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Two hours old

Get an incubator, they said. Don’t worry, they said, not all of the eggs will hatch. Buy plenty!

Got an incubator. Got 100% hatch. Up to my bits in chicklets. They’re a couple of weeks old now. Where am I going to put them all?

Sorry, I’d hoped to get the whole blog thing resolved by posting time today, but honest-to-dog you’ve never seen so much poop in your life.

June 17, 2019 — 8:51 pm
Comments: 4

Not my chicken. Not my cat.

The look on that bird’s face.

Little Boo is not bad about chasing chickens. He’s had a go because it’s such fun, but he backed down when I yelled at him.

He’s responsive to that. Which is, on the one hand, gratifying. But on the other hand, a little sad. Cats are supposed to be bastards, but he’s incredibly shy and eager to please.

Jack was such an unrepentant chicken chaser that I literally wondered if he was deaf. The screaming and the throwing things, it did nothing.

Another picture pinched from my chicken-focused social media. Because I’ve had a lovely laid-back Friday afternoon and I’m lazy. Good weekend, all!

March 29, 2019 — 10:37 pm
Comments: 13

Please enjoy this luminous chicken

I brought work home tonight, so I fished this off my phone camera for you in lieu of a post. The limited dynamic range of a phone camera means I get the occasional delightful mess like this image.

This is Jenny, as fine a chicken as I’ve ever known. Fox got her. Still sore about it.

And tomorrow? Dead Pool Round 117. See you here!

January 17, 2019 — 10:11 pm
Comments: 5

Swan goes here

There’s been a swan in this spot for the past few nights. I spotted him when I was out looking for the kitten (he’s nine months old now, the Wandering Age). I saw something white in the canal and thought it was an overcoat (yeah, my first thought was a dead body), but it was a sleepy floaty swan.

I can’t get over how swanny this place is. I mean, we had them in ones and twos and threes back in Rhode Island. But here? One foggy morning, some years ago, I stood in the field across the road and counted 35 of them.

(Ah, yes. Here it is. December 31, 2008).

A bunch of them flew over the car this afternoon. I bet it was a dozen. Their wings make the most extraordinary mechanical whuffing sound when they fly. I wonder if my ditch swan has joined them in migration.

An old farmer told me when you see them here on the coast in Winter it means a cold snap inland.

January 14, 2019 — 9:22 pm
Comments: 9

My boy

I got four chickens right now, and two of them are boys. This is the more mature rooster. He’s not having hot chicken sex yet, but he doth cockadoodle and also doo.

Also, he rushes me first thing in the morning and gives me a good peck. Bastard.

Yeah, I’m reduced to snapshots on my phone decolorized with GIMP for now. I kind of like this lopsided snapshot of a chicken dashing out of the frame.

p.s. GIMP does some things better than Photoshop. It compresses jpgs smaller without looking lossy, for example. Interface sucks, though.

November 27, 2018 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 14

Don’t rub it in

Somebody sent me this. It comes from our popular classical station, Classic FM, via a Tumblr called Music Theory. I think I have all that right. I like to attribute where I can.

Those are Polands. I have whined before about how much I want one. I got some ‘fertile’ eggs that weren’t this Spring, supposedly including at least one Poland.

Note, at right, they have a knob on their skulls that those stupid feathers sprout out of. So even when they’re tiny fluffy chicks, they have ridiculous hairdos.

The roosters grow up to look like potted ferns and the hens have fluffy afros. I know owners who have to trim around their eyes or tie their headfeathers into hipster buns so the poor birds can see to walk around.

Oops! I hit premature PUBLISH. Well, that’s all there is to say about that, I guess.

November 8, 2018 — 4:53 pm
Comments: 8

Weasel TV

I hate to admit how much time I’ve spent watching this image. I mean, not this image, the live version. The surveillance cam in the chicken house.

It was originally trained on a hen sitting on fertile eggs nest box. Two months, night after night, I watched that image hoping to see a newly hatched chick poke its head out.

As it happens, the first batch of eggs were all total duds. The second batch was half duds. That’s why I spent two months watching a broody hen when the gestation period is around twenty days.

Anyway, newly hatched chicks don’t poke their heads out. They don’t come out from under mama for days and days, so I discovered any hatchlings by lifting her up and peering into the nest, long before I saw a chick on cam.

I have hours and hours and hours and hours of recorded chicken cam. I actually bought a backup hard drive to store it all. Wanna see?

November 7, 2018 — 10:14 pm
Comments: 5

Gonna give my boys a complex

Uncle B took this on his cellphone. Bigass male pheasant stalking around eating the bits messy chickens leave behind. (Sure and you want to see this pretty boy in color). I wasn’t home so my flock was in the cage, looking stunned.

He’s about three times the size of one of my chooks.

Uncle B asked if we had pheasants in the States and I honestly didn’t know. Wikipedia says they’re everywhere, but they’re only native to Asia.

Any pheasants where you are?

November 1, 2018 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 24

My other boys

Roosters. I swore I’d never have one. I promised the neighbors.

But this year I got it in my head to put some fertile eggs under a broody, knowing roosters were a possible outcome. And how.

The final result: twelve ‘fertile’ eggs resulting in three live chicks. Two of whom are cockerels.

The first six were duds. Then I got four more in a close-to-hatching state, of which only two hatched. I may have damaged the other two somehow getting them home, for which I feel rotten. So I got two more newly hatched from the lady I’d bought the eggs from, from the same clutch of eggs.

What I’m going to do with these two handsome boys, I do not know. It all depends on how they act when the testosterone takes hold.

We’ve started to hear faint and feeble cock-a-doodle-doos of a morning.

September 26, 2018 — 8:31 pm
Comments: 11

The Chicken Man, the Chicken Man

After work today, we went to see the Chicken Man. I’m sure he has a name, but I’m sure I don’t know what it is.

We bought our first two chickens from him, eight years ago, and one is still going strong. I remember I was eyeballing some baby Orpingtons (perfectly ENORMOUS chickens when they’re all growed up) and Uncle B was looking miserable about it. Thinking of his garden, and what those giant poultry bombs could do to it.

We decided to decide later. On our way out the door, we passed some pretty little chickens. Uncle B said, “what are these? They look nice.” And the chicken man said, “pff! Those are bantams. I thought you wanted chickens.”

And the rest is history.

He’s far away, he’s very expensive, but I needed some stuff and sometimes only the Chicken Man will do. Have a great weekend!

June 1, 2018 — 8:46 pm
Comments: 15