Archive for April, 2012

The Coop and The Flood

So we’ve been doing a ton of work on the coop this week.  We painted it and finally got locks that work (though some of them still need to be installed.)  My husband helped me mount the door and then he, Beanie, and I sanded it down so it would open and close smoothly.  The baby chicks are all doing well, we still hold each one every day and most of them are very calm once you get them in hand.  I gave them a few pieces of cantaloupe yesterday and they stood about six inches away in a little line staring at it.  Then one would jump over the food and rush back in line to wait for the fruit to launch a counter attack.  This lasted a few minutes and I got bored.  My daughter looked in about half an hour later and said “Hey they really like those melons!” Once they figured out how delicious they were it was pretty adorable.

My fantastic husband is 6'2" so that gives you an idea how tall this coop really is! Good luck you evil raccoons!

The floor is finished on the inside and will never look as good as it does right now!

 

Beanie helps sand the door frame.

So now that the coop is pretty much assembled and painted we’ve pushed our focus to the fence.  We’ve decided to make two separate yards for the chickens and rotate on a 4-6 month basis so we can give the ground a rest.  The kids were out helping with that too…my hubby has the patience of a saint with these little helpers.  🙂

Bubba and Beanie help Daddy tighten the fencing onto the poles.

 

 

Sinking the poles for the coop's fence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beanie wanted a few pretty extra touches added on to the coop (she wasn’t a fan of it being brown) so I free-handed some tulips onto the nest box door.  She approved.

 

 

That’s our coop update.  One last little bit of excitement was our flood yesterday.  Now I just wanted to impart a teeny little piece of knowledge.  I am sure you’ve all heard that it only takes a second for a kid to drown in a bathtub, but what you may not know is that it takes less than a minute for a 2 1/2 yr old to dump half a bathtub’s worth of water onto the ground.  I also learned that it is extremely difficult to get water out of heating ducts, but not difficult for the water to drip from the heating ducts onto the drywall and into our downstairs light fixtures.  It was a…fun…evening.  I did get some great advice from my aunt when I called her and my uncle in a panic: “Maybe don’t let the toddler have a bucket as a bath toy.”  Touche.

ahhhh isn't that a pretty little coop. (Or as Bubba calls it, the Chicken House.)

...in case you didn't know what those oval things were, the ones sitting under the chickens...

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I love my son…I do…part 2

I just thought I would update everyone out there on the finale of our day-o-urine.  Bubba was picking up the last of his legos while I changed baby’s diaper and put him to bed.  Well…as I’m backing out of the baby’s room and closing the door for the night, my son comes down the hall with the big bow-legged steps that scream I don’t want these piss-stained pants to touch my legs.  Sure enough I ask him if he went pee pee and he says yes.  So I ask him where he pee’d and he says “In mine pants.”  Obviously.  Obviously you pee’d in your pants, “Yes, but where in the house did you pee pee?”  “In the garage.”  Wonderful.  The garage.  “But it’s okay mama, I cleaned it up.”  Not really knowing what that meant I cleaned Bubba up then went downstairs to investigate.

This is what I found:

...how he got into and out of the garage. Not uncommon...also not allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He did cover his mess with pine shavings...but then I thought...he pee'd right next to the chicks...I hope he didn't throw anything into the tub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...the chickies didn't seem to mind the giant pile of shavings covered in chicken feed Bubba had given them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least he only fed the cats one scoop of food (into their actual bowls!) and stayed out of the litter box…

 

 

 

 

I love my son…I do…

I am convinced that my son is fully able to stay dry all day. I know he can do this because we have been out for entire days, Safeway, YMCA, library story time, an hour at the park, home, all without accidents.  He can spend the day at my parent’s house, no problems.  But get him around his cousins, and he is almost guaranteed to have at least one, and heaven forbid I spend a day (or even a few hours of a day) away from the house, like I did last night when I took our daughter to Awana club, because the following day will, almost without a doubt, be filled with poop and pee and none of it is going to be in the toilet.

