Flock Friday for February 21

This week, the heron returns, a super-exciting stack of food bags and fun egg math, and assorted duck and chicken pics.

The heron landing:

Heron

The ducks swam over to investigate:

Heron

A while later, taking off again:

Heron

Heron

The ducks by their frosty-roofed house:

Ducks

Ducks from below the pond deck, while I was wiping off the pond cam:

Ducks

Ducks

A peek of some chickens through the fence:

Chickens

The aforementioned exciting pile of bags of chicken food, and a flock block:

Chicken food

Let’s do some fun math.  The chickens go through about a bag per week between the two coops — I typically get about six bags of feed every six weeks or so. (The ducks eat it too, but there are only a couple of them, so negligible difference.)  Each bag costs $29.95.

We’re currently averaging about 6 eggs per day, ramping up as the weather warms up.  At their peak production it’s more like 10.  So that’s 42 to 70 eggs per week, or 3.5 to 5.8 dozen per week.

So in terms of food, each egg costs $0.71 to $0.43, or $8.52 to $5.16 per dozen (they eat at a fairly constant rate, so the more eggs they lay, the cheaper each is).  And we give away the majority of those.  Certainly not a cheap way to get eggs, but we enjoy the chickens, and you can’t beat the taste of farm-fresh eggs!

Sometimes it’s best not to look too closely at the numbers.

Anyway, back to the pics. The chickens in the new coop, waiting for their mealworm treats (let’s not factor those into the math too!):

Chickens

They are still mostly roosting above the nesting boxes in the new coop:

Chickens roosting

For completeness, the old coop too:

Chickens roosting

Finally, some pictures in the old coop just after I gave them the new flock block:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Flock Friday for February 14

On this week’s flock update, some ducks and some chickens. I know, huge surprise.

Ducks amongst the pond grasses:

Ducks amongst pond grasses

Ducks amongst pond grasses

Ducks amongst pond grasses

Chickens in the veggie garden coming to see me:

Chickens in the veggie garden coming to see me

I went into the veggie garden and took some pictures of the chickens for your enjoyment:

Chickens in the veggie garden

Chickens in the veggie garden

Chickens in the veggie garden

Chickens in the veggie garden

Chickens in the veggie garden

Chickens in the veggie garden

Finally, a couple more pictures of the ducks:

Ducks

Ducks

Flock Friday for February 7

This week, some pictures of the chickens and ducks with a bit more snow, the fish a bit more active, and a bit of a dust bath.

Here are the three big koi swimming slowly about. They’re still very sluggish, since it’s still cold, but I haven’t seen much of them for a while:

Fish

The ducks are curious about the koi:

Ducks and fish

A duck in the rain:

Duck in rain

From the pond deck, the ducks swimming over to see me:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Two chickens in a nesting box:

Two chickens in nesting box

Chickens in snow:

Chickens in snow

Chickens in snow

Chickens in snow

Ducks with snowy pond banks:

Ducks

Ducks with snow

Ducks with snow

I really like this shot from the hidden path:

Ducks with snow

A chicken having a dust bath:

Chickens having dust bath

Here’s a GIF version of the dust bath:

GIF of chickens having dust bath

February snow

We woke up to about an inch of snow this morning, with a little continuing in the early morning. It’ll likely be all gone by end of day, but let’s take a walk around the property.

Cat footprints on the driveway:

Cat footprints

Trees and bees:

Trees and bees

Greenhouse (more on the shelving project probably tomorrow):

Greenhouse

Chickens (more pictures of them in the snow on Friday):

Chickens

Gazebo and grove:

Gazebo and grove

Path to the duck house:

Path to duck house

Heathers:

Heathers

East-side trees fading into the distance:

Trees

North-east trees:

Trees

From the pond deck — the ducks, pond, and snowy trees:

Ducks and pond

Reflection on the pond:

Reflection

Gazebo and dormant flowerbeds, with the pond deck in the background:

Gazebo and flowerbeds

Finally, the cat house, with more cat prints (more of this on Caturday, of course):

Cat house

Flock Friday for January 31

This week, a peek inside the chicken coops at night, and an animated GIF of the ducks.

