Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chickens, Yet Again

I ordered my Cornish cross meat chickens last week. They'll arrive May 21st, I'll have them 8 weeks max and then off to the Amish for processing and then into my freezer. I only bought 10. Actually, I bought the 50 pound bag of feed and got the chicks free. At the same time I ordered 3 guinea fowl. I found a tick trying to eat my leg and wanted no part of that. I've never found a tick on me in the 8 years I've lived here and only on Rocket once. Winters up here seem to do a very good job of killing them off. I have read that guineas like to eat ticks. They are supposedly noisy, flighty, and prone to escape. If I have any by the end of summer, it will be quite an accomplishment. If I don't like them, we can always eat them.

That was my whole plan, the 10 meat chicks and guineas, but I went back to the feed store yesterday and ordered 6 straight run (not sexed) Barred Rock chickens. Since I wanted chickens all winter, just because Hal became allergic to egg whites doesn't mean I should completely nix my plans. If I end up with 6 roosters, well, those will get eaten, too. But if I get a couple hens out of it and keep one rooster that ought to be enough for my chicken "fix". And now Hal won't have to build a large chicken coop this year. I just need something small to keep them safe at night and through the winter. And as I said before, if it's too much work, we can eat them. I guess this means they won't be getting any names.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

And Summer is Providing a Sneak Preview!

At least it has these last 2 days; 77f both days, sunny, only a slight breeze today; the dogs and ducks are loving it. In fact the runner loved it so much Thursday night she decided to join her friends on the nearly completely thawed pond for 3 hours. I couldn't get them back to the garage even by shaking the feed can. They were having a blast in the water! Hopefully, that did not harm the eggs, I won't know for just over 2 weeks (I do not have the means to candle them and would rather leave them alone anyway.) Last night, she stayed inside and I shut the door. The other 4 slept on the pond as they did all last summer. And as of yesterday, with this heat, the pond has thawed completely.

Rocket even swam yesterday, he only does that infrequently now and only when he gets very hot. Luna chased a couple sticks and even leaped in once today. Right now those 2 are on the deck enjoying the evening, occasionally Luna will howl at something I can neither see nor hear. I can hear the peepers through the closed window, though.

My daffodils also started blooming this afternoon. I thought it would be another week or two but this warmer than usual weather prodded them forward. We aren't getting the rain we should be having either so I've had to hand water my vegetable garden. I planted my lettuce, spinach and beets last week and suddenly the cold weather they love disappears. It should be cooling down again sometime soon, this shouldn't last. In fact it will probably cool off the day new chaise lounge I ordered is delivered. But I'm going to use it even if I have to wear a coat!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring has Arrived

At long last spring is here. We've had teasers, a nice day here and there, then cold weather as we had last weekend when it couldn't get out of the 30s. Today we reached 70f, it's very breezy, but you can't have everything. A few days ago the crocuses finally broke through the ground and the daffodils should be blooming in another 2 weeks.

Check out today's photo of the pond with one I took exactly 2 weeks ago when Luna could still run around on it. She's picking up her flying disk.

The ducks are also very happy having quite a bit of open water to play in. The 2 rouen gals are braking skim ice on the right while the 2 boys have duck butts pointed at the sky looking for good things to eat. My female runner is in the garage sitting on about 21 eggs. In a little less than 3 weeks there might be little ducklings floating on this pond.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Photo Time

I've been taking lots of photos in the last week and only downloaded them today when I ran out of space on my 32 MB card. I've got dog pictures and duck pictures and pictures of melting snow. All the usual things one sees when walking around a swamp every day. So I ought to post a few before I forget yet again.

The ducks are able to swim again, the creek is running and the ice in the middle has opened up into quite a large area. Even Luna joined in. She loves getting wet.

Luna also enjoyed a few wrestling matches with Chance, her little buddy from one street over. He lives just up the street from Yogi and Tank.

Rocket however, enjoyed laying about a lot and seemed very happy that the culvert emptying the pond into the creek has thawed enough that he can have a drink.

This was a good day.