Developing Birds, Poultry Uncertainty, Part 6 and Smoke

Our little white peachick is starting to get feathers.  And there is no sign of color.  But I learned it is not an albino but a genetic mutation called leucism.  It is an autosomal recessive gene in India Blue peafowl (which we have).  Check out the photos in the link above.  They are beautiful birds.  So I am excited for this little bird.

Our up and coming peacock is developing his tail feathers.  They look to be coming in green so I am interested to see how he develops.

Some of our hay loft chicks are developing some golden and red feathers.  They are gorgeous.

The three turkeys we received from Eliz are growing up nicely.  I tried to move the black one out into the barn, figuring it was big enough.  But she/he was quite unhappy so he/she is back with her/his turkey friends again.  I am hoping for some hens.

The remaining Narragansett turkey I got near Anacortes is a tom.  He is starting to strut around.

The Midget White turkeys are doing well.  We have three toms and one hen.  I love to watch them run.  It is hilarious.

So as far as the uncertainty goes, I put a live trap, a rat trap and a game camera in the “pheasant pen” to try to figure out what has been eating our young chickens.  And we got over 400 images over 3 days.  And the vast majority of them were:

2143:090622:47F:CAMERA1 :3

0027:090722:41F:CAMERA1 :3

2036:090622:54F:CAMERA1 :3

0452:090822:41F:CAMERA1 :3

0408:090722:36F:CAMERA1 :3

2030:090722:52F:CAMERA1 :3

So just rats.  The other images were of the animals and us walking in the background.  I did not think rats would kill chickens but per google they can.  So we are taking measures to rid the pheasant pen of the rats.

I have also been counting the older chickens on a nightly basis to make sure they are not disappearing that I am not aware of.  But my counts are the same every night for 2 weeks.  So I am confident nothing is eating them  So I decided to move the hatchery chickens out into the barn since they are almost the size as the adult chickens.  I added legs tags first so I could identify them easier.  In this process I realized that I only have 3 roosters left and 11 hens.  It looks like the roosters were being preferentially killed.  I used yellow and green tags for the hens and purple and red for the roosters.

I put them in the chicken pen so they would know where the feeder is.

That left the hayloft chicks and the 3 young turkeys in the weasel proof pen.  Hopefully this will work out so they can have some more space and less poop.

I made sure all of the hatchery chickens roosted last night.  And this morning they were in three groups.  These ones were still near their roosts.

These ones were on the goat side of the barn.

And the rest were outside, near the pheasant pen.  I would prefer they stay in or near the barn due to the eagles so I tried to encourage that.  I really hope this works.

This is the view yesterday morning.  It felt like autumn with the cool temperature, the mist in the pasture and the spider webs in the grass.

Tom went out to pick apples from another orchard.  Ours is not doing well this year.  We are not sure why except for the prolonged drought.  But he brought back some Bramley apples which we do not have and I absolutely love for cooking.  So there will be an apple pie in our near future.

This morning, though, we had worsening air quality issues.

Here was the view this morning where the hills look smokey.  I wore a dust particle mask since I have asthma.  It was challenging doing chores wearing it.

The pigs are doing well still, enjoying their morning pumpkin.

We rented a manure spreader which was delivered today.  There is only one in the auction, and it is going for more than $5000, so too much for us.  This one is $30 per day from Skagit Conservation District.  It is really small, but Tom says it does a good job.  It can handle three tractor bucket loads of manure and cuts it up better than our old spreader.

Then something mysterious happened midday.  This huge smoke cloud came in from the south.

And then it obscured the sun.  There is a new fire to the south of us and level 3 evacuations of two towns.  So this is all quite sad.

So that was my smokey day.  I just check on the hatchery chickens again and got them all roosted again.  So far, so good, except for the smoke.

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4 Responses to Developing Birds, Poultry Uncertainty, Part 6 and Smoke

  1. Jeanne says:

    I think that’s a great idea, to rent a spreader. That price is WAY too high to even think of buying the one from the auction.
    Hoping all goes well. Where are the towns you mentioned ? What are their names?

    • Donna says:

      The spreading went quite well and they are supposed to pick it up tomorrow. So I think we have a new spreading plan. The towns were Index and Skykomish. I know they downgraded the evacuation levels later but do not know what has happened since.

  2. Michelle says:

    Our old spreader does a terrible job, but I never considered it might be possible to rent one. Will have to check into that. And OH. MY. You have a LOT of rats. I think you need a rat terrier!

    • Donna says:

      I would love a rat terrier but Tom is not excited by the idea. The rental spreader is how we are going try to proceed as long as it is available. Much nicer.

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