You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

56-feb-25-ears

The dogs’ favorite time of day is Pig Ear Time – their own personal happy hour.  They used to each get a whole one, then David realized they enjoyed them just as much if he cut one in half and gave them each half.   So this is easier on our budget, especially since the price went up a chunk.

Wish I had thought to take a picture of Sadie after she and Phoebe came in from digging in the sand somewhere.  She had ice balls that were really sand balls clinging to her fur in big shooter marble-sized clumps.  As they melted, she left splats all over.   Fortunately, she is well-behaved and was willing to lie on a towel as she melted.  But those sandy ice balls were something.

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55-feb-24-sunset

Cabin fever is setting in.  It’s freaking COLD outside, plus snowy/icy/icky and I don’t want to go out.  However, there’s only so much to photograph inside because my house is small.  The sunset was pretty last night, though… Same big tree from the storm pic the other day.

54-feb-23-potpie

This is Potpie, my Golden Sebright  rooster.  He is second-in-command.  I’m thinking of a girlie for him, if I can find one.  They have such pretty feathers, the Sebrights.  They are very tiny.  Potpie probably weighs less than 2 lbs.  His girlie would weigh less.  The Sebrights come in gold and silver.  The silver ones are white with the black edges.  Also quite lovely.

53-feb-22-storm

Ooh, we had us a storm.  This is looking out back.  The big tree there is next to the Art Chalet.

Stupid groundhog…

52-feb-21-icicles

Icicles come and go.  I almost always hit my head a few times because they are in my personal blind spot, which is just above my forehead.  I can’t tell you how many times I whack my head on the chicken coop gate because of that blind spot.

Big Mama Buff being Broody

Big Mama Buff being Broody

The question was raised as to why I’d buy eggs to put under a hen instead of an incubator.   Nature is best.  I wanted other breeds of chickens than my Buff Orpingtons (much as I love them).  I chose to put them under a hen who was already broody because mama hens are ever so much better than an incubator.  This way I don’t have to raise the chicks.  Any chicks that hatch will be raised by mama and will also be accepted by the flock of existing chickens.  Pecking order is a HUGE thing among the chickens and if I brought in other breeds of chicks, I’d have to raise them separately until they were big enough to introduce to the flock, then spend days with them near each other until they were somewhat accepted.  There would always be some jostling for position.  Also, those Buffs seem to be rather unaccepting of other breeds of chickens when they’re brought in.  Maggie, the little black bantam is such a bitch she has established a place for herself.  But others get pecked at a lot.  I’m hoping that if they raise the chicks, they’ll be more accepting.

Later, I plan to find some Blue Orpington eggs to hatch.  But I’m waiting for spring for that.  I only got these eggs now because I had two hens go broody and they weren’t laying eggs, weren’t going to be laying eggs (thus cutting down my production), so I figured I’d put them to work hatching.

It is done quite often.  The Backyard Chicken forum has a number of threads about using broody hens as incubators.  It’s a fascinating world, this world of chicken raising.

We all can’t wait for spring and grass and free ranging.

51-feb-20-salt

My new sea salt is pink!  It’s tasty.  I have it in a little tin so I can pinch some out like they do on all the cooking shows.  Whee!!!

50-feb-19-eggs

My long-awaited hatching eggs.  They were mailed a week ago but spent the week in Texas.  Yesterday they jumped on a plane and by noon today were with me.  The system is able to work, but the waiting a week before getting it here was annoying.

The marks are not cracks, but pencil marks so I know these are the eggs I put under the hen.  Sometimes other hens will decide if all those other eggs are there, it must be a great place to lay an egg and might add to the group.  The carton in front and half the other will be put under the Buff Orpington hen who has been sitting broody for a week and a half.   I’ll put the other half dozen eggs with my bantam hen (a black cochin).  She’s already sitting on three Buff Orpington eggs.  If I put more eggs under her and left them, they wouldn’t hatch because once the Buff eggs do, she’ll be done.  However, by then I’ll have an idea of what’s going on under Mama Buff (for I will candle the eggs to see if there’s growth, and what a cool picture that will be if so) and can remove any eggs that aren’t viable and replace with the ones from under the bantam.  I have been thinking about this a lot.  The post office gave me a lot of time to think!

I surely hope those green eggs are all hens!  And that the dark brown in the back is from a Marans hen (and also ends up being a hen).   This is what I’d like my egg cartons to look like when I offer them for sale.  I just think it looks so very pretty.

If all goes well, I’ll have chicks in 21 days or so!

49-feb-18-chickadee

When the chickadees are feeding, they let me get quite close.  I have a theory that they lead their little lives so very fast (ever watched one grooming?) that they don’t really notice us unless we move pretty quickly.   So if I set up near the feeder, I can stand quietly and take lots of pictures.  The red-breasted nuthatches are similar.   I have been able to have chickadees feed from my hand – I put out a handfull of seed next to the feeder, and a couple landed on my hand long enough to grab a seed.  Oh how I grinned!

48-feb-17-phoebe

Phoebe is a dog who actually uses pillows.  She likes to lie on them but just as often will rest just her head.  She has also been seen using her stuffed toys as pillows.