Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our newest addition

I may have mentioned in a previous post that I have a pet cockatiel, well now I have two. I had been thinking for a while about getting another as a companion for our little "Chicken" as both DP and I work full time but I wanted to get a young one so that it could be easily tamed. We got Chicken when "she" was just out of the nest so maybe 6 weeks old, old enough to eat for herself but still young enough to be hand tamed. 4 years on we have a bird that thinks it is a human (with wings), favourite past times include watching tv (perched on the highest knee available), having "my humans" scratch my head and whistling to the very sexy bird that always seems to appear in the mirror (or the stainless steel sink, or the saucepan lids). It is rather amusing to have her on your shoulder and try to make some cheese on crackers as a snack (for the real humans), she will stretch to try to intercept favourite foods like wheatworths, or cheese, or lettuce before they get to your mouth accompanied by a begging squeak.

After the first moult we discovered "she" was actually a "he" but the "she" has just sort of stuck especially seeing that "she" has such a little princess attitude. And she gets very possessive of the "boy Chicken" in the mirrors.

This is "Chicken" after a fly around and waiting for someone to come and "collect me"

And playing on the cage

The new one I got I have been told that she definitely is a girl so we will see, but at the moment it seems like she has a different call to the Chicken's and doesnt seen to be interested in whistling so I would say that she will remain to be a she. She doesnt have a name yet but gets reffered to as the little one, which is strange because she is actually bigger than Chicken (we think may have been a runt type thing)

This is the new little girl, she already has some strange traits (like all my animals seem to) she likes to sit in the corner of her cage with her legs out to the side, like in the picture below, I always think it looks so uncomfortable. She will sleep in one corner and get as high as she can so that she looks like she is jammed up in the corner, I tried putting sticks in the corners so that she can still perch there but be comfortable but she just climbs over them and perches on the side of the cage. Oh well, we are all individuals I guess.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rain Glorious Rain

Yesterday we had showers for most of the day. It was wonderful but everyone around here was hoping it was going to be a bit more than just showers, we really need some decent rain.

I woke up at 6:30am to the sound of rain on the roof, just wonderful, then during the day there were a series of light showers. On the way home from work I managed to catch another shower (there goes the wash the car had last weekend) and had it suggested that I brought the rain home with me. Now if only I could master that skill!!

Heres some of the Toppies having a bath in the rain on top of the chooks cage

Back to the veggie patch

Ok well the cooler weather seems to have set in so its "into the garden and lets try to make things grow"

It will be interesting to see how things go because I have not really ever grown winter veggies, last year I kept waiting for rain before I put anything in, and as such waited....and waited...and waited. This year I think I will ignore the rain, and go by weather, and water buy hand.

Last weekend I got out and cleared last years efforts and spread a bag of sheep poo and a bag of pig poo that I had bought at the local markets a few months beforehand and have been sitting on the back veranda waiting for me to get my butt into gear and use them. Then watered it in and hopefully this weekend I will get around to planting something in there. The soil looks and smells lovely now, it was very aged manure.

I am in two minds as to whether I should go out and buy some seedlings or if I should just plant seeds straight into the ground or if I should try to raise them as seedlings myself. I have heaps of seeds around the place, and planting them straight into the ground is definitely the easiest but then I have to work out some way of keeping the Toppies (crested pigions) from picking all my seeds out and eating them.



Chooks and Worms

A couple of months ago I discovered that my "bossy chook" has been loosing a lot of weight, so much so that her breast bone is able to be felt much more than the other two. After reading and asking questions on a couple of forums it is likely to be worms so I started to examine fresh poops (I know ew, but a birds poop can tell you a lot about what is wrong with them) and sure enough there were little white things that were moving in them - Worms. So they have now been treated with Piparazine from the produce store and finally their poops seem to be worm free. But the bossy one I still dont know about, a lot of the time she is her normal self, scratching and eating everything in sight, then occasionally I will see her with her head sort of drawn in and looking a bit dopey, then she will hear something and be back to normal. Her comb has always flopped to one side but I think lately it has been flopping a bit more and her feathers dont look as nice as the others.

It is funny that I hadnt noticed anything being wrong with her until we were feeding them some gents left over from a fishing trip and the Bossy one was hogging them not letting the other two have any so I grabbed her around the chest to try to hold her back, and that was when I noticed I could feel her breast bone.

From what I have read these are all symptoms of internal parasites, so I am hoping that with time and a bit of TLC she will put on weight and be better. I dont think she has been laying for a while but I have been expecting that with it being the time for moulting, or she might just be getting old in which case she is welcome to live out the rest of her life just being a chook and doing chooky things.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Finally it has cooled down

Ok it looks like the summer is now behind us, the track pants and ugg boots have started to become the normal dress code around the house now, and the air-conditioner hasn't been on since before Easter.

I am determined to get something productive growing in the veggie patch this year, so this weekend I plan to get out into the "small patch" and remove the dead stuff from last years efforts, rake back the pea-straw and pull out the weeds then sprinkle some sheep and pig and horse poo around dig and water it in and let it settle for a week or two before starting to plant.

Now I'm off to clean out the chook pen and get started on the veggie patch.

A weekend away camping

Well it has been a while since I have posted here. In that time I've gone away camping for Easter, that was a spur of the moment decisions. We weren't going to go away because everywhere seems to be so busy at Easter, but then on Friday morning while sitting on the back veranda enjoying the unusual cool crispness in the air (we had just had a major heat wave) we decided to pack the swags in the car and a bit of food and go down the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula to spend a night or two away and catch up with some friends. It was just wonderful, walking distance to the beach, loads of room for kids and dogs to run around and wear themselves out. The friend we went to meet up with had 4 kids and a keplie cross with them, would you believe that at the end of each day the kelpie was absolutely stuffed. For those who dont know kelpies are renowned for their energy and intelligence making them perfect for working/farm dogs but endless trouble if they are kept in a suburban backyard without adequate entertainment and excercise.

Each night we had a BBQ tea and a few bottles of red wine before heading off to bed for the night. It was just wonderful to lie in my swag and listen to the waves crashing into the beach, then in the morning be woken up by the chirping of the birds and the warmth of the sun hitting my swag.

It was so good to go away camping again, a few years ago we would be away somewhere with the tents and eskis, and gas bottles setting up home in the middle of nowhere for a few days, every long weekend we could, but the last couple of years there has always been something come up that has meant that we haven't done it.