Posts Tagged ‘Big Fella’

Farewell to the big guy.

March 5, 2017

Big Fella

Yesterday was a sad day as we had to say good-bye to Big Fella, our magnificent rooster. A couple of weeks ago, he started the day with what appeared to be something like a stroke. His left leg was unable to support him and he fell a couple of times, spending most of that day sitting around.

He’s been managing to get around since then, but was struggling to maintain his balance. More to the point, he was unable to do his “Job”. Yesterday however, he took a turn for the worse and we couldn’t work out whether he’d lost his sight or was just very confused/disoriented, behaving very uncharacteristically. An obviously distressed bird.

He will be sadly missed as he was a wonderful gentle giant, popular with all our guests and is present on many a holiday snapshot!




Some soggy scenery

February 20, 2014

THE VIEW this morning – well, what can I say?

The View

After 2 inches of rain overnight, we awoke to some very soggy scenery this morning.


Aquatic vegetables and the field beyond…



You can just see the ducks out in the field in the distance. They were loving it!


Honestly, you wouldn’t believe it but it is now 5p.m.ish and I’m looking through the window at the veggie plots. There is not even the smallest puddle and the sky is blue with fluffy, innocent- looking clouds!

And now for something a little less saturated! I finished my challenge, ‘On reflection’ inspired by the Society for All Artists’ magazine (SAA). It’s called ‘Keys and Curly Tails’

Keys and Curly Tails

I used Conte and coloured pencils. The Conte pencils were particularly good for blending on the piggy bottoms. I really enjoyed doing it and it certainly was a challenge. I like the contrast of the softly reflected light on the burnished brass bottoms, with the sharp reflections on the keys. I returned to my more usual subject matter though with this portrait of our very handsom Big Fella! I’ve used coloured pencils on pastel paper.

Big Fella

Still using the same medium, I’m currently working on a particularly striking feline who lives, you’ve guessed it, out there on the Farmy in Illinois!

On the Look-Out

One step forward, two steps back

November 16, 2013

After Feeling all positive about our chicken breeding program next year, putting our newly acquired Silkies to use, our worst fears about the sex of the wee fluff balls have proved true. Yup, two of them are cockerels. These spikey feathers on the head plumage are apparently a male trait.


The difference is even more apparent when compared to BB’s more uniform ‘hat’.


So, we’ll have to adapt our plan and let BB hatch her own eggs at the beginning of the season thus (hopefully) producing a couple of extra pullets. Maybe she will hatch a second brood of our choosing later in the season. I just wish that she would give some indication which cockerel she prefers!

On the subject of feathers, Big Fella is currently re-growing his tail after his moult. He was out strutting his stuff yesterday just asking to be photographed. That guy is SUCH a poser!!

Big fella

Big Fella 2

Big Fella 3

Big Fella 4

Do you think that he’s asking to have his portrait painted? One portrait which has turned out surprisingly well this week was ‘Max’. I say surprisingly because I started out using colour pencils on pastel paper, which I’ve done before. This particular paper though has a ‘softer’ texture than my usual one and the pencil wasn’t sitting well at all. I’m not a pastel fan (too messy) but my mum-in-law bought me some pastel pencils a while back, which I have to admit to not having given them a fair trial. So, with the prospect of starting the drawing from scratch and probably using pen and ink/watercolour, I decided to give the pencils a whirl. I tried Max’s eye first, which went well. Then I progressed on to his nose, then I moved up his face a wee bit…


A sad, wobbly story

July 3, 2013

Bad news first. The six Aylesbury ducklings, hatched two weeks ago, were all doing well apart from one. After the first week, one of them looked distinctly as though it had one dram too many, staggering around the run and occasionally falling over. Otherwise it was eating well and behaving normally. I Googled until I was blue in the face but couldn’t find anything about wobbly ducklings. Its movements were very un-coordinated, as though its brain wasn’t communicating properly with its leg muscles. Although eating well, its growth was lagging behind the others and the wobbliness was worsening. ¬†Anyway, today the six wee rascals escaped through the temporary chicken wire fence into the longer grass. Five were happy, one was not. It had over balanced in the grass and could not right itself. I discovered it wet, cold and weak. I could have saved it, but it would have been out of sentimentality not kindness. The poor soul would never have been able to physically keep up with the others, resulting in a stressful life and no doubt an unpleasant death – we can’t watch over them 24/7.

But, we must move on, plenty of other birds still need our care and attention. As the remaining five Aylesburys are more than capable of negotiating the longer grass, we extended their temporary run and included a swimming pool. Very happy ducklings!

1st swim

You may remember that out of the older Aylesbury ducklings (eight weeks) we were going to keep the two females for MacRae. Change of plan. The people who we managed to get 4 Silkie eggs from last week, lost one of their two ducks to an otter and were looking for a replacement. Well, now they have two replacements! We’ll just hang on to two of the younger birds instead¬†– assuming there are two females among ’em! Also on the duckling front, the Muscovies are doing well; about 10 inches long now and great at catching flies!

muscovy family

Puff is still a mystery however. She still isn’t laying – as far as we know – and rarely shows any interest in the ducklings. I’ve visited the internet once more to see when Muscovy ducks usually stop laying. No joy. Do any of you wise folk know the answer? This is her 5th season.

Good news on the chicken front finally! We candled the eggs yesterday and all four Silkie eggs are developing along with all but three of our own hens’ eggs! Yeah, go on Big Fella – strut your stuff!!!



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