In this post from earlier this month, I mentioned that Chatter had an issue with her wings called Angel Wing. Instead of the wing feathers all folding up nice and neat against her body, the tips of her wings dropped away from her body, leaving her wing feathers poking out to her sides. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)
I have been working with her to correct it, and thought I'd share an update!
For 10 days, Chatter's wings were lightly wrapped with athletic tape, so that the tips of her wings were held in the correct position. She's still young, and she hasn't finished growing yet -- treating her early will allow the bones and muscles to be corrected. Her left wing was more severe than the other, so it took a little extra support to keep it in place. She didn't seem to mind the wraps. She could still stretch her wings out from her body, but the wraps kept the tips of her wings in the correct position once she relaxed them against her body.
After 10 days of having the wraps in place, I'm thrilled with the results! Her right wing is nearly perfect. Her long flight feathers tuck nicely in place now, and it looks great! It no longer drops away from her body, and the feathers fall into place just right. Her left wing still needs a bit more support before it's in such perfect condition. Now, instead of falling completely away from her body, it points straight back and still doesn't want to fold under the rest of her wing. But I am confident that it will, eventually!
I've had several requests for updated photos of the three baby Toulouse geese, so here ya go! They don't really look like babies anymore, do they!? (Don't forget, you can click on the photos for a pop-up of a larger view of the image.)
Tally (the oldest of the three) is on the right. And while she (?) looks to be almost fully feathered, there's still some growing to be done.
Chatter (one of the younger two) is on the left side of the feeder, and towards the back of this photo is Spruce, the second of the younger two. Admiral (the big rooster) is watching them enjoy a snack at one of the feeders.
Albert, Einstein, and Rocky are enjoying some time perched on the log I have in their yard. Albert and Einstein are while Silkie roosters. Rocky is a black frizzled Cochin. Silkies and frizzles aren't really known for perching on high perches, but they do enjoy a nice place elevated just enough for a different view on the world. The log provides that place for them. They were keeping a keen eye on the garden!
Here's another photo showing the geese. Chatter is the one closest, followed by Spruce, and finally Tally. You can see the baby fuzz still on the necks of Chatter and Spruce. Tally has lost almost all of her little down tufts now. Looks like Albert and Einstein are grabbing a snack, too... one on each side of the feeder.
This is Chatter. Notice the wingtips pointing outwards... that's called Angel Wing. The tips of her (?) wings don't naturally tuck under the rest of her wings, so I am working to correct it. While her feathers are still growing and before her bones stop growing, I have her wingtips lightly wrapped in the correct wing position (not in this photo, though). Hopefully with the wrapping, the muscles and bones will learn the correct placement, and her wings will look "correct" again.
Hope you've enjoyed this little update on the geese, and a few of their friends! I always love sitting out in the chicken yard catching up on the daily gossip. There was lots of it going around today!
Thank you for the requests for more details of the new coop. I snapped some photos this evening, and hope you find the details helpful, or at least enjoyable. Chicken coops are such a fun project since you can keep things simple, or make them as fancy as you'd like. I know basic carpentry (thanks, Dad!), but am not really much of a "finishing" carpenter when it comes to chicken coop details. I do like to keep things pretty simple and functional, but things might be a little rough around the edges. Chickens don't seem to mind, and neither do I. *grin*
We have a larger coop on the farm as well. If you would like to see our other coop, enjoy a scroll through the Chicken Coop category. You'll first find posts about this coop, and as you scroll through the posts you'll see the other coop as well.
Because it gets so *freaky* hot here, I like to have big screen doors for lots of breeze. I made two hardwire screen doors so that I can have either one, or both of the big front doors completely open, and still have the coop screened in. The screen doors are mounted to the door frame just inside the main solid doors.
In the summer I like to be able to keep the solid doors open, so the screen doors need lots of stability to keep out any coyote, etc. The door on the left has a long bolt that drops down through the floor and eventually rests on a structure beam beneath the floor. When I could, I used things we already had on the farm. I found this big rusty bolt in the dirt by the barn. No telling how many years it's been there, and finally got kicked to the surface!
