Friday, July 31, 2009

These chicks are just so cute but they do grow up fast

We had been calling this one Stripey, but changed it to Owl, which eventually becomes Hedwig. Here she is then as a chick (left) and now as a full-grown hen (above).

When Big Mama dies, Hedwig takes over.

I picked her up recently. She's at least 10 pounds. She is large and in charge, as you can tell by the "Don't you give me no lip" look on her face.

Coop built

It was a lot of work, but we are ready to adopt the five: the coop is built, the run is ready and we've bought egg-layer food. We call Lori to tell her we're good to go. Daugther can barely contain herself with the thought of adopting chickens!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coop situated

It's not easy deciding where to put the coop. We live on a field where many people walk their dogs off leash. We have raccoons. Both would love a free chicken dinner.

Jim decides to make my daughter's swing set into the coop. There will be three doors: the little one to let the chickens in and out if the run for the day. (We lock them in to keep the raccoons out.) The main entrance for us. And access to the nesting boxes. We decide on four nesting boxes, as they won't all lay eggs at once. We decide that a dog run from Mill's Fleet Farm is just the thing for the chickens' run.

We start building on a Saturday morning, and Jim is so proud that he is using every piece of scrap wood he's ever saved to build the coop.

Things are going along swimmingly until one of the big oak beams falls and conks him on the head. My daughter has the presence of mind to stick a bag of frozen peas on him. When we call Abbott's ER, and they tell us we better come in.

We end up there - with X-Rays and CT scans and 'how may fingers am I holding up' tests - for about six hours. We hadn't had lunch, and now, no dinner, so by the time Jim is released, we are ready to collapse. We have to eat at the hospital's McDonald's and order things we never do: fries, shakes, multiple hamburgers. I can't figure out why a hospital would have a McDonald's, except to assure future business.

I tell Jim I'll get rid of the chicks if this is just too much all together. But the doctor says he is OK, and when we get home, he (not intentionally, but very dramatically) rips his ID bracelet off and gets back to work. What a guy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's a few more?

A trip into the danger zone, i.e. the farm store, means we add two little chicks to the flock. Red has a poofy hood on the top of her (her?) head that just kills me, it's so cute. And Peanut is the teenyest chick ever. The thing with these two, is that the minute I looked at them, I had names for them. Plus, in doing the math regarding number of natural fatalities and number of roosters, a few more will help our odds of getting more egg laying hens. So home with us they go.

Red and Peanut are in the Rubbermaid bin that the seven started in, as they are smaller than the seven and got picked on when I put them in there. Talk about stress. You weigh a few ounces, get put into a new home with seven big strangers, only to get picked on immediately. The big ones are merciless, too.

That night, Red peeps wildly and just won't stop. Peanut is fine, just trying to get some sleep. I cradle Red till midnight, when I know she's good and tired, and place her in the bin in the warm towel I'd been holding her in. She falls asleep. Sheesh. It's like having a new puppy!