Rss

Archives for : June2015

{Photo of the Day} 29.06.2015

image

image

image

image

image

Sparta has decided that she shall put up with no shit from any dog anymore. I feel like I might regret naming her “Sparta”.

Today, I got to figure out how to use the Ōlloclip Clip 4-in-1 lens my parents gave me for my birthday. It consists of a wide angle, a fisheye & 2 different levels of macro. The above is using the wide angle (left is with the lens on my iPhone, right is without it).

This is the fisheye lens. There’s something in this lens that makes black spots that shouldn’t be that. I’m hoping Ōllo will get back to my question on this soon & if that black blob isn’t supposed to be there that they’ll give me a new lens.

These are the macro shots. I’m still having issues figuring those lenses out – how close I need to get the camera to the thing to get a good photograph.

I took today off from work since it was my birthday, but for the most part I didn’t mess with the flocks. I wanted Mercury to just rest. I did let everyone out for their evening wander to keep up with the routine of letting the birds get into the habit of putting themselves up for the night. The Normandy Flock caught on to this concept faster than the Ithakē Flock. I suspect this is because they’re young & this is all they know. The Ithakē Flock was older & had to be moved a lot during the winter. Good news is that I can leave the breezeway sliding door open & there’s zero fighting between the flocks. In fact, this evening, Odysseus avoided acts of aggression towards Memnoch’s advances on the hens. He actually rounded his hens up & walked them away from Memnoch in one instance. Progress, slow but happening.

image

image

I have a feeling the Sparta may take over for Odysseus as the face of this blog. She loves to be in pictures.

{Flock Update} Mercury’s Recovery

image

Mercury made it through the night & all day. She seems to be sore & probably is bruised up a bit, but she’s jumping up & down out of the people door of the Big House & running. She’s not as energetic as she was, but again I would expect that. The good thing is that she’s not listless & separating herself from her flock. Memnoch stayed pretty close to her every time they all got to free range & the 3 Amigas still treat her as the top of the Normandy Flock pecking order. I still couldn’t find any wounds & her wings didn’t look broken. She did lose some feathers.

As it stands, she’s okay, I found a bird vet to take her to in case things suddenly change & this was as good as my birthday was going to get today.

Here are 2 fortunes I got when finishing a couple games of Mahjong last night since I couldn’t sleep from worry:

image

image

I found this to be very good advice for this situation.

{Photo of the Day} 28.06.2015

image

image

image

image

After weeks of severe storms just missing our area, we finally had one park itself directly over our house & dump a ton of hail & rain.

image

image

image

image

image

image

Everything got flooded & wrecked. The pen is a wet mess again, right after I had just cleaned it out yesterday. Every food dispenser except the one in the Big House with the Normandy Flock got flooded & all the food ended up being the consistency of oatmeal. It was gross & wasteful. Even the barn got flooded & looked like a river had run through it. My straw hay bales were somehow untouched.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

The Normandy Flock didn’t much feel like free ranging while I cleaned things up the best I could. After what happened with Mercury (see the latest Flock Update), I couldn’t blame them. They hopped out of the Big House for a few minutes & then hopped back in.

image

{Flock Updates} Mercury’s Emergency

image

This evening, we were hit very hard & suddenly by a hail producing thunderstorm. It was basically right on top of our house. I had gotten all of the Normandy Flock into the Big House except Mercury by the time it started hailing. As I was stepping out of their pen area, Zelda rushed me & scared Mercury out of my hands. I’m still handicapped in the legs, running isn’t something I’ve done since about this time last year. I tried to run after them. I was unsuccessful. Zelda had Mercury in her mouth & I thought I was watching history repeat itself.

By sear chance, Mercury is still alive & shows no outward signs of injury; however, that doesn’t mean she’s not injured internally. After the storm passed, I went out to assess the damage & check on her. She was able to hop out of & back into the Big House from the outside door not the breezeway with the ramp. She & Memnoch walked around a little bit, but she hopped back in after Odysseus ran Memnoch off. She was panting a lot, it reminded me of a dog in pain kind of panting. She wasn’t able to make it to her roosting spot when I left them all for the night.

She settled on the window roost & Memnoch settled in next to her.

image

Around 9PM, both were in their usual roosting spots on the highest roost. About 30mins ago, they were still in the same spot. I feel like this is a good sign, but I’m still apprehensive about her future. If she makes it through the night, I’ll be taking her to a vet that handles birds to make sure she isn’t suffering from broken bones or organ damage. My brother will be paying that bill. I’ll be making him pay that bill.