The left door also has a bolt latch that secures it to the top of the door frame. The hole you see in the frame is for the top bolt on the solid door. It slides up into that hole to secure the top of the door when closed.
The right screendoor is secured to the left screendoor with two sliding bolts, one at the top and one at the bottom of the door.
I hung the screendoors so that they opened straight out. By placing the hinges on the front of the doors (instead of on the edges of the doors like you'd hang a regular door) I was able to set the screendoors farther back in the door frame. This allows enough room between the screendoors and the solid doors so that the door handle on the solid door has room to function, even when the screen doors are bolted in place. Having the doors open wide will make for quick and easy cleaning.
The red can in the background is feed storage. We ended up moving in some older nest boxes for the girls to use. To dress them up a bit, I added some flowery curtains in front of the openings. The curtains are strung up using clothesline tied between two screws, and cup hooks at the points between nest boxes to provide support to the line. They can hang straight...
On the back wall of the coop is a window. I built a hardwire screen for the window and hung it on hinges like a door, so that I can swing it open and still open and close the window when needed. The screen is held closed at the top and bottom using hook & eye latches. Right now, they're just regular hook & eye latches, but will be changed out for safety hook & eye latches after I buy some.
There are two perches in the coop, both 8' in length. Below each perch is a poop tray, so that as the chickens are roosting at night, their droppings fall onto the tray rather than down onto the floor. Since the coop is small, I wanted to be able to keep the floor of the coop as clean as possible and provide the girls with a bigger, cleaner space. For now, we have some old plastic roofing that's been rattling around in the barn for ages tacked up to see how the idea works. If it works well, I can either leave them in place, or replace them with wood.
They're doing a great job of catching the droppings and keeping the floor cleaner, but I'm not too thrilled with the curve (sag) in them. I think legths of plywood will work a bit better. Which is just fine .... we have a couple other projects to work on around the farm, and with those will come some scraps that will work perfectly to replace these two sheets of roofing. But for now, they're just dandy.
In the front corner of the coop opposite the nest boxes I have a small lamp fitted with a small florescent bulb. The lamp is secured in place, so if a bird knocks into the lamp, it won't fall. The young birds in the coop don't need a lamp for heat any longer, but having a bit of light for them to see at night helps keep them calm. Especially the young geese. The battery operated clock on the wall is for my benefit, not so much the chickens. Haa!
Outside the coop there have been some updates as well. Their yard is a 10x30 covered run. Under the sun shades the roof is lined with 1" chicken wire. There are two gates on the yard -- one next to the coop, and one at the far end near our larger coop.
The large old dog house in the far corner will eventually be where the geese hang out at night. As they get bigger they won't want to sleep in the coop at night. Having a place they can go that's on ground level and a little safe haven is important.
There are also two chick brooders in the yard. I like having brooders in the coop yards for various things... sometimes they're used as chick brooders, but usually as TLC wards. Right now I have one gal in the closest brooder who has a bit of an attitude problem. So, she gets to hang out in the brooder for a few days, observing the others as they mill around. In the other brooder, during the day I keep a teeny tiny young hen that's so small yet that she can fit through the chain link fence. So, until she grows big enough that she can't wiggle out of the yard, she chills out in the brooder with a friend or two. At night, her and her daily buddy go into the coop with the others to sleep.
There are also feed stations and water stations in the yard, at various levels. The big straw bale gives the girls something to climb on and tear apart, and the old wood fence post laying up next to the fence gives the girls a low to the ground place to perch. What you can't see, because they're out of frame to the left, are perches I have in the back corner of the yard in the opposite corner from the door. There are two 2x2s spaced about 1' from the ground, and 3' from the ground, to give the birds a place to roost during the day. The lower perch is for the frizzle and silkies, who can't fly up to a higher perch on their own.
In the side of the coop I cut the chicken door. I finally got the trim made, and now it just needs to be painted! I made the ladder out of an old 2x10 piece of lumber we had left over from when we built the raised garden beds. I added steps to the top, spaced just right for short bantam legs.
So, that's the little red barn coop in detail... When we change out the poop catchers to wood, I'll post an update.
