Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Digs

I had to steal this photo from my husband's blog because I don't have any new pictures yet! He spent his time while the kids and I were on vacation building this fabulous new chicken coop for me. What a guy! He even gave them a 4'x8' skylight--totally key for internal light. He used a tinted fiberglass after we'd talked about wanting light but not wanting to greenhouse the birds. It works perfectly! There's eave ventilation around the building, a large chicken-wire covered opening off the back, and he'll reuse the window removed from the barn to make space for a narrow door out to the coop on the farside of the coop itself. All in all, quite fancy digs!

These pictures are at least two weeks old now--I'll post some more recent photos soon. The chickens, on the right, are getting bigger, and the roos are becoming pretty easy to spot. The funniest thing right now is listening to them learn to crow--pretty pathetic squeaky squawks at this point!

The turkeys are getting huge, and my big obsession now is trying to figure out the sex. I'm really hoping I have a breeding pair, obviously, so I keep going back and forth sure that I have at least one hen and one tom to being sure that I have all toms. One poult has been obviously displaying, and he seems to have a redder and bumpier neck than the other big poult, but they still have the same feather coloration, and their snoods range from being quite distinct to looking quite similar. The little guy is still too far behind the others developmentally to be showing any sex characteristics yet at all, and the white one is pretty much just dinner regardless of sex. So, my new past time has become sitting on my bench watching the turkey's behavior and trying to pin them down, figuratively speaking.

We've also moved the kittens out to the barn, and they love their new playground. They're not too sure about the turkeys yet, but it's fun to watch them explore and observe and absorb all the new sights and sounds. They're still quite friendly, though they're becoming obviously more independent with each day. They're definitely turning into barn cats, but hopefully, they'll always like people. They haven't brought me any mousy presents yet, but I'm optimistic that they'll at least discourage visitors if not outright exterminate them.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trapped like a rat in a sinking ship...

Or like a mouse in a cardboard box full of kittens, anyway. Yes, I'll openly admit that a mouse was, indeed, harmed in the making of these photographs. You can see him cowering there in that bright little patch of sunlight, like a suspect brought in for questioning. He had the audacity and, let's face it, the supreme stupidity to allow me to catch him in my chick feed bag one morning. And, like the good kitty-cat mama that I am, I brought home a juicy little mousie so my babes could hone their skills.

At first they weren't too sure what to do with this mousie toy that actually moved, but they quickly got the hang of things, particualarly Monster and Shadow. Cally and Primo got in on the action as well, but Tabby hung back in the middle of the box as if to question whether any of us had any morals at all. The kittens, however, were all play and not much for finishing the job. Our puppy, Buddy, however, whom I suspect has a bit of Terrier as well as Border Collie (and lord knows what else mixed in), was just thrilled to thwump his big ol' webbed paw down on the poor little critter and proceed to strut around the yard with a tiny little tail sticking out between his teeth for several minutes, just as proud of himself as he could be!