Wednesday, July 23, 2014

chick hatching update...

Here's how it all shook down with the chicks!  Shipping really messed up the eggs we ordered.  Only two were viable and by chance they were the ones in the incubator.  Poor fluffy the hen brooded the bad eggs perfectly and only left the nest once a day to eat and drink.  Her dedication was quite inspiring since she's been at this brooding thing for going on two months strong.  I knew the eggs she was sitting on were not good when candled at 9 days, but let her keep them in hopes she would adopt chicks out of the incubator when/if they hatched.  I didn't know if she would still sit if I took her eggs away.

Like clockwork, the eggs in the incubator hatched out on day 21 (first day in incubator being day 0 as they warm up).  Which just happened to be the 21st, Luke and I's anniversary.  So we got video feeds sent to my phone throughout our meal on our date night and the boys got to stay up watching until 9:30p. :D  I was really glad we had a successful hatch because the air cells inside the eggs were jostled and kind of misshapen which is a liablity.  They are the cutest little fluff balls. :D  Adrian has been calling his little chick Buddy and I kind of think it's a boy already since it seems more.... boisterous.  We'll see.

chick is still drying off and fluffing up, so we are in the humid bathroom with the shower on in these pictures. :)

I've read that a hen may accept chicks if placed in the coop at night when they don't know what's going on.  I had a problem with that program though because our other hen is very dominant and actually took the hen that is broody under her wing when she was a little I had concerns that they would fight over the chicks or no one would want them and they would get cold of the two.  I simply wasn't okay tossing them in there while the hens slept hoping for the best.  So in light of what I thought was best, I introduced them all wrong the first time. I placed the chick right in front of the hen in broad daylight while she was still sitting on her eggs.  Dumb.  She lightly pecked at it. wasn't hers and she had eggs to deal with and protect.  I put the chick back in the brooder with the warming light and thought we would just wait to add them in when they were stronger and didn't need a brooding hen for warmth.  The other chick hatched later and was still in the humid incubator at this point.

dominant auntie hen Goldie

Well, Luke came home from work and was like "did you give that hen her chicks?" The question reminded me that the whole point of this hatch was to see if she could brood chicks.  So we tried again as it was getting dusky.  We brought the dark one out and added it from behind while offering her some food as a distraction.  I took the bad eggs out and we watched for a bit to see how both hens would respond.  She didn't really notice until the chick started peeping, then she sort of looked around like "that was fast" seeing the eggs were gone and there was a chick sitting there in her nest.  Then just like that, she pushed the chick under her like "get your sweater on or you'll catch cold darling" and started preening her feathers in a very satisfied proud sort of way like she was amazing and had hatched eggs in record time without breaking a sweat. :D ha  So we added the other one and hoped for the best overnight.

This morning, everyone is happy and the chicks are looking fluffier than ever despite the fact it's raining buckets and stormed all night.  The boys want to hold the chicks, but the hen lightly pecks at little hands reaching for them which is a good sign.  There must have been a deal made between the two hens this morning too, because fluffy is in the second best nesting box and out of the box she has not budged from for two months.  Goldie likes that box best too for laying eggs, so I'm assuming there was a negotiation session held this morning at dawn about Goldie getting the best box for dealing with cheeping chicks next door. ;)

We have vacation soon and I'm happy they have a dedicated mama so I don't have to play the part for them and clean up after them in the house.   And Fluffy finally gets to be a mommy after all the sitting and waiting. :)  All involved are pleased as punch.

Noah's design for a bigger coop :)

 First stages of clearing bushes and putting in the base frame for the expanded coop.  I'm reminded how much I dislike those meters...we'll see about someone blocking the view of those...I think the egg boxes will actually.
 Just because it's cute. ;)

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


 pounding the pavement to a little Italian place we've been once before...
 humble location...
 We had the whole back patio to ourselves. :D
 but not for very long ;)
 mmmmmmmmm - no pictures of the stuffed mushrooms, oysters on the half shell or fried Italian cheese with our soup :)
 gelato in hazelnut dust with espresso
 our piece of the night sky
 buzzing the city in the fiat with the windows down and roof open :)  Sometimes pictures make a night look more fun than it actually was...not this time...nope-not this time.  It was great great great ;) 

