Rss

Archives for : autumn weather

{Flock Updates} The Naming Process

Naming the White Polish pullets has been difficult. Not just because all 13 basically look the same from afar, but because I didn’t brood them in the house. Brooding all the previous chicks in the house has helped them get use to me handling them and getting a sense of each pullet’s personality. Naming this group has taken a lot longer than normal. Earlier this month, I took an hour in the afternoon to watch them and decide who was who. They all got marked with nail polish so I could tell them apart without picking them up. Of course, the nail polish was rubbed off all of them by the 3 day due to weather. I’m going to have to figure out a more durable way to distinguish them from each other.

This is Alecto. Alecto is one of the Erinyes in Greek mythology, and her name means “the implacable or unceasing anger”. Her colour was Shockwave by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Alala. Alala is the personification of the war cry in Greek mythology, and her name means “battle-cry” or “war-cry”. Her colour was Umph by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Europa. Europa was a Phoenician princess who was abducted and taken to Crete by Zeus in the guise of a bull in Greek mythology, and her name means “wide face”. Her colour was Stratosphere by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Ossa. Ossa is the personification of rumors in Greek mythology. Her colour was Fathom by Formula X nail polish.

This is Nemesis. Nemesis was the goddess who enacted retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods) in Greek mythology. Her colour was Dark matter by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Nike. Nike was the personification of victory in Greek mythology. Her name means “victory”. Her colour was Pedal to the Metal by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Sappho. Sappho was a prolific poet from Ancient Greece. Her colour was Ignite by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Megara. Megara was the oldest daughter of Creon, king of Thebes, and married Hercules in Greek mythology. Her colour was Wunderkind by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Electra. Electra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra in Greek mythology. She and her brother, Orestes, plotted revenge against their mother and stepfather, Aegisthus, for the murder of their father. Her colour was Moon Sign by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Persephone, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus and ruled the underworld with Hades in Greek mythology. Her colour was Perfection by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Psyche. Psyche was a mortal woman who was turned into the goddess of the soul (by Zeus so she and Eros could be married as equals) in Greek mythology. Her colour was A+ by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Antiope. Antiope was an Amazon in Greek mythology (and a badass played by Robin Wright in the Wonder Woman movie). Her colour was Dramatic by FormulaX nail polish.

This is Iambe. Iambe was the goddess of satire and jest in Greek mythology. Her colour was Absolute Zero by FormulaX nail polish.

And this is Jareth, my cockerel that was supposed to be a pullet. Jareth is named after the Goblin King, played by David Bowie, in the movie Labyrinth. He’s having issues growing his crest out (the peafowl keep pulling all their crest feathers out), so he has a bit of a Friar Tuck thing going on right now.

Finally, this is Horus (again). He’s growing up very tall and straight up. So far, there haven’t been any issues with him (or Jareth) being in the same area as Memnoch. In fact, Memnoch has even chilled out on harassing Odysseus, which I’m sure Ody is happy about.

I’ve got the padwans living full-time with the older flock and my baby dragons (who will be another post), and they’ve been sleeping inside the covered part of the aviary since the beginning of the month. I still haven’t gotten them to go into the big coop for the night, but we’re taking baby steps.

{Photo of the Day} 20.12.2015

image

image

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 19.12.2015

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

{Photo of the Day} 17.12.2015

image

image

image

image

image

It got a little cold in the coop last night. It was about -2 outside.

image

image

image

Arya & Toki tried on their Christmas sweaters tonight. Arya was not happy about it. I was delighted! They look hilariously adorable in their matching knit skull sweaters.

{Photo of the Day} 16.12.2015

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Last night was the first night of single digit temps. Happy to report, everyone made it through to the morning. I was a little worried about Damien in the morning because he was actually shivering, so I used what little straw hay I had to give him a dry spot to hang out on in the sun. Later in the day, I maxed out a credit card to buy 2 bales of straw hay so that I could put a new layer down in the pen so that everyone could leave the coop during the day. They’re pretty decent sized bales, so I didn’t need to use a whole one to cover the pen ground. I just retied the twine around the remaining straw hay so that the birds could work on tearing it apart on their own time. They need to stay active so they don’t turn on each other.

In the barn, I found Memnoch & Mercury both sitting on an egg. I swear I should have named them Jaime & Cersie Lannister. They also did fine last night & are currently doing night two as it’s supposed to get in the single digits again (just not as low as last night).

