Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last of the Chicks Arrived

Four new ones that hatched Sunday or Monday and arrived via mail today:

And these guys are a week old:

The new guys are Blue Andalusians and will grow up to look like this:

Except for that yellow one. I think there was a mix up at the chicken factory. I have named him "Dinner" because that is what he is going to be when he grows up :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Woodshed Site Excavated

The battle with the roots and rocks has ended. I consider it a draw with the rocks because the shed will end up positioned around some of the ones that wouldn't move. The site is approximately level. The next step is to fill the area with a couple of inches of gravel. There is rain in the forecast for the next couple of days so I threw a tarp over the woodpile and we will just wait it out.

The house is almost cool enough to build a fire in the wood stove. Last time we had a fire was May. Has it been four months already? Global warming is a lie. :)

Update: fire is going in the wood stove. Mmmmm, toasty.

More Chicks!

New chicks arrived in the mail today. I ordered 3 and I got 4, all supposedly girls. They probably hatched Monday or Tuesday.

Here they are awake:

The scroungy looking one in the middle was mostly dead when I picked them up from the Post Office but has managed to pull through.

And here they are 30 seconds later sleeping:

They will grow up to look like this:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Cat

The cat is a Russian Blue - Siamese Mix. It is called Кошка (Koshka). That means "female cat" in Russian. It's not like she would listen to anything else that I called her.

I found her an internet site that aggregates listings from Animal Control offices. This one comes from New Haven, CT via the Haddam Pound.

At six pounds, she chases the 105 pound Rottweiler around the house.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have a wood pile in my front yard: two cords of seasoned oak. For the last two years I have been stacking wood on pallets at the edge of the woods, as had the previous owners. In order to keep the wood dry it has to be kept covered with a tarp. That is an ass pain. Once again the interwebs came to my rescue or to my demise depending on how you look at it. Mother Earth News* has an article on traditional woodsheds. The article uses expensive and hard to find materials like 8x8 and 6x6 timbers for framing. I am going to use 4x4 timbers and adjust accordingly.

*Yes, Brian, I read the king of all hippy magazines. I also subscribe to the RSS feeds.

This is the site where the woodshed is going to go. It will replace the pallets. I started clearing the leaves and pieces of bark from previous loads of wood and running said debris through the wood chipper. This turned out to be such fun that the minions and I proceeded to shred the tree limbs that were left over from last falls tree cutting. No further work was done on the construction site.

Excavation resumed this afternoon. I actually managed to move some dirt. Mostly I pulled, dug, cut, and otherwise destroyed roots. There were also rocks. Lots of rocks. Big rocks. The above picture shows my favorite rock. His name is Dammit. Seeing as how Dammit required my truck to remove him from the ground, I figured that was enough for the day. I are tired.

Also, I have turned over the day to day ruling of the house to the creature pictured below. She was also found on the interwebs.

Friday, September 19, 2008

News Update

The chickens are growing. Only one rooster. The hens are getting fat. I switched them over to layer feed, which they do not seem to love, so I put the chick starter out during the day for them to snack on. The are scratching up the run for bugs and grass shoots. I mowed the front yard and caught the clippings. I dumped the clippings into the run and the chickens are quite please with that.

Names so far:

Priscilla - the baby of the bunch
Nine-Ten - She's big fat hen
Red Rooster - probably not his final name

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gate installed

All that is left is trim, touch up paint, and chicken wire over the run to keep the hawks out.

The chickens spent their first night without a heat lamp. Nobody froze to death. The coop light is on a timer that turns it off before dusk to give them a chance to settle down before dark. It seems to be working.

They got their first chance in the yard last weekend. They did not exactly run out given the opportunity. Once the came out, they figured out they could scratch up bugs and that grass sprouts are quite tasty.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fence Finished

It still needs a door and the posts need to be cut down to size. I ran out of nails in the middle of the last 2 sections, so yet another trip to Home Depot. Luckily the kids were available, so I picked them up on the way. They so love the Home Depot. :) They got dinner out of the trip.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fence Started

I got two sides of the fence up. Another 16ft section for the front and a 4ft section for the remaining side to go.

The chickens moved into their chateau today. It took the first one 3.5 seconds to poop on the new bedding and another 2 seconds to find the food and start eating.