Monday, June 17, 2024

June 16 - HOT

Somehow, before it's officially summer... we have descended into the heat of. 

We are still getting a respite at night, but the temps are only falling to the low seventies instead of the fifties of a few weeks ago.  It's enough to give the animals time to recover from the heat of the day.  I also run fans in all the hen houses. 

These guys are going home today for a few weeks to give the pasture time to recover. 
(She is rubbing herself under the little red hen house, the only one not in use). 

In a way I'll be glad, because I have made myself crazy making sure there is water for everyone to drink here this last week.  With two goats only, that load will lighten. 
I'll miss them very much, though. 

These naughty, naughty Wyandotte girls. 
They are the very last to go in at night, because the oldest Cochin hen drives them out.  I was completely out of patience with everyone last night, it was hot and I was REALLY tired, and I finally went out there and was ready to lock the hen up in a brooder pen, and they were all in but one.  She soon went in, and everyone went up to roost.  Whew. 

Doug is a captive now, with the Lavender Orps and the Cuckoo Marans.  I did lift him out the other day, and his spur accidentally caught my hand, and the darn sore is swollen.  I am on penicillin from a sheep hoof scrape, so I am hoping it does the trick for the second.  I am diabetic... the sheep scrape is 17 days old today and still not healed. 

He is doing a really good job teaching this little group... and... in another week, like next Monday... I'll take the Ex pen down, and they will be free to go out in the yard with the others.  They have only one hop into their house, not like the steps of the big hen house. 

That ex pen is going to move out into the yard to be a shaded pen for Chico, his big pen is in the sun most of the day. 

The dog pen to which the ex pen abuts is going to be moved over, too. 

About half of the lavenders are frizzled, which I love.  The cockerel is. 

These are group four birds in their attached pen... Putih Ayam Cemanis, and LaFleche. 

There are three LaFleche cockerels and only two pullets, darn it. 

One of the two pullets.  I swear they look like little ravens! 

Cleo waited for me in the barn door as I brought her canned food out last night. 
The others in there don't eat canned. 

Mama is one of them.  
She was the mother of the four kittens (spayed after they were adopted). I looked back through old pictures yesterday and those kittens are two years old this month. 

What would a post be without my beautiful boy? 

Doodle, the goat belonging to my sheep boarder friends, is going to stay when they go home today to keep Archie company. 

I call this Indio girl Big Foot.  She is the tallest of all the birds, even the Indio cockerel. 
She will come up to me and look at me while I talk to her, as if she is listening to everything. 

There is the cockerel on the right, and one of the other pullets. 

Most of the milkweed has gone by, but this, in the fence, is still blooming.  It smells so wonderful 

The June candles from last week have also almost gone by... other wildflowers are about to bloom. 

There is still some on the east side of the road. 

And the glorious "ditch" lilies are blooming now, too. 

This is the comm tower I can see from my bedroom windows.  

It is in the undeveloped 26 acres across from me, where Chico went the day he disappeared.  That land is for sale, but supposedly does not have enough water to support more than a house on it. 
At some point it will go for development... I hope I am not here to see it, I like it wild. 

Try to stay safe and cool, everyone. 

Post Script, added at 6:07.  I was working on this entry this morning and was overcome by nausea and fatigue.  I knew I was dehydrated, but did not realize how badly.  I was okay after drinking a lot of water and a short nap.  It was a reminder that we all need to hydrate regularly, all day long in this heat.  

The sheep did, indeed, get picked up, and Doodle stayed behind to be Archie's companion.  She is NOT happy. 
We will see what happens.  

If she does not settle down, her owners will come get her and I'll get a young wether to keep him company.  She had been with the sheep since a tiny doeling. 


Sunday, June 9, 2024

A Beautiful Sunday

We have had a wonderful day here in NE Kansas, after two nights of rainstorms. 

It was good to get a couple more inches of rain. 

I am hoping haying can start, because I need to buy some hay for Archie.... who now has a companion who will be staying when her sheep friends go home... Doodle, who was here last year. 

Her owners have agreed to leave her when the sheep get rotated out in another week, to give the pasture time to recover. 