My weekend and evenings this week have been spent getting the new coop all set up and ready for residents. I'm not completely done with all the details, but was able to get everyone moved in earlier this week. I haven't taken photos of the coop in detail yet, so I will snap a few shots this weekend and share. Until then, I thought I'd share some of the lucky residents!
I decided that since the coop was small, I would make it the bantam coop (and for now anyway, baby geese coop). This is Wiley in the middle of a bunch of his lady friends. Wiley is the only adult rooster in the coop. And I think he's pretty happy about that! And so are the girls! I think I have a few young male silkies and maybe a young male frizzle or two as well, but they're young enough it's still hard to tell. They can stay in this coop until they start being punks. Then they'll go into the larger coop with the big girls and boys, who will do a better job at keeping them in line.
Oh, and if you're wondering what bantams are, they are small chicken breeds as opposed to standard sized chicken breeds. The larger chicken house and yard (which we've had for several years) will be for the standards, ducks, my other two geese, and a few bantams that will do better just staying where they are.
I was happy to be able to move some of the older bantams into the new coop. This is Lovey, my oldest frizzle Cochin hen (she is the last of the Tiny Tim, Little Buddy, Ginger gang). I'm hoping that with less attention from roosters, her feathers will grow in on her poor little nake head, back, and neck. I'm also hoping that with a little extra TLC, she'll get a little more spunk. She's looking a little rough around the edges.
This is Peeper, the oldest chicken on the farm. She hatched 9 years ago... that's old! She was picked on by other birds from a young age. At one point, she got eye injuries that pretty much left her w/out her outer eyelids. Poor thing! I was thrilled to be able to move her into the new coop where she's not the smallest, or most timid one in the group.
I haven't put the trim up around the chicken door yet... but it's on the project list. I did get a nice ladder built though, with steps spaced just right for short bantam legs! Nutmeg is checking things out.
I will take a few more photos this weekend, and share some of the other details of the coop. I've been getting requests for an update -- thank you for your interest! It's fun sharing their new digs with you!
There's a new addition to the farm! I ordered this cute little red barn from a local builder to use as a second chicken coop. It was delivered on Friday. I'll still be using the large coop that's already on the farm, but wanted a second coop that's slightly smaller, for some of my bantams and the baby geese.
The barn is 8'x8', with 4' side walls. Instead of one large door on the front, I chose to have two smaller doors. They will be easier to manage, and easier to create screen doors for. There is a nice 2'x3' window on the back wall.
I wanted it placed just behind the end of the larger garden, so I had to wait to plant that area knowing that they would have to drive through the garden to place the barn in the location I wanted. Not only does it get shade all day in this location, but it also creates a wonderful wind break for the garden from the hot, dry southern winds we get all summer long.
With the barn in place, it was time to get started with the modifications. I had a little assistance putting the flooring in place. Actually, Daisy was less than thrilled to be helping. Pretty sure she would have rather been in the house lounging on her big soft bed.
I like using laminate flooring in the coops. It makes it so much easier to keep the floors clean -- sweeping up wood chips is so much easier when they glide across a slick floor! And it helps protect the flooring of the building from any moisture. Home Depot didn't have two boxes of the same "cheap" tiles, so I got creative. Pretty ugly! *grin*
I also made a heavy duty screen for the window, installed perches, and Alan helped me hang "poop catchers" so when the chickens are perched at night, their droppings don't fall all the way to the floor. Instead, they'll fall onto the "poop catchers". Hopefully they will make cleaning the coop easier and the hens will have a larger, cleaner floor space in the coop.
We don't have the run attached yet, no "chicken door" cut in the wall, and I haven't built the screen doors yet, but we have our first residents! The geese moved in, as well as four little baby chickens -- you can see a couple of them flying around in the background of this photo. They were very excited!
I'm so happy with this little red barn! Lots more work to do, but it's a wonderful addition to the farm!
How about putting a little "more" country on the country cottage house! I used the Sizzix Biz XL Country Cottage 3-D die to create a little chicken barn, complete with grain silo! I had the best time making this project!
I used some corn button embellishments to decorate the ends of the coop. I placed little brown brads on the door of the coop and the silo for door knobs. Using one of the shutter dies, I created a little sign to hang above the door... "The Coop".
