings crossing the top third, that suspend tomatoes in the summer. 

You can just see the strings in this pic.  So I’m taking them down and crochet looping them  up to decommission them until next year.  The guineas will be able to fly around in the upper third of the GH again.

This festooning makes sense to me.

Then the irrigation came out, and the pool went in, and coops were shifted – oh my!  When HW was yanking out the irrigation tape, he exposed a nestful of a family of shrews or voles that ran scurrying, and the chickens leapt into the air and screamed like little girls!  Which made the whole room erupt, and they talked about it for quite a while.

The Silkies noticed immediately that their dust bath was refilled:)  by immediately I mean seconds.  About ten.

Yep, that’s four Silkies going to town in there.

Cleopatra wants in there SO bad.  So bad that I was able to catch her, the notorious escape artist, and take her jacket off- she’s all regrown.

Ketchup’s elbowing in there

Everyone wants into that dust bath.  So much so that there was an invasion from outside:

Ahhhh, finally got that coat off!

A half dozen chickens that don’t belong hopped into Silkieland to use their fridge-drawer baths (how rude), all the while ignoring that they have a new grand bath of their own:

It’s garnering mild interest
Nosey, of course.

There was so much upheaval – wood chips and hay and coop movement and the addition of baths and overturning of turf, that the roosters were bleating about “New things! New things!” for about 20 minutes straight.  Other than that it was very, very quiet.  All must be investigated.

I’m gonna stand on that.

This little adventure chicken got in on the action when I went to hang some long poles for perches at the opposite end of the GH from where the guineas now roost.  First, I rested it on the coop.

Whitey got aboard.  More impressively, stayed on and rode the pole as I tied up the opposite end at 6’ish, then came to the coop, raised that end and tied that up. 

Whoa – whoa!   (It swings)

  What are you gonna do now, little bird? 

That should keep them entertained for a couple days.

cheeks and the baked goods

Cheeks having some lap time, and a foot bath.
She likes having her neck stroked
zzzzzz…

All very peaceful, until a croissant comes out.  First it was pie crust, similarly discovered by accident – I was eating it within her reach, and she stabbed out her beak- I’ll have some of that!

Multigrain croissant has proven to be such a huge and lasting hit, that I’m like Ok, eat some more of your grains, and then you can have croissant.  She’s like I’ll wait.  I can carry a box of them through the room, and her little head periscopes out of her banana box, following me. 

She gets a wicked glint in her eye when the croissant comes out, and she attacks! I used to break up beak sized pieces for her, but she prefers to rip her own bits off of the source, getting her whole body involved.

Why does she like it so much?

Attack!

We don’t know, but at least she’s got an appetite.

magical christmassy snow

There was an unexpected veil of snow settled on everything yesterday (I wasn’t expecting it).

It was warm, too, and that kind of snow that falls in huge, feathery flakes gets heavy.  Awful to drive in.  It’s very hard on my bird protection

Surprise, no birds are outside!  I have to untether the netting when it snows like this and drop it down inside the fence.  I’ve learned to tie quick release knots, so it’s not much slower than walking around the garden.  Then I hoist it back up when it melts.

A very small rabbit has been passing the deck. Recently; the snow is already filling its tracks.   That’s nice.  There’s one large rabbit around, but it’s nice to know there’s a new generation.

The blue jays have resorted to the suet.  I can tell they don’t like it that it spins around when they get on.  The birds have a bit of a harder time in the “deep” (deep for them) snow.  The grosbeaks are still here in huge numbers, in the morning. 

Oh great, it’s time to move blog platforms again

I’ve been blogging here at WordPress for nine and half years, and I was perfectly delighted with it for eight and a half.  I’ve never had so many problems as I did this year.  Coincidentally, this year is also the first time I’ve paid for the top tier account, for extra storage (nine years of images, yo), and to keep my blog free of annoying ads. 

To hell with that.  It’s usually easier to just stick with what you know than do time consuming research and transition, but I’m not thrilled about paying for the suck.  I switched from Blogger in the oughts, it’s time to move again, although there’s some time before my subscription renews.  WordPress fail.  Research ahead. 

In the meantime, chickens.

Puffling is storking.  The Pufflings are laying eggs – green ones!  They are blue egg layers crossed with brown egg layers, and their eggs are almost olive.  I inadvertently created bearded olive eggers.

The Brahmas are giant bird pillows.  So laid back.

Ave MARIAAAAA!

Until they’re not.  JK.  She’s yawning.


Guinea falling asleep.
Am not!

Happy about living naturally