Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." ~ Matthew 1:21

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." ~ John 8:12

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sand Boxes!

We added a sand box to each of the grow out pens and the Bobwhites love it! We are glad they are playing in the sand instead of picking at each others. Since we added the extra grit we are also able to throw in some leaves for them to pick through. Those back feathers are beginning to show again! Bobwhites take "dirt baths" instead of "water baths" so they get to play and bathe!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The backsides of our Bobwhites

My goodness! We took a close look at the covey the other night and half of them (maybe more) had bald backsides! With a little observation it wasn't hard to see that they were plucking away at the tempting little feathers that were growing into their fellow birds backs. We shook our heads, threw in some pine cones for them to peck at and hoped they would stop trying to eat each other. The last thing we want to do is de-beak these birds.

Here's a photo of a little one that escaped tonight when we were changing the light out. We recently had to go with a warmer bulb (since the weather dropped down to about 25) and couldn't find a red one. Maybe, just maybe, a switch back to a red light will get them to stop pecking each other - the change in lighting could have been just enough to turn them into cannibals!

9 1/2 weeks old

The bald backside!


An Overnight Trip?

Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay away from home when there are birds to keep fed, watered, and warm? Well, we have a plan...


Larger feeders, more waterers and "on call" neighbors! We'll let you know how it goes!


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Medium Rare!

That's what the covey might be after the last two days here in South Alabama! We've opened up the hatch on the younger birds and turned the heaters all the way down. Temperatures are getting up to 80 degrees during these early days of December. (It's no fun to deer hunt in weather that warm either!). It is a nice break not having to keep the birds warm - I don't think we will try to hatch during the fall anymore since the cooler weather presents a greater challenge in keeping the Bobwhites alive. I wonder what challenges the 100 degree weather will be next summer?

Bunny Ears!

Here's the crew ready for worship! We can't seem to get a photo taken these days without someone sprouting bunny ears! These handsome guys helped collect the Christmas Offering for missions today - they collected over $5000 from our little congregation - I think that calls for a verse:

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and
praise your glorious name.

But who am I, and who are my people,
that we should be able
to give as
generously as this? Everything comes from you,

and we have given you only what
comes from your hand."
1 Chronicles 29:13-14



Jacob's first self-portrait....

A true artist!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Introducing....

"Honey"


Honey is a Miniature Schnauzer (she has been shaved but we plan on letting her grow back into the proper "look"). We adopted her last Thursday, and she has been just what we needed to help our hearts heal after losing Pawprint. She is almost 3 years old and is a perfect fit for our family. Cousin Kelly did a wonderful job of finding and choosing her for us!

Just below you will see that Honey loves Peter just as much as we do - except I think the love that Honey has for Peter has more to do with her hunting skills!






Monday, December 3, 2007

The Continuing Saga of "Redfoot"

I am happy to report that Redfoot did not die. As a matter of fact he grew so strong that it became impossible to keep him in the "hospital" when we would try to change the food and water. So, minus one toe, he is back with his group and is doing just fine.

Picky, picky birds!


This is a photo of game bird chow. On the left you will notice crumbles...on the right, pellets. Do not attempt to feed quail the pellets. They all end up on the ground, as they throw them out looking for the crumbles. Lesson learned!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On the Occassion of Joshua's 13th Birthday!

The Birthday Boy is 13 today but we had his party on Thanksgiving Day - which was very appropriate since our children and our families are at the top of our "thankful" list. As you can see in the following photo, Joshua is taller than his mom - and very proud of it!
Joshua with Daddy and Momma


We planned a special blessing for Joshua's party. Stephen chose some wonderful scriptures to pray over this incredible son of ours.

Psalm 1 was read by Grandaddy

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Joshua with Granddaddy and Granny

Psalm 119:1-11 was read by Big Daddy

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.

Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.

They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways.

You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.

Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!

Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.

I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.

I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.

I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

Joshua with Big Daddy and Ma

Proverbs 2 was read by Daddy

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.

For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He holds victory in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.

The Blessing Given


After this awesome time together reading scripture and praying - we had the party!

The party was at Aunt Michele's house

First, the cake...

then the gifts!


I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

In Memory of the "Faithful Hound"

"Pawprint"
March 11, 2004 - November 26, 2007

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted..." Psalm 34:18a


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Landing of the Pilgrims

    THE breaking waves dashed high,
    On a stern and rock-bound coast,
    And the woods against a stormy sky
    Their giant branches tossed;

    And the heavy night hung dark
    The hills and waters o'er,
    When a band of exiles moored their bark
    On the wild New England shore.