I even used chickens from a couple of my Whipper Snapper cling mount sets to create some stand-up chickens for the yard! They were stamped on watercolor paper, colored, fussy cut, and a little tab at the bottom of each was slipped into a slit I made in the base of the cottage to allow them to stand upright.
When I adhered the coop onto the base, I placed it at a slight angle, allowing me a bit more room at the front of the cottage for the chickens.
I created the grain silo by wrapping The Paper Loft's designer woodgrain paper around a standard cardboard tissue roll. For the top of the silo, I die cut a scalloped circle and using scissors, snipped to the center of the scalloped circle so that I could form the circle into a cone shape by overlapping some of the scallops. A healthy addition of dry Distress Glitter to everything really sparkled up the place!
I hope this little coop provides you with a bit of inspiration! I know I can't WAIT to make more fun themed cottages! I've got quite a little collection started!
Happy Friday!! There's a new Mix-Ability challenge posted today in the challenge forum at SplitCoastStampers, and I couldn't resist playing along! The challenge is called Flock of Feathers (MIX43), and you are to use at least two feathers of different mediums (eg stamped, die cut, real...) on your project, or use the photo that was also shared on the challenge for color inspiration. I chose to use a die cut feather (2 actually), a real feather from one of my Cuckoo Marans hens, and even various colors found in the inspiration photo.
I have been itchin' to get out the watercoloring supplies again. It's been a while since I've used them, and I actually had to dust off the top of my palette! Boy, did it feel good to use them again!
To make my card, I first die cut the larger feather out of watercolor paper. Then I die cut the smaller feather out of another piece of watercolor paper that was the actual sheet I wanted to use on the front of my card. I had to place the small feather die in the exact spot I wanted it to be placed on my final project, because I would later pop the die cut feather back into it's original spot.
Once die cut, I popped out the feather from the background and applied various shades of red and purple to the feather. I painted the background paper as well, with vibrant shades of orange and yellow. I also painted the larger feather with beautiful shades of blue and green. Once the pieces were dry, I added a few detail lines to the feathers with my tracing wheel, just to give them a bit of visual texture. I placed the red/purple feather back into the background paper, making it perfectly flush with the background. Because of the precision cut of the metal die, the feather fit back into place perfectly.
I then adhered the real feather into place, and adhered the blue/green feather over top. The little turquoise button is dressed up with a hemp twine bow, and the sentiment is stamped in black StazOn ink. The painted panel is adhered to a heavy-weight white card base with foam adhesive.
The idea behind the Mix-Ability Challenge is to make mixed media simple and approachable, and to let you experiment using things you already have. Each Friday a new challenge is hosted, but there is no time limit, so you can participate whenever you'd like on each challenge. Join us, won't you!?
Stamps: A Muse
Ink: Black StazOn, SU Dye Based Re-Inkers
Paper: Fabriano 100% Cotton Cold Press Watercolor paper, Neenah
Other: SU Button, hemp twine, foam adhesive, hot glue, tracing wheel
The carton is an extra-jumbo sized carton (notice, only 10 spots) I use for eggs that are too large to fit in regular egg cartons. Some of our Golden Comet and Black Star hens, as well as a couple of the ducks, lay MASSIVE eggs that don't fit in regular egg cartons. So, I buy these extra-jumbo sized cartons for them. That's a duck egg in the back right corner.
Today there was a surprise in one of the nest boxes .... a GIANT goose egg! Thelma has been protecting that particular nest box for a few days, and now I know why! She wanted it to be ready when she was!
Find all the details of this week's challenge on the High Hopes blog.
Stamps: Lg Sunnie Face and Henrietta's Front from High Hopes Stamps; Sentiment from the Blooms & Sentiment cling set from Whipper Snapper Designs
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft
ShinHan Touch Twin markers
Other: glue dots, tracing wheel, Spellbinders large and pinked circle dies, October Afternoon button, kelp green Prismacolor pencil
Plans for us today include farm chores, farm chores, and more farm chores!
We might sneak a meal or two in... and surely a big, fresh cup of coffee (for me!)
Have a wonderful day of celebration!
