Saturday, January 31, 2009
Hmmmm I can't seem to get the letters to enlarge today!
So I will keep this short to help preserve yours and my eyesight and save us from eyestrain!
Laverne and Shirley are still indoors, in their box, and pretty content I must say. They are still clean and we are just waiting on next weekend to go to the show in Calhoun. I will be pulling in their parents this weekend and getting them ready also. Pictures to follow on that venture.
The post before this one I posted some more pictures from the last show. I still have one more bunch of pictures to show, but these will be enough for today.
I have company coming today. Dwain is coming and we will be talking chickens and playing with chickens all day. He is one of my chicken buddies. He wanted to bring me some Serama roosters to look at, to see if I was interested in having some, but I just had to say no, and told him to please not be an enabler...lol.
One other thing happening this weekend. I caught ALL the guineas. Three will be rehomed to Dwain...two girls and a boy. I have a sign I made up to go out down by the road...I am selling them all off. Long story short, they are harrassing my chickens too much, stressing them out, stressing me out, making WAY too much noise ALL day long, stressing me out...did I mention stressing me out? I dont need anything to stress me out, especially when there is the option to remove that irritation. I have tried to like guineas, really I have. But they just have to go, so I am selling them off to new homes.
Any takers? Five dollars each...
Alright then, I better get going. I need a shower and need to do a few things around here before Dwain gets here. I will see about taking some pictures today of our visit. I hope everyone is having a nice weekend so far. XOXO
OH, one more thing, check out the lamp I got at Tractor Supply...on clearance! It was originally sixty bucks...and I got it for FIFTEEN! What a deal! This lamp is right up my alley too...
Thursday, January 29, 2009
They all hatched on January 27th and I can hardly keep my eyes and hands off of them they are just so cute!
The one with the plastered down hairdo is fine, I just had to help this one out of the shell and I tried to wash off the goo from being in the shell, but I didnt quite get it all. This chick was so big it filled up the whole shell and couldnt move at all to peck its way out of there. It would have died in the shell if I hadnt helped it out.
These are Tex's babies
These ARE Tex's babies
THESE are Tex's babies
These are TEX"S babies!!!!
NOT MINE! I will keep telling myself this so I won't get too attached. ;)
I looked at the wing formation on these babies and it is looking like at least two of them are boys. Girls little sprouts on the wing are all the same length straight across. Boys are graduated and get longer towards the middle. We will see as they get older. It is relatively easy to tell boys from girls in this breed once they start feathering out and getting their head feathers.
Alright Tex, here are a few pictures of your new babies. :)
Heat lamp on
I turned the heat lamp off for a second to take a better picture without the red tint from the bulb.
I am especially fond of this little man. This one is definitely a boy. He is a bold little chick, seems to have been born with no fear. He already has a stand out personality! :)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
This rule applies to almost any creature...including humans I guess. It never ceases to amaze me when one of my chickens comes to the realization that they don't have to be afraid of me and actually want my attention. Some, a few, were raised to think this way..for example..Phoenix, or Clyde. Its when one that has not been handled regularly adopts these thoughts that it always amazes me. Its almost as if a light goes on in their mind and they have a whole new outlook.
Now I will elaborate on exactly who I am talking about. Do you remember the Golden Phoenix hen that was so badly mauled by a few unknown select in her flock? She has recovered completely. You can see the back half of her comb is gone now. It was pinched so badly it died and fell off. I tried not once, but twice to put her back into her old flock. A few of the roosters would try to run her down and she would end up roosting in the pen all day to escape their clutches. Once again she ended up in the pen I had held her in when she was recovering. What to do with this chicken?
She solved this for me. After letting her out at the porch door instead of putting her in the pen area she seemed to be okay with that. She hangs out with Tiny. He seems to keep her safe during the day. They are on Buckbuck and Babes side of the fence, so other than the occasional fence jumper, usually a white crested polish rooster looking to harrass her, she is okay with being out there.
