Saturday, March 17, 2012

Redtailed hawks

  We went to the John Bunker Wetlands Center for a field trip, while we were there we saw five red -tailed hawks get released at the  Wetlands. The lady who released the birds had a rehabilitation center called the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where she and staff doctor  release wild birds and other animals. After she released the hawks, she told some interesting facts about hawks. Here is what I learned.

  • The male hawks are smaller than females
  • A Red -tailed Hawk can spot a mouse from a height of 100 feet.
  • Red-tailed hawks live in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
  • Red-tailed hawks usually live 6-7 years in the wild.
  • The female lays one to five eggs each year 
  • They are most common hawk in the United States 
  • The scientific name for the red-tailed hawk is Buteo jamaicensis.
  •  The Red-tailed Hawk is known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on chickens. 
  •  When threatened by a human intruder, a Red-tailed Hawk will generally flee rather than defend its nest.  
  • I hope you learned alot of interesting facts.                                                                                                                                          

4-H Project show

A buff laying hen,
My siblings an I have been working on our Project show entries. The 4-H Project show is where you can show animals and you can enter something you made like a food, model, collections,and other cool items. This year I'm showing goats , broilers , Quail Bantams, buff laying hen, and 13 projects. Rabbits you show in 4-H fall into two categories, market and breeder. Last year my sister and I showed Castor Mini Rex breeder rabbits. This year I had to get rid of our rabbits. So I was hoping to get some market rabbits because if you win you can sell. them. The rabbits sell pretty high so I could cover all my cost with all the animals I'm showing.  Sadly, I wasn't able to get any to show.  But there is always next year.  My 4-H chicks have been growing a lot. These are some pictures of how they've grown. We got some more chicks that we will raise for eggs. They are Buff Orpingtons too.   
My black bantam hen.

Buff chicks.

Monday, March 12, 2012

East Texas Arboretum

   Why I love the East Texas Arboretum.
The Arboretum has more than one hundred acres of gardens, historic buildings, play areas, and wooded hiking trails. The historic buildings include the Woffard house which is an 1850 house that was moved to the Arboretum and there it was restored as a museum. Also they have a replica of an 1870 little red school house. The East Texas Arboretum has 2 miles of wooded walking trails which are fun to walk. Another reason why I love the East Texas Arboretum is that I can take lots of pictures there. ALL these pictures on this blog post I took there. The top two pictures I entered in the 4-H photo contest.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our garden

Today we are working on a garden. Last year was a drought and all of our plants died. This year our pond came up and we got lot of rain. So we are trying to plant another garden. My awesome Dad has been discing and tilling our garden which means that he is breaking up the dirt and getting lumps out. This year we have already got tomatoes, eggplant, squash, peppers (bell peppers and jalapeno), cabbage, lettuce, onions, cucumber, spinach, and strawberries. Also we got watermelon, radish, and gourd seeds. Lastly we got a few pear, peach, and apple trees not counting blueberry bushes. I can't wait till the garden starts producing vegetables. So far we planted our onions and eggplants. I hope we can plant the rest soon.

A garden disc which hooks on to a tractor.

Dad tilling.

4-H broiler chicks

On leap day my sister and I got 26, one day old broiler chicks.  We had to dip their beaks in water and chick starter feed because they were so young they had not eaten or drank before. Broilers are meat chickens that grow much faster than regular chickens, because they are raised for meat. One of our chicks (band number 32778 ) had a had a problem with it's leg. We could tell it had a problem because the other chicks were picking on it. When we checked on it we found out it had part of the egg sac twisted around its leg. My dad was able to cut off the sac. When the operation was over we put in a separate pen so we could watch it heal and to make sure the other chicks wouldn't pick on it. It has been a few days now and the chick is doing well. He is learning how to walk again and acting like the other chicks.
   When raising chicks, you need to put them in a large box or a container lined with shavings. We are keeping our chicks in a small plastic kiddie pool. Over the container that their staying in, you need to keep a heat lamp on them at 90 degrees and lower the temputre by 5 degrees each week. You should always give them cotstant feed and clean water. Every chick has a silver band on their wing so they can be indentified properly. I hope you learned how to raise broilers.
 My brother Andrew with his favorite chick.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Game chicks

Guess what's in this picture?   
They were 5 to 6 days old when I got them and only about an inch and a half tall. Now they are 15 days old and have grown an inch. They are very fast growers. In fact, they start laying eggs when there are only 8 weeks old! I got my chicks to show in the 4-H  Henderson County Livestock Show.  These are Jumbo Brown Coturnix quail.  

Quail are game birds. Too show quail, you get 1 male and 3 or 4 female adult quail and put them in a pen together.  The judge will come and  judge them. So they're fairly easy to show. The main work you have to do is keep them fed and watered. You need to keep their pen clean and warm. I work with them daily to get them tame and check their health. We were keeping them in our laundry room but they started to try to fly and jump out. Whenever they got out, they would start cheeping loudly. Now we moved them to a bigger pen in my dad's building.

I will keep putting updates here as they grow.

Huddling together in the box we brought them home in.

Where did everybody go?