Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mocha's Babies

Meadow was very curious as soon as we could hear the ducklings cheeping under the steps and kept sticking her head under :D
Mama and one-day-old ducklings. She is NOT happy with us for caging her.Week-old cuties. Ducklings are so adorable :)
Here she is looking for a way out of her new pen. Poor mama, doesn't realize we are trying to keep her babies safe.
She can fly out the one uncovered corner of the pen, which she does occasionally. But, of course, she always comes back to her babies before long. She is very protective, she makes a sort of honking sound very unlike her usual soft chirp if you get too close. Once when I grabbed one of her babies to move them out of the cage she came at me hissing and stomping her feet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lithia Park

Saturday the bike racing team Nate is now a part of took a practice ride in Ashland as part of their spring training week. Nate had missed all the other rides because of his work schedule so he was really excited to be able to do this one. The families of the riders hung out at the park to play while they were riding then we had a little picnic together.

You may remember this climbing apparatus from my post last June, when we went with Jessie and Haylie. Joshua immediately climbed straight to the top again. He probably climbed up and down at least a dozen times over the course of three hours :) Nate says he thinks it's about twenty feet high. He got Janis and Elizabeth to race him to the top and back down :)
It started innocently enough... Hey, I bet we could dive through without touching!
Elijah Reign, enjoying the swing and his daddy
And, we're still at it. For the record Nate says I don't have "permission" to post pictures of them and make silly comments :p (Who's definition of 'silly comments' are we following here?)
Where one goes...
The others must follow...
Describing recent exploits
Let's make it harder...
And try to swing through a smaller hole!Hi Brannon :) Had a great time trailing Cameron and McKenzie and is all worn out
You should see the rope burns these two have, Yikes!
Plotting our next move
The audience, or part of it anyway. I think half the people on the playground were entertained by our fellows' antics :)
And Joshua joins the fun
He's definitely of the dare-devil persuasion ;-)
I like this one, the sun finally moved enough that I could get pictures from a different angle. Just in time for them to decide they were tired. So, I only have the one, lol. I was told by Nate I should have put in requests for angles for good pics. Truthfully I didn't even think of asking them to move til it was too late.
And my favorite pic of the day :D What is it made of? How is it put together?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Promised Pics of Chicks :)

And kid pics :D
Jubilee loved the chickies

That's a funny place for a nap!
He said he just needed a peg-leg and an eye-patch to complete the pirate look :)
Joshua obligingly held one of the wyandottes so I could get a picture

Ducky taking a nap on the cow--- "Ducky's cow" explained Matt ;-)
Our first home-hatched chick this year (the yellow one) I put the littlest wyandotte in with him for company. When I tried to put him in with the wyandottes it was an 8-against-1 peck fest, sheesh.
This little guy was our second hatch, but when he came out of the egg he stayed curled in same shape and couldn't seem to lift his head. He laid there thrashing his legs like crazy. We spent the morning taking turns holding him so he wouldn't damage his eyes with his claws. He can sit up now but still not move much. I'll give him another day or so to gather his strength and see if it looks like he can make it on his own.
I guess none of these pics relays the reality of 16 baby birds in the house, but you get the idea :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just Bird News

One of our chicks in the incubator hatched today. It is so cute and already has a name "peaches" for being round, fuzzy and peach colored, lol. Two eggs definitely didn't develop, one looks fully developed but rotten, one is getting ready to hatch and the last is full of chick but not showing any activity yet, so we shall see. Definitely not such a great hatch this time around. Two to three out of eight. I think we tried them a little too early in the year. The eggs I am getting now are much more uniform in size and shape, have thicker shells and are bigger. So, I may try hatching a few more after I get done with a duck hatch (adding some new genes to my much diminished flock). Unless I am completely sick of taking care of baby birds, which is very possible.

My FIL has brought us a total of 16 chicks so far, 14 of which are still alive. I have a cage and two boxes full of chicks in my living room, keeping warm by the wood stove. There are too many to fit in the bathroom under a heat lamp, so if some have to be by the stove they may as well all be in the same place.

We are still waiting for Mocha's babies. She is so cute, dashing up the driveway every day. A bit frantic, all ruffled up, making her cute peeping noise. She scarfs down food as fast as she can, runs halfway down the driveway, pauses to groom for a moment then runs back to her nest under the in-laws front steps. I'm planning to try to coax her into the garden as soon as she comes out with the babies. I'd hate for her babies to all be eaten by bass or cats :(

I don't know what I'm going to do in a week or so when the chicks in the box will be big enough to be trying to fly out of the box. They won't all fit in the cage. I'm thinking we'll clean one of the horse stalls in the in-laws barn, but pine shavings in an empty horse watering trough and plug in a couple heat lamps. Our last attempt to brood chicks outdoors did not go well. The big chickens kept knocking over the heat lamp in spite of our attempts to keep it out of their reach. Chilled chicks are sick chicks and I spent a lot of time nursing, and losing, chicks. Don't want to go through that again.

The Wyandotte chicks spend an amazing amount of time scratching in their bedding in their little box. They seem to scratch a great deal more than the Australorps in spite of being a week or so younger. I hope it means they will be accomplished foragers :) The Australorps are extremely inquisitive and are always hopping up on Duckie's cow and craning their necks to look over the cardboard sides into the wide world of the living room. Peaches, in spite of being only a few hours old, is very feisty and is already drinking her water and snapping at imaginary bugs flying around her box (or maybe at bits of her fluff--chicks shed quite a lot the first day or two).

Well, that's all the news from chick world for now ;-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

So Many Chicks!

So few pics.

Coming soon to a blog near you ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Very Interesting...

I was commenting on Joshua's suddenly spunky, cheerful behavior to my mom. In spite of not feeling well the last couple weeks he has been bouncing around singing at the top of his lungs, yelling enthusiastically, making lots of exuberant sound effects and dancing all over the place. When suddenly I remembered making a comment on this blog last March about Joshua's suddenly bouncy behavior.

And the comment was made about him possibly being day-length sensitive then as well. Funny the things you forget because they're not quite visible every day. Now, if I remember to look for one we may get one of those sun-lamp thingys (like my technical term?:) and see if it helps both Mama and Joshua next winter...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Photos

New buddies for our duckling...
And new digs for everybody
Such a handsome boy! :) Not that I'm biased or anything...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More Duckling Cuteness

Happiest sitting next to "mama" Although, we seem to think every human is mama and will run toward whoever is talking or moving, much to the boy's amusement. We also run so fast we go sliding or flip over on our back :)
Having a little nap
Another nap...
Proud duckie mama

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Thing I Forgot About Ducklings...

No, I didn't forget how unbearably cute they are!
I didn't forget that, being waterfowl, they imprint on the first living thing they interact with. Which means that when humans take them out of the incubator and talk to them before putting them in their cozy box with a heat lamp and a stuffed animal for company, well, I'm sure you get the idea.
I definitely didn't forget that baby birds Yell. all. the. time.
When you are outside trying to survive it is absolutely essential that Mama is in your sight at all times. And that you stick very close to her...
Ducklings will follow humans around when they imprint on them. Obviously. Speaking of unbearably cute. Try a string of ducklings scrambling after you wherever you go!
Here's the thing I forgot about ducklings...
Specifically ducklings in a box...
They fling themselves repeatedly and determinedly against the side of the box as soon as you walk away!
At least they get a lot of exercise.
And sometimes provide a little comic relief...
"I've fallen and I can't get up!"