Friday, July 18, 2014

It doesn't quack, so what makes it a duck?

Is blogging still a thing? Do people still subscribe to RSS/Atom feeds? Are chickens still popular?
I have no idea. What I do know is that baby chickens think my phone is totally rad, and that they want one too.

You can't see them, but there are a few chicks busily pecking at my phone screen. Good thing it doesn't have a resistive screen, or who knows what settings they would have changed for me?
No, I haven't taken to stealing photos from image macro sites. That's just a really goofy picture.

And an update on Optimus: Still alive! She's growing too, albeit much more slowly than her sisters. The biggest of her problems is her left wing, which is almost completely refusing to grow, and gives her a rather lopsided look.
I tried getting a photo of her just now, but she started crying and I didn't want to scare her. My poor baby!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Do you want the good news? Or would you rather have the good news?

Why yes, the title of this post was completely intentional. You know why?
Optimus is okay! Thanks to lots of effort, a bit of food, and an even tinier bit of yogurt, the poor little bird is now almost as energetic as her friends, and is once again able to participate in flock life.
"Why are you calling Optimus 'her'?" I hear you ask. Well, dear friend, here's the plot twist! It turns out Optimus was not the rare chick, but merely a rather tiny Easter Egger. The actual rare chick is a perfectly healthy and big bird who blended in well with the Wyandottes we got, but happens to have feather legs and what appears to be a single comb. Current bets say he's a Cochin, either black or splash in color. His name is Treasure, because he's rare. I guess.
The other chicks are named Circle, Rose, Capybara, Bandit, Skunk, Oreo, Arcee, and Judge Anderson. My sister wanted to name Circle 'Coconut Cream Pie', but somehow Circle ended up sticking.
Obligatory photo dump time. It's a small one though, since the brooder is dark, and flash photography is out of the question. I don't like posting blurry pictures, you see.
Rose and Arcee. Optimus is sleeping next to Arcee.

Capybara and Skunk? I think that's Skunk. It had better be, or else I'm contributing to the spread of misinformation on the internet.

This is Circle. See the circle marking on her head? Also, see my impressive use of Gaussian Blur to tone down the background? I feel so smart! I've never used that trick before, but somehow it turned out okay.

It's Circle! The middle one is Oreo or Bandit, and on the right is Capybara. She actually looks a bit like a capybara, amazingly enough.

Oh yes, and the second piece of good news is that we got four ducklings in the mail today. I can't tell them apart to save my life, and they're too panicky to have a camera shoved in their faces anyway, poor kids. Maybe tomorrow I'll get some pictures of them.

Monday, July 7, 2014

In Which I Babysit Fuzzy Creatures

As my mother, father, and sister all have other things to do at the moment, I am babysitting the new chicks. They arrived in the mail today, but seem incredibly healthy and energetic. They jump around, eat, and drink like... I don't know. Maybe like drunk guys. I haven't seen that many drunk guys, so that may be a bad analogy for all I know. Please forgive my ignorance.
So anyway, all of them are doing great. Except for one of them, who is much smaller and weaker than the others, and is currently in a brooder by himself (herself?), trying to recover from the trip. He's the rare chick McMurray sent, and is either a bantam or a very small standard breed. As a result, he was being trampled by the others, and we could instantly tell he wasn't going to survive if he tried to compete with them.
His name is Optimus, and we do not wish for him to return to the Well of All Sparks just yet.
So here I sit, keeping an eye on Optimus Prime, and blogging a bit because apparently even the fuzzy incarnation of a giant robot from Cybertron is not enough to hold my complete attention.
More pictures, and hopefully happy update, coming soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

As Promised, Better Pictures!

  I was able to borrow the good camera! It was lovely to use, and I ended up taking quite a lot of pictures. Many were blurry (chickens move a lot, and the day was cloudy. Not ideal conditions for clear photographs!), but I managed to get some really nice photos as well. Here are a few of my favorites.

  This post is about a cute little family of Seramas. They live a happy life in the chicken yard, twinkling like tiny stars in the sunlight, and singing about the joys of kitchen scraps.

  Just kidding. Actually, this post... dedicated to the masterpiece that is also known as Turtle's beard.

  She would wish you a good Tuesday if she knew what a Tuesday was, so I'll wish you one on her behalf. I hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time for an Update!

