The Chicks are becoming Chickens and Other Scenes from The Farm.

To refresh everone’s memory, this is what the chicks looked like the day they arrived:

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And this is what they look like now:

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They are almost 2 1/2 months old now. If they were meat birds like you buy in the grocery store, they would already be in the freezer.

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They are starting to look like minature adults.

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This is my goofy daughter posing with one of the chicks.

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They have graduated to this perch. At night they want to get off the ground. The higher the chicken is in the pecking order, the higher thier place on the roost. And yes, they do actually peck each other to establis dominance.

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This is above goofy daughter getting ready to drive me across the street to take pictures of the turkeys.

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This is Tom.

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Tom likes to strut his stuff for just about any moving thing, even if it is not a female turkey.

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This is his favorite thing to show off for. She is the only one who can give him what he really wants. Turkey Love.

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When he is showing off, his head becomes the most beautiful colors. That thing hanging over his beak becomes elongated and then he tucks his head so that all you can see is the red engorged waddle and head. He also makes this blowing sound that I had never heard in person until he came to live on the farm.

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This is Cocky. He came to live on the farm because the woman who owned him was not allowed to have a rooster in town. I think his crows began to bother her neighbors and they turned her in. Anyway, he is much happier here because he has his own flock of hens that he takes care of. When he first came to live here, we had to seperate him from the girls because he wouldn’t even give them time to eat or recuperate. He had become an old hat these days though. He is a banty rooster. Just imagine a large rooster shrunk down.

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This is my handsome husband holding our last White Plymouth Rock chicken. We call her the last of the Mochickens. She is four years old. I think she is probably the oldest living laying chicken in America. Her real name is Tailfeathers. She survived an attack a year or so ago by an animal (probably a fox) in which 2 of her comrades and 1 of cats perished. The resulting injuries left her with only a few tailfeathers. Hence, the name Tailfeathers. I know, I’m sooo original, not.

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This is where she insists on sleeping every night. See, left to thier own devices, chickens will fly up to the highest roost they can get to. In this case a tree in our yard. The only way to keep her down would be to clip her wings on one side (so she could still fly enough to escape predators) or to cut one of the joints in her wings. I don’t want to do either one. She always comes to the nest to lay, so I let her fly up there. She deserves it after what she has been through.

The reason chickens want to get so high is because once the sun sets they pretty much will not run from anything.

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This is the new bull. He is a Hereford. When we breed him with the current cows who are Black Angus my uncle-in-law says we will have Black Baldies. When I asked why he wants to do this his response was, “because I can”.

I leave you with some shots of the beautiful clouds in the sky opposite the setting sun on the night that we took our walk and ride around the farm.

I do love the colors of the skies here in Alabama. Until you have seen an Autumn sunset in Alabama, you just haven’t seen it all.

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Y’all Come Back Now.

October 30, 2009. Home and Garden. Leave a comment.

Halloween Parade

Last night my youngest and I attended our local town’s Halloween Parade.

I love a parade, who doesn’t. Especially when there is chocolate involved.

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This little cutie was waiting patiently in line to enter the Civic Center.

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As was this one. I so wanted to just squeeze her little cheeks.

She is keeping an eye out for this guy:

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who scared her silly. Everytime she saw him she climbed her mother until she could hide her face in her hair.

I know a college girl who still does that.

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This is what the room looked like from the door. Rows upon rows of tables set up for the kids to trick-or-treat.

The event was supposed to have taken place along our Riverwalk and in our park, but there was a 60% chance of rain, so indoors we went.

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The businesses in town all donated thier time (and candy of course) so that our kids would have safe place to be. This table was set up by the publishers of our local paper.

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Hey, Miss Patsy.

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The boys in blue were also there passing out candy to the kids and making us all feel safe.

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Isn’t she adorable. I also like the Spidey costume. This kid was a real trooper. It was rather warm inside with all those people generating a lot of heat.

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Several of the adults got into the spirit too.

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This was one of the table decorations. I love it!!

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This is one of our local librarians. Pippi Longstockings. I love this book and it so took me back.

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This gentleman is dressed up for two reason. Halloween, of course, and Mardi Gras. He is a representative of a group of local people who have gotten together to promote a family-friendly celebration locally.

I love the head dress. Go Indians!! (a shameless plug for the local football team).

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We found this little fireman on the last row. He was all tuckered out from candy-gathering. I sooo wanted to join him.

 

In the end, we had a great time. The kids got candy, in a safe environment, and the local businesses deserve a huge thanks from all of us who attended.

Thanks you guys!!

Y’all Come Back Now.

 

October 28, 2009. Notebook. Leave a comment.

A Shocking Discovery

I went out just now to refill the chicks feeder and had a very unpleasant surprise.

6 of the chicks must have flown into the hanging feeder and then smothered each other when they couldn’t fly back out.

I won’t post a picture. The sight itself was lacking blood or gore of any kind, but just seeing 6 of my precious not-so-little chicks lying in the bottom of the feeder was enough to make me cry.

I know, I know, they are only chickens. But I still mourn thier passing.

Y’all Come Back Now.

October 28, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Warm Fuzzies

This is what I love about homeschoooing.

Today is rainy, cold, and just generally dreary. The kind of day that just makes you want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over your head and sleep. The sound of the rain outside could lull you right back to dreamland if you let it.

That is sooo not what we did today though.

No, we got up and one of us (me) actually changed out of our pajamas and got started on school.  Actually the youngest is still running around in a t-shirt and underpants as I right this. She is actually informing me that she would rather just be naked, “because I like it that way” than to put on some shorts or pants.

