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Archive for the ‘chickies’ Category

update on the chickies! and miscellaneous other things

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Oh they are cute and have more than quadrupled in size. We started them in a “brooder” created with Ms Gracie’s soft-sided pen, used while her broken leg was pinned. A heat lamp was NOT a good idea but a seed starter heat mat under the bedding worked great. We monitored the temps, kept adjusting as the littles got bigger and then one day, as if by magic, they seemed too big for the available space. Plus they wanted to stretch their developing wings.

Having read that a major challenge with not-quite-adult-chicks is familiarity vs. change, we put together their coop and installed it in the dining room. It took up a bit of our living space but worked great and was highly entertaining for everyone in the household. Within days they were able to climb the ladder or fly into the roosting area. At some point we removed the heat mat and nothing in their behavior changed. Hooray! They were obviously comfortable.

Now they are 6-7 weeks old and almost, if not, fully feathered. They are able to regulate their body temps and do well as a group. Outdoors temps are quite warm during the day (finally!) and usually above 50 at night. We moved the coop outdoors this morning. They had nothing to adjust to except the availability of grass and ground, which makes them quite happy, thank you very much.

The coop is temporarily situated in between a new raised garden bed and a straw bale bed and is sheltered by the S/SE angle of the house. They have grass, ground, sun or shade and everything they are accustomed to and seem quite content.

Zooey is still very protective and the coop-run is predator proof, plus is close to the main entrance to the house. Stella, the cat, has basically lost interest since the chicks got bigger. We will ensure they are secure at dusk.

Life is good for the Star House Chickens. Next project: build them a portable run  (aka “chicken tractor”) that can be moved around the yard and orchard. With a little luck that will happen this weekend.

*****

In other news, we enjoyed a lovely lunch today with a local friend. He’s an art appraiser and a collector of contemporary art and western writers. It was great conversation, stimulating and challenging. Living outside this small town is a rich experience. People are very interesting, there are good overlaps,  we’ve been made welcome and are “at home”. Life is good.

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I have finally begun to feel more myself after a long recovery period from March’s unfortunate illnesses. There’s a lot of catching up to do, socially, in the gardens, the studio, office and elsewhere. This all takes so much time and tests my patience. Saying “NO” got to be a habit the past months, now I get to decide when to say “yes”. <G>

The reset button has been employed: I am not behind, rather right where I should be. All will be well.

 

Are you well? What’s going on in your lives? Drop a note, here or privately.

Be well, do good work…..