Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nesting



ZOO News

Our city zoo is awesome. I have been involved with the Potter Park Zoo for several years now and love how they reach out to children and give them a deep love for wildlife. I recently received an email from one of the docents there and she wants to give me some chicks! I have too many already, but who can resist? They are giving me three Buff Orpington pullets and a matched pair of White Japanese Bantams. Ooooh baby! Of course, you will stay tuned for Ruth's pictures when they arrive? The Orps are four weeks old and the Bantams hatched June 28.

Nest Boxes

The green barn in which these nestboxes reside is over 100 years old. I am not sure how old they are, but they have been here for a long time. I have been tossing ideas around in my head and am coming to a conclusion. I have been studying nestboxes and looking at many different kinds, including Amy's at Twelve Acres. I love hers and if I didn't have these, I would copy hers. However, since I have these in place, and there are about 25 individual nests, I am going to make do with what is here. Besides, I love them. Should I paint them? (whitewash ala Tom Sawyer?)




Hen Pecked

As you can tell by looking at them, the hen would be pretty much out of sight, and who wants to stick a hand into these dark, mysterious nests to gather eggs every day and meet some very crabby broody hen!? Check out the video Farmchick Paula has of one of her broody hens.




Open Sesame!
My plan is to remove the top half of the face boards so that the hens will have privacy, but they can still be seen from the front. So, if I get hen-pecked, I'll at least see it coming!

Chickens and Roosts (An original Aesop's Fable)

The Bee and Jupiter

A bee from Mount Hymettus, the queen of the hive, ascended to Olympus to present Jupiter some honey fresh from her combs. Jupiter, delighted with the offering of honey, promised to give whatever she should ask. She therefore besought him, saying,"Give me, I pray thee, a sting, that if any mortal shall approach to take my honey, I may kill him." Jupiter was much displeased, for he loved the race of man, but could not refuse the request because of his promise. He thus answered the Bee: "You shall have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life. For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make, and then you will die from the loss of it."

Moral: Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost.

Tribute to Stiggy

That heading sounds like he kicked the bucket, but no, he is alive and well. I named Stiggy after an Englishman who has a great flock of his own as well as a great flock of well-loved children. Stiggy is a Buttercup rooster and is still the top roo. He has some future competition in the form of a Cuckoo Maran, who is twice his size, but is at the moment quite docile.

Stiggy was strutting around yesterday, picking up sticks and rocks and clucking up a storm. This must be a tough guy thing to do, because another smaller rooster started doing it too and Stiggy proceeded to chase that rooster all over the run. This went on for a few minutes! They were both running, open-beaked, and obviously getting tired! I wish I had it on video. Finally the pursued rooster ran into the coop with Stiggy hard on his tail. I expected to hear lots of squawking and noise, but it remained quiet. After about ten seconds they both came out the little door and acted as if nothing happened. They bellied up to the outdoor waterer, (chicken bar), got carded and bought each other a drink, and then went off to scratch around in the grass.

Life is Great



21 comments:

Sharon said...

Thanks Don! It is so fun to come here. Ruth's pictures are beautiful as always. Love the Stiggy story and
for what it's worth I like the nesting boxes as is!

Don said...

Hey Sharon: I appreciate your opinion on the nesting boxes. You have great taste and I need artistic input!

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Thanks for the compliment on our nest boxes Don. I'll be sure to pass it along to Jim who designed them. He used lumber scraps and threw them together in a matter of half an hour. He was in a hurry to get them done and didn't want to do any wood working that day! LOL I've just put straw in them and some golf balls. I hope to come home some morning next month and find some Australorp eggs in them!

Your nest boxes are very nice. No, I wouldn't paint them. They are most likely antiques at this point and paint could ruin their value!!! If Antiques Road Show comes to your town, you should take them in and have them appraised at least.

How exciting to get some new chooks for your flock! Look out for the little ones. They'll have to be tough to integrate with the big ones. I think the Japanese Bantams are adorable with their upright fan tails. I look forward to Ruth's pictures.

Your rooster story is a riot! I can just imagine them bellying up to the chicken bar, as if no chase ever happened. Chickens are so funny!

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I love the progress you have made with coop. I still envy the stone walls.
I recieved the plants the other day. Our main computer is down and steal a few moments on The Captains work lap top, which is why I am tardy to let you know. They all arrived in great shape and are finding homes in the garden. I am putting the one mint by the arbor, so visitors will brush their legs as they enter releaing it's delightful scent to welcome them.
Many thanks for your generousity.

Don said...

