Tag Archiv: chicks

Kingdoms and royal decrees

Pink line in right hand corner is a movable replica of a worm.

Pink line of “y” in right hand corner is a movable replica of a worm.

Summer brings with it a fierce and lasting deafness to my clarion calls for order. My subjects, I discern, fancy themselves as fellow royals. The concerns of their dominions are too loud to hear me most of the time.

Boy two is responsible for chicks. Food and water are not overly interesting to him. Worms, on the other hand, are. And chicks, he believes, need worms. The girls love to play with the chicks while they’re new. Unbeknownst to me, Boy two forbid them from even seeing the chicks unless they paid admission. Morning admission: one worm. Evening admission: two.

Boy two said instead of explaining himself, we should come to Chicky, Chicky Worm Fest (invitation reminder via a sign on the bathroom door, later moved to the coop before our arrival). The girls agreed. Wearing a wig and a large brimmed hat, Boy two introduced himself as Raul. He held a worm until a chick got hold of it and ran. Mad races then ensued. Chick with worm ran determined to maintain the prize, anyone who saw the dangling worm ran to steal it, the rest of the chicks ran to see what all the running was about. Two chicks with worms meant even more chaos and the possibility of crashes. Raul proudly extolled the excellent exercise opportunities of worm racing, a clear but unspoken defense of his admission policy.

Boy one’s established kingdom is primarily focused on information. For free, he provides all kinds of facts necessary for our betterment. He also asks a lot of questions. The other day he asked me one I didn’t know the answer to and didn’t particularly feel like talking about it.

“I don’t know,” I said. Closing down his bid for further knowledge, I added, “as a wise man once say, when person not tell truth, it not worth asking the story.”

“Wow,” he said in awe. “That’s amazing. I mean, that’s really true. I never thought about it, but it’s true.”

The bequeathing of a minor earldom in my direction is absolutely one of the highlights of my summer. It may in fact turn out to be the last thing I ever say that impresses him. When I told him I’d made it up, he was speechless (briefly).

“I seriously thought it was Chinese or something. It was that good,” he said.

Girl one fights for the shape of her kingdom more quietly. (Girl two keeps us steadily informed on her behalf.) Girl one hates passing on clothes to her sister. We talk about it. We let the outgrown clothes sit around for awhile. Slowly, a few things at a time, we change them over to Girl two’s drawers. Often Girl one see them there and takes them back once or twice before it sticks. For her part, Girl two makes a point of mentioning how good the favorite previously owned items look on her whenever possible. There is a particular pink kilt beloved by both girls. Girl two wore it a few days ago. That night she told me she was giving it back to Girl one.

This had never happened before. “I thought you liked it,” I said.

“I do,” said Girl two, “but she told me if I ever wore it again she was going to put a witch’s curse on it so something bad would happen to me.”

 

Kingdoms come, kingdoms go. Summer marches on.

 

Luring the next racer

Raul luring the next racer  (hard to see the worm)

Drinking games

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The word, chug, according to urbandictionary.com: to drink alcohol really fast without breathing. People usually chant this at the person who is drinking.

We don’t get out much. We don’t do a lot of electronic media. So I was a little surprised to hear this particular word being chanted with great excitement, followed by giggles from the bathroom. Chug, chug, chug, chug, came the rhythmic unison.

I was hoping to bypass any public explanations of our bathroom setup right now, but the story is forcing my hand. I’m pretty sure this drives us off the road from quaint and quirky, right on over to tacky and classless. Alas. I apologize for all the mystic notions of country living that flee as I speak. For the last seven days, we have been sharing our bathroom with 19 chicks. They are divided into tubs, the largest of which is sitting in the bathtub. The smaller two are on a shoe rack on the floor. Together, they take up half the bathroom. Anyone sitting down need not read, the chicks are a mere twelve inches to the right for easy viewing pleasure. It isn’t exactly a rose blossom scent in there right now, but then again on cold mornings, the sauna temperatures make it not such a bad place to be.

