Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween Decorations

    We got excited and put up the Halloween decorations early this year. September 8, so just a little early. I put up the spider webs and Mom put up the lights. There are three webs in all. We were going to hang the yard decorations together, but I took too long with the Spider webs. (Which I consider works of art.)

Two pictures of the Haunted Hallway. One in the day light and the other at night. The eyes blink on and off. It took a couple of tries to get one with them all showing.

Here is the living room: 

Finally Outside. There are a few more ghosts, but I couldn't get a really good photo of them all together and I didn't want a photo overload.

Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The purple egg

   There was a surprise waiting for us this morning when we went to give the youngsters some kale. An egg was sitting in the back of Handful's cage. (still haven't put up the new chicken house. Sorry girls!)
   Handful has at the tender age of four months and eleven days old, laid her first egg. And it's purple! Very pale, but still purple! I guess we should have seen it coming, her mother is an Australorp (Ally or Lea I'm not sure which), both lay rose colored eggs and her father is Abe an Ameraucana, they lay blue eggs. But it's still cool!

Here it is in a carton with several others including an Ameraucana. 

There won't be a blog post on Thrusday. I'm having a VERY busy week. I'm sorry if this inconveniences anyone. I'll try to write one on Friday. But it might be Saturday.

Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The trouble with Roosters (Warning: it's awful)

    If you hatch your own birds or buy a straight run from a hatchery (a mix of males and females.) (Anyone else think it should mean a 'straight run' of either males or females? Anyway.) if you do either each chick has a 50-50 shot of  being a boy. If your luck is like mine it'll seems more like 70% when you buy a straight run, my theory being that more people buy all girls than all boys and the hatchery ends up with the exes of boys for the straight one shipments. Which is why I try to buy pullets (girls) when I buy chicks. There is still a chance of getting a boy when you buy all pullets, but I'd like to think it's lower than 50%.

     Unfortunately, we've been having a better than 50-50 shot at getting roosters when we hatch.  Three of Amy's chicks are most likely roosters, including that tricky Bared Rock. I won't stop hoping for hens until the caged birds crow, but I fear it's only a matter of time.

   The trouble with roosters is manifold. They don't lay eggs, they get into fights, bad tempered ones will attack you, and the worst one of all: they may kill your hens.
      We had a horrible time with Rhode Island Red roosters. When I was younger (9 or11) We put some young chickens in with the flock. Two were half Rhode Island Red roosters They "jumped" the hens, fond the weakest one and took turns jumping her until Mom grab one by the neck. The hen later died from her injuries. The rooster died immediately from his.
  Last year, we had two roosters that couldn't have been more than a quarter Rhode Island Red. We didn't know they had any Red in them until they got older and started looking exactly like one. When they were about two months old Mom and I went to feed the chickens and saw one of them on top of a buff hen. We put him in a separate cage and mistakenly thought the second one was a hen because it looked like the offending rooster had been jumping him as well. (his tail feathers had been ripped off.) While we were setting up separate cages I heard a commotion and saw that the second rooster was jumping the injured hen. The hen didn't survive. We later ate the roosters.

  So watch suspected roosters carefully. Rooster's often grow combs faster than the others and get taller faster. If you hear crowing remove them from your flock  immediately unless it's only one, its the one you plan on having as your rooster, and you have the hens in a large enough pen.  It seems worst with ones that mature early. (two month is early.) I've had roosters that were of different breeds and matured later and they were fine. But that might have been their temperament.

           Thank you for reading Bat's Bizarre's blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Horace Horse

   I've added a new stuffed animal to my listings. Horace the horse, named for one of the lead characters in 'The Ranger's Apprentice' series. (a great series of books by the way.) I decided to work on a pattern for a knitted horse because 2014 is the year of the horse, I couldn't find a pendent I liked, and I cannot make a horse out of polymer clay.

   It took me about fourteen hours to make Horace, most of that time was either spent holding up one of his body parts and asking my mother 'This looks like something, right?' or going back and fixing something I didn't like. I'm hoping the second one won't take as long. I'm shooting for nine hours, that's an hour more than Roxi Rabbit, but there is a lot more involved in making Horace so nine might be doable.

   I learned to make a loop stich for his mane, but I'm not very good at it, yet, that's one of the reasons Horace has the longest processing time of all my items. Hopefully I can lower that as I get better at making him. For some reason tassels, like pompoms, are hard for me to make. I don't know if there is some trick to it or if I just naturally bad at it. Not that that stops me. I sew the base of the tail to secure all the threads. Otherwise it falls a part if you pull on one of the threads.

  This horse doll is about 10 1/2" (26.67cm) when sitting up, not counting his ears, and is 8" (20.32cm) at the shoulder when on all fours. (It takes a bit of work to make him stand like that.) He is one and a half feet (31.75cm) tall if you count the ears. Horace's body is 4" (10.16cm) wide. His legs are 4 1/2" (11.43cm) long and 1 1/2" (3.81cm) wide. His luxurious, black tail is about 8" (20.32cm) long at longest point.
   Here is a link to the listing:
He ships everywhere. 
   Every horse is unique; yours may not look exactly as pictured. Each is signed with a brown J on the seat.
   Horace is latte brown with a black mane and tail, but custom colors are available.

