Jack

Jack

Sunday, December 4, 2022

One Of The First Signs Of Winter...

 ...are the upside-down traffic cameras around here.

Our big storms are always preceded by a Howling Nevada Windstorm, whose job it is to not only relocate your trash can five blocks over, but also beat the traffic cams into submission and flip them over. Last week, out in Washoe Valley not one of the five traffic cams was pointed at the road. Instead they showed cows...the sides of hills...some guy's truck in his yard...

They still work, of course. So we get fun views like this, with upside-down trees:


Last year was better though:



To be fair, this was just ahead of the storm that left us with this:


Can't wait to see what we get before the year ends!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Halloween Chickens!

So, my husband brought home this cute little ensemble, saying, "Now we can dress up the dog!"

Looks like a chicken outfit to me, I told him.

So, in the grand tradition of pet owners everywhere, I give you...Halloween chickens!

First up is Sesame, one of the Smokey Pearl chicks we hatched this spring. Both have grown into lovely, striking hens with loads of personality. A very fun, friendly breed who have to be RIGHT at your elbow and involved in whatever you are doing, who also have a natural-born chaotic streak and lay their eggs in really weird places--plant pots, inside the feeder, in the middle of the coop, etc.

Sesame wasn't really into it at first...

But then she clicked in! Ain't she cute?

By the way, notice her eyes.  Both of the Smokey Pearls have a lovely, exotic swirly-marbled look to their eyes! Each eye on each hen is different from the other.

The fuzzy orange monster thing wasn't well received by any of the chickens, who didn't like the weight and tended to duck out of it.

 

Next up for dignity removal is Chonk, our light Brahma Head Hen.

Most of the pics I got of the chickens wearing this thing looked like this.

Here, Chonk promises a long, drawn-out death for me sometime tonight. Sounds fair.


This is is Bobbie, our buff Brahma Head Rooster.

About the best thing you can say about Bobbie wearing this is that at least it distracts from all the feather molting going on.


Ah! Here we go. An old pro at stylishly wearing silly costumes, this is Milton, our bantam Belgian d'Uccle/Cochin mix roo. Milton used to be Head Roo until Bobbie grew up and realized he outmassed him by several pounds.



As long as we're embarrassing roos, this is Bacon, a tiny Belgian Danvers rooster.

He didn't dig it.

Arson, a lovely light Brahma/silver pencilled Something-Or-Other mix that we hatched from an egg we got from a neighbor this year. Arson is very sweet, and SO pretty!


It's just impossible to get a bad picture of her.

She looks like she should be in a Halloween ad.

She was the only one to successfully pull off the goofy orange monster head.


 Lastly is Darling, a little gray mottled Belgian d'Uccle hen, daughter of Milton, seen above.


Darling tolerated this for a bare few seconds. After this, one of my neighbors behnd us starting launching fireworks into the air and picture time was OVER as all the chickens said 'SCREW THIS' and went to hide out in the coop.



Sunday, June 12, 2022

Baby Chick Pics, At Two Months Old!

Welp, today was the final day of Chickam for this year, so we took pictures of the chicks, trimmed their wings, and flung the little stinkers outside. They'll stay in the small run today, go into the big run with the adults at dusk (darkness minimizes bullying since chickens can't see squat in the dark) and then tomorrow they'll get let loose in the yard with everyone else. Today is dark and thunderstormy, which my camera HATES--so apologies for the funky focus on some of the pictures.

So here, in the same order as their baby pics two months ago, are the chicks! No roosters yet that we know of...but Orpingtons and Brahmas are slow to mature so it might take a while to know for sure.

Arson, a hen (hopefully) hatched from eggs we got from our neighbor who runs a mixed flock of Dark & Light Brahmas, Salmon Faverolles, Australorp, and Barred Rocks. Time will tell what Arson turns out to be, but so far is looking very much like a dark Brahma--at least in part, she's kinda small. Arson was the only survivor of the chicks we hatched ourselves.


Such a cute face!

Feed store chicks next. All are pullets (hens) except for Mjolnir, who is a straight run (mixed hens/roos) chick.

Apricot, a Welsummer hen, who won the Queen of the Buttheads award during picture time hands-down.


Criminy, you'd think from those pictures that we were gonna eat her. Not that we weren't giving it some serious consideration at this point, because most of her pics look like this:


 Here, Apricot practices her sneak:


Frittata, a Danish Brown Leghorn hen.


 Anchoring herself by standing on her own feet.


Mjolnir (straight run, which means an unsexed batch of chicks, so time will tell if hen or roo!), a buff Orpington chick.


