Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something's Peekin'!

Daffodils peeking through the snow

I'm slightly miffed because I just finished this entry, and Blogger somehow lost the entire thing, so now I must re-write it all!

Anyway, I took my camera out for a walk around the property to capture images of all things spring-like. We still have patches of snow here and there, but that doesn't stop my intrepid daffodils from peeking up through the frozen white stuff. I've said it many times before: daffodils are my favorite flower! I love the way they look, and I love the fact that they are harbingers of spring. You just can't look at a daffodil without thinking "SPRING!"

Fortunately we haven't had much flooding with all the rapidly melting snow. Our little front yard stream, barely visible in this photo, is behaving itself nicely...with daffodils looking on, of course.

Sunbathing Biddys

A couple of the hens managed to escape the chicken run and find a suitable spot to dust bathe...in one of my strawberry patches, little stinkers! The Ameraucana hen on the right looks mildly perturbed at this paparazzi for snapping a photo of their private moment.

Venus lays an egg....finally! This was found in her outdoor "run" made from straw bales

Close-up of Venus's egg

And perhaps the biggest news so far this spring...Venus has begun to lay eggs!! As you may recall, Venus is my crippled Welsummer hen. She's been lame/crippled since she was about 2 months old, and just in the past week she's finally begun to lay. I've also noticed her scratching and pecking like a "real" chicken, somethinig I've never seen her do before, probably because she just couldn't use her feet/legs like that. She seems to be enjoying life now, and what better time to grab life by the horns than spring? Go Venus! Bring it on!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cookie Tin Water Heater

Once the weather turned cold and the chicken waterers began freezing up, I was about to pull my hair out. How many times a day can one person be expected to tromp up to the chicken coop, get the frozen chicken water, bring it back to the house and thaw everything out in warm water, refill the waterer, haul it back to the coop? Once is plenty, thank-you!

Fortunately, I'd been sent a link for a homemade water heater, that, as it turns out, is very effective and inexpensive to make. This thing saved my sanity this winter. All that is needed is a cookie tin, some electrical stuff and a low watt light bulb; the instructions call for a 25 watt bulb, but I think we're using something lower than that. The bulb is placed inside the cookie tin, and the chicken water sits on top of the tin. The bulb, of course, keeps the water warm enough that it doesn't freeze. Amazingly simple! The ONLY problem I had with this set-up is, the chickens occasionally knocked the waterer off the heater. We simply need to rig something up that will prevent that, otherwise this works like a charm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From Scratch

My niece, Sarah, has a charming blog over at 8 Muddy Boots. She's been doing a weekly "From Scratch" series, of which I'm envious. SO, since I've been so lax in writing in MY blog, perhaps you can enjoy hers while I try to find the time/energy to update my own!!