Sunday, May 27, 2012

An Outing for the Chicks

Haven't they grown?  Oh my gosh!  This morning we moved the girls and their brooder box to the garage where they will stay until the hen house is completed and the evenings are a bit warmer.

The outside chicken run is pretty much done now except for adding the tin roof and maybe a few more nails all around.  We took the girls outside for about 2 hours today and at first they weren't too sure about their new surroundings.  But, eventually they started investigating the entire run.

They enjoyed pecking at the small rocks and looking for bugs in the dirt.

Here you can see just a bit of their hen house which still needs sides, a roof, door and pull down clean-out door and of course a ramp.  With a lot of luck we may just get that done tomorrow.

I'm thinking that it will still be another two weeks or so before we let them spend the night in their hen house. 

It was so nice to get our bathroom back and I immediately disinfected the whole thing!  Yes, I'm a bit of a clean freak!!

Oh, in case you're wondering - their names are Lucy, Ethel, Cluckie, Mildred and Gertrude!

As for knitting - there hasn't been any!  But, I did order a ton of sock yarn in solid colors and hope to start designing some fun socks very, very soon.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pictures of the Girls

The girls turned 4 weeks old today and we really need them out of our bathroom!  If the weather will mellow out permanently, they will be ready to transition to the outside in about 2 weeks.

We worked diligently today on their chicken run and should have it finished tomorrow.  We have hardcloth buried beneath the entire enclosure and up the sides.  We added just chicken wire to the top, but will add the tin roofing tomorrow.  That way, no wild birds can get inside and hopefully no predators can dig under.

Next up will be the girls hen house.  All of this is trial and error because my husband has zippo carpentry skills - seriously - ZERO!  But, bless his cotton socks because I think he's doing a marvelous job!

The girls look like they are molting because they're now getting feathers.  This morning one "flew the coop" when we lifted the lid to muck out their box.  (yep, another one of those chicken sayings!)

I can see why people enjoy raising chickens because they are quite fascinating to watch.  You might be wondering if they are a bit smelly being in the house like this.  The answer is no!  We change their wood shavings once a day and then do spot "doodle" pickup at least twice a day.

At the ranch supply store yesterday I bought a 2 gallon waterer for their new coop and a special little rake.  I've decided that my new favorite place to hang out is the "hay and feed" store.  Yep, yarn stores have now taken a backseat!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Craft Shows, Chicks and Socks......

The Pony Club's Craft Show had a disappointing turnout this past Saturday.  We sold a few things, but nothing like I had hoped.  That happens, so you just keep on cranking out those socks and get 'em back in your Etsy shop!

If nothing else, just the scenery over in Bear Valley is worth the trip.  It's only about a 15 minute drive from where we live, but the landscape is totally different.  Lots of oak trees, mountains and even a small lake.

The girls turned 3 weeks old yesterday and really look like little chickens now.  I know that sounds weird because they ARE chickens, but it still amazes me.  They love toys and enjoy this TP roll.

Since I can't tell them apart yet, I call them all Lucy!  Actually, I just always say, "hi girls" when I come in to feed them and clean their brooder box.  I can sure see now where these crazy "sayings" come from, too - like "getting up with the chickens" and "the pecking order."

And now between watching my grandkids and cranking out more socks, I'll start to add more to our Etsy shop.  This is really the time to be knitting for the next Christmas season.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Girls Turn 2 Weeks Old.....

The girls are becoming more active now and extremely busy during the night.  Downright noisy, in fact.  What amazes me most is that they sound like little parakeets.  Somehow I expected them to start "clucking" by now!  We still haven't named the other 3, just Lucy and Ethel.  But, I loved the names that you suggested.  We can't even tell them apart at this stage of the game!

This morning I was "mucking" out their brooder box and one actually tried to fly out!  They're getting their feathers now and their wings have probably tripled in length.  So cute!

We spent the past weekend working on their run.  The guys lined the center with cement and then we'll lay hardcloth wire outward and up the sides once the walls are put into place.  After the run is completed we'll start the hen house.  The rush is on because they should be ready to transition to the outdoors within 4 weeks.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chicken Runs, Gardens & No Time for Knitting

The guys just finished digging out the chicken run and are now at Home Depot getting supplies.  We'll line the bottom, top and all sides with hardcloth to keep out any predators.  Eventually, we'll add a partial metal roof to keep rain out.  We'll design the run so that we can add sides of plywood to keep snow and wind out, too.

The weather's so nice today, that it was perfect for hanging out laundry!

The girls are doing great and growing like crazy.  I'm having to clean out their brooder box much more frequently now.

They are extremely camera shy and always head to a corner!

The lettuce is doing so well that we might get to eat some tomorrow for dinner.  I've still got the screen top over it, so it's a bit hard to see in the photo.

Monday the girls will be 2 weeks old and pictures are sure to be posted that evening!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Girls are a Week Old Already......

The chicks turned a week old yesterday and are getting bigger and stronger.  They say to give them all they want to eat, so every few hours I add more to their box.  They have a feeder, but we also place some of their chick starter right on top of their wood shavings.  They're learning to scratch and search for food now. We also have some grit in a small dish since they're not outside eating and digging in the dirt.

One thing about baby chicks - you have to make sure their little bottoms are clean and that their little "vents" are clear.  Twice a day we check and if necessary soak their bottoms in warm water and remove any little "doodles."  This can be life threatening for these little gals.  They just had their little "sitz" baths and have been fed and put to bed. 

They wake throughout the night and chatter to one another and then fall back asleep.  One is still pecking occasionally during the night on the side of the box and we get such a kick out of hearing that.

I never knew that baby chicks could be such fun!

Somewhere in all of this, I even managed to make another little purse!