Lockdown

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.



Update:

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.

Head cold

Dec. 14th, 2011 08:11 am
arirashkae: (Default)
Damn, but I hate being sick. It's not even the yucky, lay-you-up-in-bed flu stuff, but just a cold that has stuffed my head full of cotton. Can't keep a thought in it, and trying to knit anything more complicated than garter stitch (like, say, socks, which actually have to fit) is a nightmare. I think I got 2 rounds done yesterday. (OK, so maybe I made my family Sims 3 and got sidetracked.) Fortunately, I'm not hacking or sneezing or sniffling, so I just wash my hands a lot and go through gloves like crazy at work.

On the upshot, my husband got most of the presents wrapped, and I scored some really sparkly cards while shopping this weekend. (I'm a glitter whore. Shut up.) So, if you want a shiny card, drop me your addy over here (comments screened, of course). I plan to mail them this weekend. (We mailed the letter to Santa yesterday at the post office, which is good because Santa is supposed to call tonight or tomorrow.)
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: (Beer)
I have drawn a scale model of our living room, complete with little scale cutouts of all movable furniture (that piano ain't goin' nowhere XP). I have laid out my idea for rearranging and gotten approval. Now I am attempting to get a 6 year old to help sort his toys into "Put Away", "Give Away", and "Throw Away".

I repeat, I am attempting to get a 6 year old to pare down his toys.

Sadly, thanks to my lovely hoarding tendencies, this is easier than just doing it myself. Alcohol has been obtained, but not consumed yet. I keep getting distracted. XD If I can get it sorted and boxed, I can maybe talk my husband and my brother (if he hasn't gone home) into helping me rearrange the heavy stuff - pullout, TV - and I can handle the smaller pieces myself.

And all this so we can have a new place for our new 3 year old tree decorating tradition: Put up the tree. Put up the lights. Hand the little one costume jewelry to throw at it. Drink beer/wine.
arirashkae: (Yorick)
Farm-to-Fork Farm Dinner Fiasco

(Having just gone through ServSafe in addition to being farm raised and (horror of horrors) growing up on farm raised sustenance, this appalled me beyond all belief.)


I will allow that I do not know how the laws in NV differ from MA. HOWEVER! This strikes me as nothing more than someone with a stick up their @$$ and too much time on their hands harassing people who (and granted, this is solely from their POV) were doing nothing wrong. Even the cops couldn't figure out why they were called, and the health official who called them was unable to come up with something to cite, after intimidating the farmers into destroying all the food they were set to serve. (They weren't even allowed to feed it to the pigs or even compost it!)


I just ... I don't get how people can think that adults are incapable of providing our own food in a safe manner and making reasonable, informed decisions about what we consume.




"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
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.

Joy.

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.
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,

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