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not about knitting

May 11, 2009

Mag with chicks

I have got to tell you about a few things that are non-knitting related today. If you can’t tell from that picture, we got chicks!  My husband and I have talked about this for years and finally this winter he got serious about it.

When we bought our house there were all these dilapidated buildings out back, in an area we call “down the hill” because it is. The main shed was full of piles of junk and it was too dangerous to go in.  Gerald tore it down (by hand, it took a while) but realized that a smaller shed next door had once been a chicken coop.  It had feeders and nesting boxes and little doors for chickens to go in and out. The coop is in good shape, and just needed a good cleaning out. It will also need new screens on the windows and new latches on the doors, to keep these little critters safe from big critters.

day5 chicks

Gerald also built a run, or an enclosed but movable place for the chickens to be outside.  We’re nearly ready. And that’s good because the chicks will soon be ready for the coop!

They are about a week old now, and growing quickly.  The chicks are living in the back porch, and I’m pretending that my whole house doesn’t smell like a farm.

We got straight-run chicks, which means that they haven’t been sexed (we don’t know if they’re girls or boys). If we have roosters we may eat them, or find a farm for them to live on.  But our main goal is to have layers, who will provide us with eggs. We thought six chicks would be enough, but I came home from the farm store with many more than six.

We got 11 chicks:

We’re learning as we go, and so far everything is going well.  I’m feeling more like a farmer every day.  I’m desperately resisting going to the store to get overalls and wellies.

The other non-knitting thing happened on Saturday when I was mowing the lawn.  I saw a huge snake. I was home by myself while Gerald had the kids at the grocery store.

it is a snake

Eeeew. Sorry to any animal lovers out there, but I didn’t want this thing around my house and my kids and my chicks. I don’t know why I got my camera first (bloggable?), but I ended up getting a shovel, chopping it in two, and burying it.  Seriously, it was the most empowering thing I’ve done in a long time.  My mother-in-law and I even celebrated my bravery with champagne on Mother’s Day.

I grew up knowing that women can do anything men can do (thanks, Mom!), but I don’t ever mind when my husband does some of the dirty work (building chicken runs, taking out the trash, going grocery shopping, etc). I’m feeling pretty damn proud of myself today, having taken care of business all by myself.

I think I should reward myself.  Maybe pink wellies?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. mai permalink
    May 11, 2009 2:10 pm

    omg i’m dying to get chickens!! fun!!! 🙂 also, i hate snakes. ick.

  2. MOM permalink
    May 11, 2009 2:23 pm

    As I said on Facebook, You go girl!

  3. May 11, 2009 2:33 pm

    Cute chicks! My toes are curling and my gag reflex is going like crazy right now over that snake. I’m so impressed that you got near it to do away with it. I could never ever ever ever. You’re awesome!

  4. May 11, 2009 2:34 pm

    Oh and yes, pink wellies definitely!

  5. carpoolknitter permalink
    May 11, 2009 3:36 pm

    You should get the pink wellies and wear them like a medal for bravery. Snakes totally creep me out.

  6. carpoolknitter permalink
    May 11, 2009 5:16 pm

    you should check out this chickenblogger specially re protecting chickens from predators (like snakes)

  7. May 11, 2009 6:42 pm

    You SO get the SuperMomma of the Year award!!!

  8. aimeed permalink
    May 11, 2009 7:15 pm

    It’s good you got 11 if they are straight run. But I feel sad for the snake–it’s a non venomous one. And in terms of the chicks–when they’re full grown, they can totally nail a snake (and eat it). But yes, every one deserves pink wellies.

  9. Jamieat50 permalink
    May 11, 2009 9:33 pm

    Snakes have their place in the eco-order, just like spiders do — and if they’d stay in their place (FAR AWAY from me & mine -!) I’d leave them alone. But that one was way too close for comfort, and better safe than sorry — good for you, girl! Be sure & get matching wellies for your adorable Maggie —

  10. May 12, 2009 4:03 pm

    Yay! Chickens! Sorry the snake was too close for comfort for you!

  11. Sarah permalink
    May 12, 2009 10:00 pm

    I am tremendously proud of you about that snake. Did I tell you there was a snake under my baseboard heater last year? Nella had a friend over, and we all ended up squealing standing on top of the couch while I called 9-1-1 like a sucker. And what they said was,

    “Ma’am, you can’t call 9-1-1 for a snake.”

  12. May 14, 2009 10:31 pm

    We got chicks this year too! You know I saw a great edition of “Dirty Jobs” where the guy went to a chick farm and followed around some people who “sexed” chicks for a living. Lots of chicken poop, but very interesting. Good luck with your chicks!

  13. July 14, 2009 11:55 am

    I want to get chicks! We have 4 sheep, for their wool, livestock guardian dogs and barn cats. I don’t know how to keep the chicks safe from the cats and coyotes. I have been reading up on keeping chicks and am interested in how you do it with your cat. I will be following your blog.
    Also, great job on the snake. I personally don’t mind them, it is the spiders that give me the willies.

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