Thursday, May 30, 2013

Life lessons

When you're a very little chick it's good to have a massive mama at your back.



It was difficult to get a good viewing angle, so please excuse the fence.

Today's lessons included scratching, pecking, and pulling grass. When another hen got too close, Duchess puffed up and held her wings out half-opened in a very intimidating manner. :)

I'm happy to report that all the chicks are well and growing.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A day in the life

Sometimes I get confused on which holiday is in the spring: memorial day or labor day. That's because either way I end up working on that day. Not paid work, just at home things on the to-do list. This morning I woke early and got a head start on some inside items. I had thawed zucchini last night and was ready to make a batch of scrumptious bread. Once that was in the oven I started a chicken in the slow cooker. Then, back to bed until the timer sounded and I had to take the loaves out.

Because we received another 0.8" of rain (boo hoo!)last night the garden is still off limits. Next big project on the list: expanding the chicken pen. With the new chicks in the coop, I really wanted to give the adults space to roam and enjoy. While I moved fencing panels (to keep dogs out) my son worked on replacing the tire on the log splitter so we could shift it out of the new pen area. Unfortunately, the seal on the other tire failed as well so we had to put a temporary fence around it until I can pick up another tire and get it moved out. It was hard work because the panels had to be lined with chicken wire to keep the hens in and cats (and the neighbor's tiny dog) out. Finally finished and a chance to observe the explorers. You can see that I left this section unmowed so they would have the lush grass.

 


And to share the joy; here is Duchess, proud mum of thirteen!




She is doing a fine job and I am very pleased that she was willing to take on the entire brood, especially considering their advanced ages. I was a little worried that others might interfere or cause problems, but so far nobody is willing to mess with her!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Adoptions!

One of our older hens has been broody for about a week so on the off chance I stuck one of our week-old chicks under her last night to see what she would do. Success! She has adopted it and they've bonded nicely. We just took the other dozen out and shoved them under her. She pecked at me a lot but not the chicks so hopefully this will be a success all around. I'll check in the morning to make sure they're all sheltering well and keep the inside pen set up just in case. Another thing I need to do tomorrow is set up a bit of fencing to keep the other hens out of her zone (they are still wanting to lay where she is) and keep waterers and feeders there for her new family.

Otherwise, it was a disappointing day of rain and wind and twenty degrees cooler than forecast. Nothing accomplished.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sunshine!


The photo isn't the best, but I'm tickled to have a day of sunshine after so many rainy days and to see the finches visiting my feeder.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New arrivals

All sorts of spring going on here this weekend!



Friday the hatching began...proof that Frodo is still taking care of the hens. Thirteen little balls of fluff.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Winter. Then, Spring. Now, Summer.

All in the space of a few days! One night over the weekend it dropped below freezing and yesterday was in the 90s. Madness!

Recently, I was sitting on the deck absorbing some natural vitamin D when I looked around and suddenly NEEDED flowers. Partly due to the very late spring holding back the trees and bushes from leafing out; everything looked so barren. I went to town and bought loads of annuals and have been filling pots and planters ever since. Since I had kale sitting around, I tucked that into a few of the planters also.


This is promising: the white lilac next to the deck is budding. Last year the lilacs were too traumatized by the drought to flower. Late is much better than never!


 The rhubarb looks promising:


And this is a view full of potential! The only things planted so far are potatoes.



This is the best shot I could get of this little guy. It was just one of six I saw while wandering around the back yard with my camera. I hereby declare this the year of the snake.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just chickens








Today's cheerfulness is called due to rain. Thus I'm pulling up pictures taken a week and a half ago when I took a long weekend and cleaned out the coop. Astrid and Sherlock are moulting but still enjoying scratching around outside.