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{Photo of the Day} 31.08.2015

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  1. Athena & Penelope continue to look pretty ragged from their molting. It’s taken so much out of Athena that she’s no longer the top hen of the flock anymore.
  2. Memnoch has been running himself ragged since being locked out of the main pen during the day while I’m at work. His comb was so dried out that, as he was pacing along the fence line this evening, the points were rubbing against the fence, which caused the dried skin to crack, peel & bleed. I know he’s eating & drinking, I just don’t think he’s doing that as much as he should be.
  3. Every night when I pick him up to put him in the main pen, he falls asleep in my arms like a toddler. So does Odysseus, now that I think about it.
  4. Because of this, I’m either going to have to move him into the barn where he can’t see the flock anymore, or I’ll just move Odysseus, Athena & Penelope to the dog house pen during the day & put Memnoch in with the rest of the flock.
  5. The Section 20 ladies were out & about this evening. They came pretty close to me & didn’t immediately run away in a panic when Damien came over to check them out. Slow work, gaining their trust, but I’m glad he randomly showed up in my life & brought Richmond & Dalton in, too.
  6. The bunnies really like hanging out in the chicken yard for all the free snacks. They pretty much swarm the area as soon as it starts getting dark & the flocks put themselves up for the night.
  7. I almost bought Sparta a harness & leash from My Pet Chicken today. It was in my basket with the coop & pen cleaners. I ended up taking it out before paying, though. However, after seeing her sneak her little butterball body underneath the yard gate this evening, I feel like I should have bought it.

{Photo of the Day} 30.08.2015

It was stupid hot today, so I didn’t bother the flock much. Better if they just rest in cool, wet dirt on days like this.

Sparta was on a roll with her Great Escape act all day. She’s actually sneaking out the same way the bunnies sneak in/out of the yard. She doesn’t go anywhere except right around the corner to eat the grass & weeds around & under the Big House. Before they had the yard enclosed, that’s where she, Lila, Nyx & Ava’Dara would mainly hang out. I would prefer she not keep doing that since the yard was created to help protect them from the dogs when the flocks are outside of the main pen. I feel like I got super lucky yesterday with Arya & her running into each other & I know that luck will happen with Winston or Zelda.

On the other hand, the fact that she flies up onto my shoulder every time I open the gate or kneel down to try to take pictures is seriously making me consider buy her a harness & leash so she can walk around places with me. She’s just the most adorable little butterball. I’m so glad I did that farm logo & accepted chicks as payment. Even Mom likes Sparta & that’s saying something. She still doesn’t want to hold her, but having a bird near her is a big step when you have a fear of birds.

{Flock Updates} Toki’s 5th Birthday

Today was Toki Wartooth (Not A Bumblebee)’s 5th birthday! While the day that marks our 5th year together won’t roll around until October, I usually just celebrate his birthday instead. He has to wait until I get paid for his birthday present (usually his favourite snack of beef trachea & a tennis ball), but I have a feeling he’s just happy I came back to him after my car accident last year.

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Five years ago, this goofy guy was born somewhere in New Mexico. I don’t know what happened between then & the October day I adopted him at an Adoption Day event at a local Petco, but he was transferred from a kill shelter there to an organisation here in Colorado that keeps dogs with foster families until they can find a “forever home”.

I think my last childhood dog, Ripley, had died a year, maybe two, before I got talked into considering having another dog in my life. The way all my childhood dogs died was pretty traumatic for me & I honestly didn’t think I’d ever want another dog in my life. I fall in love with them too hard & it kills me that they don’t live nearly long enough. They could live a million years & I still wouldn’t think that was long enough for a dog to live.

So, I told everyone I would look into any adoption events that would be happening & just see how I feel about possibly adopting one. I skipped that stage altogether when I saw Toki’s puppy face on the Petco adoption website. I printed out the adoption application right then & there & had everything prepared a week in advance for his adoption. I knew that I would have to be considered by the organisation that was fostering him, but I was determined to take him home even if I had to Thunderdome with someone. I actually almost did have to compete with a couple of teens for him, but I had turned in my app the minute I got there & made sure he was at that event. They let me adopt him & he’s been taking care of me ever since.

{Photo of the Day} 29.08.2015

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Started the day off with a missing peacock. I couldn’t find Damien anywhere & as I came out of the barn without him, I began to worry that I just bought 2 expensive peahens for nothing because my reason just rambled on in the wee hours of the morning. I closed the barn door, turned back towards the chickens:

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Dude was perched up on top of the main chicken pen. I have no idea where he was & I never heard him fly up onto the pen roof. The big man is seriously ninja quiet.

Both Athena & Penelope are going through a much harder molt than Calypso & Nausicaä are right now. Since this is their first yearly molt, I’m not sure if Cal & Naus will catch up soon (Athena didn’t start to show signs of a hard molt until today) or if they’ll just go through a mild molt. Since payday isn’t until Monday, there isn’t a whole lot I have on hand that can up their protein except for the black oil sunflower seeds. They don’t really seem to eat those (Damien LOVES them), so I’m going to scramble a bunch of eggs tomorrow to give them to hold them over until payday.

