Tag Archives: chickens

MORE BABIES!!!

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We got our new chicks yesterday.  I’m interested to see how this will play out.  Paul didn’t want new chickens six months ago when I said the hens were broody, now we have mucho.  I think the tally is a whopping 75 head of fluff.  I’m still in the dark as to what the variety of chickens these are, this being addressed to Tabby who is just dying to know…aren’t you.  Tabby, and every one else, they are being kept in the green house at present to keep them warm and such.  Here are some pictures of them arriving.

Everyone was excited.

Doesn’t Karen look happy to be holding a baby chick?!

I told you I’d get a better picture of you Emily!

Did you know chickens were born in a box?

A temporary home.

In other news, Emily, Kyle and I made cultured vegetables for the first time.  We were winging it.  I watched a few YouTube videos and we went for it, but dear reader, it seems to be working.  There are so few directions, so it seems to easy to be true.  I’ll let you know in a few days how they taste.

Here is a picture of them this morning doing their thing.  There is beet, cabbage, kale and collard greens in here.  We also added salt, ground coriander and cayenne pepper.  What a terrible picture!  Too much coffee.

The week in a nutshell

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So, I know I mentioned that Kyle and Karen came, well, Emily also came to join us.  She’s from Iowa, on her way to do an internship on the Heifer Ranch down in Perryville Arkansas, so naturally she came here first.  I think I might have a picture of her, sorry Emily, it may not be the best one, but I promise to get a better one of you before you leave.

Emily and Kyle prepping and planting carrots.

You need to watch out for this one!  She is as fierce as that side eye she’s giving us.  Try playing a strategy game with her, she’s got it on lock!

PAKI!  The Pak-man, who at 26 found out that he’s not Greek.  It’s a funny story, and if you come and volunteer I’ll tell it to you, unless Paul is still here…then he can tell you himself.

Carrot planting.

Here’s Karen.  She’s been hiding, but someone found her and snapped this picture.  The water drops look neat at the bottom of this shot.

Teamwork.  Look at them all bending at the hip.  Don’t they know they should bend from the knee!

Few of us have seen this.  Before this picture was taken, only Marine and I had seen this operation in action.  This is the law of nature at its finest, a hornet grasping a cicada, before it drags it into its hole in the ground.  It’s quite an amazing sight to behold.  Now you all know, you can share in the wonders and joys, heartbreaks and…I don’t know, MOTHER NATURE PEOPLE!

Hmm?  What’s going on here?  This is what I like to call Amish paradise!  Kyle here is running a trencher, digging a trench to my house for a water line.  It’s not going into my house…yet, but there is now a spigot in my yard!  When I saw the spigot finished, I wanted to cry.  That’s what love is.  Water.  In your yard.  All day long.

Paul P. is running the trencher through the garden for a grey water something or other.

The Missouri Angels are looking at these pictures, biting their lips because they missed it.  You’ll be back.  And here’s another tidbit fellas.  I beat Paul P. at Settlers of Catan.  I stole the red pieces.  I think that’s his weakness.

Chicken coop for the orchard in its beginning phase.

Aha!  I make an appearance.  Yes, I guess I’ll help for a minute, but not a second more!

Moving whatever piece that is into the chicken yard area.

Amanda, why are you wearing an apron?  Well dear reader, because I’m a domestic, it’s my uniform of sorts.  Also, Emily and I had just finished making 29 jars of wild plum jam for the CSA.  Go ahead.  I dare you to say something.

Babies! And other things

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Don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched, or so they say, well we DID count them before they hatched and there were three dozen.  Post hatching, we were delighted to have 10-ish join the flock.  Now I say “ish” because there were two or so that died during the first day.  One of the chicks was hen-pecked, and had a head that was oozing.  So, I, wanting to be a day saver swooped up this chick and put it in a box in the house and treated its head wound.  This chick which I have since nicknamed “Spaz” lived in our house for about a week, then I reintroduced it to its siblings.  The Mamma hens were in this new coop with the babies and they knew Spaz was back and pecked at it again.  Ok, plan B, “Get rid of the Mamma’s”.  Well, easier said than done.  Through experience, I am an expert chicken catcher.  I have an accurate swoop, and through training am no longer afraid.  I threw the mammas into the coop with the bigger flock, and both mammas and babies started freaking out.  The crafty young somehow snuck through the fence and joined the big flock with no apparent side effects such as other hens nipping them and the like.  Leaving sweet Spaz all alone in the new coop.  Such is life.

