Friday, May 02, 2008




Remember just a month ago, when we had these teeny-tiny, adorable little baby chickies? Here, I'll jog your memory:

the tiniest araucana

Well, they're a bit bigger, now.

you're not as big as you think you are

Also, doesn't my husband have nice hands? I love his hands. They're the hands of an artist, I say. I may buy him a lathe and an assortment of exotic hardwoods for Christmas this year, in the hopes that he'll begin crafting gorgeous handmade furniture. I feel certain he has an aptitude for such things.

Speaking of my husband building things, look what he did! He transformed the tacky leftover puppymill artifact (complete with "OB Ward" sign, you'll notice--classy) of a dog pen into a top-notch chicken yard and coop. He tore down the junky parts with his bare hands. Tell me you're not impressed.

the teardown begins

Tuxedos and kilts aside, I believe one of the most appealing things that a man can put on is a tool belt. Am I wrong?

man at work

You see what he did there? With the help of his eager assistant, he built an 8-foot-tall frame around the entire yard.


Then he put chicken-wire all around, and fastened it in place with a staplegun and approximately forty-leven-thousand staples.


Again--nice hands, no? And it's hard not to do a good job when you have such exuberant encouragement. See her holding the box of staples? That was her job: the holding of the staples.

very loud assistant

Of course, we also have assistance of the canine variety. We're all about supporting each other's efforts, around here.

OK, then, you do that, I'll watch for trouble

The crowning touch was the way he affixed the bird netting to the top of the structure, making it impenetrable and inescapable, a veritable chicken Alcatraz. What he did was to run a heavy cord all along the top, and then stretch the bird netting over that, so that it overlapped the chicken-wire, leaving no gaps.

now with bird netting over the top

If you squint, you can just see the bird netting over the top. So now wild birds can't get into the chicken yard and possibly infect my poultry with any wild bird diseases, and the chickens can't fly out and get eaten by raccoons. Or poodles, for that matter.

chicken yard

He fixed up the inside of the coop, putting up the nesting boxes and such, and cut windows in the sides for cross-ventilation, covering the openings with hardware cloth and making drop-down doors to cover the windows in cold weather. He also made a door for the "doghouse" opening, so we can shut them in at night. All it needs now is paint and a little hardware.

chicken yard, interior

It's a pretty homey little setup, and the chicks love it.

looking in

I love opening the doors in the morning and watching to see who'll be brave enough to venture outside first. It's always one of the boys.

steppin' out

Remember the teeny little eyeliner chick? Look how pretty she's getting. She's "fancy" as Araucanas go. I love her.

fancy araucana

They're in kind of an awkward, ugly stage right now, shedding baby fuzz while adult feathers come in, but it's easy to see how they're becoming little chickens instead of tiny fuzzballs. Look at that little red comb--isn't he just big and macho?

belly up to the bar

I feel obliged to tell you that baby chickens eat a LOT. And also poop. A LOT.

chickens eat a LOT

This is our "mystery chicken." We have no idea what she is, but we're leaning toward her being an extra Araucana. We had no idea she was even different from the others until the adult feathers began to come in, and hers were white.

mystery pullet

I love watching them just cluck and strut and scratch and peck around.


And every so often, there's a tiny little rooster fight! I guess you'd have to call it more of a "cockerel skirmish" at this point. I think I could give up television for this.


Seriously, can you believe how fast these things grow?

what'd you say

Delta, meanwhile, is very, very sad that I won't give her just a couple of minutes alone with all the delicious chickens. Very sad. But she is glad that she at least got a haircut since that last shot.

This is just cruel, Mom.

And speaking of dog haircuts, YES, I am watching the "Groomer Has It" competition on Animal Planet. And I'm cringing at all the things these people don't know, that even I as an amateur know, like the fact that you don't use a slicker brush to de-mat a dog's privates (OUCH!!). And can I just say that MY groomer, Michelle? Here in Arkansas? Is better than ALL of them. I'm totally going to try to get her on that show. She would KICK THEIR BUTTS. But the only groomer from the show who I would allow to touch any of my dogs is, of course, Jonathan. If he doesn't win the thing, I'll eat my hat. I'll have to buy one first, but then I'll eat it. So I'll probably buy an edible hat, just in case. What do you want frome me, BLOOD?


