Sunday, November 18, 2012

of re-beginnings and the state of the wannabefarm

This weekend, my gun slingin' super hero and i were compelled to give attention to the apparently declining mental health of our lone surviving chicken of the great hawk invasion of 2012.  This action was much advanced by the observation that our darling had not descended from her rafter roost for many hours after daylight - and by her despondent stare at the yummy chicken treats we used to try to lure her down.

After we discovered her survival last week, i asked for suggestions to name her, since she has earned a note of singularity worthy of a name, due to her miraculous perceived resurrection.  I had three suggestions, which were lovely, and i ignored all of them and named her "Chance."  It's the alliteration, mostly, "Chance the Chicken," and that i was simply not feeling a lot like giving her a regular, feminine girl's name.  Thank you for your suggestions.  :)  

Saturday, being my first reasonable chance to get Chance some company, i perused Craigslist and found a gentleman a not-too-long car ride away, with scads and scads of chickens to choose from.  So off we went.

Side note:  for the benefit of my fellow chicken lovers, i would like to illuminate the fact that i would ordinarily be stubbornly opposed to buying mostly grown chickens from someone i don't know and then adding them to my flock without a strict and lengthy quarantine.  However, in light of the delicate bird-brained psyche of my Chance, teetering on the edge of non-survival....and the fact that we had only one chicken to lose, we made an exception, and we will hope for the best.  The flock we visited did appear to be in fantastic health and conditions.  This, we found to be a great comfort.

The chicken operation we found at the end of our GPS-guided adventure was wonderful!  The chicken yard was HUGE and full of obviously well-treated chickens of all sorts of beautiful breeds and colors.  The fellow has a wonderful pulley system, whereby he can open and close all of the pop doors on his several chicken houses, from the comfort of the back door of his own house!  This system was of particular fascination to my  engineering minded super hero, and the hope of similar accommodations of great excitement to me.

I should abbreviate my ramblings by saying that we enjoyed our visit, and it acted as a rejuvenation to our yard bird operation aspirations, which sometimes grow dim in the shadow of day to day obligations.

We came home with two pullets and cockerel, who should be ready to produce eggs and fertile eggs by spring time.  They, and our Chance, are currently in the midst of a multi-day stand off in the chicken coop.  But we have hopes that the dark of night and the waking up together each morning, will soon re-set their short memories, and they will begin to believe that they have always lived here together as one happy family.

The occupants are:

Chance, the survivor, in one corner of the rafters,

Helen, the courageous and somewhat pushy, in the opposite corner of the rafters,

while Charlotte, the cowering, hides behind Chuck, the would-be-cowering-if-he-weren't-the-biggest-bird-in-the-room, on the lower perch.  

Chuck suffered a damaging humiliation his first night in the coop, when he attempted to join Chance in the rafters, but succeeded in an embarrassing collision involving his chest and the rafter, sending him falling back down to the roost.

He's going to be a beautiful rooster in a couple of months.  They're going to be a beautiful little flock all of them.  And even though Chance has still not left the rafters, she has become more curious and more vocal, which are good signs.  I'm sure she is also going to become quite hungry pretty soon and venture to the floor.

In line with our newly revived inspiration, today, i secured the domain name,, which we have hopes and thoughts to make the online location of a humbly thriving honey/egg/bird business, which is still incubating in our own bird brains.  For now, the website says mostly nothing and has a couple of pretty chicken pictures, but it's a start.

Speaking of honey, an impromptu peek at the bees this past week, revealed unhappy news.  I am, however, not sure i would have discovered it if i hadn't peaked in after dark, so in the end, i'm thankful to have discovered these intruders sooner than later.

See those little bugs crawling around on the frames?  Those are not supposed to be here.  Without proper etymological identification, i am making the assumption that these are small hive beetles, a recent immigrant/interloper from South Africa, which is not welcome in my bee hive.  Thankfully, i have learned quite a bit that i did not know before, about beekeeping in the last few days, from reading and asking lots of questions of other beekeepers, and we will probably be able to rid ourselves of these little pests without too much damage...and without chemicals.  I might be a beginner, but getting pesticides anywhere near my honey production seems like a pretty big no no.  

The state of the rest of the wannabefarm?  There's a continually growing tabby cat resting happily in my lap while i type, and two separately housed beta fish in beautiful jars in my house, who couldn't care less about the rest of the farm, but they provide some indoor beauty, and i like them.  Their names are Garcia and Franklin.  The cat is Columbo.

This is a good pre-Thanksgiving post for me.  I have SO much to be thankful for!  What i have named above is just a dripping of the goodness of God in our lives.  May we always remember to be most grateful.

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