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Started the day early but not as early as I had intended. There was a bird swap happening from 7-11am in town & my parents went to check it out with me since I’m still not driving very much. As we were leaving, I noticed these 3 Robins in the Aspen tree near the garage talking up a storm. I decided they were the 3 Robins from last spring that hatched in a nest right by the front door that I named after the 3 Harpies: Ocypete, Aello & Celaeno.

The bird swap itself was pretty interesting. Lots of waterfowl & turkeys & roosters & rabbits. And pigeons. Holy hell, so many pigeons & so many different kinds. There was this one kind, & I wish I had gotten a picture of them, that looked like they were wearing fancy feathered coats with huge black turned up collars. They were fabulous & I wanted 2. I also really wanted those Lion’s Head rabbits. They were tiny with super furry heads like a lion’s mane… Like the name would suggest. Anyhow, I think I saw 1 rooster that might have been an Ohiki but I didn’t ask just in case he was. I didn’t bring any money to make sure I didn’t buy anything. I would have wanted to buy him if he were an Ohiki & I’m not set up yet for multiple roosters. Trying to find my patience. There were also these 2 huge black chickens that looked like they would eat Odysseus for a snack. I swear they were 1 generation removed from a tyrannosaurus rex. They had to be almost 3ft tall.

Other than that, I was surprised by the wide range of people that showed up. Our area is mostly white people & Hispanic/Latin@ people, but at the swap there were all sorts of ethnicities there buying various animals. It was pretty serious business, as EVERYONE but me & my dad seemed to have boxes & crates for birds or rabbits. There was a lot of actual bird swapping, which, again, the name would suggest that. It was just interesting to see what’s out there & what I could potentially do once I get my own strains of breeds going. Even though there were a number of Frizzles & Silkies there (they were giving away a black Silkie in the raffle), I don’t think that particular bird swap would be a good place for the breeds I want to raise. This swap was definitely for things to eat not to raise as a pet or for decoration or for show (except maybe some of the pigeons) & that’s pretty much what bantams are for. I was also a bit leery about some of the roosters & what they were being sold/bought for. I hope it wasn’t for fighting, but I kinda got that feeling from some of the sellers/buyers.

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After that & a serious nap, the flock got their first exposure to free ranging. Well, first time for the hens. Obviously, Odysseus has experience out in the big, wild world. It was pretty funny to watch them check things out & to watch Odysseus do the rooster behaviours I keep seeing those full-sized roosters do with their flocks. He minded the hens, watched them & the surroundings & didn’t really investigate like the hens did. When Athena decided she had explored enough & needed to get to the nesting box, she ran off from the flock to find the run door, he ran after her. He then got the rest of the flock to make their way back without leaving the run. Penelope kinda didn’t follow his lead & preferred to follow me back in. She’s almost like Toki & Arya that way. She likes to stand between my legs/feet exactly like Toki does & she pecks my calves to get my attention so I’ll pick her up.

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Both dogs together outside still wind each other up over the chickens. Arya is probably going to be impossible to train to not attack the chickens. She’s extremely stubborn & hard to get out of the attack/focused mode. Toki is better but she can get him into the attack mode with her very easy. I’m hoping with the chicks, I can train them to protect the birds instead of eat them. We’ll see what I can manage. If I can get Arya to not lose her mind around them, it’ll be a success.

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14 days left for the incubation. No word yet on the Phoenix eggs, which is disappointing. I had hoped that the seller would at least let me know he shipped them or an idea of how long they would take to get here considering the time sensitivity of the package. Hopefully they’ll show up this week that way if any hatch from them & the current batch, the chicks won’t be more than a week or two apart in age. I guess if there’s a big age difference between chicks, you can have issues. I don’t want to have issues. I want things to go as issue free as possible.

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