Before I forget again...I wanted to tell you about my follow up on the mosaic house! I called the real estate agent that was listing the house for sale about three doors down on the opposite side of the street where the strange house is. I have posted pictures of the house before...if anyone can still get to the original Chicken Chronicles and hasnt seen them, they are something else to see.
I pretended I was looking for a house for my parents...lied through my teeth..blah blah...want to move them out closer to me...blah blah...you know.
Then I told her I would like to ask her about something, if she knew anything about it. So, I asked her what was the story on the mosaic house. She hesitated and seemed a bit embarrassed by having to explain what might be an eyesore to someone looking to buy a home, a home that costs 250,000 I came to find out.
She told me that there really wasnt much to tell. The man that does the art or whatever you want to call it...on the house...lives with his parents down the road (this guy is easily in his late 40s) and they own the old house and the property. The son is in the business of the materials he uses, so he that is why he has it sitting everywhere there.
She told me sometimes the son will stay there and sometimes he will stay at home...and it seemed that he was just an eccentric fellow. No real mystery, he just liked to decorate the outside, guess it is a hobby.
My hatch this year has been somewhat disappointing at times. I have never had such a high mortality rate. I am not doing anything any different that I ever have. I know why I am having the deaths in the shell from the Serama eggs. In reading up further on this breed, it seems there is a gene in them that causes this. For every one hatched out I would have about three dead in the shell. They will come full term and be dead when it comes time for them to hatch.
I have had more than a few of my other full size birds not absorb the yolk sac all the way and die in the shell. That is a mystery to me. I do not know why this keeps happening. Then, stranger than strange I had a Sumatra chick upside down full term, die in the shell. The head was at the bottom and the feet at the top of the egg! Never had that happen. I would say you get used to having a not so perfect hatch, but each time it happens, you are disappointed.
I have so many orders for either eggs or chicks for the Serama...but they have quit laying. The heat is just too much on everyone. Day after day of middle 90s has been tough on everyone. The layers all walk around with their wings held away from their bodies, panting. Until the sun goes down, it is hot for them. By morning it feels wonderful, but it never lasts. Once the sun is up, it all begins again. I am just thankful there have been no deaths from the heat this year. I have that happen every year, usually just one or two, but it happens.
My predator problem seems to be solved. I will still not tell my method of doing them in...but I will tell you what a man that came by to buy chicks from not far away said to me. It was purely by chance that I found this out.
He was leaning on the fence checking out all the chickens and we were talking...I mentioned that I had a predator taking all my small chickens. He said that he saw a dead fox, no bigger than a cat, dead on the side of the road over where he lives...and where he lives is in the direction we guessed the predator had been coming from...not too far at all. I didn't mention to him anything of my methods, just that I was glad to hear of a DEAD fox. So, that would explain why it couldn't handle the big chickens or the big roosters attacks.
Things have been better since this news. No more attacks, or disappearances...knock on wood.
I had been told of a great flea market held on Saturdays in Collinsville, Alabama. I kept trying to set aside some time to go check it out. I was told you have to get there at daybreak if you want to get in on the good deals. Plus, it gets too hot to roam around for long once the sun gets overhead.
Well, I finally made up my mind and went. All I can say is WOW. It is HUGE!
Now, before I go any further, I better save...but I will be back with a few pictures and more on the flea market.
I have been to some flea markets, but man, this was incredible! I got there later than I wanted to as I took a wrong turn. Helen you will know what I am talking about...I didn't keep going on 411 to where Hwy 68 goes west, I turned too soon off 411 onto Hwy 68 east...ended up seeing Lake Weiss..which was beautiful. Stopped in a bait shop gas station and asked where I was and where I should have gone...they laughed and said people come this way every Saturday...that I was not alone. I got directions and got back on the road. Got there around 9...sun up and already warming up too much.
