Flock Friday for June 26

Let’s check on Bert, the chickens, and fish.

Bert went onto the pond deck:

Bert on pond deck

Bert by pond deck

Perhaps looking for the mealworm treats and koi food I keep in a box on the deck… guarded by a resident frog:

Frog on food containers

Bert watching the ducklings:

Bert watching ducklings

By the duck house on a rainy day:

Bert by duck house

Bert watching ducklings

Bert watching ducklings

Bert looking over the pond:

Bert

Chickens enjoying one of their favorite treats — rice:

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Lettuce is ignored when there’s rice available:

Chicken treats

It’s been hot this week, so I opened all of the chicken coop vents and windows. Here you can see chickens on the roost by the front window:

Chickens with open coop window

Chickens with open coop window

Another day; a whole lettuce plant, tomatoes, and corn cobs for the chickens:

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Looking down from the pond deck at Bert and koi:

Bert and fish

Smaller koi:

Fish

Restocked duckling and chicken food, with a messy floor from straw stored above the door:

Duckling and chicken food

As you may have seen on my personal blog, a jumbo egg:

Eggs

Flock Friday for June 19

It’s Friday, so let’s check on the adult birds, in a weekly series I call Flock Friday.

Let’s start with the chickens enjoying some kale treats, while Bert watches and waits for me outside the run:

Chickens enjoying treats while Bert watches

Chickens enjoying treats while Bert watches

Chickens enjoying treats while Bert watches

Bert then followed me across the lawn:

Bert on the lawn

And down the path:

Bert on the path

That was cute; let’s have an animated GIF of that:

GIF of Bert on the path

Bert watching the ducklings:

Bert watching ducklings

Another day, Bert meeting me by the compost bins again:

Duck and chickens

At the chicken coop:

Bert at coop

Bert watching the ducklings again:

Bert at duck house

Bert watching ducklings

Bert watching ducklings

And watching me:

Bert

A GIF of a couple birds flying over the pond:

GIF of birds over pond

And a still pic:

Birds over pond

Let’s finish as we started, with more chickens enjoying treats (kale and lettuce grown in our veggie garden):

Chickens enjoying treats

Chickens enjoying treats

Chickens enjoying treats

Cat update for week ending June 13

For Caturday this week, 5.25 cabin pictures, 3.25 cat house pictures, 2 shop pictures, 1.25 outside and feeder pictures, 1 breezeway picture, 1 GIF and 1 still from that, and 1 picture out a window. Just some totally irrelevant numbers.

Three cats at the cabins:

Cabin cats

Poppa and Pommie in the breezeway:

Breezeway cats

Cat snuggles:

Cat snuggles

Three cats in the feeder; the SD card in the feeder has stopped working (like the cat house one did recently); I don’t know if I’ll bother trying to fix it, so this might be the last picture from the feeder (though it is recorded by the Camect server, so probably not):

Feeder cats

Porcini closeup with the cabin cats:

Cabin cats

More cat snuggles:

Cat snuggles

Cat stalking a bird on the driveway, as it got away:

Cat chasing bird

A GIF of that:

GIF of cat chasing bird

One of the twins in the lavender plants by our front steps, as seen from a window:

Cat by front steps

Pepper watching me closely in the shop; she wanted to get past, but that would have meant getting within six feet of me; she’s an expert at social distancing:

Cat in shop

So she retreated and waited for me to depart:

Cat in shop

Super-relaxed cabin cat:

Cabin cat

Two cats snuggling, one looking out the door:

Cat snuggles

Four cats:

Four cats

Screenshot of four cats (two in cabins, two in the house):

Four cats

A startled greeting at the cabins:

Cabin cats

Some symmetry, both in this picture, and with the first picture in today’s post:

Cabin cats

Flock Friday for June 12

This past week has been exciting with the baby ducklings, but I also got a bunch of pictures of the adult duck, Bert, and the chickens.

This post is about the adults, but let’s start with a check in on the ducklings; here’s them a week ago:

Ducklings

And yesterday; look how much they’ve grown already:

Ducklings

A picture of the ducklings and Bert:

Ducklings and duck

I feed him his breakfast in this spot, as the food sinks to the bottom, and there’s a shallow ledge there, as more visible in the previous picture, when the water level was lower; it’s easer for him to eat from the water than on land:

Duck

Some pictures of the chickens while I was installing the compost bins:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens and duck:

Chickens and duck

While I was refilling the feeder, Bert joined me:

Duck

Duck and chickens

Duck and chickens

Following me down the path to the duck house:

Duck

Duck

Breakfast next to the duck house:

Duck

An animated GIF of a heron taking off, when I went out there to chase it:

GIF of heron

Bert drinking water accumulated in the paint tray that will be used by the ducklings next week:

