Hello, Possums!

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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.

Yep.

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 :-)

<3 Tahlia

Oh the irony….

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You know how I said I’m quitting raising chickens until we move?

Well, I’ve just come back from feeding my hens and I was doing the daily head count when I hear an all too familiar cheeping sound…

My black hen comes dashing around the side of the shed with 9 baby chickens!! Aaaaaaaargh! I had no idea she had a nest. Yesterday it was 40 degrees Celsius! We had the tail ends of a cyclone go over last night! Where did she hide them all?

Waah.

In full swing.

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It’s been an interesting couple of months, recently.

Gone and sold are twenty four young chickens and five ducklings for $350, and also sold are those two lovely baby ferrets Fez and Nanu had, for $200 each. Not bad for all the effort I put in over spring and summer! However I feel  I won’t be letting anymore chicks hatch like, ever. In all I had nine left after selling the rest of this years batch and they’ve settled in quite well with the other chooks, ducks and pigeons. We plan to wait until we can tell the roosters from the hens and sell them off in another month or so. I might sell my ducks as well. We’re reducing our pets down to (just, haha) the dogs, the cat, the cockatoo, budgies, ferrets, fish and a few pretty hens because Corey and I are planning on buying a house in a new town about 200 kilometres north! I so hope our loan approvals come through. I’ve been promised an eclectus parrot when we settle in up there!

My three guinea pigs all died last week from an unknown illness that appeared to spread between all three. Maybe a toxin or spider bites.. I cried so bad every time one died. All are buried in a nice spot in the garden. A few fish have died too (a gourami, three bristle nose catfish and a rummynose tetra that pissed off a discusfish) but it’s different.. These three were birthed by Lil Odd, a guinea pig I bought eight years ago. I watched them be born in my own backyard. Poor wee things.

We got so many apricots this year! I think Corey and I died a few times from the amount we were ingesting. We dried a few kilograms on the dehydrator and made fruit chips and the rest we gorged on fresh from the tree. Our elderly darl of a next door neighbor scored a bag a day of them too. Sadly our apples all got mobbed by the local wild parrot population. They pretty much laughed at our attempts to piss them off with the ging and foil in the trees. And the drought (tell me, what is rain?) screwed my plans for fejoa everything. Our lawn is a desert- all spare water went only on the bonsais and veggie patches this summer.

Oh well, cest la vie. Once Antarctica heats up a bit more this patch of Western Australia will be a few dozen metres underwater and I’ll try for a seaweed lawn.

PS: in totally not pet related news, I found and bought my wedding dress and have my maid of honour all sorted, along with a celebrant too. We’re getting married!

YIPPIE!

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We have two fat and healthy baby ferrets! Nanu is doing such a good job as a first time mum and Fez is very happy to have sired his fourth litter :-)

Hatching plans.

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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?

We’ve been busy!

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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.

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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.

 

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<3!

 

 

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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.

Birds :)

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All the pigeons have been out and about in the yard today :) Snapped a quick photo to show off all seven at once.

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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!

 

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Hello Cocky!!

I hope you all have a great weekend :) Enjoy the weather!

Convict fry transfer success!

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Mum and Dad Convict are not happy, Jan…

(also, hell yeah led panels for mood lighting)

New additions! (I feel better today)

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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!)

aaaanyway…..

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.

Yippee!

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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.