Earlier this week I was checking on things out at the hen house. We have a duck that has a bum foot so I like to let her sit when she wants to so she's not being pestered by the boy ducks. Seems she sat long enough to brew up a baby! I'm just glad I was out at the hen house when I was, and saw the baby when I did! It would have surely been killed by the chickens when they came into the hen house for the night. I brought it in the house until Alan and I could try to reunite it with it's mother that night.
Later that night, Alan and I tried placing the baby back with its mother but she didn't want anything to do with it. And since we've been having trouble with rat snakes in the hen house, we decided to keep it as a house baby until its large enough to be outside. Quack!
She kept me company today while I hung out on the couch with my foot up. Soo cute and such a snuggler!
Remember our grasshopper infestation? Sooo not fun. Disgusting, actually. We are doing what we can to keep the numbers down to something a little less horrific. We have free-ranging chickens, ducks, and guinea, and lots of wild birds coming in to eat. We have most of the area around the house and yard mowed to discourage the grasshoppers from moving between pastures and the yard/garden area. But it wasn't knocking down the population like we needed.
I'm still using organic methods in the garden -- even relocating wheelie bugs and ladybugs to the garden when I find them other places on the farm. But when the numbers of grasshoppers creep up in the tall grass and trees in and around the yard, we spray those areas with a Malathion/water mixture. It's a little more serious than we normally use on the farm, but is still a garden-safe method of control.
During the day, grasshoppers are very active and hard to control. But at night grasshoppers stop feeding and climb up out of the grass and perch themselves along the edges of the pastures on the tall grass stems, along the fence wires, on trees, and weeds. And there they sit, waiting for us to make our way around the yard wearing our headlamps, armed with a sprayer. And yes, I still have grasshoppers in the garden. But not nearly as many as I would have if we weren't able to control the population in the areas around the yard.
So how about a small garden tour!
This yellow pear tomato plant is also amazing -- it's HUGE, and has officially reached the top of the 4' cage around it. The plant next to it (can't remember what it is!) is doing really well too, but there just aren't a lot of flowers on either of these plants. Some flowers, but not a lot. Maybe I need to supplement with some phosphorus to encourage flowers. I use bone meal when I prep the beds for planting, but maybe adding some worm casting tea might be beneficial. Hopefully I can encourage these two to put on more flowers!
I have cucumbers growing in several areas, but this is the largest area. A full 4'x8' bed of them, and they are quickly vining out of the bed's edges. Under those leaves are a bazillion flowers! And we've even picked a couple cucumbers! I think they are enjoying not being trellised this year.
The pumpkin is doing well (for just being old seeds tossed at the edge of a zucchini bed), and the zucchini and other squash plants are looking healthy. In the blue tub at the left are some mini white cucumbers, a great little variety that is really fun to grow!
Here's some organic bug control in the garden ... ducks! Chickens can be really hard on a garden since they're really drawn to eating leaves and small tender fruits, and like to take dust baths in the soft soil -- which isn't so great for plants. But ducks and guinea are great in a garden! They are more focused on bugs! They pull them right off the stems and leaves, and the ducks also root around the edges of the garden beds where other insects like to hide during the day.
This chick was also a temporary house guest. At a fairly young age she seemed to develop a palsy which made life in the coop with the other chickens very difficult. She had a hard time keeping up with the other babies, had a hard time keeping herself on her feet, and had a tendency to get stuck places she couldn't get herself out of. So while I was out west visiting friends, Alan brought her inside for extra TLC. I love coming home to house chickens! *grin*
Anyway, I thought you might like a little update on this little cutie!
Turns out, she wasn't a she after all, but a HE! After a few weeks of in-house TLC, he showed great improvement. While he still gets the shakes and sometimes completely topples over, it's not as frequent as before. He now has much better control over his muscles. He returned to the coop with the others, but has his own 3'x4' brooder to hang out in when he has difficult days. I call it his bachelor pad. He's face to face with all the other chickens, and sings to all the ladies.
I used one of my very favorite Whipper Snapper sets, called Sunnyside Up, to make this card.