    Not as the conqueror comes,
    They, the true-hearted came;
    Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
    And the trumpet that sings of fame;

    Not as the flying come,
    In silence and in fear;--
    They shook the depths of the desert gloom
    With their hymns of lofty cheer.

    Amidst the storm they sang,
    And the stars heard, and the sea;
    And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
    To the anthem of the free!

    The ocean eagle soared
    From his nest by the white wave's foam;
    And the rocking pines of the forest roared--
    This was their welcome home!

    There were men with hoary hair
    Amidst that pilgrim band:
    Why had they come to wither there,
    Away from their childhood's land?

    There was woman's fearless eye,
    Lit by her deep love's truth;
    There was manhood's brow serenely high,
    And the fiery heart of youth.

    What sought they thus afar?
    Bright jewels of the mine?
    The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?--
    They sought a faith's pure shrine!

    Ay, call it holy ground,
    The soil where first they trod.
    They have left unstained what there they found--
    Freedom to worship God.

    Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Grow Out Pen

I finally got a photo of the quail in the grow out pen. They love being out in the open side of their box. They are still pretty isolated since we have boards up around the shed to keep them from seeing out. We try to take care of them at night so they see as little of us as possible. If you look close you will be able to pick out the Tennessee Reds - they are the chocolate colored ones with a bit of white under their chins. The Bob Whites are just now beginning to show more color so we can tell the males from the females. The quail in these photos are 6 1/2 weeks old.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Peterman Station Arts and Crafts

With one huge endeavor we finally finished up our craft items and set up at the festival! The Sugar Shooters (Marshmallow Guns) were our hottest items and I couldn't keep folks away from Granddaddy's turned bowls (oak, cherry, pecan, holly, and cedar). It was a fun day!

Here's a photo of our booth


and here are the boys in front of Peterman Station


Just a note about our Covey...Big Daddy visited the 6 week old quail the other day and informed us that they are big enough to eat "now"!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quail Hospital

I'm happy to report that "Red Foot" is much better. He is acting just like a 2 1/2 week old quail should act. I'm hoping that his foot is healing but with all that purple medicine painted on - who can tell?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just "cull" it!

Culling is the 'selection' of surplus animals from an animal population. In a wild population the selection is often done by killing the animal immediately.

That is exactly what the "pro" quail breeders would tell us to do - and we know that we should, but we just couldn't kill this little guy. He is very healthy other than the fact that some of the other birds have just about pecked his foot off!

Right now he is in the "hospital" - which is a renovated fish aquarium. He didn't do anything but act like he was dying until just a few minutes ago, and now I hear his sweet little "peeps".

Will he die? Probably. Will we be able to nurse him back to health and put him back with the group? Hopefully.

Here's a photo of "Red Foot" and his red foot


Here's a photo of his purple foot after I sprayed on some medicine


We will let you know how it turns out....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rocks, Minerals, and Joshua!

Joshua went to his Aunt Michele's school this past Friday to give her third grade class a presentation! We had a great time!

Mrs. Bowman's Third Grade Class


Joshua having some fun with his Aunt Michele

This is Charlie


He is a Senepol Bull and is something to behold! He is awesome! We visited his domain today and were amazed.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

30 Degrees Yikes!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep 2 1/2 week old quail warm when it gets that cold? Well, we didn't keep them at 95 degrees but after buying more lights, running another extension cord, and even putting my small ceramic foot heater in the box - I'm happy to say that they all survived the night!

The older birds were fine - at 4 1/2 weeks they just need to be kept at about 70 degrees.

We are preparing for another night of temperature watching - mid 30's are expected tonight. That is just way too cold for South Alabama!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sleeping in the Feeder!

Can you see those three quail in the feeder? When I opened the hatch to check on them it was so full I couldn't even see the feed! You know what that means don't you? It means that the lid is off and covered with poop! Yuck!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Little Fresh Air

Since our oldest birds are four weeks old now, we have opened up the small door that goes from the brooder box to the "all wire" side. We have a few that have ventured out to experience daylight. We close it back up at night since they are still too young to experience 45 degrees! I will try to get a photo of the other side once they really start enjoying it.

Bulls and Pecans

We picked up 66 pounds of pecans under this beautiful tree. The bulls hung around hoping the white bucket meant a snack for them. They eventually gave up!

We also had an opportunity to watch a doe and her baby eat in the pasture just down the hill!

