Chickens


Well, I’ve learned that it’s easier to allow the girls to roam than it is trying to keep them in a specific area.  My dear Chloe is the escape artist and once she’s figured it out, everyone follows.  The good thing about living in the same place for nearly 20 years is that the garden, shrubs, and lawn all look nearly 20 years old.  And that is a good thing when you have free range chickens.  Now that I’ve given up on keeping them where I want them, they munch on a lot of different things and not just a specific thing.  Think of it as organic pruning and you can watch, drink your ice tea, and never break a sweat.  Add in the additional bonus of free fertilizer and well, I’m much more relaxed about the whole thing now.

Imagine my surprise when my husband noticed that we were being watched through the back door!  Seriously, they will just all sit outside the back door and stare at us through the glass.  I wonder if we are their TV???  It’s just too funny when you have that feeling that you are being watched and you ARE!  Sorry for the blurry picture but I had to try and capture Sam looking in at us.  So far no accidents on my back mat thankfully!

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They just meander whereever their hearts desire as you can see from the following photos.  I followed them as they explored the path around the back of the house.  This is a new area for them and they now have no fear of any part of the yard.

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And that is Phoebe’s butt sticking out of the grove!

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 And today when I went out to let the girls out, I found an EGG!!!  My first egg and I screamed with joy.  It was so darn cute and small that I just had to share it with all of you.  I’m not sure who had it but it had to be Rosy or Phoebe because it is a nice light brown egg.  Chloe should have a green or blue egg.

Before I post a picture of the egg, yesterday we found Sam a good home with a young family that lives on a farm.  They have MANY girls for Sam to take care of and lots of room with no close neighbors to be bothered by his crowing…. I mean singing at all hours of the day and early morning.  She fell in love with him as soon as she saw him.  He is a specimen of a Rooster for sure.  We know we did the right thing because of getting our first egg today.  Sam really wouldn’t allow the girls to have any peace.  He needs many women in his life!

And without further delay — THE EGG.

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And for comparison, here is a store bought white egg beside it.  Isn’t my little egg just too cute.  :)

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Before you think I’ve gone completely crazy with animal homesteading, the geese in our house are of the fabric kind.  I am sooooooooooo close to finishing this quilt top that I can now officially taste victory!  My points came out so perfectly too.  I used the new to me Flying Geese x 4 ‘No Math’ ruler made by Lazy Girl Designs.  I love this ruler and will never go back to the way I used to make flying geese units.  UPDATE:  Here’s a video link where you can learn about the ruler I used — http://tinyurl.com/2b3qmyh.   

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Next, how about a little kitchen crafting.  How many of you use the plastic scrubbies to clean your pots and pans?  I really like them because they don’t scratch but they aren’t the most pretty and lack the needed styling for quilters.  I mean you need style in every room right!  Well, now you can make your own scrubbies!

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Pretty cool, huh!  This is my first one and I learned that I need to cast off much looser so it lays nice and flat.  I love the look and feel of it and plan on making several more so I always have a clean one.  I knit mine but I’m sure you can also crochet one if that’s your favorite method.  Here’s the blog that got me started on making them.  She has great photos  –  http://tinyurl.com/67vjcd 

I must admit to NOT cutting the tulle like she did.  I found it too slow.  I used my rotary cutter and ruler and it went very fast.  I also only cast on 14 stitches so the scrubby would fit in the palm of my hand.  It fits down inside a coffee cup and tea glass very well if you need to do some extra scrubbing. 

Items Needed:

No. 9 knitting needles
1 skein of yarn
Tulle – the roughest one you can find (I bought a half yard to play with — it’s cheap)

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I love the yellow tulle with the yarn.  Have fun making these they are quite fast to do.

Work is busy and I’m nearly finished with the first half of the soccer order.  I’ve got peaches waiting for me to give them their preserve makeover later today.  YUM.

Oh, and here’s my sleepy assistant all snug in my (I mean HIS) office chair.  There’s no room for me on there!

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Here she is — our tiny little sprite.  Tiny stripes down her back was how we kept track of her.

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And, we watched her grow into a beautiful, young lady:

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 We love her friendliness.  She is always the first to come running to us hoping we are bringing her favorite treat of yummy bread.  And she continued to grow and become even more beautiful…more beautiful than all the other hens in the kingdom.

