Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just a Few Words

Nothing special about this past weekend.  We were going to visit my parents, but we figured with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I will have a four day weekend.  So we stayed home, deciding to venture out in that direction later this week.  Henry, our nieghbor, made a grill for us out of an old water heater.  It turned out a lot nicer than I expected.  We bought some pork butt roasts, and Mike put them on the grill Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m. to smoke over some oak wood.

I haven't taken a pic of the finished product, but it turned out pretty nice.  We smoked the butt roasts for eight hours, and they turned out wonderful.  We invited our friends Les and Robin over.  I've never been to Les and Robin's, but Mike has.  They have a lot of chickens.  But Les lets a lot of his free range.  They just had a baby in September and he is so adorable.  I was holding him, and it made me wish I had a baby.  I've always loved kids.  I think they are a lot of fun.  I once worked for Head Start (3-5 years old) and most of those kids were a blast.
We are down to just two kittens.  One Henry is taking to his house for his son's 9th birthday next week.  So we will have just one kitten.  I think Mike has decided to keep him.  His name is (of all things) Black Kitty. 

He's so funny, though.  Black Kitty races up and down the hall like a bolt of black lightning, barely visible as he slips through your feet. (I'm dreading putting up the Christmas tree).  Then, when he tires out, he climbs right up on your lap, or sometimes up your chest uner your chin, and falls fast asleep.
We did drag out the Christmas decorations this weekend.  I put together the tree, but I have not put out any decorations, except a few that I could just set around the house.  Sunday was pretty much a do-nothing day.  I did talk with my brother, who works at an egg farm.  They have eleven huge hen houses with around 300,000 hens in each house.  He's only worked there a little over a month, and they have already put him in charge of his own house.  Kudos for him.  He's working Thanksgiving day, but he will be there at my folks home in the evening.
One more pic for the day.  I have to share this pic of my bantam hen that I got from Henry as a little chick. 
She has turned out so pretty.  I'm considering mating her with Bucky.  They would have some pretty chicks, I'm sure.  I love her fan tail.  She almost looks like a Japanese bantam.  She may have some in her, but she comes from mixed bantams.  Her original flock belongs to Farmer, that farmer that lives behind us.  (Mike just calls him farmer)  But that's about it.  More to come later this week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Babies for the Weekend

I couldn't resist.  I had to post a couple of these pics of the baby silkies peeking out from moma! 

She would have been a great mom, methinks.  But we removed the babies because we have had some pretty cool nights.  They are in a brooder box with a large breed chick and a bantam chick.  The bantam chick is old enough to be out with some other bantam chicks in a coop.  They are 2 months old, but he's smaller than the others and keeps squezzing through the holes and running out on his own.  After that owl incident I'd rather keep an eye on him.  Mike got some bantam eggs incubating that came from the neighbors hen and rooster.  I'm not sure what the plans are for those. I'll have to ask this weekend.  Everyone have a great weekend!!

An idiot decided to start a chicken farm so he bought a hundred chickens to begin with.

A month later he returned to the breeder for another hundred chickens because all of the first lot had died.
A month later he was back at the breeder for another hundred chickens for the second lot had also died.
The breeder was a bit confused and wanted to help. So he asked the idiot what he was doing in hopes that he could offer advice on what to change.
The idiot responded with, “I think I might be planting them too deep.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pigeon Update

I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that the other pigeons came home to roost in the coop again.  I'm sure they were afraid to return for a few days because they were frightened.  That owl incident was awful for them and us.  But that mean old bird won't be bothering them again.  They are safe and some in the coop, which we might be moving closer to the house this weekend, anyway.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that one of the pigeons still alive had been injured by the owl.  There was a visible gash in it's chest that I had been considering stitching.  However, she got close enough to Michael the other day when she was eating and drinking for him to see that she was getting no sustenance.  Everything she ate and drank poured out of a hole in her throat.  It was only a matter of time before she would either starve or dehydrate.  She had to be humanely euthanized.

