Sunday, November 30, 2008

hippychick's salvaging handy day

good day good day

here's the breakdown in quick format
  • built a new compost collector from salvaged goods
  • insulated the tin shed coop from salvaged and gifted goods
  • built a short barrier in the coop - one side wee chicks - other side wood chips and feed storage - also keeps them from romping out as soon as the big person door is opened
  • moved the wee chicks into their new tin shed home - happy wee uns
  • gifted heinrich with a yummy out the ground carrot - yummy! - happy wabbit
  • split and replanted a number of perennials - rosemary, lavender, grasses, comfrey and mint
  • raked again - the leaves keep coming
  • cleaned up the back drive - old wood pallets and garden goods and yup more leaves
  • spent near to entire day outside - happy hippychick
  • learned how to build new things - getting better every time
now the longer format

i raked again today as the leaves keep falling as the wind keeps blowing. a near by neighbor laughed at me saying that he himself was not going to pick up the rake until the trees were good and empty. i just like the exercise and the way the yard looks once raked, i replied. he repeated that he was not going to rake a single leaf until later. that's fine that's fine, i'd rather rake in stages rather than get buried all at once. so much for that.

after raking i realized that there was no room in compost bin so i decided to build another. i had some wood pallets sitting out in the back drive. i picked out four of the best as most are beginning to move towards compost themselves. i pulled out the screw gun, screws and a couple of 1" x 1" boards to serve as joining corners and in about a 1/2 hour, i had a new compost bin. not long after that it was 1/3 full with leaves and raked up yard bits.

while out working, my next door neighbor leaned over the fence and asked me if i could do anything with a few packing blankets. yes! absolutely i could do something with them. in fact, i could do with them today. and the gift was made - thank you neighbor - rock on! packing blankets, the perfect solution for insulating the tin shed and they were free; even better.

once i installed the packing blankets i thought about building a short barrier in the tin shed that would break the space into two areas. one area for the wee un's themselves and the other for storage goods and visiting space for folks like me. i went into the garage and scanned the place... an old window screen, few more pieces of 1" x 1" board and some salvaged large paper square egg holders (the kind you get when eggs come in 12"x12" boxes).

i installed the screen barrier, grabbed a few eye hooks and installed those on the upper beams. the eye hooks will provide line drops for two feeders and two heat lamps. the waterer i am currently using does not hang up so i just propped that up on some wood pieces.

then it was about moving the wee chicks in. i grabbed a box and started loading them in. i moved them in three groups so as not to crowd them in the box and to keep them warm in their short transport. once everyone was in i notice a bit more action from the little guys. they began scratching just like the big chickens, they tried out their wings and they were hopping and romping all about. i have to say, i think they love the new place.

somewhere in the day, i popped a visit to king heinrich the lionheaded rabbit and gifted him with a carrot. he was on it like flies to molasses. he had not touched the melon though so i pulled that out and passed it on to three girls i knew would enjoy it. yup, the chickenchicas had their eye on the prize before i even had the door open again. pop! and the melon was gone. problem solved.

i took some pondering time away from the build to split some clumping perennials and plant them in the outback area. the outback area used to be an additional veggie garden area, then it served as a super big compost pile that broke down in record time and now it's the fruiting and flowering area. this is where the bee hives will locate in the spring. i thought it would be nice to plant a number of flowering fragrants out and about the area. the rye grass, radish and bird seed are wintering over and may provide additional flowers and such for the bees.

here is what we've got out there
  • plum tree
  • blackberrries thornless
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • papaya
  • comfrey
  • rosemary
  • lavender
  • parsley
  • ornamental grasses
  • mint
  • hazelnut tree
  • rye grass
  • sprouting bird seed
  • sprouting radish seed
the outback area is located close to a number of other fruit trees previously planted.
  • two apple
  • two peach
  • lemon
  • lime
i'm hoping the close proximity of bee to flower will prove positive to the bees and the fruiting trees. in fact, i can imagine a number of beneficial insects will be attracted to the area.

well, that was the day - a pretty darn good one. now a little sitting time with supercat mr. t. and maybe some dinner, now there is a thought.

who said you could go out of town?

i took a bit of the "what for" from my friend opera kitty yesterday. it was the first time he displayed his displeasure with my absence while on travel. boy did i get it. a few nip bites here and there and the cold shoulder through the day. on several occasions he walked towards me while i was working outside then continued right on his merry way not even blinking his eye at me.