Amy: The simplicity and openness of the boxes Jim made is what is so appealing. I am planning on getting a good start this week so they will be ready when the girls get a hankerin' to lay.

I am a little worried about the newbies. The orps will be in their fifth week, so they will still need some warmth. I am planning on haning a heat lamp in their pen and let them find whatever heat they need. They probably still need the temp to be in the 80's.

I hope the bantams want to get out and wander around the farm a little. We'll see!

Don said...

Unusual: I figured you were out killing orcs or cave trolls. I'm glad the plants survived!

I want to build some stone walls outside for sitting on and watching the world go by.

Country Girl said...

I like your nesting boxes as is, I would not paint them. That is great you had your meat birds done up, what a deal! John is the man because I never would have taken that on. We ate out first one this weekend while we were camping. It was BBQ'd over the camp fire, very tasty!

Don said...

I agree with you on the nesting boxes. I made some chicken and noodles tonight. I am definitely going to raise more of these!

Stiggy said...

So glad you're getting some Orpingtons Buffs (can't wait for Ruths photos) - cos we're getting some too once we move in!

:D

I think you're nest boxes are cool - one question though - how do they get up there?

YAY! An update on my alter ego!
He IS a handsome fellow Don - no mistake about that...

... good to hear he's a feisty guy, who can sort out his differences out quickly with the other males.

No one messes with a Stiggy!

Great post Don - made my morning today, and put me in a good mood to go do some work at the new place.

This reminds me to tell more of the stories from our ladies - I've been a bit pre-occupied with the house building and gates and things, but they've been quite funny recently.

Don said...

Hey Stiggy: the orpingtons have been a favorite of mine since i started this chicken thing! Now i am getting some from the stock of our local zoo. i think that is cool.

I am going to add some lumber up near the nesting boxes so the hens will have easier access. The aracaunas have already jumped up there to snoop around a little. Others seem oblivious to their surroundings.

I think I would be distracted by house construction too. You gotta live!

Stiggy is great. Check out some photos of adult buttercup roosters and check out their combs. They remind me of a moose!

http://www.cacklehatchery.com/buttercuppage.html

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Don, don't do anything to the nestboxes, they are cool the way they are, I never heard of the Jupiter/ Bee fable till now, like it.

Don seriously, you have to get a video camera and upload to YouTube, the Stiggy story has to be seen,lol.

Don said...

Hi Bob: I think I am hearing the unanimous choice on the nesting boxes. I will need to do some adapting so the hens can more easily get into them.

You're right about the video cam. Some of their antics are pretty funny!

Farm Chick Paula said...

I laughed over that mental picture of Stiggy.... one rooster will start clucking like he's found something, then another rooster will start clucking like he's found something even better, and then the hilarity insues.
Don, you will LOVE the little Japs.... they are the poultry version of a lap dog... they were created to be just ornamental pets and they truly are!

Ginnie said...

Don, I declare. I get more fun out of reading your posts than just about anything! :D

Gwen Buchanan said...

Love the roosts...the story and the fable... so true

Don said...

Paula: Well. they came straight from the petting zoo! I am looking forward to their gracing the farmyard. Floozey used to hop up on my shoulder, but since I put them in the big coop with the large run, the chickens are all independent. I miss my little cuddle bums!

They are funny to watch. I have several barn chairs that I sit on just to waatch them. When I was still in school, I was often running late because of those darn chairs!

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Ginnie: I enjoy every moment on this farm. I also like sharing some of those moments! We are really looking forward to family time at the cottage and seeing you and Donica! (and of course the others!!!)


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Gwen: I have a couple of cutie hens who want to come and live with you on the bay. They keep asking when you are going to get their house ready. I really do wish I could give you several of these hens. They would become future works of art!

Sandy said...

Love your new banner!!!! I really enjoyed reading this, how Stiggy got his name, reading about your acquiring more little birds and bookmarked those links so I can go back and visit.

Of course always love the photos that Ruth takes.

Hope you have a great time at the lake!!!

Shannon said...

Those are great nesting boxes. I wouldn't touch them either. Maybe a little step stool can boost your view ;) That stone wall is gorgeous, too!
I love your stories about your chicks...

Stiggy said...

I just followed that linky Don...

...BLIMEY! He looks like a MOOSE!!!

Love that unique comb etc!!!

:D

Don said...

Hi Sandy: I hope ou find the links interesting! We had a great time at the lake with family. I counted 42 people this year!

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Hi Shannon: I think you are right about the nesting boxes. Thanks for visiting and chatting. I am probably getting boring with my chickens!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Stiggy: I would love it if Stiggy the Roo is a Buttercup, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be an Aracauna.

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