Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happiness is blurry iPhone pictures

Words can not even begin to describe how these children make me happy......

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chickens- a documentary

So because chickens have entered our lives I feel the need to catch you up to speed.  

Last march we got 8 baby chicks.  
We put them in a guinea pig cage because we had no idea what we were doing.
Then they got bigger and we moved them into an official chicken tub.  The kind you get for free from family because their deck cushion holding box is cracked.

I would formally introduce you to them but the only one I can identify is Walmart.  She's the white one.  Or the not brown one.  

She was picked out by ally.
Because I am a good chicken momma I would take the ladies outside to learn how to be not in a chicken box.
And then we would take turns seeing who could hold all 8 at one time, because it just seemed like the right thing to do.
Then we built a chicken coop and painted the inside purple!!!  And the kids took turns putting custom paintings on the walls for our girls!

And then kind of like children they were huge and ready to move to their new accommodations.  Far far away from their momma and their chicken tub.  Sniff.
My flowers never had a chance.  We ended up renaming that hen flower box sitter.........because she was always sitting in the am flower box.  You can call her flower for short.
Walmart grew into a beautiful fluffy silkie!

The ladies have always made me so happy!!!  I love watching them out there in their run!
Here is Walmart the day ally painted her finger nails. The other chickens wouldn't quit pecking at her feet.  So she and her friend decided to paint all their nails so they only pecked at their own feet.  Future problem solver of the world.
And then one glorious day it happened.  Late summer we got our first eggs.  And the ladies were on fire- egg producing machines!
Here is Dan eating the most expensive egg sandwich in the history of egg sandwiches.  I'm pretty sure it was the best he'd ever tasted.

I can't remember exactly all of the next details but one chicken flew over into the yard and Rosie shook it to death.  And then a hawk got into the coop and killed two- one of which was Walmart. 
 We all cried. 
One play date of SAMs ended with them seeing Rosie kill a hen that got too close to the gap in the gate.
I say none of this lightly- it was all horrifying.  Apparently you can't train a dog not to want to catch birds.

Dan surprised us with two adult silkies.  Ugliest things I've ever seen and my girls hated them and wouldn't let them in the coop.

 Then a hole developed in the gate and six hens hopped through into the yard and met their fate- Rosie was probably super excited that day.  But we were all devastated.  One of the new silkies survived only to die a day later in our garage.

And Dan surprised us with a few more baby chicks from a friend.  But that left squatter, out last surviving hen who was lucky enough to be laying an egg during the chicken massacre, all alone in the coop because the babies were too small to go yet.

Enters Red- a mature past her egg laying time hen.  They get along just fine.  Till squatter hopped the fence, dang.

The babies were just teenagers.  A little too small to move to the coop but we couldn't leave Red all alone.

So we ran netting over the chain link and moved the four babies in.  And two slid through the fence into the field and were never seen again.

But then the sweetest thing happened.  Red decided to mother the two remaining teenager babies- and each night she would tuck one under each wing.  Until eventually they got to big to fit.

What is hysterical (to the rest of the world, not so much to me) is that the two babies both grew into roosters.  We wondered when they started fighting all the time- but now it is obvious.  Kevin Spike and Pollo are not hens.  And although they fight over who gets to eat what and when and where.....neither one messes with Red.  She can do whatever she wants.

Scene ends, curtain closes.  Lights dim to black.

And this past week we added six more baby chicks to our journey.  We are learning and modifying and changing, and we are hopeful that we can keep these guys safe.  And that they are girls.  Because dang we sure don't need another rooster around here!