arirashkae: (Default)
 Apparently, the piece of bread still in my hand is far tastier than the 8 identical bits scattered around for them to munch. No lie, 4 hens clustered around me, ignoring the bread at their feet, so they can nom the one I was holding. 

And apparently Jenny is the alpha bitch, because only those she approved of were allowed to come eat out of my hand without a peck to the head. (I'd feel bad for the denied & toss them a little extra on the sly.)
arirashkae: (Default)
Well, that was a bust. Too much of the old kennel has fallen onto the large boards, and I can't get them out without tearing it apart.

So it looks like it's the Buy & Mod A Greenhouse route.

If I could afford it, I'd get this one. XD


Jan. 20th, 2012 07:21 am
arirashkae: (Poultry of Unusual Size)
Sadly, not the Transformer. I have very few (non-happy Meal) Transformers, actually. I keep looking for TFA ones though. Really need a Jazz for some of the comics I have floating around my head. Anyway!

Chickens are under coop arrest until we get a run built. Preferably the fox shot as well, but I'll settle for a play yard. My mother actually had an idea I think is feasible, even if we disagree on implementation. (This is common. She's great at coming up with ideas, some good, some not. Aaaaaand then I get "volunteered" to make them happen. XP Needless to say, few ever get off the ground.)

Her idea is to just buy another greenhouse and attach chicken wire. The problem is, she wants me to find one on Craigslist instead of buying new. There are precisely 0 for sale on Craigslist. OK, go ask our neighbor if he's selling his. A nice, round hoop style that would require modification and/or climbing through the chicken coop to be able to attach it to the coop and still get inside it. (Maybe he'll know someone who's selling one that will actually work for less than the $200 new.) OK, what about just getting one big enough to go over the current one and have a yard? If I had the $6K for that laying around, I'd have a working furnace in my house. XD

So, I think we'll be ordering a new one, from maybe Tractor Supply or Walmart, and covering it in hardware cloth & chicken wire, and cutting a door to it in the wire of the coop, which I planned on doing anyway. The good news is not only will it be easy to assemble, and have plenty of spots for shelf brackets so I can give them lots of roosts, I should be able to complete everything for around $500 (very rough est.).

The bad news is that scraping that $500 up is going to be tough, at least until after we file taxes, and I don't like keeping them locked up that long. DX

Edit: I am also allowed to use the boards my father had next door, from back when he had a wood bed on his truck. If my uncle will help me and split them into thinner lengths with his table saw, I may be able to get away with just buying the metal bits.

arirashkae: (Default)
I am down 5 chickens. I let 20 out this morning. 2 I know for a fact are dead, because I found their bodies: Lucy, my oldest red hen, and the rooster we were saving for one of my husband's coworkers. 3 are missing: the big white one I have had left, a big black one she flocked with, and the little black Silkie cross.  I just spent the past 45 mins walking around (haven't even changed out of my uniform, so I'm freezing), and located 4 of them. 1 red hen was hiding next door under a trailer; she called out to me when I walked by, calling to them. 1 of her buddies, the black hen I could find, was hiding behind the tire of a wagon out in the field. I was afraid I'd find one or both of their corpses, because I could see black feathers tumbling across the snow. She didn't call out, but she seems the be ok. The little red Hamburg they follow around (Tac. Tic's the one we lost earlier) was farther down to the barn. He wouldn't let me pick him up (he never does), so I had to put the hen down so he'd stick with her. The little white hen who's brothers we packed off was hiding in the bushes, and I mistook her for a clump of snow at first. Now that I'm thawed, I'm going to change and go back to looking. And as soon as the temps climb enough so I can work without gloves, I'm going to build that damned run, and noone is going to say shit to me. I will turn that thing into Fort goddamned Knox if I can; I don't care how much it costs.

We know for a fact it was a fox, because my mother saw him while she was leaving for work, and took the time to lock up the birds she could find, all 11 of them.

