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{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} 01.09.2017

{Photo of the Day} 14.08.2017

{Photo of the Day} 31.07.2017

{Photo of the Day} 02.07.2017


{Photo of the Day} 24.06.2017













I’m the bird lady in the park from Mary Poppins

{Flock Updates} You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on animals

All the babies are growing at the usual quick pace, and I am continuing to fall in love with Syrax, Fin Fang Foom, and Mad Mim so much. Last night, Fin and Mim fell asleep on the back of my neck, in my hair, and Sy fell asleep in my hands (Arya planted herself on my legs so she wasn’t left out and Toki was just irritated that no one was adhering to his ridged schedule and sleeping in their designated areas). I’m pretty sure all three of the baby dragons are male; however, I still can’t tell 100% with Sy. We’ll have to wait for the shoulder feathers to grow out some more.

Damien seems to be slowing down on his need to breed and we haven’t had to separate him from the rest of the flock for a good string of days. I’m very thankful for this. All the info on peafowl that says they can stress themselves to death had me super worried that’s what was going to happen here. Maybe the hormones are weening back since breeding season is almost over or maybe it’s not worth it since the temps have been up in the 90s lately. It’s been hot enough that none of the birds came out to free range the other day because it wasn’t worth leaving the shade. Summertime in Colorado – a dry heat!

The good thing about the heat is that the birds eat less & I don’t have to buy food as often as I do in the winter. Which is good because I still haven’t gotten a solid job offer. I definitely feel like the minute I drop that I’m disabled, anyone interviewing me automatically DQ’s me for the job even though I’m only applying to jobs I know I can manage. It’s pretty disheartening. I have been adding more merch to the shops, but there’s been no activity since that fist month of having the Redbubble shop open. If I don’t hear anything by the end of the month as far as a job offer, I’m going to pull all the money I can from my retirement savings. It’s not ideal since that would automatically make me not qualify for the disability insurance PERA offers, but I’ve got bills to pay and animals to care for.

{Flock Updates} Name Changes and Expansions

Had some name changes and shuffles with the chicks and peas. Sometimes I’m pretty good at guessing personalities with the animals, and sometimes they prove me wrong and adjustments need to be made so they have a name that fits them. I wish it were that easy to do as a human.

Douma and Irving have had their names changed to Mumbles and One-Two (respectively) because watching them rough house with each other reminded me of Idris Elba and Gerard Butler in the movie RocknRolla. Yes, two more males for sure with these ones. One-Two, in the tradition of his lineage, has really amped up the attempted crowing in the mornings. He still sounds like a mechanical murder dinosaur and it cracks me up.

Mina is still Mina and definitely the only female to hatch from the chicken eggs. She isn’t very much like Sparta, personality wise. She’s very quiet and reserved. She doesn’t have the mohawk that seems to be a strong trait from Memnoch (both One-Two and Mumbles have one), so I’m thinking her sire might be Ronan.

The peachicks just had a slight name shuffle. Mim is now Fin and Fin is now Mim. I am so in love with these three. I think I mentioned this previously, but I didn’t expect them to be so different from the chicken chicks. With the chicks, you basically show them where the food and water is, how to dip there beaks in and eat and drink, and that’s pretty much all they want from you as long as they have other chicks in the brooder with them. Peachicks, on the other hand, imprint on you fast and heavy. They want you to hold them and cuddle them and it is just the most adorable thing on the planet. Fin was really complainy last night, so I took him out and put him on my chest while I rested my legs, and he just went right to sleep. Their wings are getting huge, for the most part. Mim still has some rumbled looking feathers from being in the egg so long and not being able to get out on her own. Syrax is getting some purple/black looking feathers coming in on her shoulders and wings. This was some validation that was almost 2 years in the making. The reason I stopped going to the peafowl section of the Backyardchickens.com boards was because a few of the users were trying to accuse the breeder I got Dalton and Richmond from of lying to me about what kind of peahens they were. The said there was no way Dalton could be a black shoulder (which she isn’t, she’s a spaulding purple black shoulder) and that there was no way Richmond could be a cameo (again, which she isn’t, she’s a spaulding cameo split pied). Anyhow, black shoulders start out looking like they’ll be all white as chicks until the darker feathers start coming in. Always someone that wants to be a know-it-all and try to shit on people they don’t even know.