part way through the evening there appeared signs of truce. he stopped by to see me. allowed me to pick him up and he purred (ah busted!) but again wanted more solo time prior to bed than usual. i decided that this morning i would head out to his sleeping area and see if he would warm up some.

he sure did. he put off his usual run out the door before daylight romp to nap with me. he kept his place down by my feet but he was staying. i dozed off and woke later to find him sleeping between my legs. i guess things are better now. i hope so.

i do understand. it must feel odd to have a person who cares for you come and go. could make a person wonder... mr. t on the other hand is a bit more used to my travels and loves me just the same. i hope over time that opera will begin to understand that i always come back sweet thing that he is.

on another note - the girls and mr. heinrich are currently enjoying the last bit of homegrown watermelon and muskymelon from the garden. yes, i still had one of each hidden away for special. this morning was that day. they just looked too good to pass up. i snacked on a bit then thought best to share with the creatures. oh boy they were happy. the girls were all over it. saffron had a piece of melon in her beak before i had placed the dish down. freckles and alfie were soon on the spot chomping away. we'll see how mr. heinrich approaches the treat. i'll check later and see if any bits have gone missing.

the wee ones or rather the not so wee any longer ones a.k.a. the meaties and the three baby layers are growing freaking fast! i swear, they change by the day.

the increased eating folks talk of is no lie. boy oh boy they put down the feed. i've not taken away the baby quart sized jar feeders and graduated the wee ones to two adult gallon sized feeders. i've raised them up on wood blocks to keep as many of the wee ones from climbing in or sleeping in or pooping in. they have a tendency to do all.

they nearly empty the waterer each day as well. i'm thinking i should pick up a second waterer but there would then be no room in the brooder for the wee ones. solution? get the shed ready today! time to head out there to see exactly what i need.

we'll be harvesting greens today too!
don't forget.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

you cannot take a newly moulted girl anywhere

sometimes you can't take a nicely moulted clean chickenchica anywhere.
alfie took advantage of our beautiful cool day to wallow in the dirt. nothing like a good dust bath don't you think?
here she is in action - a whirring wonder!

a little solo spa time

back to being a blanco-feathered chickenchica with a bit of good dirt under our feathers.
ahghh - it builds character.

and what can i say?
i often walk about with dirt under my nails.
we all dig the dirt.

misty morning still no rain

i adore mornings like this morning. misty, a bit mysterious, fresh, light with a bit of a nip in the air. not wet but a hair damp. a morning that wakes you slowly but surely. we were all up early and before the sun but i guess in many places that time of waking is common to many. for us today it was 6am.

today will be a day of cleaning and freshening and planning forward.
  • clean out the wee meatie housing and refresh with clean wood chips
  • prep the new roaming run for the meaties - boy are they growing fast - feathered wings already - photos to come.
  • switch over to the larger feeder and waterers for the meaties- boy are they woofing it down!
  • rake up the leaves in the yard - new composting bits in the waiting - or a good bit of outdoor bedding for the meaties run - they will break it down and do the composting for me.
  • a small bit of laundry
  • trim the greens - looks like we will have fresh salad for a week - yahoo!
  • and if it dries up a bit i'll continue painting new boards on the house
in order to do all that, it's time to get myself dressed and out. meaties first = i'll get them cleaned up and go forward from there.


my how they have grown. you can see bits of feathers on the tips of the meatie wings of which they are eagerly trying out every now and again. several have found their way up on top of the feeders and several just enjoy a hop or two around the brooder.

it won't be long and they'll outgrow this brooder. looks like i'll need to get on the insulating of the tin shed sooner than later. i'm thinking maybe one or two more weeks before the move. that or i'll have to come up with a second brooder and split the team up into two groups. i'd rather keep them all together. you can see how they love to mound up for the sleeping moments creating their own little chicken train.

a couple of the critters are quite brave pecking at me every time i go in to change the water or fill the feeders. they are the minority. the remainder of the group still take a leaping run to the farthest corner from my working area. they were fantastic with the move out of the brooder and back into the brooder for the brooder cleaning today. several cheep'd pretty loud but calmed as soon as they were back with the gang.

