Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is about four hours after the earlier pictures. Normally you should use a heat lamp to keep them warm but since we're off grid we can't run one. These are in a box in the oven. The pilot light should keep them warm enough. It's cool and raining outside so I may have to fire up the woodstove to raise the temperature in the house for the first 24 hours or so.

These were the surprise of the day. The hen was very protective and pecked me several times while I was looking over the baby ducks. One is pecking it's way free in the egg closest to the camera.

The kitten with it's first confirmed chipmunk kill.

Susan came in after my post last night to inform me that a packrat had taken up residence in one of our storage buildings so I set the live trap. It's very effective for most rodents. I throw some dry cat food across the bottom for bait but they will check it our even without bait. I had to modify it some when we got it. The trigger mechanism was so tight the trap wouldn't spring with anything smaller than a grown cat. The PR's are cute but they make a big mess and smell like a skunk once they move in.

For some reason the other red hen decided to spend the night in the nesting box with the two setting hens. Usually it roosts on top of the boxes.

A picture of the chickens on the roost last night when I shut them in.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

We had a packrat in one of the storage sheds last night so before going to bed I set the live trap. We had a packrat in it this morning. I worked on editing the article and taking pictures until early afternoon. I cut out about 700 words from the text and ended up with eight more photos to go with it. We went to town to mail it along with some other stuff this afternoon. We emptied the water jugs into the barrel in the house and pumped the reservoir above the sink full before leaving. While we were out we re-filled the water jugs. When I fed the chickens and went to gather the eggs got a surprise. The duck eggs were hatching out. There were two hatched then and another pecking his way out of the egg. When we got back from town there were five of them. We gathered them up and brought them into the house. We’ll keep them in the oven with the pilot light burning to keep them warm. The first 24 hours are the worst for them.

It’s raining now which is par for the course since I hauled water to fill the water tank. When it slows down I still need to feed the goatling. The buffalo needed hay when we came through in the Cherokee but I thought working around a wire fence in a lightning storm would be just a little foolish. I’ll give them hay tomorrow. One of the fence posts was over too so I’ll have to prop it up and notify the owner.

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