Not knowing what I was in for...I took off my sandles and changes into my trusty comfy new flip flops...wrong move. TENNIS SHOES were a must. It was gravely, rocky, uneven ground all through the isles...so much to look at, it was overwhelming. Anything you could possibly think of was there from funeral flower arrangements, to candles, porch rockers and swings, clothes, shoes, used video games as far as you could see, socks, shoes, trinkets of every sort from jewelry to nick nacks...old farm implements...new garden tools, so much stuff!
Then there were dogs and cats, guinea pigs, parrots, gerbils, rats, mice, rabbits, and more.
But up on the hill was what I had come for. I wanted to see all the farm animals.
I already got cut off once, so I am saving here again...brb...
Up the hill, I saw Ralph there. He is the man that I traded the seven Phoenix roos for my pair of Serama, Bonnie and Clyde. He has two pair of red gold pheasants he had traded with someone earlier in the day. I was planning on getting some chicks for trade from a guy raising these. We are both patiently waiting on each others hatch. I had seen pictures of these birds, but wow, they don't even look real, the colors are fantastic on the males.
Anyway....originally I was supposed to get keets in trade for Serama eggs from a guy not too far from here, but his incubator element burned out and he lost the hatch. So, I was in the market for guineas.
There were some red bourbon chicks, I say chicks, they were getting bigger. I love those, would have liked to have those, but resisted. Saw indian runner ducklings, would have loved to have those, but passed as I don't have a pond...the neighbors do, they have a two acre pond, and I bet that is where they would end up, so that was a no. No peachicks in sight. Lots of game chickens, bantams, meat chickens, layers. One guy had a box full of chicks, must have been forty chicks in there. One caught my eye, it was al gray...he said he would sell me the whole box for twenty bucks...but I declined. I have enough layers, and I was afraid some would end up being games, and I don't want game chickens. They are a pain to keep.
Then one man had what I was looking for. Lots and lots of keets. The pearl guineas, which was fine. Three dollars each. I bought six of them. I had left my carriers in the car. Live and learn, I saw folks with buggies, carts, and such to carry thier finds in. He put them in a paper grocery sack for me until I could get them out to the truck and put them in one of the carriers.
Here they are now safe and sound at home...
There were so many animals there for sale, goats, sheep, horses, miniature horses, lots of all differnt types of chickens from games to bantams, layers to meat chickens. So much to look at, but I had to get the keets back to the truck. It was getting hot now, and I was sweating. Paper bags and sweat do not mix. So I was in a race against time as my sweat from my arms and the sweat dripping off my face and forehead soaked through the paper sack. I am doing my best to walk without falling down on the rough terrain. Now I knew to pay attention to where I came in, what was around in the booths where I entered...from the parking lot...because now I knew I had the task of finding the truck. I thought I knew where it was...got turned around anyway...after thirty minutes of searching I found my parking lot, and then my truck...before the bag fell apart and the keets fell through the bottom! I got them in the carrier...
Now you know I wanted to go back and look some more...but it was already hot...I was not wearing the right shoes, and I was not parked where I needed to be. Next time I will know where to park, all the way to the back. So I can see the animals first!
Now, before I left, once I got my bearings and was headed out I passed a vendors booth that caught my eye...a little elderly lady with home made purses all set up neatly on a table...all kinds...John Deere, cows, Barns, and yes...chickens...had to have it. I needed a new purse anyway...worth the ten dollars...hand made by her. Here is a picture of it, both sides...
Shelby had told be the night before that she wanted to sleep in and that if I were to see anything she would like to please get it for her...YEAH...RIGHT. As I said, it was overwhelming the amount of stuff to look at. I bet I didnt see but a third of the place before I left. I told her when I got home that day...that I wanted to go back, with the proper shoes, and to be there at daybreak when it was still cool, and if she wanted something she needed to come along with me this coming Saturday and have a look around for herself. I know she would enjoy it. She just doesnt want to get up that early...he he...
So we are going back again, now that I know what shoes to wear, how to get there without getting lost, and to get there before it is a hundred degrees outside! ;) This time ought to be a lot more fun having her with me.