Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ordering Eggs for Incubating

I have ordered chicken eggs online for incubating many times. I've never had a problem. I've never had one egg arrive broken. So I wasn't prepared for this.

I knew it wasn't going to be good from the looks of the outside of the box. And there was the letter from the post master saying my eggs had soiled 13 other packages. There was egg yolk everywhere so I was surprised to find that only 5 eggs were broken. Normally I never clean or wash eggs in anyway before I incubate them but clearly this was a special circumstance.

These are Welsummer and Americauna eggs. Will any of these eggs hatch? I'll know by May 9th.

Less than a week after I started the chicken eggs in the incubator I received a call from a friend who had just gotten some pheasant eggs and wanted to know if I could incubate them. So I fired up my second incubator since only one incubator has an automatic egg turner I decided to put half of the pheasant eggs in the incubator with the egg turner and move some of the chicken eggs into the other incubator. My thinking is that the eggs in the automatic egg turner have the best chance for hatching.

I'm very excited about the pheasant eggs. I have never hatched pheasants before and I would love to have some pheasants around the farm.

Here's a picture of the eggs in the incubator. The brown eggs are the Welsummers, the large blue (white looking) are the Americauna, and the small green eggs are the pheasants.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

P. S.

Dear Mother Nature,

It was 92 degrees yesterday and tonight we have a freeze warning. Seriously? I won't be surprised if it snows tomorrow. :o)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Letter to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

I don't know who did what to piss you off but let me offer my sincerest apology. Maybe you're going through some sort of personal problems and you've decided to take it out on us peons.

I personally don't enjoy August weather in April. Quite frankly I don't enjoy August in August. I really don't enjoy having the high temperature jumping 25 degrees overnight. But who am I to tell you what to do. You wanted a 4 day heat wave in April. OK.

You know, it's not just me. The daffodils aren't happy. Have you looked at them lately? They're done. Some of the fruit trees have bloomed and now I hear you're thinking of dropping the temps into the 30's. That's not nice.

Now, the bugs are loving you. They're hatchin' and flyin' around, all crazy buzzin' about. But, what will they think of you tomorrow? If it is 28 degrees cooler than today will they be singing your praises? I don't think so. I don't even want to think about the poor butterflies.

You know we all do better with gradual changes. We like things to be predictable. But you need to have some fun and shake it up a little. I get that. I don't like it, but I get it. I hope you got it out of your system.

By the way nice touch with the wind tonight. Will the house blow off the foundation? I will have to wake up tomorrow and see.

I'm putting away the shorts and getting the spring jacket back out. Enough of the crazy stuff. Please?

Love Ya',

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Walk Along a Stream

It was very, very, unnecessarily hot this weekend. I'm talking insane for April in New York. A friend of mine has a stream on her property that is in a ravine that was a cool place to hang out. It was very pretty and I took some pictures and a little video. These flowers were popping up all over. I have no idea what they are. But very pretty. Here's a little video.

These odd mushrooms are coming up around our pond.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Turtles on a Log

I wish this picture was clearer, or I had a big ol' zoom lens. But I was so excited when I saw these turtles sunning themselves on a log in a pond, that I pulled off the road and took this pic with my cell phone.

Hmm. You can see that there are six turtles there? They were so darn cute and I love turtles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Sad Farewell

It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you of the passing of Babyface. Babyface was a large breasted white turkey. She was given to us by some good friends along with a male who we named Casanova.

The big white turkeys that have been bred to have large breasts weren't meant to live long. Just long enough to grow big and be on the table for Thanksgiving. I'm glad we were able to give Babyface a long and happy life. She was such a sweet creature. When she looked at you it was with big eyes full of personality.

This winter was hard for Babyface, but she spent her last day outside in the sun walking around like she hadn't for months. She went into the goats' stall and bedded down in a favorite corner. I actually thought she was preparing to lay an egg. She tucked her head under a wing and quietly passed. She was one of a kind.

Babyface and Casanova.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Appollo Does the Dance

When I went to the barn this evening Appollo was trying to impress the ladies. I caught his dance with my cell phone. If you listen closely you can hear the almost rattlesnake like sound when he rustles his feathers.

And here's the view from the backside.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Interesting Eggs in the Pond

Since the sad discovery of the remains of Jeremiah I had been avoiding the pond. With the weather warming up I thought it was time to see who was gonna be the new big frog. There were lots of frogs but none stood out as a potential new King of the Pond.

I did however find this odd looking egg sac.

Here's a close up. I have looked up salamanders, and crayfish and neither have eggs that look like this.

