Bye Bye Speedy…

There’s something – I don’t know – kinda ishey that goes on inside you when you bring home baby chicks. You pretty much instantly love them all. They’re so tiny! They’re so funny! They’re so fluffy and adorable! How can you not love them?

Yes, it becomes VERY easy to bring baby chicks home! You might even find yourself bringing home more chicks than you originally :ahem: mentioned to your loving and supportive spouse. Somehow talk of eight chicks turned into more… But before there were more there were the first four original Hip Chicks – Rhode Island Reds Henrietta, Millie, Hallie, and Little Bit. About a month later came what were supposed to be five California Whites and five Dominques. Yeah, not so much – more like a bit of a hodge podge on the Dominiques – which, incidentally had a bonus chick thrown in.

Our second batch of chicks arrived shortly before my second trip to Spain of the year – I felt like a horrible chicken mom! But my kids – particularly Jess – stepped up to bat and really did a bang up job of caring for, loving – and naming (at least some of) them.

Here they are as little babies! Aren’t they adorable? Speedy is one of those cute little black and white puff balls.
Just a few weeks have passed here – look how big they’re getting! They were sure developing personality at this point. But even way back when – on the far left you can see Speedy – kind of off on her own, and looking… well… different.

A month later I was sure something was really wrong with Speedy. She was self-isolating, eating poorly, and seemed lethargic. We were worried. I hit the net and looked up every possible chicken disease and their symptoms – but she never really met the criteria of a specific disease.
We were fortunate to get some great advice from some other local Chicken owners and after some isolation, special treatment and quarters – Speedy seemed to get back up to speed!
Her favorite treat, by the way, was organic oatmeal (cooked up with some fruit pieces in it) with some yogurt thrown on top for good measure.

And while she did better – she never actually thrived. She would free range with her peers in the yard – but would oftentimes look confused about everything that was going on around her.

And while she was different – there were always a couple of her peers who would take – what seemed to be to us – special care to keep an eye out for Speedy and just hang out with her.

Speedy was always up for a good snuggle!

This probably sounds ridiculous – but honestly, this is how I most remember Speedy – looking kinda quizzical!
There were days when it almost seemed like she needed help standing or being steadied. It was so sad!
Here in late October it was just so obvious that Speedy was declining again. And I was getting ready to head out of the country again. And this time we had a chicken greenhorn chicken sitting – and I didn’t want him to have to worry about what to do for poor Speedy in the event of a crisis.

So we emailed Rancho de Kao – a little bit of chicken nirvana in the Portland Metropolitan area. We were warmly invited to bring Speedy over for a little stay at the spa while we were out of the country. We were thrilled to have chicken pros on the job!

We touched bases with Rancho de Kao while we were still in Spain and learned that one of her handicaps was that she just didn’t handle layer food well – she wanted baby food! So baby food – and lots of snacks – she got. Well, and just pampered all around. She did GREAT! Shortly before we were to return home we touched bases again and learned that we’d both have really nutty weekends our first weekend back – so we’d delay bringing Speedy home by a bit.

About a week ago we learned that Speedy had been doing wonderfully one day – taking little treats from an outstretched hand – and then later in the day withdrew. By nightfall she’d gone into her bed, and shortly thereafter she died.

We were so surprised! But not.

Poor Speedy.

We subscribe to Backyard Poultry magazine. We’d just received our subscription for the month and one of the articles mentioned that when one has a chick that just doesn’t thrive – it should be culled from the flock. In my Grandmother’s day (she was born in 1912) that would have been a no brainer. Today? There are vets that specialize in treating poultry! Who knew?!

For us – we love our backyard flock. But feeding our kids takes priority over money that might go toward chicken vet bills. There are those who would be horrified by that… of course, they might also fall into the camp that chicken are people, too! We’re not quite there. We love our birds, yes – but they are not humans. We will care for them to the best of our ability. We will provide for them appropriately. We will work hard at keeping a healthy balance.

