Jest Another Day in Pear-A-Dice - Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm in Alberta

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by CanuckBock, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
    Heel low:

    I would like to welcome you to my family...to my life living here in paradise. [​IMG]

     
  2. chickisoup

    chickisoup one Blessed chicki Premium Member

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  3. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Phew, that made for some reading! It really is a remarkable place you've built up. Any songswans in the plans?
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Thank you Tara for allowing me to partake a little in your day ... I look forward to reading the news from the Rat Ranch [​IMG]

    Regards and best wishes
    Teila
     
  5. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Congrats on the brave move.

    I look forward to reading your diary
     
  6. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles Chicken Obsessed

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    Tara, I love all the pics and your place as always is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I think it is great that you started your own thread! Congrats!
     
  7. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
    Hee hee...two thumbs up and the consumption of popcorn (extra butter please for moi as I am getting ready for winter now, eh!)...so it must be good! LOL


    Thank you...was every second an investment in FUN! Can we have too much of a good thing like fun...hope not!

    Ha ha ha...I had to go look that up. [​IMG]

    Hoping not tomorrow or the next day, but I have lived a good life, so it may be what will be. [​IMG]

    Hoping more on about the FULL retirement than actually kicking the bucket, OK? [​IMG]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_song:
    Love learning something new! Thank you.

    Hmmm...says swans don't make nice musical noises (or are silent...big joke there past maybe the breed of the Mute Swans-Cygnus olor but even those are just less vocal than the rest) . Well I beg to differ! I wish I was more "fluent" in computer to be able to tape the sounds the four we have here make. Really quite enjoyable...better sounding than Rick's song birds...the Buff Geese...as I refer to them. [​IMG]

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    Piper piping

    It is not a trumpet like the Trumpeters make...no...(those ones do fly over here in the late fall...they are so large and so breathtaking...it literally is magical to witness them migrating.). The Ozzy Blacks make a beautiful crescending musical bugle amongst other sound offs!

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    Why yes, we do have a Piper that PIPES! [​IMG]
    Some of the sounding off sounds by the Australian Blacks are used to announce "I am wing flapping" after or even during a nice bath...

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    Piper in kiddie pond

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    Big wing flaps around the swan yards

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    Note the amount of white in the wing primaries!

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    Younger Black swans have less white in their wing feathers...the white increases as they mature and the black lacing on the edges goes completely way in the older specimens.


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    This is female Ember, she is younger than Pearl by probably six or so months.

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    This is Pearl who is older and has more white in her wings...

    And yes, you will notice that all the swans we have are pinioned too...missing the end joint part of their wings...done as very young cygnets and not by me...I will do the same to the cygnets...grin and bear it and just do it. [​IMG]

    I do hate lopping stuff off but it does make keeping them easier and safe too--no just popping over the fence to get into all sorts of troubles! The pair of Ruddy Shels of Rick's are pinioned also but not our Mandarin Ducks.

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    They need to fly up to the "tree nests" to lay eggs, so we leave them be. You can trim the wing feathers on one wing with scissors (trim feathers, not the actual wing!) if you like and until they moult and grown in new fully useable wing feathers again, are pretty "flightless."

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    Before we had the Blacks, I thought they were completely black but a little tidbit about how pigments affect feathers helps explain why they have white wing feathers. The strongest feathers are white (no pigment makes for a white feather)...so though in the wild Aussies don't really migrate living in Australia...they do still fly. It would be advantageous to have white wing feathers so their wings would be nice and strong for flying!

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    Piper has no black lacing in his primaries

    A lower keyed sound (more a nagging shrill like one to go along with the bop bop of their heads) is used by the pens...when I come to let them out for the day...or when they call to us when we arrive home. "We SEE you...come let us out...right NOW!" [​IMG]

    Very much like geese, guarding and watching...very inquisitive and like the geese, nothing would be able to sneak up on them.


    Pearl approaching me to nag at me..."Where's my romaine?"

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    big tromping webbers
    and her head drops


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    to quickly rise up (BOP) and I get the full BIRD salute with vocalizations!
    Like the swans are saying to me, "What took you so long...??? And don't EVEN TRY to tell us there is anything MORE important than just us!"


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    There is a very aggressive war cry sound when the cobs are defending territory...very loud and vocal...first would be the charge, followed by hard wing slaps, and much fussing over nothing much!

    But all very intimidating! [​IMG]


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    Smokey with an evil eye [​IMG]
    I just laugh at them but I am sure others not use to them might be taken aback!

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    My photographic SIL took this photo of Piper...he DOES look intimidating in all his ruffles fluffles, eh! [​IMG]

    They really do get into shaking up all those ruffly feathers--like some dainty school girly in a ruffled pinafore...


    "Oh heavens...it is NOT the wavy apron of dangerous floofy feathers approaching... We should SO run away now! Away, AWAY!"
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    I guess my problem is that I have photographic proof how silly these regal swans can really be...who knew until you spend some years in their company, eh? [​IMG]

    I was out fencing with the dogs in tow and left some gates open...never thinking the silly girls would actually follow us...well I guessed wrong!

    Like periscopes in the long long grass...."We found you!"​

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    Pearl & Ember
    Glad you accepted the invitation!

    The more the merrier but even if it is only a handful of people that want to catch up on "the news" (<---cute, I like that!), good enough by me. [​IMG]

    It is about always about QUALITY, not quantity in my books!


    Thank you Oz...

    I will never reach the popularity of your own good thread but sure to have some fun along the way, eh? [​IMG]

    All about enjoying the fun stuff...


    Yah...another fun person to join the <<ahem>> silliness...

    Thank you for the kind words and for joining in the happiness! [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
  8. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    You will be surprised with how many people that will follow.
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Tara thank you so much for giving me the link to your new thread. I love it here. I am really enjoying the education I'm getting on geese, and so many other topics - minus crabby teachers and tons of homework.
     
  10. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Wilmington, NC
    I'm subscribed.[​IMG]
     

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