Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We Have Chicks!

A few years ago, we had a few roosters and hens here at The Homestead. They were adopted from people who didn’t want them anymore, because said birds were older and not doing anything “useful.” I liked having them around, even though the hens didn’t lay any eggs, because they kept the outside pests at bay. We didn’t see many scorpions around the house when the birds were around, which pleased Mom to no end (she despises scorpions). We didn’t really want to butcher them, either, because they were really nice to have around – they were old, so we figured that we’d just let them live out the rest of their (short) lives in relative peace.

So, after the last one finally died of old age, we sort of forgot about having chickens for a while. We had other things on our minds, and other projects going, at least until earlier this week. Now, we have a couple of roosters – again, great for pest control – and eight chicks. This is going to be beyond awesome, because Mom and I have been talking about getting some chickens for the last few months. We finally got started with that, so let’s see how this turns out.

First of all: we’ve never cared for chicks before. The good news is that one of our neighbors has been doing this for a long time, and is giving us lots of advice. We have the four-day-old chicks in a small cage – but big enough for them to move around and get to food and water, of course – with a heat lamp to keep them from getting too cold. There’s newspaper lining the bottom of the cage, topped with a layer of hay. The chicks seem to like the setup so far, so no complaints.

So, we have a to-do list with chicken-related things on it for a change. While I’m watching the chicks hop around in their current enclosure, peeping like crazy, I’m thinking about things like the coop we have to finish building…how great these fresh eggs are going to taste…that sort of stuff.

We need to finish the coop, of course. I’m trying to find the plastic, five-gallon buckets that one or two of my brothers moved into an as-yet-unknown storage location – because I’d like to build the maggot bucket that I’ve read about on other blogs, just to see how well the chickens take to it. Because the family and I have been planning to get chickens for the last few months or so, we’ve been saving the egg cartons from the store. Oh, I know – the chicks aren’t going to start laying eggs tomorrow or anything like that. But you really can’t have too many egg cartons, because they will eventually wear out. We’ll keep most of them in storage so that, when the ones that are out finally need to go in the trash, we’ll still have some.

And next week, being finals week, is when every prof wants the final, huge projects (writing assignments, of course). I’ve been working on papers and stories and all sorts of related stuff all week in an effort to go ahead and get finished. If I put this stuff off, it’ll never get done, and won’t that be a fine waste of nearly four months of my life?

So, I’m very sorry that this entry is so short. I’m trying to get the chicken stuff together; deal with the last bit of school; and make the migraines go away. They didn’t bother me at all this year until…this week. Apparently, ongoing sinus problems, like I’ve been having for a while now, can lead to migraines – which would explain everything. I’m working on that, so we’ll see how next week turns out.


In the meantime, here are some Useful Links that I’ve found over the last week. They’re a bit random, but they should be interesting.

Pepsi and Mountain Dew are now in “throwback” mode! They’re using the real, natural sugar instead of that high fructose corn syrup garbage. Go. Consume. Enjoy.

A blog about…chickens! (Mostly.)

A very strange-looking sawhorse – that you can build yourself if you’re so inclined.

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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
-George OrwellAnimal Farm