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Archives for : April2017

{Animal Mad Scientistry} And that’s a Wrap

Egg A is a little spoiled cheeto puff! It has been a little clingy, but now that the last two eggs have hatched I’m hoping they survive to give it some company. There’s only so long I can carry a baby chick in the cowl neck of my Andromeda Initiative hoodie.

Egg B hatched late last night and is a big chunk! Also, look at the colouring! I want my hair to be this colour! I’m not 100% sure where this egg came from. At first, I thought it definitely had to be from the Ronan/Lucien/Epiphany/Mazikeen group, but it is possibly from Memnoch/Ava’Dara. I am just in love with this colouring and I hope it carries over into the actual feathers.

Egg E hatched this morning with some help. This is Sparta’s egg. The chick was malpositioned, so I made sure that the chick had an easier time breaking out of the shell than it would have on its own. Right now, it’s still in the incubator with the umbilical cord still attached to it and the shell. I’m a little worried mushy chick might develop, but it’s waddling around like a drunk and chirping like crazy in the incubator just like all the other healthy chicks I’ve hatched.

I don’t have possible names yet for any of the chicks, except Irving from Sandman, but I’m really trying to convince myself I don’t have another rooster in this bunch. That’s all I need is 5 males again. I’ll wait to pick out possible names until the last two have stayed alive for a few days.

Once I can move Egg E to the brooder, I’m cleaning out the incubator and popping a few of these bad boys in there! I can’t believe how big peafowl eggs are! I’m very excited to find out if I can hatch any peachicks and what they’ll look like.

{Photo of the Day} 26.04.2017

Big Momma had a litter of 9 baby buns this month! She had them in the hutch right next to the little coop Ronan, Epiphany, Lucien, and Mazikeen sleep in. 1 died early on, and 1 disappeared last night, so there are only 7 remaining. I like that they are right by my chickens because I get to check in on them and handle them every time I’m out there. Surprisingly, Big Momma is okay with me doing that.

The really big thing that happened today (besides the hatching) was finding this peahen egg in the peafowl greenhouse! I have been waiting almost 2 months for them to start laying eggs. Both Richmond and Dalton have been mating with Damien, so I knew that stuff was happening and eggs should also be happening this mating season. Of course, whoever laid the egg did it right next to the nesting box I set up for them instead of IN the nesting box. This thing is huge! It was almost as big as Sparta!

{Animal Mad Scientistry} All Over Again

Came home from the Day Job to one of the 6 eggs that went into lockdown this year chirping! This was a great relief as the first egg that should have hatched had died in the shell sometime at the beginning of it’s lockdown. Egg A not only had an internal pip by the time I got home, but also an external one. By around 11pm last night, the zipping process had started. At 3am this morning, Arya woke me up all excited because the little dude had popped out of the shell! That was possibly the quickest this I’ve ever had this process go. But I do have TBI, so that might not be true.

Unfortunately, Egg A has been the only one to hatch so far. I took a bunch of chicken feathers I had gathered up, rubber banded them together in a makeshift feather duster shape, and popped it and Egg A under the heater. Little dude has been sleeping soundly since being moved out of the incubator.

Fingers crossed these last 3 hatch. 1 of them is Sparta’s egg. I really want to get that one to hatch.

{Risky Business} Patreon Account

Okay, things are going south in a hurry with the Day Job. HR decided not to go with my hostile environment grievance. They want me to start going out of my way to be eager to get these people who have harassed and discriminated me for almost a year now, while they themselves don’t have to make any changes. I am not okay with this. I filed a harassment/discrimination for being disabled grievance with the director of HR yesterday. I do not have any hope that they will do anything about this (so, thank goodness I have the lawyers), but after all of this I will not continue to work for and with bigots and I will not go out without a fight.

