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

Recent dusting of snow

Now that the snow has all melted, and we’re probably not getting any more this season (though might), I thought I’d post some pictures of the light dusting of snow during the past week. The weather forecast was suggesting we might get several inches, but it was more like half an inch. A little disappointing, not enough to break out the snow shovel, but at least it didn’t outstay its welcome.

Here’s the brown gazebo, tree grove, and new chicken coop:

Brown gazebo and chicken coop

The mostly frozen pond, with duck paths through the thin ice:

Pond

Beyond the pond, with snowy trees down the bank:

Beyond the pond

Our back lawn, with the pond off to the left, and brown gazebo in the background:

Back lawn

From a little farther back, the path to the pond deck:

Path to pond

The stream (behind the shrubs, and currently off) and cat house:

Cat house

Fountain garden, with the white gazebo in the background:

Fountain garden

A bonus cat picture of Pumpkin drinking from the heated water dish:

Pumpkin

In front of the cat house, with Pumpkin by the dish:

By cat house

The fully frozen pond, with snow drifts on top of the ice:

Frozen pond

Our front steps and driveway circle, looking towards the veggie garden, hoop house, and beehives in the distance:

Driveway circle

The beehives; the melting in the center of the roof of each hive indicates that the bees are still alive, at least as of now; still got a few months before they’ll be able to resume operations:

Beehives

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

Flock Friday for December 27

The pictures this week are pretty evenly split between hummingbirds, ducks, and chickens.

The hummingbirds have been very hungry this week; I’ve been having to refill their favorite feeder pretty much every day. There are 11 hummers on this feeder; can you see all of them?

Hummingbirds

Foggy pond:

Foggy pond

The chickens have mostly kept to their own coops so far, though Lola (the introverted chicken) did spend one night in the new coop:

Lola in the new coop

Lola in the new coop

Ducks:

Ducks

Pippin in my arms, watching hummingbirds:

Pippin watching hummingbirds

After refilling the feeder (yet again), I stood there a moment and captured them a couple of feet away:

Standing next to hummingbird feeder

Partially frozen pond:

Partially frozen pond

Ducks

More frozen pond; they struggled through the ice to come see me (or rather Gert struggled while Bert followed along behind; I’m sure one could have gender commentary about that):

More frozen pond

On rounds (see Rory by the coop), the chickens rushing to the new coop, where I was dispensing treats for the chickens there:

Chickens

Chickens

Flock Friday for December 20

Let’s take a look at the ducks, chickens, and hummingbirds over the past week.

Some pics of our ducks, Gert the girl and Bert the boy (mnemonic, see?):

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

A peek of Gert through the duck house:

Duck through house

The chickens in the veggie garden, coming to see me on rounds:

Chickens

Chicken treats:

Chickens

Chickens

Ducks across the partially frozen pond:

Ducks across frozen pond

Ducks

Lots of hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Did you see the slow-mo video of the hummers?

Another day, more of the chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

It’s been rather windy last night and today. This morning, I found the chair next to the duck house had blown into the pond:

Ducks and chair in pond

Flock Friday for December 13

Some excitement with the chickens this week.

One of the chickens, Lola, was still outside when the pop door was closing:

Chicken outside when the door is closing

You may remember me describing her as the introverted chicken. She often hangs back, and on this occasion hung back too long, and got stuck outside.

I noticed her perching on the waterer when I checked the cams after I got in bed, so I got dressed again, put on a head-mounted light, and went out there to take her inside:

Lola on the waterer

Here’s me picking her up. I carried her out of the run and into the coop:

David picking up Lola

Another bit of excitement was that I opened the gate to the veggie garden, enabling the new girls to access that:

Opened gate to veggie garden

I also opened the hole in the fence between the two runs, so the old and new chickens can now mingle:

Opened fence hole

They are still laying eggs and roosting for the night in their own coops, though eventually I expect some will swap coops. Chickens are very slow to change.

A bunch of pictures of the chickens all together:

Chicken

Chickens by gate

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Let’s take a look at the ducks, too:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

But we’re not done with the chickens: a few days later, Lola did it again, outside when the door was closing:

Chickens outside when the door is closing

Actually it turned out that there were three chickens outside this time:

Chickens outside

Chickens outside

I realized that the pop door controller was closing the door too early, before it was dark, due to low hanging branches of the tree by the coop shading the light sensor. So I trimmed some branches:

David trimming branches

The tree fought back, whacking me in the face; fortunately only lightly bruising me:

David

As usual, I left the cut branches in the run for the chickens to play with:

Cut branches

So far the chickens haven’t been caught outside again.  I have a daily reminder to check as it gets dark, just in case.

Misty pond, with the ducks heading into the house for dinner:

Misty pond

Finally, some shots of the hungry hummingbirds on the feeders:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Flock Friday for December 6

A sad Flock Friday this week: we lost a duck, the female Cayuga (the dark one). More info below.

But first, happier times earlier in the week. Our pond mostly froze on several days, so the ducks got to experience walking on the ice:

Ducks walking on frozen pond

And eating treats on the frozen pond:

Ducks eating treats on frozen pond

Did you see the video of the ducks walking on the ice? And the second longer video?

Another day, waddling from a non-frozen portion to greet me:

Ducks walking on frozen pond

Swimming in a non-frozen portion by the pump:

Ducks swimming in non-frozen portion by pump

Duck tracks:

Duck tracks on frozen pond

Bert & Gert:

Bert & Gert

Ducks on the bank:

Ducks on the bank

Gert and Gill:

Gert and Gill

Birds in the duck house:

Birds in duck house

Treats on the bank:

Treats on bank

On Tuesday, I noticed the two female ducks in a somewhat unusual place, in the northeast corner bank of the pond:

Ducks on bank

Gill was nestled down on the bank, with the two buff ducks hanging around nearby, possibly confused or concerned:

Gill on bank, others concerned

I kept an eye on them, and later saw them all swimming, though Gill looked a bit withdrawn, her neck kind of hunched down:

Ducks swimming

She was barely interested in treats, acting rather listless:

Barely interested in treats

Later, she was resting on the bank again, and didn’t retreat as I approached to check on her:

Gill on bank again

I examined her, but couldn’t see any obvious injuries, so I put her in the duck house overnight, to protect her from predators. She had food and water, but mostly just settled down:

Gill in duck house overnight

In the morning, I checked on her again, and encouraged her to have some water, but she was still very withdrawn. I kept an eye on her on the camera, and noticed she hadn’t moved for a while, so went out to check her again, and (as suspected) she was dead.

I don’t know what killed her. She could have eaten something she shouldn’t, or got blocked up, or injured herself on something, or been attacked by something. Since I didn’t see any injuries, it was probably one of the former.

Anyway, it’s always sad to lose one of the animals. Having lost the male Cayuga when they were ducklings, I wonder if that breed just isn’t as hardy as others.

Now we only have two ducks, the two Buffs, Bert and Gert:

Bert and Gert

I hope they both survive! When Gert starts laying, probably in spring, we’ll likely let them keep the eggs, and hatch ducklings. Which has its own risks.

Sorry to bring you down with this sad tale.

Let’s end with a couple of pictures of the chickens. Them rushing over to greet me in the veggie garden:

Chickens in veggie garden

And waiting for treats in their run:

Chickens in run