Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wanted: Broody Hen.

I am through with the chick hatch. Everybody looks fluffy and seems to be happy to be out of that cramped egg. What a long process those poor little creatures go through! It is a struggle to free themselves and everything has to be done at the right time. I had an 8 out of 10 hatch. So, I did well. I understand that the average is 2/3 in an incubator. Higher, of course with a sitting hen. My goal is to seek out a broody hen to do what she does best and better than I can do. I will do regular incubator hatches.

There was two losses. One was a rotten egg. The embryo stopped forming at some point. The other loss was a chick that had pipped but died. I am not sure why this may have happened. It appeared super wet inside. It almost looks like it suffocated. I was very sad about it. The death came in the middle of the night. I was tired and alone, so I am sure it just added to my own sense of guilt due to responsibility. However, this is a human trait isn't it. It shows it's self mostly when somebody get hurt or dies. If I had just... The fact is creatures and people get hurt and die. Sometimes things are just the way they are.

Meanwhile, I ran to Tractor Supply for feed, a comb and brush for the English Angora rabbits, and dog food. I got  2 Amber Links pullets. Pullets are female chicks, usually have some feather starts because the are old enough to sex. I also have 2 Black Sex Link (Black Stars) pullets, and a Tetra Tint pullet for the heck of it. The Tetra Tint pullet is so calm. I see on the web that folks are trying to figure out what breed that is. I have no idea. I read that they are from Mt. Healthy Hatchery exclusively for Tractor Supply. Stay tuned for her picture! lol Yep. I am nuts.

... and always wild and wonderful.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hot chicks

I have a slow connection this evening, but wanted to at least get some words up.

Today started right at the stroke of midnight for me. The chicks started peeping inside of their eggs yesterday, so I was wide awake and determined to see them into this world. After all, they are in my incubator so I have full responsibility of the health and well being of these creatures. If I had a broody hen, then I would say let nature take her course. So we either eat the eggs or they get warmed up and hatched.

The chicks came, (and are still hatching as we speak) Each hatch has been different. The first chick came at 4:30 am, then 2:30 pm, 4:15 pm, 9:00 pm and one just hatched. We will call it 10:45 pm. I am thinking all should be done by tomorrow morning. Except for one egg, and that one will be one day later. Maybe.

I have read and studied all about hatching chicks. There is all sorts of information out there. Differing opinions, temperature settings, humidity, help the chicks hatch, don't help them, what to do's, emergencies and on and on. I think my chick hatching mantra is to be patient but watchful.

No wonder teachers incubate eggs in the classroom. It is quite amazing. I have taken a series of photos and I will be putting them up soon in some sort of creative way. I want to share the experience.

For now, I need to catch up on some zzz's. For tomorrow will be another wild and wonderful day here in West Virginia.


Monday, March 14, 2011


I just happened by the website of the Princeton Poetry Project. I had forgotten that two of my written works have been published in Holler under my alias Willow Crow. I thought I had given them much better poetry, but the director really wanted "The Poet". It is number 22 in the first publication. I believe I was in the second publication as well for my poem "Buzz". It is not online, so I shall post it here.

She, the keeper of all bees
I study her studying me
as I inch close to bumbles
I want to kiss them
fuzzy in sweet azalea

Timidly she steps back
Honey, the explanation is easy
Just love them, feel, look
see, the way they almost float
bloom to bloom

Eye inching to wing,
feeling the buzz holding my breath
The bee keeper peeping over my shoulder.
As if my bones became a force field
Ah, like tiny humming birds..., look

We hum, the bee keeper and I
in wonderment with bright yellow awe
The tiny winged creatures with stingers grateful
for the audience of sound and eyes
this the gift, the bees will keeper safe

Now, off to my wonderful bed with my wild covers.

Hi to my peeps.

Today I heard some peeps coming from the eggs. 21 days today. I set them in the incubator on Presidents day. So they will all be named after a President or First Lady. It will be fun. I keep telling myself, don't count your chickens before they hatch. But, shouldn't I just infuse them with love and life? I am always attached to my chickens, but for some reason, being with them from conception (well almost) gives me a deep sense of joy. Pictures to follow! I am going to be staring at the eggs all day! "The woman who stares at eggs."

Meanwhile, I brought Miss Blue Topaz to Yoda's cage. He did his job, but she did not do hers. I know she is ready. She did not "lift" last time out either. I will give her time. Perhaps she will be Sophia's show rabbit. She is beautiful. Nice color and shape and has a nice coat. We will see. She is the timid doe out of the two blues.

But Miss Tahoe went to visit Yoda and it was over in about 3 minutes. Yoda mounted her, she lifted and then Yoda made the connection and promptly fell over. In rabbit mating the male usually flops over after he has "hit it" and is done. I have no further comment regarding this behavior. :-)

Tahoe, Blue Topaz, Yoda
Blue Topaz

My goodness it has been wonderfully wild here today!