Archive for April, 2007

For your viewing pleasure, a few pictures of the chicks as they were hatching out this afternoon. Because it can take up to 24 hours between the first and last egg, and because there are still several eggs left that have yet to crack open, I’ll be leaving the contest open until this evening. Tomorrow’s post will give you the total count.

A new chick emerges from it’s egg while it’s sibling looks on.

It takes several hours for a newborn chick to go from slimey to fluffy.

One of the new black chicks

If you’ve ever wondered how newborn chicks can be shipped at a day old, spending hours in a box without food or water, it’s because they have consumed the yolk of the egg prior to hatching. They don’t need food for the first 24 hours. Too bad our own babies aren’t like that, eh? Can you imagine getting a nice, long nap after you’ve struggled with labor for hours and hours, with no midnight or 2 am feeding to interupt you? Some days I think perhaps chickens are a little brighter than we give them credit for.

If you take a look at the middle picture, you’ll see the egg on the bottom right has a crack in it. Again, another small sign that perhaps chickens are superior to humans. Not only does the mother hen not have to feed her young ‘uns that first 24 hours, but she never had to go through labor! These little chicks have spent hours pecking away at their shells in an effort to come into this world. And their mother is happily setting in a nest of clean hay without a single contraction.

Before the eggs begin to hatch, you can hear the chicks peeping. By the time City Boy came home from work yesterday, they were going pretty good! When I got up this morning, there was one wet black chick. The last chick to hatch was a few hours ago. It’s not looking promising for a 100% hatch rate, as we’re not hearing peeping from any of the remaining eggs. But you can never tell.

Here’s the thing I find interesting about this hatch; all of the eggs were blue. They all were layed by blue (black) hens. We’ve got three roosters; two of which are blue. So how many blue chicks have we got? Only half of what has hatched! Since I’m clueless on sexing chickens, I’ll just have to wait for them to get a bit older before I can tell which ones are hens. I’ll be keeping the blue hens to add to the flock and selling the lighter colored ones at the farmer’s market. I know there were a couple of you interested in getting some chicks; there just aren’t enough of them to keep themselves warm during shipping with this hatch. Perhaps a bit later, when the weather perks up a bit?

Now, Darling got some short videos, but will have to wait until tomorrow, along with the final head count!


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River Glen hatchlings!

Little peeping fluffies have begun to invade the incubator. We started with 20 blue eggs. How many do you think will hatch? Leave your guess and may you’ll win…

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Wild Horses and Eggs

The eggs are due to hatch this weekend. However, I’m hearing no peeping sounds coming from them, which doesn’t give me much hope. Incubation is 21 days, but they can hatch a day early or late. If there’s nothing by the end of Sunday, then I’m going to have to throw them out. Disappointing, eh?

Pinto trotting into Sunset
Geek Boy typed my name into Google recently, then laughed because I didn’t come up as the number one result. Evidentally, his name is number one. I’m something like two or three. City Boy doesn’t show up at all. He says that’s because he doesn’t prostitute himself like I do. Yeah…okay. He can call it prostitution, I call it marketing.
It’s just six weeks until the Wild Horse and Burro adoption event in Monroe, WA. For some reason I felt compelled to offer my services in raising funds to bring Lesley Neuman up for the gentling demos. I’m not sure exactly why I did this. I love Lesley, and the BLM didn’t have funds set aside for demos. When people see Lesley work the horses, it gives them hope and lets them see that it doesn’t take a bunch of gimmicks to get the horse to work for you. I’ve watched her work at three different adoption events with at least half a dozen horses. They start out snorty and wild, but within an hour nearly all of them are following her around like a puppy.
And I suppose that’s why I said I’d do it. Because I know how terrific these horses are, if just given the opportunity to trust. So many people are afraid of them; they’ve heard some horror story or another and have a preconceived idea about wild horses. But you know what? Anyone can get hurt on any horse. And when people see Lesley working with these wild animals, and see how much she progresses in an hour or two, it gives them hope.

Of course, I live two counties away from the event, so I’m running into a wall when it comes to finding businesses to contribute. They look at it like advertising, and since they’re not likely to build clientelle from such a distance, they turn me down.

