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Archives for : December2015

{Photo of the Day} 31.12.2015

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{Flock Updates} 1 Year of Record Keeping

A year ago today, I started this blog as a way to help me keep track of all the big & little things The Animal House went through. Since sustaining the brain injury, my memory is pretty much garbage & I knew I wouldn’t remember 1/4 of the things I’d want to remember. I didn’t start the Photo of the Day posts until 14.01.2015, so I still have a few more days left before I can say I’ve kept that up for a year.

A year ago, I had 5 chickens total, 1 Silver Sebright cockerel & 4 Golden Laced Polish pullets, & I wasn’t very confident that I’d be able to keep them alive through the winter.

Today, I’ve got a flock of 14 birds total, 1 Siver Sebright rooster, 4 Golden Laced Polish hens, 1 Splash Sumatra hen, 1 Quillback cockerel, 1 Quillback pullet, 1 Porcelain d’Ulcce pullet, 1 Barbu d’Anvers pullet, 1 Phoenix bantam pullet, 1 India Blue peacock, 1 Spalding Cameo Split Pied peahen & 1 Spalding Purple Black Shoulder peahen. I had 6 causualties this year with Neutron & Big Blue as chicks, Delilah, Lucky, Junior & Fuzzy.

{Photo of the Day} 30.12.2015

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{Photo of the Day} 29.12.2015

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He is always judging me!

{Photo of the Day} 28.12.2015

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I found Ava’Dara outside in the main pen by herself this evening when I came by to close everyone up for the night. I’m not sure why she was out there instead of inside Dante’s Inferno Room with everyone else, but I’m hoping it was just a one off deal & not a symptom of her getting pecked on by the others. If that’s the case, I might have to move her in with Memnoch & Mercury. I did enjoy the chance to pick her up & handle her. She’s like Mercury & doesn’t like to be handled a lot.

{Photo of the Day} 27.12.2015

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Damien gave me a workout today trying to herd him back into the main pen for the night. He “snuck” out while I was putting a seed block & grit in there & I just left the door open to let him wander around while I finished up what I was doing. Unfortunately for him, he decided he didn’t like walking in the snow while he was out in the pony corral. He kept trying to fly where he wanted to go instead of just walking the three feet from the coop to the chicken yard & around into the main pen. Took me awhile to get him to figure out what I needed him to do. Which wasn’t a bad thing for either of us: I could always use my legs/ankles more & it was good for him to stretch his wings since they’ve been penned up awhile thanks to the weather. I can’t wait to get the flight pen built around the chicken yard.

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I always get pictures of Sparta flying to perch on the edge of my camera.

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Then, as is her custom to do so, she flew from the edge of the camera to my chest & shoulder to check things out for a little bit before going back into the coop to sit on an egg.

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On the topic of eggs, I got my first soft shell egg. I’m not sure who laid it – there were some light coloured feathers stuck to it, but that narrows it down to 3 (Ava’Dara, Nyx or Sparta). I’m inclined to think it was Nyx because of the size of the egg & how light the feathers were, but I can’t be 100% positive at this point. It could be the reproductive system working things out, like with the ghost egg, or it could mean someone isn’t getting enough calcium. Good thing I decided to switch from feather grower feed to layer feed at TSC today. I’m hoping that’s all I’ll need to do since leaving the oyster shell out there for the hens just makes a gross wet mess when it snows & then the hens don’t eat it. Hopefully, it’s just a one off thing.

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{Photo of the Day} 26.12.2015

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Little Smoke is getting big! She’s not going to be able to sneak in & out of the pens pretty soon.

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It snowed pretty good last night & required another layer of straw hay to be laid down in the main pen for the birds. Now that winter has actually hit & the snow is here to stay, I’m going to need to finish wrapping the main pen in plastic & put off building Memnoch’s extension until stuff starts melting a little bit. I just don’t have the strength to shovel snow, compose & the build the extension in the cold. Especially when the drifts are up to my knees! The Demon Twins have been doing fine in the barn, so I’m not worried about them sticking it out in there for another month or two.

{Photo of the Day} 25.12.2015

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Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had, so that’s why this post is late.

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One of the Cult of the Five Feral Black Bunnies got really close to my camera that morning. They usually don’t get that close to my hands.

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The dogs got their sweaters on & opened presents (squeaker toys, tennis ball, rope, dental treats). Arya refused to pose with Toki for me this year, so we didn’t get a nice “Happy Holidays” postcard, but they looked adorable & they made me happy.

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Sparta surprised me by laying the tiniest egg I’ve ever seen outside of a wild bird’s nest. I was a little worried about her over it (because I worry & the brain trauma didn’t get rid of it), but it appears to be what is referred to as a fairy/ghost egg! It seems like it’s a fairly normal thing for pullets to produce while their reproductive tract works the kinks out. A small bit of flesh comes off & gets treated like a yolk, passing through the reproductive cycle by getting a shell & everything. I found the information & a lot of other egg abnormalities over on The Chicken Chick’s blog. Sparta has gone back to being broody in the afternoons, so I’m really hoping I can get her to hatch some eggs in the spring. She’d make such an adorable little momma hen.

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{Photo of the Day} 24.12.2015

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{Photo of the Day} 23.12.2015

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I love foggy mornings.

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I *think* the first egg, going left to right, is from Ava’Dara. I’m not 100% because I didn’t see her lay it; however, it is a lot bigger that the next egg (which is from Penelope). Ava’Dara has also started to move around in the coop when roosting – sometimes she’s on the top roost right next to Odysseus, sometimes she’s on the main roost with everyone else who was too slow getting into the coop & on the top roost. Granted, it could just be her huddling up to keep warm at night & no one giving her grief about it because she’s the biggest (of the chickens, at least). That egg just doesn’t feel like an Ithakē egg. I’m probably wrong. The next two are Mercury’s & Sparta’s, respectively. Sparta keeps wanting to sit on her egg. I might see if she really wants to hatch some chicks in the spring by giving her two or three fertilised eggs. She’s so tiny, I don’t think she could handle more than that of someone else’s eggs.