Just during the day though. This is where it gets strange. Everyone lets their dog in, and everyone lets their cat in, when its getting dark. Not everyone lets their CHICKEN in!
Yes, when it is time to lock up pens and go in for the night she is waiting at the top of the step of the porch to be let in. She comes right in, and she will walk in the house with me and go to her carrier where her food and water waits hanging on the door of the carrier. She gets in that carrier to go to bed at night.
She doesnt want to stay in the carrier once its late morning though. She will let me know when its time to go out. She will make the typical bock bock bock BOCK noise. Thats chicken for let me outside please I guess. I go and get her out of her carrier and put her out the porch door on the top step. Then begins her day as usual.
It doesnt end there though. If she sees me come out, she will come to me and wants me to pick her up. How do I know she wants me to pick her up? The same way I know Phoenix wants me to pick him up. They walk up to you and turn around and wait. Phoenix even pushes up off the ground, just a little boost, in excitement of being held. If a chicken doesnt want to be picked up they will act wary of your outstretched hands. This is not the case, she just stands there, waiting. When I do pick her up she will snuggle into my arms as I rub her neck under the feathers. A contented slit eyed look comes over her face and she is happy.
On one occasion, the other day when it was still cold outside, I was sitting on the step and she came up and I wrapped her in my coat and we sat there snuggling. She tucked her head in my coat. One of the white crested polish boys came wandering up, cocking his head...just looking at us. You could see it on his face. He was very curious as to why this scene was playing out. Ultimately he only wanted me to put her down so he could harrass her. She cares nothing for these young roosters. They only want one thing, and she doesnt care to give it to them willingly.
She is indeed special. As we sat there yesterday, her eyeing me and listening to me ramble on about things, I told her since she was special we should give her a name. She pulled on my shirt with her beak in agreement. Priscilla. That is what popped into my head. I asked her how Priscilla sounded and she got right in my face to look me close in the eye...and seemed to like the name, so Priscilla it is.
Not all chickens have this light go on in their head. Some are terrified of me, no matter that I havent ever done a thing to them. Others are more trusting, but wary of being picked up. Some will barely eat out of my hand, while others will actually fly onto me (Goatman) to get a bite to eat before the others.
Truly, they all have their own little personalities, quirks, and thoughts.
Here is Priscilla as I leave her on the gate...I dont think she really wants me to go. Sorry I messed up your breast feather there girl. I was rubbing under the feathers there and mussed her feathers. I saw later she fixed it up though. ;)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Today is going to be amazing outside. I wanted to make a post this morning before I went running outside for the day. We have had some unusually cold temperatures around these parts and it has been brutal to go out in. The waterers freeze up every day and it wouldnt get above freezing so I would have to go out and get the waterers and bring them in to the kitchen sink, de-ice them and fill them up again with some lukewarm water. There was a couple of days where I would fill up a tub with water...come back an hour later and there was a sheet of ice that had formed on the top of it!
That is all gone now. Today we are going to be in the mid sixties! I am just so excited! I will save my indoor chores for this evening when it is cooling off and getting dark. NOW is the time to get outside! :)
So lets talk some chicken. :)
Last Saturday morning I got up at 4 am. I had already packed everything I needed for any last minute grooming at the show. I had showered the night before and blow dried my hair straight like I like it. I don't wear make up a lot, but this was a special occasion, so I put on my make up. I had bought a new shirt that caught my eye at Tractor Supply earlier in the week and it just so happened to be on clearance, so I was feeling good and wearing my new shirt. I packed up the truck, got the girls in the carrier and loaded them up and was on the road by 5:20 am. I don't particularly like to drive in the dark, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do if she is to get to her Poultry Show. ;) I made it from my house all the way over to Jefferson, Georgia in about two hours time. I was early enough I got me a good parking spot close to the exhibition building. I carried my girls in and got them tested as per required. This test lasts three months, so they won't have to have it again during any of the other shows. Their legs are banded and I have a slip of paper that certifies they have been tested and the numbers match from the paper to the bands on their legs. Coco and Kuckoo will have to be tested in Calhoun, then they will be good to go for the next two shows after that one. I am going to show a pair of giant cochins...just not sure who yet. I haven't decided if I want to show a pullet and a cockeral from my hatch, or Buckbuck and Babe, the parents. I will sit out there today some and watch everyone and contemplate this.