  1. These chickies are some awesome coolness. Great job on the house and yard! Poor Delta...

  2. Heh. Still laughing at chicken butt.

    I'm a 12 year old boy.

  3. Guess Why?

    Turkey Thigh.

    Classic SNL.

  4. Gosh I love Chicken Butt humor.

    And, also poor Delta. Why are you so mean to her?

  5. LOVE it!
    This was my Husbands Spring project as well.....
    "The chicken compound"
    We have a menagerie of egg layers and I love to sit and watch every one : }

    Have fun

  6. That is so awesome. It's hard to get my husband to do anything outside anymore.

  7. Here's a stupid question from a newish reader: Are these chickies for fun? Eggs? Or, uhm, meat? OR are you going to SHOW them in a 4-H competition?
    P.S. Hogsnorts hands are fab. Very sexay. (Don't tell my UN-HANDY husband!)

  8. Wow, look at the breasts on THAT one. ;)

    Those pics bring back my growing-up memories with our Rhode Island Reds...and the dangers of going barefoot in the chicken yard.

  9. The Chicken Butt made me snort out loud. HA!

    And love the waxing poetic about Alex's hands. (Tho', they ARE nice hands!)

    The chickens are in their awkward teenager phase, aren't they? Poor little girls!

  10. Kimber--some eggs, some meat. The boys won't be with us much longer, except for the two we'll be keeping to propagate the flock.

  11. Even teenage chickens are cute!

    I have pictures of myself at that age, helping my (astonishingly young) father build stuff. I think more dads & girls should do this sort of thing.

  12. Very nice hands, indeed. My V. has excellent hands as well, though his tool belt involves things like cable splicers and internet router shields.

  13. I was going to ask about Delta's new do. Poor girl - I bet she'd like nothing better than a little nibble of chicken butt.

    I'm so impressed with your Impenetrable Chicken Compound. WOW! It looks amazing.

  14. This is a great entry! The photos are gorgeous.

  15. Don't hate OK?

    But all I could think of while reading that post was Chicken Enchiladas...

    Mmmmmm Chicken....

  16. I can pretty much guarantee you that, somewhere in these pics, you're looking at enchilada fixin's.

  17. mmm....belinda's got it. enchiladas... or huevos rancheros?


  18. Yep. Nice hands. I love nice hands on a man. However, it does appear that Delta likes Alex's butt better than his the pre-haircut picture.

    I was reallllllly hating Groomer Has It for the first 2 episodes, but now I'm magnetically drawn to the awful-ness of it and I can't stop watching.

  19. 1. Yes, very nice hands. I'm a hands girl, too. I think it comes from growing up in a blue-collar family. Give me strong, work-callused hands over perfectly manicured ones any day.

    2. God sure knew what he was doing when he decided to make baby creatures so cute, didn't he?

    3. If you have a few minutes, stop by and comment every day this week to help me raise money for maternal health causes over at BlogHer Acts.

  20. Holy wow, that chicken coop setup is pretty darned impressive.

    Some tasty looking poultry you have there.

  21. Wow! Good job with the chickens there!!!

    Keep them away from Colonel Sanders or Kenny Rogers though :P

  22. Chicken butt, ha! And love the little cockfight. But all I could think of when I saw the little house - Chicken Run. Do you really know what they are secretly plotting?

  23. That chicken butt joke makes it official. I belong in your family, not in mine, and you are free to adopt me any time now. Please.

    Also, hot dang! Those chickens grow up so insanely fast! I was hoping they'd stay fluffy little bundles of yellow cuteness forever. :\ Maybe I can bribe some geek-child to find a way to make that happen for his next science fair project.

  24. I have to agree with the tool belt comment ~_^