I made the mistake of talking to Archie as I came through from the yard into the chicken pen, so I could take some pictures.  The entire flock came running to see what was up.  That white sheep there is Fluffy, who lived here with me four years ago, and had Nugget, who is also still with this flock. 

I couldn't get a good picture of Archie because he stepped into the shade. 
He is looking so much better than a month ago.  He will also touch noses with me now. I still can't handle him, the guys who are going to do shots and hooves will have to catch him, but I will have him in the barn (after the sheep go home).  I can touch him, just not hold him. He does NOT threaten me with his horns. 

Remember I thought I was buying six Buff Orpington pullets... and I actually got five Rhode Island Reds and a buff.  Here is the pretty buff.  They are from Batch one, the oldest chicks. 

I went inside to take pictures, because the sheep scared everyone.  Those are the Indios... 

Another Indio... they are so tall and they have HUGE feet!

Of course, I did not get ONE foot picture, but my neighbor came over the other night and went "whoa!" when he saw them. 

I have not heard an Indio crow, and they are the oldest chicks, nearly five months. 

This guy is crowing!  So are two others in the brooder house. 
There are seven lavender Orpingtons, and they are moving tonight, they don't know it.  I think the three Cuckoo Marans are going, too, because they will be fairly big chickens
Doug the silkie rooster and the two older hens in the little henhouse are going to get the surprise of their lives when they wake up tomorrow. 

I put an exercise pen extension on the front of the dog pen I bought from a neighbor, and tonight after Doug and his two hens go in, I'll start moving the lavenders.  Dusk is the best time.  They will only have to stay in this pen for about two weeks, and then can be free, and I'll take the ex pen portion down. 

I have a small rug I am going to put over the doorway opening so Doug can get in and out safely. 

Or... something. 

It took my beautiful Columbian Wyandottes about two weeks of being carried up and down the steps of the big hen house to figure everything out.  I do wait every single night for them all to go in.. I think the big hens are bothering them... but they do eventually go in. 

The mature chickens were really interested in what I was doing today. 
When I finish here, I'll go out and do all the waters. 

There are only ten mature birds, and one has waterbelly... a heart condition... and this is my second.  They both came from a flock being dispersed by someone and neither was laying. 

I have two birds who ARE laying. 

Flopsy, this hen here in front of Buddy, is still laying. 
A word about Buddy... I had Ferdinand, the big rooster who was Buddy's dad and Buddy looks just like him.  Singleton, the white rooster, was also Ferdy's son, and dominant over both.  I lost both Ferdie and Singie last year. 
I honestly don't expect Buddy to make it through the year, he is seven... but he has done a wonderful job of taking care of his ever-changing harem for me over the years.  He has spent his whole life here. 

Here is one of the two Bielefelder pullets.  They are such pretty girls. 

Out of the four Putih Ayam Cemanis, I got two pullets and two cockerels. 
He is crowing. 

So is one of the LaFleche chicks... I just cannot get a good picture of him! 

This umbilliferous daisy has grown wild in my fence line for two years.  Seeds don't break off, a whole umbel does, so all you see here disperse in little umbrellas across the grass. They are beautiful. 

This wildflower is in front of the little hen house but I could not cut it down.  It cheers me up every day. 

The "June candles" ... yucca... are blooming here now. 

It grows along this end of the road. 

198th "street"... still unpaved. 

Here comes Bullseye across the deck. 

And there's Bob. 

These two have been fighting... a lot... Bob also has a very, very annoying habit of walking UNDER my feet as I walk across the yard, or running up behind me and running under me.  I can't tell you how many times I have nearly gone over, and that could be bad for me.  I haven't decided what to do yet. 
Bullseye came here as a young feral kitten... Bob appeared out of nowhere as a neutered adult.  I have vetted both. 

I am thinking about what to do, it would make my life easier not to have to worry, but... I also recognize there are not enough homes for animals. 

(Bullseye would be staying) 

My red-eyed Chico has been under the weather today... I am hoping it's just the heat. 

I have got to get a photo utility! 

Everyone have a good week! 


