Thursday, March 22, 2018

rooster update

Not sure what is going to happen with our noisy, grumpy old birds, but the dominance has clearly shifted from the Poppa of the flock to the largest rooster. He actually slept in the hen house last night, with the old rooster hiding in the corner, and the new Alpha hung out with the hens all day yesterday and part of this morning. But this morning the hens aren't totally cooperating and are rotating between the two roosters, so I'm not sure what is going to happen. I may wind up having to capture a rooster or two to keep them isolated, a thought that does not thrill me at all.

Meanwhile the rebuilding of the small house for the biddies is making slow but sure progress. Hope to paint boards tomorrow afternoon and finish assembling and moving everything Saturday morning. And at some point there will be pictures!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Isn't it funny (in an ironic way) how when we should feel on top of the world, we don't?
And when we should be in the depths of despair and our emotional heart physically hurts, we have that inner peace?

Last week I had a biopsy - one of those "we don't think it's anything but since we have no other explanation and things are clearly out of whack we need to double check" kind of things. The dr didn't think it was serious; I didn't think it was serious, and yet, when he didn't call with the test results Fri morning like he said he was going to...I was ticked. When I got home from Quilts of Valor it was too late to get through to anyone at the office, and of course my charts online had not been updated. So I called Monday morning and played phone tag with the nurse, only to find out a few hours later we were all correct in our assumption that everything was fine. So I should have been elated, (and I am truly relieved it's nothing), but I was mostly aggravated. What was supposed to have been a 24 hr wait was a 5 day wait.

I've taught two classes now and have had very positive feedback, and yet, I feel as if this is the most unprepared I've ever been teaching for these classes. This year the staffing team did a 10 minute video during our dry run so we could watch it and critique ourselves. After seeing it there were a few mannerisms I have that I've made a conscious effort not to do while teaching, but overall I was mostly appalled at how fat I looked. I'm not even sure I watched the whole video.

Since Christmas we've been following the 9" plate method suggested by the American Diabetes Association. Simply by following their suggestions for healthy eating guidelines, I've now lost 19 pounds, without any exercise. January was probably the hardest, though there's been some days here and there that have been a struggle. My doctor was hoping for a weight loss of 1.5 lbs a week, so I'm already 3 lbs ahead of schedule. I should be elated, but I'm not. My brain keeps reminding me that it's been 20 years of bad eating habits that have resulted in where I am today, but I still would like for all of it to change overnight. And yes, I know that is totally unreasonable and insane.

Yesterday when I got home, I found two of the roosters fighting. They've skirmished a time or two, but this was a full out fight. We now have three injured roosters; one I'm not sure will make it. I was really hoping that all the biddies were adding to the flock this summer would alleviate the rivalry, but I fear it's going to be too little too late. If I can capture the one that is injured the most, we might relocate it so maybe it can recover. I'm not sure what we'll do about the other two. We've never had hens successfully hatch and raise eggs before (meaning we get both young roosters and hens) until this past year. The fox (which has been back twice in the last two weeks that I KNOW of) and the hawk eliminated all the females and one of the mother hens, but all the young roosters survived. So out of three sets of biddies our hens hatched out last year - we only have two roosters left. That's part of why I've always loved getting biddies from the hardware store - girls guaranteed. I feel sick, and I'm not sure how I'm going to capture the injured rooster without it attacking me. Today when I fed it, a goose bit it and it thought I had poked it. For the first time ever I had a moment of fear with one of our chickens. Thankfully I had the bucket of corn to distract it.

And yesterday I was determined to get my sugar snap peas out (planting time for them here is Feb 15-March 15, so I'm a tad late). After blocking off the area in my garden because the chickens kept coming in to scratch up the dirt I was moving, I finally got half a row planted. At that point I turned and saw a relatively fresh pile of scat. My first thought was rabbits, and it very well may be. Rabbit and deer feces are often similar, though I don't think rabbits would leave quite that big a pile. I know we've had both here in the yard, so there's no telling which was in my garden area. We joked that the rabbits know the shoots should be coming up so they were simply scouting for them, but I hope it was deer and that the fence with the enclosure will now keep them out. If it warms up Friday I hope to finish fencing off what Bobby dubbed "the garden annex" last year so I can plant a few of my early spring crops.

There's a lot more rambling through my head right now and a lot more happening, but that's all I have time to write for today. My goal for the rest of this week is to discipline myself to do what is essential first, and not to worry about the rest. We'll see if I make it!

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Barred rock (blackwith yellow rump), leghorn (yellow, white), Ameraucana ( chipmunk stripe), two Rhode Island Reds, Ameraucana, at 10! The leghorns are one week older than the new chicks. Amazed at the difference in size already!