Sunday, July 16, 2017

And...We're Off!

Those darn kittens!

Four days ago, the raccoons came in the night, and tore the hasp and hook holding the 
door to the little coop out, went in, rousted out the four kittens, and ate everything in sight, fouling the water like they usually do.  

There were the first three in the coop after they took up residence. 

Kitten Four was a curtain climber from the get-go. 

Lucky, because two nights later, the raccoons burst in. 

I got out there to find the door open, the rocks moved, and the hasp torn from the door.  I looked around... there were no kitten bodies or blood spots... so.... I crossed my fingers. 

I took the big feeder out of the coop, and cleaned the porch up a little and put it on the porch. 
I cleaned the fouled water out, and put the water on the porch, too, and propped the door open with the stones.  I left the litter box in the coop. 

I put the camera on the little free standing coop next to the red coop. 
It was a grow-out coop I used for babies. 

And... BOO... we see you!

I am happy to report that the kittens are coming in and out of the coop all day and evening. They are using their new, much larger litter box. 

Here is the new scheme: 
I leave the large water fountain and the large feeder on the porch of the coop 
during the day.  At night, when I go to lock the birds up, I remove it and actually take the food into the house.  I do leave the water fountain. 

I put a new bag of food into the fountain this morning.  As you can see, the water is befouled by the raccoons, but they only dropped by twice last night.  The kittens met them coming and going. 
That whole feeder goes to the kitchen at night. 

I cleaned the fountain out. 

So far, the raccoons have not come during the day. 

So, kittens are not the only thing that has been going on this last week. 

That's my right hand this morning. 

Last week was Wyandotte County Fair week, and I have battle scars from feeding birds. 

Such as these.  You see, the poultry superintendent does not provide cups for every cage, (and yes, the kids are supposed to bring them)  and some birds have to eat on their nasty bedding.  Yes, I'm pointing fingers.  In four days, I fed all cages and watered them, at 8:30 in the morning.  I saw only two sets of 4H kids.... they are not made to take care of their own birds.  I donated feed.  I physically fed and watered 8 times.  I am  not complaining, I am BLAMING.  I went back at 3 or 4 and fed and watered again.  I grew up in Wyandotte County, and loved this fair, but it has changed, and not for the better.  

At the Leavenworth County fair, (week after next) the poultry super requires the kids to come daily, feed and water their own birds, check cages frequently, and clean their cages.  They are not allowed to collect premiums or trophies until the cages are cleaned at the end of the show.  It is done strictly, and there are ALWAYS kids in the barn, going around checking.  

But what about the parents who work?  

The parents and kids are told "You will find a way to the fair".  

It is enforced.  It teaches responsibility. 

I got several excuses: 

They are showing horses too, they are at the horse barn. 

That does not mean you leave your chickens to starve and suffer in 100 degree heat. 

The parents work 


I talked to several rabbit mothers (the poultry shares with the rabbits) and saw them every single morning, bringing their kids to take care of their rabbits.  I only saw a few groups of kids come in to check their birds.  When I know a water cup was full at 9, and come back at three and it is completely dry, I know no one has checked.  

However, there was a bright ray: 

The three birds entered by the kids from Camp Grow at the Ag Hall
won Grand Champion Open Hen, and two blues.  

I could not get a good picture of Princess, Speckles, and Brownie. 

At the end of fair, they came home with me, and now the coop at the Ag Hall is home to 24 new beauties: 

They are gorgeous Cochin babies from Stromberg's Hatchery, in buff, splash, partridge, black and blue. 

They now have the run of the coop at the Ag. 

While the big girls are living with me. 

Last Sunday night. 

Worth every penny I spent on the tickets.  If they have not come to your town yet, 
get tickets!

If I could convey my happiness at this point, I would. 

I was this happy. 

Lilly turns 12 this month.  We know she was about six to eight weeks old 
when we adopted her in September.  She is hurting more now, limps sometimes, and is having trouble getting in and out of the car, even using the steps.  I am praying she hangs on for the move, she loves her home in the country. 

I can't say enough good about this little guy, who loves his little bear. 

I am watching him, our dreadful hot weather is so very hard on him. 

My new kitchen counters will be this. 

I am looking at lighting now. 

I am going a little more sophisticated in my old age. 

Have a good week, everyone!

( I have hardly had the big cameras out lately.  I'll be more 
assiduous when I get closer to the move!)
(late August)