And if I get my hands on him, I will rip off his fucking head and use it as a football.


2 of 3 found: Other big black hen was found dead down by brook. Big white hen was hiding under bench behind coop (good girl!) but little black hen is still missing. I found feathers that look like hers, and some blood on the snow, so I'm not holding my breath. :(
arirashkae: (Default)
Came home from work yesterday to find that Dad had found 1 of my big, fat, white hens dead in the lower driveway. And last night, 2 of my roosters, one of the little red Hamburgs and big Red, were missing. Red is always with his girls. I wandered around until my fingers froze looking for them, and they weren't waiting for me to let their girls out this morning, so I'm forced to assume they're dead too. Either something like a hawk or feral cat (unlikely, since there would be a bigger mess of feathers and either a gutted or no body) or someone's Fido went for walkies.

Honestly, I kinda hope that it was wild animals, because if it was someone letting their dog run wild, I will use the 3 Ss, and can get aggravating. Of course, now that means I have to hurry up and build the "foul weather" run this weekend and make sure it's got enough space to restrict them to it permanently. Yippee.
arirashkae: (Default)
OK, this has stopped annoying me to the point that I start ranting, so now y'all can laugh at this.

Crack a cold one. You'll be a while. )
Oh, and the auto teacher said the gas thing was the seal on the filler neck was wonky, so they reseated it, and we'll see. They're going to check the heat thing later today. Need to make more cookies for those guys.

ETA: Dad brought home chickens on Thursday, and said I could take 1 hen for every rooster I was willing to give up, so we have 2 new hens and 1 Polish rooster (he was a 2:1 swap). (There was a white Silkie that looked just like the one that got killed, but a raccoon found a hole in their pen that I missed, so we lost him and 2 of the hens. Oh well. Made the choice of which rooster to beg for easier. XP)
arirashkae: (Default)
So. Lucy (the red hen) is going into molt and decided she doesn't have the energy to lay for a while. That's ok, because Jenny (the white ... ish one) has gotten over her brood from when she laid the 16 and is starting to lay again. The cute part, however, is that Lucy has decided that her "comfort zone" is the rail on our kitchen porch and the bush right behind it. So when we open the coop every morning, she runs up and parks herself by our main door and hangs out until bedtime. Sometimes one or more of the others will keep her company, but she's there all day.

The hinge on my DS is cracked, so I need to replace the shell. Again. The hardest part of DIY repairs is (I've found) realizing you have more to select from than the retail options, and now you have to decide. I've done my son's in green camo, used a translucent green, and had a black & red with a Chinese dragon. Right now I'm leaning to the classic black/blue combo, or going for a 3rd party iridescent green.

Well, being part of the school system, I'm off until Monday. My husband was going to be off for Thanksgiving dinner - he works 3rd, so it would be his "Friday" shift - but they offered him 2.5X base pay, so he's jumping on it. The little one was distraught Daddy would "miss the party!" until we pointed out this meant more money for Christmas. Then he was cool with it.

We found ourselves with a surplus of turkeys this year, both fresh & frozen, so 2 of them have gone on to Soldier On, the local veteran's facility. 1 was donated today, so it won't be thawed in time for tomorrow, but it can still sit in the deep freeze until it's convenient for them.

Thinking of knitting socks for my father for Xmas. The question is, will he actually wear them, or will they get tucked away safely? XP Basically I'm going to knit them anyway, should I knit them in his size? LOL

I think ... takeout tonight. Anything I cook will create leftovers, and we have no space for that. XD
arirashkae: (Default)
Seen on the way to work today:

"Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently and for the same reason."

Random life crap )
arirashkae: (Default)

I'm experimenting with cold extraction coffee, mostly because the most dangerous words in my household are, "I'm bored," and I know better than to mix explosive/hazardous stuff.

I made a small batch, and it seems to have reconstituted ok. At least, I haven't needed to put several spoonfuls of sugar in like I normally do. But it did leave me with a lot of wet coffee grounds after filtering. Not thinking anything of it, I chucked them outside.