Anyway, we are sitting at the kitchen table working on math when I look over and see our Fatty Cat sleeping on the blanket that said youngest had set up last night to have a “picnic” with her stuffed animals.

He looks sooo comfortable all curled up just sleeping.

None of us had to face the weather, put on rain coats or rain boots, or even step outside to learn something.  And we did all of our work in 3 hours. Including a break for a snack in there.

I love homeschooling. It just gives me the warm fuzzies.

How about you? What do you love?

Y’all Leave a Comment and let me know.

October 27, 2009. Homeschooling. Leave a comment.

Halloween Haybale Jack-O-Lantern

It has been time to roll the last bit of hay before the cold weather comes and stays for good. While my husband’s uncle was rolling the hay in front of our house, I asked him to leave me one of the bales pointed toward the road so that the girls and I could decorate it for Halloween.

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This is what we started with. A standard round bale of hay.

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Then the girls and I spray painted it with flourescent orange paint.

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Even the little one got into the act.

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We covered the entire front surface of the haybale with the paint.

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I turned around while the girls were working and caught the cat and dog playing. This is Mama Kitty. She came to be part of our family when someone dropped her off pregnant with a litter of kittens and with two half-grown kittens already. Since she can’t have anymore kittens (courtesy of a responsible pet owner policy of mine) she has adopted our dog. She has taught him to hunt mice and jump like a cat. I have seen her catch and bring him a lizard to play with and when it got away from him, she caught it again and brought it back.

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One more shot of my cutie painting the haybale.

We finished up by painting the face with black spray paint. The little chose this traditional design.

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This is the finished product. A huge, visible-from-the-road jack-o-lantern.

I love Autumn.

Y’all Come Back Now.

October 21, 2009. Home and Garden. Leave a comment.

Unsolicited Information Obtained at WallyWorld

I show you this picture to tell you this story.

I went to the only department store within 30 miles of my home. We all know it. You probably have one (or five) in your hometown.

Anyway, I bring my items to be purchased to the front of the store. I look at the self-checkout lanes (my preferred method of purchasing my items) and realize there is only one of these lanes open and the line to use it is long. So I reluctantly head toward one of the manned check out counters and place my things on the belt.

As I am waiting for the cashier to finish with the customer in front of me I overhear (unfortunately) their conversation. Apparently, there was a report on the local news last night about the sale of trailers used after Hurricane Katrina that are being auctioned off in large lots. In the story is was reported that some of the residents of these trailers became ill after living in these trailers. The story went on the say that one of the possible causes of the illness in these indiviuals may have been carpet that released formaldehyde gas into the trailers.

The cashier seemed upset that the government would even think of auctioning these trailers to the general public “because they just want to make other people get sick, you know they do”. Trust me I cannot convey the level of stupidity that was infused into this statement. The gentleman answered her by saying, “well you could probley just open the winders and let them there fumeses out you know”.

He then pushed his cart toward the door. When he was a good 50 feet away the cashier finally remembered to thank the man only to realize that he probably couldn’t hear her anyway.

I did not want to engage this woman in conversation to say the least. But, I had no choice in the matter. As she started to scan my items she picked up the conversation where she left off with the previous customer. As she spoke to me about the news report and the supposed formaldehyde I tried to placate her without engaging her by just mumbling, “really I didn’t see that news report” and look at my bags. She took this as encouragement and went on to say, “nobody would want to live in one of those things if they are gonna be sick from it”. Hoping to speed her up I mumbled, ” yes, I can see how that might give one pause”.

She got a really confused look on her face and said, “uh-huh”. By then my items were totaled up and paid for so I just waited for Laura, our foreign exchange student, to buy her few items.

Later I was telling my husband about the story and complaining about how small the town we live in is and how I can’t wait to live just about anywhere else, he starts to laugh.  I ask him what is so funny and he says,

“You know that lady went home and told her husband, ‘there was this crazy woman in my line today that thinks that your feet will turn into paws if you walk on carpet with formaldehyde in it’ “.

I laughed so hard I thought I was going to wet myself in his car. I mean tears rolling down my face, side splitting, gasping for air laughing.

I love my husband. He always makes me laugh when I need it.

Feet turning into paws. Snicker, Snicker. It gets me even now.

October 14, 2009. Notebook. Leave a comment.

Believe It or Not, Chickens Don’t Know to Come In Out of the Rain.

We had some rain and some unusually cool weather earlier this week.

When my husband went out to check on the chicks, this little guy was out in the weather, shivering and trying desperately to get back into his house.

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He was soaked to the skin and the first thing we could think of was to bring him into the bathroom where my daughter had just finished her shower and the heater was running.

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Within a few minutes, he was dry and warm and ready to rejoin his (or her) little buddies out in the brooder house.

They’ll be more pictures as the chicks grow.

Looking forward to more eggs in the spring.

Y’all Come Back Now.

 

Here are some of the newest pictures of the chicks and how big they are getting.

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They are getting much bigger. I had to move the food and water outside to give the chicks more room to grow.

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This is my baby holding one of the chicks so we can get a close up.

 

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This is a cute shot of one of the chicks checing out the new feeder. “Hmmm, I wonder if it tastes good. Only one way to find out”.

 

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Once the first one tried, then they all have to check it out and see if it is better than the same exact food in the other feeder. Decisions, Decisions. Ohh, the life of  a chicken.

I finally had to get a hanging feeder. I still use the small chick feeder so that the “smaller” chicks don’t have to compete for food.

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I feel like this chick is saying, “I Am King of the Mountain”. This is a game that they like to play.

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They are starting to get the roosting instict. We have a small 1 x 1 stretched across the run so that they can practice flying up to it and learn to fly.

October 8, 2009. Home and Garden. 2 comments.