 

 

Bu Lu, a black Jersey Giant hen.


 

Bu Lu stayed true to form and kept trying to escape during picture time, so I got four or five pics of her like this:


These are two Smokey Pearl hens--a new breed for us. Don't know much about them, but they sure are pretty! Their first suit of real feathers came in white with a gray tinge, the random black streaks really came in. They keep the black as adults but their feathers will be a pretty gray-blue.

Sesame, who has lovely slatey-grey legs (and skin!) and dark beak. Sesame apparently rolled in her food this morning, topping off her look with an alfalfa leaf stuck to the top of her beak.


 


Beautiful chick...with a green leaf stuck to her beak. *sigh...*

Yep, another picture that looks like it should come attached to a ransom note.

Lastly, here is Enkidu, our other Smokey Pearl hen. Interesting that her legs aren't dark like Sesame's are. The best behaved of the bunch today!


 

Enkidu was the chick with the cute 'lil black heart-shaped spot on her left thigh...sadly, it's grow out. But as this is just her first suit of feathers, we'll wait and see what her first REAL suit of adult feathers looks like, when those blue-gray feathers come in!


This was a rambunctious batch!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Is That REALLY How You Sleep?

Yes. Yes it is. All seven of them, ignoring the perfectly good roost across the top of the brooder box, or even the edge of the box itself.

Oh, no. Instead, everyone cram onto the top of the too-small wire cage we placed because they kept walking across the laptop and changing the settings. The final straw was when we went out and discovered a pop-up asking if we were sure we wanted to reformat something or other. Once they started roosting here at night, we placed an old towel to protect the laptop from being pooped to death.


And yes, this IS how Bu Lu sleeps.

Tomorrow will be the final day of Chickam for this year. The kid and I will get fresh chick pics to post here, then they get booted out into the flock. No overt roosters so far...

Then I've got my work cut out for me digging into my equipment to figure out what went wrong with our hatch so it doesn't happen again.



Friday, April 22, 2022

Chickam Chicks 2022!

 Welp, after another rough start with a low hatch rate and several chicks that didn't make it, here are our Chickam chicks for this year. Only two of the six chicks we hatched made it, so we supplemented them with six chicks from the feed store--chickens are flock animals and suffer without company. So here they are in order of hatch and purchased feed store chicks!


Arson, a chick hatched from eggs we got from our neighbor who runs a mixed flock of Dark & Light Brahmas, Salmon Faverolles, Australorp, and Barred Rocks. Time will tell what Arson turns out to be!



Next is Mr. Boombastic Call Me Fantastic. YES, this is her full legal name, but she only uses it for formal affairs such as state dinners at the White House. We've been calling her Boombastic or Boomer for short. Boombastic is from our flock, likely has Bobbie our buff Brahma roo for dad, maybe Chonk the light Brahma or Jonesy the Buff Orpington for mom. Again, time will tell. Boomer preferred to sleep through picture time.



Feed store chicks next. All are pullets (hens) except for  Mjolnir, who is a straight run (mixed hens/roos) chick. The next two are a bit older than our hatch, about a week old.

Apricot, a Welsummer hen, who in this picture desires for you to admire her foot.



Frittata, a Danish Brown Leghorn hen who looks like she is posing for the definition of 'Glum'.



The next four feed store chicks are closer in age to our hatch.

Mjolnir (straight run, which means an unsexed batch of chicks, so time will tell if hen or roo!), a buff Orpington chick.



Bu Lu, a black Jersey Giant hen. Bu Lu decided to channel her inner ninja during picture time and practice her Sneak.


Bu Lu's bilateral face spots are like those hand-held airport traffic wands...a guidance system for FOOD GOES IN BEAK.

 

Next are two Smokey Pearl chicks--a new breed for us. Don't know much about them, but they sure are pretty! Yellow chicks with random black streaks, they keep the black as adults but their feathers are a pretty gray-blue.

Sesame, who has lovely slatey-grey legs (and skin!) and dark beak. Here, Sesame upholds Chickam tradition by being a Leaning Tower of Chicken.



Lastly, here is Enkidu, our other Smokey Pearl hen. Interesting that her legs aren't dark like Sesame's are. My daughter always picks out any chicks we get from feed stores, but we didn't notice Enkidu's special birthmark until we got her home.

Enkidu posing like an 'action shot' from a catalog from 1975 for men's polyester slacks:



...and Enkidu's cute lil' black heart mark on her left thigh! I really hope she keeps it.