So, while we’re sad that Speedy is gone, I honestly feel a little guilty that we didn’t cull her from the flock months ago. I’ll be pondering that for some time to come, I’m sure.

Speedy Update

I’m leaving for Spain in less than 2 weeks.
We’re fortunate to have a willing and kindhearted chicken-watcher all lined up.
However, as you can see from the progression of these photos – Speedy just hasn’t been well – well, since mid-June.

In fact, in the past week she seems to have weakened considerably.

She tends to stay in the coop – granted, it is warmer in there – and shows little interest in much of anything.

The middle girls will huddle around her – almost like they’re trying to keep her warm and protected.

The little girls – the Welsumer’s – are not so nice. In fact, they pick on Speedy quite a bit.

Interestingly enough, the big girls have taken on more of an attitude of watching out for her, as well – especially Henrietta. (Maybe that’s because Henrietta seems to have been bumped out of her spot as queen of the hill and now is just a lowly follower!)

Whatever the case, it occurred to me that it would be a sad – and maybe unkind – thing if – for the caretaker, as well as Speedy – if she were to give up and die while we’re away.

The kids had voiced their concerns about Speedy and wondered if there wasn’t something we could do for it.

That’s when it occurred to John and I that we might know of someone who might “Speedy-sit” while we’re gone.

So on Saturday morning Speedy went to visit at Rancho de Kao – really, pretty much, chicken nirvana. Kao and Tonya are very experienced chicken-keepers who sometimes agree to help out in time of need. They have been so kind as to offer to help our Speedy out.

I should have taken pictures – it was a wonderful experience – and amazing to get to see up close and personal so many different breeds of chicken. They’ve really got a great set-up out there!

I feel so much better knowing that Speedy will get the very best care possible. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if we got word that she’d not made it. But we won’t give up hope yet – here’s hoping that Speedy is hearty and hale and ready to come home when we get home from Spain!

Will she make it through the winter?

Speedy, as you may well recall, has not had an easy time of it. She is smaller, less coordinated, definitely lowest girl on the pecking order, and well – sad. That’s her on the left.

I think it’s so interesting that some of her pals – the girls who are the same age (aka the California Whites, Ducky, and BB) will take turns hanging out with her – typically making sure she’s not alone much. Here she is with one of the Whites and BB.

We’ve talked much about the fact that Speedy may not make it through the winter. We’ve really only had a few nights where the low has gotten close to freezing – but I have to wonder as the winter progresses, will she make it? She’s so light. She seems to have so many fewer feathers than her peers. And she struggles so to do things the other girls do routinely.

She definitely has not started laying – in fact, we’d be blown away if she did! Poor thing – she’s so peeked and pathetic. We’re worried.

This is Shelly. Doesn’t she look hilarious with that crazy comb?

Here’s one of the Welsumer babies. They’re old enough to start laying now, but haven’t begun quite yet. Their combs and wattles are becoming more pronounced and redder – shouldn’t be long now.
And here’s Ducky. Remember the big conclusion that Ducky was laying those gorgeous dark eggs with the freckles? Well – ummm… maybe not! I went back to my photo archives after some suspicions and found that sure enough – our Ducky does NOT, in fact, lay those gorgeous dark freckled eggs – BB does! Ducky lays a lighter egg with lighter freckles – much like it sounds Vonda’s chick does! Just when you think you’ve figured your chicks out! LOL!

So you gotta see the new bigger run that my brilliant husband has put together!

It gives the girls a much larger area to hang out – while still being confined somewhat.

You see – they’ve developed a bit of wanderlust, these girls. I keep finding them going DOWN THE STREET toward the various neighbors yards. That had to change!

So John added this additional fenced yard. Part of it is under the big old willow, part gets sun.

Thus far, the girls seem quite happy with the new digs!

Gosh, my husband is the coolest!