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garden update July 21st

It's growing! :)  And Zel baby is now 1!  Party is this weekend because we were at a family camp over her birthday.  I asked her and she totally didn't mind postponing her cake smash a week so family could be around to join us. ;)
 playing with rain water in a cabbage leaf.... :D  making her a cabbage patch baby???
 he could NOT wait any longer to pick this pepper and eat it. :)
 sugar baby melon...who knows if these things will actually mature to eatable melons or not...but they sure are cute.
 final resting place of the metal trellises.  Luke is my rock star for putting it together for me and letting me change my mind all the time. :)
 One of the boys pulled up a carrot...and then they sort of got addicted to pulling them out even though they are not totally ready to be harvested just yet...
 but it's so fun because you just never know what you'll find in the purple carrot plot ;)
 see?  Too small, but who can stop them?  Not me...or at least I won't :D
 more carrot eating in pjs; also cooking potatoes in foil under fire pit coals
 put egg shells in the coffee grinder and they poured boiling water over them for the tomatoes.  I can't tell if it helped anything because it prevents blossom rot after the tomatoes start turning red...which hasn't happened yet. ;)

 actually have enough beans growing for dinner

 Wheat grass plot is juicing yet though-I'll keep you posted on that grand venture
 yellow tomato flowers are double petaled and very pretty :)
 young romain lettuce, I hope I get to eat it before the rabbits do with no fence up ;)
 all the tomatoes on the is plant have black at the top like this.  I don't know why.
 I've become interested in entomology ;) friend or foe...???

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Monday, July 14, 2014

I'm still using that camera of mine...

Seems like I've just been posting pictures of garden plants lately...or chickens ;)

Here are a few shots of the very cool people I've had the pleasure of doing sessions with lately

Family pictures
learning techniques for brochure/business type images...always something new to learn with photography... :) 

 Lon and Sarah's sweet family :)

 rain never stopped a good session ;)

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Friday, July 11, 2014

life in pictures...

Our 4th of July hosts across the creek.  I love it that we are getting to know our neighbors pretty well after being in this house 6+ years.  This mom in particular will send me pictures of the her and our kids doing art projects on her deck from time to time :D

 grilled peaches with maple syrup and peach sorbet -mmmmmm
 Other patriotic neighbors gather for the wagon full of fireworks display :)  I love how the 4th brings everyone together :)
 the stash
 pretty impressive for a home show :)

 And then...after Kurt and Annie's wedding, we somehow thought it was a good idea to stop at the Whistle Stop on the way home.  

 Starbucks date this week with this little cutie :)  He actually missed his brothers after about 20 minutes ;)  The boys are becoming an inseparable pack as time goes on :)
 criminal investigation out on who cut this off one of the pepper plants 
 Finally found a flashlight to candle the eggs on day 9.  This is a very good example of what a "blood line"on a porous egg looks like.  It usually indicates a bacterial infection of a stalled egg/chick.  The reason it even matters is a bad egg can leak/explode and infect other eggs in the incubator, so I took this one out.
 This is another egg that looks questionable but I'm leaving it the incubator.  The air cell should be located in the bigger end of the egg for easy access right before hatching.  This egg must have been shaken pretty hard during shipping (likely since one of the shipped eggs was actually broken) and the air cell settled on the broad side of the egg as it sat in the incubator.  Not sure what that will do if this chick makes it to hatch day. 
The egg development of the good eggs looks farther along than 9 days as well...which means they probably hit 90+ degrees during shipping and started developing on the way here.  I saw one of the chicks moving while candling though- so there is one live one at least.  I ordered these eggs off of e-bay from a seller with good reviews; so far, I think ordering from a reputable hatchery resulted in better quality eggs the first time we hatched chicks.
 We visited Luke's family up north-I have no pictures of the pond and all the fun swimming.  I learned how to flip on the rope swing to land a dive-wooot woooot :)
Sammy's garden looks !huge! compared to my little garden boxes. She had like 8 jars of canned pickles from her cucumber plants sitting out on the counter.  I have... this little baby cucumber...
But, they are doing the best they can with the light they have.  They only get about 6 hours a day.
I do think they are growing very pretty though ;) up up and away!

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