Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chicken Chronicles 2011

Yes, we have chickens.  We had 4, and one died in front of us wheezing and sucking air. That was strange and sad as my little girl watched it and it was "her chicken".  We made it through the death and have been collecting 3 or 4 eggs a day, which in our home is a great blessing.  The lady (Janiece)who gave us the chickens has a lot of chickens just free ranging on her land.  There was a batch that hatched and she offered us a chick.  I am such a goombie softie with my kids. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do the mean look pretty good, but man a chick, they would so love a chick and it's educational, right? 
Up the hill to get a chick, and now she said, we can have another hen too.  I am rather excited about this, because that means instant more eggs! We went before bible study, as we pick up Lisa for bible study and she lives with her Janiece.  
Please enjoy the video for your viewing pleasure! This is just the chase for the baby chick.  They were eventually successful in the capture of said chick, but it was one hilarious adventure.  We decided to come back after bible study when it was dark and capture the other hen.  
We go home for bible study.  Song service, about 30 minutes into the study, I can hear the chick's chirp in the front yard, loud and frantic.  Dad nods and the kids go to capture the escaped chick.  Apparently, our cat, Lady Fluffypants was on the prowl and was going for a bible study chick fillet! The kids cornered it and recaught the chick. Back into the cage, light on to keep warm and finish bible study.  The chick settled down and slept. We had hens still to catch. 
The evening captures were much easier as the chickens are all roosting and they fall asleep, very deep sleep, and if you shine a flashlight right in their eyes they are all disorientated you just pluck them right off where ever they are sitting. But you still have to be quiet, not run, and sneak up on them.  This was harder for the kids than you would think. ha ha.  Anna grabbed the first one, and was feeling rather proud of herself. Janiece then says, "you guys can have another one." I think she is just enjoying the hunt and watching the kids, I know I am laughing.  Gabriel and Abby go to the front yard and Gabe looks at the rose bushes and just like it was a flower, plucks a tiny black hen from the bush.  One in the hand that was in the bush! ha ha (foreshadow of the end of this tale) 
 This is the the pickin's for the chickens!! lol the chickens were not cooperating!

 So Lisa went and put some food out, but the chicks were very wary of my 4 children, that can not walk slow anywhere, they are always in full speed ahead.

Abby is explaining that she almost got one!

 They are about to give up! I am done, and the chickens have taken off to the lower pasture! We will have to be satisfied with the chick for now and come back that night for the adult chickens.
 Houdini, before named.  She (we hope it is a she) in her box with light on.

Our neighbors 3 or 4 houses down, used to have roosters.  Roosters or cock fighting is a big no-no here, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.  Roosters are very beautiful. The people had this very intricate coops for them.  They gave them to my children. Eric spearheaded the project and they took them apart and see that wood in the back? They used an extension ladder and that wood and slid them up the fence and then back down to get them in the back yard! Pretty ingenious!
 So, my back yard looks like a junkyard, again.  I go through this about 4 times a year, bellowing about it, and shaking my head each time I go out.
 Eric assured me, they would have the coops up in one day.  All three, no worries mom, why is mom still worried? I should never worry. 

 Well, the truss rebuilt didn't work, and Dad had just got off work, so he gave some advice and then jumped into help. This makes my kids beam with happiness! They love when Dad helps!!

 Securing a home for the baby chick was the utmost at this time, because Houdini had escaped to many times, and was beating the snot out of her head jumping up into the wire.  Chickens are dumb, chickens are dumb.
 The little pagoda was the quickest fix, so tightening it up and getting the roof on, went pretty quick.
Houdini in her new home til she is big enough to stand her own with Big Momma and the girls.  At this point we still don't have the renegade black hens, they are still roaming the streets! Gangsta Hens!
 Here is a glimpse of where Big Momma and the girls sleep, it is our first coop, making it flat was not a good idea, due to the rain in California!!
 The following Monday, after Dad got off work (hence the target uniform) finishing or at least getting the last two together was on the goals. 
 The one in the corner with the pitched round roof? They had to rebuild that completely backwards, each piece had to go exactly right.  It was a jig saw puzzle that screwed together.  Then Tony rebuilt trusses for the roof or the rectangle coop. 
 Anna is on the ground reading to the chick, so she gets used to our voices.

 Here is Big Momma and the girls just hanging out enjoying the freedom!

Next  read about how the black chickens that escaped are captured and then escape and the daring recapture! oh my

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