....and then there were three.  We down to only three pigeons.  I'm not going to buy any from a market breeder.  They are just too expensive.  Mike said he'd check with Mr. George to see if he has any he'd be willing to sell.  He races his, and has a ton of them.  Sometimes he gets too many and sells off a few to get rid of them.  We will see.
This farmer has about 200 hens, but no rooster, and he wants chicks. So he goes down the road to the next farmer and asks if he has a rooster which he would sell.
The other farmer says, "Yeah, I've this great rooster, named Randy. He'll service every chicken you got, no problem."
Well, Randy the rooster costs a lot of money, but, farmer decides he'd be worth it. So, he buys Randy and takes the rooster home.
He then sets him down in the barnyard and gives the rooster a pep talk, "Randy, I want you to pace yourself now. You've got a lot of chickens to service here, and you cost me a lot of money. Consequently, I'll need you to do a good job.
"So, take your time and have some fun," the farmer ended with a chuckle.
Randy seemed to understand, so the farmer points toward the hen house, and Randy took off like a shot.
WHAM! Randy nails every hen in the hen house three or four times, and the farmer is really shocked.
After that the farmer hears a commotion in the duck pen, sure enough, Randy is in there.
Later, the farmer sees Randy after the flock of geese down by the lake. Once again, WHAM! He gets all the geese.
By sunset he sees Randy out in the fields chasing quail and pheasants. The farmer is distraught -- worried that his expensive rooster won't even last 24 hours.
Sure enough, the farmer goes to bed and wakes up the next day to find Randy dead as a doorknob -- stone cold in the middle of the yard and buzzards are circling overhead.
The farmer, saddened by the loss of such a colorful and expensive animal, shakes his head and says, "Oh, Randy, I told you to pace yourself. I tried to get you to slow down, now look what you've done to yourself.
Randy opens one eye, nods toward the buzzards circling in the sky and says, "SHHHH, they're getting closer..."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Man Chickens

Here's Perogi.  He's a mean one, Mr. Grinch.  We keep him in a coop away from the others.  He's a great breeder, though.  He's Rhode Island Red, but he must be mixed because he has a peac comb.  He's got a couple of black sex links with him right now.

This is our Black Orphington rooster.  He's a beautiful bird with bright, shiny feathers.  His name is Blackie Chan.  He's with a black and a buff orphington hen.

I can't leave out Bucky!  He's a mean one, too.  Mike's arms are all scratched up where this little bantam spurred the snot out of him.  He loves the sound of his own voice, too.  He crows all day long, and ocassionally during to odd hours of the night.  He's got a girlfriend...China.  But I have a white hen that should be ready to start laying soon.  She'll be his girlfriend, too.

You saw Little Chicken yesterday, along with the blue silkie rooster.  I also have a white silkie rooster and white silkie hen.  There's also two other roosters that I'm still trying to identify.  They are either Dominique, Barred Plymouth Rock, or Cuckoo Maran.  All three of these look similar, and pictures in books and on the internet differ.  It's hard to tell when you're not a chicken expert!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken Pics

My Blue Splash Silkies.  The hen got Mereks when she was a small chick and lost one eye.  She's still pretty young, but seems to be doing okay.  Her name is Blueberry.  No name for the rooster yet.

This is Dana.  She's a White Cornish Rock.  She was being raised for Perdue, which sells chicken in the grocery market.  I have a few others, but she has a messed up foot.  One foot is bigger than the other.  She walks with a limp, but gets around just fine.  Very sweet, gentle, and loving.

One of the five little silkie chicks.  They are so fuzzy and cute.  They have huge eyes!

This is Little Chicken!  Can you believe you big he has gotten!  He's about 8 months old now and is just starting to get his pubescent, sick-sounding crow.  He's a biter, but I think he's just an eater.  He loves to eat!  He's turning out to be a beautiful rooster, though! 

