Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: pets (page 2 of 2)

It’s like an Easter Egg hunt every day

My chickens, who I love & am not tired of talking about, have finally started laying eggs!

Not a TON of eggs, but they average two a day. And it’s always a surprise, too. You don’t know if you are going to find a brown egg or a white egg, a really really small egg, or a big egg with double yolks! On Sunday Ryan made omelets with our very own eggs from our chickens and our home grown tomatoes. We didn’t make our own cheese (no cow, but maybe that’s next year), but we still felt very farm-y eating our omelets.

So each day when we go out to feed the chickens or let them out to play or to put them to bed, we check to see if there are any eggs. And they aren’t all in the upstairs of the coop like you would think they would be. One chicken, probably Gabby, lays her eggs in the same place every day, but the others are in random places. You have to watch your step because there might be an egg sitting in the dirt or the grass. It’s like an Easter egg hunt EVERY single day!

Oh, and speaking of eggs, check out THESE eggs!

Hey, Chicken!

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably been wondering a few things. Questions like: ‘Is Jimmer going to stay and play in Utah, or go somewhere else?’ or ‘What will Katy Perry be wearing in her next music video?’ or ‘What the heck is up with these gas prices, and when are they going to come down?’ Oh, you’ve got questions, allright.

But I’m here to answer the more importantly, the burning question…what’s up with Paige’s chickens?

After the little gal was attacked by a dog and had her near death experience, We realized we had to beef up security around those chicks. Since that’s not really something I can do (without about three trips to the hardware store and 4 hours of frustration that would probably end in injury or swearing), I was ultra thankful that Ryan took over and reinforced the coop.

When I was talking about the dog dangers in the neighborhood, a friend offered up a dog run. Seems they had an extra one in their backyard after having a relative live with them for a year. Cole and Megan went over and dismantled the run, loaded it into the truck and brought it over here (have I mentioned how much I enjoy having a child that can DRIVE and run errands for me Holla!!), and even set it up for me. At first we set the run up around the coop, but that was problematic. The footprint of the run is about a foot wider than the base of the chicken coop. Although that added to the security, it made it hard to open the coop and feed them.

We decided it would be better to have the dog/chicken run next to the coop, so that the little ladies could have a safe outdoor space to wander, scratch the ground, and look for bugs and weeds to eat. Ryan took over the remodel project, and figured out how to make a little sliding door for them. How awesome is that? And all this from the man who supposedly didn’t even want chickens!

I figure these chickens are now about 8-9 weeks old, and they are growing bigger every day! I like to let them out when I am changing their water and getting them food. They especially like to wander through the garden boxes–Don’t eat THOSE plants, chickens, eat the weeds. I am hoping that they will eat squash bugs and slugs, too.

The kids all love the chickens. Almost as much as I love them! It’s actually quite irrational how much I love those chickens. I mean, they are just chickens, but I really do love them! We try to hold and pet them just about every day so they will not get all mean on us. Nobody wants a mean chicken around, especially when they get bigger. This is not the best picture of John, but you get the idea that the kids are having fun with our new little pets.

They have starting eating some fruit and veggie scraps, as well. I never know what they are going to eat and not going to eat, but I give them food just in case. They do like stale bread, so they’ve had some of that for the past couple of days. They will also eat lettuce and some weeds, and cleaned off a corn cob like it was candy. I just took out the strawberry tops, some cabbage, and celery tops that I would have thrown away, but giving them to the chickens is much better than throwing them away, right? (The CIRCLE of LIFE….(sing it with me, now)
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life)

Don’t think I’m talking about THAT circle of life. These little poultry are not going to be put into a casserole anytime soon (or ever), but I am looking forward to getting some eggs from them in the early fall.

Oh, and they aren’t going to be FRIES, either.

Chickens

Once there was a girl who wanted chickens. It’s not like she dreamed of having chickens from the time she was little, but as an adult she realized that having a few chickens would be a great experience for her family. They could have animals to take care of, and even fresh eggs.

But the girl’s husband did not share her enthusiasm for the feathered creatures, perhaps because they had so many birds inside the house already. Or perhaps it was the fear that the girl would undoubtedly ask him to BUILD something for the chickens. Because while the girl has plenty of enthusiasm for starting a project, she sometimes lacks the know-how or the right tools to do all the follow through.

