Thursday, October 2, 2008

Keeping up with the Kritters

It's been a fun week for new additions to our sort-of-farm. I thought I'd show everyone some of the excitement! First, two serama chicks hatched this week. Seramas are the world's smallest chicken. Many of them are, at full size, smaller than pigeons. They have very upright tails as adults and a strut to their walk. I have 3 serama hens that I acquired in a trade, and they laid eggs when I first got them that were fertile, since they had previously been housed with 2 roosters (a buff and black rooster, and a buff and red rooster). I had no idea how the chicks would look, but now 2 have hatched (and 2 to go if they all hatch OK).

Here are the 2 that hatched - one looks like it will be entirely white, and the other one will likely be black and white mixed feathers. As you can see, they are incredibly small, even for chicks. I could fit about 5 of them in my hand. I haven't named them yet. There is this semi-accurate test for sexing baby chicks. You gently turn them on their back in your hand and wait for them to relax. If they stick one leg out, they are likely female, and if they stick both legs out, they are likely male. They invariably do stick either 1 or both legs out, but sometimes they vary. Seems that the most frequent reaction is the key. These appear to be female so far.

Besides these chicks, we acquired 4 new goats. My parents will flip out when they see this post and my dear mother will worry that we have taken on too much. So Mummy, this is a special message to you: Do not worry!!! All is well!!! Remember, I am eccentric, but not completely certifiable.

Our new goats are named Pebbles (she already had that name), Greta (the mom), Buford (the 2-year old son of Greta) and Ptera (the 1-year old daughter of Greta). Kelly named them. He is very fond of pterodactyls. He thinks that Ptera sounds like one when she bleats, which she does do quite often, with much gusto. I'm not sure how he knows what a pterodactyl actually sounded like, but let's just leave him to his imagination.

Anyway, here is Greta. She is a dwarf/toggenburg cross. Toggenburg goats are Swiss goats originating in the valley of the same name. They are known for good milk production and have funny little wattles under their chin. She also has a beard. She is quite gentle but very difficult to catch because she isn't used to human contact. She is presently housed with our Nigerian dwarf goat, Opal.

Greta's son is Buford, and he is a handful! He also is very skittish and doesn't like to be handled. He bleats quite a bit at the moment, but he's been separated from mom, but it's high time because he's 2 years old. He likes to challenge the nubians but they are much bigger than he is. We have a blue dog collar on him to help us catch him if and when necessary. He also has the wattles on his chin, but no beard.

This is Ptera. She has much longer fur than her mother or brother. She has no wattles but she does have a beard. She is very skittish, but quite cute. She bleats even more loudly than Buford. We hope that now they are separated from their mother that they will mellow out a little bit.

Last, but not least, is Pebbles. She is adorably sweet. She gives soft little goat kisses and likes to sniff your ears if you let her. She is extremely overweight and we are putting her on a bit of a diet. She has coarse fur and is some sort of dwarf goat type, but we don't know what type exactly. She is very docile and enjoys head rubs and shoulder rubs and back rubs and any other affection you want to shower upon her. She also comes when called, which is quite endearing.

Opal is continuing to do well, and we believe she has found new love with our frizzled red cochin rooster, Flame. Here they are this evening, all snuggled in for the night. G'night all!


Metrix said...

nice..I love animals..

Sarah Elaine said...

Wow... You now have more animals than I have running shoes.