Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chickens cannot read

It is a pretty incredible thing when you come home to this... we have 9, 11 week old hens and 2 hens that are 18 weeks old. We have not rushed on the completion of the coop because well... ALL THE BOOKS say 20-25 weeks they start laying and hey, we have time!!

i went to the pet store today to get large quantities of items for the dogs and thought that I would get a container of crickets for the "girls". I brought the crickets outside and I spy the cutest little egg ever!!!
IN the corner on the FLOOR!!!

well of course, its the one on the right... the one on the left is store bought... but maybe soon we wont need to!! YAY!! oh and we better get crackin on the nest boxes!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is that a dishrag in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Today was a perfect day here at Shmoopywood South. After 4 days straight of cold and rain, we were all very thankful to see the sunshine that's for sure! This morning we were greeted at zero dark thirty by a very enthusiastic Django. He had to go potty. Django has a digestive issue, he will wait like 3 days before he will go potty and then every now and then he has his emergency potty runs. If we are lucky its in teh day time and not at 3am. Poor guy! Then I got up and slid my ladybug slippery rain shoes on and off I went to do my chicken chores.

As you know, Dave and I try very hard to be aware of what we do and how it effects the environment. Like dishtowels for example, we use them often because we do not use paper towels. We use them to clean counters and dry dishes, we use them as napkins and when they are so used that they are not useful for that purpose, they become rags and they are reborn into a whole new use. Unfortunately, when they change into the rags it leaves me without dish towels. (Dave will read this and not believe that I just gave up a perfect opportunity to use the word Metamorphosis in a sentence.) SO today we purchased NEW dishtowels. I am like the chickens in a way where something as simple as buying new dishtowels entertains me and makes me as giddy as they are first thing in the morning when I lift the door. For this reason, I would like to share my new towels with you good people.

Ok so those are not the ones that I bought, and I shamelessly nabbed this photo off of Google (sorry rightful owner of the pictures of the towels) but they were there. I got ones that are beige with black writing that says "what goes around comes around". I just love them. They are 60% regenerated cotton and 40% recycled Polyester and they were not expensive.

I also took some time in the garden this week in between rainstorms. I put the rest of the starters into the ground. I just couldn't stand to see them getting killed off mercilessly here inside my house. We worked so hard to get them to this point and to see them gnawed on by wayward Maine Coon cats and catapulted (ha! catapult) across the room by dogs was just too sad for me. I took the risk and put them in the ground. The next day the rains started. I truly believe that I am cursed to never grow anything with dirt. When I get a chance I will take some pics. Incidentally, any of you "followers" want to give me advice on potatoes? onions? Garlic? We have NO idea what we are doing and having a hard time knowing when to start harvesting these things in particular.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Whats up? Chicken Butt?

Its a long weekend and we did not go to the cabin :( poor swood... we will be there soon S-wood but right now we had some things at home we needed to get off our plate... such as... *insert cool music*

Yes folks, it is almost done, the outdoor pen is just about completed... Thought we would share the progress with you! I will be interested to see if the girls know enough to go into their coop when it gets dark, we are about 45 minutes away from that moment. I may find myself running around trying to shoo the chickens up the tube. Who knows but if I do, it will be pretty funny regardless.

Thats the new chicken tube. Came right out of Dave's head. I am really pleased with how it came out. We were not even done and the chickens started walking in the tube.

Whats up

Chicken butt

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The answer is DUH!

They're here! SO to answer the "really? more chickens?" question that shook the planet... the answer is DUH! Believe me, if it were not for space constraints I would have all kinds of chickens. That's really not the point of this small update, the point is that I have new girls. They got here yesterday and in true Lisa fashion, they were a surprise.

Also in true Lisa fashion, there's a story:

So, I ordered them to be delivered the week of 5/25. This means that they usually ship on the Sunday of that week and you receive within 2 days. In my vast experience (once) of receiving the baby chickens, you get them on time. I ordered these chickens months ago, maybe right after I got the others. They were to be older and closer to laying age (started pullets is apparently the appropriate lingo for these types of birds) I call them big birds. About 2 weeks ago, i got a phone message that stated that the hens will be delivered the week of May 21. I was like "what? that's a Thursday, they ship on Sunday's i don't understand" but nevertheless we began to prepare in that we thought they may come this week but if they did not come by Tuesday, we just KNEW they were coming next week.

Tuesday came and went, we were both on alert all day but alas, no chickens.

Written off. See you next week chickens... right?


Got a call yesterday about 10:30 "your chickens are here" my first thought was "where are they trying to go?" then I realized she didnt mean my current chickens... she meant my NEW chickens... So off Dave went like a good doobie to get our new girls.

