Hello! I’m Tahlia, a mid-twenties girl from a rural town in southern Western Australia. I live with my fiancé, Corey, on a large block with gardens, lawns, lots of fruit trees and veggie patches aaaaand a chook pen (and a house).
We have a zoo. Close to 100 furred, feathered and finned friends we choose to share our lives with.
My plans for this blog are for me to talk about my animals and for you, my reader, to talk about yours. Have you got a story, anecdote, photos or advice about your pets you want to share? Go for it!
Enjoy the read, whoever and where ever you are :-)
Whoops it’s December already! This year has gone fast!
There has been so much going on here lately. Chickens have hatched left, right and centre for the past six weeks! One of the clucky hens hatched out a duckling, and one of our ducks got the cuckoo treatment as well, hatching out four little chickens just the other day. So far I’ve sold nine, with another 5-10 going this weekend. Hooray for Gumtree! It’s a nice wodge of pocket money for me, too. The duckling has become a firm friend and wonderful pet :-)
I bought Corey a new eel to go with our big fella (peacock eel) in his aquarium, and sold a lot of the fish in mine to make space for my favorites to grow out.
On the weekend we built a 1000litre yabby farm and chucked in our first breeding stock :-) three months from now I expect yabby salad.
And speaking of expectations, guess who pulled a swifty on us? The Bloody Ferret. She got fat as hell but after day 45 we were scratching our heads, nothing was going on!.. She either ate the kits, absorbed them while still preggers or just had a phantom pregnancy. She came back into heat already so has spent the week with boyfriend Fez in his cage.
Our veggie patches are going mad, full of kale, chard, gooseberries and Corey’s obsessional favorite, pipinos. We’re due for a good crop of apricots, nectarines, plums, guava, fejoa, pears and apples. Canning time ahoy!
Happy summer everyone! I intend to burn to a crisp in the garden like a proper Australian this year. How about you?
The past few weeks have been great. Our clucky hen has popped out 14 baby chickens in the past week which is fantastic! Every day we go up and check the nest and there’s one or two more, the day before yesterday seven hatched at once! The baby chickens are living inside away from the stormy weather we’ve been having.
Our female ferret is up the duffers! And she has mood swings! And she craves human flesh, so we’re just letting her do her own thing until she’s nesting seriously- she got me a good one on the wrist yesterday, but other days she’s smoochy as hell. I’d love to give her cuddles but I don’t trust her not to nip so she gets arms length cuddles when I have a jumper on haha!
Aaaaand I just want to show off my fish tank.
It’s been a nice chilly, foggy week here in the hills! Rain and hail and storms and rain and rain and raaaaaain (I like rain) Been for a few drives up to the lookouts just to wind down the car windows and pretend I’m a cloud.
All our fruit trees are setting fruit (like, insane amounts, waaay more than last years harvest), we have a clucky hen that we’re stuffing all the other chooks eggs under and our ferret pair have been at it like mad. 40-odd days from now I’ll probably make a mess of a blog post about how many baby ferrets we have!
The baby pigeons are doing very well. They’ve learned to flock with the others and are getting a good bit of proper fly time almost daily. Our two new roosters have settled in great and I’m hoping some of the eggs that hatch from our aforementioned clucky hen turn out with a barred pattern like they’ve got.
In a bit of sad news one of our blasted drakes decided to go for an adventure and got eaten by a free-ranging dog from up the road. Not nice :-/ He was our big daddy drake as well, so the plan is for our young drakes to be Christmas lunch and a new drake can come in and take over next year.
All the pigeons have been out and about in the yard today :) Snapped a quick photo to show off all seven at once.
I also thought I’d introduce Sydney properly. He’s my oldest and dearest pet, a nearly 9 year old corella that I’ve had since he was born. He’s like my noisy, violent, arrogant shadow. He’s very protective (he bonded really fast to me and only me and anyone else cops a rather dire need for medical attention if they try and pat him), too smart for his own bloody good and gets me in trouble with the neighbors because he swears at them when they’re loud at night. He likes it quiet, because his 2000 decibel yells carry further that way. He talks and talks and talks a lot, and he’s a fantastic icebreaker when new friends visit the house. All I have to do is point in the direction of his cage and tell visitors to say hello and wallah! They’re having a proper, seemingly meaningful conversation with a cockatoo. It blows their minds half the time!
I hope you all have a great weekend :) Enjoy the weather!
Mum and Dad Convict are not happy, Jan…
(also, hell yeah led panels for mood lighting)
Spring has sprung, the grass has rizz and our last remaining roosters balls have dropped. Except for the fact he’s screwing his sisters right now that would’ve been great! So I put an ad up on a local forum and within two hours I had two friggin epic looking barred wyandotte x pekin roosters! Beautiful new bloodlines to put with my current lot of hens. Needless to say our little twisted rooster in the back pen is soon to be soup.
