Friday, July 31, 2009

Is he gone?

Where are you, QuackStar? Did you fly away? Will you come back? Our back yard is empty. He must have flown away.

Eternal gratitude to Savanna for sending me this picture she took of QuackStar today. He actually posed for it!

Worship the almighty incubator!

Here is the Turn-X (TX-7). Admire the elegant design, the faithful turner which works 24/7 to keep the eggs healthy, the fan which circulates the air, warmed to the right temperature by the heater. I hope the eggs will hatch! Cute eggs, aren't they? Yes, I am a little frantic but I can wait a few more days.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Horror and guilt

Today I was learning about battery-caged laying hens. Extremely unpleasant subject. Anyway, I am completely against egg factories and I was horrified to learn that an unnamed family member had bought TWO dozen brutally produced eggs for a birthday breakfast. Hey, our eggs are still less than three months old! Why not use them? Oh, well, I might be able to avoid every bit of egg.
Obviously I am rather shocked. The pictures are unedited except for the writing. Note the uniform, dead look of the eggs in the top photo.

Did you know I hate raccoons?

"Me? Who would hurt cute, innocent me?"

Well I hate them. But since I have written a lot about them lately, I will tell you about QuackStar instead. He is getting very fat and is now almost two months old! He is completely feathered in except for the back of his head which is still downy. His wings are fully developed. The only babyish thing about him is his voice which is still a twitter. And he doesn't hold still to be weighed any more.
And the eggs. Have they been in the incubator for twelve days? Maybe it is eleven. That means we are more than half way through!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What do I love about chickens? Lets see...

  1. They are extremely silly. After eating, the Big Girls have such ridiculously bloated crops it looks like they are the greediest birds ever.
  2. The eggs. Once you've eaten a real egg, you'll never want to go back. Rich, golden, delicious and beautiful are all words which describe eggs fairly well.
  3. Beauty. Be it a tiny Serama or a giant Gourmet Black, nothing is quite as elegant as a chicken.
  4. Friendly. Any good chicken is willing to be hugged and petted, maybe even kissed.
  5. Intelligent. You can teach your greediest hen to jump for food in a matter of minutes!
  6. Inexpensive games. Give your birds a pear core and they will run about the yard, trying to steal the treat from each other. Who needs baseball?
  7. Combs and wattles. No reason, I just like them.
  8. Very cute. There's nothing like a fluffy-bearded Easter Egger to make you smile.
  9. Double yolkers!!! Getting a huge egg is very fun. Snowneck regularly lays a massive egg (we measured one to find out what egg turner we would need if we wanted to hatch her eggs~goose size).
  10. Feathers. Gorgeous feathering is lovely to see.

We tried candling today

We came back from a camping trip today and found all our birds (even the eggs) without water. I am hoping it was because they kicked their waterers over (not the eggs, they just ran out), not because the pet sitter person forgot to come.
We tried candling the eggs but I guess our flashlights just aren't strong enough. Oh, well, we can wait to find out how many eggs will hatch.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Evil, horrid, raccoons!

They came back AGAIN!!! It's getting so bad that pretty much all I write about is obnoxious wild animals! Everyone seems to love QuackStar. Did you know that we get more raccoon and dog problems here in the city than we ever did in the country? At least we learned two things:
  • QuackStar knows to hide in the Eglu house when enemies visit.
  • The Eglu is still raccoon-proof.
One of these days they won't escape! Does anyone else have a raccoon rant? I bet you are thinking "yes, I do!".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jay hunting (fighting for possesion of the Eglu)

Everyone wants QuackStar's food! Lady Sandstorm wants it. Lord Firestar wants it. The jays want it. None of these birds are supposed to be eating it; the jays are the least welcome of all.

Three jays were hanging out in the Eglu, munching feed. I ran outside yelling. Two of them flew away but the third was still in the Eglu. I closed the door. The poor birdbrain was bouncing off the walls trying to get out, it was terrified. After a bit I let it out.
Lesson: Stay away from the pink Eglu with the duck, it's dangerous.
Ha! Like they'd listen!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A little bit flight-happy

Kooshie flaps her wings.

QuackStar flew! Not very far but he did it! He was so proud that he stood up tall, flapped his wings and said "QUACK!" it was pretty funny.

Later, Lord Firestar attempted a daring flight onto the roof (the human house roof, not the Eglu). It failed but he lifted himself a good three feet in the air. Fortunately he landed safely on a bench.

Too bad Kooshie isn't here. She is so much fun. Everyone loves watching her fly onto my arm.

The fourth day? Really?

