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First of the Year.

It’s that time of year again. Peafowl egg time!!!

The darker egg, that is. The other one belongs to one of the Royal Palm girls.

Yeah, they’re a little late starting from what’s normal, but I checked, and the girls are actually a whole three days early than last year’s first egg.

Ossiris the peacock and Indra, one of the peahens.

And since I now have a peafowl egg, stay tuned for an egg lineup. Ah, one of my favorite parts of breeding season. Well, after the ultra cute chicks, of course 😉

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Speaking Of. . . .

ETA: This post was meant to be published on Sunday night, but I never got around to it. Then, yesterday, I accompanied Grandma to a doctor’s appointment. By the way, an update on her mysterious gastrointestinal malady. . . . after a lot of doctors’ visits and tests, she was finally diagnosed with lymphocytic colitis (which is apparently a rarer type of colitis) and diverticulitis. She’s being treated and should start improving soon. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program . . . .
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Speaking of quail. Because that’s what we were doing, right?

When I got home from Geneva on Sunday, my sweet, young quail had a surprise for me.

They’re laying! Can you believe it? I can’t 🙂 But they are, and they’re practically egg laying wizards.

In the ensuing days, they’ve laid every single day. I’ve let them know that they’re very good girls.

I’m thinking it’s getting time to do an egg line-up picture – what about you? 
Of course, I’ve since learned something about quail that I didn’t know. . . they can apparently be aggressive little boogers, especially during breeding season. A couple of days ago, I noticed three of the five were all of a sudden sporting bloody heads. Not good. And to think they’re some of the friendliest birds we have. . . . but only with us apparently, not each other. 
So, after separating the injured parties from the suspected offenders, then catching the escapees (who were surprisingly easy to catch. . . seriously, was not expecting that) and a liberal application of Blu-Kote, I’m happy to report that they’re already showing signs of healing. 
By the way, if you’ve never heard of Blu-Kote and aren’t quite sure what it is. . . it’s an antiseptic spray that coats anything it touches in a hard-to-rid-yourself-of purple hue. Such as, my hand:
I’ve even happier to say that after a lot of hot-as-I-could-stand-it water, a pedicure brush, and a big bar of soap, my hands are no longer quite so colorful. The quail, however, still purple. 
Which is good, exactly what I want. Birds are attracted to the color red (in other words, blood and inflamed skin) and the purple coating serves to mask that color and minimize any further picking so they heal in peace. Which makes me happy. The quail. . . . not so much. They are totally not feeling the whole purple look. Particularly, this one:
I think she’s been taking stink eye lessons from Jim Bob.
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Baby Blue

In other news, our lone Cream Legbar hen has started laying! Yess!!!

And no, those are not buzzards that have managed to sneak into our flock. They’re the Naked Neck chicks (all grown up, that is, and laying eggs themselves) from this post last year.

Back to the Legbar girl – here are her first two eggs:

Aren’t they so pretty and blue?

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Finally. . .

. . . we got our first peafowl egg of the season.

Maybe the girls finally started listening to all those encouraging talks I’ve been having with them lately (they’re over 2 1/2 months late from when they began laying last year). I can be very persuasive when I want to be. . . Really, I can 🙂 Or maybe not. No matter what, I’m just glad to finally have a peafowl egg this year. So proud here’s a little egg lineup:

Left to Right: Marans egg, Peafowl, and a Royal Palm turkey egg. 

And in other news, check out my new citrus addition, a Lakeland Limequat tree:
I’m not entirely sure what a limequat tastes like (and if anyone has experience with them, feel free to fill me in), but I’m looking forward to finding out 🙂 
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Bashful Peas.

The peacocks have been unusually shy this year.

They can be in the midst of displaying with their feathers all spread out beautifully in an attempt to romance the girls, and as soon as they see me coming with my nifty red camera in hand, they close it up and look at me as if to say, “Keep moving, nothing to see here.” In fact, this is only the second decent picture I’ve managed to snap of either of the boys this year.

What’s cool, is that it’s Osiris, the shyest of the boys. . . Score!!! He’s only ever allowed me to take his picture displaying one other time, and that time, he was in the midst of regrowing molted feathers and was, sadly for him, not at his handsomest. That didn’t stop him from showing off to the girls, though. Maybe that’s where peacocks get the reputation for being vain creatures – though I still think Jim Bob the turkey is worse (I swear he could be the inspiration behind “You’re So Vain”).

But the boys aren’t entirely alone. The peahens have, in their own way, been shy this year. Last year, during the breeding season, we found our very first peafowl egg of the year on April 2nd (I only know that because I blogged about it here. . . thank God for this blog to keep me on track lol) and by May 15th, we’d had our first peachicks to hatch. This year, they’re completely behind and still haven’t laid the first egg 🙁 They’re not alone, either, as the guineas and some of the geese have been tardy with their egg laying, too. I guess it’s just going to be one of those years.

Luckily, the turkeys are more than making up for them. On Monday, I set 17 eggs from our Royal Palms in the incubator! So, sometime around May 20th we should have our very first hatch of Royal Palm babies 🙂