Flock Friday for September 20

Hi there. It’s me again. Doing the Friday thing.

Ducks in their house:

Ducks in their house

Paladout (what we call the alien gray cat, if you missed that in the cat updates) visited the ducks one night; they were both startled to see each other, but he wandered off without any drama:

Cat by ducks

I doubt cats would go after ducks, being similar size. And the ducks were safe behind the fencing around the duck house ramp. I’ve seen them resting there overnight several times.

Ducks exploring the back of the pond:

Ducks at the back of the pond

I went back there, and they looked at me quizzically:

Ducks at the back of the pond

A view of almost the entire pond; you may be able to make out the ducks still at the back:

Ducks at the back of the pond

The heron visited again, and knocked the mobile camera out of alignment (it isn’t permanently mounted, but just resting on top of a boulder, with some bricks loosely anchoring it; one day I’ll buy a permanent one for there). Here it’s just jumped down from the rock:

Heron knocked camera

The culprit:

Heron

The heron taking off:

Heron taking off

The ducks exploring the grass between the duck house and waterfall. One more place for me to check for eggs when they start laying:

Ducks exploring grass

The ducks and fish scooping up treats:

Ducks and fish

Three ducks, three big koi:

Ducks and fish

(Yes, the fish are bigger than the ducks.)

Ducks circling:

Ducks

The new chickens pecking at some tomato treats:

Chickens with tomatoes

Chickens through weeds:

Chickens through weeds

Again with tomatoes:

Chickens with tomatoes

Hey there:

Chickens

The older chickens with tomatoes:

Chickens

We have a lot of tomatoes from the veggie garden right now; Jenn is canning 20 pounds or so of them, but the chickens get the split ones, and the ones the bugs got to first… if they’re really lucky, with tasty insect bonuses.

Hanging out with Merida, giving her pats:

Chickens

Fuzzy butt:

Chicken

Domino and Buffy:

Chickens

Lastly, a shot of some hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds

Did you see today’s YouTube video of hummingbirds and a wasp on that feeder?

Flock Friday for September 6

Fantastic Flock Friday, Friends and Family!

Zoomy ducks:

Zoomy ducks

Ducks flapping:

Ducks flapping

More zoomy ducks:

Zoomy ducks

Duck at the bottom of the waterfall:

Duck at the bottom of the waterfall

Fish and ducks:

Fish and ducks

The big koi are so huge:

Fish

Ducks near the bank:

Ducks

On the bank:

Ducks on bank

The duck house, with ducks beyond, and koi in the pond:

Ducks and fish

I mucked out the chicken coops, and dumped a pile of fresh bedding (that they’ll spread out for me):

Chickens with fresh bedding

A queue impatiently waiting as the pop door opens:

Pop door opening

Pop door opening

We added a flock block; a compressed block of seeds and such as supplemental food:

Flock block

Chickens with a corn cob:

Chickens with corn cob

Old and new chickens, separated by a fence:

Chickens

The young chickens with a strawberry:

Chickens with strawberry

A couple of the older chickens with corn cob:

Chickens with corn cob

Old and young chickens:

Old and young chickens

Flock Friday for August 23

For Flock Friday, let’s check in with the ducks first, as usual.

The ducks enjoy resting in various spots on the edge of the pond; this is one of their favorites (some fish visible, too):

Ducks on bank, fish in pond

Ducks and fish eating treats:

Ducks and fish in pond

Next to their house, watching a landscaper trimming a tree:

Ducks next to their house

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in pond

Early this morning, the alien gray cat (“Paladout”) visited the duck house, when they were on the bank on the other side of it:

Alien gray cat

The cat approached the duck house, and the ducks slowly swam into the safety of the pond:

Alien gray cat and ducks

Speaking of unwelcome visitors, I saw a pair of raccoons in the chicken run in the pre-dawn morning (when the chicks were all safely closed in the coop):

Raccoons in chicken run

Here one is peeking at the camera, before climbing the fence:

Raccoon in chicken run

The new run does have a bird-netting roof, but there are big gaps due to snow damage. One thing on my long list of homestead projects is to replace that with welded wire; I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

One more visitor, a cheeky squirrel in the coop:

Squirrel in chicken coop

Chicks on the roosts in their run:

Chicks on run roosts

Flowers self-seeded from the old hanging baskets above:

Self-seeded flowers

Some more pictures of the chicks in their run:

Chicks

Chicks

Chicks

Chick

Chick

Chicks

They’re getting quite big, but still not fully grown, and still peeping instead of clucking. Here you can see the new and old chickens in their adjacent runs:

Chicks and chickens

They’ll be kept apart until after the new ones are fully grown and start laying. In the meantime, they can get used to each other through the fence, which will make integration later a little easier.

Introducing #FlockFriday

I thought I’d experiment with a new weekly feature on this blog: Flock Friday. I will try to post a selection of photos related to the assortment of avians around the homestead each Friday. Can’t let the cats have all the fun of a weekly feature!

For now, I’m just adding the pictures in chronological order. In the future, I might group by kind or something.

Let’s start with the chicks; one flew onto the waterer:

Chicks

Better seen animated; here’s a GIF:

Chick flying GIF

We just got a couple of new feeders for the wild birds (the second from the left, and the rightmost); both are squirrel-proof, so they close when a weight is on them, which will hopefully also stop the pigeons from cleaning them out:

Bird feeders

On to the ducklings; I got a new paint roller tray that seems to work better; easier access, and more capacity for swimming:

Ducklings swimming

Ducklings swimming

Here’s a pond cam shot of me spending time with the ducklings:

David with the ducklings

Big enough for all of them for now… but not for long!

Ducklings swimming

Another wild bird (swallow, I think) drinking from the pond by swooping low over it, dipping its beak in:

Bird & fish

It’s nice to be able to spend time with the ducklings and feed the fish at the same time:

Fish

Another visitor to the pond, the heron:

Heron

Last night the heat lamp in the duck house burnt out just after this:

Ducklings

Ducklings

Fortunately, the ducklings were all fine; they’re old enough now, and it wasn’t excessively cold last night, that it wasn’t too cold for them.

I changed the lamp with a spare as soon as I saw it was out (and have ordered more spares):

Changing heat lamp

Back to the chicks:

Chick with treat

Chicks

Chicks

Let’s not forget the older chickens, too:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Finally, let’s wrap up with more of the ducklings:

Ducklings swimming

Ducklings swimming

Hand-feeding treats:

Treats

Treats

Treats

Any more treats?

Any more treats?

More swimming:

Ducklings swimming

Ducklings swimming

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think in the comments on the blog, Micro.blog, Twitter, etc.

Pond pump tweak

A quick pond update.

The pond pump fell (or was pushed) over again, so again I waded into the pond to right it. This time, I moved it from the lightweight plastic pot it was in into a heavier ceramic one, with some rocks for extra weight:

Pond pump

Here it is in position:

Pond pump

I waded deeper in the pond to clear out some floating debris. It’s hard to tell from the camera, but I’m only about halfway back; it gets much deeper in the back half:

David in pond

We saw the smaller fish this week; great to see lots of little ones. Only a few visible in this picture, but there are many more. They’re about two years old:

Fish

The heron visited again early this morning, and wandered around for about two hours, but didn’t seem to catch anything this time (the streaks in this picture are motion-blurred raindrops):

Heron