After I got the girls tested I found our coops and put them in along with little cups of food and water. Some don't feed or water their birds at a show as they might get messy and it makes them poop, so they may get messy feet. I find that if you just tend the bottom of the pen you don't have to worry about them stepping in the poop. I learned this from watching Beth. Beth and her husband Jerry are the ones I bought the cochins from to breed this past year. At last years show in Calhoun I noticed Beth would tend the bottom of the pens. If there was a poop ball, she would just keep them all pushed to the corners so the birds wouldnt step in it. Cochins are feather footed so it would make an even bigger mess for them to step in their poo. So that is what I did, and I had no troubles.
I saw many folks that I always see. I saw the man that I bought Phoenix from. He is always a welcoming face to see and talk to. Jerry and Beth were there, they are always so encouraging and nice to me. I didnt see any of their birds at this show and inquired about it. They said they had to bring all the stands for the show pens and didnt have time or room to bring any birds. They help out at a lot of these shows. I told Jerry if I had known that I would have shown some giant cochins. He asked why didnt I. I told him I figured if they showed their birds I would be blown away by the competition, even though I bought from their line, its intimidating. Jerry says NO..that I cant be like that, that I have to just get out there and SHOW. Beth said I would have won Champion Large Fowl at this show if I would have shown the giant cochins. (See me beating my head against the wall???LOLLL) I also met a few new folks and talked with them a lot. I saw Brian, another friend I have bought birds from. He was showing there that day. He is always nice to see and talk to.
I know that showing poultry is not everyones bag, but I do get a sense of satisfaction when going to one. Being around all the birds, walking through the aisles of birds, talking and looking at each one. Then there are all the people. Everyone is just so easy to talk to and so friendly. Every time I go to a show I make new friends and I always enjoy seeing them again when it comes time for the shows to start up at this time of year. They serve breakfast sandwiches and coffee in the morning time and when lunch rolls around there is usually someone there with a couple of grills going with hamburgers and hot dogs cooking for the concession stand.
One person in particular I spoke to off and on all day. The competition of course. ;). The guy that had two of his birds in the Continental class and I conversed for awhile. I learned a lot, he was very talkative. I learned that all his birds are McMurray hatchery birds. There is nothing wrong with hatchery birds, but judges..including the one that judged OUR BIRDS...AHEM..you will know in a minute why I said it that way...THEY say hatchery birds are not exhibition quality...ahem. Little did that judge know...he gave BEST CONTINTENTAL....and...and.. oh yes and...BEST MEDITERRANEAN to McMurray hatchery birds. He didnt know they were hatchery birds, but when a lady asked out of the onlooking crowd as he judged birds, if hatchery birds were okay to show, he spoke up to say no, that they were not exhibition worthy...he said, as he gave those hatchery birds of his best in those two classes. Do you know the guy said he snatched that Andeluseon hen out of the YARD the night before the show??? He didnt even bathe her or anything I assume! A slap in the chops for me after all the work I put into my birds. I wouldnt DARE go to a show with an unkempt bird.
So...later...I went up to that judge, and I asked him, politely, why he picked that Salmon Favrolle over my Silver Laced Polish. At least he was honest. He said it was like comparing night and day. Even though they are in the same class, they are two totally different birds, and he just preferred the Salmon Favrolle. So it was just his preference. He did say I have fine show quality birds, that they are excellent looking. Guess my breed just wasnt one of his favorites. :( In a way that is encouraging because at these other shows I hope to get judges that favor my birds and think they are worthy of first place in the Continental class.
So you want to see the bird that beat me out? Well here she is...
I am not saying she is not a pretty bird...but COME ON...look at Laverne!!!