  So here's the story: I no longer have chickens, because now I live away from home and don't really have the time to care for a flock of birds. However my parents and sister still have chickens, and since I'm visiting them currently, I thought I should post some pictures and write a bit about their lives (the birds' lives, not my family's. The birds are much more photogenic and amusing).
  It appears that in editing my Picasa Web Albums settings, I broke a ton of images on this blog. I've basically fixed that now, so feel free to take a look at some of the older posts if you want to see the old flock.

  Currently they have eight birds: Lord Firestar, Chipmunk, Yellow, Patience, Sparkle Sparkle, Champion, Prince Charlie, and Turtle. My parents ordered some from a hatchery and they should arrive this summer, so I'll try to give you wonderful readers an update when they show up.

  Guess what? Lord Firestar and his girls are still adorable. They tiptoe through the grass together and go broody a lot. Well, Lord Firestar doesn't go broody, but Chipmunk does at least once a year, and Yellow has been known to hop on the wannabe-parent bandwagon. Funny little birds.

  TURTLE! She's six years old now, according to my calculations. Maybe I'm wrong though, in which case she would be five. Either way, she's an old lady.
  She seems fairly energetic and healthy at the moment, thankfully, and has so far managed to avoid being caught by a predator. She still loves to fly out of the chicken yard and invite herself into the human house, and has charmed many people with her friendly, outgoing attitude.
  She also still lays eggs pretty regularly, which is pretty impressive.

  Patience lived in fear of Lord Firestar for most of his life, but this spring he finally stood up to the old king and took his place as boss of all tiny chickens. This development did not receive human approval, but we will allow it to continue unless he starts hurting Lord Firestar. So far Patience's reign seems to be peaceful enough.
  Champion and Sparkle Sparkle seem unimpressed, but they continue to follow him, because they can.

  Charlie is currently a lone duck in a world of chickens. He still fears humanity, so he takes shelter behind Turtle if we try to chase him. It's rather adorable. 
  He also wants to viciously attack us, but is too scared to do more than trundle toward us purposefully when we turn our backs. 

  Other than that, not a lot of bird news. I may borrow the family camera and take some really good quality photos later though! That might be a good project.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Study of Poultry in their Natural Habitat

Today I suddenly felt a deep desire to add lots of pretty bird pictures to this blog. All my life I've been told by TV shows to follow my heart, so enjoy an overdose of lovely feathered creatures, and some hopefully entertaining writing by yours truly.

Sparkle Sparkle the Serama, being broody yet again

Yellow and Chipmunk, crazy Seramas
 Seramas are, as far as I can tell, the broodiest chicken breed in existence. They lay a handful of tiny eggs in spring, and then plant themselves in various nesting boxes for the summer. Sometimes they spend autumn and winter there too, just for good measure. The roosters are generally very sad about this, because they really don't like being growled at by their girlfriends.

The ducks: Hazelnut, Jazz, Charlie, and Unicron the Chaos Bringer

Charlie, the evil duck.
"I'll get you next time, Amri. Just you wait and see..."
 I think ducks are the funniest birds I've ever seen. They quack in alarm any time a human approaches and usually hurry away in irrational terror, but become very brave at breakfast time. Charlie, the drake, even becomes brave enough to almost attack me sometimes, although he's never actually gotten up the courage to actually do it.
 I think he knows that if he hurts me, he's likely to become dinner. He really does look delicious, does he not?

Lord Firestar crows triumphantly
 The three oldest birds in the flock are Lord Firestar, Turtle, and Kooshie. All three are doing well.
 Lord Firestar recently had a fight with his son Patience, and only won because I intervened and scolded Patience.

Turtle the Easter Egger
 Turtle has learned to fly over the chicken yard fence, and spends her days dust bathing in the garden and/or staring in the window. I'm pretty sure she wants to be human, and I do my best to respect her dreams. She returns to the yard on her own whenever she likes.

Kooshie the Easter Egger
 Kooshie is older, grumpier, and is missing her beard, but she still loves to perch on my arm. She also enjoys sitting on the feed can and glaring at everyone. She resembles an adorable Mad-Eye Moody.

 There are also about five crows who protect the flock from eagles. Our birds heed their warning calls and take cover, while the crows fly after the eagle and chase it away. The crows only steal a few eggs and some food scraps in exchange, so they're probably the best and cheapest guard animals around.

