Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Flock

Mom and I raised Cochin bantam chickens 45 or more years ago and recently I've started to put together a small flock for the memories they bring back.  Their docile, friendly little chickens with heavily feathered legs and feet. Although they lay a small egg they are mostly "lawn ornaments".  I've went to several poultry swaps and even a poultry show and found several breeders in my area from searches on the internet.  Although I have no desire to show birds, breeders who do show often have birds with minor flaws that only a "chicken expert" could see and they sell these birds to make room for more potential show birds.

This is Otis my main rooster. Black with just a few white feathers showing on his chest he is what is know as a lightly "mottled" rooster.

Ivory is a mottled hen.

Oprah and Ebony are my black hens. If your wondering I can tell them apart by the size and shape of their combs.

While I like the black and mottled colored birds, my wife likes the red variety and we were able to buy a pair.

This is Walter, a young red rooster sitting on my knee enjoying a snack.

And this is his hen Rebecca or Becky.
The dogs quickly made friends with them and know they are now part of the "family".

To me at least these birds have a therapeutic value. Nothing is as calming as sitting in a lawn chair as the sun sinks behind the trees and watch these little chickens graze in the lawn looking for unlucky bugs, listening to their soft clucks and thinking about a time long ago.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back on Track

A severe cold has kept me mostly housebound for the past two weeks. Have been venturing out the past few days and have some pics to share.

The bluebird chicks are just about ready to fledge.
And the Tree Swallow chicks are just hatching.
Sadly my two Chickadee nests are empty. It's hard for me to believe that they fledged already and think some predator cleaned them out.
The apple trees are growing nicely with some setting fruit.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I'm sure this matriarch toad has attracted some suitors in the garden pond this spring and laid many eggs. :)


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Few Pics of What's Happening on the Farm

My flock of Cochin bantam chickens has grown to include these 5 little fellows.

This black and white "mottled" hen should improve the conformation of my flock.
As should this little black hen who is the friendliest  chicken I have.
The rains finally came just as I started to "pot up" my grafts. I'm about half finished and waiting for my mushroom mulch & top soil piles to dry out so I can finish up.  Here's what the nursery looks like so far.

The rains have added to the vernal pond and I can see a few tadpoles swimming about.
A Paw Paw blossom.
My young apple trees want to start producing but I'll pick off the fruitlets for another couple of years. Letting a tree produce fruit too soon will "stunt" the tree and affect it's productivity as it matures.  Better to it let the tree use it's energy to produce wood to build a frame before letting it bear fruit.

So far I only have one nest of Tree Swallows.
Must end now as chores are calling me. I may be retired but this is proving to be the busiest time of my life and I'm lovin' it. :)