Today we also got some new additions to our little nano tanks. In the past few days we’ve renovated some old spare tanks from up the shed and now we have I think 5 running in the house (thank god for cold-water fish and amphibians, they cost us about $!0 a year in power to run, no heater=yay!)
We got freshwater shrimp! Two males and four mature females. Corey has to double check what species they are, but oh my god they are the funniest little things to watch. I don’t know if it just means I’m an easily entertained fool, but I’ve been sitting in the lounge-room in the dark (don’t want these guys to get stressed) giggling my tits off watching their billion little legs go to work as they swim across the water in their little clear tupperware container we’re adjusting them in.
The Convict pair and their fry are doing very very well! I’m actually quite surprised- they still have most of their brood left over a week after hatching. Tonight we’re going to siphon the fry from the main part of the tank and put them in a breeder net hanging inside off the edge of the glass. Waaaaaaaaay easier to feed and take care of when they’re confined to only two litres of space.
Today the Convict Cichlids brought their babies up to the front of the tank to say hello! Me and Corey and all our mates that are over gave up trying to count them- close to 150? Maybe more? They’re hidden in the big pit in the bottom of that half of the fish ornament they were laid in. Eeeeeee!!!!
This is their second brood in 4 weeks. None from their first survived (Mum and Dad Convict didn’t exactly know how to take care of them and I had a few more fish in the tank..) but they seem to be doing well now, this lot hatched last week and they’re still alive :D! I didn’t update earlier because, well, I honestly thought one of the catfish got into their nest and ate them all the day they hatched. Not a SIGN of them until this evening when I got home and Dad fish is up against the glass giving the kids what I assume was a show and tell:
“Kids, this shimmery tall thing moving towards us is the food god. It has magical powers and makes light and food appear sporadically. We’d tell you exactly when but…ummm…we ain’t got the best memori—- HEY FOOD!! GUYS, LOOK!!! FOOD!”
I’m hoping it all goes well and I can sell a couple dozen. They’re a great starter cichlid for new aquarists.
Oh Jesus, Corey and I are dying. What a gross start to the day.. It appears our beloved old man river, Link, ate a rotten duck egg yesterday because I woke up to the worst stench at 9:30 this morning. Within seconds that “no no no I don’t want to deal with this but I have to” anxiety kicked in and I staggered into the laundry and was greeted by a poo-tsunami and three animals pleading “LET US THE FUCK OUT OH MY GOD MUM WHAT THE FUCK CAME OUT OF LINKS ARSE?”
It was nooooot pretty. However once I deducted that it was Link ( most of the time if someone drops a plonker it’s Sophie or the cat and a game of “who dun it” but today it was easy- Sophie had her jocks on and the mess was a larger amount than the weight of her and Abby combined) I kinda perked up becaaaaaauuuuuuse I didn’t have to clean it uuuuuuu-uuuuuuup. Yay!! Its the only thing that ain’t my job when it comes to our animals. That dog is huge, he’s a mastiff / rottie / ridgeback / pitbull mix, weighs almost as much as me and takes shits worthy of a geological survey benchmarch.
“Oi Babe! Wake up it smells like popcorn!”
“Huh? You seriou- OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK?”
Took him half an hour to get it all cleaned up. Remember the Beavis and Butthead episode where Daria finds them in the puddle singing diarrhea-cha-cha-cha? The scale of it reminded us of that, for some reason, so we were laugh-drywretching as well.
The whole laundry got boiled water and hospital grade disinfectant. Twice.
Three and a half hours later, even with all the windows open, scented candles burning, the electronic air freshener on full blast and another wash of bleach WE STILL CAN’T GET RID OF THE SMELL. I think it’s melted into the paint on the walls. I KNOW it’s melted into my sinuses.
Well I woke up to a murder scene. Sophie’s on her first ever serious heat. Thank you, mother nature. She was obviously having trouble staying clean so we did the smart thing and took her for a trip to the pet shop for some “feminine necessities” (Oh my god I never thought I’d ever type that sentence, ha!).
So now pup-pup is rocking some seriously nifty thing made of elastic straps and “pleather” that has a napkin insert. All she needs is a cape and she can be Super Menses Mutt! When she’s outside we just slip it off so she can feel the breeze and it takes only a few seconds to put back on so she can go back inside.
I highly, highly recommend these sort of products for anyone with a dog on heat. It’s a bit kinder than exiling her to the bitches box up the back, especially with the really horrible weather lately.
If you look in the middle of the above photo you can see lots and lots of little orange spheres with black dots in them. These are fertile Convict Cichlid eggs! They’ll be hatching tomorrow night, me thinks. Mum convict has gone insane digging a rather large pit underneath the ornament she laid them in to keep the babies safe. After they hatch they’ll eat mums slime coating off her scales for nutrition and then they’ll move onto fry food. My plan is to catch mum and a few dozen babies and put them in a breeding net hanging off the side of the tank they’re currently in. If they survive and grow big enough they can be sold on or traded :-)
I love how this hobby pretty much pays for itself.