Flock Friday for April 30

For Flock Friday this week, some pictures of Betty and her nest in the duck house, a few pictures of other ducks, and some of the chickens.

Here’s Betty in her nest behind the feeder tube, as seen from the maintenance door:


Via the duck house cam, Betty in her nest, grabbing a bite, plus a couple of boys also eating:

Ducks in the duck house

Betty eating some spilled food to avoid moving from her nest:


While Betty was taking a brief break, I got a picture of the eggs with downy fluffs. These soft under-feathers are one of the things that make ducks so cold-tolerant. Nesting ducks pluck them to both insulate the nest, and to expose skin as a “brood patch” to provide more direct warmth to the eggs:

Duck eggs with downy fluffs

Feather fluffs

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks by the lawn:

Ducks by the lawn

Betty on a break, looking kinda scraggly:


Betty in her nest:


And at night:


On to some chicken pictures. Here they are roosting in the old coop, shortly before the pop door automatically closed:

Chickens roosting

Closed door:

Chickens roosting

Roosting in the new coop:

Chickens roosting

Another angle:

Chickens roosting

Kiwi eyeing me:


Chickens in their run:


In the veggie garden (they’ll be kicked out soon, when we’re ready to start planting):


Bee shed: door cladding

More work on the bee shed project, including some tweaks to the door, adding corrugated cladding, and filling gaps.

As mentioned last time, I wasn’t entirely happy with how the door handle ended up with little space on the left of it, so I modified it to add another 2×6 board to the left, with a bit of overlap to help mount the corrugated panel:

Door handle

I also added some 2×4 boards onto the corner posts, to also help support the corrugated panels:

Corner gap filler

I did the same on the door:

Door tweak

Here’s the final door wall framing:

Door wall framing

Then I started cladding that wall and the door with corrugated panels:

Door cladding

I cut the corrugated cladding using tin snips; pretty easy:

Cutting corrugated cladding

A clear panel on the door:

Door window

The full door wall. I’m not entirely happy with the top panel on the door, as it isn’t properly straight (the top of the door is angled, so it isn’t quite as bad as it looks). I also think would be better as a clear panel, to de-emphasize the choice to offset the panels, so I might change that next time:

Door wall


The door and wall from inside:

Door from inside

Lastly, I added spray foam gap filler to close up the gaps between the corrugated panels and the boards. Not particularly attractive, but this shed is all about function over form. I will use a knife to cut off the worst of the excess next time:

Gap filler

The door wall with gap filler:

Door wall with gap filler


Next time: changing the top panel of the door, cleaning up the gap filler, adding the shelves, and other finishing touches. Then I’ll be done!

Cat update for week ending April 24

Welcome to Caturday. Some cute pictures of Porcini (shocking, I know), plus I lift the fog on the cabins cam.

Porcini relaxing in the kitchen garden:

Porcini in the kitchen garden

Porcini in the kitchen garden

The cabin cam has gotten quite dirty from rain splashes; like looking through a fog:

Dirty camera

So I gave it a bit of a clean:

Wiping camera

Ah, much better!

Clean camera

Hey Spud:


Two cats greeting at the cat house:

Two cats



Now that the weather is warmer, I’ve discontinued the heated water dish, and gone back to the higher capacity unheated one:


Porcini on the right of the cat house, watching me walk past in the field (just visible on the left):

Porcini watching me walk past

Porcini in a cabin:


Porcini and Pommie:

Porcini and Pommie

A day later, them again:

Porcini and Pommie

Flock Friday for April 23

This week one of our ducks, Betty, started sitting on the dozen or so eggs in a nesting box in the duck house. So we may have ducklings in a few weeks time!

But let’s start with some pictures of the chickens, the first of which you may have seen on my personal blog:






Here’s Betty by the eggs, not happy that I was peeking in at her:

Betty on eggs

A couple of pictures from the duck house cam of Betty in the nesting box:

Betty on eggs

In this one, you can see Sonja joining her; she might be laying too:

Betty on eggs

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Jays grabbing peanuts from the feeder tray; I put out a handful of whole peanuts each morning for them:

Jays grabbing peanuts

Jay grabbing a peanut

Jay grabbing a peanut

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

Betty on the eggs again:

Betty on eggs

A time-lapse GIF of Betty in the nesting box, and other ducks coming in to eat:

Betty on eggs

Beehive inspection and mite treatments

Yesterday we did a beehive inspection and mite treatment.

But before that, I assembled a honey extractor that we’ve had for several months, since we still have some honey from last year that we haven’t gotten around to extracting yet. Unfortunately the handle was broken. It’s still possible to use it, though we might see if we can get a replacement:

Honey extractor

On to the inspection. Here’s the Yellow hive, with some drone cells:

Yellow hive: drone cells

A brood frame:

Yellow hive: brood frame

A honey frame:

Yellow hive: honey frame

We removed the top feeder, and added a Flow honey super, since they were getting a little full:

Yellow hive: added honey super

For the Turquoise hive, there were plenty of bees, but didn’t see any brood. So it’s possible those bees are just robbing. This hive probably won’t make it:

Turquoise hive: bees but no brood

The Cedar hive was doing well… a little too well, building brood between the boxes, resulting in broken brood cells when separating them:

Cedar hive: broken brood cells

They also built some honey cells above the top box, into the gap below the top feeder:

Cedar hive: honey cells above the box

A brood and honey frame:

Cedar hive: brood frame

Another brood frame:

Cedar hive: brood frame

We added mite treatment strips to the Yellow and Cedar hives:

Cedar hive: mite treatments

A look at the current state of our three beehives; Flow supers on the Cedar and Yellow:


The Cedar hive (you can also see lots of cell building on the bottom of the top feeder, left out there for them to evacuate and salvage any honey):

Cedar hive

The Turquoise hive, that probably won’t be long for this world:

Turquoise hive

The Yellow hive, also with a Flow super:

Yellow hive

About an hour later, while I was mowing the lawns, I noticed a bunch of bearding on the Cedar and Turquoise hives:

Bearding bees

On the Cedar makes sense, as the treatment strips are pretty nasty smelling, so they might want to air out the place. Not sure why on the Turquoise, as it didn’t have treatments:

Bearding bees