 
DSC01969 She even stands a little taller than the others:

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And then this weekend I was awakened by our dear, sweet Sadie.  I didn’t know it was Sadie at first.  I grabbed my robe and crept down the stairs and peered out the window.  My eyes were still blurry from sleep — after all it was only 5:30 a.m.  I couldn’t quite make out where the sound was coming from.  I went out back pulling my robe tighter trying to hide from the coolness of the morning.   AND then, she did it again — she CROWED in my face.  I jumped and nearly fell backwards.  Have you ever been right next to a rooster when he decided to belt one out?  It was clear and loud.  I immediately opened up the coop to let everyone out for the day hoping this would appease Sadie until it was at least later in the morning.  She (I mean he) was pretty good and only intermittently shared his new found voice with us.  I could see how proud he was in his new found stance in the house and how the girls followed him around all morning. 

Our Sadie has offically been renamed SAM.  Do you think it will take long before he recognizes his new name?  Nah…I think he knew all along and was wondering how much longer it would take us before we figured it out. 

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 Now, Phoebe on the other hand thinks all the commotion over Sam was highly overrated.  Her thoughts are that entirely too much attention was given to Sam when really the most important thing is her and her needs and seriously ‘everyone knows’ (at least in her mind) that she has always been the most beautiful girl in the house and it’s all about the eggs mister!  Right!  I can see her point — can’t you?

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A while back I received an email from AccuQuilt announcing it’s barn quilt contest.  I kept the email thinking what a fun contest it was but not really giving it much more thought.  I was outside working/painting the chicken coop and had been thinking of a fun design to add to it when I remembered the email about the contest.  That was enough incentive to get me to playing, measuring, and thinking of colors.  The instructions said that the block must be colorful so I pushed myself to go BOLD

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and it rained, and rained, and rained some more.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish it before the deadline.  So, out in the rain I went with pencil and ruler in hand to draw my design.  Drawing on a vertical surface is not as simple as I had envisioned it would be.  Of course, my coop isn’t made with finely sanded wood so going over bumps and imperfections in the wood added to the difficulty of getting straight lines, but I endured and ignored all but the worst of the rain.  I drew one day then quit.  Next day I realized I couldn’t really see my lines very well so I went over all of them again with tracing paper.  Okay, so tracing paper doesn’t work great either but at least I could see the lines better.  Next day I painted one section and then had to quit so that it would dry before doing the next section.  All the while, it rained which made the drying s.l.o.w.  Thankfully on a Sunday I got a weather break and painted and painted and painted.  I thought I was done when I found a black paint pen and wondered what the design would look like if I went around each block with the black…….  This was scary because if it looked awful, I wouldn’t have enough time to repaint the areas before the deadline ended.  I asked hubby what he thought and he pushed me to do it so I did.  The result I think is much better and more like leading in a stain glass piece.  I love it, hubby loves it, and I think if my girls could speak, they would nod in agreement too.

Soon, they will be able to play in the yard as they are getting much bigger and the hawks won’t be able to grab them.  I think the Mariners Star is the perfect evening guide to welcome them in each night.

I didn’t win the contest but sure had a great time creating my very own Barn Quilt.

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And the full view!

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My babies have grown into big girls now and as you can see they all four love to all get in the nest box together. They are joyful to watch and make me laugh out loud with their playfulness.

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Whoopie — check out our real feathers on our wings!

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Chloe is showing off her pretty wing feathers by flapping — or is she dreaming of flying!   

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Can you tell that the girls love SweetPeaz’s catalogs from last year?  I knew I’d find something to do with them instead of recyling this year.

From left to right: 

  • Black with white spot on head:  Plymouth Rock (brown eggs) [her name is PHOEBE]
  • Red: New Hampshire Red (brown eggs) [couldn't resist calling her ROSIE]
  • Black with Golden Stripes down each back and already a little sassy:  Golden Laced Wyandotte (brown eggs) [SADIE]
  • Creamy Peach and already a lover:  Araucana (green & blue eggs) [CHLOE]

The ladies will look like these.  (Actually they are still little girls right now.)

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The house (which is way too big for the girls right now).  Brainstorming now about paint colors for the house and contemplating that first fresh EGG!

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