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Look at that silly little tail

I, too, had a chick called Albert and this morning he tried to kill me again. Look at this goofy-looking little fuzzball and picture it.

He’s still goofy-looking but he grew into a giant, ridiculous, rage-filled monster. Only to me, though. He’s never attacked anyone else. Because I raised him, nature is telling him I’m the final boss and if he defeats me he will be crowned King Chicken. They say there’s nothing more dangerous than a hand-reared bull, for the same reason.

I’ve posted about his spurs before. You may laugh at the idea of a chicken-related injury, but he’s heavy enough and they’re sharp enough to do real damage. He caught me in the soft part of the knee once and crippled me for days.

Yes, I can easily fend him off if I see it coming, but he goes days and days without incident and then wakes up one morning with murder in his heart.

He’s the very last of my polands. I miss those silly bastards and their feathery afros.

June 18, 2024 — 6:52 pm
Comments: 7


My new favorite YouTube binge channel is A Chick Called Albert. He’s a Dutch hippie with an animal rescue – ho hum – but his claim to fame is (and this is unheard of) he will take rescue eggs and try to incubate them.

When gamekeepers are instructed to clear out the nests of ground-nesting birds, or poultry keepers or aviaries find abandoned mystery eggs, he’ll take them in and give them a shot. I’d hate to think what his failure rate is, but he does seem to know what he’s doing and his successes are awesome.

Several times, to my horror, he’s helped a chick along at hatching time. Poultry keepers are told never, ever to do this. The very first sign of life in an incubating egg is a robust vascular system – gnarly veins – growing along the inside of the shell (on candling, it’s honestly spooky as hell). These veins are not totally inactive at the time of hatching, and hurrying things along can kill the chick. But, again, he seems to know what he’s doing.

The little peeper in the thumbnail turned out to be a zebra finch. Watching him giving it a first feeding with a pipette and a magnifying glass was something else.

I absolutely adored hatching eggs, which is how I ended up with three roosters and one hen. Never again, I’m afraid. I’ll have to hatch vicariously through my friend Alwyn here. His posts have slowed way down, but his back-catalogue should keep me busy a while.

p.s. If you think it’s a little creepy that the first thing he does is kiss the newly hatched bird, he’s not. He’s warming it up with his breath because he’s taken it from the nice warm incubator into the cold room to examine it.

June 17, 2024 — 7:25 pm
Comments: 7

I hope he has a bellyache

In case it isn’t obvious in my potatophone pic, you’re looking at a bar of soap three-quarters eaten by the nibbling of tiny teeth. Mouse, we think. Uncle B saw one in the area. In which case, this would represent several times his body weight in soap.

He must be pooping Tide pods.

For all we know, this was happening over a long period of time and we only now noticed. It wasn’t the active bar of soap. Worst part: it’s on the shelf with our toothbrushes *grimace*. Not really a place you want to put down poison. Or a trap, for that matter.

Why do they always go for the soap? My family had a hunting cabin in the Appalachians, and we always turned up to find any left-behind bars looking like this.

June 3, 2024 — 7:25 pm
Comments: 7

I can hear the wah wah pedal

I think this is the chicken equivalent of sexy times in the hot tub.

One of these days, Uncle B will remember he shares his Google photos with me. I am thief.

Oh, ew. He’s just sent me a picture of a dragon chicken. Obviously a painful mutation that some sadistic bastard decided to breed.

Ah, yes. Vietnamese mandarins.

May 15, 2024 — 7:34 pm
Comments: 9

I have no computer and I must post

My birfday present was a nice fast SSD to put games on and which we could install ourselves in a flash!

Yeah. No. Computer’s at the shop. Might get it back tomorrow. All my stuff is on it, including the old stuff I’ve been posting. So – hello!

I did play the cat game through during the break. It was beautiful and sweet. And weird. (Fair warning, it hurts the cat a couple of times in unavoidable cut scenes).

Also, I did something I’ve never, ever done. I take a tiny sliver of pride playing games through on normal difficulty, old lady though I be. Not resorting to easy or – god forbid! – story mode. What do I look like, a games journalist?

But I gave up and downloaded a cheat trainer for this. That’s what they call them now – cheat trainers. Kitty has to run through swarms of little parasitic creatures and I got sick of hearing him get jumped, scream and die.

Insult to injury, I watched other people play through on YouTube and they had no problem zig-zagging and avoiding trouble. I suck under pressure.

Now, to top it off, I miss the little cat and feel really sad about it. Stupid monkeybrain. Nothing for it but to play through again. When I get my computer back.

May 13, 2024 — 7:33 pm
Comments: 7

Mugged by a lamb

We had to help our neighbor fix her wifi, a trip that included a drive across a sheep field.

This one little lamb was in the near end by himself. His mother was some yards away not paying attention and the rest of the flock was way down the far end. He came bounding up to the car like it was the most awesome thing he’d ever seen in his life. It probably was, but lambs are usually shy wee beasties.

I got out to shoo him away and he walked me backwards around the car shouting “MEHHHHH!” in my face like he had to tell me something RIGHT NOW. It was honestly adorable. Weird but adorable.

Sooner or later, though, we had to go home and I had to run him off. Pictured above. Excuse quality; it was dusk.

Happy Good Friday. I’ve got three more days of this!

March 29, 2024 — 7:12 pm
Comments: 3

The lambing has begun

This little scene was at the end of the drive as I went to work this morning. These two are very, very fresh.

Not pictured, just off camera to the right, a very weary, panting ewe had a lie down in the grass. The babies were hopping all around her going, “MOM! MOM! MOM! MOOOOOM!!”

I love this time of year.

I always forget Easter is a four day public holiday here. Then I have to explain why it’s not in the States and then I’m always asked how we get away with Christmas as a public holiday and I have to admit I don’t know.

Do you?

Anyway, four days off – w00t!

March 28, 2024 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 6

Good weekend!

We went to a party tonight! With grownups! I don’t think they ever realized we were imposters.

Our neighbors being sheep farmers, that was naturally where the conversation went. These days, they’re getting £90 for spent ewes (ewes past lamb-bearing age). That’s very good.

They’re getting next to nothing for the wool, though. That’s a real shame. Wool is naturally flame-resistant and makes excellent house insulation, apparently. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a push to use it. It seems eco perfect.

And with that, the weasel wandered off in search of gin…

March 1, 2024 — 9:00 pm
Comments: 4

No, really, she’s holding a cat

Why you’d call a black cat Blueberry, I do not know. But meet Blueberry. He disappeared in November of 2019 and turned up this week 200 miles away in the other end of Ireland.

They think he hitched at least one car ride. Maybe several. It’s news because they’re making microchipping cats compulsory here soon.

I have mixed feelings. I’ve had all my cats chipped, but a vet told me the things migrate all over the place. He picked up one low down in a cat’s front leg once. That doesn’t sound comfortable.

February 21, 2024 — 7:29 pm
Comments: 6

We didn’t see any

We took the backroads to go buy our coffer yesterday and spotted this on the way. England, am I right?

The purpose of the box is to hold some of the junk threatening to overwhelm the livingroom. We spent the evening digging through archaeological layers of stuff. There weren’t any nice surprises, but there weren’t any dead mice either and we did manage to purge a lot of it. I’m tuckered. I’m nearly plumb tuckered.

Thanks to all of y’all for the well wishes yesterday. Remember, back here tomorrow for Dead Pool 177.

February 15, 2024 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 5