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Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Because at least two Goons requested it and we thought, 'Why not?'--we are going to continue our Chickam broadcasts on UStream throughout the year from now on, on Saturdays!

Here's where to watch our chicken flock on Saturdays: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chickam2008

We'll still do the hatch every Spring around Easter, but the rest of the year, weather permitting, we'll place the cam out in the chicken run for the day so everyone can catch up on their favorite chickens. There is a nice chat feature on the UStream channel, we tend to pop in and out of it during the day but everyone is welcome to watch & talk.

If you are unfamiliar with Chickam, here is the GBS thread for this year: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3544925

I'll give this thread a bump just as we start the cam on Saturdays, but remember--it's a 'weather permitting' thing since the coop & run are about 60 feet from the back door of the house and the equipment is exposed to the elements.

So if you like watching chickens noodle around and be dorks, join us!

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ChickenOfTomorrow
Nov 11, 2012

*pbbbt*




Thread bookmarked for chickeny goodness. I really enjoyed watching this year's crop grow up!

piscesbobbie
Apr 5, 2012

Friend to all creatures great and small


bookmarked here too! I'm so excited. Thank you 12_String, VS and The Kid for doing this!

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


I hope I see weedcat kick the poo poo out of bloop... I am a bad person I know this

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!

AtomikKrab posted:

I hope I see weedcat kick the poo poo out of bloop... I am a bad person I know this

dunno, sometimes small roosters can be mean badasses, you know?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muiWNGaDYh4

spookygonk
Apr 3, 2005
Does not give a damn

Chido posted:

dunno, sometimes small roosters can be mean badasses, you know?

Ha! Reminds me of Jackie Chan vs. a long legged taekwondo fighter in the movie "Who Am I?" and we know who won that!

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Cam is up, sorry, we had some profound technical issues.

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


I thought it was very good yesterday, I spent a while looking at the chickens stomp around and WEEDCAT in his natural environment.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Well because of the smoke from numerous (6) forest fires burning all around us and mainly the Rim fire at Yosemite, the air quality has gotten so bed that we've had to bring all 50 of the chickens inside. Also the cage birds, the rabbit and the dog.

Every animal we own in now in the house. Good thing we don't have horses.

Come laugh at our misfortune and see blinding amounts of poop, 'cause what the heck, we're running the cam.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chickam2008

Velvet Sparrow fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2013 around 23:23

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


I hope it won't spread your way


but also CHICKENS!

piscesbobbie
Apr 5, 2012

Friend to all creatures great and small


This is NUTS! OMG!

Thank you to the AVATAR FAIRIE!

piscesbobbie fucked around with this message at Aug 24, 2013 around 01:18

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



Awww. The Chickam cam feed is down. The Chickam chat is "empty" and seems to have been wiped? Did I miss it? I was going to shoot video too!

I figure that Weedcat walked over and kicked the cam over again. And then ran over and yanked the cables out of the laptop. WEEDCAT!!!!!

EDIT: Cam is back on for me!

Inveigle fucked around with this message at Aug 24, 2013 around 01:35

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Inveigle posted:

Awww. The Chickam cam feed is down. The Chickam chat is "empty" and seems to have been wiped? Did I miss it? I was going to shoot video too!

I figure that Weedcat walked over and kicked the cam over again. And then ran over and yanked the cables out of the laptop. WEEDCAT!!!!!

We are here, try reloading it until you can see us.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

50 chickens in the house. Thank God I do not have horses.

To say that dragging them in was neither easy nor joyously experienced by all is a massive understatement.

We prepared by clearing out anything chickens could break/accidentally choke to death/poop on and laying out our handy thrift store sheets to protect the floor and furniture. Some of my paint cans came in handy, as did the roll of blue painter's tape.


Weedcat at first stayed by the back door and stared unhappily at the ceiling until I caught on and turned off the ceiling fan. None of the others gave a hang about the thing, but he did. They all stood around looking like they were politely waiting for a bus, no doubt wondering what the Hell was going on. We plied them with various goodies to keep them occupied and distracted until it got dark enough for them to roost.

Which they did on my kitchen island, table & chairs as planned. The youngest babies hied themselves up on the island early on and stayed there. We have two broody banty hens at the moment and they were NOT happy being away from the nest boxes, but we'd tried to accomodate them by draping the sheets so there were dark hidey places for them to go sit.

Left to right: Cam, Doodad, Crack, Rocket peeking from behind, Daphne

Meeko liked this paint can.


Finally they were all tucked in for the night...