More chickens later, y'all!!


So I finally got me some pics to post.  These are my pigeons.  They are a lot of fun.  I haven't trained them for miles, so they just fly around home.  But we let them out in the afternoons and they take off flying around home.  Sometimes they go out of sight and are gone for some time.  I have no idea where they go, but quite often they simply fly circles around the area.  When they are done flying they land on the shed or in the yard, or in the very tall pine tree at the back corner of the back yard.  They ocassionally find water to bathe in.  They when the sun begins to set they fly back into their coop, and I toss them some mixed grains to munch on before sleepy time.  But since the owl incident they won't even land in the yard.  They are staying high in the pine tree.  It may be safer for them because they have a chance to fly away, at least.  I just don't want them to feel so comfortable outside that they don't return home.  I never named them.  When I got them they were very skiddish.  They would fly to the top of the coop when I tossed grains or bread in for them.  As of late they would fly down to eat when I would feed them.  Hope they are okay. 

Got chicken pics in a third post for today!!

Eventful Weekend

Well, I promised pics last week, and I failed.  I failed you all when I said the end of the week had not yet arrived, but I would post pics by then.  I did no such thing, as I am now a failure.  But I did get some pics this weekend which will follow in the next post.  Mike and I had a scary Saturday night.  A little after 3:30 a.m. Mike woke me to tell me something was getting the chickens!  Occasionally a rooster will crow in the middle of the night, but most often the hens are sleeping or at least trying to do so, with little or no noise of their own.  But Saturday night the whole lot of them were making quite a raucous that woke Mike.  There was a huge (wing span of about 4 feet) owl claws first in the pigeon coop!  It flew off, and we wait 10 minutes or so before returning to bed.  Once again, the chickens started squawking and we raced out again to see the owl fly off!  This happened several times before the owl finally succeeded in killing one of the pigeons and maming one other one.  I was so angry!  We were sad at the loss of our only barred racer.  One of the dark racers was injured.  They next morning they flew out and about and returned Sunday evening, but refused to go back into the coop.  They still fly around, but will not go in after that incident.  I don't blame them.  The worst part is they are a protected species, maiking it illegal to hurt or kill one of these (beautiful) birds of prey.   All I can say is that my birds are well protected from that owl. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans and Ida

What a week this has turned out to be.  Work has been insane and had me quite upset yesterday.  I have been spending more time on the truck than I really care for.  I applied for this position to get away from that, but I cannot seem to shake it.  I guess I just added more work.  But I still have a good job, and that I am grateful for.  I had so intended to at the least do a post yesterday for Veterans Day, but I had so much going on that I just was unable to.  But I don't see why we should reserve just one day a year to thank our veterans.  They are serving our country 365 days a year.  Can they not be thanked 365 days a year?  If you have the freedom to blog about whatever hits your heartstrings, thank a veteran today!

As for Ida, a tropical storm that hit the gulf coast earlier this week, and did nothing....thank you Becca, over at Becca's Dirt for this mess you sent us.  She lives nearly 1300 miles away, and I am being affected by the same storm she did.  However, Ida is doing more damage here on the east coast that she did down on the gulf.  We had rain for over 36 hours straight.  And I do mean down pours.  And the wind has been just screaming through the trees.  I spoke with my mom this morning, and she had trouble getting out of her home because the road she lives on was flooded.  One of our stores in Cheseapeake, VA is closed today because of the flooding.  It's nothing like the storms that hit the Phillipines by any measure, but it has been quite unpleasant weather, nasty to say the least.  My poor chickens.  I checked on them this morning, and they were dreanched.  Mike put extra tarps around the coops yesterday to help some, but the horizontal rain did whatever it felt.  I know I promised pictures this week.  I have not forgotten.  It has been one of those weeks.  But the week is not over.  I'll get them.  Again, thank you to all our heros.  May the hand of God be with those currently deployed, bring them safety, comfort, and a speedy return home!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Really Not Worth It

