Friday, October 22, 2010

Peregrine Fall

This morning I noticed that the chickens were mysteriously absent from their yard. Usually in fair weather there are at least a few out pecking in the grass, clucking and crowing to each other. I looked up to the top of their fence and spotted this peregrine falcon as he was overlooking the henyard.  Peregrines are possibly the fastest animals on earth -- they can achieve speeds of 320 km/hr in a dive. He left when I opened the backdoor, and later I found a dead hen in the grass, half eaten.

We walked out to the woods in the western fields. The colors were beautiful, the grasses have turned green and red, and the barley is gold.


 An abandoned magpie nest

A mossy bone left by a travelling coyote

A red and green rock that mirrors the colors of the grass

On a personal note, Cricket had a lump removed from her tummy.  The histology report said it was composed of two types of cancer cells.  The excavation was quite large, and so hopefully the entire growth was removed so that the cancer will not spread. I think it was localized: there was a necrotic center which suggests to me that it was an immune response to a foreign object that grew out of control.  I'm happy to report that Cricket is doing very well, her energy and appetite are very good and she is happy to have the lump and stitches removed. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall and the Well Dressed Hen

It was a beautiful autumn day. A strong wind from the east has blown most of the leaves from the poplar and aspen. Here are some pictures we took on our walk in the woods.

Here is the slough behind the forest, full of migrating ducks.

And the beautiful Kylie:

A sapsucker flew over to us and treated us to a view of him finding some dinner:

I got the idea to make some coats for my hens. The roosters are a bit rough on the girls, they tread on them while breeding, which pulls the feathers out of the hens' backs. So I cut up some old jeans, did some embroidery on them, and made some little jackets for the chickens with some elastic. Here they are on the hanger:

And here they are being modeled by one of the girls:

The hens get used to their little jackets quickly. They seem to like them, and I'm sure they appreciate the little extra warmth with our frosty nights.
Have you hugged your companion animal today?