Duck

He went up the ramp and tapped on the pop door. Sorry, that’ll stay closed for several more weeks, until the ducklings are old enough to go into the pond (at about 8 weeks old):

Duck

Ducklings and duck

Duck

Eating again:

Duck

A bunch of pictures of the chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

I moved the log, and they enjoyed some tasty worms underneath:

Chickens

A favorite dust bath spot under the pop door ramp:

Chickens

Another day, I offered fun apple peel treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Bert was watching with interest outside the chicken run (I did offer some apple peel to him, but he didn’t want it):

Duck

Flock Friday for June 5

Yesterday I did a post about our new ducklings. I’ll no doubt do another post about them later today too. But in the meantime, a regular Flock Friday post about wild birds, chickens, and our adult duck.

Firstly, I saw what looks like a carrier pigeon on our driveway. It has leg bands, and didn’t seem afraid of me. I guess taking a pitstop:

Pigeon

Pigeon

While doing the gate post repair, I dug a couple of small holes in the new and old chicken runs, so the chickens could enjoy digging in the dirt:

Chickens

Chickens

The heron visited again; the decoy heron doesn’t seem to deter it:

Heron

I chased it off again (though it had been there a while before I noticed it):

Heron

Got a dirty bill there Bert:

Duck

The chickens watching me most intently, waiting for me to give them treats:

Chickens

A couple of funny/interesting things in this shot: stretched neck, and eye in mid-blink (the chicken in the foreground) — fun fact, chickens have a third eyelid, a nictitating membrane, that protects and moistens the eye while still allowing them to see:

Chickens

Rice treat scramble:

Chickens

Chickens

Buffy laying an egg:

Chicken

Bert:

Duck

You may have seen this on the What’s It Wednesday answer; a closeup of Bert’s foot:

Duck foot

Bert:

Duck

Head close-ups:

Duck

Duck

And a couple more shots of him:

Duck

Duck

Stay tuned for more duckling pics later.

Video

A week of our pond

A time-lapse video of a week of our pond, including our duck swimming around, me cleaning out the duck house in preparation for new ducklings, and a heron sighting.

Thanks to Camect for generating this summary video.

Flock Friday for May 22

This week, GIFs of birds swooping, chickens fighting, and the duck flapping his wings, plus more pictures.

Here’s an animated GIF of a bird swooping over the pond; I think this is a female red-winged blackbird:

GIF of bird

A still from that; nice wingspan:

Bird

Our remaining duck, Bert, in the pond:

Duck

And on the bank (which is rather weedy at present):

Duck

A GIF of a male red-winged blackbird swooping over a heron, no doubt telling it to move along:

GIF of bird

GIF of male and female red-winged blackbirds by the duck house and over the pond, watched by Bert:

GIF of birds

A still of that:

Two birds

Broody chickens:

Broody chickens

The chickens can get feisty sometimes; here’s a GIF of a chicken fight; fascinating how they fluff up their feathers:

GIF of chicken fight

Last GIF, of Bert standing on the “island” and flapping his wings:

GIF of duck

The pond is very full at present, with all of the rain recently, so the island is slightly below the surface. Which is fine with him; easier to get onto it. Here he’s starting to flap:

Duck

And just standing on it:

Duck

Notice that the duck house door is closed now; I noticed that he wasn’t going in anyway. I feed him next to it in the mornings, as previously mentioned. I’ll probably clean out the duck house this weekend, in preparation for new ducklings in just over a week. Looking forward to that!

Let’s finish up with a couple of chicken pictures. All eyes on me as they wait for treats:

Chickens waiting for treats

No eyes on me after I toss out the treats:

Chickens eating treats

Flock Friday for May 15

This week: followup on Gert, news about ducklings, a duck and bird GIF, and various chicken pics. Yep, it’s Flock Friday!

As you may have seen mentioned last week, we lost our female Buff duck, Gert. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but think a raccoon or larger wildlife grabbed her. The last sighting of her alive was when both ducks swam towards the waterfall shortly before dawn, looking curious about something:

Two ducks

Then a few minutes later Bert swam back alone:

One duck

An hour later, when it was light, I saw Bert on the island (upturned pot), looking like he was searching for Gert:

Duck on island

And he kept swimming over to the waterfall area and looking around:

Duck

As described in that post, I later found her remains in the middle of some tall grasses next to the waterfall.

We are of course sad to lose another duck, though know full well that it’s a risk of free-range ducks.

We’re sad for Bert being all alone now, too.

But we certainly aren’t giving up on keeping ducks. We were hoping they would breed and make more ducklings, but now that that isn’t an option, we have ordered more. Seven ducklings, for arrival in the beginning of June.

Firstly we got a replacement female Buff, like Gert was.

