Sunday, April 15, 2007

Meanwhile...


Back on the Farm...

I like chickens. They're fun to watch. They hunt and peck for bugs in the dirt, and scratch about in my garden creating a nice growing environment. They get down right silly about taking dust baths. But mostly I like them because they make me feel smart. Feeling smarter than a chicken may not be enough for some folks, but I'm quite content with it. While I like baths, I prefer mine in water with bubbles. And while an occasional bug may tickle my fancy, I much prefer owl barf, don't you?


River Glen Chickens


Early on in my blog, I posted about my chickens. They're not an official breed, but come from a closed flock that a friend has. She started with a few bantams, an Aracauna (they type that lays the blue eggs) and a Phoenix (long tailed.) She now has an eclectic little flock of small chickens in various colors. The 'blue', which really range from a smoke to black, tend to lay blue eggs. I took on some of her chickens last fall in hopes of further developing the blue chickens who lay blue eggs.



I must admit to not being a very diligent breeder. If I were, I'd have three or four pens of chickens, and I'd be rotating my two blue roos among my blue hens and tracking what the offspring looked like and what they layed. Instead, I've got all my chickens together, blue and pied, hens and roosters. A week before leaving on vacation, I collected all the blue eggs and placed them in the incubator. Since I've not got an automatic turner, the hatch rate will likely be low. But who knows? They're due to hatch on the 28th of this month.


Styrofoam incubator (without an automatic turner, sniff, whine.)



I've had a couple of inquiries regarding shipping hatching eggs or chicks. I hesitate to ship eggs, as I've had poor luck with purchasing eggs from other people and would hate to have that happen to one of you. I am, however, looking into shipping chicks. So if you're interested in raising some River Glen Blues, just let me know!


Upon returning from vacation I had an email from Margery saying another one of her ewes had lambed. This time it was a ram and a ewe. Part of our breeding contract was that I'd get a ewe lamb from her, and now I've got three to choose from. She's got one more ewe that may lamb this summer, but Darling and I already know which lamb we'd like. She looks like a little cow! Isn't she just the most adorable thing?







Baa Moo Ewe?


As for Darling's new critter...well...


This weekend was the youth fair, an event put on here in Whatcom County each spring. It's a short, sweet, two day event with tons of classes that the kids can choose from. They pretty much get submerged with tons of information regarding a project; anything from livestock (Darling did sheep her first couple of years) to clowning to chess. This year Darling took photography and stole my camera for the weekend. I felt naked!


The youth fair also has a live auction, and at that auction are things like pies (which sell for $100 each) and pigs. Can you guess which one we came home with? I swear, this is the world's ugliest pig! And you know the term 'squeal like a pig'? I can assure you that unless you've picked up a squealing pig, you have no clue what it means. None what so ever. I had pigs growing up, and until I picked up this pig to carry it out to the truck, I had no clue what a squealing pig sounded like.


This pig, which shall remain nameless (because we haven't come up with a good one yet), could be heard three counties away. I know, because we got calls about a potential murder at the fair grounds. People were calling 911 in Canada. You'd have thought I was skinning her alive for all the noise she made. Twelve hours later, and I'm only just now getting my hearing back.


One ugly pig. No spider is going to help this girl out!


Once home, it was time to unload The Screamer. City Boy hadn't been there when Darling and I picked her up the first time. Darling was hiding, all huddled with fingers in her ears, on the other side of the pick up. She was still suffering from Squeal Shock, which is similar to shell shock, only worse. CB couldn't figure out what her problem was. He also didn't know why I was so reluctant to climb into the back of the truck after The Screamer. He soon found out. I nudged the pig to get her to move. She grunted and clung to the bed of the truck. I pushed, I prodded, and finally she moved enough for me to get my hand under her belly. And that 's when it began all over again...

The volunteer fire department showed up about five minutes later, wondering if everyone was okay. Evidently a kind neighbor had called in, saying they were certain there was something wrong. A few minutes after that, the sheriff was there, wondering about our child who was now crouched down, shaking and sucking her thumb. "Pig...pig...pig..." was all that would come out of Darling's mouth. I had ringing in my ears, as the screaming from inside the truck canopy had echoed back and forth. City Boy had a dazed look on his face. Never in all his years had he experienced anything like The Screamer. Thankfully, the sheriff's officer had raised pigs while in FFA and it didn't take him long to figure out what the neighbor had heard. He smiled and gave a wave. I think he said something as his lips were moving, but I still couldn't hear anything.

Honestly? Even if a spider does write Some Pig in a nearby web, I'm going to be happy to eat The Screamer!


All the animals gathered to see what the commotion was about, as The Screamer goes straight to work tilling up the garden.

8 comments:

Dixie said...

I think our men have finally learned that incubating eggs just ain't gonna work. We even had a big fancy schmancy incubator. Made out of wood with an automatic turner. It even had humidity controlers on it. If there were 80 eggs in the thing, they were lucky they got 20 of them completely hatched off. Most would pip through and then die. Results are much better with letting a hen do her job.

kim said...

ROFLMAO! But what can I say. I think she's cute, but I have an English Bulldog so my idea of cuteness in animals can be a skewed.

How about Pixie, or Hortense, lol! I've heard them squeal but not like what ya'll had to go through! Poor things. Have ya recovered yet? Or will you all be scarred for life. I hope not!!!

Lady Of Chaos said...

I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. Oh man, that's like when we had the cops called on us because hubby was late milking the goats and some guy swore he heard someone calling for help. I think you already named the poor thing. LOL

I agree with Dixie, we have much much better luck letting the hens clutch the eggs. We have one hen here that has an average of 17 babies a couple times a year. Most of them survive. Ours are bantam and arcuana mixes and they are very hardy birds and great mammas.

Good luck with the eggs and The Screamer.

Rachel Whetzel said...

Good luck with LUNGS! You make me laugh everyday! Wish you HAD stopped by while you were in OR...

Gail said...

What a cute little sheep, some people down the road from us have a little goat that looks like that. Pigs are not some of my favs but I really liked this last photo with the cat looking on. Screamer seems to be a good name ?? We keep kicking around the idea of chickens
just not sure if we want anything else to take care of, after all we are RETIRED.

Sue said...

I remember hatching eggs alot years ago, most would hatch and I had a incubator just like yours, keeping them turned was the biggest thing! Good luck! Cute pics of the critters!

CountryGoalie said...

Otch, you should tell Darling that she needs harlequin rabbits. *nudge*nudge*wink*wink*

Definitely keeping my eyes open to wait and see what hatches for you!

What pricing would you be looking at if you decided to ship chicks? I would assume there would have to be a minimum order, etc, like hatcheries have?

Rachel said...

Very funny stuff here!!! Please don't eat Wilbur!! I just watched "Charlotte's Web" yesterday! What a sweet movie that was!! That sure looks like Wilbur to me!