Happy birthday to me.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

{Photo of the Day} 27.06.2015

image

image

Today, I got the entire pen & the house cleaned out in my continued attempt to stamp out the mites. It took less time than I thought it would, but it got cleaned out, DE was added to their dust bathing areas & Dookashi was layered under the wood chips in the house in the pen & the Big House. The next step is to get 3 5 gallon buckets & get both flocks dipped.

image

image

image

image

image

image

Sparta is notoriously difficult to get pictures of. Every time I get her in focus, she flies up onto the edge of my iPhone. She loves to fly & hop onto things.

image

Especially me, it seems. She was super into my glasses (first time I’ve woren them around them).

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

I haven’t noticed any big changes with the Amigas lately, other than Nyx’s changing feather colour. Lila still doesn’t have much red & Sparta is still very tiny. Nyx does seem to get singled out more by Odysseus than the other 2. I’m wondering if it has to do with her being so light in colour compared to the other 9 or if it has to do with her moving a bit slower than the other 9 because of their booted feet. I’m not sure, but the good news (?) is that Odysseus is tagging them all with a good peck every so often to let them know who is in charge.

image

image

image

image

Memnoch, because he is his father’s son, keeps losing that memo his Pa keeps giving him. He’s extremely persistent about trying to mate with the Ithakē Flock hens. He’s got zero game & he’s very rough on them. Luckily & fingers crossed, there still hasn’t been any fighting between father & son. Memnoch tries his luck, Odysseus puffs out & charges him & he runs off to find Mercury.

image

image

image

image

image

image

I can’t get the Ithakē Flock to sleep in the Big House yet, but the Normandy Flock is getting in the habit of going up for the night through the breezeway. Sometimes, I’m not quick enough & they try to sneak back out, but for the most part they get in their favourite spots for the night right away.

image

image

Tonight, they had a few issues going to up for the night. The 3 Amigas were in first & snaked The Twins’ spots right out from under them. It was hilarious to watch Memnoch & Mercury kind of just stand there & stare & the Amigas all dumbstruck that these tiny usurpers had taken their spots. They tried everything short of pecking at the to get Lila, Nyx & Sparta out of the way. Nyx & Sparta got the chicken equivalent of an elbow, but Lila stood her ground. I crawled in to move her out of the way so everyone could settle in.

image

image

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 26.06.2015

image

image

image

image

I’m finding that I enjoy getting up early to let the chickens free range while I get them ready for the day. Once I’m done, they go back into their pens & I go back to sleep for another hour or so before I have to get ready for work.

image

image

I’m not sure if any of these are the flowers or the weeds, but it all sure is growing like it has a mission.

image

Those feather eating mites are taking a toll on Odysseus’s feathers. The powders just weren’t making a difference, so I ordered some sulfur dip to dip them all in (even the juveniles) in this weekend.

image

image

They discovered (again) that if I turn over the compost pile, they’ll find huge grubs that make me want to puke. The hens love them. Odysseus will give a grub to a hen & that hen is then chased by the other hens & that part makes me laugh. They’re pretty funny creatures.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 25.06.2015

image

The newborn litter of bunnies opened their eyes & decided to have breakfast outside of the hutch this morning! They are so adorable, I can’t handle it. I just want to cuddle them forever. This also confirmed Delilah as the mother for me. Just too cute!

image

So, I’ve been getting cognitive fatigue migraines constantly since that week in April when I got a shot for them that didn’t work. They don’t feel like regular migraines, unfortunately. They feel like I just got a concussion. This week, it’s been really bad. This morning, I was letting the flocks free range as I set everything up for them for the day & decided to check how Odysseus was doing since he was attacking my legs pretty adamantly. Well, as I turned him over to check his underside, I got my face a little too close to his face & he got a good peck in right on the Cupid’s Bow of my upper lip! If he had nailed my lower lip, I wouldn’t have felt a damn thing (where he got me didn’t hurt either). This is what happens when you can’t remember things & do things at the same time because you have damage to parts of your brain. I figured that if I couldn’t pay enough attention to avoid this, I better not try driving into work. I don’t want to get into another wreck a month short of a year from my last one & actually have it be my fault this time.

image

image

image

image

In Colorado this time of year, thunderstorms & tornadoes (or at least conditions for tornadoes) are a common thing. The storms can roll up on you fast & seemingly out of nowhere sometimes. Last night as I drove home from work, I was stuck in traffic on the highway when about 3 different weather alert emergency sirens went off for a tornado. This afternoon, it got dark pretty quick & the wind kicked up, so I moved as fast as I could to get the Normandy Flock inside the Big House before the rain started. It looked like a nasty storm & it was in parts northeast of us where it produced tennis ball sized hail. We just bare missed it as it floated by.

