One of Foxy’s (the oldest of the small chicks) chicks has a feather issue today. This sometimes happens, more often to the Silkies though. Can you spot it? What?It has little outrigger feathers growing sticking straight out from its shoulders.It’s so funny. It’s like only two feathers are committed to flying. They’ll be gone in a couple days.Guineas doing their guinea thing. They’re growing so fast.Galahad has a feather stuck on his face. A keet is about to notice and pluck it off for him. It’s the most beautiful time of year. Cool enough to want a sweater in the morning, no bugs, beautiful light, endless sunny days. This is the best time to work (there sure is enough of that).Feisty’s chicks have discovered perching (look next to the trunk for the third pair of legs). Feisty’s not into it, but of course, these chicks are biologically from clan Perchick or Puffcheeks, so they can’t be stopped from climbing trees. She’s such a good mom, but then, the fiercely protective hens usually are.
Chocolate’s out of the chickery now too.This is great. All the small chicks with moms are at large, meaning I don’t have to constantly monitor do they have shade, do they have water? Their moms take care of that now (lots of water options). Soon enough there will be another round of chicks hatching.She’s diving right into the dirt bath. There’s two popular spots at the moment, an old pig wallow, and this one under the corner of the hen rain tent, which is a bit of a sauna in the sunshine. The dirt she’s spraying is sticking to the condensation on the roof.Guineas when they’re not aware they’re being watched.
Oh, last night! I went to open the door for guinea bedtime, and I didn’t see them so I hollered Galahad’s name. I saw him pop out of the woods by the pig fence, quite far away, periscoping. I’m like “Hello! Over here! Yoohoo, I’m here to open the door”, waving, like over a crowd at an airport.
In the moment, this sort of thing – waving at and calling a bird – feels rather silly.
Galahad launched into the air, as did all the keets behind him, and flew in to me. A little cloud of keets inbound. They fluttered down to land at the coop and I stood back for them to scamper through the door of the greenhouse for bedtime. Thanks, human. This bird is incredible. Cotton’s chicks exploring out of the box.Big pathway pileup.
Perchick became the most recent “wildlife” to hop in the open door of the house, casually jumping up on the doorstep and poking through the screen door to look at me. Hey. So, yeah. Got any snacks? I was peeling peaches and didn’t get up. She rummaged through a basket by the door, ignoring my remonstrations, and then casually left. No snacks. Chickens haven’t strolled into the house that I know of since the episode with the dried beans last year (maybe they do it all the time when I’m not here).The young teens (the Famous Five/Pufflings) and the tweens have formed an alliance to mount an assault on the bird feeder (there’s nothing in it). Recon complete, moving in.. . ckkk… ground support in place … ckkk… on final approach. .. ckk ….
Staredown!The little roosters are beefin’ again.Until one of their sisters runs up, then they’re suddenly and unconvincingly casual. Pepper’s found a new perch. She’s not going to miss any water fountain gossip. Cream Puff jumped up in the walnut tree for some alone time. Way up in the tree. Fluffing herself up, walking back and forth on the branch. Higher than chickens normally go.
Chris got nervous. She came down in her own time, just when he started to look like he’d go up after her.
And what the heck is this??! It’s huge, nearly two inches.
I missed my calling as chicken seamstress.
I have a couple hens who would be really into that tutu (I’m thinking of you, Cheeks). I believe hens have enough self-awareness to have a sense of pride in appearance, and it would feel like an extra nice tail. I remember clothing changing the demeanor and status of Jean Jacket.
I could use a couple chicken saddles, too, for Cheeks and Puffcheeks, who are both getting ragged from being Philippe’s favorites (he likes his ladies bearded). It’s not like they run from from him, though; they are both constantly at his side, from day one, so I didn’t think there was anything I could do for them but perhaps a protective mantle of some kind… that I’ve been designing in my mind…but of course, it’s already been done, and done big.
Enjoy the chicken accoutrements story:)
For anyone who has the Happy Harvest 2018 Chicken Calendar (August is a good month:), that’s a little Philippe Petit on the right! He was just a “young rooster” without a name then.
All the things I didn’t take pictures of today:
Moving the piggies into some lush new jungle land. I paid for it in bug bites, but they’re piggy pleased.
Chris and Cream Puff canoodling. They really are always together.
Two new chicks, little Silkie chicks.
