Friday, May 02, 2008
CHICKEN BUTT! HA HA HA HA HAAAAA! *whew*
Remember just a month ago, when we had these teeny-tiny, adorable little baby chickies? Here, I'll jog your memory:
Well, they're a bit bigger, now.
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.
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?
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.
Of course, we also have assistance of the canine variety. We're all about supporting each other's efforts, around here.
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.
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.
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.
It's a pretty homey little setup, and the chicks love it.
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.
Remember the teeny little eyeliner chick? Look how pretty she's getting. She's "fancy" as Araucanas go. I love her.
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?
I feel obliged to tell you that baby chickens eat a LOT. And also poop. 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.
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?
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.
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?