  Mom thinks he looks like a buffalo on all fours, so I guess I'm half way to a buffalo toy. And 90% of the way to a unicorn or a Pegasus.  It took a bit of work to make him able to stand on all fours while still being able to move his legs, but I really wanted him to be able to. Some of my favorite stuffed animals growing up were ones that were like that.

                             Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Pasture

   We finally got the pasture shredded. Now we can put up the new chicken house. (Possum and  Hand-full can't wait.)
    I didn't think to take a picture of it before but here's one of it after.
   The day before the guy with the shredder was supposed to be here we went to get a piece of the chicken house roof that a twister had ripped up and dropped on the other end of the pasture from the gate, but when we started to pick it up we saw there was a skunk under it and beat a hasty retreat. At first we were going to leave it and tell the guy to mow around it. But the next day Mom decided she was going to put on old clothes and try and use the piece of roof as a shield as she ran away with it. Sort of like when we accidently caught a skunk in the cat trap and put a big box on it to protect us while one of us -in this case me- set the door up so the skunk could leave. Fortunately, the skunk had gone when Mom went to move the tin.  
   Mom and I were kind of nervous about one of the cats getting run over during the shredding. Especially when we saw Persephone going into the pasture just as the guy was driving his tractor to it. We rushed into the grass to drag her out. I ended up catching her and throwing her into the barn. But as the tractor got closer and closer Sephy got more and more terrified. And I ended up getting scratched pretty bad as a thank you for saving her. Thankfully no one (other than me) was hurt.
         The animal's reactions to the freshly shredded pasture was rather funny, though. Lobo can't wait to run in it, the cats seem angry about it. Not surprisingly, since every morning there would be at least two cats sitting outside the pasture waiting to run in when they saw movement. They must have been doing a good job of it too, because I only saw one rat run out during the shredding. Back when we used to have it shredded regularly, and had fewer cats, we'd see five or six run out. The chickens were suspicious of the pasture, Abe even sidled up to it, like he does us before he attacks us. Apparently he was going to fight a pasture. I don't even want to know how he planed on doing that.

                  Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Seedlings

  None of the seeds I planted earlier this Summer came up.

   It's about time to sow seed for Fall gardens and Mom's already planted some broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower seeds. We're waiting for the 19's full moon to plant the snow peas (It's a two man operation). All of her gardening has put me in the mood to try again.
  I read that one of the reasons seedlings grow for a while then die suddenly is a fungus in the soil. Supposedly sprinkling cinnamon in the soil will kill the fungus responsible for this dampening off.
 Hoping this was my problem, I planted Feverfew, Pennyroyal, and Lavender seeds with a healthy helping of cinnamon for each pot. Here's hoping it works. And that the seeds come up at all. I'll keep you posted.

  Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Happy gardening. Have a bat-tastic day! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Run Away Chicken

  Yesterday, when I opened the cage to feed Amy's chicks the little Barred Plymouth Rock fell out of the cage and immediately half ran- half flew away. She's not very tame and would not let us get near her, but for some reason she ran right up to any cat she saw and just hung around them. The dog was out at the time and tried to help us catch her, but we were afraid he would step on her or trip and accidently crush her, so we put him up.
   Mom tried shaking a cup of scratch grain to attract her, and she started to follow one of the cats but she ran off before one of us could get to close. 
   It took us about twenty minutes to catch her. And Mom (who finally managed to grab her) says the little girl pretty much gave up and threw herself at her.

  Up until this escape attempt we had been afraid the Barred Plymouth Rock was a rooster. But her tail looks like a hen and when she was running around the yard she looked like a hen. I hope she is indeed a hen because she is soo cute; with those cheek tufts and those pretty green eyes and her self assuredness...

                      Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Suprise Chicks

      Three weeks ago we gathered eighteen of the best looking eggs and put them in the incubator thinking that if we were lucky we might get nine to hatch and probably half of them would be roosters, so we might get about five hens.

  Five days in the power went out for four hours and the temperature in the incubator dropped to 82 F. A few days after that the power went out for a couple of hours. And the Monday before last the power went out again, this time for two hours. I was sure the eggs wouldn't hatch, but I kept turning the eggs every day just in case.

   Last Thursday I started hearing chipping from the eggs. And thought, 'Wow, we might get a couple of chicks out of this after all.' 
   The first chick hatched on Saturday, two more hatched a little before midnight that night, and by midnight Sunday fourteen chicks had hatched. Seven black with cream markings (including two with Barred Plymouth Rock white head spots), two yellowish red, two yellow with brown and black racing stripes and leopard print heads, and three pure blooded Ameraucana mahogany chicks.  Most of the chicks have those cute little Ameraucana cheek tufts. Neither one of us can really believe so many hatched.

   For some reason after most of the eggs hatched the incubator got too humid for the chicks to dry in the incubator. The first three chicks to hatch who had started to dry ended up getting wet all over again. Not really knowing what to do after the 24 hour mark for the oldest chick we started taking the chicks out of the incubator and putting them in this dish in the cage right under the heat lamp. Our thinking being that the dish would be extra protection from drafts and that the chicks could eat the food in the dish while they dried. Apparently we should have taken the dish out sooner or not put it in at all, because last night we found one of the little black and cream chicks died in it. Mom and I think it got squished by the other chicks jumping in to 'dog pile'. We had a funeral for it this afternoon.

   Now we're probably going to line the bathtub with newspaper and let them run around in that because that cage is so not big enough.

      Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's offical blog. Have a bat-tastic day!