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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Babies born & another broody hen...Yeah for this household!

CeeCee Rooster March 2011

Hello Everyone!

Sorry its been a bit since I last wrote but since nothing big has happened that has shook my world I have been lazy in the writing department.

As you know 'Mother' was laying on eggs & I just knew none were going to hatch since it seemed she had been on them too long. But 2 Saturdays ago, I had to go have a tooth pulled & when I came back I checked on Mother while my mouth was still numb & feeling no pain.

  This proud girl had 2 babies, one all black & the other yellow with browns in its wings.  Somehow she had gotten them down to the floor (from the nesting box that is about 4 foot from the floor) without any broken legs or injuries.  I ended up naming them Pearl (black one) & Opal...if they are boys they will become Percy & Opie. 

I went to bed then & when I woke up I had Bess broody in the house!  Well since she doesn't have access to fertile eggs I went out in the big coop & grabbed 3 that should be fertile & placed those under her & removed the 3 she was laying on.  she has taken the middle sized dog crate as her nesting box & is doing quite well.  I so worry about them & whether they get enough food so like I did with 'Mother' I mix her feed with baby food or yogurt & put it right under her beak so she will eat while I am watching for a few minutes.

I find it funny that I never was into the whole baby chick thing but now I get so excited when I see one peek out at me.  Pearl & Opal are doing great & they are getting fearless with the other chickens.  Mother calls them back when she sees them where they are not suppose to be or possibly going to get pecked by one of the hens.  But so far she has not fought with anyone & they all keep their distance from her when the chicks are near by.  Yesterday though it was overcast I went out & worked in my 2 small gardens, raking wood ash & straw into the ground & remarking where I am putting the potatoes in this time.  I found a few red worms that I took into 'Mother' & the babies got a hold of them.  they were like little mini roadrunners with the worms in their beaks.  I never did see if they ate them but boy did they run around with them.

I have both of them on medicated feed for now but I know they are also getting the regular feed that is on the floor of the coop.  I try not to do more than 6 weeks of the medicated feed because I want them to eat what the others are eating.  Its a tough decision but I also know that they can get sick if not on it & so far I have had good luck with it & have not lost any of my young chicks to illnesses or diseases.  this winter I only lost 3 hens compared to about 20 the winter before. I hated losing them but am so thankful that it was only 3 this time.

As soon as the weather warms up I will extend the big coop by another 6 feet & add a indoor run that is about 4 foot by 8 foot for them.  this winter they never went out if there was even a dusting of snow on the ground & I felt so bad that they were all inside in a 10 foot by 6 foot area.  The added area will give them a 16 foot by 10 foot area to roost, eat, nest ect & the indoor run will be open on really nasty rainy days & in the winter as well so I know they are getting some exercise & not having to breath the same old air day in & day out. 

I am giving up the area of my shop that is set up for making dollhouses (for charity) since I have no time to do it anymore & the space is just being wasted as storage. I just need to get out there now & sort through the dollhouse stuff & get it ready to sell.  I plan to keep 1 dollhouse kit & the rarer dollhouse furniture but the rest will go. I want to build a dollhouse for my grand daughter so when we move back home in the near future she will have it when she comes to visit.

Thomas is now in Texas getting all his shots & other training for when they leave for Afghanistan at the end of the month.  he has been gone about 3 weeks now but I can talk to him on the phone which is nice.  They are getting 4 days off just before they leave so he is flying to see his folks.  I told him he needed to do that & I didn't mind him going to see them before he left.  I had him all  the time before this & they only get to see him maybe once a year so I think it is only right that he spend time with them.

As you also know I had to put down my 15 year old Chow Chow last month & Rosey our other dog got worse.  Before she would attack Hayley for just moving, ate my camera...yes even the metal parts!  Well I thought she might calm down with Hayley gone...Oh no, she forced her way into my sewing room, ate vintage 1940's patterns, antique lace, cardboard box, straight pens & tore a huge hole in the bedspread. what got to me was Thomas' game room is right there, door open & she left everything in there alone but had to force the door open to get into my sewing room.  Needless to say Rosey is now living with a nice couple 2 hours away.  So for the first time in about 23 years we have no dog in the house.  I like dogs but am at a point now where I prefer the chickens & my standoffish cats. And I see no dogs coming here in the near future.  I think it is someone else's turn to take the dogs...I will stick to rescuing chickens.

I got in the mail yesterday my strawberry patch fencing, you know the kind that is a big circle with 2 more small circles that you put in like a tiered wedding cake...well I am using it as a herb garden so it will keep contained the herbs that like to wonder & will be easier for me to maintain.  Now if the weather would just let the sun come back again for a bit so I can set it up.  I will need to get a load of dirt for it which if I can get a hold of my friend with the small pickup I will be good to go.  I thought I would go through the 50 pounds of potatoes I got last fall but I still have some left that have sprouted so instead of composting them I am going to cut them up & plant the sprouted parts for some nice small potatoes.  They will be nice in potato salad ect & maybe some will be left in the ground so by late summer early fall I can dig up some bigger ones for me to enjoy later on.  I try to be careful & not waste anything I have but I may have more potatoes sprouting than I can use so some may have to go in the compost, but then again I will use the compost so I guess in a sense its not wasteful.

My spring/summer list of chores has grown to 42 items that have to be done before the fall.  I sat down thinking I may have a bit but 42!  thank goodness I have a long while to get them all done.  Since Thomas is not here I have to make sure they get done cause I won't have him to blame if they don' then again I am the only one who knows the list...soooooooo...I guess if a few don't get done who will ever know besides me?  I know you can't tell on me cause you don't know whats on the list!

Well my arms are tired so I best close for now.  Everyone have a great chicken day!....M'

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