Anybody have a clue what this mess might grow up to be?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Double Yolked Eggs

We have a hen that is consistently laying double yolked eggs. I'm not sure which hen it is. No one really stands out. From the size of the eggs someone should be walking funny.

Here's a picture of several eggs. On the bottom row there's a chicken egg, double yolked egg, turkey egg, double yolked egg, chicken egg.

Turkey eggs are pretty big. But the double yolked eggs are even bigger than the turkey eggs. I feel sorry for the poor hen who is pushing these puppies out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

There's Elves in the Drains

We have elves in our drains. The mission of the elves is to drive Hoover crazy.

Mission Accomplished!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Too Cute

I have been looking at pictures of Hoover when he was a puppy to see if he was a "bonehead".

I think the pointy protrusion appeared after the fainting spells (which told us his heart wasn't working properly and then he got the pacemaker).

We have a vet appointment next week and this puppy picture shows that his head looked normal before the pacemaker.

Here's one that shows the bone head, (head bone?)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cleo in the Barn

I was lucky enough to catch this video of Cleo. I filmed it with my phone so it isn't the highest quality. But it cracks me up.

Imagine THAT having a hold of your ear?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Love My New Green Shoes

Green is my favorite color. So when I saw the new Danskos in "celery" I knew it was time for a splurge.

I'm a sensible shoe kind of girl. No pointy toed-high heels for me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Peanut Is Laying Eggs and Giving Attitude

Peanut is a bronze turkey. Unlike chickens, turkeys lay eggs seasonally. As far as we've experienced it they lay in Spring. Peanut laid her first egg this year while I was driving my parents back to OH. Yesterday I found Peanut nesting in the corner of the stall.

She was all tucked in and had been putting shaving on her back (I don't know why they do that). I thought she was sitting on an egg so I felt around under her to get it. She gave me such a look. I moved her to find that there was no egg. She settled herself back down with a "See, I tried to tell you. Now leave me alone." Peanut is very affectionate and I have never seen any sort of attitude from her before.

I went about finishing up the barn chores. Getting everybody in and fed for the night. I had gathered all the eggs and was turning off the lights when Peanut started calling. I turned the light back on and went into the stall. Peanut was standing there shaking the shavings off her back. A big speckled egg was at the spot where she had been nesting. She looked at me, all sweet again, saying "Now I'm done and you can take the egg. Thank you very much."

I think I must have moved her right at the time she was about to lay the egg. It might have been uncomfortable to be jostled at the very moment. I have no idea because I've never laid an egg. But don't let anyone tell you that turkeys have no personality or are stupid. Peanut us very sweet, she loves a good tummy scratch, and she is far from stupid.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Letting go of Winter

Unlike most people I love winter. For me the melting snow triggers serious sadness. I will watch the last traces of snow along the treeline, cheering on the cold cloudy days that keep it alive. But eventually it happens.
A really warm, sunny day comes along and it's over.
All the ground is bare and brown.
The grass from the fall is all
packed down from months
under snow.

It is really unattractive.
I know that Spring will
bring beautiful things. Like these crocus (croci?). And the daffodils are coming up (pictures to follow at a later date). So even though there were snow flurries yesterday I am beginning the process of letting go of Winter. Today I spent some time in the greenhouse transplanting seedlings and root cuttings. It was nearly ninety-five degrees in there and quite a shock to my system. It made me want to do the snow chant. (There's an old Calvin and Hobbes comic where they do a chant to bring on snow and I've always remembered it.) I don't want to abuse it so I'm putting it away until October/November.
So, I think it was because I was a little off kilter that Cleo caught me off guard tonight. Cleo is our Emu and she loves shiny things like earrings (belt buckles, sunglasses, corneas) and I know that she has been eyeing my earrings and I always kept an eye on her when I am in the barn. Tonight she got behind me and I didn't pay attention to where she was and then I felt my ear being ripped off. I was shocked. I'm actually glad that she picked my earring over my cornea, but it really hurt. Luckily no real damage was done to my ear. She did however totally change the shape of my earring.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Home Home Home Home Home Home

I'm home!

It was fun. It is always great to spend time with my parents (not necessarily in the car for hours.) But,I miss all the animals so much when I'm away. Every night I would ask my husband. "How many eggs did you get?" "Any weird eggs?" "How's Hoover, Kirby, the goats, the chickens, Cleo,.....?" It must drive him crazy.

Well, there were some weird eggs that he saved for me. I have gotten over the disappointment of not being the one to find them.

Hoover greeted me fresh from rolling in something disgusting.

Kirby flopped down for a belly brushing.

The cats were all over me.

I brushed the goats and collected today's eggs.

It is so good to be home!!