Stamps: Sunnyside Up Cling Set
Ink: Memento Black, Antique Linen Distress Ink
Paper: October Afternoon
Other: Buttons, string, various Copic and Touch Twin markers, tracing wheel, SU punch
I am really enjoying them. I haven't NAMED them yet, though.... *ugh!* I just can't decide! It would really help if I knew their genders, but I don't want to insult them by attempting to check. This is the older of the two, and I have a feeling it's a male. Their personalities are quite different. This one LOVES me. Love to be held, climbs up on my lap if I'm sitting in the grass, follows me anywhere.
This is the younger of the two, and I have a feeling this one is a girl. This one is not as attached to me as the other. It does NOT like to be caught, but once I've got her, she enjoys being held. She is much more independent than the older one.
Want to take the baby geese for a walk? I thought you might... *grin*
As always, if you're having trouble viewing the video here on my blog, you'll find it on my YouTube channel.
Care to see the card? I used the ladybugs2love from The Stamps of Life set to create this card. The "path" of the ladybug was created using twine. I used a small glue pen to tack the twine down in a couple of spots.
Stamps: ladybugs2love by The Stamps of Life
Paper: Neenah, Bazzil, October Afternoon, Stampin' Up!
Dies: Words & Tags and Majestic Labels, by Sizzix
Ink: Licorice, Guava, Strawberry, and Bubblegum by Stephanie Barnard ColorBox
Other: bakers twine, twine, tracing wheel
So, I mentioned last week that we welcomed a new little gosling to the farm. Well, we couldn't have just ONE, so late last week we also welcomed a second little one to the farm! (I already mentioned this on FaceBook, but haven't mentioned it here yet...) I thought I'd share some photos of them, enjoying some time on my crafting table. Isn't that what everyone has on their crafting table?! *grin* The youngest one, on the left, is the second one we brought home. The oldest one, on the right, is the first one we brought home.
We haven't settled on names yet. But we do have some considerations... Loosie, Raspberry, Zerbert, Doodles ... do you have a suggestion?
This is the younger of the two. She (we're going with that until we know for sure) was about 3 days old when I took these photos. She's more like 8 days old now, and I'm pretty sure she has doubled in size. Ha!
Want to see more!? How about in video form!?
And, as always, if you're having trouble viewing these videos here on my blog, you can find them here on my YouTube channel.
Cute, cute, CUTE!!!
The sentiment on the card is from one of my Whipper Snapper cling mount sets called Friendly Expressions.
Find all the details of this week's challenge on the High Hopes blog.
Stamp: "Gardening Gertie" by High Hopes Rubber Stamps, "Friendly Expressions" cling set by Whipper Snapper Designs
Ink: Memento Black
Paper: Neenah, The Paper Loft, Bo Bunny, Paper Accents
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: YR132, YR133, YR25, YR32, YR21, BR97, BR107, BR102, BR92, Y36, WG5, GY175, Y42, WG3, PB144, PB185, B182, R136, B68, R3, R2, B64, B66, Y34, Y36, YR33, CG1, CG3, CG5
Other: Prima flowers, SEI brad, Tracing Wheel, Spellbinders label die, MFT label die, May Arts ribbon
Hope you're having a great day!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter, Eggs2Hunt, and Pattern2Love by The Stamps of Life
Dies: Eggs by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Sand Memento, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, B143, PB144
Paper: Neenah, October Afternoon, Bazzil, Bo Bunny
Other: button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
For two months in 2010 I kept track of the number of eggs gathered daily from the ladies. I've been asked if I'd do it again -- seems it was enjoyed -- so, I thought, why not!? Let the counting begin!
I will continue to update this post. You can find it in the Categories list on the right side of my blog under Egg Count.