Well, apparently most of my birds were right around the corner, and they all came rushing over to see what landed. Now they're examining these little dark specks, probably wondering if they're bugs and/or good to eat.

Somehow, the thought of 20 caffeinated chickens is terrifying.


Nov. 4th, 2011 07:14 am
arirashkae: (Poultry of Unusual Size)
Meant to post this last night, but I fell asleep. ^_^

We lock the chickens up every night and let them out every morning. Right now, we're letting them out between when the older boy gets on the bus and the younger one's bus time. Come bus time, we throw corn out front so the kids (and other traffic) can see them.

Well, yesterday, we've got the little red ones and the 5 new girls they've adopted out front. I'm on the porch, helping my younger one fix his coat. Next thing I know, there's something battering at the back of my calf. I look down, and Tic has his feathers all ruffed up and is staring at me like, "You! Female! Get in line!" I raise one eyebrow, hook a toe under his chest, and boot him backwards a few feet. (Gently! At no point did I actually kick him!)

Now Tac decides he's going to get into the act, and the two of them are standing in front of me, neck feathers all flared out, trying to get me to acknowledge "my" place in the flock. Problem is, I'm the Big Momma Hen, and after a few minutes of me walking forward slowly and them giving ground, they decided that ticking off the creature with feet as big as their whole bodies is probably a Very Bad Idea. ^_^

So, it starts. Red went through this with both me & Mom when he was just under a year old. We had to pick him up and carry him around each time before he got the hint. Now he's such a sweet boy. And the black Silkie is behaving now that he's killed Elvis. He still doesn't deserve a name yet, and we're still waiting to see if he's going to start chasing my son again. If he does, he's outta here!

(Oh, and my older son is getting into his "teenager" phase, so the next few years are going to be funfun! XP)
arirashkae: (Default)
:wants to make a G1!Soundwave icon: -->
:has no base images to play with on this computer: -->
:should really be in bed: -->

Older son f*cked up his finger in afterschool sports. Didn't tell me until after dinner.   Now we have an appt. with the doc for tomorrow morning, and I had been planning to go in early tomorrow. :le sigh: (It just looks like a sprain, so not too worried.)

Screw trying to roof corral & build new coop. I shall upgrade the existing one and build a 10' X 10' run attached to it.

Have a ficlet snippet from 'Fruitful'. Still working on nudging this section where I want it to go, but I'm not sure it'll work.

I will end up in hell for this fic, I'm sure. )
arirashkae: (Killing Everything)
One of the roof panels on the coop (a converted greenhouse, so, plastic roof) blew off in the massive wind gusts we're getting right now. Tried to put it back on. Blew off again. Repeated 2-3 more times while waiting for my son to come back up from the barn because the bolts are rusted, and I need him inside the coop to hold a wrench on the nut, and I can't reach through chicken wire. All this for want of a few washers.

Eeeeexcept the bolts are rusted as $%!7 because this thing is just That. Damned. Old. And it's starting to rain.


Fortunately, my father came home while we were struggling, so he and Brandon went next door and came back with the rivet gun. It will hold for now. I hope.

Hopefully, Dad has big enough pieces of the aluminum roofing he put on the barn years back, and I can just replace them tomorrow. Exactly how I wanted to spend my afternoon.


Oct. 18th, 2011 07:15 am
arirashkae: (Default)
Heard a fuss in the coop while helping older son get ready for bus. Run out expecting trouble (Hubby just told me his coworker lost the hen and chicks I sold him to weasels. They ripped the bottom of the coop door off. T^T).

Two adult chickens spontaneously appeared in the coop overnight. O_o

This must be investigated.

