Before the rat war, an interlude

A lone duck at Green Lake ponders the water.

We are all emotionally exhausted here from mortal Rat Combat so will be taking a brief interlude before getting into the Rat War Continues sort of posting. A break from chicken photos even! Above, see calm duck at Green Lake.

These are the neighborhood ducks. They are not ours but we watch them as we walk by, enviously. There is really no room for duck in our yard.

This is a heron with two Hench Ducks.
The Canadian Geese have staked out their turf along Green Lake.
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Pandemic still on, chicken office hours

Blue thinks she is striking a dramatic pose but the others are just photobombing….
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First Egg of 2022!

It is butt-cold out here and foggy but Jason managed to find Da Egg.

Eggs before washing, straight from yard/chicken butt
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Chillaxin Chickenry

Something about cool dirt and lazy summer days….
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Watermelon party

Three chickens and 8 pieces of watermelon
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The gang’s all… invading office space?

People have asked, what stage of the pandemic is it for you?

It’s chicken invasion phase!!!

Business is thirsty dammit
Then, it becomes an album cover!
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Chicken and Waffles

Well it was a strange year with much chicken and insularity (and occasional forays of The Rat War into our quiet existence). The babies have grown into their own sort of feathery boats, sitting and plumping in the dust for dirt baths, and laying … well, like spring chickens.

I shared my morning waffle with the chickens (except Business 2.0 who apparently was busy laying somewhere) and this is the result.

Pimento being closes to the waffle, with Buff to the left, Joan of Egg/Snowbutt further left and Blue almost out of the frame
Further waffle tossing meant a chase around the yard

Late addition: Jason, as usual has way better photos (better phone camera!) He captured the early moments when they were like “Is this food? What is this?!!”

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RIP Olive Oil aka Startup 2.0 chicken

Jason was worried about her because he feared a bad molt but she was found inside the coop. She had been sluggish due to losing feather so Jason tenderly put her in the coop. But the next morning she was dead. She was about three years old.

We will put her in the dog carrier and take her to the vet to be cremated this week.

😦

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Goodbye last of the backups; hello baby chickens

Well the best of chicken lives have to come to an end, and our dearly departed Backup Chicken had a great run at EIGHT WHOLE YEARS! She died in the carrier – we think of heart failure – on the way to our bird vet, and the staff kind as they are just sent us the condolence card.  The chickens who pass away from our flock are cremated and disposed of by the same vet.

Hot Spare, Parity Bit, and Backup – we salute you as the trio that came from Renton. You done good. Backup was the last survivor and now she goes to her final happy coop.

As the rest of our girls are over three years old (and they have tended to last only til four) we thought to introduce some young bird blood. Thanks to a kindly chicken breeder in Tacoma we now have THREE  NEW CHICKENS whom Jason affectionately calls “The Babies.”

Above left see older chicken inspecting new chickens in carrier; right see Blue, Buff and Joan of Egg (aka Snowbutt). The last one was named by my coworkers from Age of Empires, and who also call her Jeanne dOuef because they are fancier than I am.

She needed another name because Jason felt sure she would outgrow the feathers that make up her “snowbutt” – we’ll see. Meanwhile my team at work has their own chicken to root for, of the newbies.

As you can see in this closeup, they are still much smallers then the adult hens.

I admit personal fondness for Buff, the Buff Orpington. She definitely peeps a lot.  Blue is the most inquisitive and the friendliest to Jason.

Here’s hoping you are staying safe and sound. Summer is for peeping chickens !

 

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Rat War, part 4 (artistic interlude)

Hmmm we had not realized this before, with all the distractions of this spring but… it is in fact, according to Chinese tradition,  THE YEAR OF THE RAT.

I am fortunate that I receive annual postcards from Seattle’s amazing poet and painter Alan Lau. I would otherwise not realize these important cyclical matters, nor get to see how he applies his creativity so fluidly. Each one is hand-painted!

But, it being the rats’  year – well, it would definitely explain things.

Alan Lau’s work can be found/bought here.

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