suburbane

one tough chicken

 

This is Madison, our Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. She is a champ when it comes to laying, giving us around 300 eggs over the past 12 months, rarely taking a day off. (The day off happens because her laying cycle is more than 24 hours, so eventually she runs up against the night. Chickens don’t lay at night.) This week, she proved admirable in another way.

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another new chick

We drove through deluge today to pick up our second chick for the year. That’s her up above, a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. This isn’t a standard breed yet so chickens very different from each other can all be called Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.s Here’s a beautiful example of what they can be:

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That’s a long way from the 1.10 oz fluff ball we brought home today:

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Meanwhile our White Rock is a tiny bit bigger and showing nascent wing feathers:

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At first Queenie (that’s the White Rock) was just a pill with Madison (the Wyandotte) because she hadn’t done any socializing since Wednesday. Madison wanted nothing more than to nap after the stress of the car ride. If you’ve checked into the web cam, you’ll have seen Queenie picking at Madison’s beak and feet. After another hour and more naps, they seem to be doing just fine.

the weigh in

Here she is, probably 4 days old and 1.25 oz already! Already she knows who I am and is quite fearless when I pick her up. Amazing when you stop to think I’m 1000s x as big  as she is.

1.25 oz.

Here’s another attempt at a live cam. I was having problems with YouTube because the urls kept changing. Depending on your browser you may see auto-playing ads…sorry about that! This stream should have a stable address.

Live streaming video by Ustream

one new chick(en)

Since I’ve been planning on building a larger henhouse it’s possible to think about adding to our little flock. Our local feed store has a nifty spreadsheet showing which chicken breeds show up each day at their different locations. This year I’ve decided to add a White Rock and a Blue Lace Red Wyandotte. Today was White Rock day. They keep their chicks in trough feeders. Our new girl is at the end of the video on the right side.

I’m trying a live feed this year. It’ll go up and down as I try to find a good setup. The idea is that the new henhouse will have live cams installed. Right now, you’re probably more likely to see her sleeping than anything else. Meanwhile, if it’s up, please enjoy:

bees in the beans

I was starting work in the garden this morning when I came upon a swarm of bees resting in one of our beds of fava beans.

There was a time when Tom and I would have found this alarming, but this morning it couldn’t have been more delightful. More bees, more honey, more fun!

The usual causes of swarming are either because the original hive is getting crowded or an aging queen is making way for her successor. One morning, the old queen will fly off with a bunch of bees in search of new digs. The whole gang can’t go house-hunting at the same time, so they’ll settle someplace, like a hanging basket in our garden, while the scouts are off, well, scouting. This is when bees are at their most docile since they don’t have a hive to defend. This is certainly not always the case, but the colony in hand were as gentle as gentle can be. Luckily the hives we already have are only about a few feet away and I thought I’d could pick up the hanging basket and walk it over to an empty hive box.

And that’s just what happened.

Here’s where we started:

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