Then, in a happy coincidence, the girl found someone offering up a chicken coop on freecycle. And not some far away chicken coop, but a chicken coop in her very own town, not far from her own castle, I mean house. So the girl arranged a pick up time, asked her son and daughter to follow her over in the old beat up truck, and they loaded up the chicken coop and hauled it on home. What could be better?

The children were super enthused about the coop, and they helped the girl paint it a lovely red color.

And a nearby friend even offered up the baby chicks that she had hatched for her preschool kids (Ok, truthfully, she *tried* to hatch some fertilized eggs in time for Easter, but they just didn’t hatch, so she went to IFA and bought some chicks so they would be there by Monday. Her preschool kids were through the roof excited, but now she doesn’t really want to add 3 more chicks to her coops. She already has about 40 chickens. So, as soon as it’s warm enough to keep them outside in this little coop, we’ll adopt them.)

But then the friend un-offered her baby chicks because her husband wanted to keep them (What?) so the girl had to find her own chickens. CLASSIFIEDS!

So the girl found an ad on KSL.com, asked about them, and went over and got some.
We got two California White Leghorns, and two Rhode Island Browns.

When they grow up, they should look like this

(I think.)

They certainly didn’t look so comfortable in the box we brought them home in.

We really don’t know much about them except I got some food, a food dish, a water dish and some bedding, and we’ll see how they do. This week it should really warm up so I won’t need to worry so much about them being cold, which is good.

We put them into their little coop and they seemed a little bit lonely and overwhelmed, and aren’t sure what to do. But they are chickens, after all. They don’t need to do all that much.

The kids are so excited about them. We’re going to have to pick out names, even. When they were all huddled together in the bottom of the pen, I had John crawl in there and get chickens and hand them to me so I could put them up in the nesting box for the night, so they would be warmer. I don’t think they know how to navigate the “ladder”. This morning we all had to run out there and make sure they were still ok, and it looks like they survived the night. Everyone wanted to pet them and say hello.

Ryan tells me I had better be completely happy for the next 6 months. What? I guess I will, then. The girl finally got her chickens. The girl (and her kids) is happy to embark on this chicken raising adventure.

But they were sad and lonely

Last week I got a call from the piano teacher. She assured me that her call had nothing to do with the attitude of my piano students (thank goodness!). She knew that we had birds, and proceeded to tell me all about her sad little cockatiel. It was her daughter’s, but she went off to college and no one has played with him, and now he’s just a sad and lonely little bird. She wondered if we perhaps wanted another bird; if we would love and play with him more than her family did.

Of course I said we would take him. Never mind that we have 4 birds at home who rule the roost (literally). Because I just can’t live with the idea that the poor little bird is sad and lonely. SAD and LONELY, people. He’s with a family who doesn’t LOVE him, doesn’t play with him. He doesn’t have any friends. Well, as a certified foster home for birds, it is my duty and privilege to take him in. Ok, I’m not really a certified foster home for birds–you caught me.

birds
(this is not a picture of my house, by the way, just one I found showing many birds)

So, yes, call me the crazy bird lady if you must, and when you come to visit, would you mind bringing some millet or bird seed?

We should hang a sign by the birds that says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. …” But all little birds should have friends, right? If not a bird friend, then at least a human friend.

Anyway, we picked up this little bird on Saturday, cage and all. The kids were VERY excited.

But the first order of business was to give him a new name. He had been called “Katie”, but then when they discovered that he was a boy, they just kept on calling him Katie. Well, I can’t in good consciousness call a male bird Katie, so we started taking suggestions for a new name. “How about something sort of close to Katie,” I suggested, “like Petey”. Nobody liked that one. Clayton? Clyde?

When Ryan’s flight to Japan was canceled for the day and he ended up coming back home (surprise!), he first got on my case for taking in YET ANOTHER homeless bird, (he tells me that they AREN’T sad and lonely and that I’m just giving them human qualities, but I know they do get sad and lonely. So there.) and then gave his suggested name, “Guido”. We liked that one, so Guido it is.

So now we have evened things out…5 kids and 5 birds (not counting those silly little parakeets upstairs, but coincidentally, there are 5 of them, too). The problem, though, is that everyone keeps giving us normal greys, so we have 4 of these birds who look VERY similar, and it’s not until you get closer that you can tell them apart. Why can’t people give us their whitefaced, or their lutino cockatiels? I guess they are more expensive and less common. Oh, well. (I actually have one sitting on my shoulder and one on my leg as I’m typing this. Too bad you can’t see how cute they are).

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