it's going to be hard not to fall for the curiuos ones.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

early morning booty duty

i took a good look at the wee ones this morning noticing that several had a little booty buildup a.k.a. pasting. (pasting is when their wee one poo dries up on their behind so much that they cannot poo some more which most probably will eventually cause death - no good!) so in i went to the house to prep for my first ever chicken but cleanup

- ohhh. i know you're envious... the simple truth is that we cannot all be so lucky - you'll have to live through me for this one.

i filled up a large pot with warm to the touch water (they are babies after all) and a glug of dr. bronners eucalyptus concentrated soap. i found my softest cloth popped it in the water and headed out to the brooder in the garage. i opened the top and off they ran as far as they could away from my invading hands. one by one i pulled each out. i figured that even if they were in good shape, i've give their booties a little cleaning for good measure and to help me identify which are clean and which are still needed cleaning. most were pretty good through the ordeal. i wore my fuzzy soft sweater so that they had something soothing to lean in to during the cleaning. (they are babies remember - why not be soft and sweet) i do have several incredibly vocal peepers on hand. i wonder - future rooster or just vocal savant?

now that they are all a little wet in the behind i thought it best to lower the level of the heat lamps to help them dry off quicker and thus warm up quicker which is a more than critical factor in this stage of their wee one lives. once they are dry, i'll raise the lamps back up to their pre-booty washing height.

who knew at age 40 that i'd be cleaning wee chicken booty at 6:30am on a tuesday? not me. well folks it may sound bad but truly, it's not so bad. and once they get a bit larger, the problem goes too. booty buildup does not follow them through their entire lives. i am thankful for that.

what are you thankful for?

consider this

"And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!"
- from How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

and this! a great way to insulate windows for the winter weather.

bubble wrap windows
- cheap and easy -
and you might already have some lying around.
thank you build it solar peeps!

Monday, November 24, 2008

morning rains
lovely soft

a great day forward with student and colleagues. a great deal of work accomplished, a great deal. it's amazing the learning accomplished when everyone agrees to truly move toward a goal. thank you kiddos! you make me proud and pleased to be in it with you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

alfie is back in the game!

miss alfredia sunshine left a very special surprise in the nest this morning.

a beautiful white egg - yahoo!

alfie sunshine, you're back in the game after baby's first molting. she's been her perky self now for a bit more than a week but i did not worry for nor did i expect she to begin laying so soon. well she has decided that it's time to lay and good for her. it's a good sign of health.

the egg is a lovely one, oblong in shape but perfectly colored and textured all around.

and it was a surprise. i was out changing everybody's water this morning and filling up feed for all the chicken creatures of the hippychick universe when i spotted the egg sitting pretty in the nest. alfie herself was already out in the run scratching and chatting with saffron. freckles was patiently waiting for me to get out of the way so that she might go to lay her morning egg though she did take a great interest in the fresh water first.

so now we are back three eggs a day until saffron and/or freckles begin their molts. i have read that there are some chickens that will molt slowly over time so much so that you don't really notice. i wonder...

- - - - - - - - -

it's a quiet day so far. there is moisture in the air and clouds in the sky - feeling a bit grey but the clouds are not so heavy that one cannot feel the sun's efforts for peeking through. it's a good gardening day - good filtered light for the planting of garlic and winter hearty babies. i've got some garden clean up to do so i'll be out there shortly.

i had this crazy idea and i'm trying it. usually about this time of year i throw out a bag of the good bug blend on the lawn and let it go through winter. the good bug blend is a mix of carrot, radish, clovers, and a number of cool weather loving herbs and flowers. well this year i'm giving bird seed a shot. i went out last night with a bucket full of the stuff and just threw it all about. i'm curious to see what grows. and hey if it decides not to grow, i know a community of squirrels and birdies who will feed from it happily and i'm sure they are doing that now. so some for the growing and some for the creatures - seems fair.

the squirrels have been incredibly busy the past few days. it's nest building time. watching squirrels prep their nests is fascinating to me. they pull leaves and small branches from trees, shove as much as they can in their jowls and keep collecting until they can no longer stuff more in. then they jump from tree to tree until they reach their own nest site usually located in the tippy tops of the tree branches where they then deposit and weave in their collected goods. and then back again until they create these quite large and puffy nests. it's an amazing amount of energy they put out - quiet respectable.