So. That means I will most likely be without a job very soon, and while I have been researching unemployment, SSI, and applying to every job I even half qualify for I am worried about making sure the animals of A Flock Between Pastures. Any situation, right now, that involves my not being able to work for the state government anymore is not a good situation for me to be in even if I find another day job (I’m referring to the salary I currently make and the health coverage I currently have). I can figure something out to take care of myself, but I am most concerned with taking care of the animals. To help make sure I’ve got them covered, I’ve set up a Patreon account.

I’ve set the Patreon to take care of the animals first, myself second, and all the rewards are things I can manage even with my disabilities. The support amounts range from $1 to $100 – there are only 2 spots each for the $50 and $100 levels of support due to the type of rewards they offer. I’m hoping to get videos and “podcasts” up as rewards, along with the other rewards of sneak peeks at work that will be available for purchase, access to monthly discounts for merchandise, and possibly even eggs in the future for a select support amount. I’m starting small right now since I still have a few weeks left in this semester at school and the cognitive fatigue and depression dealing with everything at the day job.

If you would like to do a one-time purchase to help, you can always check out the stores I’ve got merchandise and original artwork in:

Storenvy
RedBubble
Society6

If you are so inclined to help, spreading the story and link around will help just as much as signing up to support. Odysseus, Damien, and the rest of the animals (and I) thank you for your continued support.

{Flock Updates} Spring Is Here

So many new baby buns! I got to give a cuddle to Little Buddha (the brown bunny), there are about 6-7 black, dark grey, and light grey bunnies, and then Big Momma had 8 babies just recently in the hutch next to the smaller chicken pen! They’re so new that their eyes aren’t open yet and they don’t have any fur yet. I’m not sure how Big Momma got herself into that hutch and had babies because she’s not called “Big Momma” for nothing. And she was even bigger before she had the baby buns. They are just so cute and tiny, and I hope they make it.

Nyx has gone broody on me for almost a month now. Epiphany tried being broody for about a day, got pooped on because she decided to move her egg and sit on it directly under the roosting bar, and then decided she didn’t really need to hatch any eggs.

That’s what we have the incubator for! 1 egg is on Day 11, 1 egg is on Day 8, 1 egg is on Day 4, 2 eggs are on Day 2, and all are developing (1 is an egg from Sparta!). I did do a last switch of 2 eggs last night just to see if I could get a full hatch. I don’t want to stagger the hatch any more because that first egg is already so far ahead at this point.

I’m not sure who the other eggs came from, but I’m just super thrilled to have offspring from Sparta even if Memnoch is the sire. That’s going to be the pushiest, snottiest little chicken ever. It’s going to be fantastic.

Still no peahen eggs. Damien keeps trying, though.

{Risky Business} Preparing For The Future

When I started this post last month, I didn’t think I was going to be out of a job later this month. Or maybe next week. It’s going to happen soon, unfortunately. I have been applying for jobs for about 4-5 months, but the job market around here isn’t the best and having disabilities adds an extra hurdle to that search. I started this post thinking that I would be able to use my small art business (SIDE NOTE: I did register the name A Flock Between Pastures as a business, currently working on the tax license, still thinking about being an official rescue/sanctuary) to help pay for my animals and the house my mom wants me to build on my parents’ property, along with my steady monthly paycheck.

Most of the time, things end up not going the way I plan them to.

So, I started up a Redbubble store to put the animals on stuff! Honestly, I really just wanted to buy a bunch of throw pillows with chibi versions of all the animals on them because I think it’s adorable, but it turned out that Redbubble had other products that I thought the animals looked pretty good on.

For reals, I want to make a cephalopod design for a duvet even though I try not to have a duvet on my bed because of Toki and Arya. I just really like the idea of being able to design what I want instead of trying to find someone else selling something similar but not exactly to it. I wanted to stick to just the animals of A Flock Between Pastures and other flora/fauna that can be found in Colorado (surprisingly, cephalopods are not found naturally here in CO), but I kinda want to expand beyond that now that I will definitely not be continuing to work for the state government. It has be difficult finding time to get all the designs I’ve suddenly been hit with, thanks to my speech pathologist giving me exercises in visualizing again, but between the massive cognitive fatigue and concussion migraines from working in a hostile environment, school work, and my right hand and forearm going painfully numb if I hold a pencil or my Wacom pen for more than 5 minutes, it’s been slow goings.

