Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30th… We have turkeys, black sex links & upset stomachs!!!

Well we went to Hilltown Agway and picked up the three turkeys, brought them home and segregated them into their own little area since their medicated starter mash is different than the chicken poults. They sure are cute.

We now have the three turkeys, the 10 Black Sex Links and the two remaining Bantams. Cindy called and talked to the hatchery and they are going to replace the 10 Bantams we lost, because another lady had trouble with hers also. Bantams are very fragile and must kept warm and fed from low feeders and low watering vessels for awhile until they are more hardy. We will spread some starter feed on newspaper and try to hand water them when we get them home and under heat.


We didn’t do anything with the barn today because Casey Mae had a big knot on the scruff of her neck where she received her shots about two weeks ago, so Sweet Vicki called the vet and he wanted to see her at 3:15 and I was sick in the stomach and didn’t feel like working on it. Vicki later started feeling ill also, so we went to the vet and he drained the bump of all the liquid and we rode to Woodstock where Vicki bought some pen tips for her special ink pens she uses in her watercolors with pen & ink. Upon returning, we canceled Danny for tomorrow, because we are behind on the barn and we are meeting the family later in the evening for Anita and Joe’s Anniversary. We need to get going on the barn rather than painting and doing artwork.

Esmarelda is now setting on a clutch of 9 eggs, but was off them this afternoon, so I would guess she is not satisfied with 9 eggs, but will add more. It’s her clutch, so it’s up to her how many she can handle. I’ll know when she stays on the nest (perking) that the number of eggs in there then will be the number of her chicks (we hope) Well See!!

The rat pack takes over the duck pen every afternoon. They intimidate the ducks and worry them to death until later in the evening when the chickens "chicken out" and head to their pen to go to roost, then the ducks take over again.

 The ducks wait until the chickens go home, then they go in for the night too.

We have several tree swallow families occupying the Martin House we put up last year. These little buggers eat their weight in mosquitos and bugs daily. My kind of birdie!!

 Sweet Vicki, a/k/a Old Vick Donald, the duck lady, refilling the bunnies watering bottle.

 All's well that end's well on the Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm..... Ga Night!

April 30th… Cold... but the suns up and the sky’s blue!

This is gonna be a nice day and we’re gonna make the best of it by jumping into the barn. We will start placing the 2x6’s at the 8’ mark and level the top square so we can get ready to set the 6x10’s and call the Jersey Boys.

We may get a call from Hilltown Agway or Altamont about chicks… and if we do, we’ll handle that too.

We were thinking last night of where we were last year this time and it was clear that we were bulldozing the pond area… taking all those years of silt that fed into the old pond, choking it out and removed it to breath new life into that section that was lost and only good for mosquito production. It now is a thriving section of the stream system, enjoyed by fish, frogs, snakes, crawfish, turtles, beaver, muskrats ducks and geese. It just might be the greatest thing we’ve accomplished for the property yet.

We keep seeing the counter numbers increase daily, but wonder if there are any new lookers on the blog site or our regular web site. Please leave us an email so we know who is looking and tell us what you think. Tell us if there is something you enjoy, like more pictures or more text, humor or just the information about what we are doing and enjoying here on the Cluckin’ “A”.

Woooooh.....just got a call from Agway...our three turkeys are now in and ready to be picked up. Gotta go!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29th… Picked up more chicklets and started a clutch..

We called Hilltown Agway this morning to find out if they still had our chicks that they called about last evening. They said we had 20 to be picked up, so I said we would be down as soon as possible. We went down to pick them up and stopped at GNH to get a sheet of plywood ripped to 24” x 96”, so we could insert each piece as a divider on the floor of the brooding house, since Gracie (the rabbit) continues to leap over the 12” divider which we extended to 17” and she still vaults over. We made several needed changes in the brooding house today by adding a new light and dividers to keep the chicks warmer and more cuddly. We decided that we would place screen from the ceiling to the top tier bird shelves so that they don’t fly over the top of them later when the little chicks start flying.

More closed in and comfy.. Less chance for breezes!

Dual lights offer a backup if one blips during the night!!

These guys now look healthy and happy.

We also made the duck's area a little more cozy and added another heat lamp there for back-up also. The ducks were appreciative and said so!

Dual lights as an insurance policy against bulb failure in the night!


Cuddling duckies saying thank you in quack-wa-neese!! They are appreciative of everything.... and miss nothing....nothing at all!!    EVER!!!!!!

We will be making rabbit pens for outside later so that we can keep the young one outside until they are big enough to turn loose on the grounds to ramble wherever they want to go. We are also going to build a pair of hutches for the pregnant females.

When we got to Hilltown Agway, they told us that there was only 10 there today. That means we will be getting chicks until June!!! This is a bad year for chicks…. They are all late and we don’t know if it is because of a backlog, lack of hatcheries or that the hatcheries are having bad luck with their clutches hatching…. who knows.