So today I put on my thinking cap, played a bit more on Photoshop and with Cafe Press, and I came up with a page full of fun products that will help raise much needed funds. Mugs, notecards, magnets…even a wall clock! All under $15. Of course, there are t-shirts and sweatshirts as well, including Carpenter Creek products and the crazy Psycho Roo to browse through.
It’ll take ten items sold (well, providing it’s not just stickers or buttons) to pay for a gentling demo. While there are three demos, if I can round up the funds for just one, I’ll be one happy little wild horse lover! I’ll be working on a button this weekend that will link directly to the fundraising page. If you’d like to help out and post the button on your blog or website, I’d sure be thrilled! Just let me know.

Tile Box with Grulla Mustang

Now…was that prostitution?

Have a terrific day, and don’t forget to check back to see if we’ve gotten any hatchlings!

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Bale of hay to feed sheep: $8

Hiring someone to shear wool: $6 per sheep

Look on ram’s face when lambs think they can get milk out of his ‘udder’?
Yup. ‘Udderly’ priceless!

Say what? Hey…stop that!

I was picking up Darling from school the other day, and because I was early and had nothing better to do, I climbed from the cab and began picking up the loose change that had fallen onto and beneath the mat under my feet. And you know what I found? The gold cap from my tooth.

A few years back I had a dentist who did a root canal and then a gold overlay on one of my molars. They offered silver or gold, but convinced me that the price of the gold would be well worth it, as it would hold up and not need replacing.

I guess they didn’t bank on my eating caramel. I love caramel, don’t you? Smothered in chocolate…mmmm… And one day I was eating such a delicious piece, when I felt this little suction from the back of my mouth. And then, my caramel became somewhat difficult to chew… I spit it out to find a gold tooth!

So much for gold lasting.

I wonder how much the gold is worth? Can you sell a gold tooth? I wonder if I were to bring it into one of those places that deals with coins and precious metals, if they’d think I stole it out of a dead person’s mouth?

I wonder if ebay would let me sell it there? I could probably make up some really cool story, don’t you think? Perhaps a fight between a couple of ruffians over a woman…one of them dies; it’s her true love, and the only thing she kept of him was the gold tooth, which she wore as a necklace until her dying day…

Okay, help me out with this story. I need something clever if I’m going to make enough money to by a new pair of boots. I need something that rivals the old Ghost in a Jar… Come on, y’all. Inspire me!

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Tell Me it Ain’t So!

Two Hearts are Better Than One

Congratulations, Mikki Jo! Your re-thought caption is just what I was looking for! Pop me an email with your addy, and I’ll get the note cards right out to you.

And for the rest of you, your names will be entered into the drawing, along with all other Winsday caption entries, for the calendar! Remember, each Wednesday is Winsday!

I love these boots! (Haven’t I said that before?)

I’m a self confessed boot tramp. I’ve admitted as much here. I love boots. My favorites by far are my Ariat boots. So comfy, so practical. I posted their pic in the boot tramp post. Darling took their picture just the other day when we traveled on the ferry. My love for those boots rivals my affection for my family. And when the family is being disagreeable, I prefer the boots.

I choose to wear my Ariats over anything else in the closet. The only place I wouldn’t wear them would be church…but come to think of it, I’ve worn them there as well. Which is proof positive of my boot trampiness, I suppose. I mean…who but a boot tramp would wear her barn boots to church? But they’re just so comfy!

Darling and I brought the sheep down to the neighbors yesterday, and I started out with my rubber boots. You know, the pair I discovered the hole in while taking that video of the creek for you? Well, walking in them wasn’t easy. My socks kept sliding down to my toes during the walk, so after our first trip I decided I’d change into my Ariats. Why I hadn’t selected them in the first place, I don’t know. I guess I preferred the thought of a wet foot to wearing my comfy leather boots through the long wet grass.

So home we came, and while Darling slipped into the house to grab a warmer sweatshirt, I snatched my boots from the shelf.

Or…what was left of my boots…

I couldn’t believe it. My heart sank down to the deepest depths of the earth’s core. One of my boots was only half a boot! The top half was gone…not there…where was it??? Which is when I noticed Tait standing there, looking quite full and satisfied with her recent kill. Tait ate my Ariat boot!

What’s left of my beloved…I’m in mouring!