So is it a cry for attention?

Bubba helping Daddy rake the yard.

My little snuggle bug can be the sweetest boy in the world.

He is turning three this summer, and I understand that when he is at my in-laws or with his cousins that the problem is most likely he’s 90% too busy having fun and 10% he just doesn’t feel like it.  But take 7 minutes ago.  I give my son the direction to go try and peepee in the potty.  He tells me no.  I tell him he needs to obey Mommy or he is going to have a timeout.  So he says he will and heads upstairs. 

 

 

 

I give him a one minute head start then follow (fairly certain he did not head to the bathroom as directed) and sure enough he has dumped his milk all over the kitchen floor and pooped in the Lightening McQueen underwear I LITERALLY just got out of the drier and gave to him to put on. (because he’d already soiled 4 pairs today.)

Awesome.

Bubba learning to ski this past winter. Guess what? No accidents while skiing!

My son can do all these amazing things, he’s funny, he loves to sing and dance, he helps my husband with the yard work and gardening, he loves animals and is the sweetest little boy in the world.He can climb anything and has great balance (not so good in that he climbs onto my tables and counters, but good in that he doesn’t fall from the tables and counters once he’s on them) so why can’t (or won’t) he sit on, or stand at, the pot to do his business?

The thing is, I’m sure tomorrow will be fine, just like yesterday was fine…today just isn’t his day.  And I have had enough.  He’s having some time in his room now, and not for pooping in his pants because I’m part of the school that you can’t or shouldn’t punish kids for wetting themselves, but he is in his room for disobeying.  Then again my way of thinking apparently isn’t working out all that well.  He has books to read on his bed and can come back out in twenty or thirty minutes for dinner, but Mommy needs a break.  At this point it’s either a break or a breakdown.

Bubba

Bubba playing at the beach

Chicks – One week and all is well.

Everybody had that one person they looked up to when they were young.  You know…they were probably ten or so years older and 5,000% cooler than you.  They could do the things you couldn’t (or weren’t allowed to) do, like going to a movie without having to ask permission, drive, jump off a bridge into a freezing river that your Mother said was waaaaay too dangerous, or beat Super Mario Brothers with only one life.  For me this embodiment of cool was my Uncle.  I wanted to be able to find his awesome hiding places when we played Sharks and Minnows, and beat him at spoons.  As a young teenager I was in love with more than one of his friends (who naturally never gave me the time of day).  What does that have to do with chickens?  Well…I would like to say that raising chickens was all our idea…and although my husband had been talking about it for years I think there is a part of me that is pretty pleased I can now officially be a part of my Uncle’s club…at least one of his clubs.  I’ve still never jumped off that bridge, and I can’t even count the lives it would take me to rescue Princess Toadstool, but now I can say, we both have chickens!

Here is our Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 week.

We’ve had our little chickies for a week now and it is amazing to me how much the little guys are growing and changing every day.

What were once tiny stubs on the sides of their puff-ball-bellies are now sprouting feathers, a few even have teeeeeeeeny little rump feathers poking out of their fuzz, like our RIRs and the SLW.

The silkies are the craziest looking, hands down, with their ultra long necks, furry feet, extra toes and beginning fluff.

Here is our largest of the three silkies.

Little "teeny weenie", as my husband affectionately refers to her, is our partridge silkie. Although she is small her fluff feathers seem to be coming in a little faster than the blue silkie. I'm wondering if this one is just destined to be the runt.

You can see Goldilocks and Aurora beak to beak there in the back with our long-neck silkie to their right. The chick closest to the feeder is a Plymouth Barred rock with the SLW nearest and to the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our daughter has already named two of the chickens.  We have Goldilocks, a RIR with a yellow head, and Aurora, our Welsummer, “because she has the eyeliner, and we KNOW she’s a girl and we won’t have to eat her.”  Goldilocks has a backup name…The Big Bad Wolf, just in case she turns out to be a he, our 4 1/2 yr old daughter said it would be okay to eat him if he has a bad-guy name.