So after all that yapping, here they are:

This is Pearl

And we dont have a name for this girl yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Seriously? More chickens?

XYes we are still building S-
wood for those of you who are asking, but also, we have another home, with a daily life and I thought maybe we. might expand this blog to. chronicle our constant goal to become more self sufficient xand learning some of the basic skills in life that are being forgotten.

The original plan was to get 4 chickens. It quickly became obvious that 4 chickens was not going to be any easier than 10 chickens and staying true to form, before we knew it there were 19 baby chicks in our laundry room. Course, 7 of those were unsolicited "packing peanuts" and 4 of them were to go to our friend, we then decided it actually made sense to keep one of the peanuts. I mean every good flock deserves a rooster right? We really arent sure what is going to happen with the Rooster to be honest and Uncle Ted he is probably not aware of this but he is on what I refer to as "soup probation". I am withholding his destiny until further notice. A "trial" period if you will. Anyway, the point of the post is not Ted although he feels he is the center of the universe. Shortly after I promised 4 of the chickens away, and found homes for the peanuts, I realized that I was going to have only 9 chickens and well that just didnt seem like enough. Coincidentally, at this time, I also realized that all (and I mean all) of our hens are the same color with the exception of 2 which are tan and Cotton the white one that is supposed to be red... So I went on Murry McMurray and for some bizarre reason ORDERED 2 STARTED Black sex link pullets. Ahh yup... I ordered more.

So we are slowly discovering that yes, Dave has the propensity to over engineer, but I also fit right in with my "are you sure that's going to be enough" personality. Best part? We aren't nearly done with the coop and pen combination, dropped off 4 to my friends last weekend and the 2 new hens are due THIS WEEK!!! Now we are trying to finish up the roosts, nestboxes and chicken pen so they can be outside and inside comfortably. We hope to have the outside part done next weekend. Today Dave worked on the roosts.
Here is a picture of one that he finished today. Its 2-tiered and its on hinges... (over-engineer alert) so that you can put it up and latch it to the ceiling. This makes it easier to clean out the hen-house.

I love that about him.
Anyway here they are:

So in this picture we have our 9 week old chickens. In the way back you can see our Rooster "ted" and you can also see all our red chickens who are gold sex links and 2 New Hampshire Reds.. (clicking t makes it big)
There is the 2-teired left side roost. Each perch is long enough for 3 full sized chickens (the lens distorts).

And then, just because it cracked me up... I had to include this picture of my girl "cotton" the white chicken. White chicken (gold sex link) is considerably smaller than "big bird" who is on the left. That might be Honker... not sure... but she is one of 2 of Buff Rock hens. Now that you know more than you ever really wanted to know about my chickens, I will go. We will be headed to S-wood soon. I look forward to updating you on progress there and I hope that the slight format change will make you more interested in our blog rather than make you go away.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chickentopia and other things

Things are happening in the garden! Personally, I feel this is a huge accomplishment for me. I have never been able to grow anything. We have some starters that have met their demise due to cats or other horrible reasons (such as the great dane sweeping them right off the counter top with his tail after being excited). I am happy to say that alot of the things that we have planted are actually growing!
Here is some update:

This is my very first strawberry plant ever. We now have 3 pots full of them. I decided to hang them because they are easier for us to keep safe from birds and other critters as they are hanging right outside our door in the back yard.

On the far right, is our onions, we got these on a "whim" at the farm store when we went to get prices on some dirt. And the big bushy things... those are some bad ass eggplants! They are BEASTS!! they don't care about wind/cold they just keep growing!

Course plants are not the only thing we are growing here at Shmoopywood South... no my friends...we are also growing chickens, and coops. SO I have included some chicken cuteness just to keep those of you who are so chicken oriented happy.
Incidentally, anyone else notice that having chickens is like having an addiction? After greeting my dog at the door after work, I greet my husband and then its outdoors to greet my chickens.
We have a pen but there is currently no chicken way into it, as it is not attached yet to the coop. We also have not finished the top or cover to the pen at this time. We will get to it, Dave made a cat house that models our home a long time ago for a cat that used to live here and it has stood abandoned for years, so we moved the tiny little house into the chicken coop so they can go into it to get shelter or get away from Uncle Ted :)

On the right we have my favorite chicken, this is Cotton. Cotton is showing the other chicks how to take a dirt bath.

And for our last shot, here are some of the girls (Patty, Myopic chicken, and the unnamed chicken in the back) checking out the little house. I can't wait for them to start perching atop the house.