I stopped by to check out Delilah’s litter when I went back outside to let the Normandy Flock back out. So. Adorable. I can’t deal with how cute they are, with their tiny ear like their mom! Ah! I love them already, but I haven’t been able to name them yet. I still need to come up with names for the month old litter! I’m falling behind!

image

image

image

image

image

During the flocks’ free ranging time before going up for the night, Mercury gave me a slight panic moment by flying up onto the top of the pen. First, she hopped onto the top of the breezeway, then flew herself up to the top of the pen. That pen is a good foot or so taller than me & I’m not tip-toeing for anything anytime soon. Didn’t have to worry about it, though:

image

image

Nyx is developing grey-pink feathers all of the sudden. I’m wondering how much of that warm grey will grow in & if it will over take the cool grey she’s been growing out since I brought her home. I like they way it looks now, so I’m hoping that’s what stays.

image

image

image

Memnoch looked so good framed up in the barrel of flowers by the windmill. Just as I snapped they picture, he decided to take off. More often than not, this is what my pictures of the chickens (& Arya) end up looking like. They don’t want to stand still & pose very often, so I take a lot of pictures to end up with a few good handfuls that end up here. Thank goodness my mom upgraded my iPhone for my birthday – the old one I had been using was running out of space fast. On this one, I have a ton of space to take as many as possible to get that one good shot. I can’t wait to get the Ōlloclip 4-in-1 lens for the camera on the phone. It’s gonna be awesome… I hope.

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 24.06.2015

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 23.06.2016

image

image

image

image

image

Dad bought a little metal rooster today while he & Mom were out at lunch. He put it on the roof of the Big House.

image

image

Things continue to progress nicely with the Ithakē & Normandy Flocks free ranging. Memnoch is pushing the boundaries of Alpha Male with Odysseus more often now. Odysseus is still Alpha, for now & there haven’t been any real fights yet. Memnoch, despite being larger than Odysseus now, still runs or flies off when Odysseus charges him. Memnoch doesn’t try to dominate any of the females in his own flock, just his moms.

Each group of birds tends to split off into sub flocks when they all get turned out to wander. The only flock that has any real range with the wandering is Ithakē. Memnoch & Mercury stick together & follow Ithakē Flock when not on their own missions. The 3 Amigas stick together pretty closely & they haven’t wandered too far away from the pen. I had to pick them up & move them myself to an area with more grasses/weeds.

Tiny Sparta seems to have imprinted on me pretty good. She’s definitely like Penelope, except Sparta likes to fly/hop from the ground onto my cleavage. I guess those thing ought to be good for something, might as well be a shelf for my little sparrow. She is just the sweetest. All the hens are, actually. I’m glad for that. I feel like I got extremely lucky with the chickens so far.

image

image

Both of my accidental pumpkin plants turned out to be serious. So far, it’s the 1 thing all the chickens haven’t tried snacking on.

image

image

Look at how proud of himself this little turd is. He is definitely his father’s son. Like I mentioned earlier, he’s bigger than Odysseus now. Also noticeable in this picture is that his white isn’t completely white in certain areas. Some areas or completely white & other have just the trace bit of whatever. With how nice he & Mercury are turning out (physically), I’ve been thinking about getting a couple new Polish pulleys to add to the genetic diversity of the Quillback breed. Maybe instead of building the White Hot Room Flock up by relying on my ability to incubate & find a seller of some Polish locally. Much easier, less chance for things to go like they did with Blue. It’s something I’ve been thinking about & will continue to as the Twins get older.

image

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 22.06.2015

Today was a… day.

image

image

When I left them in the morning, the Normandy Flock was still separated into The Twins & the 3 Amigas & they were in opposite sections than those pictures above. When I got home from work, they were switched around. Sometime during the day, the divider had fallen away just enough to make a corridor between the 2 sections. So. Good news is that the Normandy Flock can all be together now without separation & they didn’t kill each other!

image

image

image

image

image

image

They discovered that if they (or I) dug deep enough in the compost pile, there were grubs. They also discovered that they LOVE grubs. I discovered grubs kind of make me want to puke but that it’s funny to watch 1 hen run off with a grub while the others run after her to try & steal it.

image

These are the only flowers I really have left from the ton of seeds we planted. The lavender just isn’t sprouting that well & the hens mowed down the sunflowers before they got to be sunflowers.

image

The Normandy Flock. Together but not quite.

image