My anxiety creeps up on me at night when my babies are far from home. I miss them, I worry about them, and it can be downright distressing. I'm trying not to think about it.
Tomorrow I have an appointment to bring Sage to the vet. Except now since all the kids have gone with Tony, and the last kid here will be in school - I've got to go all on my own. Which to a normal person would be a good thing. But for me - for me that's a major source of anxiety. I never go anywhere alone.
So here I am, up at just past midnight. I need to go to bed so I can get up and get that one kid up and ready to go to school. She wants me to cut her hair before school too. Then I'll need to do all of my regular chores (making sure all the critters have food and water, letting the birds out of the barn to free-range, checking in with the brooder chicks). I need to manage a shower in there somewhere, the brooder needs to be cleaned out (again), and I still need to clean out the colony building - which I think I'll put off until this weekend when kids can help.
I brought Peter Pecker outside today. That's the smallest gosling - the one who picks on all the other chicks. I put him in a big turtle trap out in the yard, in hopes that the flock would come and meet him and I could get a feel for how introductions would go later. Yeah, well, that didn't happen.
Josh took one long look at Peter Pecker, peeping in his cage, and ushered his ducks to the other side of the building. When I moved Peter Pecker's cage to the front of the barn, Josh again eyed him from afar before directing his ducks down the driveway and away again. Not wanting Josh to go any further toward the road, I brought Peter Pecker back in the house and put him back in the brooder. When I came back out, Josh and the ducks were back to playing in the pool like nothing had happened.
In a strange, partially related thought ... How do birds learn language? I mean, the ducks seem to somewhat understand what Josh is saying when he wants them to get up and move somewhere else. But what about birds like the embden goslings, who were hatched in an incubator and raised in a brooder? Is it possible they just don't speak the same "language" as Josh? I know mixed flocks figure it out. We have ducks and guineas, chickens, and a goose - and they all have their rolls and they do tend to keep their own mini-flocks based on species, but they get along at night when they roost and nest together, and they don't fight over territory in the yard. After today's avoidance of Peter Pecker, I have to wonder if bringing out four new goslings is going to create a second little flock of embdens instead of integrating them into the Josh-and-his-ducks flock. Not much to worry about yet. They hardly have any feathers at all. And it's still in the 30's and low 40's at night here... I don't think they'll ever get to go (and stay) outside at this rate.
I'm wondering about possibly taking some of the chicks outside that have discovered the gift of flight. They should be able to get up off the floor to various roosting places in the barn, and there are places underneath things that Josh cannot get to in case he gets mean with them. But then again, it's still cold, and the barn cats might not see them as flock birds so much as snack toys. Maybe I'll discuss with Tony about investing in some fencing and sectioning off a part of the barn - adding in a brooder light, and leaving some of the bigger, more aggressive, or better feathered babies outside with a heat lamp. I don't want to kill them, but it was a mistake to put a brooder indoors. That will never happen again. At least never on a scale like this! We have 50 chicks, 4 goslings, and 3 ducklings indoors, with more set to hatch in ten more days. That brooder has got to be moved outside. Tony gets off early next Friday and has next weekend off. Sounds like an excellent time to set up the brooder out in the barn or the garage. According to the forecast on the Weather Channel app, we should be in the high 40's to mid 50's for lows by then. Chicks will be 6 weeks old on the 14th (that Monday).
As you can see, when stressed, my mind wanders. Hence why I am still awake.
Today #5 caught all the colony bunnies so I could gender check and photograph them. Check out the Rabbits page to see! I know I said I was going to wait to gender check them, but someone asked me about which kits were girls. Well, it turns out, not many of them! There are eight bucks out of twelve kits! That's 2/3 of the kits! Yikes! We decided to keep the broken torte just to see how the color turns out. That leaves three girls and eight boys that will need homes as of the 25th of the month.
Check out today's video of #5 singing to tame another bunny HERE. Bunny in his arms is the black buck with a white foot.
Today the mail brought the Viking Aronia and the Fall Gold Raspberry plants I had ordered from Baker Creek. This morning I also ordered Edelweiss grape, canby raspberry, and Encore raspberry from another company. It occurs to be that we are going to have raspberries coming out our ears once they all start producing. But hey, we should have red, yellow, and black raspberries, blue and pink blueberries, and black and white blackberries. This could make for the coolest fruit salad ever!
For now, I'm taking Moose and heading to bed. I swear this dog is a life saver. I feel safe with him around.