I love Ducky

When I first started looking seriously for breeds of chickens I found an article about heritage breeds of animals… i.e., animal breeds that have been nearly forgotten and some nearly lost, due to the fact that they aren’t has hardy in large scale production. I’m a history girl… I love it. I read about it – all the time. So when found some information about Dominiques, particularly, I thought, “I want those!”

So when it came time to order, I placed an order for five Dominiques. There was a little boo boo at the feed store – my order got mixed in with a bunch of other black-ish looking chicks – and I was sent on my way with what was HOPED to be five Dominiques – plus one, just in case.

As it turns out – three of our “Dominiques” were boys. They had to go away – and they did, to a very nice farm. The other three are Ducky, BB, and Speedy. Of the three, I’m convinced that Ducky is the lone Dominique. 😦 The jury is still out on what BB is, and Speedy – well she’s a sad story all unto herself!

But Ducky… She’s so sweet! She’s so lovable. When you go outside and speak – she comes running! If you reach to pet her – she holds still so you can. She looks at you when you talk to her – and acts like she really gets what you’re saying! She’s adorable.

And… she lays the coolest looking eggs!

Aren’t they pretty? How’s that second to the left one for huge-o!?

Can you see the speckles on them? They’re very, very dark brown. Kinda freckled.
Here’s that big one – 2 and 3/8ths ounces. Wow!
I’m so glad we ended up with Ducky – she’s a wonderful chicken!

Should we? Or shouldn’t we?

We’ve always just pretty much assumed we’d never own a home. We will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary in November – and – for us – it has never seemed an automatic that we should or would join the ranks of homeowners. We decided long ago that it was far more important – for our family anyway – for me to be home with the kids (where I want to be) than to be out in the work force. Yes, that means we have much less income coming in. Yes, that means we must be very intentional with every little penny.

We’ve been so blessed to be renting an older home – in NW Portland – on half an acre. It’s not a fancy house at all. In fact, it has original a bunch of stuff – not good stuff to have original just to be clear – you know, wiring, plumbing, etc. It’s not insulated. It has issues. Big issues. But it’s affordable – AND – it’s HALF AN ACRE IN NW PORTLAND! The reality being – our landlords are pretty committed to not improving the place. So, we must do with what we have.

For years now we’ve been working diligently to pay off debt – including mountains of school loans – we’re exceptionally well educated but of course, in fields that neither of us ended up working in. We’ve put our extra pennies into savings, and done without as much as possible.

As a result, we find ourselves in a place we didn’t think we’d be… contemplating purchasing our first home.

If the truth were told, we’d confess to longing for…

A home with enough room for all of us – the human contingent of our little world – two adults, the three kids, with an additional nephew thrown in for good measure at the moment.

Enough land to grow what we want to grow – lots and lots of organic stuff.

Enough land to have our chickens – and maybe even a small flock of turkeys.

Enough land for a goat or two.

Enough land for a couple of cows.

That doesn’t exist in the area where we live right now – at least not in our price range. Speaking of price range – ours is pretty modest – compared to the values of the places that we can see in a five mile radius of where we live. VERY modest. It’s a given that if we end up buying a house it won’t be nearby.

We figure we’re gonna need a place to be within an hour drive for John’s commute to work. We know we won’t move to a place that has schools that don’t meet certain criteria. We know it’s going to be a big deal – moving our kids from one set of schools to another, as well. And we know that it will be a big adjustment – going from suburbia to a more rural lifestyle. When we lived in Kentucky we lived about 20 miles from the nearest town. The places we’re looking at now are nowhere near that far out.

So we’ve been looking. A bit passively, actually. Not many places come up that fit our criteria! But of the ones that do – it’s kind of funny how many places look amazing on ads – but not so much in real life. Seen a bunch of those. But what do you expect given our price range?!

Today we did a drive-by on a place that at first blush is beautiful. See?

We were happy to learn from our real estate agent that it is vacant, so we could peek in the windows. Bottom line… from the outside it’s REALLY cute. Come Monday we’ll actually peek inside to see more.

