Monday, January 25, 2016

Planning This Year's Chickam Hatch...

...so far no broody mama volunteers.

Instead they're all standing around like they are waiting for a bus.

We're going to do things a little differently this year, we're going for a smaller hatch and instead of using the ReptiPro incubator, we're going to recruit a broody hen to set the eggs, hatch the chicks and raise them!

This will mean secluding mama and eggs in the small run so that she isn't bothered and the eggs aren't harmed by competing hens and nosy, over-excited rooboys.  When hatch day is here we'll move mama and eggs to a brooder box in the house, start the cam and stand back.  We will have the ReptiPro standing by and fired up just in case, though.

Since our hens tend to go broody later in Spring, this will also mean that the Chickam hatch will most likely happen more towards the end of April into May--you can't force broodiness (although you can encourage it by making sure conditions are optimum).  Depending on who goes broody, we'll pick the most reliable hen as mama and use her.  If it's a full-size hen she'll get 12-14 eggs to brood, if it's a bantam 5-6 eggs.  We'll mix & match eggs of various breeds and sizes, and all of the eggs will be from our flock--no mail-order eggs this year.

Mama hens tend to stay clamped down pretty hard on the eggs and chicks, so the actual hatch won't be as exciting as it is with the incubator, but mama raising chicks is so very cute and sweet, and it really is fascinating to watch nature in action the old-fashioned way!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

This Just In...

Our team of highly-qualified experts has carefully checked our Powerball ticket...

And after chickeny consideration, stamped it 'Not A Winner'.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lake Tahoe...

...looked pretty in the snow today as we drove up to South Lake to get our Powerball ticket.

The clouds moving in over the lake were beautiful.

And heck, they make no-kidding icicles up here that put ours to shame!
I figured this was The Abominable Snowman's winter resort digs.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Icicle Season Is In Full Swing...

Over the last week or so the snow has persisted and our annual icicle crop is coming along handsomely.  By December 29th, even the chicken run had some fun ones!

You gotta admire Mother Nature's artwork.

I love the pattern in the ice from the hardware cloth.

And the Icy Hand Of Death icicle!

The small run was working on some larger ones.

Once in a while one would fall and leave interesting bits.  We closed the door and kept the chickens out so they wouldn't become chicken kabobs.

The ice on the house is just getting started.

But two days later on New Year's Eve, they were coming along nicely.

Looking decidedly more serious, especially that bad boy on the end, there.

By today I think we've reached maximum icicleness.

And the Icicle King is now 4 feet long and we worry about the dog walking under it.

These pictures also remind me of one of the many Springtime jobs awaiting us...repainting the eaves.