Friday, September 19, 2008

Here a Chick, There a Chick!

I must say - I do enjoy my chickens. Most of the time - they make me laugh. Sometimes - the roosters really tick me off when they won't leave the hens alone. But lately - these two little devils have made me late for work every day. (It's a good thing I'm pretty much self employed).

Aren't they just the cutest little chicks. They are bantam cochins. I've been raising them since they were a few days old. They are incredibly friendly little hens. Every morning when I go out to the barn , they come running to see me, then have to be picked up and put on top of the old dog house (where I keep feed and water). Then they want to be petted and carried around and talked to. I spend entirely too much time playing with these chicks - pretty soon - they'll grow up to look like these two hens here.
These two white bantam cochins aren't quite as friendly. But I really like the cochin - they have a friendly personality - and are just the cutest darn things.

This beautiful black cochin is probably one of my favourite hens. She is so incredibly friendly. She also loves to be carried around - and in the evenings when I go out to do barn chores - she comes running across the barnyard to meet me - then walks along with me into the barn. I love the way her feathers are so black - with the green sheen to them. My friend Cate has another of the black cochins, and she's going to give her to me - hopefully next week when we get together.

This is a buff cochin. She's a bit on the nervous side. Her tail feathers are finally starting to grow back - but she is a nice little hen. She's terribly funny in the evenings when she's trying to get up on the roost - a bit bottom heavy - and she has to fly over from the water trough to the edge of the ram stall. Looks a bit like a lead balloon floatin g through the air.This last picture is of a Brahma hen. I picked these up from my friend Jesse a while back. Brahma's are a new breed to me. She's a bit stretched out in this picture (afraid of the camera), but they are very much like the cochins in many ways - they have the feathers on the feet, and the little fat bodies - they have lovely feathers around the neck - and the tails are like a little puffball of feathers - very cute. The two Brahmas that I have were obviously not handled at all, as they are incredibly wild - this picture was taken on zoom - and she was still pretty nervous.

When I got back from Newfoundland last week - I was greeted by 21 new chicks in the barn - hatched out of 4 different nests. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to get some good pictures of them. We've put them in a separate stall so that the roosters don't bother them. So that will put me somewhere up around the 40 mark for chickens - lots of eggs around here. In a few weeks, Cate and I are going to a sale up near her place - it's called the fur and feathers sale, and it's held 2X a year. People come from all over to buy and sell chickens, ducks, peacocks, dogs, cats, sheep, llamas - you name it. I'm hoping to find a couple of full size cochin hens for my flock - and possibly a few more welsh harlequin ducks.

I'll also have to get a picture of Wren for everyone - and maybe the kittens as well - they will be leaving next week for their new foster homes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Been a Long Journey

But now I'm Back. I've just spent the last few weeks travelling to Newfoundland and back.
My Darling daughter is going to Memorial University in St. John's Newfoundland. So - being her first year - I drove her all the way out, settled her into her apartment - and then drove all the way home. Total kilometers clocked: 8200 (for my American friends: approx. 4900 miles). That doesn't include the ferry crossing each way.

While we were there - we stayed in beautiful Petty Harbour. It's a beautiful little fishing village right on the edge of St. John's - with the houses all perched on the rocks.

Here's a picture I took at the entrance of the harbour coming around the bend .

We stayed with some very close family friends for a few days. We were socked in by fog for a
few day, so I couldn't get out on the boat to see the puffins and whales. This next picture is of the view from the front living room at my friends house. This is just outside the entrance to the harbour - and lots of times whales come in chasing the caplins, and frequently - seals and sea otters come up and bask on the rocks. Reluctantly, after 3 days, I had to leave.
However - I did make a bit of use of my time there. We did go out house hunting, and did find a little farm up near Cape Spear (which by the way is the most easterly point in Canada).
Negotiations are in progress on the farm. More Later.