heinrich otto seems very very happy in his new home. he hops all over his new place, has discovered the second level and now comes to greet me when i stop by to say hello. he also likes to spend a good time exploring on his hind legs. he sniffs, stands upright, shifts and turns, stands upright and sniffs some more. i've spotted one longish deep tunnel he's dug through the piles of hay i loaded in just yesterday. he's made the place his own and that's good to see.

the meaties and the painted ladies are alive and kicking. every one of them still doing just fine, highly active, eating and drinking well (very well actually - they really put the food down!) and sleeping in between their bursts of energy. they have a good community going.

i'm feeding them with the old fashioned quart mason jar feeders. so far i have had to refill the jars everyday. i have a larger feeder that i tried in the brooder but i found that they climbed in it, pooped in it and that was bad - so for now it's a daily filling to insure clean living.

i wash out and refill the waterers several times a day making sure that the little ones always have fresh agua for the drinking.

the wood chips are holding up great. the wee ones do not seem to be interested in pecking at them and/or eating them which is healthy.

and for report's sake, they all smell just fine and this is day three.

already i notice that the painted ladies - my second generation layers - are feathering out at a rapid pace. these little buggers really do grow fast fast fast. kind of mind boggling actually.

that's all for now, i've got to get out and get some doing done.

- - - - - - - - -
1:45pm really?

have you ever felt like you've been up and about doing so many things that the idea of time gets lost and you think that it must be much later than it actually is and go around the house checking various clocks until you realize nope, it's just that time? yeah, well that's me right about now. odd.

well i guess the good news is that today has been uber productive in the garden. i spent the morning on the fence line garden ripping it apart and putting it back together again.

i got the garden fork out thinking the soil might do for a turn and to rough up old rooty bits. well well well the old rooty bits were mighty powerful which turned the job into a full out hands and knees affair. i did not accept defeat. i got all of the soil super lose and pulled out all the weeds and rooting pesty grass.

i said goodbye to the okra as i struggled hard to pull up the okra stocks. ever try it? it's tough! they hang on good. i moved a lemon basil plant to a better spot allowing more stretching room as it is still really branching out. i left the asparagus where they are but i did make effort to loosen up the soil surrounding the root ball.

then in the space cleared up, i planted. yummy good plantings of -
  • albino beet
  • cylindria beet
  • detriot dark red beet
  • plum purple radish
  • philadelphia white box radish
  • helios radish
  • garlic
  • purple top white globe turnip*
  • gold ball turnip*
*seeds from seeds of change - all others from seed savers exchange
all seeds organic - note i purchased the garlic from my local food co-op wheatsville

that's everything that will go in for a while. now it's just the protecting and the waiting game. i'll keep spraying with seaweed and fish emulsion to keep the babies happy and strong and i'll get on the construction of a fence line hoop house. lucky for me the weather is not looking too bad for the next few. the low looking like 40˚f so i've got a little time. never know though, the weather can shift quickly around here. who knows, the day is still fairly young. maybe just maybe i'll have a hoop house built by the end of it.

cheers and lunch

Saturday, November 22, 2008

heinrich otto hops into his new bachelor pad

king henry has got a new pad and it's pretty slick for single up and coming lionheaded hotshot like himself.

i was up early today, got myself out and about and it struck me. rather than try to build a whole new pad for king henry, why not a conversion? yes, yes, yes and in moments i put my hands on tools and i was off.

i decided i would convert this
to this
originally built for these ladie folk

but now better suited for this little guy

the fun part, he, king henry got to spend some time with the girls in the chickenchica crazy coop while i was busy building. for me, it was quite a show. at first the girls had no idea what to think. they pondered, they chatted, they investigated, they jumped back and then they decided better to just head out to their run for some scratching.

otto kept himself amused inside finding himself a fine corner to burrow.
his mission - keep a low profile and maybe those three creatures will not know i'm here.
actually, they all did quite well together.

the rehab was a pretty simple process. i added several floor supports. i then pulled out the old screen door that used to be the top cover of my double compost pile and attached that to the bottom of the old chicken tractor. the screen door was already prepped with a layer of hardware cloth attached. great!

i then loaded in a small plastic bin with a small bunnyboy size opening cut out, threw in a bunch of hay for burrowing and keeping warm. i added a dark plastic rain cover over the top and trailing off the back in order to cover his stored bit of hay insulation.

last but not least, i attached his feeder, waterer, treats bin and popped him in.