Hen Count: pending count
Rooster Count: pending count
Ducks: 6 hens, 2 drake
Egg Totals per Day
April 12: 42
April 11: 48
April 10: 50
April 9: 51
April 8: 49
April 7: 56
April 6: 52
April 5: 48
April 4: 47
April 3: 51
April 2: 47
April 1: 53
March 2013: 1477
March 31: 44
March 30: 41
March 29: 47
March 28: 50
March 27: 55
March 26: 36
March 25: 65
March 24: 46
March 23: 51
March 22: 55
March 21: 55
March 20: 58
March 19: 51
March 18: 58
March 17: 47
March 16: 54
March 15: 57
March 14: 31
March 13: 42
March 12: 49
March 11: 52
March 10: 45
March 9: 39
March 8: 42
March 7: 47
March 6: 48
March 5: 49
March 4: 45
March 3: 45
March 2: 38
March 1: 35
It's official.... the first chicks of the year have arrived. I stopped in at the farm supply store yesterday for a few things, and would you just look who followed me home! In this photo are 6 chicks: four bantam cochin, and 2 Golden Comets (Golden Sexlink) pullets. I brought the bantam babies home because, well, I just cannot resist a bantam cochin baby. They may well be my favorite breed, which makes it near impossible for me when I see their wee little feathered feet! That little one on the right is quite the eater, wouldn't you say!? And the Golden Comets came home with me because they are GREAT egg layers, and very sweet hens. You really can't go wrong with a Golden Comet.
So while there are only 6 babies in the photo, I actually brought home 7 chicks. The 7th chick was just outside the frame of the photo. I noticed while I was at the store that there was a little red chick that wasn't doing so well. She never got up to eat, had no fight in her when I picked her up, and didn't move away from the others if they walked over the top of her. So I brought her home too, knowing that she wouldn't survive the day if left at the store. In fact, I didn't even think she'd survive the day even at the farm. But at least if she did pass away I could enjoy knowing that she lived a portion of her life on a farm, and didn't die unloved and have her lifeless body tossed into a dumpster. She actually did end up passing about two hours after I got home. But she died a farm chick, and I'm good with that!
The little cheep cheep cheep of baby chicks is hard not to love. Spring has sprung!
A quick and cheerful spring card to share with you today! I made this card using the little fuzzy chick image from The Stamps of Life Eggs4Easter stamp set. The chick in the middle is the "true" shape of the stamp. Because the belly of the chick stamp is open (the stamp's clear polymer doesn't completely fill the center of the stamp), the stamp can be shaped a bit, allowing for the chick to become taller, shorter, thinner, fatter! To create this grouping, I stamped the original chick once, put a post-it note mask over it, reshaped the chick stamp, and stamped the chick a couple more times. Such a fun and easy way to create a group!
It was so fun being able to give a bit of shape to these chicks! Once I had them stamped, I colored them with Touch Twin markers and added a bit of grass around their feet with a Prismacolor colored pencil. The little fatty in the front was stamped on a separate piece of paper, then cut out and adhered to the card using foam adhesive. This makes him pop out a bit from the others, and really say hello!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Antique Linen Distress Ink by Ranger, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, R3, R2, GY175, 0, CG.5
Paper: Neenah, Bo Bunny
Other: Prismacolor Pencil (Kelp Green), button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
There's still time to enter the December 2012 sketch challenge being hosted by The Paper Loft. And, there's a BIG prize for one lucky winner! Find all the details on The Paper Loft blog!
The challenge runs until December 31st, so get crackin'! *grin*
Main Stamp: "Not Exactly Monday" by me, available at Whipper Snapper Designs
Sentiment Stamp: by A Muse (an oldie!)
Paper: The Paper Loft "Huckleberry Pond", Neenah, Paper Accents
Ink: Memento Black, Ranger Antique Linen
Shinhan Touch Twin markers
Other: Button, twine, small self-adhesive pearls
A blog post I wrote about one of our egg-eating snake incidents was re-published on Community Chickens, a website published by Ogden Publications, who bring us great magazines such as Mother Earth News, Grit, Utne Reader, etc.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for us to have a temporary house chicken. Thankfully they're small and don't take up much room. They are cheerful and most grateful for the attention. Most of them get to rejoin the flock after a day or two of housebound TLC.
But this little gal might need a bit more care. She doesn't get around too well on her own in big places. She gets the shakes and has a tendency to get herself in places she can't easily get out of.
She was having a real hard time of it while I was in Oregon so Alan moved her into a small pet carrier and set her up in my office with a safe place to rest. She enjoyed warmth from a lamp and safety in her smaller "home".
She enjoys being held, is curious about things on my desk, and seems quite content in her new environment. Since she doesn't have to go far for food, water, and safety, she is doing much better about keeping calm and relaxed.
