Another Day, Another Bear

I was working in the yard today and looked up just in time to see a large male bear wandering past the vegetable garden. I’m not sure where he came from but it looks like he had been rolling around a bit – perhaps just got up from a nap. I hadn’t seen the male around since the Spring but he is looking fit and healthy albeit a little muddy.

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Hope you don’t mind all the pictures of bears. That’s the problem with photographers, we tend to obsess. Go to the ocean and take 300 pictures of waves, go to the Rockies and it is a hundred mountain peaks. Go to the forest and it’s the bears.

Fart Eggs and Other Chicken News

The new chickens, Kate and Anna, are settling in well although there have been a couple of surprises. The other day I went out because Kate was doing a lot of squawking and complaining.

Kate the Rhode Island Red/Sumatran Blue Chicken

Kate the Rhode Island Red/Blue Sumatra Chicken

Kate is a much different chicken than our old Beulah. Beulah was a talker and I had many back and forth conversations with her. Kate is an orator. Loves to hear her own voice and it is pretty much a one sided conversation with her. She reminds me of the American election campaign where there is a lot of noise but not much substance.

Anyway, I went out to see what her problem was – apparently nothing – and reminded her that she hadn’t laid her egg yet. A couple hours later I checked the nest and found a very small egg in it.

Kate's regular egg and the small egg

Kate’s regular egg and the small egg

I thought that was pretty weird and headed straight for Google. I found out that it isn’t too unusual for young chickens to produce these eggs although it was the first that I have seen. These small eggs have several names – wind eggs, fairy eggs, witch eggs and fart eggs. They are all part of a young chicken adjusting to her new egg laying routine. After playing her little joke Kate is back to producing her large brown eggs.

In the meantime Anna has turned broody and spends most of her time on the nest trying to hatch her eggs even though I remove them each day and, because we don’t have a rooster, they are infertile.

Anna the Sumatra Blue/Rhode Island Red Chicken

Anna the Blue Sumatra/Rhode Island Red Chicken

Hopefully she will give up soon and enjoy the last of the Summer days. ¬†Anna reminds me of the days when we had Banties running free in the yard. Every so often one would disappear and 21 days later come out of the bush with a clutch of chicks. They were always wonderful, protective mothers and fun to have around. Now that we are seeing so many more predatory animals around a chicken wouldn’t last long running free.

To give the girls a bit of variation I have created a Chicken Chariot. This wheeled cage rolls up to their coop,

The Chicken Chariot

The Chicken Chariot

I open the sliding doors and they hop in and I close the door. I can then roll it around the yard so they can dig in fresh grass or soil for the day. I still need to paint the racing stripes on it.