City Boy has long wanted Tait gone. She’s eaten countless headphones, speakers, and an array of computer parts. Hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of his electronic goodies, videos and whatever else she’s been able to get her little mouth around. Or not so little mouth. No amount of toys has pacified this dog. She doesn’t care if you offer her ropes or pigs ears or peanut butter stuffed kong toys. No, she only wants to chew up things of great value. And now? Now she’s eaten my boot! And City Boy is laughing.

How could this sweet face be hiding so much evil?

To make matters worse? Tait just tossed up something out of the depths of her tummy. Something that looks like strips of leather from an Ariat boot…and I’m wondering…do I clean them off and try to stitch my boots back together again?

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Today is Winsday, and I’m looking for a caption for this photo!
Now, here are the details. Yes, details! Darling and I are planning on putting together a Wild Horse calendar. We’ll also be making note cards with the photos. If you’re selected as a winner of the caption contest, you’ll get a free set of note cards. And, all those who leave a caption suggestion will be put into a drawing for a free 2008 calendar later this year!
So get your thinking caps on and leave your suggestion. Remember, you don’t need to win the weekly caption contest to win the calendar. Good luck!

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Okay, here we are, halfway through the day and City Boy is reading…and correcting!…my story. He wants everyone to know it was NOT a shot gun, that no one misses with a shot gun, and that he was using a .22 pistol.

So there you have it. NOT a shot gun. A pistol. Either way, there were holes blasted through my chicken house.

Are you happy now, City Boy? (Sorry, subscribers…you’re getting this twice! But at leat you’ll know it wasn’t a shot gun, lest you thought any less of City Boy for missing with one…)

A friend of mine emailed the other day to ask if she could have some turkey eggs added to the incubator. She’d had a few turkey’s disappear overnight, becoming a racoon’s late night snack. One of those who was nabbed was a hen who’d been setting (setting is country talk for sitting on some eggs…) I wasn’t really sure how well they’d fit, but they into the incubator they went. They’re kinda cool looking, aren’t they?

Some years back we’d been losing chickens around here. Loosing, as in I’d get up in the morning and find a half eaten one inside the chicken yard. Trying to find out what was getting in, and how, proved difficult. There was netting over the top, and no holes in the wire. One small area showed where perhaps something small could have been going underneath, but it seemed doubtful.

We set up the old baby monitor and for a few nights we heard nothing. Then one night we heard the most horrific sounds! I don’t even know how to describe them…Rocket was still outside, and he’s a non-barking dog. I mean, not his breed, but he just never barks. And this wasn’t barking, anyway. It was guttural, growling, and primitive sounding. A sound that would raise the hair on the back of your neck, and send you scurrying for the house if you’d heard it while standing outside. Heck, the hair on the back of my neck was standing from inside! My first thought was that Rocket was being eaten alive.

Turns out the sounds were coming from Rocket after all. Not knowing how to bark, he did the best he could, which certainly had caught our attention. City Boy had trotted out to the chicken coop, only to return at a dead run, grabbed his shot gun and ran back outside.

What happened next will no doubt be a story told around the valley for years to come. We had new neighbors behind us; they’d just moved into our peaceful little neighborhood the week before. It was now just after 10 pm and all the lights over there were out. But they were on before City Boy was done.

Inside the pen was a raccoon. When it saw City Boy come running, it tried frantically to climb the fence, but soon realized it wouldn’t make it out. He then scurried back towards the chicken house. City Boy, still on the run, aimed and missed. And missed again. And again. Shots rang out, lights went on.

The raccoon realized it had no where to run inside the house, and the bullets were flying right through the wall anyway, so it may as well take it’s chances outside. Out it came, running for all it was worth and scrambling up the fencing. No doubt if it hadn’t had to lift the netting off the top, it would have made it. As it was, City Boy managed to finally hit the little masked bandit.

I told City Boy to save the raccoon. I asked him to whack off it’s tail in the morning so I could make my dad a coon skin cap. But when he went out in the morning, he found the raccoon but no tail! He came in, wondering if I’d already done it. Who, me? You’re joking, right? Turns out we had a raccoon tale, but no tail.

We do, however, have a souvenier of sorts. There are three bullet holes in the wall of the chicken coop.

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