Anyway, I heard the chug chanting and called out all parties involved. The answer to, “what’s going on,” was as follows:

Boy two had a worm, said Girl two, . . . children looked at each other and broke into giggles

And we put a chick on top of the toilet . . .children fell into each other laughing

And then we cheered while he ate, said Boy two. It was a really big worm.

Then we got another one and did it again, said Girl two.

One of them made a lot of footprints on your toilet, said Girl one, but don’t worry, we cleaned it up.

New arrivals

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Nineteen chicks arrived this week and have the kids eager to get home from school. Boy two has already begun collecting bug and worm treats. Sadly, he also specializing in dewinging flies and thereby delivering catchable favorite treats.

 

This is what has my husband happy to drive in the driveway this week. I think he beamed the whole ten kilometers he drove it home.

This is what has my husband happy to drive in the driveway this week. I think he beamed the whole ten kilometers he drove it home.

 

Great and small

We live on County road 21 for the joy of it, and in an attempt to stay grounded. Misty, the pony is giving us an education. The kids are surprised at how much fun taking care of a horse is not. At the same time, getting to know her has a kind of richness that we haven’t known before.

Anabelle, the cow, is turning into one very big momma. We had her bred with a Black Angus. He was the kind of husband that comes in a tube from a truck, so fairly low on the romance scale, but supposedly a great match for producing a nice calf with small shoulders. (Small shouldered offspring = every mother’s dream, I know.) Anabelle has done a nice job befriending Misty. They sleep together now. We put the sheep in at night on one side of the barn, which keeps them from becoming coyote food. We leave the stall on the other side open. Misty and Anabelle graze until dark, then put themselves to bed inside the barn.

The last round of chicks before spring finished their earthly sojourn this week. We wanted to give up on chickens after the last batch. This time, out of 33 chicks, we still had 30 when it was time to transition to the freezer. For the first few weeks, the chicks get a lot of care, and even more checking to make sure they have what they need. When it is time to get them out to the main coop, I always feel like I’m dropping off my kids at daycare. I’m fretful and unsettled. Back in the house I startle again and again worried I’ve forgotten something. But, it’s easier as time goes by.

Strangely, regardless of size and stage, we always call them the chicks. “Tomorrow’s the last day for the chicks, right?” we say solemnly about their five or six pound selves. It isn’t until they are in bags getting loaded into the freezer that we finally say, “good batch of chickens this time around, don’t you think?”

We are wondering if we want to get bees in the spring. We don’t know. We know that all this life – new, old, pregnant, happy, lonely but adjusting, hungry, content, human, bovine, equine, ovine, avian – even the homemade yogurt life. It keeps us learning. Keeps us wondering. It’s good for what ails us.

Creature Update

Misty the pony: extremely not impressed that we had her best friend shipped elsewhere. Not interested in speaking to humans. Will tolerate them if she gets to speak to an apple or a carrot.

Anabelle the cow:  all the change in the air has made her pregnant self grumpy. She takes it out on the sheep. Grazing for a while, drive them all to the next field. Drive some more. Graze. Drive. My children do this to each other also except they don’t eat grass in between figuring out how to annoy each other.

Sheep (population 12) and Chickens (population 43) are happy and content. If it doesn’t work out to be a writer, I think I would like to be a sheep or a chicken.

Cluster flies (population 1500 plus in house alone): They are in their drunken buzzing phase, perpetually disoriented and therefore bumping into things like me. I love our farm. I love our province and our country . . . but boy do I hate those flies. Self calming now involves not only vacuuming them from the windows, but taping the hose nozzle on the vacuum after every killing spree – – otherwise I can’t stop picturing them inside mating like mad and then flying out in droves while I sleep. I look at the little Japanese beetles (population in house of at least 17 too many). . . who apparently aren’t actually Japanese but do belong to the beetle family . . . and I shake my head at how worthless they are. Like lady bugs but NOT lady bugs and they don’t even eat flies. Pathetic.

Rats (population unknown – closer to 0 than a month ago):  seem to have either finally developed a taste for the poison we bought for them, or found other quarters. Either option suits us and the chickens they tried to move in with.