Monday, May 25, 2015

The Chicks Are Two Months Old And Are Going OUTSIDE, Hurrah!

...because the only thing better than having 22 chickens in your house is having 50 in there.

So yeah, we've been kinda waiting for this day.  But before they get booted out into the cold, hard world, it's picture time!

Again.  Needless to say, some of the chicks were thrilled with this.

Hatch A first!  By now all of the chicks have their adult color & feathering in, so it's easier to tell parentage and play 'Spot The Rooster'.

Ninja, a rooster.  Ninja, despite having a bantam mother, has grown up into quite the big boy.

Jimmy, a snazzy little bantam Belgian d'Uccle who *might* have Mushroom the bantam Cochin for a daddy.  Right now I'd say Jimmy is a hen.

Jimmy posed for a 'derp' shot to prove that she has a few white feathers under her chin to give her a *tiny* white beard.

Snakefast, who seems to be a hen and have a Barred Rock mama & Cowbell daddy.

Eureka, a hen who may have Pie for a mama.

Ham, a roo who is gigantic and friendly to a fault.

Blossom, an Easter Egger/Silkie mix hen.

I don't know *what* Blossom chose to rub her head in prior to picture time, but I suspect she got too closely involved with the corn on the cob.

Here Kitty Kitty, a very pretty little Silkie mix rooboy.

Yep, those tell-tale Silkie roo head streamers are starting to sprout, despite Kitty's obvious skepticism.

Tuxedo, Silkie mix sister to Blossom.

Tuxedo also loves corn.

Theodore Roostervelt, Silkie mix brother to Here Kitty Kitty.

Theo managed to keep his head poof clean, at least.

Hatch B!
Toaster, who required holding in place because she kept running off.

Diane, another rooboy. As he gets older he's getting more and more black feathers creeping in.

Pluffy, a very pretty rooboy.

Chicken Pox, who is finally calming down to a sweet girl.

Maybe Chicken Pox's face fluffies are mellowing her out.

Bubbles, a little hen who is looking more and more like a triple-dipped Easter egg with her gray head, creme neck and reddish body.

Sushi, a snappy little rooboy who is going to be a bantam like his daddy, who seems to be Bloop.  He wouldn't keep his mouth shut during picture time like daddy, too.

Tingle, a very sweet hen with River the New Hampshire for a mom.

Tikka, one of the 5 light Brahma mix rooboys.

Cluckadorkle, a sweet, fluffy girl.

Seagoat, who is shaping up to be a roo.

Kevin the roo--STILL doing the 'boneless chicken' thing, fer the love of Mike.

Sprinkles, basically a copy of Chicken Pox without the face fluffies.  These girls wouldn't want to be TOO matchy-matchy.

Buttercup, the last of the 5 white rooboy crew.

The adult chickens took the new kids in stride, with only a minimum of stink eye for me and new-chick hazing.  Now we have to decide which of the hens we'll keep, and rehome the rooboys and any extra hens...never our favorite part of Chickam, but it has to be done.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Landscaping Time! Day 3 & 4, Trenching, Staking And Water!

Today was alllll about trenching!  Lots and lots and LOTS of trenching.
The trenches started at the back of the house and extended all the way to the back of the property.  This one is for water line for the two new hose bibs.

Another by the deck is for electrical to the coop.

Of course, it wouldn't BE our yard unless we dug up something weird, right?  Right!
One random, useless lump o' concrete, coming right up!  Note that I'm not talking about the one holding the gatepost in place, but the one below it, deeeep underground. Maybe it's from someone on the other side of the world doing their landscaping.

The trench continues past the coop to the back garden area...
The white PVC is the water line.  The new upright hose bibs are freeze-proof, which means no more hauling 5 gallon buckets of water out to the animals in winter, yay!

I think the thing might have needed a new chain by the time it got done digging in our yard, poor Ditch Witch. The new plants each got staked and tied on three sides to help defend them against our winds.  Note tree stakes already in place for the Curly Willow on the right are chunks of rebar.  We ain't messin' around.

Yeeaah...one or two rocks, there.

Good God, the rock thing really got ridiculous.

But in a surprise move, Weird Underground Crap comes roaring back from behind to take the lead! 
It's some kind of cable-wire stuff, I dunno.  We heave a weary sigh and yank it out.

The tree stakes & ties and the drip irrigation line go in...

We made a big horsehoe-shaped driveway so we could drive the Jeep around the back of the chicken coop to the feed shed, and an extension of the driveway goes back into the vegetable garden area.

All of the new plants got drip line strung to them.  Drip line is one of those things that should be left above ground.  It's only slightly buried where it crosses the driveway.

Once everything is laid in the trenches, our job will be to fill the dirt back into the things.  The water line trenches are done, but we still have electrical to lay down.  Meanwhile, our work crew got to it filling the water line trenches back in.

Pumpkin was foreman and only fell in twice.