 

She’s also decided that any others who crow are going to be named Chick Hicks “because then Bubba won’t care if we kill it because he doesn’t like Chick Hicks”.  Somehow I don’t think our son is going to have trouble eating the chicken, he’s already decided he’s going to eat the Barred Rocks (the only breed he, as a 2 1/2 yr old, can identify) and I have tried to convince him that we want them to all be girls so we can just get their eggs.  But he has informed me that the black ones are boys and the red ones are girls.  It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Goldilocks, our friendly little Rhode Island Red. I hope she keeps her cute little blond head! (and check out teeny weenie's fluff back there behind her!)

Our little Easter Egger didn't want to pose for the photo but you can see already how her wing feathers are coming in...and a few little fuzz feathers there at her soon to be tail.

We painted the coop the other day and it is looking pretty great.  We have to attach some chicken wire to the cracks and put in the door, ramp, and locks.  We’re still trolling craigslist for cheep posts we can use for fencing a yard for our girls, but considering they have 5 more weeks before they can go outside full-time we’re holding out for a good deal.  It literally pains me to spend money.

 

 

 

 

Here's a photo from last week, when we brought home the little guys. The kids are still very excited about their new pets. I still haven't figured out how to keep our son from crawling into the garage via the cat door just to see them.

 

 

 

 

My uncle has his own, ever-growing, backyard flock and has been a wealth of information for us as we embark on this new journey.  Aside from picking his brain, he literally got us started.  The base for our coop was the old play structure from his yard.  It also didn’t hurt that he loaned us all his power tools so we could build it.  Even though he has a flock of laying hens, we were the first ones to get Barred Rock Chicks (granted he just picked up a couple yesterday…maybe he wants to be more like me?  Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

Considering he has been on the bandwagon a little bit longer I guess we can make him President of the chicken club.

Welcome baby chicks!

So I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what I’m doing.  No, I guess that isn’t entirely true.  I don’t know how this whole blogging thing is going to work out.  I am probably like the majority of bloggers out there.  I have 3 kids, 3,000 chores (that are not getting done at the moment b/c on top of everything else going on in my life I have decided, on a whim, to start a blog).  I’m also homeschooling my daughter, and embarking on the journey of raising chickens as well as children.  Considering the child raising is going so well, maybe I have a shot at a successful flock…then again I have already dealt with pee and poop on the carpet, and a biting, kicking toddler and it isn’t even 10am…so maybe it isn’t going as smoothly as I would have hoped.

But lets talk chickens.  Because, let’s be honest, baby chicks are freaking adorable!

day one of our side yard flock

We screened for docile birds who will be good layers, and plan on eating any of them that start to crow.  (By “we” I mean my husband, who knows I have zero desire to assist in the killing but will be more than happy to cook them once they’re cleaned.)

We have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Plymouth Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 3 Silkies (2 partridge and one blue) of which we are keeping one hen and returning the other 2 to my uncle.  I am also headed to the feed store to pick up a Welsummer, and an Ameraucana (Easter Egger) for my husband.

Of course now that we have our chicks we should finish their house…

nest boxes? check.

Window? Check.
Walls? Check.

kids help.

Chicken doors? Check.

We used an old play structure from my uncle as the skeleton for our coop.  Bella and Wesley and been very excited about the process, and yesterday they both helped me sweep out the coop so we could add a laminate floor (before it started to rain).  We got half of it done before baby’s nap was over, so I call that a good day!

And this is where we’re at so far. Yes, I used the old cabinet doors from the downstairs bath.  I am a genius.

Well.  I suppose I should send this inaugural post out into the sea of internet…though i’m sure my readers will be limited to close friends, parents, in-laws and other family that’s okay with me.

Welcome to our side yard flock.