Chicken Houses 1 Week Later

Well, you can see the fourth one now. They spent the week getting the tin on the roof. Ronnie said the workers were like well oiled machines - it would only take them 20 seconds to get the 40 foot tin secured to the roof!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Big Bird, Little Bird

3 1/2 weeks old...

3 1/2 days old...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

54 Chicks in the Brooder!

They are as cute as can be, and much happier now that they have food, water and space to run around. We had hoped for a better hatch but are happy with these and with the "hands on" education that these little birds are giving us.

The weather won't be getting as cold the next few nights so that is a relief, since keeping a box at 100 degrees in 40 degree weather is pretty difficult. One thing we decided tonight is that we are glad that we began our quail effort during the most difficult season (one that we will probably avoid next year) - we will really appreciate those easier months next Spring and Summer!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

53 so far...

Granny, Grandaddy, Kyle and Anna Leigh visited the covey today. We counted babies while they were here and think we have around 53 - we'll see if any more hatch out tomorrow. We had two brooder escapees while they were here - it helped to have the extra eyes to see where they went! We were able to catch them and get them back in the brooder (yes, Pawprint was right there and ready to have at them).

The afternoon was full of snacks, good conversation and a front yard football game! Great fall fun!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chicken Houses

We have some friends who are building chicken houses. We went out today to take a look at how the construction is going and WOW! These things are huge! They are 400 feet long (this gave the boys a good idea of how big Noah's Ark was, since it is believed to have been around 450 feet long) and our friends are building four of them!

Take a look:


You can see three in the next photo - the fourth is on
the other end and doesn't have all the framing up yet.


Here's a shot from the front looking toward
the other end. The boys are in this photo,
but they so far back that they look like ants.


This next shot is down the hill (from the chicken houses)
toward the spot where Ronnie and Margaret will be living.


This one was taken from the pasture
looking back towards the houses.

The boys enjoyed romping through the fields so much that I think
we might move our camper out there and live under a big oak tree.


The boys played, Margaret and I talked and walked,
and Ronnie worked....

Just a note, beyond the above field is where Stephen
shot his trophy buck - that is why he is not allowed
to go hunting at Ronnie's farm anymore!



Pat Caught a Bird

Pat, Paul, Sara and Stephen visited the covey today. While peeking into the brooder one little guy tried to escape, but thankfully Pat was quick enough to catch him! We had hoped that they would get to see some "just hatched" chicks, but they will have to make another visit because we are still waiting....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

117 Eggs in the Hatcher

We moved 117 eggs to the hatcher today and are anxiously waiting to hear the first "peeps". We have decreased the temp to between 99.1 and 99.5 and we are trying to keep the humidity up around 60%. Hopefully we will have a good hatch.

Yes, this means that I spent a lot of time with Tek-Trol today getting the hatcher ready for the new arrivals! If you want to take a guess at how many will hatch just post a comment!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Bird in the Hand and a Hero Hound

Can you believe how much these chicks have grown in 2 1/2 weeks?! We just had to get a close up but in doing so this little guy escaped - not just under the brooder but into the wooded back lot! Pawprint to the rescue! Now granted, when we first let the dog out we weren't real sure that she wouldn't eat the bird when she found it, and after a little while we weren't even sure she knew how to find it - but she did - and then we lost it again - and then she found it again. The little quail is now safe inside the brooder box and this will be one of the last close up photos that we take of them for a while!!

We had our first Escapee!!

While refilling the water this morning one of the quail managed to fly up through my opening. I immediately got Joshua to secure the dog and I grabbed a net. Poor little thing wasn't sure what to do with so much freedom though and I caught him right away. I think it is time to spread some netting over my hatch!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Peter Rabbit


I never knew a rabbit could be so much fun but this little bunny has been the most entertaining pet that we have ever had. We got him for Jacob's 7th birthday and he immediately told us that his name is "Peter" (of course!). He is a dwarf rabbit and shouldn't get much bigger - we think he might be a Mini-Rex.

By the way, we don't let Peter and Pawprint play together!

101!

That's the number of quail that have survived the first two weeks! They have tiny feathers all over, and we have to be careful that they don't fly out when we open the hatch to feed them or adjust the temperature!

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Big Daddy"


We had an opportunity to honor our "Big Daddy" (Stephen's Dad), by celebrating his 70th birthday! We enjoyed spending the afternoon with him, grilling steaks, taking pictures and lighting the requested coconut cream pie!




We hope and pray that we will have many more birthday celebrations with him!