Monday, September 28, 2009

Its a boy boy boy girl girl!

I'm sorry about not posting much these days, there is no internet access at my parents farm but I will try to change that. My mom is not coping well after the loss of my father, she has memory issues and the loss of Dad has made things much much worse. I will have to move back to the farm until mom can sell it. For now she wants to wait until next summer, too many changes for her right now and I agree.

No pictures at the moment but Gracie and the kids are having a great time. Gracie who lived in a breeding cage when I bought her, now has an 80 feet long by 36 feet wide barn to run around in during the day. When I'm not around they have to stay in a coop that Dan built in the barn for them because raccoons have been know to open the windows and get in, it is for their protection. The chicks are four months old now so I can see for sure what I have regarding male or female. Let me say first that the sexing trick of picking them up and watching if they lift their feet (meaning rooster), did not work for me. Some of the chicks that went limp turned out to be boys instead of girls as the trick said hen chicks drop their legs.

It turned out that three of the chicks are roosters and only two are girls. They all have feathers like their mothers, none are silkie looking like their father Chico. One of the boys has a bit of purple colour in his comb and wattles like the silkie. The girls look like silkie hens however with their little puffy hair dos. I mostly call them "the girls" because I can not tell them apart anymore. I had called one Tina after Tina Turner with her spiky hair and was going to call the other one Edna ( I think Edna sounds like a funny chicken name) but I stopped since they look too much alike at the moment, maybe later something will change. I think they should be good mothers next year being silkie and cochin mixed, two mothering breeds. Yes, Gracie still tries to feed and take care of them, talk about a real "mother hen" some of the boys are crowing and she still wants to baby them! Next year I will separate her from her batch after 8 weeks so that this does not happen again. Still no luck in finding certain breeds that I would like to have. A lot of people in this area are all selling the same thing, Silkies, hybrids, Ameraucanas, Polish chickens or chickens that are all mixed.

As for the garden, for the first time ever, we did not have frost until a few days ago. Gardens usually are finished in our area by the first week of September. I did not get a picture but it looked good and we were getting a lot of meals out of it, that is until one night when a family of raccoons got in and chewed up everything. They ruined almost the entire garden but they should have learned there is a catch .22 to most situations! This year the bears are very bad in our area, the wild berries failed and they are hungry. We don't mind sharing our apple trees with them but they really are a stupid animal. They broke off the smaller trees and destroyed large branches on the bigger trees just to eat a few apples and then move on to the next branch. There will be no apples next year on these damaged trees and then what will they eat. I think they deserve to become rugs.