The chickens are so strange; they have a couple of nice roosts in the new coop, but a bunch of them are crowded on the small roosts above the nesting boxes to sleep, with only one on the main roosts. Maybe they like the view out the window, but more likely they just like to be as high as possible:

Chickens sleeping in new coop

For completeness, the rest of the chickens sleeping in the old coop:

Chickens sleeping in old coop

The ducks on the pond:

Ducks

Bert:

Bert

Gert:

Gert

An animated GIF of the ducks rummaging under water, at 2 frames per second (i.e. 2x speed):

GIF of ducks at 2 FPS

The same GIF of 1-second captures at 1 FPS, i.e. real-time:

GIF of ducks at 1 FPS

(I think the 2x one is better, but figured I’d include both.)

Flock Friday for January 24

This week, chickens in the veggie garden and coops, and ducks in the pond. You know, the usual. Except a bonus Rory sighting.

A couple of the oldest girls perched on the potato planters in the veggie garden:

Chickens in veggie garden

The ducks during some rain showers:

Ducks

Mealworm treats:

Ducks with treats

Water trailing off the bill:

Ducks

Bert:

Bert

Gert:

Gert

Rory out for her walk on afternoon rounds, watched by the chickens in the veggie garden:

Rory and chickens in veggie garden

Chickens in the new coop:

Chickens in new coop

And in the old coop:

Chickens in old coop

A couple freshly laid eggs in a nesting box:

Eggs in nesting box

Flock Friday for January 17

This week, the ducks get to practice walking on the ice again, and more snow.

Let’s start with a couple pictures of most of the chickens in the new coop:

Chickens

Chickens

The ducks carefully walking on the frozen pond:

Ducks on frozen pond

On the ramp into the duck house:

Ducks on ramp by frozen pond

Inside:

Ducks in their house

Mealworm treats on the frozen pond:

Ducks on frozen pond

A bunch of crows in the field, making quite a racket; there were many more elsewhere on the field, too:

Crows in field

Crows in field

Ducks slogging through the thin ice on the frozen pond:

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

Chickens with some snow:

Chickens

Ducks in the partially frozen pond:

Ducks in partially frozen pond

Ducks in partially frozen pond

Ducks in partially frozen pond

An early morning shot of snow pooling in the middle of the frozen pond:

Pond

The snowy path to the duck house:

Ducks in partially frozen pond

Ducks in the slushy ice:

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

Ducks in frozen pond

That’s probably going to be it for snow for this season, though it could snow again. It’s melting now, and will probably turn to rain over the coming week. Looks like the temperatures won’t be cold enough to freeze the pond either. It was fun while it lasted.

Flock Friday for January 10

This week: some treats, some snow.

But first, pre-dawn ducks:

Pre-dawn ducks

Chickens enjoying rice, their second-favorite treat (after mealworms):

Chickens enjoying rice

Chickens enjoying rice

Ducks enjoying mealworm treats:

Ducks enjoying treats

Ducks enjoying treats

We got a sneak peek of snow this week.  Here’s the tree by the chicken runs, laden with snow:

Tree by chicken runs laden with snow

As usual when it snows, the chicken run roof netting collapsed under the weight. Someday I’ll get around to replacing it with welded wire:

Run roof netting collapse

Run roof netting collapse

Chickens with a little residue of snow:

Chickens with snow

Snow on the duck house roof:

Snow on duck house

Snowy pond bank:

Snowy pond bank

Me tossing treats to the ducks:

David giving treats

The ducks in the pond (which isn’t at all frozen), surrounded by snowy banks and trees:

Snowy

Snowy

Flock Friday for January 3

A fairly short post this week.

We went away for two nights during the holidays, and were greeted on our return with 15 eggs in one of the nesting boxes (and a few in another):

Eggs in nesting box

Some of the chickens enjoying treats in the old coop:

Chickens

The ducks:

Ducks

Ducks

I captured a shot of the ducks on the pond at midnight at the new year (see the timestamp); probably not enjoying the distant fireworks:

New Year ducks

Later, some night fish:

Night fish

I haven’t seen much of the fish recently, since it’s been so cold; they’re mostly hibernating in the deep end. Though I do occasionally see a few.

The ducks in their house, having breakfast:

Ducks in house

Back on the pond:

Ducks

Finally, a few chickens:

Chickens