I have never placed before...and so I am going to try and be humble and say...I am grateful I placed at all. This was a first for me...but I don't plan on it being the last...I plan on going further during these next three upcoming shows...Today...I recieved a mug...
Next up will be a trophy or a plaque...yes..I can feel it! :)
This is my year, I can just feel it! (Enthusiasm without too much overconfidence)
Here are the cards for Laverne...then Shirley..
BV...means Best in Variety
BB...means Best of Breed
RV...means Reserve (Best) in Variety
RB...means Reserve Best of Breed
For some time now I have wanted what I like to call 'stick chickens'. Its just what comes to mind when I see them. Their real breed name is Modern Game Bantam. You may remember the picture on my header before the one I have up there now..those are Moderns. That color in particular is my favorite. It is called Brown Red. I now have a trio of these cuties I bought in the sale barn section at the show.
Now, if you want to show the roosters, they have to be dubbed. Dubbing means cutting off the comb and the wattles. I am not really one to do this, and have been looking for an uncut rooster as I think they are much cuter with their comb and wattles intact. I am sure the rooster would say the same if you asked him about it. Let me show you a close up pictureof a dubbed rooster at the show...then I will show you mine. You be the judge.
Shelby took to my new sweeties right away. She loves them so much. They are genuinely calm and so easy going, so easy to handle and love on. She named him about fifteen seconds after holding him for the first time...she looked up and said...
I said yes, that was perfect. She also named the other two girls. One, the one with the lighter face, her name is Flare, the darker faced girl is named Ember.
Now you may or may not know, we had an Ember once. She was a character. We still miss her terribly today. She was Hanks woman through and through. She fell victim to a predator. I found nothing but a fistful of her tailfeathers at the outside corner of the fence. She was a very headstrong lady and insisted on venturing outside the fence, and it ultimately cost her her life. We name this new girl in honor of the first Ember.
I took a bunch of pictures this morning of the trio, but the girls seem to be hogging the spotlight and I found it hard to take any pictures with them not in front of Flame. Here are some I took...
I will be breeding this trio and hope to come out with some nice show birds. I won't dub the boys, so I wont be able to show them, but I will show the girls that come off of these two ladies. Maybe one day they will take that rule out of the rulebook for showing this breed. I would like that.
This has been one LOOOOOONG post for me, but I had to do some talking...and I still cut it a little short, but I got most of it all in. Now I am off to go and play outside on this beautiful warmer than usual day. Everyone have a wonderful weekend! XOXO
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Just to get it out there..one of my girls did win something. Never have won before...so this was a big deal for me. She got Reserve Champion Continental, Best of Breed, and Best Variety. Very nice indeed. :)
Got to go lay down now...
Monday, January 19, 2009
If for some reason the slideshow doesnt work for you (this has happened before), just click on view all images and it will take you to the photobucket page with the slideshow and it should work there...I hope.
I will post more about the show later, right now I need to lay down for a while. I got to try and sleep off this sickness.
LINDA over at Starting Life Over At 40 is my choice. She had two suggestion, but the first one was just right on. I loved this suggestion from the very beginning. I guess you could say she had and advantage and didnt know it. She and I are the same age you see, and so she grew up watching the same tv shows I did. Linda, do you remember? First, Happy Days would come on, then Laverne and Shirley! Loved that hour of television!
So, their names will be Laverne and Shirley. Thank you to everyone that gave wonderful suggestions. They were all very good and I appreciate your efforts!
Linda, I know I had your snail mail from way back when I sent you those cotton seeds? I couldnt begin to tell you what I did with it, so shoot me an email when you get time and give it to me again if you would. I will get your prize out in the mail by the end of this week. :)
I brought back more than I wanted to from the Poultry show...I brought back an ear ache and a sore throat! Last night I woke up about midnight. My ear hurt so bad, it felt like someone was driving a hot poker through my ear...and that side of my throat was already getting sore.