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Before it got stupid hot, I cleaned up the main pen. I’m pretty sure I raked up 2 pillows worth of chicken feathers from the molting. It took about as long as I expected it to, what with catching & penning up Memnoch, moving everything out of the pen & then back in & with my limited effectiveness with physical exertion since relearning to walk. I rearranged everything inside the main pen so that it was less cluttered looking, & easier for Damien to lay down in there next to Richmond & Dalton & easier for me to manuver around in there. I needed to get the coop cleaned out, too, but it didn’t get done today due to the weakness of my ankles & legs. Always have tomorrow.

Having more open space in the main pen & bare dirt helped out durin the heat of today. The birds dug up the areas their frozen bottles were placed & everyone mostly stayed in the shade of the main pen (except Memnoch & Sparta).

Sparta escaped a number of times today. Once, she had a face off with Arya & surprise of all surprises, Arya stayed where she was when I told her to stop & leave it. Of course, Sparta was ready to rumble because she’s a tiny spitfire. The last time she escaped was to try to steal a piece of bread from Damien. She would get him to move just far enough towards her & away from the bread, then dart right underneath him & take off with the bread. That bird is a riot.

Toki & Arya are doing a lot better with all the birds & even with the increasing numbers of rabbits. Arya stopped chasing a bunny when I told her too & Toki hasn’t chased them yet. He was very interested in Tawanda today, but he was just sniffing her. Unlike Zelda & Winston who ripped Tawanda’s ear & killed one of the babies.

Of that last batch of babies, only Bruce Lee is still alive. Something was pulling the mice out of the traps in the barn & the other 3 babies disappeared around that time. I’m sad I didn’t move the grey one out of the paddock instead of waiting for it to grow a little more. Domino was my favourite bunny so far.

Memnoch had a rough day today. He had to be penned up separately while everyone else got to wander around freely. He’s still way to eager to mount the Ithakē ladies & he started aggressively chasing Odysseus again. I can’t have him doing that to the hens while they’re molting. He runs the risk of breaking those pin feathers & causing them to bleed & inflict pain on the hens. Plus, he’s started to just roughly grab them by the head, completely bypassing the entire wing drop dance altogether. He had plenty of food & water & the biggest frozen bottle, but he still damn near wore himself out pacing along the fence line. His comb is getting pretty dried out & I keep putting Bag Balm on it so it stays moisturised, but I think he needs to hydrate more in these hot temperatures. I’m probably overthinking this.

Dalton is the protector of Richmond & I finally got some crappy zoomed in pictures of her displaying to one of the bunnies while keeping herself between it & Richmond. I actually didn’t know the females would do that, but after seeing that they pretty much have the same feather set up as the males (minus the long eye feathers) it makes sense. I looked up how to tame peafowl & how to get them to trust you & it’s basically conning them into trusting you with food. It is a process that takes a long time & will probably take me twice as long since every time I try to start chumming the girls in with seeds or banana or bread, my chickens swarm me & drive them off. I haven’t given up yet, though. I’m determined to at least get them to be comfortable with my bing as close to them as Damien will let me. Ideally, I would like to be able to handle them, in the event of an injury or what have you, but I’ll be okay with them being like Damien.

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{Photo of the Day} 28.08.2015

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{Photo of the Day} 27.08.2015

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Between the rabbit in the wildflowers & Damien laying on the lavender wagon, I’m surprised anything is growing on the side of the pen.

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All the Ithakē ladies are going through their molt. Penelope still seems to be the hardest molt out of the bunch, but at least she’s got her pen feathers growing in already. I just have to up the protein & reduce the stress & handling of the them. This is rough to watch!

I let Memnoch free range with the flocks this evening & everythign went surprisingly well. He didn’t fight with Odysseus, he mostly stayed off the hens, things were almost like the way they were at the beginning of the summer break.

Caught up Dalton before putting everyone up for the night. She was NOT thrilled about this at all. I’m trying to find the right balance between working getting them used to me & used to being handled & terrorising them. Right now, they act like I’m terrorising them. I think this is going to be a slow process, but totally worth it in the end.

{Photo of the Day} 26.08.2015

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Poor Penelope is going through a pretty rough molt right now. I’m going to have to look up how to make it through this again. She looks so terrible.

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{Photo of the Day} 25.08.2015

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{Photo of the Day} 24.08.2015

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The haze from the wildfires on the west coast make dawn & dusk look like we live on Tattooine & the days look like we are just about to hit the edge of the playable environment in an RPG.

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{Photo of the Day} 23.08.2015

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I bought netting to make a cover over the front part of the chicken yard. I didn’t have enough money to buy lumber to start building the main pen extension or the pea shed or even posts to make the netting go up at least 10ft high. I needed something to give some cover for the flocks because there’s been a hawk hanging out in our yard.

I found out about how much the hawk has been hanging around this morning when I caught Damien chasing it out of our yard. That honking noise cracked me up & he meant business by making it. Damien chased the hawk up onto the top of that power pole, then proceeded to stalk the roof of the barn for 5 minutes, honking all the while, until he finally decided to come back to eat. I had read that peafowl are great guard birds, but I had not experienced it until today.

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