Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May photos

This past weekend one of our Iowa Blue hens that has been setting hatched out a few chicks. This was a breeding-cross that Steven specifically planned for certain traits he wants in the new chicks. He will keep the ones that meet the criteria he has in mind, and sell the others:

Meanwhile, over in the duck pen, mama ducks eggs are due to hatch today. But nest-sharing kittens keep eating up her food (who knew cats would eat grain?) and playing right in front of mama duck. We keep moving them; they keep coming back into the pen.

But can you get upset with kittens that are just so darn cute?

Our goats and other batch of ducklings are also doing well.

Under the watchful eyes of our guardians, Bella and Lilly

and our garden is doing well -- we have receive sizable amounts of rain this week for it
(Dear God, you can stop the rain for a few days now, please.
We thank you for your answer to our prayers for rain when it was so dry)

This was across the west sky this morning as the sun rose on the east horizon and the rest of the sky was drenched with rain.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Birds of a Feather...

So we had a very peculiar thing happen on the farm this week.

For several weeks, a mama duck has been setting on a nest inside the secure duck pen -- a nest Steven created out of a half-drum-barrel. Her eggs are about ready to hatch into little ducklings sometime next week.

Over the past few weeks, we have had something on the farm stalking and killing baby kittens at night (most of our cats are somewhat feral barn cats, used only for rodent control, so that is not necessarily a big loss). However, our very favorite and best cat, Peggy Sue, had her very healthy kittens under the wheelbarrow in the garden.

Sometime over the weekend, though, apparently something spooked Peggy Sue into thinking her kittens were in danger - so she move them to the most secure place this intelligent cat could find -- into the duck nest!

Now understand, Peggy Sue is also our best "hunter-cat" - and we often have to watch her away from any baby chicks and ducks on the place. So who knows what is going to happen next week when Mama duck's eggs start to pip out? We have tried to convince Peggy Sue to move her babies to other locations, but she consistently moves them back.

What is baffling to me is how she got Mama Duck to allow her to "nest" next to her. Mama Duck won't even let us get within three feet of her nest without having a fit.

We should have a very interesting time next week! :)

(you can click on the photo to see it larger)