Two new broodies, and wooo Nelly, one of them is vicious! This one was broody without eggs. I wasn’t sure she was broody because she was sitting, but not on eggs, and she didn’t know what to do with herself because she didn’t have eggs, so she was moving around. But I experimentally put her in a covered wagon with eggs, and she is definitely broody, and taking no chances at losing her big chance, now she has eggs! She attacks! She’s a biter, not a pecker, and it really pinches.
Cleaning out the box of death (probably best not pictured) and revamping it. Now there are no holes in the lid – that was a design flaw. Flies in ≥ grubs out.
Preventing a mass red wiggler escape. I had to extract some castings, because WOW I have a thriving population of worms, and I think they may have been feeling crowded. Amazing! I’m going to sell some next. Who needs a worm compost starter worm pack? But sifting through castings and wet shredded paper compost doesn’t jive well with using a camera.
The little barred rock/Silkie (“Barred Rock with a hairdo”) getting trapped inside the greenhouse adjunct garden.
The four little chicks who got stranded under the wrong pine tree when they followed a couple teenagers too far from their Mom. They needed assistance to find their way back. Them: There she is! Mom! Here we are! Mom: Ah crap. I was enjoying that break.
Sounds like a big day, and it was, bigger than my usual lately, but not what I’m still optimistically calling my “normal”, even as that normal retreats into the past. I’m still “battling” Lyme disease (First world lucky, I pop a pill twice daily – that’s not even a skirmish), and the Lyme, or the prolonged use of Lyme meds, is currently manifesting like a mild flu with narcolepsy, and I am at half productivity, at best. Any day I don’t slip further behind is a BIG win.
I did get some pictures just before bedtime. These little rascals all crowded up in the chicken door-within-a-door. They like to pose in the doorway every evening, just not usually all at once. There are a couple leghorn blends! Awesome! Sometimes they look a bit leggy, with the super erect tails.I put rings around the peppers. What I should have done is put tomato cages around them before they grew up, but now it’s too late, and I had sticker shock at buying 35 tomato cages in one go (now I wish I had). Otherwise, the weight of the developing peppers makes the branches fall outward and snap off, because the stems aren’t terribly strong without a breeze in the GH. In lieu of tomato cages, I put a circlet of baling wire around each plant, strung up to the tomato suspension guylines. Better than nothing.Galahad is like Excuse me, you haven’t noticed, she’s not supposed to be in here! Apples and Sprout, being their adorable selves. Sprout spends more time with her siblings now, but remains very loyal to stepmommy.Chris atop the honeymoon coop. Needs reroofing. Oh, and today there was a walnut in this coop. What the heck? A stand-in egg? Did a chipmunk move it in? The walnuts are starting to drop.What the heck is Cleopatra doing way up in the walnut tree at bedtime?!
The rooster is making himself comfortable in the food tray. I’m just gonna lay down right here. The three pine trees I pruned up are seeing the use I imagined. Ursa and her chicks are under this one, and the teens have decamped from Pine Tree One (leaving that one to the grownups) to their own clubhouse tree, where they are cuddling (too much!). All the trees now have established dust baths, too. There’s a new addition! One teeny tiny little silver chick. I dreamed another chick hatched last night, and I remembered dreaming it, and then it turned out to be true!
Daisy was up off her three unhatched eggs yesterday, after giving them two extra days. She shoved them out of her box and ignored them. When she went to bed, though, I tucked the eggs back under her for the night, just in case.
Good thing! This little baby is adorable! The first silver chick ever. Maybe one of Annie Smith Peck’s.Am I doing it right?
This little tiny chick is half the size of its siblings just two days older, and it is having a rough go. It can’t stand up on its legs, isn’t very good at moving around, can barely stay right side up, and keeps getting run over by the siblings. It just wants to spend its first day alive tucked under Mom, but Mom already has active toddlers to take care of, and she’s hard to keep up with.
She’s doing her best. Scratch scratch, eat, eat, sit on the baby. It made it through its first day, so I think it will make it. Going to be the slow learner for weeks, though, before those two days cease to matter.
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.
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.
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!!
(David Attenborough voice)
After the new enclosure has been prepared for these lucky piglets, the fence is parted, allowing access to the abundant unspoiled greenery this species thrives upon.But how long will it take them to discover their new freedom?
Their attendant retrieves the food bowls they are familiar with and places them in plain view just beyond the fence opening, filling them with fresh food.The young pigs observe these proceedings with interest, but from a distance. They are agitated by the presence of the human, and grunt with suspicion.
As the human withdraws, curiosity and hunger overcome their trepidation, and one pig tentatively leads the way over the threshold! Its sibling, still visibly anxious, follows soon after. To the boldest pig goes the spoils!