Personality wise, they’re all very curious but hesitant when you take them out of the brooder. I got them outside in a rabbit cage that has a poop tray under it so they can’t touch the ground – apparently, they can’t touch the ground for the first few months. I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do with how susceptible they are to catching diseases and parasites. The temps are getting up to the 90s, so it was warm enough for them to be away from the brooder for a half an hour while I worked on the a-frames for the aviary expansion. The Hellblazers came up to check them out, but there’s something about them that all the animals seem to sense distinguishes them from chickens. I’m not sure if they smell different or what it is, but even the dogs seem to know they’re different from the chicks they’ve been watching grow for the past 2 years.

They’ve also already started to try flying around before they were even a week old. They’ve been making really amazing progress at it so far and it just amazes me how they just know how to do things like that and don’t need to be taught it. Having them hatch when they did, I’m glad I wasn’t still working for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and having to put up with their disability discrimination and harassment. If I were still having to put up with that and having a constant concussion migraine and cognitive fatigue and all the other symptoms my coworkers and manager made worse with their behavior, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them as much as I am right now. After this month, if I don’t find a job, I’ll be out of health insurance, bills will be difficult to cover, but I’m so glad I get to spend all day with them and my dogs and the other birds.

There has also been a boom in baby buns from the feral rabbits this spring. Charles Bronson (the rabbit that had been digging in and out of the main aviary) turned out to be a female and had a litter in a hole between the fence of the aviary and the peafowl’s greenhouse. They are the most diverse looking babies I’ve seen come out of all the feral rabbits so far. I wanted to keep the one I’m holding in that picture so much, but I put it back in the den with its siblings. There’s been at least 2 litters up near the house. One of the litters is a group of these rollie pollie rabbits that I’ve named Butterball, The Great Hambino, Chunk, and Albert. They are the most adorable bunnies.

{Flock Updates} Things Keep Moving

There’s one thing you can say about Nature: it just keeps doing its thing, day after day. There’s some sense of relief and calming to be around that. The baby chickens are just over a month old now and are spending their days outside. One of them, I suspect Irving (Memnoch and Mercury’s chick), tried to crow the other day and it just sounded like I had a murder dinosaur in my room. Douma (Memnoch and Ava’Dara’s chick) is very much like his dam – has a lot to say every time I pick him up. Mina (Sparta’s chick – still not sure who the sire is) is just like her dam.

Damien’s hormone aggression has steadily gotten more intense towards Dalton and Ava’Dara now. I keep trying the separation thing, but that seems to diffuse the situation for less and less time the more I have to do it. The only thing I can think of to distract him would be to put that mirror back in the aviary with him; however, I don’t want him to injure himself anymore than I want him to injure Dalton or Ava’Dara or any of the other birds.

I’m working on getting the aviary updated with the a-frames and new netting and shade panels right now. After I get that set up, the next thing I’m going to work on is sectioning off part of the aviary for the 2 smaller coops – 1 for Memnoch and Mercury and the other as the grow out coop. From there, I would like to fix up the smaller pen with a partial roof so I’m not wasting so much feed whenever it rains.

Beyond that, I’ve been working on landscaping around both. I picked up a number of perennials and annuals that reseed themselves, along with more vine transplants from Granny. I don’t like how bare it all is, even though I know it’s difficult to grow anything out here between the sandy soil, the rabbits, and the birds themselves. If anything, I’m hoping at least the vines and the peppermint plant take off and spread out.

{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.