No, that monster egg was not layed by Lady Sandstorm. She layed the little egg next to it.

If I'm right, the eggs have been in the incubator for four days! Maybe I'm wrong. Please hatch, eggs.
I was planning on setting all five eggs but Lady Sandstorm layed another that day so hopefully there will be six Serama chicks! Probably we'll only hatch one. And it will be a rooster. Oh, well. In one of those Magic Treehouse books Jack learned "If you don't succeed at first, try, try again". I can do that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Small humidity problems

The Turn-X is a very nice incubator but you really need to understand it before you start incubating! To raise the humidity, you screw down the plastic ring on the bottle so that more water gurgles in, filling the next compartment. The hygrometer* wick soaks up water and the hygrometer tells the temperature; cooler means drier, warmer means wetter. Wait a moment! If the thermometers both read the same temperature, this can also mean zero humidity!
Yikes. figuring out that incubator was tricky but we now pretty much understand it and the eggs are probably all right. Isn't it funny that the problems started after we put the eggs in?

*A standard thermometer with a wick attached

Friday, July 17, 2009

Backyard Chickens!

I now have a Backyard Chickens account! I am writing as Kooshie so if you see something written by Kooshie, it's me. I still have to figure out putting up pictures and stuff. Very fun!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We all survived

It's true! I lived through four days of camping, QuackStar obviously stayed away from the raccoon, Lord Firestar looks healthy and.....(don't complain, I'm making this suspenseful)......Lady Sandstorm layed TWO eggs! Yes!
Five eggs waiting to be set in the incubator! I can hardly wait!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm so proud...and annoyed has Plain Old Chickens on their Top Ten Urban Chickens Blogs! That means that people like my favorite blog! That makes our crazy chickens famous! The world knows QuackStar's name (okay, okay, now I'm acting a little silly)! Too many excamation points here. Sorry if I'm gloating.

Here's a raccoon update: No sign of it! My dad had planned out how he would deal with it but it hasn't appeared today. Raccoons are just too smart. It will probably go back to attempting murder the moment we stop staring out the window. Poor QuackStar.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Evil Raccoons!

Poor QuackStar!
A raccoon was trying to eat him today. My dad had to keep chasing it away with his Samurai sword. The nasty thing was bent on murdering QuackStar. Sadly, my dad never got close enough to kill it so now we have to watch QuackStar even more closely than after the dog attacked. Cross your fingers for Quackie, we want him to be safe!
You can describe a raccoon with one word: evil.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Ducks are poop machines!
Ugh. Poop is my least favorite part of raising poultry. You can prevent aggressiveness, minimize egg breaking, cure illness, but you can't avoid POOP! It can be quite annoying to sit on some grass and end up with manure on you. Very gross.
The birds themselves are wonderful but ugh! Oh, well. At least we don't have a dog, you never know what they have been slurping up. Funny, I don't think I have any pictures of poop.

Serama vacation, sort of.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lady Sandstorm Video

Monday, July 6, 2009

1 pound, 7 ounces

QuackStar is finally starting to deserve his name! He quacks sometimes! And he now weighs 1 pound, 7 ounces so he's not a baby any more. Oh, well.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

100 posts on Plain Old Chickens!

Are you amazed? One hundred exciting/fun/sad/informative blog posts! Here is a link to the first post. I know, I know, you probably think I spend all my time on the computer but I don't! Part of my time is spent taking those fabulous photos, part is spent reading but the chickens are the most important part of all.
But everyone knows that!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some dogs must be nice...maybe

QuackStar could have been killed!
I love the Eglu! It definitely saved QuackStar's life today. A dog got into our backyard and tried to kill QuackStar. Fortunately he was in the Eglu so the dog could not get him. I hate to think of what it could have done to a fuzzy little teenager duck.
Thank you, Omlet! You saved our duck! I highly recommend the Eglu!

No speedboats

Oh, well, we have Lord Firestar. He's pretty loud and colorful.

This is the first time in years that I didn't wake up to the sound of speedboats on the fourth of July. Rather strange. And we can't have any fireworks either because this is the city. At least the Seramas won't be scared by fireworks or speedboats. The Big Girls will probably get to admire both!

Friday, July 3, 2009

1 pound, 2 ounces

QuackStar weighed one pound, two ounces when we weighed him last Wednesday. That makes him bigger than Lord Firestar who weighs one pound exactly! We don't know how heavy Lady Sandstorm is because she won't hold still. She's pretty small.
QuakStar's green head feathers are easier to see every day. His feet are growing a lot, too. And his wings are finally starting to get big.