Edit: After letting everyone else out (and leaving the new ones in), it looks like 3-4 5 new birds!
arirashkae: (Poultry of Unusual Size)
Trying to figure out of much pipe I need to run an arc roof over the corral so I can turn it into a chicken run. I know the corral is ~40' wide, and I need it to be about 10' at its peak (maybe more, but if I can nail the original math, I can fudge it #s later), which is ~4 feet  from the top of the posts I'm using to anchor the PVC pipe. My (really rough) guesstimate/instinct is I need ~60'-70' of pipe per "rib" (and they come in 10' lengths), but I'd feel a lot better if I could remember the formulas for arc length and circle geometry in general.

On the upshot, the carpentry class of the local HS vocational wing has agreed to build me a chicken tractor based on the Cluckingham Palace. So,
arirashkae: (Default)
Something managed to dig into the chicken coop this morning. Given the tiny gap between base and stone to dig through (and the smell) I'm going to guess skunk. We didn't lose any birds, but we are down to 5 of the original 16 eggs I found almost 2 weeks ago. We'd lost a few over the past week or so, probably just because the poor girl can only cover so many, and they got stepped on. The rest were probably eaten this morning. I'm not sure if the rest will hatch though, since it was pretty cold this morning, and obviously the hen got chased off the nest.

So, that means I really really need to finish the run and/or build a chicken tractor. The ones that Sheds & Stuff build are wonderful, but one in the size I'd need would run about $2000. Ouch! He has a used shed that would work as a tractor with a little modification, but even then it'd still be ~$1K after mods and such.

The local HS carpentry class is willing to consider building one if I can provide plans & material funds, but wouldn't you know it, my plans apparently got lost in the last reformat. Basically, I want something like this (but larger): Cluckingham Palace. It's essentially a modified storage shed on wheels. So that means I need to hit the library tomorrow for shed plans - hopefully - and then print up the Palace and make notes on how I want the shed modified to be a mobile coop. :sigh:

Oh, and my bra strap keeps twisting. XP
arirashkae: (Default)
Well, Jenny's pissed at me for moving her eggs & won't sit on them any more. I put them under the little black hen, but 1) she's tiny, 2) there's 16 large eggs, and 3) I don't know if the eggs got too chilled last night. :-( Oh well. The little one's been trying to hatch a golf ball she found, so maybe she'll be able to hatch a few of these out and stop being so damn broody. If not, well, I really don't have the room yet for 16 more birds. XP
arirashkae: (Default)
One black Silkie rooster, tamed to hand. Plays well with everyone else, except the other Silkie rooster. Too bad for him the other rooster is a named pet, and he isn't. XP (Seriously, I do have to find something to do with him, and it's not worth the effort of dressing him for the freezer or pot.)

Dear diary ... )
arirashkae: (Default)
First full day of school down. Apprently, a full day of 1st grade is far more interesting than a half day LOL We'll see how the other one does in 8th grade. XP Maybe this year he'll actually do his fragging homework!

Work went fine. Same shift as last year (for now) and it's posted up on the board as an opening! Yay! And rumor has it I will be going permanent soon. (Perms where 1 color polo, subs another, and one of my coworkers had to go exchange last year's shirts for new ones and overheard. :3 )

No clue yet what, exactly, required $500 of work on my car, but my uncle offered to lend me the $$$ so I can give him his car back. XD So, $50 a week is far easier to manage. Especially if I go permanent. Just gotta write a letter of intent for the new postings.

Apparently, the hen I sold to my husband's coworker not only hatched out 7 of the 8 eggs and is a good mama, she's a protective one! I've been told she attacked the dog for sniffing at the chicks. Picture this: a chicken the size of a football, puffed out like a turkey, squawking and flying at a dog roughly the size of a border collie and jumping on her head. Poor dog didn't know what she did wrong!

Seraphina's shawl almost done. I should really find out what the craft shows here are like. They're an easy pattern and go pretty quick when not interrupted. I could use the extra cash, if only to offset the yarn spending.

ETA: Ever try to mend the knee of a pair of pants by hand, while they're being worn by a twitchy 5 year old waiting for the bus? Yeah. O_o


arirashkae: (Default)

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