Saturday, May 05, 2012

Baby Chicks!

From the left is Stoney (our Welsummer), Marley (our Black Australorp), and Mooney (our Cuckoo Maran)
After only a week of having the chickens, I decided to call the feed store to see when they were getting chicks. They said they had just got them in. So, within 2 days we were off to pick out our chicks and get our supplies. We got them at 3 days old and they are now 9 days. The growth rate is amazing! There are visible changes every day. We love these little guys. 

 We have been doing a lot of experimentation. The staff at the feed store told us to use pellets as their bedding, but we found that they were pecking at them. So I switched around some feeders and they were doing pretty well with those this first week. However, Daniel and I were reading not to use pellets alone. So we eventually switched to newspaper and then paper towels, which work great for absorption, cleanup, and the chicks' grip. Eventually we will use shavings.

They love to cuddle together! Mooney starts chirping super loudly if any of it's buddies are being held by one of us: "Hey, where is my friend!?" Actually, Lukey's theory is that Mooney will be a rooster. Probably true, because Mooney is kind of a spazzy loud one. The reason the boys picked this one out was because it was the prettiest, also perhaps a sign of a cockerel. We will find out within a couple weeks, I guess. 

 Stoney in the middle is Jared's baby. We are assuming she will be a hen. She is seemingly wise and all-knowing. She is also the biggest chick of the 3. Marley, on the left, is Lukey's bird. She was named after Bob Marley because she is the mellow, peaceful one.
You can tell they are a few days older here and there feathers are noticeably growing, as well as their bodies.  

 After a week, we changed to a different feeder and the paper towel bedding.

 Nighty night, babies.

Look at those tails! It's so much fun watching them develop and flourish. I can 't wait til they become layers, because Stoney and Mooney (that is if she isn't a he), will be giving us chocolate colored eggs! So awesome!

Have a great day everyone. 
Peep, Peep!!


Signs of Spring Around the House

Spring is finally solidly starting to do her thing. Around the property, there are a few things blooming and thriving. Here is a glimpse...


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From Just a Dream To Raising Chickens

We have finally got our chickens!! Last fall I was discussing with a fellow mom at Jared's school about how we wanted to start our homestead by raising chickens once Daniel was back to work. I told her I didn't feel we could afford it at that time, so she held on to 4 of her 20 chickens for me. Well, she stuck to her word because just this last Saturday we went and picked the girls up. Thanks, Katie.

We wanted to be as frugal as possible, so I went to the library and grabbed several references on chickens. Self-Education = $0

Then, Daniel picked up some old fencing from his mom's house. We also had some boards laying around. Lumber = $0

Chicken wire, hardware cloth, and screws and nails were all things we had laying around sorta speak, as well. Other Needed Building Materials = $0

Wheels were taken from a rolling gardener seat that was not being utilized. Wheels That Turn the Coop Into a Chicken Tractor = $0

Chickens = $0

Hay, Feeder, Waterer, and a 50 Lb Bag of Pellets = $30

$30 Total (Not including gas)? Not too bad.

Chicken tractor in the making....

Here, we have it parked in the garden to get it tilled (from scratching) and fertilized (nitrogen-rich poop...Yummy). They love to roam!!

Daniel still has to complete the roofing. But, for now, it is sufficient. We plan on making a larger run and expanding the coop as we expand our flock in the future. 

This is Goldie. She is our Araucana. She is special because she is the only one of our 4 that gives us light green eggs.

Rhody and Brownie (aka Brown Head, according to Jared), are our Rhode Island Reds. They are the friendliest of the 3 breeds, I have noticed. Rocky, our Plymouth Rock, is behind them.

Dust baths. They love it!

Here is a better shot of Rocky.

 Goldie wedged her way in Brownie's dust bath hole. Heeheehee...

They really are quite amusing to watch and have very distinct personalities. 

And in the first 3 days, this is what the girls gave us. :) 

Chickens are awesome!! We totally want more now, but we will take it day by day.


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Easter. A Reflection of Spring. A Sign of New Life. A New Beginning. An Excuse for Celebration.

 I used to always want a lovely, yet cheap bouquet of flowers as a centerpiece for my table on a sporadic, yet fairly consistent basis. So, I decided that we now get some calla lilies. They were inexpensive, hearty, and absolutely beautiful. 

The boys dyed lovely eggs. 

Egg decor I made from scrapbook paper.

Carrots. :)

Easter baskets. This year, each of them received a field guide for when we take hikes, a personal book (the 2 older boys received camping guides and Dylan got a vintage Easter Golden Book.) Additionally, Lukey received a trivial pursuit game, Jared had a game of Set, and Dylan got lacing dinosaurs. The boys were also given some cool gifts from Grandma. Simple, functional, fun!

 On an egg hunt....Oh my goodness, Lukey was so wonderful and mature in leading almost the entire show. He made it so fun and magical for the littles. He kinda reminded me of me...really. :)

We just kept it simple without any frills, and it ended up being so....well, complete. We made it a fun celebratory day. We welcomed spring and the fertility therein, which is truly what Easter was historically recognizing. Really, we just made it our own thing and put our own twist on it, just like every individual family does. I hope you enjoyed your Easter, as well. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

Photos By the Kids

I am not sure how, but the boys sneaked the use of my camera when they were outside in the back of the pickup. When I went through the photos, however, I discovered some pretty cool shots and perspectives. So, I compiled a few to share and changed them to black and white to add depth.

 Apparently, Dylan took this photograph. 

 The rest, I do believe, are Jared's work. Pretty shot!

 Love this! You can see Jared's shadow.

 ...And his reflection....

 ....Oh, a fallen acorn perched inside one of the crevices of the truck bed. Cool, Jared....Nice eye.....

Perhaps I will intentionally give him the camera in the future. He and Dylan come up with some pretty interesting work. :)