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Happy Birds

8 Jun

Look!  I really do give the geese nice clean cool water.

It’s just that they get it dirty so fast I can hardly ever get photographic evidence.

They do enjoy the pool. Of course, they also enjoy the old dirty water I dump out of the pool.

I have all the doors and windows in their section of the barn that I can opened to help let a breeze through.

One of the new little hens is enjoying a real dirt bath.  She doesn’t have to do that in the food anymore.

Of course, the free range chicken is happy with her freedom.  Seriously, I can’t figure out why she’s the only one who comes out.

Since we turned so hot so quickly, I also brought out a gallon of frozen tomatoes for them.

At the end of the season last year I was so sick of tomatoes that I just froze several gallons so the birds could have a cold treat on hot days.

They seem to appreciate it.  Luckily, after today, we’re supposed to have more seasonal temperatures.

A Tough Transition

31 May

I got my new chicks on March 31st when they were just tiny babies.

the day they came home

They started in the soap room, but it was not too long before they moved into the garage.

getting big

Well, they are big girls now, and I really needed to get them moved to the barn with the rest of the birds.  I started by putting them in the pen overnight.

It was quite traumatic.  They spent days cowering and hiding and wondering what the heck I had done to them.

Luckily all my older chickens have been really good to them.

the rest of the chickens except the one who was in the nest box

Nugget and one of the hens taking a dust bath

They have to be a little careful of the geese because the geese are a little naughty to everyone.

(we’ve had rain every day this week, hence all the mud)

Finally, they are figuring it out.  I’ve never had such a traumatic move for chickens before.

Poor girls.

Midnight Margarita has Octavius

23 May

I noticed yesterday that Margarita’s udder was really filling up and she had dropped.  She was positively looking gaunt where the baby had dropped.

I checked her a few times, and when I went out to feed the girls, I noticed she was lying a bit away from Antigone and Joy.  I shook my food pitcher and bribed her up to the buck room.

Margarita

She had goop hanging, and I got all panicked that she had been trying to kid for a while, so I immediately pulled her into the garage to try to check her.  She wouldn’t have any of it.  She fought me, and every time I tried to catch her she ran, and when I got back with a collar and lead, she was busy eating the chicks’ feed.

She can’t have that feed.  It’s got medicine in it to keep the chicks healthy (as a side note, that’s why I can’t move the chicks–the medicated feed would kill the geese and peacocks and I would have to discard my eggs; the girls will get moved very soon).  Anyhow, I made Margarita come to the Love Shack with me.

I checked her and her cervix was still closed. That was a relief.  She was just starting.  I kept a close eye on her, and she had a few contractions, but nothing major.  I checked her before bed, and her cervix was still closed.  I set my alarm for 1:00 am and went to bed.  The dog woke me up at 11:45, and I decided to go check her.  I found one cold foot stuck out.  I grabbed her and we went in the Love Shack to where I still had her collar and and towel.  Everything was there, but the feet were tucked under the chin, and that’s way too much to come at once.  As soon as I got the legs pulled out straight, the baby flopped out.

I went to bed, but the dog woke me up at about 3:30, so I went out to check them.  She was laying outside with the baby.  But I was already hearing rumbles of thunder, so I took him back into the Love Shack and she followed.  I put a panel up to keep them from coming back outside.  That was a good thing because the next time I woke up it was thunder, lightning and pounding rain at 4:30 am.  By morning, it was a muddy mess.

But Margarita and her buckling, Octavius, were safe and dry inside.

Margarita and Octavius

Octavius

Good job, Margarita!