Category Archives: Family + Friends + Animals

More warm days

Almost bedtime. Philippe PetitPuffcheeks demonstrating the hot weather “airplane stance” to perfection.  Ailerons out for cooling breezes.It’s possible I have an olive-sided flycatcher visiting (need positive ID).  It’s a species at risk in NS, and it seemed to be shopping for snacks off the side of our house, possibly wasps.  It was making repeat visits and swooping at the corner of the house.

Remember that “wild” rabbit?  It did not quite allow me to get a picture, but it was taking a dirt bath, writhing around like a chicken, in the sand pile outside our door last evening.  Very undignified.

Full mudface

Finally some rain!    The pigs, who are usually muddy to the eyes, are today muddy to the ears.  They look funny, with their eyes cleanish in the full muddy cones of their faces.By afternoon they had gleefully mudded the whole rest of their bodies until they had single cleanish strips only along their spines.One of the pigs has a predilection for bringing one or more of their rubber bowls into their house.  Sometimes all three are in there, sometimes stacked.   I’ve read that pigs use their bowls as toys if you leave them in their pen after dinner, but these are the first pigs to have played with their bowls.  Here one pig has just dragged one bowl out from under the other pig, and dumped some of it.  Every morning they play food bowl duck duck goose.   They start all with their own bowl, then one inevitably goes to the next pig. You got something better in there?  The first pig exits, and instead of going to the vacant bowl, goes to the next pig’s bowl. What are you eating?  Same thing?  I think I’ll try yours.  That pig goes to the empty bowl and…they do it all over again, every few mouthfuls.

Porch rabbit

Just when I thought the “wild” rabbits couldn’t get any tamer, I took these through the window of the front door, a whole 7 feet away.I had had some bread crusts piled on the deck to bring the chickens, and this little bunny wasted no time hoovering up the crumbs.There’s an even smaller baby bunny around that has the same white forehead spot.  Unfortunately, I had just set down my camera, when the rabbit stretched out its nose to touch/smell my starts in the pot.  Mmmm, lavender.

The rabbits and chipmunks have moved right in to our circle, staying as close as they dare for their protection (mostly).  Partly, it’s for the snacks.

Summertime cuteness overload II

Apples and Sprout have a totally adorable thing going on.  They’re so attached.  I hope it lasts into Sprout’s adulthood.Also, Apples has made an astonishing and unexpected total integration into general population. She’s turned out to be a big Silkie hen, the opposite of what made her a house chicken in the first place.  She’s still extremely relaxed and mild, and rides my arm without hesitation, reasons why I thought she’d be attacked by the outside chickens.She’s always been into hay bales.

Sprout was starting to spend more time out of the chickery than in, just orbiting Apples like a satellite, and I saw Apples get frustrated pacing at the wall, so I just lifted it up and out she strolled.  I monitored to be able to interrupt any fracas.  She promptly fought, actually fought the ranking Silkie rooster, who was probably so surprised at being challenged by a girl he threw the fight, and that was that.  She’s got some kind of agreement with Philippe the big rooster now; she’s under his protection.She’s even becoming a little more tolerant of Sprout’s three siblings, the orphans.  Sprout is spending more time with them too;  that’s nice.There’s the Family in the background, hovering.  Philippe the rooster, Cheeks,  Puffcheeks, Galahad the Guinea, and two layer hens (aka “those hens that are always glued to the rooster”) make up the Family.  Always together.My phone rang.Ok, let’s all groom at once! There’s the orphans.  Speckles the Silkie cross and … I have a lot of names now and many of them are tentatively reserved, but if they’re not gender neutral names, they aren’t firmly assigned yet because I don’t know yet who’s roos.  Also it takes some time – names don’t just get applied, they have to settle on the bird.  Like, is this right for you?Trying out  neighboring haybales.Like Big Bird, only, not big at all. We can haybale too. Try out the other one!Perchick’s chicks sometimes hang out together, but usually they’re scattered far and wide.  I can’t get over how confident and independent these little birds are.  Many times more so than Sprout and the orphans, who are much older than them.  I’ve even seen them peck the older chicks, and they have to reach up to do it.  They’re just out in the weedy wild on solo missions most of the time. 

Summertime cuteness overload

I rebaited the trap, in case there’s a second raccoon, and the hens really, really, want that egg.Ok, we gotta work the problem!

The little silver chick is the cutest thing ever.  I wonder what s/he will turn out to be.Their colouring is uncannily similar to their mom’s.Only, she’s not their real mom.  This one was hatched out of a full-sized egg, so there’s no direct genetic connection to this mom.  Maybe she’s really the aunt, though (?). Whoa!  What is that!?

There’s a red bug, walking, on the wood juuust on the other side of that mesh…Long neck:)The bug has walked to the right, and its progress is being closely followed.Too bad it’s not Easter.  Look at this.

Oh hey. Didn’t see ya there.

This brazen baby bunny has been visiting the chicken snack bar, and the chickens don’t blink at her. Here comes Perchick, spending some time with her chicks for a change. Adorable!!

The annual raccoon

Every year around this time, a raccoon wanders in and gets a little too comfortable.  I know, because I see someone’s been washing their dirty hands in the water dishes, and I have to get the trap.

The chickens weren’t quite as alarmed and fascinated as I expected, but the guinea was aghast.  He hopped back into the greenhouse to alert me, shouting.  Threat!!!  Threat!!!  Hey!  You seem to be ignoring that there’s a RACCOON out here!  He and Puffcheeks are the only birds that attempt to communicate with me, looking me in the eyes and vocalizing, like they really mean to tell me something, and giving me the benefit of the doubt that I might be capable of understanding.  The barred rocks were the most concerned, looking at it, looking at each other.

Condiments

This is Ketchup and Mayo and their Mom.  Every day they hop up on the edges on Silkietown for post-breakfast perching hour.  In fact, they come and go all day.  These are the year’s first chicks, and they are now being taught to go in the coop with the big chickens at night.  I fish them out of the Silkie coop and stuff them in the big coop, and they take it well, but in the morning, they fly home for breakfast and perching hang time with Mom.I was inspired by “Mustardseed”, and thought, oh, those two are perfect, red, and well…more white than yellow, but they can be Ketchup and Mustard.  I was pointing them out to HW and he said “Wait, who’s Mustard?  (scoffs) No way!!! That’s Mayonnaise!”I couldn’t argue.   She’s very white.  But condiments are a very rich line of potential names.  There will be a whole fridge door of chickens.


Another Mom-sitter

This is Pepper

Pepper is “the black one” of Perchick’s chicks, but is turning out to be a barred rock!

I got things to do!

At least, part barred rock.  There is a suspect feather or two on his/her feet, and he/she’s on the small side, so she could be a Silkie cross.   I don’t know what I’m going to get.  Super cute, though!

Places to be!

Perchick has quit

She’s done being a mother.  It was very abrupt.

She’s over here, the chicks are over there…well they’re just all over, now.  Often in this pine tree.They are scattered, seemingly not too attached to being with each other, either, let alone Mom. It makes them really hard to count, now, to check on them, now they are roaming solo.

They’re so confident!  So small still, but they think they’re big chickens.  Even in the coop at night, they’re all scattered around, with their own little spot claimed.  They’re really done with Mom, and she’s done with them. It gave me a heart attack at first, I thought she’d been taken, but then she was safely found under a pine tree, bathing, having adult time.Looks good in there!Meetup!  Meetup?  By the door in two!Perchick was  on a long solo date with Philippe today, like a poly wife that’s getting her “husband alone time”.  They were out together in the pig field, oddly far away from the other chickens.