Wait...what's that up there...?!

Oh, fantastic, it's Pele, who considers herself Queen of the Wild Chickens. After a struggle and much outraged Pele squawking, 12_String unceremoniously grabs her and puts her on the ground, where she remains...

for about 5 minutes. Then, right in front of my eyes, she flies from the ground straight up to the top of that cabinet again.

This time she got a military-style wing trim, which put an end to her adventures.

Lord, at least the dog behaved.

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Any idea on how long the air is going to stay horribly bad?


Did you have the fan on before with weedcat in the house? Was he like "WHY ISN'T IT SPINNING IT IS SUPPOSED TO SPIN FOR MY AMUSEMENT."?

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

They say for sure through to tomorrow night at least 'or until further notice/there is a weather or wind change'. I read somewhere else that we can expect smoke until next Tuesday.

Weedcat has never seen the fan moving, but then a lot of the chickens haven't--he was just being the huge coward that he can be, sometimes. Last Halloween when we gave the chickens our jack-o-lanterns he hid in the coop and cackled at them.

BTW, the reason we're doing this is because this is how our air has been yesterday and today:

Before, on a normal day:


Yesterday. This was about 3PM, it was so dark the flash went off and captured bits of ash:


Normal day:


Yesterday:


So you can see this wasn't something we did lightly.

Tricky Ed
Aug 18, 2010

It is important to avoid confusion. This is the one that's okay to lick.


Jesus, it's like you're playing the Beijing home game out there. Stay safe, and enjoy finding the piles of ash everywhere for the next few weeks. It gets in to everything.

Vaga42Bond
Apr 10, 2009

Die Essensrationen wurden verdoppelt!
Die Anzahl der Torpedos wurde verdoppelt!

Velvet Sparrow posted:

Finally they were all tucked in for the night...


That "Fresh Eggs" sign has never been more fitting.

And given their nature as prey animals, the ceiling fan spinning possibly could be confused for a very large hawk circling, maybe?

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



Vaga42Bond posted:

And given their nature as prey animals, the ceiling fan spinning possibly could be confused for a very large hawk circling, maybe?

That's what I was thinking. Spinning fan blades = death from above! A four-winged hawk! I like to think that Weedcat was just being a good Head Roo, rather than a big, ol' scaredy-roo.

Hey VS. When it comes time to take all the chickens back outside, I have a suggestion: As you gather up each chicken to take them out, snap a few quick photos of each bird (even if it's just The Kid holding them in her arms). It would be cool to have a record of all the chooks for your web site, should you ever get to work on it again. I'd love to see a post showing FIFTY chicken headshots. And update of all the Chickam chicks who are still living with you would be cool too!

piscesbobbie
Apr 5, 2012

Friend to all creatures great and small


JEEZ VS. Looks very dangerous for those with respiratory ailments. Stay safe! Right now there is wind and thunderstorms, wish I could send them westward to you but it doesn't work that way! I can't imagine what your home will look like today!

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



piscesbobbie posted:

JEEZ VS. Looks very dangerous for those with respiratory ailments. Stay safe! Right now there is wind and thunderstorms, wish I could send them westward to you but it doesn't work that way! I can't imagine what your home will look like today!

Seriously! The air looks evil! I can't even handle ozone alerts in the city where I live. I can't imagine having to breathe air like that for a week! You might as well be smoking cigarettes!

Do these forest fires happen every year?

EDIT: Cam is back up and running today, but the streaming service is spotty. The stream goes in and out.

Inveigle fucked around with this message at Aug 24, 2013 around 17:40

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Forest/brush fires are a fact of life here in the western US, especially in California & Nevada. But this one is huge and tripled in size overnight, and the way the Sierras & valleys are here, it's just funneling it all right to us. It doesn't help that we've had about 6 fires burning all around us for weeks coating us in smoke daily before this one went to the head of the class.

We've got the chickens on electrolyte solution to drink and are giving them extra goodies, but they are looking pretty low, Scrambles especially--she may not make it. I've been taking her out to feed her goodies today but she's not showing very much interest.

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



From Saturday. Weedcat watches a plump chook sitting in one of the chairs.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Joanna
Jul 16, 2013


Some screen captures from when the cam was outside in the coop.

Taking a quick dip


Check out the colourful birds in the large cage in the background!


And The Famous 5, bottom left

Vaga42Bond
Apr 10, 2009

Die Essensrationen wurden verdoppelt!
Die Anzahl der Torpedos wurde verdoppelt!

