Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sun tea...

Then and now.



Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring means baby mammals....

It's been a mammal-rific weekend around these parts. Wild fuzzy animals are everywhere. It started with an odd stray dog/hyena thing in our driveway. Later, a raccoon (a big, fat, ugly one) was caught in the act of trying to eat our baby turkeys. We were out for evening poultry chores and, when we went into the garage to check on the turks, we saw a striped fuzzy tail slink away from the brooding box and into a corner.


The chicks are all ok. The raccoon is not. Predator defense is not fun.

But look! A baby bunny!

Later that same evening...Bill (at the insistent urging of Sugar Pie) discovered a momma opossum and her SEVEN babies in our garage. We've had opossums around for a while without any harm to the birds, but they are known to eat baby birds, steal eggs and sometimes attack mature hens. To the momma opossum's great benefit, her babies were adorable and Bill is a softy. We spent nearly an hour gathering them all up in a garbage can and then transported them back to our woods. They were given a stern talking-to and told that there would be some serious trouble if they messed with our birds.

As the momma opossum headed off into the woods with 7 babies clinging to her back, Bill swears she turned back toward him - tear in her eye - to ask why she was being thrown out on the streets, a single mom with 7 mouths to feed.

But look! A baby bunny!

This little bundle was spared a dramatic end in the chicken pen. Bill was out scything the tall grass in the pen (rather than using a weedwacker or lawn mower) when he found the baby bunny. We made him pose for some photos, contemplated keeping him, but eventually let him go.


But he's been warned. Before we let him go, he was given a demonstration of what might happen if we caught him snooping around our garden:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What's in the box...part II?

What could it be that is in the box, capturing Bernie's attention?

15 baby Narragansett Turkeys!

Compared to baby chickens, the turkeys are much more inquisitive (far less...chicken), have longer necks and seem to enjoy sprinting.

As a rare heritage breed, they are a bit more pricey than more engineered turkeys. In fact, at nearly $10 each, these one day old chicks might even be more than a frozen Thanksgiving supermarket turkey. They are supposed to be excellent foragers, however, and perfect for small farms. We are told they breed well too.

Narragansett turkeys are a cross of Eastern Wild turkeys (of America) and a bird that Europeans took from Mexico, domesticated in Europe and then brought back to North America. They were popular through the 19th Century, but became endangered when turkeys became industrialized. In 1998 it was reported that there were only about 60 breeding pairs left, but they are becoming more popular now with the growing interest in sustainable agriculture.

I just think they are cute.