It’s supposed to get close to 50 degrees. I’m debating on using that to build out Memnoch’s pen or waiting until spring for that & just wrapping the rest of the current pen. Since I’ll be done with classes tomorrow or Friday, I’m thinking I’ll try to get his pen built. I’d like it better if he & Mercury weren’t stuck in the barn for the rest of the winter. Of course, if that happens, it’ll happen after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which I’m seeing on Saturday morning. I love me some Star Wars.

{Photo of the Day} 15.12.2015

image

image

image

image

Hey! Another blizzard! 😑 I’m just going to have to accept the fact that I’m not going to get Memnoch’s pen built this year & wrap the rest of the main pen in plastic to keep this from happening every time the wind decides to be a jerk (which is more often than not out here). He & Mercury spent the day in the barn & are also spending the night in there for the first time right now. I, of course, can’t stop worrying about them. This is the first time since integrating with the Ithakē Flock that they’ve been on their own at night. I really wish Mem hadn’t decided he needed to kill Odysseus in order to take over the combined flocks & that they all could be housed together again. That just isn’t in the cards.

image

It was just garbage out here all day. The drifts were so tall that I couldn’t tell where I was walking during my morning chores. I stepped on the edge of the rock on top of one of the rabbit burrows & did a full body face plant with the full waterers for the main pen. I did this in my pjs. Because I hadn’t realised that it had blizzard overnight. It turned out I didn’t need both waterers today because only the peas ventured out of the coop. I set up a feeder inside the coop & put a waterer in the breezeway. I’m hoping it’s not as crappy tomorrow so I can at least dig out the pen & wrap it. I’ll be satisfied with just digging it out so they leave the coop. No good is coming from all of them hanging out together in there for multiple days.

Speaking of Dante’s Inferno Room, the wind was so bad last night/today that all 6 nesting boxes were snowed in & the west side had snow as well. I cannot figure out how the nesting boxes got snowed in since I thought I had sealed the cracks. Must have missed something that I’ll have to try & find tomorrow also. Didn’t stop Lila, Nyx, Sparta & one of the Ithakē ladies from laying eggs in them.

How many winters until I stop worrying their all gonna die on me?

image

Arya is in here element. That little dog loves the snow. I did lose her for a quick minute in a drift before she bounced back up when I called her name. My little winter child.

{Photo of the Day} 14.12.2015

image

image

image

image

I took a tiny chicken to the face this morning. Sparta literally “THIS IS SPARTA”‘d me.

image

{Photo of the Day} 13.12.2015

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Memnoch’s swoop & swirl looked better today. Or, it looked red again & that to me looked better. I don’t really know what to look for. Last year, when I ran into too much humidity in the coop & Odysseus had a couple points get frostbite, they fell off relatively fast. Also, his comb is very different than Mem’s (Ody has the rose comb & Mem ended up with a split big comb), so I don’t really know if the colour reverting back to red actually means things are getting better. I wasn’t able to contact Dr. Miller today, so I’ll do it tomorrow just to get more information on frostbite & peace of mind. He hasn’t slowed down a bit, so I’m taking that as a good sign. He even spent the day in the pen with everyone & Ody spent the day in the barn with Athena & Penelope.

image

I also got to try the harness on Sparta! She’s too small for it! It’s both hilarious & frustrating. Hilarious because she flopped onto her side & wiggled & kicked her way out the neck hole & then refused to talk to me when I carried her back to the coop. Frustrating because this is exactly like the hen aprons for her. The smallest size is still too big. I’m pretty sure the harness will fit Odysseus, so someone’s going to wear it & crack me up. Maybe she’ll fill out a little more in the next couple months before her 1st birthday, but I’m having serious doubts that she’s going to get much bigger than she is now. Which is okay because her tiny stature & spitfire attitude are what I like best about her.

{Photo of the Day} 12.12.2015

image

Well. It snowed. Did not get the pen extension built.

image

The chicken harness showed up today! Too bad I was feeling really bad (massive pain in my lower back, couldn’t really walk – another reason the extension didn’t get built), so I wasn’t able to test it out on Sparta or Odysseus. I’ll try tomorrow. I’m still convinced that it’s going to be hilarious.

image

image

3 eggs today, all from the pullets. Mercury & Lila for sure, not too sure about the third one. True to my butterfinger self since the accident, I ended up cracking 1 of them & took that opportunity to see if the pullets were being covered by Odysseus & Memnoch. It sort of looks like a fertilised egg, but I’m not 100% on that.

