5 November, 2011

Near Death Experience

Daniel and I went out to feed and water the chickens this morning and also move the three adolescents who were living in the shed into an integration pen in the Pen for Big Chickens. We thought we’d closed their crate after grabbing their waterer but apparently not, because while we were out at the Pen for Big Chickens getting their new home ready, Melchior the Little Blue Vulture got out and got tackled by dogs.

Luckily we were close enough to intervene and Melchior has one small slash where left wing meets the body. She is now in the house recovering in the same dog crate that held Zombirella after she got the back of her head pecked off.

I’m not angry at the dogs, who were just doing what large predators do when a small prey animal goes flapping by, but I’m pretty mightily irritated with myself for not making sure the crate was firmly closed and latched. Here’s hoping that Melchior has a swift and uneventful recovery!

26 September, 2011

Let’s try something new!

For a while now over on Google+ I have been doing Daily Poultry, featuring portraits of the chickens who call the Manor of Mixed Blessings home. So I thought I might try Daily Poultry here, and add little blurbs about the rest of the Manor while I’m at it — we have been busy busy busy and my blogging time has been regrettably short. I feel like I am neglecting my Gentle Readers!

So here is Daily Poultry to cheer up your Monday! Melchior, the child of our Easter Egger hen Ayinnanku and our blue showgirl rooster, Mad Mel the Magnificent.

Melchior, who looks kind of like a tiny blue football that has had a naked chicken head and neck stuck on one pointy end.  ANd of course, chicken legs stuck on as well; Melchior's are feathery.  Actually, he looks kind of like a tiny blue vulture.

Weekend before last we hit up Gilmanor, a huge semiannual chicken and livestock (but mostly chickens) swap down by Richmond. There I was fortunately able to sell off all 13 extra tiny roosters that we had, which means I will not need to feed them for the winter! Hallelujah! Extra roosters are sort of the bane of the chicken-keeper’s existence, because pretty much everyone who wants roosters has all the roosters they want. But an older man who just likes tiny roosters bought ten of mine, half for him and half for his neighbor, who also likes the sound of roosters crowing. Two of the nicer silkies went to someone who had come to Gilmanor looking for nice bearded silkies (there weren’t many there, I see an opportunity!) and one of the hatchery silkies went to a lady whose son loves the neighbor’s silkie.

I also managed to only buy three chickens at Gilmanor, a trio of black Modern Game Bantams, who are elegant, long-legged, tiny chickens. They are also molting right now, which means they look like someone decided to eat them, got halfway through the plucking stage, and gave up.

This past weekend, we picked up a new house for the Big Chickens at the Fredericksburg chicken swap sponsored by Pet Chickens of Virginia and I accidentally bought two baby silkies, a paint and a buff to keep him company. Ah, well, we’re still down 8 tiny roosters, which means our feed bill has dropped precipitously.