Right now, Ronan, Sparta, Mercury, and Memnoch have been made into chibis and are in the Redbubble store:

Originally, the chibis were going to be sent to Zap! Creatives to be made into charms and lapel pins after being put on throw pillows, but sending my designs there and getting products back is going to cost me some money. I had planned on making a whole line of charms with “generic” chickens of different breeds for a Build A Flock line, also.

When/if I get those made, I’ll have them up on Gnossiene with my original drawings and giclée prints.

For now, all the earnings from the Redbubble store will go to paying for the monthly expenses of the animals and any vet visits that may come up for whatever reason. I’ll keep a monthly running account on the blog of what was bought, how much each cost, what the store pulled in, and how much of those earnings are left to rollover.

Who knows. Maybe finally getting tired of being treated like dirt will be the best thing that could have happened this year.

{Flock Updates} Hope Springs Eternal

It’s been awhile since my last update here. 2016 was not a great or kind year for the animals and, unfortunately, the beginning of 2017 hasn’t been a great or kind year for me and things are about to get tougher.

While we haven’t had any deaths since Igor and his grandmothers, tensions between Mercury and Memnoch and everyone else have been getting high as the weather has been getting warmer. I was lucky enough to find 2 “rooster coops” on CL for free that I’m going to retrofit into a coop for the Demon Twins and a possible breeding coop or grow out coop. Another non-success was trying to integrate Ronan, Lucien, Epiphany, and Mazikeen with the rest of the flock. For some unknown reason, Richmond and Dalton refused to let them into the aviary/main pen and to make things less stressful on everyone (including me) I’ve kept them in the old rabbit pen for now. My eventual plan is to move that pen into the aviary so that everyone is in the same area and can see each other throughout the day when they aren’t out free ranging. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’m hoping to get the poles up for the heavier aviary netting soon. This will raise the clearance a few feet, allowing me to stand up straight and give the birds more headroom as well. After that, I’m going to rearrange the extra coops and covered pens so everyone is in one compound area.

The bad news for me, and by extension the animals, is the fact that I have finally gotten tired of silently putting up with the harassment/discrimination I’ve been dealing with at my Day Job since going back to it after the car wreck that left me with lifelong disabilities. Last month, I submitted my official grievance against my manager and most of my coworkers. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, HR is not taking their investigation of my claims seriously (they okay’d my manager to give me a year end job review while the investigation is still going on). While I still have to meet with HR tomorrow, I’ve already decided that I’m quitting because of the harassment, discrimination, and HR’s flippant response to it.

This means finances are going to get tight. I have been applying to jobs for the past 4-5 months, but the job market isn’t great and most people aren’t chomping at the bit to hire someone with disabilities. I’ll most likely have to apply for unemployment, try to apply for SSI, empty my retirement, and put my plans to finish my degree and build my house on hold indefinitely. Again. I just feel very defeated by all this and it’s left me wondering why I survived that car wreck if this was going to be my life after it.

The only thing that’s been keeping my spirits up have been the animals – Toki and Arya are constant mood boosters, watching the birds thrive (Damien has gotten a massive train and Richmond let him breed with her at least once!). I had started incubating chicken eggs and had agreed to take in a straight run of Olandsk Dwarfs prior to my Day Job environment degrading as badly as it has, so baby chicks and possible baby PEAchicks are something to look forward to.

I’ve also been creating art of the animals to sell. Right now, there are various different products available on the Redbubble store (more on that in the next update) that are specific to the animals. I haven’t gotten everyone on a product, yet. I am working on it as much as I can between my school work. Speaking of school work, one of the classes I’m taking is a bookmaking class and I’m hoping to make a number of books about the animals in the near future.

Right now, the animals are still thriving and I’m doing my best to keep it that way.

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