I think she is pretty cute.... and best of all, she is actually the baby of the late Tiny Tim and Cricket, who was a long time house chick until she was big enough to join her flock outside.
Now we probably need to settle on a name...
I thought I would pop on out to the garden this evening and see what the chickens were up to. Some of them were hunting for bugs in the grass. Good chickens! (Rosie in the front, Goldilocks, Poof, and Rosie in the distance). Yes, I have several Rosie's. You try telling several Golden Comet chickens apart on a regular basis! *grin*
Some of them were enjoying the sunshine. By the way, this is Dolly... my, how he has changed!
Lola is a Bearded Buff Laced Polish. Isn't she a beauty! Check out her blue legs! I love raising Polish hens. They have the sweetest personalities, although sometimes they can be a bit punchy (probably because they can't see all that well with their big headdresses!)
It has rained all day. In fact, it's 11:30pm and it's STILL raining! We LOVE it!! We sooooo needed this rain. But that just means that it's time for me to knock the dust off, and dead bugs out of my muck boots and prepare for a muddy week of farm chores. Seriously, it gets mega-slick here after a rain. It's disgusting, actually.
So, what did I do on this delightful rainy Saturday?
And I stamped! Yay! The image and sentiment are from my Whipper Snapper cling set called Beautiful Day.
I think Alan and I are going to a gun show tomorrow ... and who knows, maybe we'll come home with a new pistol.... *grin*
Hope you are having a super weekend!
Cricket has been sitting on eggs hoping to hatch them. And hatch them she did! This little one was the last to hatch and with all the other babies to attend to, Cricket left the nest, leaving this one still in her egg, and getting chilled.
So this morning I brought the egg in the house and set it up on my desk in a small box lined with tissues and set it under a lamp. And what do ya know, midway through my day, this little one appeared! (Photos taken with my iPhone)
Tonight after Cricket and her babies settle in, I will tuck this little one under Cricket's wing. And come morning, she will be happy as can be with her family.
A little TLC was all it took. Happy day!
That lump you see behind it's head... that is it's most recent snack -- one of my large sized chicken eggs! It hadn't swallowed it yet when I saw it for the first time, and by the time Alan and I got back out to the hen house with the snake catchers, there was no getting that egg back. I'm guessing it ate at least 3 or 4 other small bantam eggs from the nest box, too.
This rat snake is over 4' long ... and while they are good snakes, I really don't want them in the hen house eating the eggs. Alan caught it and we relocated it to a remote wooded area about 4 miles from the farm. Not far enough away, if you ask me!
How about a little beachy fun!? I'd sure like to be at a beach today... an Oregon one, preferably! I used my Beach Bum cling mount set to create this bright, cheerful card.
Hope you have a great day!
It's time for another Color Throwdown Challenge! This is my fourth and final week as a guest designer. I've enjoyed participating in the CTD challenges greatly! Each week, a new color challenge is posted on the Color Throwdown blog. Stampers are encouraged to participate, and the designers who contribute weekly provide wonderful samples to inspire.
I enjoyed this week's color challenge. The fresh pop of coral and tangerine along with the pool party blue are very "summer" colors. I was inspired by all of the colors of the umbrella, not just the four posted for the challenge.
Since we're having triple digit temps this week, I think going beachside would be the way to go! I picked up this stamp at the stamp/scrap convention in Arlington last month. The stamp is K1-10880-H by Inky Antics. She's charming, and doing her best to get sun on those under-wings. *grin*
Pop over to the Color Throwdown blog and participate in this week's color challenge. I'd be delighted, if you did!
The existing yard was 30'x40'. To add to the length of the yard, we took the kennel panels we used to use to keep the goats in at night (when they were little) over to the chicken yard. In the photo above, we were in the process of adding the panels to the end of the existing chicken yard. After we had two additional panels added to each side of the yard, we moved the three end panels out to the 'new' end of the yard. Alan set a t-post at each joining section of fence, to keep things nice and stable.
By adding four more panels we were able to make the yard 30'x60'! I will need to fasten some wires across the yard at various locations to deter predatory birds from dropping into the yard. At night, all the chickens and ducks get locked up in the covered yard/coop area, safe from night time predators.