As a parent there are so many, many things we want to teach our children.
There are many more things that we should teach them.
And then there are all the tidbits that we accidentally (and often unfortunately) teach our kids.
Sitting down and putting to much thought into this parental responsibility can become overwhelming.
Personally, I find it helps to remember that so long as you hit upon the basics:
how to care for animals…
…how to get along with others…
…and how to build a good dam… … that they are likely to turn out just fine!
For most of my life I have been around chickens and their eggs. Therefore I am no stranger to odd eggs; the double yolkers, the “wrinkled” shells, the eggs with no yolks, the shell-less eggs… But today Clara found a duck egg that was a first for me.
As she handed it over, she told me that it was bad and we should get rid of it. At first I thought it was just a shell-less egg. Which, I must say, never fail to give me the hibijibies when I’m not expecting them. Just imagine. Reaching into a darkened nest box to pull out an egg, expecting a hard, smooth, warm, shape that fits just perfectly into your hand – and touching instead a cold, squishy, leathery feeling, blob. Uuughh, it makes me shudder just to think of it. After I recover from my split second of panic, when I think I’ve actually found a small alien in my chicken coop, I think they are fascinating – all wiggle and squish! Fascinating or horrifying they are nothing more than a regular egg that didn’t “cook” long enough to get a shell. I see these shell-less eggs most often in the young, the old and the severely startled birds.
In any case -this duck egg went beyond shell-less, it was shell-less with a tail.
The tail is a tube, about three inches long, that is open on the end and leaking out a bit of egg white.
I took pictures
I’m so glad I have a blog so I can justify(?) my pictures of weird eggs.
It makes me feel less crazy.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal
During the process of renewal things often gets worse before they get better.
To demonstrate this effect I give you..
Drum roll please!
…a molting chicken!
Earlier in the week she looked awful, today she looks ridiculous and by next week her molt will be complete, her feathers will be renewed and she will be back to normal.
I have included a picture of one of her flock mates below so that:
A) In case you aren’t familiar with chickens you can see what she is supposed to look like (yes they have tails, wing feathers, no bald spots and a general fluffy bottomed look that the above chicken is missing) and that
B) PETA won’t try to come confiscate my animals because they think I’m abusing them.
She’s just molting, it’s a renewal thing.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Big
Our rooster (who goes by the name of “Roosty” ) is the big man of our chicken flock.
Roosty is a White Chantecler who didn’t quite cut it to continue in a friends breeding flock but he’s been a well behaved asset to our laying hens. He finds treats for his ladies, warns them of danger, and walks around looking about as regal as a chicken can look.
I find chickens to be much trickier to photograph than it seems like they should be. They move in quick jerks, have a third eyelid that you don’t notice until you up your shutter speed enough to compensate for their quick movements and then you end up with crazy looking eyes and they either run at me looking for treats or wander off. Photographing chickens is not for the easily discouraged! This photo was the best of Roosty’s photo shoot. I like the color and how he is posing (it was a photo shoot after all) with the hens mostly minding their own business around them. I was disappointed about the strand of electric fence and would have liked a few of his ladies to present a different side to the camera but my suggestions that they all move a few feet to the left were completely ignored.
You can’t take them anywhere.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I have driven with a chicken in the passenger seat but that’s a different story…
How is your day?
Are you as happy as a kid nuzzling a chicken? Or do you feel more like an over loved chicken?
“I have fantastic news!”
That’s Ivy’s new announcement that precedes everything from information about what she’s been doing, what her imaginary friend is planning on doing or just letting me know that she said “excuse me” to a chicken and it moved out of her way.
In other fantastic news the sheep have arrived for the summer,
and we have two baby chicks.
They have been named Seed (the boy on the left) and princess (the girl on the right) Ivy and Clara haven’t loved them enough to wear their feathers off yet but I think they are getting there!
If you give a kid a tape measure she’ll want to measure the chickens.
When the chickens won’t hold still she’ll decide to measure her boot instead.
When she is measuring her boot by the flowers you might ask her to pose in front of them.
Being asked to hold still will remind her that there are flowers to be picked.
After she picks a flower she’ll need to swing it around crazily hitting herself in the face.
When she is done mangling the flower she’ll want to give it to you.
It’s possible that then her older sister will come home and when she finds the tape measure again it’ll be all fighting and tears between the two of them until you take it away.
A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
When the girls and I do the chores in the morning one of Ivy’s jobs is to let out the chickens.
Notice how Ivy hides behind the door after opening it.
I used to think she was kind of silly.
I’ve changed my mind.
As I was taking pictures one chicken started flying straight at me. Foolishly thinking it had control of it’s flight I ignored it.
Bad idea – it crashed directly into my camera, and then on into me.
Make a note, chickens are really bad fliers!
This was the picture that resulted from the collision.
Also notice that Ivy is still behind the door, not so silly after all!
When the flow of birds slows to more of a trickle that’s when Ivy starts to peek around the door. Smart girl.