Babies just hatching.

Little “Spaz”.  Since Spaz had been in the house, it didn’t know how to be with the other chickens.

Mammas and babies trying to figure out what happened.

And little Spaz again, trying to figure it out.

In other news, the Missouri Angels are gone for two weeks.  They will return, to over-winter here, this is great news for their help is so valuable.  Also, Paul Pakis, a previous WWOOFer, has just came back from a week-long vacation.  It’s funny, I have pictures of Paul P. and have never posted them, so to you dear reader, this may be your first introduction to him.  Paul who?  Exactly.  Paul came to us from Little Rock Arkansas, he stayed with us here for three weeks, left for a week, then came back.  He told us last night that as soon as he left and was home for a couple of days, all he could think about was coming back.  He said he had never eaten healthier, or felt better in his life.  That the farm life made him happy.  Things like this make us happy too.  It feels good to create an atmosphere for people where they feel good.  This farm is therapy.  Also, I could mention that right before Paul P. left, the Frenchies, David and Marine have returned to France.  I’m not sure how they’re doing, but I bet they’re relieved to not have to be awake and at breakfast by 6:30 am!  Happy trails to you both.

I said something about a head count

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The kids and I went to the library before lunch, and that’s where I blogged about the chickens earlier.  Anyway, when the kids and I came home, we checked on the baby chickens.  There were two that I felt compelled to rescue at that moment.  I found a small box and brought them in.  One didn’t want to stand up and want to walk and it’s eye’s were all crusted shut with dirt.  The next had a head wound from being pecked on by one of the mammas.  I brought them inside the house, sure that at least one of them would be dead by dinner.  I am happy to say that they are still both alive.  I washed out eyes, and treated a pretty gnarly head wound.  I felt this overwhelming need to save these birds.  After such a traumatic loss maybe?  Hopefully they’ll make it.

Talk about a Barn Burner! A story of life and death.

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The heat “wave” in these parts is becoming unbearable.  Not even those lucky enough to have air conditioning are safe.  Crops are failing, the earth is soooooo dry.  We are outside with a hose everyday, trying to keep our plants alive long enough for the fall, because maybe then it will be cool enough for the tomatoes to set fruit.  It’s limping along, to put it nicely.  The heat is the prime topic of everyone’s conversation, especially those who have lived in these parts their whole lives.  Yesterday it hit between 108° F-110° F, reports vary.  Still, that’s the hottest temperatures this region has EVER seen.  Coming from the Central Valley of California, those temps aren’t too surprising, but I will agree with the locals, this isn’t supposed to happen here.

This morning, I went to take care of the chickens, feed them and bring them water.  I let out the birds, and I notice there aren’t as many.  I walk into the coop and see our red rooster dead and laying on the side of the laying boxes.  Hmmmm.  I look around and Peter, our turkin, is also missing.  At this point I panic.  Did something get into the coop?  Where are the other bodies?!  I walk back and find Paul and tell him about what I saw and didn’t see.

“Oh, yeah.  There were six dead chickens yesterday, probably from the heat.”

This damn heat.  Those poor chickens!  My beloved Peter.

The baby chickens, about a dozen have hatched and have been moved into their own home.  We have lost two due to heat or pecking, I’m not sure, but there are ten now.  We’ll have to take a recount at the end of the day.  Yesterday the kids pointed out to me that one of the baby chicks had the bald neck, “It’s a Turkin!” they said.  When I saw it, I felt tremendous joy.  I looked over at Peter in his separate coop and told him congratulations!  “You’re a father!”  It pains me to write about his death today.  He was one of two birds in our flock that I said we’d feed until they died because we all were so fond of them.  Here is a link of how he entered our lives.  It was such a neat story, scroll down to the entry titled “Crazy Freak Weather”.  R.I.P. Peter.  Hopefully your child is also a male.

Today there is cloud cover, and there were some raindrops, maybe ten.  Just enough to say yeah, remember this wet stuff that falls from the sky?  Well, I’m going over here, I’m not playing with you today.  We’ll see.