It was warm and sunny today, I even opened some windows! It's been a busy weekend, as usual.. I attended Avian Sciences Day at UCD yesterday, and was enthralled with the presentation by Dr. Whiting of Whiting Farms. Wow!
This morning I got to leave here at 5:30am to go to auction. Gosh I just love to get up early...not. I took 24 birds to auction, and I have never seen so many vehicles lined up waiting to unload birds, it was nuts. I hope as many buyers as sellers showed up! I got back around 8:30, fed the horses, and fell asleep for a few more hours. I got a whole lot of work done on the Buff Cornish drawings this weekend. Buff is a new color for me to draw, and as with all the others there is this big challenge of figuring out exactly which pencils to use, in what order, to create the ideal buff color. In real life there is a range of buff, some lighter, some darker, so as long as I get it in that spectrum somewhere... The birds themselves are more or less done but they are looking quite bland, so I'm definitely going to need to put in a DARK background to get them to pop out a bit, and then I'll have to work on the shadows on the birds themselves (to match the background).
I worked with Shylah today in the roundpen, which I hadn't done for a while (hard to feel inspired to work horses when it's muddy and cold). W took Sampson away for a few hours to work him with her other horses, so I figured as long as Shylah was going to run around like a dork, she could at least run on cue, which is what she did. Hadn't forgotten a thing. :-) I think her action has gotten a little flashier. Could be she was just feeling pretty zippy today (no doubt about that!) but her movement looked particularly fancy. Or maybe it was just the contrast to having watched Sampson plod around in there earlier, haha! I really need to get some action pics of her. She's still in fuzzy-yak mode.
So anyway, with all the extra birds gone now, it's getting to be time to think about setting up breeding pens and hatching chicks. I feel totally not ready for that. I'm not sure what I'll hatch or how many, or how it will compare to last year. I've been toying with the idea of selling eggs. I've considered this in the past, but always decide against it, not because someone might get a really good bird, but because someone might get absolutely nothing even half decent, especially with the BBReds. I hatched probably about 80 (?) of them last year (what, keep records? ha ha) and ended up with...hmmm....less than 20 that I would consider good enough to be show or breeding stock, and just a handful of those that I would really call GOOD. So it's kind of dicey, people might spend a lot of money and get a bunch of culls, and that wouldn't do much for my reputation. On the other hand, there are times the birds are laying that I don't collect eggs, which is a waste, and maybe if I just was very up-front about ALL the problems they could end up with, maybe it would be okay. I don't know, it has pros and cons....
But first I'll have to clean all the coops. Woo hoo.
Rice Hulls.. gotta love them... Thanks for the tip! At least your starting to think about hatching and raising chicks.. If I am lucky I can start an incubator the mid part of march! See you in a couple of days!
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