Joanna posted:

And The Famous 5, bottom left


The Chickson Five?

Joanna
Jul 16, 2013


Vaga42Bond posted:

The Chickson Five?


Ah ha ha! I'm down for that! Good idea for a name!

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

We also call them the Fab Five.

Well, today is no different and the chickens are still in the house, but not looking so good despite everything we can do for them. Some are worse than others, and two are especially bad--Scrambles, 5 years old and Gloria, an ex-bat Brinkotter we got from the feed store in 2009, so I don't know for sure how old she is.

Both Scambles and Gloria are refusing food & water, and are now sequestered with Sugar. We've given everyone electrolyte solution to drink and are plying them with fresh fruits & vegetables in addition to other goodies to keep them hydrated and nutrients in them.

Last night we had to open up the house for a while in order to get some cool air in. Today we haven't been able to because the wind is blowing about 25 mph RIGHT from the fire and we're socked in with smoke. Hopefully tonight we'll get some less smokey, cool air.

The smoke is supposed to continue like this for at least another 3-5 days so I don't know what is going to happen. On the plus side, we had 4 eggs laid in the corner of the dining room today!

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



Velvet Sparrow posted:

The smoke is supposed to continue like this for at least another 3-5 days so I don't know what is going to happen. On the plus side, we had 4 eggs laid in the corner of the dining room today!

You could probably talk the hens into just laying the eggs in a large bowl, just for you!

The smoke sounds horrible! I was assume that many people who have respiratory illness have gone to hospital or just left the area? Is this smoke always a problem in the summer or is this year unusual? Over in the Backyard Chickens thread, Joanna (aka PausedLife) offered to ship you some special Ventolin inhalers but they'd have to go on a boat and then go through Customs (see her post).

= = = =
Also: I wish you could find some used Oreck XL4000 Air Cleaners. They would have been perfect for your situation. You might keep an eye out on Craigslist (in the larger cities along the West coast) or eBay for some units. If this smoke is going to be such an issue each summer, you really need some air cleaners.

The Oreck XL4000 Air Cleaners were large, heavy duty units that used to run $650 new, ten years ago. They were made to filter air in very large rooms and their design was based on air filtration systems used in submarines -- you had a metal electrostatic filter that captured the dust/smoke particulates. You could also use an extra carbon filter for odors. When the metal filters needed cleaning, you just hosed them off, let them dry and put them back in the unit.

I own two of the larger XL4000 units and two of the smaller desktop units that I'd use in my art studio to keep the dust from my pastels/charcoals from getting all over the room. The units were wonderful at sucking up dust.

Oreck stopped making the XL4000 units after 2005 because Hurricane Katrina destroyed their manufacturing warehouse in New Orleans. These large (and very heavy) units were often used by cigarette smokers to filter the smoke/odors out of the air. I know because the two used XL4000 units that I bought off of eBay were full of tar/nicotine inside that I had to clean out before I could use the units (of course the Sellers lied to me about this but the units cleaned up nicely). Sadly, all the newer Oreck units are now made in China and don't work as well as their older style units -- be careful buying ANY of their newer units because they just don't work nearly as well.

Here's a link to a video showing an old style Oreck XL4000 Air Cleaner that was fantastic at filtering smoke and dust particles out of the air:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg8ZfmoyyoE

Inveigle fucked around with this message at Aug 26, 2013 around 00:20

piscesbobbie
Apr 5, 2012

Friend to all creatures great and small


I DID twitter that idiot. I think she does not know that more people die from respiratory distress than actual fires. I did not ever hear back so I assume I was banned or whatever. Too bad twitter doesn't allow more characters. I wanted to tell her that chickens are considered pets as horses are to other people. Chickens have a different respiratory system than we do and are unable to filter out bad air! Anyway, I hope you and your family are doing well VS. Keep us posted! Sending good thoughts to you and your menagerie and hope you get a nasty wind storm with rain soon!

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Unfortunately this smoke plume goes for hundreds of miles and is nearly just as wide, so there isn't really anyplace to go short of San Francisco, hours away over mountain roads. With the animals, for us it just isn't feasible.

Everyone around here is saying they've never seen it this bad for so long (which is really saying something) and we have forest/brush fires like clockwork every year. The elderly around here are typically on a limited income or don't/can't drive, so they have to shelter in place.

