Monday, June 09, 2008

My New Friends

Meet my 52 54 66 62 61 howevermany new friends! They've been arriving over this past couple weeks, and while we've had some challenges in housing them all, we are blessed to have them.

This is Thanksgiving dinner a turkey. There are six altogether, living in a side-turned rabbit cage.
This is Gus, our Christmas dinner goose. Until a few minutes ago, (s?)he was living in part of the garden cart. Now he resides in a milk crate, but that will probably be temporary, until we can move the turkeys into a larger cage, and give Gus their current pen. He's very cute now, but I hope he saves his hissing/attacking until just after he reaches slaughter weight. Did I just say that?
Below are guineas. They are fun, so far. When I was younger, my folks had several of these. For the life of me I don't remember them actually benefiting anyone... We never ate them, indeed the log trucks on the highway were the main harvesters of them. They hide their eggs, and if/when they actually hatched them out, the babies all died, their parents draging them through tall, wet grass. They are native to the African Savannah and don't do well in the Northwest. They are alarmists, squawking loudly to announce anything out of the norm (visitor in the driveway?), and apparently take shifts at night, leaving at least one awake to sound off if necessary. We have three types. The dark ones are the regular "pearl" kind, the brown ones are a "chocolate" breed and that light one in the middle is "lavendar." Click here to see their crazy adult look. We got 11, locally, but lost one. Dressed out they sell for $20 each to idiots the 'elites' an hour or two from here. These live (for now) in a galvanized washtub we use for scalding the birds at harvest.

Finally, the chickens. They don't hold still long enough for me to count them. I think I ordered 52, but one was lost in transit, so I only got 51. They say. They had an emergency today, their big water fountain got off-kilter and leaked water very badly. I found them splashing around in a muck-swamp in their pen (also the garden cart). Had to move them temporarily and completely change-out their pen (Gus' too). One was foundering pretty badly, so spent some time in the ICU - seems to be doing better now. The "pretty" one in the picture is an Aracauna - a layer of bluish/greenish eggs. She will live happily here for at least a few years if things work out. She is Big Sister's favorite; we only have a handful of aracaunas, and each chick is unique. This one has 'yellow cheeks' and is easily spotted in the group. We ordered several cockerels (males) with the plan to eat most of them. After last year's suicidal Cornish-Cross broilers, we thought we'd do it the old-school way, i.e. raise non-mutants for the crockpot.

Here's hoping!

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