What we do know is that we have left 3 eggs in the nest today to start our own clutch under Esmarelda. We will see how big the clutch gets before she goes to perking them. This is the ideal way to raise a clutch of chicks….let the mother hen take care of them. If Esmarelda does go to perkin’ the clutch, we will remove her and the chicks to the brooding house where she can be alone in a cubicle with the chicks.

Sweet Vicki and I went to get our hair cut today…We both needed our hair cut. We go to Spring, the lady that owns and runs “Hairtique” in Greenville. She is a very nice lady and does a spectacular job. We enjoy going there and we have received some good tips from Spring on good places to eat in the surrounding area.

Tomorrow, we will be ready to drag out the tools and start making a visual difference in the looks of the barn. We will start placing the 2 x6” tie boards around the top square and install the gusset supports where needed. It will then start looking like a building. (I hope) For tonight, however, we are treated to the antics of Casey Mae the entertainer... lover... comedian and friend of all.

Enter the whole "Motley Crew". All are ready to play!! Princess and Dutchess look on.

Here's Casey Mae in rare form. Like I say..."Casey Mae leads the way!!"

Then everyone calms down and goes to sleep. All but you know who! Look how big Casey Mae has gotten. She is almost as big as Beary!

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28th… needed rain is a pain in the ass…says me, the grouch!!

We lost another chick this morning…. went to check them around 10:30 and found the breaker tripped on the heat lamps and the room was cold…. the duckie’s were cuddling and the two chicks that were still living were looking like they were in shock. We hustled and got the heat lamps going again and got the remaining chicks under them. The ducks went directly under their heat lamp by themselves. The last chick was slightly breathing, so I held him under the heat lamp and he started to respond. He was breathing better, he opened his eyes and tried to recover, then took a turn and started breathing extremely fast and panting then just as if he had a heart attack, just died. The other two are acting normal at this time. I changed the stupid breaker. It was a GFCI breaker and was prone to nuisance tripping, which may have come about with the rain. ANYWAY, We have GFCI receptacles everywhere out there, so I installed a standard breaker to eliminate the problem.

While we were out for a breaker, Hilltown Agway called to say our chicks were in, but someone checked our names off as getting them and Denny didn’t think we did. We didn’t get the message until 6:45 this evening when we got home. Hope we can get them tomorrow and they didn’t sell them.

We took a few pictures, but wasnt in the mood and the weather sucks as you can see, so we don’t have much and hope for a better tomorrow.

Usually a beautiful spot to pass. Not today!!

Pictures are cloudy and unclear in the rain..

I think we'll wait for the sun for pictures outside.

Casey Mae exhibiting her bad habits learned from WHOM???

AHHHH HAAAA....Now we know!

Another incriminating picture tells the tale!!


Lousy, rainy morning...should have stayed in bed!!


I know we need the rain badly, but I hate the gloomy sky, the chill in the air and the stoppage of outside work because of it. I am ripping to get at the barn so we can start seeing some changes there. All we have now are sticks in the ground. I need to see some form ....... something that resembles a building. I want to finish the flower bed and get the plants put away..... I believe Vicki said the chicks are to come in today.... maybe..... at least we have another section closed off and toasty warm for them. In fact, if we need more, we have a third section fixed up too. We should actually get a call from Hilltown Agway and Altamont Agway too. We ordered some exotic chickens up in Altamont (near Albany....kinda) because the guys at Hilltown didn't seem to want to order them for us. ANYWAY, they should call soon.

Looks like today will be a running day or a "just sit around and read, paint or write day".

We'll try to get some pictures of today's happenings or something for ya.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday evening, April 27th… Lost all the Bantams but three!

We don’t understand what happened, but we lost 9 of 12 chickens in this last batch to something. We talked today to the Hilltown Agway crew and they weren’t sure what might have happened either. Maybe they got cold. If they did, I don’t know how. We had the heating lamp on them and the dead ones were under the lamp, just like the live ones. We took a stab in the dark today after returning from Agway. We sectioned off the long area and cut it down to 2’ x2’ square and lowered the heat lamp down to about 16” from the bottom. The remaining three have been active and running around from the beginning…. no difference….. yet 9 died and these three are still active and healthy. Agway said no one else has complained about sick chicks, so we have to think it is something we did wrong. Who knows. This is the first time we have lost chicks…….and we have raised our share.

The deck is completely done now and we are working on the flower beds and shrubbery and we will be completely done then. Have one more flower bed to finish and then it’s on to the barn. We Shot the reference point dimension today and marked every post. The next thing is to measure up the 52” from each 44” mark we shot with the transit level and mark that spot (which is our definite 8’ mark), then run a ring all the way around each post with the square and start installing the 2x6’s and steel plates for the 6x10’s. As soon as we can get this done, we can call Matt and Mark and tell them we are ready. Stay tuned!! (I promise to start taking pictures as we do this stuff.)

Bad day of perplexed frustration...Losing Chicks!!

We are losing chicks! Two yesterday morning, 4 last night, two again this morning and one more looking poorly that won't make it too much longer. We are going to Agway to see what we are doing wrong. Watch for the answer later. 

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday, April 26th, 7:21 AM.. Art class is done.

