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{Flock Updates} Ups and Downs

So, Horus crowed yesterday evening. It wasn’t the standard dinosaur noise that my other roosters had at 1 month of age, it was a full-blown baby crow. The sound was a developed crow, it just wasn’t very loud. 7 roosters all crowing now. I often think to myself, when I’m sitting on the bench out in the aviary (which is the same bench I had to use to shower after the accident because I couldn’t stand), how is this my life? How did I get here? This isn’t my beautiful wife. The upside is that he definitely looks like he’s an Egyptian Fayoumi, and that’s pretty neat since this breed is supposed to be an old breed that is kinda rare here in the US.

The rest of the birds are doing okay. Everyone is going through their molt right now, and that’s varying degrees of severity. Mercury is molting pretty hard, Ava’Dara is just now coming out of a hard molt (she started first), Ronan is having molting issues due to his long tail and his need to scuffle with Lucien every other day, and it just looks like a couple of pillows blew up in each pen. The baby White Polish girls are getting bigger every day. Haven’t had any noticeable health issues since Adrastea died. I think they’re going to end up being a tough bunch to handle later on since they’ve been raised outside and not inside where they could be handled multiple times a day. So, when I “tag” each one with their colour so I know who’s who, it’s going to be a chicken rodeo.

On the downside of things, we found this tiny feral bun last night and he wasn’t doing too good. We tried to get him to recover, but we found him too late. He died earlier this morning. Obviously, if you’ve followed this blog since I started it, you know I’m a sucker for animals and animals in need. Because of that, I’m used to things not ending in a way that I would prefer. The only thing you can do is try.

One of my favourite Marvel Comics characters is the Inhuman teleporting bulldog, Lockjaw. I have always wanted to adopt a bulldog so I could name him after the character, and I was planning on doing just that after getting my house built. Best laid plans. Because of being forced to resign from my job, I was forced to stop planning a new house and to start figuring out how I was going to keep the bird rescue/sanctuary going and how to not run out of the medication I need to keep going in relatively less pain. My brother got me this Funko POP! toy instead.

{Flock Updates} Gallery Dump

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Well, I have really sucked at keeping up with things. We lost one of the baby polish (no idea what caused it), Mim has continued to thrive and grow stronger (as do Sy and Fin), One-Two and Mumbles have acclimated to living with Ronan and Lucien (Ronan and Lucien are having issues with each other), and everything keeps moving forward.

{Photo of the Day} 01.07.2017

{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} Weathering the Weather

Literally. The weather has been bonkers lately. We actually might get snow on Thursday! It hasn’t snowed this late in spring here for a really long time. I mean, we’ve gotten serious hailstorms that have made it look like it snowed (just a week ago, in fact). I just took down all the winter plastic wrap on the pens, too. Go figure.

The 3 chickpeas are doing great! I called up Dr. Miller after the tiny black one hatched to make sure I knew what to look for in the event that the protruding naval became an issue. So far, has not slowed the tiny nugget down at all. Due to the size difference, it did take that one a little longer to work up the leg muscles to jump on top of the heater like the big grey one and the M&M spawn. They’ve been outside to visit the older birds, where only Mazikeen, Richmond, and Dalton visited them. Ronan and Lucien stopped by their tiny playpen to puff up and act macho and quickly got shooed away. So far, the naming pool for them is: Irving/Thessily (M&M spawn), Douma/Lux (big grey), and Helsing/Mina (little black).

All 8 of Big Momma’s baby buns have moved into the smaller chicken pen since Momma moved them out so she could have 3 more babies. If I hadn’t just quit my job, I’d try to trap her so I could take her in to get spayed. Poor girl needs a break! In addition to that, there was another batch of baby buns that were born near the house and one born out in the barn! Rabbits, man.

Ava’Dara and Sparta have gone broody on me again. I’m half convinced that Sparta is pretending to be broody and is really just hiding in the nesting boxes to avoid Memnoch. I’m not sure what’s going on with him, but this year he decided he needed to start breeding with all the hens and not just Mercury. Unfortunately, none of the other hens are really happy about that. Once I get the netting raised on the aviary part of the poultry compound (Dad built a couple of huge A-frames to create more headroom), I’m going to fix up the 2 small coops I got on CL and move M&M into one of them so tensions will ease up on the flock as a whole, with the other one to be used as a grow out coop for the chicks.

Richmond and Dalton are still laying eggs. Once they got going, they really got going. I have 8 (4 from each) right now that I’m considering putting up for sale on CL before they go bad. I’d hate for them to go to waste when I know they’re viable. 1 peafowl egg can be sold for as much as a dozen chicken eggs you buy at the grocery store, so I don’t really want to use them for food. That just seems like a waste of money to me right now. If I can’t sell them this week, I probably will blow out the eggs to use the shells for art and feed the eggs to the birds and dogs.

{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!

{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.