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Aug 19, 2008

The Rocky and DarthVader Standoff

Rocky, the head rooster in the group, stood at attention on one side of the round hosta flower bed while Darth Vader, the young black rooster stood at attention on the opposite side. Each stared at the other. Neither moved. The hens just moseyed around the yard not paying attention to either of them. Darth Vader is starting to challenge Rocky's leadership.

Aug 14, 2008

Baby Chicks Get Top Roost

If you look closely toward the back on the very top roost, you'll see Mama and her two little chicks. The other hens and roosters apparently allowed them to take the choice spot in the chicken house.

Five of our seven bantam hens are broody right now. They went broody almost immediately after the little chicks hatched. Guess the hens want baby chicks of their own to look after. The only problem is, we don't want more baby chicks to look after so we took their eggs immediately upon laying them.

They are still sitting on their nests though. I feel sad for them. Maybe next season.

Aug 11, 2008

Rocky Makes Nest for Momma Hen and Chicks

We watched our golden rooster Rocky work hard to make a new nest for Quail and her little chicks this morning. All our nest boxes are full of broody hens. Apparently Quail, we named her Quail because her head looks like a quail, told Rocky, "I have no place to lay eggs today!" He is such a considerate rooster.

Aug 7, 2008

Mrs. Duck

A lady sold me some black ducks (momma and her four babies). I have a small 14ft diameter water garden with Koi and large goldfish and I thought these ducks would add even more tranquility to the pond. I was right. We sit in the swing by the pond each evening and just swing and talk about our day and listen to the water fall and watch the ducks glide over the moonlit water. Yes, I was right about the tranquility.

However, ducks also eat all greenery within reach and will even reach up high on my water plants to eat what they should not be able to reach. They also love to splash and dive and potty in the water. My water is a mess now.

So soon, within a week or so, we are going to herd the ducks down the lake (about 500 feet) and see if they'd like to go free and migrate south for the winter. I'll miss them but I just can't continue to keep the pond water fresh, my filter system wasn't made to handle five ducks which have all reached maturity now.

Aug 4, 2008

Dawn Approaches and Roosters Crow in the Day

Our roosters, Rocky and Darth Vader, start crowing about 4am. Neither of them say "CockADoodleDoo." Both of them say "ErraErrrErrkkaErr." Both are a type of Bantam. Rocky taught Darth how to crow. When Darth first tried it sounded like "Errrraa" He gets better with each day. I told Larry the first time we heard Darth crow (I always thought roosters were born knowing how to crow), that if we crowed each morning with Darth, we would be able to crow perfectly at some point in time. He said he'd rather learn from a expert rooster. He said Darth was learning from Rocky and Rocky doesn't crow the way a rooster should crow.

The weather is hot and steamy in the Ozarks tonight (last night too). The temperature in the chicken house is 91 degrees. They have several cool water dishes and plenty of fresh air coming in the windows on the east, south, and west sides. I also sprayed down the roof of the chicken house with the garden hose to help cool it down tonight.

My bet is that neither Rocky now Darth crow very loud tomorrow morning. It's going to be a long hot night for my darlings.