Sunday, April 11, 2021

Almost Houseguests...

Part of the garden junk in the front yard includes a little faux-stone birdhouse, hung about a foot from our front door. It's meant to be solely decorative.

But House sparrows being how they  are, a pair of them has decided to move right in. We have to walk right under the thing every time we go out to the car, time will tell if they stick with it and actually hatch any chicks. At any rate, this particular pair seems to have an excessive fondness for dry grass.

The hen was in there and flew out as I was taking the pictures. She perched about six feet away, in my contorted redbud tree, and bitched me out something fierce.

Gonna have to have a talk with this pair about learning to work and play well with others.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Baby Chick Pix!

Well, after a rather grim start to Chickam this year--we discovered too late that either the new stuffed toy, the cardboard I'd used to make the brooder box--or both, had apparently been treated with some kind of chemicals. When the warmth from the heat lamp activated it, the chemicals created fumes, which in turn killed 5 chicks. I suspect that because of Covid or a change in the manufacturing process, chemicals toxic to the chicks were present. There was no odor or anything else that made us suspect anything different this year, and all of the source materials were the same as in years before.

Once we caught on, we ditched the brooder box and the stuffed toy. As of today, the chick deaths seem to have ceased. Out of 16 chicks that hatched, 10 made it. And because we are suckers who cannot resist, a trip to the feed store after the hatch got us an additional 4 chicks! Some of the chicks are marked with either a colored leg band or a food color spot to make IDing who's who easier. There are two siblings in this hatch, Ouzo and Harvey.

So in order of first hatched to last, here are this year's chicks--as they get older, their parentage should become more clear, and I'll update any changes, here:

Kana - Kana was compelled to holler her head off during picture time. Mom possibly our Americanas hen Cheese, Daddy is Bobbie, the buff Brahma rooster.

Moosebaby - Another chick with Cheese for mom, Bobbie for dad, although our buff Brahma/Americaunas hen Pie might also be mom.

Taffy - (blue right leg band) Carrie our white mottle black Cochin/Belgian d'Uccle mix roo is dad, mom is one of our black bantam hens.

Octavius - (purple leg band) Carrie is daddy again, mom is likely one of our larger black hens.

Ouzo - a chick from one of the large, white eggs! Daddy is Bobbie, mom is most likely Boombox, our white Leghorn hen.

Saber - (blue food color spot on back & chest) Daddy possibly Milton, our tortoiseshell bantam Cochin/Belgian d'Uccle mix roo, mom maybe one of our red/brown bantam Cochin hens (Gumdrop, Paprika or Basil) or either of our buff bantam hens (Sophie or Uptown Bus).

Biscuit - (Green food color spot on chest & back) Daddy is Bobbie yet again (busy boy!), mom might be Tingle.

Sybil Disobediance - (blue left leg band) Going by Sybil's short shanks, Mom is Paprika, Gumdrop or Basil, daddy is Carrie or Bacon, our Belgian Danvers roo. Here, Sybil the block o' chicken strives to be a cube.

Harvey - (blue right leg band) Another chick from one of the big, white eggs. Mom is likely Boombox, daddy is Bobbie again.

Now for the four chicks from the feed store!

Jonesy - (two weeks old)  A buff Orpington, Jonesy is just old enough to be entering the 'scruffy' stage.

Spork - Spork is a Dominique chick, and quite the handful--friendly, curious and full of energy. The Head Hen of the batch!

Slick Charlie - a partridge Rock chick.

Nyx - A Midnight Majesty Marans chick (I've been calling her a Midnight Marauder tho, we'll see how that one fits!)

Friday, April 2, 2021

Chickam Candidates!

On March 13th we set 36 eggs in the incubator, and at 13 days in, I candled them. We had 26 eggs with embryos, with another 2 eggs with shells too dark to be sure.

Three days before hatch, we moved the eggs to the bottom of the incubator, crossed our fingers and waited!

Now to see what we get! I'm especially curious about the large, white eggs--possibly from our white Leghorn hen, Boombox.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

I'm Almost Afraid To Look...

The snow has mostly melted away and the mud has relented enough for me to set foot outside, so off I trot to inspect the damage the blizzard did to our small chicken run.

As expected, the top is toast.

Bonus wild crow on the top of the coop acting as supervisor.

Chonk, the large white Brahma in the foreground and our Head Hen, disavows any knowledge of how this happened--and for once is blameless in breaking this particular thing.

The top was constructed of steel pipe. The weight of the snow bent it like it was nothing.

Luckily, we can reuse the hardware cloth and corner attachments. The additional bend at each corner was in this same pipe, and hopefully the two uprights will spring back into place once we take this part out...if not, we're gonna be doin' us some diggin', those things are anchored in cement about two feet underground!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

My Unpleasant Surprise For Today...


I washed a couple of chair pads in what is apparently, my very own Laundry Thunderdome. Two went in, one came out.

 Like they say...there can be only one.

Cue muttered cussing as I picked allll that fluff outta my washer.

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Day After

We're still getting snow pretty much constantly, but it's settled down to a normal snowfall. We got some pogonip overnight!


All the trees and bushes in the yard are lined with snow, it's very pretty. The Curly Willow looks especially nifty. Close up of snow crystals on a rose branch.

It's all very pretty, even if it is well over my knees!

Thursday, January 28, 2021


 Yeah, the sun came up, and gave us all a good look.

The chicken coop and run are still there...kinda. The top of the small run (on the right) took one for the team.


Yup, the entire top buckled from the weight of the snow. Luckily we only use this run as a 'day spa' type enclosure, no chickens were in it at the time. We're going to have to wait until the snow melts to see what kind of repairs we'll have to do.

My 2 foot tall buff Brahma rooster, Bobbie, as measuring stick for the snow outside the run behind him. The chickens were NOT HAPPY so I got the Hell outta there.

 Obligatory, 'Dogloo as an igloo, haha' pic.

The front yard. My favorite part is how you can see the depth of the snow that has drifted against the chain link on the street side. Can't *wait* until they get around to plowing our street, and seal off our driveway but good.

As expected, the avalanche cannons up at Tahoe are going off pretty much non-stop today.