We returned from the last evening of the art class given by Stanley Maltzman last night, put the animals away for the night and I attempted to write the blog entry, just like Vicki said. After entering all the text (like this) and entering all the pictures, this stupid program of a.o.l.’s crashed and I lost it all on the final picture download. It does this to me several times a week.

We did a watercolor picture of flowers and one of a barn… neither of which I like, but it was an exercise and fun.

The barn I did yesterday I really liked and thought it came out looking like an old barn… this one does not.

Anyway, here is a picture of the puddin’ head mutt, a strange egg we gathered and the finished deck, which we are very proud of. Next is a day off for rain and a trip to Kingston with Vicki’s parents today and then on to the barn! (weather permitting!) 

Oh yeah, after we do the shrubbery and flower beds next to the deck. (I almost forgot)

Casey Mae seems to like the new deck!!

This egg is a little different! ALL OVER!!!!!

This is the end of the deck where you seat company and entertain.

This is where you sit daily to eat breakfast and lunch and watch the animals of the Pupskill Bay Lake area!!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Skip is pissed.

Finally finished the deck.  Skip will tell you all about it tomorrow.  He typed in todays blog and put in pictures and as soon as he was ready to click save, aol terminated.  Skip lost it all.  He was mad and still is mumbling under his breath in the kitchen.  He's tired from all the work we were doing on the deck and in no mood to retype so stay tuned in the AM   for the blog for today.  Good night to all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Man it sucks to get old!! Time goes fast.. you go slow!!

Today was a banner day in our lives! Why? Hell I have no idea, but we need a banner day every now and then even if we don’t know why. We started out on the deck… left to go to GNH for deck boards and step risers… That Took forever!!! Went to bank, then Greenhill CafĂ© for a pizza pie. Home to entertain Danny, but he wasn’t here. Instead, Mid-Hudson was here to work on our phone lines (which are as good as a two tin cans with a string between them. if it isn’t a long string.)(almost as good as the cans W/ string, but not as good!!) In fact it’s their digital system and they have no idea why it doesn’t work for shit.

Made some head way before having to leave.

Finished floor and was working on gate and railing.

ANYWAY….. Ate the pizza, went back to work on the deck and Danny showed up….We just kept working on the deck. While Danny and I worked on deck brackets and spindles, Sweet Vicki went to GNH again to get another deck board and replaced three spindles that were warped worse than Charles Manson… when she returned, we installed the last step treads and more spindles… About ½ hour more and we got a call from Hilltown Agway… Our Bantam chickens were in and ready to be picked up. Went and got the 12 of them and put them in the brooding house under the heat lamp.

Under the heat lamp to keep the Bamtams warm and happy.


They're so cute and tiny. Don't know how they can be so loud!!


Our Duckie's are doing well.. Look how big they've gotten.


Here's an update on the bunnies too. And look...the duckies have a new friend... Mr. Canadian Goose... and the mallard was there earlier.

Went back to the deck. If not for the lack of 48 deck screws and 44 extra hands to claw and scratch the 978 mosquito bites Sweet Vicki and I incurred in 20 minutes after the sun dropped out of sight, we would have finished. (even if our eyes swelled shut and our fingers quit bending from mosquito venom) In lieu of all this… we said “to hell with banner days…Let’s quit and hope tomorrow is a normal day.

Looking pretty good I think!! A little slow, but good!

This is Sweet Vicki the "spindler". We got to here before quitting!!

Like Tony the Tiger used to say..."It's grrrrreaaaaaat!!

These are the visions you'll see here on the Cluckin' "A". As you drive by, you'll see a red glow emmitting from the brooding house... and if you enter the house... you'll see what your kitchen and dinning room table looks like during construction and tool collection every evening. I'm ready for bed!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23rd.. Stopped building to get duckie’s and other stuff.

We thought we would definitely finish the deck today, but due to other calls and deliveries…… we did not.

We were called by Hilltown Agway and informed that our six Indian Runner ducklings were in and could be picked up, so we knocked off around noon and went to pick them up.

Six little fur balls peeping, eating and drinking.

Aren't they cuties?

Constant chirping... not as bad as it will be next week with 60 new chirping chicks in the same room.

While out at Agway, we went to P&L and Vicki grabbed a couple of sandwiches for our lunch. When we got home, we put the duckie’s in the brooding house and went in to eat our sandwiches.

When we completed, we went back to work on the deck until Middlefield Lumber called and said he was on his way with the rest of our barn beams.


The old deck and new deck where we left off tonight to go to art class.

From the yard looking back. IT'S gonna be big!

Middlefield Lumber brought the rest of the beams!

Wow!! What a pile of beams!!!

With all the other interruptions….we figure to finish up tomorrow if it doesn’t rain all day. (they are only calling for a little drizzle, but you know how that works)

Back from Art class…. Had a good night of painting barns. We saw a bunch of nice paintings tonight. Vick is still working on hers so we won’t show it until she is done with it tonight. Here’s mine.

Here's my effort to create a barn watercolor. It's fun..