I immediately hopped up and got the hydrogen peroxide, poured a capful into my ear...and it fizzed like mad, so it was infected. It doesnt hurt now, but I have been up and down all night and morning with this sore throat. It hurts just to swallow. You know how it is though, if you put off swallowing, your throat dries out and then it hurts even more to swallow. I guess the congestion will come next. I almost wish for it over the sore throat. Lets get on with it and get it over with is what I say. I got to get through with this because I have THREE, yes THREE! more shows to go to in February! Y'all are going to go into chicken overload here by the end of February!
I have lots to tell...but I am going to close this entry and start a new one with pictures and lots of talk of the show I attended on Saturday. I will make slideshows each day of some of the pictures I took at the show and spread them out through this week.
Congratulations Linda! :) Thankyou so much for naming my two beautiful girls.
These were taken Saturday once they were cooped in. Notice the blood stain on Shirleys body below the wing :(. They have to be tested for diseases before cooping in. They prick the skin in the bend of the underside of the wing...and it always bleeds like crazy. I cleaned it up the best I could. I checked last night and it was bruised. :( Poor girl. Laverne had some too, but it didnt show in the picture.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Now this is not my first go around, but let me tell you what I know to be true from personal experience. Polish are DRAMA QUEENS. Oh at first they put up a fuss about getting their bath...then they usually give in and try to drown themselves by sagging their head into their bathwater. You have to hold it up for them, because they act as if you are killing them. I use baby shampoo and warm water, thats all. No torture devices were used in bathing them, though you would think it. The bath really is the worst part for them. The first girl was really very good considering she has never been through this before. Her sister...well, not so much. She was stubborn and didnt want to give in. She was flappin and I was soaked. It was only when I was rinsing her that she relented and let me do what I had to do.
Not only do they get a bath, but I take a soft bristle toothbrush and clean their nostrils, beaks, scales on their legs, under toenails, between toes...scrub a dub dub all the way. ;)
Before I gave them I bath I went over every scale on their legs for stubs. I found a couple in between the toes, but that was it. I think as they mature and get older I will find more of them and have to make sure to pluck every little one.
Now they are resting quietly and sleeping off the trauma...it really isnt that bad. They are really good and as you can see, I took a video of me blowdrying one of them. They really do like this part. The dryer they become the more they begin to perk back up. The video I have of Rod being blow dryed last year for a show is really good, you can really tell he was getting into that warm air blowing on him.
Tomorrow I will do some more fluffing and blow drying any underparts that may still be damp. Then it will be time to put on the shine stuff, put the mineral oil on the legs and feet. I will take all this with me and probably do it again once I get there Saturday morning, fuss fuss fuss over them til time for the show at 9.
Okay, enough babble, here are the pictures I took. I only took pictures of the first girl...as it would be somewhat redundant to do it the second time around with the other girl.
"I am so humiliated...can you believe what that woman did to my hair, I mean REALLY! Did I say I wanted a mohawk look? Noooo I did not!"
"This has to fall under the category of torture, it just has to."
"The Spa Treatment for the Stars this is NOT lady."
"Okay, the blowdrying was kind of nice, but I am wore out so I am hitting the old roost bar for the night folks, now its my sisters turn...he he..."
Here are a couple of pictures of her sister after her bath. She was not so cooperative and thrashed about in the sink and acted as if I were drowning her as her neck went limp and her head hit the sink bottom as if she were dying. (I promise, I was very careful when rinsing their heads. Just like I used to rinse Shelbys hair when she was little, I held their head back and rinsed away from their ears, eyes and nostrils) She miraculously came back to life and enjoyed her blowdrying session...and here she is bedding down for the night. I took a close up of her head. It is just so stunningly perfect, like someone painted those feathers.
Paula, I keep forgetting to tell you...I had thought of using a putty knife spatula thingie, but I hunted for one all over the house and garage and came up with nothing, so we were thinking on the same line, I just didnt have the right tool for the job. ;)
Night night...sleep tight...don't let the bed bugs bite.
Oh I almost forgot...the video is still loading on Photobucket, very very slowly...so I will just post that later.