Over-run with Goings – On

First the big news:  Truffles the hen, who has been sitting on a cache of eggs (which keeps getting added to by her pushy peers who keep bullying their way into her nest and laying more eggs on top of her), has hatched a little baby chicken.

I am really hoping it’s a girl.  I am on the fence about the whole situation, honestly.  On the one hand, it’s pretty cool hatching your own baby chicks, and the kids are way fascinated by the whole thing.  It’s a spectacular learning opportunity and it makes me happy that my kids will grow up understanding where food comes from, where baby animals come from and how they are cared for from day one.  (btw: her back feathers are missing because before she went broody she was the roosters’ favorite hen)

On the other hand.

I have WAY.  too.  many.  chickens.

Getting fresh eggs every day is a pretty great thing, and when you get enough to share, it’s even better.  I picked fresh arugula and lettuce out of the garden the other morning and carried it into the  house along with 6 fresh, warm eggs.  I felt like a real farmer for the first time (I know…..I’ve been a real farmer for awhile now, but somehow I’ve always kept of felt more like a “wanna be”).

But we have plenty of laying girls.  Plus the babies we bought last month – Magpie and Penny.  There are nine – that’s NINE – more eggs under Truffles right now, and you just know half will be roos, so they will have to be re-homed or eaten, right off the bat (no I don’t have anything against eating them per se – it’s great to have fresh free – range chicken.  I just don’t think I can bring myself to kill them).

Chickens are fun, funny, friendly when properly raised,  entertaining, they eat lots of bugs, and they destroy everything in their path.  DESTROY. The reason that the animal pen has no grass in it has nothing to do with the goats or the llama.  It’s the chickens.

See how they dig down and tear up all the hay and grass to get  into the dirt?

Plus they poo indiscriminately.  It’s everywhere.  The coop, the water trough, you name it.  A dozen chickens?  No problem.  A few dozen?  That becomes a much more dirty situation.  It’s something I will have to ponder and work with until we can get around to expanding the fence out.

As for my boys, they couldn’t be better.

Well, maybe they wouldn’t quite agree with that, since Susie came over today and helped me put the castrating bands on them.  I went yesterday to Tractor Supply and bought the tool and bands (how many people get to say they spent their afternoons shopping for a castrating tool? I’m just sayin’) and today she showed me how to use it.

They took it just fine and were off jumping and playing again in no time.

I went out this afternoon to get some pictures of them, which is never easy since they are both so very snuggly.  Whenever I go out there, this happens:

They crawl into my lap and lay down.

They’re like little puppies with horns.  I won’t be de – horning them.  It’s just completely unnecessary for us to do so.

Milkshakes is happy for it – it gives her a break from their constant wanting to nurse.

She’s getting antsy to get out and do some more weeding.  I haven’t had a chance the last few days due to all the rain we’ve gotten.  The garden is loving it, though.  Everything I planted out back – the potatoes, butternut squash and corn – are all coming up nicely.

I also got some sewing done since we were all stuck indoors.  I finally finished Neve’s Easter dress.  The pattern is Jump Rope Dress from Oliver & S.  It took me forever to get started on it but it sewed up pretty fast.

I used Heather Bailey’s  Nicey Jane fabric.

Yes I know it’s an awful picture.  My campaign to convince my husband I need a real camera has so far been a failure (I’d really love a Canon Eos Digital SLR – something that takes great pictures without constant adjusting and re-setting and blah blah blah) .  I’ve tried the whole “a blog is only as good as the pictures on it” approach, but he didn’t buy it.  I even tried to guilt him by reminding him how many people I know who are neither artists nor bloggers who have waaaay better cameras than me.  He responded by saying  real artists like me don’t generally  have money for things like a good camera anyway.