Archive for the ‘pets’ Category

I have mentioned before that hubby and I decided to try our hand at hobby farming by purchasing five chicks to use for their eggs. 

Things are going quite well, although hubby deserves all of the credit.  I pretty much just observe them from afar while he keeps them watered and fed and continues to renovate their coop for the coming winter. 

For quite a while now – since the birds started looking like adults and not chicks – there has been one bird that has looked just a little different than the others.  See that extra little “waddle” under the chin?  We weren’t really sure what to make of this but knew that we had time to ponder the anomaly since the birds aren’t mature enough for egg production until at least November. 

Since we have time, let me back up a little to when the little chicks were purchased.  Hubby found an article in the local ‘buy and sell’ paper.  A few weeks later we drove up to this modified trailer that is surrounded by junk that lies on grass that hasn’t seen a mower all year.  (Let me clarify the word ‘modified’ … I don’t mean ‘modified for the better’.  I mean that the trailer had a two-room wooden porch built on the front of it many years ago that is now half fallen down, has holes in the floor, and is full of greasy, smelly junk.Oh, and chicks.  Lots and LOTS of chicks.)

I knocked on the door and this old guy comes out, bent over and limping and with eyebrows arched to the ceiling in suspicion.  I mean, he’s keeping a really close eye on me.  Once he realized why I was there, he entered the back room of the porch to get the chickens that I wanted.  He would pick them out of their cage one by one, turn them over, look at the ball of feathers, and either put them in the box I was taking or grunt and say something like, “I think that one’s a rooster”. 

Very scientific indeed. 

So here we are, many months later, wondering if that one odd-looking chicken just naturally looks a little different than his siblings or if it is, in fact, a rooster.  All wondering came to an end this morning with an IM sent by hubby first thing this morning:

“It is confirmed.  I heard some loud cock-a-doodle-doos this morning as I was walking to the garage.”


You might think this is not the end of the world … and obviously it’s not … but it does mean actual chickens where the eggs for breakfast are supposed to be.  I imagine our neighbors are not likely to find the novelty in early rooster crowing for long either. 

Chances are we will have to get rid of this bird and we’re not quite sure how to do it.  Yeah, the actual mechanics of it are pretty straightforward (axe meets rooster) but going from scrambled-egg-lover to chicken slayer is a pretty big leap. 

If the course of action involves an axe-wielding hubby, I just hope he doesn’t fight back.

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In honor of the first snowfall warning of the season (yeah, I’m serious!), here are some shots of the beautiful foliage in my little corner of the world this time of year.  I hope you have a good monitor. 

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I packed a lunch and went for a long hike out back, near my nan’s woodlot, on trails that mostly looked like this.  It was a labyrinth of four wheeler trails, old logging roads, and some paths we weren’t even sure were trails – some turning left and some turning right and some we made up as we went.  But… we managed to make it out alive (although I did save half of my sandwich just in case, I ended up eating it in the truck on the way home – because being vegetarian makes cannibalism out of the question). 


Those woods had mostly yellows and greens but I did come across this gleaming red beauty. 


I haven’t uploaded pics of the girls lately so here they are in their makeshift hunters orange collars.  They had a blast running through the forest, scaring up partridge (thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump) a couple of times along the way. 

Maggie …

and Nelly …

And on the drive home we stopped for a picture at this spot that my blog-reading cousins will easily recognize. 


The rest of these shots are from a solo walk I took on another day.  I like close up shots and my camera seems to do them really well.  Here are a few of them. 




And a little spider friend.  Not that I particularly like spiders; they do make for interesting photography though. 

It’s a little difficult to time but if you are thinking about a trip to this part of the world, definitely try to make it this time of year. 

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Okay, so I actually live on a hill, which, a quick surf to m-w.com tells me, is the exact opposite of a dell.  And baby chicks probably aren’t considered livestock (although this I don’t know for sure).  And buying five of them probably doesn’t qualify us as farmers. 

Regardless, Brian has spent a week or two building a coop and I picked up five two-week-old chicks today and we are officially ready to raise egg-laying hens.  Fun, right? 

Not exactly the ‘farmer in the dell’ story I was going for but it’s still… er, farm-ish. 

Not that we have aspirations to be farmers; no, we simply thought it would be fun to have pet chickens and reap the benefits of fresh eggs. 

Mmm… sweet grain-fed protein. 


WordPress tells me that this post was last edited on June 20th.  You see, I wrote this post just after getting the five chicks that we named after the spice girls… ginger, scary, sporty, baby, and posh.  Hubby’s idea, by the way. 

Yes, I had this all ready to post back and was just waiting for a blog-worthy shot of the little chicks… when disaster struck. 

As you must know by now, this blog is titled for my two chocolate labs, Nelly and Maggie (do you see where I’m going with this?).  It was the chicks’ first afternoon of freedom in their new running pen and the dogs’ first afternoon with cute, feathery, and very tasty-looking neighbors.  A slight error in fencing judgment was all that was needed to bring the two to a head. 

We found only a few feathers.  I like to think that they got away but Hubby points out that the dogs were strangely less hungry for supper that night. 

So here we are with five new chicks, wondering what to name them (they MUST have names so it makes it harder for Hubby to eat them).  Any ideas?

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