Sunday, June 2, 2024

June 2nd

Posting within a week... whoa! 

I'm telling you once I figured out the pictures, I am just going to take them with the Canon and upload them and go from there, like the old days. 

It makes me much pickier with photos, I don't upload them all anymore automatically. 

Here is my boy Chico in his yard earlier... remember, he cannot run loose. 

Chico and I take several walks a day, and he has several times he is out in his big yard.   He is safe there and can't get out.  I mowed it with the push mower today, since the boy who weed eats for me has not been over in several weeks.  

I did a lot of push mowing, in fact. 

If I find I can do what he was doing with the weed eater, I'll be doing it the rest of the summer and save the money. 

Last summer, I had at least twenty containers on the patio with wildflower combinations in them.  I had them all dumped at the end of the summer, they took so much water and I vowed to refill them and plant different combinations.  The fact of the matter is that I have been so busy with the chicks and spending so much money on them, that I have not planted anything.  It was good to see some escapees come up. 

These are all escapees.  I am ashamed to tell you I have not even planted the raised big planters. 

Maybe next week. 

Something had to give, and a close friend told me it is my body telling me it is time. 

The seven Wyandotte chicks have integrated into the big hen house. 
I have to wait until 8 every evening for them to all go in. 
It's hard, but... it's happening. 

This is one of the year old cochins, I raised three last summer as a fun project.  They lay abysmally, but I knew that. 

There are actually four... one is an eight year old hen, the last one from the Ag Hall flock. 

Shuler is also one of the oldest hens now, she was the sole survivor of a dog attack at my friend Wilma and Wayne Shuler's four or five years ago.  (hence the name).  
Also a non-layer. 

Sunbathing in the compost heap.  

All non-layers except the red one whose head is missing, Flopsy.  I know she laid today, but I have not gotten the egg yet. 

The lavender Orpingtons are displaying frizzle feathers, I love it. 
Do you see the white feathers all over the ground?  I went out there an hour ago and found them... I caught a raccoon coming out of the garage earlier, and I suspect it was a nursing mother, being out in daylight like that.  I wonder if she tried the fencing. 
There were an awful lot of feathers. 

You can see the "horns" growing on this LaFleche easily today. 

The Lavender Orps are the next to move... they will go to the little hen house, where there are only two hens and Doug, the silkie rooster.  I am SURE one of these is a cockerel, so I can't wait to see what happens.  I bought a dog pen to put in front of it, and my son will come this week to help put it up.  Then they will learn how to stay in their pen until I think they are ready to come out and free range, but know where they are going back to.  Doug and the two hens will be perplexted but that is life.  I think the Cuckoo Marans (on the left) are coming with them, too. That leaves only the LaFleche, the Putih Ayam Cemanis, and the two Bielefelders in the brooder house. 


The Bielefelders. 

This knothead got out of the pasture last night. 

I had been at the Ag Hall, and came home and he did not run to my call, as he has been. 
After a couple of hours, I really worried...and went into the pasture to check the fenceline.  Once I had to cut a lamb out of it. 

There he was, in the Spehars pasture on the north side.  

I called my neighbor Troy who was home, thank God. 
We got a piece of short fencing... the big cutters... some feed... 
some zip ties. 
In horrible humidity, we got him back over. 

We had to lock the sheep up first and instead of throwing the feed into the corral, I held onto the bucket and they stampeded me and tore my leg up.  
I was not feeling kindly. 

The fence has a big piece of fencing that came from a garden trellis years ago (I don't throw stuff away) and Troy and I were dripping when the little stinker was back in. 

He is not going to do that to me again, if he gets out, he will have to get himself back in or hit the road again.  I guess if the sheep were not here, I could lock him in the corral with a friend, but... I don't know. 

We will see what happens. 

Here are some of my big babies, the Rhode Island Reds and Gigantes, enjoying their yard this afternoon.  

I am losing my beautiful hollyhocks to mosaic fungus, and it's breaking my heart.  They are all infected. 

They were beautiful. 

Let me stop here and go out and start pushing hens in.  I like to have everyone in before eight, if possible. 

Everyone have a good week!