ohhhh, this is good i could hear him thinking. a nice big place of my own, fresh air, piles of hay to burrow in and enough distance from those chatty chicken chicas to afford a proper nap. i just hope mr. t supercat does not miss king henry too much. i guess we'll have to arrange visits every now and again.

life is good for king heinrich otto the lionheaded rabbit. i'm sure the plants below will be ever so thankful for the healthy rabbit droppings. perfect fertilizer right out of the bunny box.


bread pudding in the making

bread soaking in the milk, egg, vanilla and sugar soup
i used some of my home baked oatmeal, flax seed, honey bread for the base
mmm mmm!

crumblies for the top
- butter, pecans, brown sugar and coconut -
coconut? i like coconut, why not?

ready for the oven

and when it came out, oh boy!
i let it cool cut it up, tried some, tried some more
then quickly panned up some for neighborly distribution
otherwise danger danger danger
tre' yumme'

want the recipe?
check out this post

awake at a rediculous weekend hour

for some reason i awoke, wide eyed at 4am. i knew when it happened that it was too early, did not have to, no plane to catch, no particular place to be or task needing attention right away. just the same i was up, am up.

i stepped outside to a mild morning, quite lovely actually, the air quite soft, just a little damp, feeling a bit like fog but no fog in site.

a small racoon scurried away, up and over a small fence and through the neighbors back yard. i figured why not go check on the meaties. the majority of the meaties were sleeping upon my arrival.

several stirred when i peeked in then several more then soon all were up and about eating and drinking. i noticed that the feeders were already nearly empty. boy these kiddos can really put it down. so i lifted the lid and really got the kiddos moving. they moved in a group to the side of the brooder that i was not at. i picked up the feeder, filled it, replaced it and then did so with the second. i cleaned out the waterers and replaced them. then i put the top back in place and watched a bit as everyone calmed back down and calmly went back the business of chickenery.

i started the breakfast porridge, chopped up the veggies for the chili, threw in extra herbs and spices and then sat down to refresh my "how to care for chicks" brain. still on track - now i think i'll read a bit of a novel. maybe i'll doze off but it does not feel so. so we wait for the sun to rise.

Friday, November 21, 2008

i must be getting soft

ok folks i have to be truthful even though i am slightly disgusted with myself. today's temperatures dropped down into the low forties and i was outside thinking "ohhh it's a bit chilly".

whattt! my former massachusetts, chicago, finnish blood going soft on me? yes the truth is that i fear it may be going a bit soft. ughhhh!

nonetheless, you won't catch me wimping out with outdoor projects. actually, it will keep the motivation to move in high gear.

wimpy - wimpy - wimpy
thicken up that blood you texas creep
guess we'll be practicing some tough blood exercises in the near future

ok well enough on the confession, let's get back to the goings on around here which curiously enough includes a bit more of the topic of blood only this time blood meal. actually, blood meal bone meal and fish emulsion. i stopped by the hardware store on the way home today and picked up a few good bags of the blood and bone thinking it's a real good time to give the winter garden a juicy boost of power. so i mixed the powders up in a bucket, grabbed one of my trusty tin cans and spread the stuff around the vegetable beds. then i sprayed the powders in with a diluted mix of fish emulsion and h2o.

sounds yummy doesn't it? to the plants it is!

never fear, i plan on waiting a good few four or five days before pulling in any harvest. i'll give the growing goods some time to feed in while giving me a few days away from the fishy stinky garden. i'll have to police the local kitty population though, they'll want in the beds to search out the oh so succulent smelly fish.

tomorrow will be a day to prep another bed for the annual planting of garlic. i plan to pop in a few more turnips, beets and radish for good measure. i figure if i create another good hoop house contraption, i can keep the baby seedlings warm enough for survival through the up and coming chilly nights.

then there will be the planning of the meatie chicken run. maybe that should be a heavy plastic covered chicken wired hoop structure as well? it will keep them warmer during the days which is something i think i need to seriously consider since they'll be doing most of their growing throughout the winter months.

the tin shed will keep them plenty protected at night but i cannot predict whether or not the creatures will be bright enough to travel inside if big windy chills strike during the daytime hours. i think they would be bright enough to do so but having no experience to prove so, i don't truly know. i tend to be a better safe than sorry planner so i'll more than likely build a somewhat insulated space for the meatiekiddos.