The bad news of the night was discovering that Memnoch probably has frostbite on his comb. First thing, I don’t know when he could have possibly have gotten it. It hasn’t been cold enough to freeze the waterers for a week & while it did get cold & start snowing today, it wasn’t freezing anything. So, second, if he contracted it a week or so ago, I never noticed it. I checked back on the pictures I’ve gotten of him & his comb doesn’t look like it does now in any of them. Third, I figured that if he does have frostbite it’s because there’s not enough ventilation in the carry crate he sleeps in for the safety of Odysseus. I gently rubbed Bag Balm onto his comb to hopefully prevent any further damage & put the bigger carry crate into Dante’s Inferno Room for him so that there was more air flow for him. It barely fits in there, but I got it & him in there.

Of course, I totally had a little breakdown at the possibility of him having frostbite. Cried a little bit from feeling like I failed him somehow & also because all the walking & climbing into/out of the coop killed my back & hurt so much I was sweating like a buffalo. I know I didn’t directly cause it to happen, but he’s my responsibility. I brought him into the world & refused to harvest or sell him, so he’s my responsibility to take care of until he dies. He’s my sweet little demon cockerel who falls asleep in my arms & has a Swoop & Swirl that matches mine when I put my hair up. Had my little cry while I waited for him to come out of the carry crate to admire himself in the mirror. Once he did that, I had to pull myself together & go about taking care of him the best I could. Since the accident & the TBI, I’ve had to get used to the fact that I have emotions. It’s so gross for me, still, even after a year & 4 months that I have emotions & I can’t bury that nonsense like I used too. However, I’m getting better at allowing myself that little window to freak out so that I can get to taking care of whatever caused the freak out. It’s getting easier to deal with & I definitely credit the birds with helping me get a lot of practice at making it easier.

Still gross having emotions, though. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.

{Photo of the Day} 11.12.2015

image

image

image

image

image

Arya was featured in the Scottish Terrier newsletter from The Pack again. And, again, this is amusingly odd to me since Arya hates having her picture taken. She runs & hides when I put my phone in landscape to take her picture. Toki, on the other hand, is a total ham & an incredibly photogenic dog when he poses & the dudes who run the newsletter for his breeds refuse to feature mutts that don’t look like that specific breed. I don’t know why I keep trying to post there other than I think the woman that runs the Scottish Terrier newsletter runs a nice crossection of users with pure breeds & mixes & includes cute, helpful things in her newsletters.

Human beings will find anything to be snobs about. If there’s an opportunity to look down your nose at another person, humans will take it. It’s supposed to be a site for dog lovers to share their love of dogs, not a “You don’t count. You have a mutt” deal. It reminds me of Backyard Chickens. Sweet Christmas, talk about a gigantic site full of Holier Than Thous. Wow. I mainly stick to my state’s message thread due to the garbage people I’ve encountered there.

I have always been more of an animal person than I have been a people person. After the car accident, it became even more painfully obvious to me that I was always only going to be an animal person. I’m never going to have friends I go out to eat dinner with or hang out with or call up when I’m having a difficult time dealing with suddenly being disabled or just to talk & laugh with. I’m never going to be asked out on dates or have anyone genuinely interested in getting to know me or want to be with me instead of using or owning me. And some days, I’m okay with being a blue haired, beardless Radagast, talking to the animals & taking care of them the best I can. Other days, being alone actually makes my chest ache. Then there are the few days where I think maybe I can make a connection with other animal people through the magic of the Internet & I discover that rudeness & elitism is everywhere.

image

image

On the year anniversary of getting my first 2 eggs from the Ithakē ladies, we got 6 eggs today! That will bring us almost 2 dozen eggs this week alone depending on how many the girls decide to lay tomorrow. Normally, egg laying is supposed to decrease in the winter due to shorter daylight hours not increase. I’m not even doing supplemental lighting since I can’t get anyone to eat their eggs (apparently, they’re “too small” to bother with, whatever the hell that means). Toki & Arya still make me let them lick every egg that is laid, just like they did that first time a year ago today. I still haven’t figured out why they do it, but I like to imagine it’s for good luck. Like rubbing a Buddha statue’s belly.