It’s been a while since I’ve written.  We did the bird show last Saturday and it’s been a “catch up” week since.  Maybe the folks that bring their birds in large cages don’t have much prep time or much to do after the show, but I like to bring birds in small carry cages that go with them.  That way there is no catching birds at the show and no danger of escapees.  There must have been close to ten birds that got loose briefly at this show, and we saw at least two of them smash into walls with a lot of force.  I also have no idea how long it’s going to be before the person that buys one of my kids manages to get them home and into a cage with food and water.  I hate to think of one of my kids being boxed for God knows how long.  Having them in a small cage with a perch and food and water ensures a bit of comfort on their part, even if it’s hours before they get home.   But if a bird doesn’t sell at the show and I have to bring it home, it also means I now have to quarantine the bird away from the bird room.  There are a lot of birds at the shows and I have no idea if they are all healthy or not, and since many diseases are air-borne, I can’t take a chance with my guys.  I can’t quarantine them in the small carry cages, so now I have to move them to bigger cages.  What it boils down to is that I end up cleaning lots of cages and having additional daily chores to do after a show.  I sold about half the birds we brought, so this extra work applied.

I also have some new baby parrotlets (PIEDS!!!) in the nest, and have been trying to check on them several times a day.  The first was born on the 10th, then another on the 13th, and at least one more a few days after that.  This pair had a clutch as part of the Parrotlet Trio of Clutches that hatched in July, but they only ended up with one baby that survived.  That was my little cutie #7, who did sell at the show.  So when they started dropping eggs last month, even though I had removed their box, I decided to let them go for it so I could get a better idea of what their kids would be like.  The fact that this time they have done so much better is wonderful!  I’m excited to see how these kids turn out.  Unfortunately it also means keeping a close eye on them so I can pull the kids at the first sign of things going awry.  I’m going to have to try to nab the oldest kid today to band him, too.  Not a fun thing with my parrotlets, as so far none of them have been keen to exit the box when I am looking.  It’s one of those things I feel I must do, though.

There are also at least three eggs in the timnehs’ nestbox!  Ziggy has not let me get a look for several days now.  I knew she had two for sure and caught a glimpse of a third one as well.  That was last week.  She may have a fourth or it may be just the three.  I’m hoping to get a look soon so I can check for fertility.  Ziggy and Paco usually do a good job and give me at least two kids.  The congos have three eggs as well, but as usual they are not fertile.  As soon as Ruby tires of them I will toss them and maybe they will try again.

So there is handfeeding in the very near future!

The birds are keeping me busy, and that includes the chickens.  We put the three adult hens back in with the fourteen kids (now 9 weeks old) in the big coop, and have been very happy to see that they are getting along pretty well.  There is the occasional skirmish and chase, but nothing to get excited over.  Scott has heard one of the roosters trying to crow, but I’ve yet to have that experience.  I do, however, crow to them every day when I go out.  🙂   I figure that since Roo is gone I might as well give them something to emulate!   I’m still anxious to find out if the feather sexing I did when the chicks were one to two days old was accurate.

The garden has done pretty well this year, but I confess to letting the squash get away from me a few times, resulting in BIG summer squash that fortunately do not go to waste.  We cut them in half and put them in the chicken yard where they are eaten down to the shell usually by day’s end.  I had read that squash seeds are a natural wormer for chickens, so there may be a health benefit in addition to the nutrition they provide to their diets.

It looks like we are going to have four decent pumpkins this year, too.  One is the Caspar variety – all white.  Pretty neat.  I had planted seeds from a variety packet that had four different types.  In addition to the white one it looks like we have one very normal pumpkin which I think was called Jack O Lantern, and said to resemble Cinderella’s coach.  It does indeed.  I can’t recall the name of the other type that grew, but they are tall and fairly narrow.  Should make good Ernie-type heads, as in Bert and Ernie.  Any pumpkin is a good pumpkin in my book, much like any Christmas decoration is a good decoration.

I have several acorn squash in the garden, too, and I’m waiting for a sign that they are ready to pick.  Wouldn’t it be great if a sign would indeed pop up over them, with an arrow and maybe flashing lights, saying PICK ME NOW!

I also had cukes – a few only, so somewhat disappointing, spaghetti squash, and more tomatoes than we normally ever get.  The green beans were not what I’d call abundant this year, but we did get a few meals from them.  The only total bust was the eggplant.  They look great right now, but unless the frost waits for another month we will not see anything from them.  Not bloody likely.  LOL.

I see some trees beginning to turn color and, despite the unseasonably hot days, the drastic shortening of the daylight has been a constant reminder that fall and then winter are fast approaching.  The cooler days will be a wonderful thing.  I’m not a fan of the heat, and there is nothing as comfy as a pair of jeans topped with a soft sweatshirt.  That is what I call cozy!  It’s also great to have a fire in the pit outside, with the crisp air making you move your chair just a bit closer for the heat.  Cooking in the winter is another thing I look forward to.  Nothing like coming in on a cold day to the smell of homemade bread and a pot of soup simmering on the stove.  The other day I found myself really looking forward to Thanksgiving!

For now I’m looking forward to the cold, and even snow.  I know, I won’t be singing this tune come the end of January, but for now, bring it on!

Nita

http://www.nitasnest.com