Okay, this is really fast.  I just don't have time to post, but I wanna get a word in nonetheless.  The weekend wasn't horrible.  I kinda had a little fun.  And I expended over 264 rounds of ammunition at the range...shouldn't have had to, but it wasn't my fault.  I didn't get to zero my weapon, so I had to guess at my aim at the targets.  Tents had heat and bunk beds.  Had hot showers and sinks for brushing teeth and shaving.  Hot food served to us.  Good weekend overall.  Fuzzy bottoms born today!!  Mike called me at work to tell me they were hatched.  I was about to discard the eggs because it has been 26 days!  But it was her first clutch, and she got up more than she should have.  Two silkie roosters died this week.  Don't know why.  One was the daddy.  They died the same day with no real visible symptoms of any illness.  Any body have any ideas?  Anyway, that's a small nutshell.  I'll get pics up this week.  Been reading blogs today, even if I didn't comment.  See ya's later!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still Nothing!!

I am so extremely disappointed.  I still do not have any pics.  I haven't been able to take any!!  The sun is just rising when I leave in the morning, and it is too dark when I get home!  I absolutely cannot stand Eastern Standard Time (EST).  It's just not fair!  Why should I miss out on all the sunshine just because I have to work!  I have even put a light in the coop for the chickens.  I still have to feed them when I get home, but if it's dark the cannot see the food.  Chickens eat by sight, not smell.  If they can't see the food, they can't eat it.  So I put a light for their evening feeding.  And I can't take any pics in the dark.  And this weekend just won't work, either.  I keep thinking I'll take a bunch of pics the weekend, but I can't do that.  I have drill this weekend!  We're leaving early Friday morning to go to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC to go to the M-16 range.  I'm so dreading that.  I do just fine qualifying with my weapon.  But we will be sleeping in tents, eating meal kits and MRE's, and using make-shift showers.  Not my idea of fun.  I guess I'll have to light a fire under Mike and get him to take some pics.  "Sigh!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Good Weekend

I had a good weekend, considering the weather.  Saturday was supposed to be some sun and 82 degrees.  It was cloudy with occasional mist and mid-seventies.  My nephew and niece had their soccer champ games.  My nephew's team went into a kick off, and they lost by one shot.  My neice's team won!  She got two trophies!  And the kicker is that they both made the all-star teams and will be playing with and against kids from other towns and counties!  Hip-Hip-Horray!!  I then spent the afternoon and my sis and BIL's house.  They then got ready for trick-or-treating.  (my nephew was. of all things, a soccer player)  MY sister was a pirate and my neice was a cat.  My BIL was a party pooper, and did not dress up.  He was going to be a ninja (he's a black belt in karate, and my sis is a 2nd degree black belt).  After T-O-T they were going to their church for a party.  I made the one hour drive home, had dinner, and ate ice cream in bed while channel surfing.  Sunday was a cool day filled with rain the first half of the day.  Mike and I wanted to work outside, as we usually do on weekends, but the weather just wouldn't cooperate.  I discovered the buff pullets were getting water in their coop, so that will have to be fixed this week.  Mike may even move them today.  I gave away my beautiful Aracana rooster to a friend, too.  I didn't have a good use for him, but I didn't want to give such a beautiful rooster away to become a meal.  My friend Les got him and took him to his chicken farm.  Then my sis and BIL and nephew and niece came over last night.  Mike made Fetuccini Alfredo with chicken and a salad (leftovers for lunch today) and we watched Transformers 2.  And my sister brought me a gift.  She actually gave it to me Saturday, but on the way out the door I grabbed the wrong one.  She gave me a very nice digital camera.  I picked up her expensive 35 mm camera.  We made the exchange Sunday evening.  So I don't have any pics today because I haven't really had a chance to check out the new camera.  But Mike said he was going to take some today.