We also got male and female Khaki Campbell ducks:

Khaki Campbell ducks

Male and female Rouen ducks, which are interesting for looking similar to common wild Mallards, though do not fly:

Rouen ducks

And male and female Blue Swedish ducks:

Blue Swedish duck

(Click those links to learn more about each, if interested.)

Hopefully we’ll have a better survival rate this time! The duck house I built is sized for four adult ducks, but since the ducks prefer to live outside, it’ll be plenty big enough for seven ducklings.

Of course, in preparation for ducklings again I’ll need to close up the duck house and convert it back to a duckling nursery, but I’ve noticed that Bert doesn’t go in the duck house to eat anyway; he seems to get plenty to eat from free-ranging. I have started to hand-feed him in the mornings, instead of giving him mealworm treats; perhaps not as tasty, but better for him.

So, look forward to lots of cute duckling pics in future flock updates!

Anyway, back to the pictures. It’s getting warmer, so I opened some of the chicken coop vents:

Coop vents open

I picked up some supplies at the feed store (after getting bee nucs), including straw and chick feed for the ducklings, chicken food, flock block, and chicken bedding. So the storage area of the new coop is rather crowded at present:

Crowded storage area

Bert wandering around the edge of the flowerbeds:

Duck

Bert visiting the chickens:

Duck and chickens

As mentioned, I’m hand-feeding him in the mornings now:

Duck

An animated GIF of Bert going onto the pond island and flapping his wings, while birds swoop over the pond to drink:

GIF of duck and birds

A still of Bert flapping his wings:

Duck on island

Broody Kiwi and Martha:

Broody chickens

Chickens:

Chickens

Eggs in a nesting box:

Eggs

Flock Friday for May 1

For Flock Friday this week, chickens and ducks, of course, plus a bathing bird, and a fake bird.

Chickens on the potato planters in the veggie garden. Enjoy it while you can, girls; you’ll be evicted soon, when we’re ready to start planting:

Chickens in veggie garden

Chickens in veggie garden

Ducks on the back lawn:

Ducks

An animated GIF of a scrub jay having a bath in the stream:

GIF of bird in stream

I shared a picture of the chickens with drone frames in my recent bee post, with a followup in the subsequent post; here are a couple more photos of them not sure about the frames, before getting stuck in:

Chickens with drone frames

Chickens with drone frames

Chickens with drone frames

A crow by the cat house:

Crow

To help discourage visits by the heron, I added a fake one on the edge of the pond:

Fake heron

The ducks under the pond deck:

Ducks

A GIF of the chickens eating mealworms in the new coop:

GIF of chickens

Flock Friday for April 24

For this week’s flock update: funny ducks, broody chickens, mucking out the coop, chasing the heron.

Gert peeking at me from under the pond deck:

Duck

The ducks greeting me on the back lawn:

Ducks

A view from the pond deck of the ducks and fish; I’m now feeding them from there on evening rounds, since it’s easier to see the fish from there. By the duck house is closer to the water, but the more acute viewing angle plus the angle of the sun reflecting off the water makes it harder to see into the pond:

Ducks and fish

I put a second camera into the old coop, to watch the broody chickens:

Camera

Here’s the view from that camera, showing a broody chicken emerging from the nesting box:

Broody chicken emerging

All three of the broody chickens out to eat:

Broody chickens out

And going back into the box:

Broody chickens back in

Three broody chickens:

Three broody chickens

Me mucking out the coop, scooping the dirty bedding to dump in the compost:

Mucking out coop

Adding fresh pine shavings bedding:

Adding fresh bedding

An animated GIF of a full day in the old coop, at half hour intervals:

GIF of a day in the old coop

Me hand-weeding by the pond. I spray weeds around the property, but don’t want to spray where the ducks frequent, so every day on my morning rounds I pull a few weeds, to keep it somewhat under control:

Weeding

Paladout by the pond:

Cat by pond

Broody chickens again:

Broody chickens

10 eggs in a nesting box; we’re currently averaging about a dozen a day, usually split between one box in each coop. Chickens like to lay in the same box as other chickens lay, so whichever box the first chicken lays in, the others also use. Usually the same one every day, but sometimes they change:

Eggs

The chickens in their run, watching me and the ducks outside:

Chickens

The ducks next to the pond:

Ducks

Greeting me on the lawn again:

Ducks

Following me from the chicken coops to the pond:

Ducks

You may have seen this GIF of the ducks running after me on my personal blog:

GIF of ducks

Once we reached the duck house, I gave them their treats:

Ducks

The heron landing:

Heron landing

I went out there to chase it off, before it could eat more of our fish; here’s a GIF of the heron taking off:

GIF of heron taking off

Just now, we saw the ducks on the driveway next to the veggie garden; the furthest we’ve seen them from the pond:

Ducks