maybe i'll go for it and build a greenhouse like structure than can be dragged about or disassembled and moved at a later date. we'll see, i'll have to look at in house goods versus the extra funds that would be needed to do so. either way part of the plan is to let the chickies do my tilling and fertilizing of future planting grounds for me.

on the list for tomorrow is the making of mixed grain (cracked wheat, buckwheat, flax seed, wheat germ) porridge with raisins in the morning for a good for you, warm and comforting breakfast. a batch of buffalo bean chili is also in the plans. it is the perfect time of year for a good hot bowl of chili and most everything going in will be home grown. i've got the beans in the slow cooker now and the buffalo meat thawing. tomorrow, i'll chop up a bunch of the recently harvested peppers and eggplant, toss in a jar of home canned tomato sauce, a handful of good herbs and spices and some of our home grown air dried leeks before letting it stew for the day. i am already excited at the thought - a bowl of chili, a slice of quiche and a cold beer, sounds gooooood! sounds like a nap soon after.

for desert - boy i better invite friends over for a bite - this stuff is bad bad bad for you but looks oh so good and it burns through a few eggs (six) in one shot. well, nothing like putting one's farm fresh eggs towards a delicious cause. here goes!

Bread Pudding

- Recipe courtesy Paula Deen 2007 -

For the bread mixture:
2 cups granulated sugar

5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy

For the sauce: Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

by the way, i make an effort to use organic everything and fresh cracked pecans collected from the trees in the yard. i might trade the brandy (grape fermentation or pomace) for whiskey (rye) or bourbon (corn). don't know yet. you do what you like. the pudding freezes well, saving some for later helps one not over do it. well one can try anyway right?

then and only then will i get down to some good knitting.
socks socks socks socks

oh yeah, the bunny home - boy the list just keeps growing. ok ok we'll see about the outdoor bunny home too. for now, he's pretty darn happy inside with us.

thirty four peepers peeping - one kitty calling

the gang is all here and here they are.
this group is highly vocal, running about like banshees and very excited to be done with the travel and let out of the box. i don't feel worried about a one of them. they all appear to be quite sprightly. now and again they simply crash in order to take a power snooze before the next up and running marathon.

this is the meaty universe with special guests, the three painted ladies. yes folks, i decided to add to the egg laying population of ladies as well. the buff toned little un's are the meaties - a.k.a. tri-colored freedom rangers. the speckled and the striped wee un's are the painted ladies. i won't name the laying ladies quite yet. i want to give them time to inform me a bit more about themselves before doing so.

the lady on the right here seems to be the mama of the three. she keeps and eye on the rest and has already been mooshing a few of the new meaties toward water and feeders. she's a sweetie. here brown flecked sister on the right is a bit more chill, going with the flow, not bothered by wee ones jumping all over her and generally calm in nature. my little leghorn loves to run back and forth across her universe. she needs her own little running shoes. the little ones are quite thrilled with little leghorns game of chase.

i picked up these ladies at the austintown cowboy supply store - callahans - just last night. they are a few weeks older than the meaties but i figured it would be good community to raise them all together and a smart way to keep everybody warm.

the painted ladies include a brown leghorn (white eggs), a wyandotte (brown eggs) and an ameraucana (blue/green eggs). they are hippychick's second generation of layers and for now, big sisters to the wee itty meaties.

the painted ladies have developed a bit further and the beautiful feather flecks are already beginning to appear. the leghorn is the smallest of the three clearly a week behind the wyandotte and the ameraucana. they each still have a ways to go before they truly fill out, develop their own characteristic shape, grow fuller tail feathers and develop fully their final color and lace. i'm still trying to remember who is who. i have not been doing this long enough to really know markings in the scientific sense.

the good news is that everybody is healthy, moving about and chirping up a storm. we've already experienced traffic jams, can identify a few feed hogs and have heard the gossip brewing at the watering hole. the big sisters seem just fine with the little ones joining the homestead which could not be more perfect.

so for now it's eat, sleep, drink, chirp, poop and again.
opera kitty adores the wee ones. he was quite enthralled, silenced and perky just watching the cheepers do their thing. no i'll not be leaving him alone with the critters but i will allow supervised visits. he does look after the current chickenchicas who's say he will not be looking out for these babies.

it's official
- hippychick is now hippychickenfarmer -

thirtyone healthy meaties
three babychica layers
three ladychica layers
thirty seven in all

and do not forget

two kitty boys
one lionheaded wabbit

who would have thought?