 I'm running out of things to talk about here, so enjoy this really old photo of Serama hens in their natural habitat? It is an awfully cute picture, after all, and it seems like a good way to wrap this post up.
Old picture of broody Seramas

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's the Circle of Life

Well, today Yikes died. She was about five years old and had been looking pretty droopy lately, so I guess it wasn't a surprise. Of course, even the fact that I was expecting this to happen didn't make it any less sad.
I guess this makes Sleeve-Eater the last of the original Plain Old Chickens flock. Fortunately she still seems healthy. Hopefully she'll stick around for another year at least.


But I have good news too. A few days ago, Jazz hatched six fluffy little ducklings. They follow her about, peeping whenever she accidentally leaves them behind, and often hop into the waterer to take a bath. Jazz and Charlie  are very protective of their babies and seem to love chasing off the chickens when they come too close.
Unfortunately, I don't currently have any pictures to show you. I'm sorry.


P.S. My web browser doesn't do exclamation points at the moment. Feel free to imagine them where ever you think they're needed.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lots of pictures!

I know, I know, that really wasn't a brilliant title. But it's pretty accurate, given the nature of this post! In a moment I'm going to bombard you with my poultry photography, and you're going to love every moment of it (and if you don't love it, I'll unleash Turtle the Insane Easter Egger upon you).

Yikes is still very much alive. I often think that she'll outlive every single bird in our flock, including the ducks. She's such a tough old lady!

Charlie and Jazz
The ducks are all grown up now, of course. They lay about three eggs a day, so the refrigerator is always full. 

Kooshie still loves to fly up onto my arm. I'd be happier about this habit if I wasn't constantly feeling like she does it to spite Turtle.

And Turtle is in love with humans in general and me in particular. She loves to be cuddled. I can never decide whether I should be charmed or terrified by her adoration!

Patience is Lord Firestar's son. He was hatched last August. Lord Firestar likes to chase him around, but never actually hurts him as far as I can tell.

Champion and Sparkle Sparkle are Patience's sisters. I'd go into more detail about their relationship with him, but it's kind of creepy. What can I say? They're chickens.

Droplet and Flower
These guys are virtually identical. I can't tell them apart most of the time. Please don't hate me.

Lady Sandstorm
Lady Sandstorm is perfect. And charming. And saner than any of her children. I love her.

Chipmunk didn't inherit her mother's sanity. She's currently broody again, as is Yellow.

Lord Firestar
He might be even more perfect than Lady Sandstorm.

I hope at least some of these pictures made your day a bit better! I know they improved mine.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


WARNING:  Absolutely adorable pictures ahead.  Do not read further if you have trouble restraining your desire to buy small, fuzzy animals.

Still with me?

Okay, you asked for it.

Left to right:  Izzy, Jazz, Droplet.

(Also left to right) Izzy, Jazz, Droplet, Prince Charlie, Flower.

Prince Charlie.
Yep, the Plain Old flock now includes ducks!  One Welsh Harlequin drake (Prince Charlie), two Buff hens (Flower and Droplet), and two Blue Swedish hens (Jazz and Izzy).  Five absolutely adorable two-day-old ducklings from Metzer Farms.

Can't tell them apart?  Well I can't really either.  They look kind of alike in these photos, except for Charlie maybe.  To help you with figuring out who's who, here's a quick guide:

Charlie (Named after a character in the little-known Ocean Girl TV series.  Look it up if you haven't heard of it):  Has stripes on his face.  He'll probably get a curly feather on his tail when he's older, too.
Izzy (Named by my dear sister) and Jazz (Short for Jasmine, I think):  Jazz has lighter colored spots on each side of her head; Izzy doesn't. 
Flower (She tried to eat a flower, thus her rather predictable name) and Droplet (She had a water droplet on her head.  Imaginative name, no?):  Flower is darker colored and fluffy; Droplet is pale and slender looking.

And no, they don't quack yet. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Goodbye, Egglantine, We Love You

Poor Egglantine has been looking ill for months.  Today she looked so sick that we finally decided to put her out of her misery.  She was stumbling around with her eyes shut most of the time, and her face was purplish.

September 18, 2009~May 16, 2011

We love you, Puffball. 

Thank you to my father for taking care of that nasty job.