Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beautiful Weather Works It's Magic

What a beautiful sunny day.  After nearly a month of below freezing (half the time below 20 and even a 3 degree morning) - nearly 50 felt like Spring.  I did some cleaning in the chicken coop and breeding loft and moved nest boxes around.  I used very warm water for the birds bath - they loved it!  Then they all laid down in the fresh straw to sun themselves dry (after they picked through it looking for wheat).  The new nest boxes in the breeding loft were immediately staked out by a blue bar and blue check cocks from the 2010 Young Bird Team.  It'll be interesting to see which hens end up in there with them.  Great!  The two new black pairs FINALLY started showing some interest in the captive loft's new nest boxes.  I could be looking at quite the population boom in a month and by March have my young bird loft nearly full!

I also noticed the bees were out so I finally added more sugar water to the top feeder.  There was a lot of activity in the hive.  I hope it was residents.  They looked to be Italians (three stripes on the abdomen) but I had an Italian hive swarm on me a few years ago so who knows - could be robbers.  At any rate - it's a good sign (as there must yet still be something to rob, no?)

The rollers were free lofting.  I lost one Friday.  Actually, I lost three Friday but found one Friday night and another came in Saturday morning. They must've gotten chased off by a hawk.  Bad time of year to fly rollers!

The chickens free ranged the last two days.  They really seemed to be enjoying themselves.  They were stretched out on the fresh straw, fanning their wings out to catch more sun.  They looked really happy.  One of the new pullets lays light brown eggs.  We think she may be Mammoth's offspring.  Mammoth was the only full size Ameracauna we had left.  This new pullet looks EXACTLY like her only bantam sized.  And, like Mammoth, she also lays brown eggs.  These two are the only ones we've ever had lay anything besides the light green to blue-green eggs.

We washed the cars and went to the library.  All in all, everyone enjoyed the weather change and sun.  Nice day!

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