Flock Friday for July 3

Let’s check on the chickens, Bert, and Jack. (Who is that? Read on.)

Chicken treats:

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Chicken treats

Hey there, Bert:

Duck

Duck

Duck

Duck

Jack is, of course, the frog living in our pond deck box:

Frog

Another day, more chicken pictures:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens GIF

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens GIF

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

A couple more of Jack, sitting on top of the fish food container, and on the side of the box:

Frog

Frog

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

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.

Chicken coop shelf and chicken run fence repair

Yesterday I did some smaller homestead projects, including building a shelf above the door in the new chicken coop, and repairing a gate pole of the old chicken run.

Since getting supplies for the ducklings in early May, the storage area of the new chicken coop has been a bit crowded:

Crowded storage area

The coop has a fairly high ceiling, so I decided to utilize that vertical room by adding a shelf in the empty space above the door:

Space above door in coop

The shelf is simply a bit of OSB, cut to fit the space (25×48″), with notches to fit around the studs, supported on the existing 2x4s of the walls on two sides, with a new one across the front:

Shelf

Here’s a view from outside, showing the underside of the shelf, a block to support the new support 2×4 on the left, and another block on the right (that one isn’t needed for support, but attaches the support to the wall). You can also see a similar existing shelf at the back of the coop:

Shelf

A fun glimpse of the chandelier in the coop:

Shelf

A view of the shelf from inside:

Shelf

The shelf is now a “hay loft” — actually straw storage (fun fact: straw and hay are different: straw is a waste product of grain crops like wheat, used for bedding and mulch, whereas hay is feed for horses and cattle):

Straw on shelf

Straw is messy stuff; I got a bunch in my beard (this was after brushing off some):

Straw on David

Next up, I did a repair of the old chicken run. Once upon a time, I used to hook Rory’s leash on the pole next to the run gate while I went into the coops to collect eggs. Well, one day she saw something exciting (probably a rabbit) and pulled on it, snapping the post off at the ground (it was probably weakened from rotting anyway). So for several months it has been propped up by a couple of concrete blocks. (I now have a metal post in the ground to hitch her leach to during rounds.)

Yesterday I finally got around to repairing it. I considered replacing the post, but it used to be embedded in a big chunk of concrete, which I couldn’t be bothered digging out:

Concrete and broken post

So as a slightly hacky solution I attached some recycled boards at the top and bottom between the post and the coop, which that fence should have had anyway. Here the bottom one is attached, and the top one is resting on the top of the post and being held by clamps on the coop end:

Attaching boards

A view from inside the run:

Inside

Both boards attached:

Attached boards

This isn’t an ideal repair, but it’s sturdy enough.

Flock Friday for May 29

On this week’s Flock Friday, lots of pictures of chickens, a couple of GIFs, and a bonus frog.

The chickens hanging out by the old coop:

Chickens

Bert with a droplet on his bill:

Duck

Bert “helping” the koi eat their food:

Duck and fish

The chickens watching me expectantly just before I gave them their morning treats:

Chickens

An animated GIF of the chickens spinning around waiting for afternoon treats inside the new coop:

GIF of chickens

And waiting for treats again in the old coop:

Chickens

Broody chickens:

Chickens

Another broody chicken:

Chicken

You may have seen the pond deck box frog on my personal blog; here it’s on the edge of the box, just before hopping out:

Frog

Lonely duck. Hang in there Bert; new ducklings will arrive soon!

Duck

A bunch of pictures of chickens enjoying bonus water on a hot day:

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Chickens

I also turned over some logs, revealing tasty bugs:

Chicken

Chickens

Chickens

Finally, a GIF of a week on the pond:

GIF of a week on the pond

(You can see me cleaning out the duck house on the 23rd, and the heron on the 25th.)

The new ducklings should arrive sometime next week, so there may be some baby duckling pics in the next Flock Friday!

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