Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

~ {pretty, happy, funny, real} ~
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Baby chicks are pretty.

We girls picked up five Barred Rock and five Sex Links.
And Nick and Euly picked up five Cornish Rocks and 15 pullets.

And hoping some of our own will hatch.

Last year's group of twenty chicks were pretty successful, we lost a couple to predators, which will be a factor since we free range our layers. Happy chickens = happy eggs, or something like that. 

We eat all we can and sell the rest, like Blue Bell, and have a clientele requesting and preordering eggs, mostly friends. So, we want to keep this project going.

I wasn't ready for meat chickens, Cornish Rocks. Craig has a grand plan, as with every aspect of this farming venture. He has an old trailer which will be converted to a chicken house for the meat chickens. He wants to range them separately and securely. We raised a few meat chickens, White Rocks we called Fattys, back in Georgia. They were not only a failure but in one of the grossest failures we have had in chicken experience. No, you don't want the details. And they are my least favorite animals to watch after they grown out of their adorable chickness.

Euly is all in with her dad's plans and thinks she will be happy to help when the time comes for a fresh chicken dinner. Ceci said we can NOT tell her any thing about it, especially when! Sweet hearted girl. 

We started making garden markers for our vegetable garden out of wood shims. I labeled, the girls created an image of what they hope will be growing and we will mark what we plant; soon.

The garden loves the green house effect going on in my bedroom, but we need pollinators and more dirt.

And we need to finished the rest of the prison high garden fence.

Nick asked me which animal was my favorite to watch. We live in an inside out type of fishbowl, with the animals running around outside the windows on parade. 
I considered the dogs: mostly lazy, sometimes busy, always predictable. 

The cats get boring when it's sunny and all they do is soak in the warmth of the sun;
a good lesson of what we all should do on sunny February days.

The peacocks are interesting with their slow, regal movements and they are always so curious! They spy in on us in the den and kitchen. They love each other, it is interesting to see them look out for, wait for and snuggle each other. 

The sheep and goat are always entertaining. Some days they just mosey along and forage; but other days they are on high art and start running at any sound and seemed chased by imaginary predators. The babies are fun to watch as they hang around their mamas and then start off with the rams as if they are big kids; just to run back to mama.

Chickens have different personalities and cliques. They scream when they lay eggs like they don't know what's happening to them and then regain their composure like nothing every happened once delivered.

But my favorites are the noisy guineas. They are spastic, vain, mean, greedy and highly energetic. Always in movement, many times like a flock, other times independent and aloof. They yell all during the day, and night. My cell coverage is spotty in the house, so I have to check to make sure the guineas aren't around when I step out to make a call, otherwise I can't hear a thing over their yelling. You can sense their enjoyment of irritating others.
They taunt the dogs with their yelling just out of the dogs' bite range but know better than to bother the cats.

We have one with a broken leg and he is determined to regain status in the flock. The animal world is very cruel to other animals less than perfect. There is a pecking order. Survivability determines association, status or even admission into the group.
Broken leg is my favorite to watch. He hated people until his accident, and now he waits for me to feed him. He is getting stronger to hang out with the flock around the property. He still can hop or fly into the trees to sleep at night. 

We put up with all this bad behavior because of their effectiveness to eat all the bugs, at least that's what we are hoping with our garden going outdoors soon.  

Major deep cleaning going on here after a sickness that spanned into two weeks. Lent and spring cleaning go well together, don't you think?  I finally put the last of the Christmas items up and set up a Lenten table with a (much needed) sacrifice jar. 
My younger girls have been quarreling more than usual, and a dear, old priest friend always told me to keep them busy when they were tempted to fight. So I  have had great helpers dusting and washing and organizing right along next to me. 

My car had been in the shop on and off five weeks since Christmas! I thought it might have been the end, since many shops couldn't find the problem. And 255,000 miles! It would start and sometimes it wouldn't. Apparently it just needed stronger powered batteries. We will see. Welcome back old friend of 15 years! 

Calming down to a sense of quiet and order for the rest of Lent. Looking forward to Friday to our annual tradition of meeting friends and praying Stations of the Cross and taking in a local parish's fish fry. 


  1. Meat chickens are the ugliest things ever. I'm with you there. I've never had Guineas but I can't say I've ever wanted any after hearing about their antics! Our hens are my favorite to watch. (We can't let them free range much since the dog loves to catch them). I think they're so peaceful.

  2. Your daughter holding the little chick is darling! I bet your kids enjoy watching the chicks hatch!

    1. Thank you, Rachel. They check this batch daily and worry because the 21st day they have plans to be away, and will hate to miss it.

  3. I like how you have listed all of the animals you have on your farm since I have lost track. I am with Ceci when it comes to not knowing when it is time to prep the chicken dinner ;) I think I like the peacocks the best, just by the way you describes there characteristics.

    1. If I had to make a choice of who lived here, it would be the peacocks.