20110327

It was 30 degrees outside today but it was 109.7 degrees inside.

Houses should be build like this....well, kinda.  Free heat, lots of it.  Yet in summer it will be as cool as under the shade of a tree (Reflective insulated covering).  Inside, the coop will be even cooler with free "air conditioning".               (30F = -1C,... 109.7F = 43C)


This is the first winter for my new aviary addition. The Chickens and Pigeons love it. It's safe, dry and warm. They love to take dirt baths and they lounge around laying in the warm sun like tourists on a beach. They're free to go outside, but prefer inside.


Whenever the aviary is over 50 degrees a thermostat turns on a fan to draw surplus heat inside to the insulated coop to warm it so the coop will remain warm all night long (free). The pigeon nests near the top are the warmest...the sand floor (about 85F degrees, 30C ) acts a bit like a heat sync during the day so at night the aviary is always about 10-15 degrees warmer than ambient, the inside coop remains well above freezing. It's all free heat. Even on cloudy days it's about 15-20 degrees above ambient.  On those minus 40 degree nights a tiny elec heater (40w hair curler) keeps the coop above freezing. The elec bill for all winter is less than $5. 
  
For more information click on Coop Design (temporarily disabled)

20110306

This is my favorite light bulb, we've been together for decades.



So what's so special about it ??? At my farm this 300 watt bulb was in the granary (My garage) for many years of daily service, shinning brightly. When we bought a house in town 10 years ago I brought the bulb with me and it's been in my garage here now, still burning brightly... now nearly 30 years old.
? Why is that ? There is nothing special about it. No name on it, it's just another bulb. Maybe it likes me?
(Almost All my other light bulbs are LEDs, but I just can't part with my favorite 300 watt bulb).

20110302

Picture Perfect - Three - Birds



Practicing to be Nursing home therapy birds (soon).
This is Mary at a seniors apartment where my Mother lives. She was delighted with the birds and still talks about them. I gave Mary a copy of this and she has it framed and proudly displays it on her wall.
I took my German Shepherd therapy dog, Diesel, to nursing homes to cheer up the residents until he himself became too old..... now it's the birds turn. Seems they are off to a good start.  It's a good feeling to see the residents smile and that makes me smile too.
(A Silky Chicken and two Ringneck Doves)


20110301

July 7, 2005 - March 1, 2011 R.I.P. Betty

They were the same age... Betty and Bert. When I came home I found Bert huddling over her trying to keep her warm.  Bert would not leave her side.   All the others had gone into the warm coop like they always do, but Bert and Betty had stayed behind in the Chicken shelter...it was dark and freezing cold.. But it was too late. Betty had just died a very short time before I found them.
 I took her inside because it seemed she may still be breathing, but...too late. She was special... she would come to me for affection. She loved to be held in my arms. She would close her eyes while I petted her.
     Betty at 3 months.
She had not been well for several weeks. I've kept her inside and I've been giving her antibiotics daily. She seemed to be getting better. Today was the first day she seemed more perky. It was warmer today (40+) so I put her outside...I hope she enjoyed her last day.



Betty just a few days ago staying warm by the fireplace.