Monday, April 3, 2017

Around The Farm

I was working in the main part of the barn one day when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I wheeled around and saw a Least Weasel in the southeast corner, scrambling to hide itself. To my surprise, it was pure white. I knew that some weasels turned white in the winter, but was surprised that this tiny critter did. Least Weasels are perhaps only 6" long, excluding tail, and not much bigger than the mice they like to eat. I wasn't fast enough to get a photo, though, so this picture came from the internet:

 The herd continues eating about one four foot diameter hay bale every two days. When it was below freezing outdoors, the bales would be difficult to unwrap so I began dropping them onto one end from as high as the tractor could lift them. This knocked off most of the snow and enabled me to walk in circles around the bale as I unwrapped it. I hope those days are all behind me now for this year, though I am still feeding hay:

 Life is good for the cows and horses. Notice little Blue between two lounging cows. He's not much taller standing up than they are lying down:

 The white fantail pigeons and bantam chickens have been sharing their rooms for most of the winter, at least during the day. At night, I separate them back into their own rooms:

 The older hens, the Barred Rock Bantams, were hesitant to come out with the pigeons at first, but they overcame their resistance:

 I will be hesitant to let them all outdoors again, but the one day they were outside this winter went well, with no fox attacks:

 Life is good if you are a well fed chicken with heated water, safe and secure from marauding foxes:

 The new Easter Egger Bantams began laying green eggs in January, with a few pink eggs mixed in. I began noticing, though, that the number of pink eggs kept increasing:

 Eventually it became obvious that the Barred Rock Bantams were laying many/most/all(?) of the pink eggs. The odd thing is that they never looked pink before they were mixed in with green eggs:

 Our usual visitation of Snow Buntings, down from the arctic breeding grounds each winter, never seemed to happen this winter. But in mid-March, I began seeing small flocks of them up the road. They look all white as they flash past the car window:

 Snow Buntings are shy and don't hold still for observation. They fly away at the slightest movement, including stopping the car within about a hundred feet. I have to use the zoom lens to get a photo:

 And the Snow Geese began traveling back north during our big blizzard in mid-March. Once again, I didn't get a photo, so took this one off the internet. I'll keep watching for a chance for a good photo, though:

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