Sunday, June 1, 2014

photos of progress

The girls (my baby chickens, as I like to call them) are changing every day.  They are roughly five weeks old now.  They live outside full time, in their chicken tractor most of the time with excursions to the garden or the play pen I made them.
This is Elsa.  She is the most independent of all the girls.  Her voice is unique and strong.  She almost sings when picked up and when communicating with the other chicks.
Elsa again.  Her neck looks like a lion's mane.  She always reminds me of a bird of prey, like a small hawk.
A chicken learns about technology.  Elsa thought maybe my phone could be food.  It's been fun to watch them learn.  Without a momma hen to teach them, they learn either through my persistence or their own trial and error.
Here you can see the playpen I made them out of our trampoline.  I used a plastic netting, zip ties, and tent stakes to create an area for them to graze without worry of them getting out of the yard or eaten by an eagle.  This is a good way to continue training the dogs to leave them alone too.
^^^Mintie makes a good playpen model don't you say?
My girl Pearl is the friendliest, warmest little chicken.  She is always eager to say hello and loves to sit with me.
She's changed soooo much from this little peeper just four weeks ago!
Nuggets is also very friendly and eager to sit on me.  That is Braveheart in the background.
My Austin wearing everything he has earned this past year in NJROTC, the big one he earned in Olympia shooting with the rifle team, first place in the state for his age group.
We attended a JROTC award ceremony.  All those cadets (over two hundred all together) stood at parade rest for an hour with full composure and patience.  It was pretty awesome.  I circled Austin amidst the blur, he's the second one back in that row.
Spring Football Camp starts this week for him.  He's got quite an arm according to his dad.  This will be the first time he's ever played football.  He's got his school schedule for the fall too.  Lots of firsts.  Sigh.
My husband, with lots of help from my sons and very little help from me, built a chicken coop/tractor.  It is complete now.  We made a pad for it with the option of putting it's wheels on and rolling it to somewhere else in the yard.  While on it's pad there is extra protection in the foundation we made to stump any digging predators. 
Details of note:
>metal roof topper
>end flaps on each side that open to nesting boxes (for ease in cleaning and egg gathering)
>two ramps inside for the chicks to climb up to the nesting boxes and their nighttime roost
>the white framed door opens for general purposes
>there are lots of other details I love but not that you can really see in this picture
This is my newest purchase.  I plan to spend as many summer evenings here as possible.  And warm mornings.  And lazy middays.  We broke it in with a dinner of burgers grilled over our fire pit.  LOVE!
My potato tower is growing splendidly.  Better than I had imagined. 

And the garden has great progress.

I've become quite diligent about saving egg shells and coffee grounds to use as predator control around the garden.  These are natural ways to deter slugs and snails and I rely heavily on them.  I've already lost one spaghetti squash plant because I didn't have it protected well enough.  : (  Good thing we drink plenty of coffee around here.

None of my family think I'm crazy yet with the coffee grounds and egg shells so I've begun to save the used tea leaves and herbs from tea bags.  These will be dried then added to the chickens nesting boxes for a pleasant aroma.  An added bonus would be that the chickens eat the herbs and gain from their medicinal properties.

Off I go to dream about chickens.

1 comment: