The prodigal chook returns!

Hi All

Yesterday’s post was a bit twitchy. I am a bit like a powder keg. Things build up and suddenly something has to give and it’s difficult to keep the ‘giving’ out of posts sometimes. At least you can get a better idea about who you are dealing with here :o). We have spent the morning donating to Tresca, walking our boys on their new collars that we ordered from Cesar Milan’s website back on October the 1st. We thought that we had “Done our dough”, but they resent the collars last Monday and even though they were held up in customs, we got them 9 days after they were sent. We had to fit them to the boys and Earl looks very dapper in his collar. Poor Bezial is somewhat larger than Earl and looks a bit like a hairy tube in his new collar. We bought them so that we could walk the boys more easily. These collars are designed to keep the dogs heads where they are meant to be with minimal effort. Being strong lads, and clever sods to boot, they both know just how far they can push their luck with both of us. Neither of them gives Steve any problems. Earl pulls a bit but Bezial walks like a little lamb at his side. They both see Steve as the pack leader and therein lies MY problem. I am the ‘fat anchor’. The ‘fat anchor’ is something to be put up with and dragged wherever you want to go as it’s not going away and it’s just a poor long suffering dogs cross to bear. You can almost see the dog that I am about to walk, rolling its eyes when I take the lead…but not anymore! I have the power! Well, Cesar gave me the power…now the boys walk so much better. In time they will be perfect angels. I must admit, Earl learned to walk much quicker on the new lead than Bezial did. Bezial has seen collars/halties/halters come and go and is a lot more savvy about waiting out our latest new fad. Earl learns quickly and doesn’t like being tugged so walked so much better than we could have ever hoped for. Thanks Cesar, you gave us back our walks and this ‘fat anchor’ gives you kudos for you and your ex-wife’s great invention the “Illusion collar’. Perhaps Bezial will realise that these collars are not just for Christmas…they are for life!

We were sorting out our plants and heard a loud “chug-chug” sound and looked up to see a large tug boat coming down the river. That solves a puzzle that we have had at night sometimes when we have heard this same noise coming down the river. It’s good to know what loud persistent noises are and this one was a mystery for about a year now. At least we know what it is and can relax knowing that we are not being irradiated by aliens (I think we watch too many horror movies…)

We were in the process of moving the plants from the driveway around to the other side of the house and Steve called out that he had found the missing chook! It turns out she was out where none of the other chooks go and had already hatched out 5 babies. We went back later to check and found a poor little dead baby and she has 3 more eggs, but we are not holding out any hopes for them to hatch. Like all of the other little babies (or big hens) that don’t make it, it got buried underneath the mulberry tree. After we moved the pots around to the other side of the house Steve decided to whipper snip the boys mess pile out the back. It was starting to look very overgrown and Earl was stashing all of his toys outside along with a lifetime supply of bones in various stages of decomposition. We were collecting them all up and Earl was putting his nose into the large garbage bag and looking up at us imploringly. Bad luck Earl…this lot has to go. The back yard area looks a whole lot better and we should only have to give it a bit of a whipper snip and a blow down in the week before Christmas to get it all looking tidy. Steve and I were discussing in the car how living in the country was very different to living in the city. Suddenly you have a whole of responsibilities that you never had in town. They seem to compound exponentially and you go from relaxing out on the deck with a beer looking out at the lovely view, to being a slave to your chickens and various other birds and spending every other waking hour, watering plants. We have decided to streamline our lives and work smarter – not harder. We just have to work out how we can do everything in a more efficient manner. That’s where I come in. That’s my forte and what I am best at. I often think that is why I am overweight…I am very good at conserving energy :o). To all of my friends and family out there (and anyone accidentally finding themselves dropped in the middle of this madhouse) if you are overweight, don’t sweat it. Being overweight might not be socially acceptable, but when the proverbial hits the fan, the skinny fashionable ones are going to be the easiest to pick off and we more energy efficient lot are going to be able to hunker down and live off our fat for a while. Cheers nature…when I look at it that way, it actually makes it a positive thing to be somewhat adiposely endowed.

Here is the missing chook in her hiding spot. She had 10 eggs and got 5 babies from this batch. I just disposed of the remaining eggs and will think twice about picking up old eggs next time thanks to one of them exploding just as I was burying it. I can only thank my lucky stars that it didn’t do that when I was carrying it over to the hole…

As you can see she had hunkered down well and was in amongst the blackberries. We had a huge fire quite close to this area and actually singed the shrub that she was nesting in but we didn’t once see her. I have a new respect for hen intelligence.

Here is a photo of Mini Yinny, the only remaining chick of the silver wyandotte. He/she runs with the bigger chicks and is very independant. This one had lovely colouration on its wings

Here are a couple of photos of the prodigal hen and her babies. They are out on the side lawn scratching around and no doubt she will rejoin the rest of the girls and Yin pretty soon. There is a lot of safety in numbers and her babies are at the bottom of the food chain where they are at the moment.

This hen was one of Big Yins top girls before she went missing. I wonder if she will resume her position once she re-enters the hen house?

Aren’t they sweet? They are only about a day old and next week Effel should hatch out a couple of babies as well. I will keep you posted

We are just about to tackle turning the twin chicken house back into a single unit. We started with 8 hens (well, 7 hens and 1 Yin…), we then bought 5 pure breed Wyandotte’s…that’s 13 if my math is correct (it might not be as Math is NOT my strong point). We then ended up with 13 babies from our initial hatching. That would be 26 chickens in all. Another 1 in Mini Yinny and that is 27. Now we have a rediscovered non-dead chook and 5 more babies. If all of them survive that is 32 chooks and a couple of ducks. We wondered if 8 would be too many for us and now we have 32! If our most productive hens wish to have more babies in the future, we might just have to give some away. Who am I kidding! I would never give one of our babies away! I have some photos of the ‘missing’ hen that are not all that great, but I didn’t want to stress her any more than she already was. She was getting quite upset as we kept delivering pots of plants right to her doorstep. We noticed her out when I was watering the plants with one of her fluff balls. I dare say they will all be out tomorrow. Next will be Effel Doocark who has been patiently sitting on 7 eggs. The way we are going we will be able to register ourselves as a chicken farm. We have been imbibing of the peach wine that we made earlier in the year. It’s pretty horrendous, but after a couple of glasses, no-one cares.  It’s the weekend now and we can watch some television, get up a bit later and generally have a good time. Welcome to the weekend and have the best time that you can have without adversely affecting anyone else. :o)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mum
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 13:02:10

    Congrats on the addition & location of the missing hen pen! Big Yin can crow his heart out & puff the chest up, as they will be definately his offspring.Aren’t they cute? That solved the puzzle of where she got to as well. She will be happy too, to get back with the rest of the henhouse, so they can cluck over the latest additions. At last the boys have their halters too. I hope they last. Hey, do not call yourself large either! I know you aren’t !! I’ve been getting rid of a lot of old printed out recipes & turned one up for lavender wine, so yes, I have to try it! I just picked a whole armful last week.If anything, it can be medicinal, can’t it?


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