Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken Update

The chickens are growing like weeds and Daddy has started our new chicken coop!  He would have gotten more done this weekend, but rain derailed our plans.  :-/ 

Claire adores the chickens - and Malcolm the cat desperately wants them!  ;)

Laying out the posts - see the ramshackle old coop on our property?  Next order of business is to tear that down!

Concrete setting!

Claire capturing us at work!  It's hard helping with that big belly!

Daddy and his helpers

Handsome man at work

A floor!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Babies in the House!

We got a call from the post office that our baby chickens came in the afternoon run!  The kids ran to the van and were SO excited.  We walked in the post office and could hear little chirping coming from the back.  I just told the postmaster that the loud package was ours.  Everyone in line was smiling at Claire and Chandler dancing and singing through the post office, "We have baby chickens!  We have baby chickens!"

In the van

That is the loud box full of chickens!

Sneaking a peek!

When we got them home Mom and I made sure they all were introduced to the water.  Baby chicks do not require food for the first 3 days after hatching.  They absorb all the yolk before breaking out of the shell, this is so the mother hen does not have to leave her eggs before they are all finished hatching to help her babies eat.   We had to dip each of their beaks into the water and make sure they swallowed - and that's all they needed!  We kept a close eye on them for the first few minutes they are rather silly.  They kept trying to climb into the feeder and one actually got in and got stuck!  One chick needed to be shown the water again, but they all figured it out quick.  Not bad for only 2 days old! 

We are splitting the order with 3 other families so we ordered 50 chicks and we got 56!  Murray McMurray Hatchery sent me a wonderful batch.  I highly recommend them!  They always throw in one exotic breed for you as a bonus and we are trying to figure what the little stripped one is.  Possibly Araucana?  They rest are just a brown egg layer mix.  It looks like Buff Rock or Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Black Stars or Australorps and possibly Sussex??  But they are so hard to tell at this age!  Many breeds are extremely similar as babies.  I guess we will see!

Introduced to water and food and being so cute!

Claire and Chandler watching, they kept exclaiming "They are so cute!" over and over.

Claire is in love!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting Ready for Chickens!

Preparing for baby chickens!  We are all very excited around here.  We stopped by the local appliance store and they were happy to give us a couple of big boxes to keep them in until they are old enough for outside. 

My mom cutting an opening for the top of the box while Claire supervises

Claire testing out the chick box

We were sure to make a cover so our cats aren't too tempted by noisy, little treats. 
We also have a waterer, feeder and a heat lamp.  Baby chicks like 90-95 degree temperature for the first week.  It's nice that the weather is still warm so we don't have to worry about them freezing! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Day of School (sorta)

We started school week last week and Thursday was our first day of homeschool co-op.  The kids were so excited!  I thought to grab their pictures before we left since everyone was dressed and it finally was a sunny day! 

Claire, Age 6, she insisted on decorating it

Chandler, Age 3 - love his pose!
 Our co-op is growing in leaps and bounds this year.  We are starting the year with over 50 students!  We had to divide the classes more then we expected because there was so many.  But it is only an hour and a half once a week and I love the fun activities we plan and the weekly exposure to a low key classroom experience.  Plus fun social interaction!  Claire was excited to meet new kids this year, but Chandler just clung to me.  That's okay - he's always been my cautious little guy.  We are meeting in a new place this year so everything was different for him.  I'm hoping he will be more comfortable within a few weeks. 

First Day of Co-op!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My New Homeschool Cabinet

After getting tired of all of our homeschool books, games, kid's activities, my cookbooks, etc all being on a big messy shelf in the dining room I decided it was time to add to the Honey-Do List.  And my husband stepped up to the challenge! 
Before-ish.  I forgot to take a picture before I took everything off!

Everything that was shoved on that shelf!

Daddy relocating the outlet that was behind the shelf.  He's a handy guy to have around!

Half way there!

He wasn't done painting, but everything couldn't stay on the table much longer!

The finished product!
Isn't it beautiful?  It's huge and wonderful!  I love that I have everything easily accessible without being in the way.  And whenever the kids put something back it doesn't immediately turn into a mess.