I saw her post offering the inhalers, shoot, if I got them I'd probably hand them out to the old folks...it was a very nice offer, tho.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Hallelujah, the wind seems to have shifted over by the fire. Not as much smoke and I can see a star in the sky! The chickens are all back outside for tonight (you better believe I'm madly cleaning, prepping for round 2 just in case) except for Sugar, Gloria and Scrambles, who are still in the house getting electrolytes, special goodies and care.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

piscesbobbie
Apr 5, 2012

Friend to all creatures great and small


Velvet Sparrow posted:

Hallelujah, the wind seems to have shifted over by the fire. Not as much smoke and I can see a star in the sky! The chickens are all back outside for tonight (you better believe I'm madly cleaning, prepping for round 2 just in case) except for Sugar, Gloria and Scrambles, who are still in the house getting electrolytes, special goodies and care.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Hooray! Hope it continues! Come on wind.....

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


I heard on the news the fire is as large as chicago now.


Stay safe VS and the chickens.

piscesbobbie
Apr 5, 2012

Friend to all creatures great and small


VS front page of USA TODAY huge story about the fires and how it is affecting all the surrounding areas! Take care!

zamiel
Nov 12, 2005

Pugs not drugs


Can the more chicken knowledgeable folks round these parts explain why some of the chickens aren't doing too hot inside of a house? Is it psychological? Temps rising cuz you can't run an a/c unit? The air quality inside is poor but not as bad as outside? I've heard of house chickens before so I think I'm missing something crucial.

Just saw VS posted on twatter about chunks raining down Hang in there peeps.

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



zamiel posted:

Can the more chicken knowledgeable folks round these parts explain why some of the chickens aren't doing too hot inside of a house? Is it psychological? Temps rising cuz you can't run an a/c unit? The air quality inside is poor but not as bad as outside? I've heard of house chickens before so I think I'm missing something crucial.

Just saw VS posted on twatter about chunks raining down Hang in there peeps.

It's all the smoke and ash particulates in the air. Even inside the house, the outside air filters in and affects people and animals, making their breathing more difficult. Sick/elderly people and animals can be negatively affected, even if they stay inside.

It's the reason why during Ozone alerts and on bad air pollution days that elderly and sick people are warned to stay indoors where the air isn't as bad. During local Ozone Alerts, even if I stay inside my home, I definitely feel bad from the polluted air outside -- my ears start ringing because my sinuses are affected by the bad air.

To make matters worse, I don't think that VS has air conditioning, so they don't have any way to filter/clean the air inside the house. After 9/11, the air in New York city was so bad that a lot of people bought air purifier systems to scrub some of the bad particulates out of the air in their homes.

Chido
Dec 7, 2003

Butterflies fluttering on my face!

If I could afford it, I'd buy an air purifier in amazon for VS and ship it to her home. I really hope things improve soon.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.

Well it's getting thick again, we've put down the sheets again prepping for bringing the chickens in. Stupid useless AIRNow.gov site has been several hours behind or they just say 'N/A' for readings in northern CA and NV, so we aren't able to get any actual readings on the AQI. Regardless, the closest reading we can get is for Reno, 50 miles away. We are closer to the fire and more in the heavy part of the plume, so it's much worse here. We are about 50 miles from the Rim fire.

Exactly what Inveigle said, plus birds are more sensitive to crap in the air (ala the canaries they used to take into coal mines as toxic gas indicators--if the bird drops dead, you run) so they feel it sooner and to a more serious degree. And with all the living things we had in the house, it got humid and icky, too.

Scrambles and Gloria are still with us, although Gloria has decided to sit under 12_String's desk and fart all day.

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.

Half Horse.

All Awesome.

Velvet Sparrow posted:

Well it's getting thick again, we've put down the sheets again prepping for bringing the chickens in. Stupid useless AIRNow.gov site has been several hours behind or they just say 'N/A' for readings in northern CA and NV, so we aren't able to get any actual readings on the AQI. Regardless, the closest reading we can get is for Reno, 50 miles away. We are closer to the fire and more in the heavy part of the plume, so it's much worse here. We are about 50 miles from the Rim fire.

Exactly what Inveigle said, plus birds are more sensitive to crap in the air (ala the canaries they used to take into coal mines as toxic gas indicators--if the bird drops dead, you run) so they feel it sooner and to a more serious degree. And with all the living things we had in the house, it got humid and icky, too.

Scrambles and Gloria are still with us, although Gloria has decided to sit under 12_String's desk and fart all day.

Is Sugar okay?

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c355n4
Jan 3, 2007



Velvet Sparrow posted:

Scrambles and Gloria are still with us, although Gloria has decided to sit under 12_String's desk and fart all day.

Chickens fart?!

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