But the real question is this, I guess: Just because the lender says you can afford to buy this house – can you really? Or more specifically – can we? Or should we?

There is a great yearning in our hearts to own some land… Usable land. Land that we can do something with, and that will sustain – well – not just us but our animals.

But at what cost?

I’m guessing we’re not the only ones asking that kind of question right now – given the current state of financial affairs in our country.

Owning, of course, has it’s advantages. Not owning does as well.

Oh – if only we knew what it was we really ought to do.

It may well be we’re not the first ones to ponder that very question while standing a ways off gazing at the potential of this being our home – it was built in 1890, after all.

Hmmm…. we’ll see.

On a completely different note…

We get the magazine Backyard Poultry and this month’s issue arrived today. There’s an article on Barred Rock chickens. Know what? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that our BB and Speedy just might be Barred Rocks! But after reading this article today – I’m convinced that Ducky (below) is a Dominique. (Our only Dominique pullet – out of the six chicks we started out with!)

Wasn’t it nice of her to stop and pose for me?

And here’s Rooth – not to be outdone by Ducky – she wanted her picture taken, as well. Isn’t she growing up?

Sigh… it really would be nice to have a place of our own…

Pictures of the Girls (Finally!)

Today’s Post Courtesy of Jessica Here are a couple of pictures of Henrietta. She’s so cute!
Here’s one of the little girls (that aren’t so little anymore)
hiding in the trees by our house
Here’s Millie, her comb is finally coming in.
She’s roosting on the lawn furniture.

The little girls love wander all over the yard.
There’s speedy, running like always…
Hallie and one of the white chickens searching for

snacks by our neighbor’s garage
Here’s my mom with Henrietta. She is such a cutie!

Here’s me and speedy. Speedy is still the runt
and she is super clumsy.

Hallie has the biggest comb of all. But weirdly enough

she doesn’t lay as regularly as Henrietta and Millie

Henrietta and Millie just hanging out
All of the girls love to eat blackberries out of your
hand. Ducky, BB, and Speedy all want this one.

Okay, I admit it…

Getting a good downpour is GREAT for weeding. I can grudingly admit that. I will not however, proclaim my love for October weather in August! But, I can concede that the rain did, in fact, give the garden just the soaking it was needing after our long dry spell.

…but telling when mushrooms start popping up all over the place!
The bush beans are loaded! So we picked a whole bunch of them – 5 pounds of them to be exact. We ate a pound of them with dinner – they were lucious! And canned the rest… see?
We got 9 pints out of the 4 remaining pounds. Not bad, huh?
And – finally! – some ripe tomatoes! It’s a good thing we’ve got lots of cherry tomatoes… I must have eaten about 20 of them while I was weeding!
It’s interesting that the yellow pear tomatoes are so fleshy this year. Their color is so much more profound this year, as well.
And the yellow tomatoes are ripening nicely.

I’m finding that I like the bush cucumbers better this year, as well. They grow very uniformly, and the taste is excellent. My favorite eating cucumber is the lemon cucumber – but this one comes in close second. We harvested 13 cucumbers today – 1 lemon, 4 straight 8’s, and 8 bush.

I know next to nothing about eggplants. Grammy used to grow them in her garden in California and I remember that they were huge and nearly black (obviously the Black Beauty variety). It wasn’t until I was older that I developed a taste for them, and this is the first time we’ve tried to grow them. This is the Ichiban variety – it will be interesting to see how they develop. I’m not even sure how large they should be when they are harvested! Looks like I’ve got some reading to do!

All three of John’s pepper plants are loaded – some of the peppers are actually nearing appropriate size to pick – now all they need is a little more sunshine to start to develop their colors!
The middle girls are growing up! This is Speedy and a couple of her bunkmates – the California Whites. The California Whites are so difficult to tell apart that they’ve never gotten themselves named. Well, they are very anti-social so a few names have been called, but not the kind one should perpetuate!

These “middle girls” are quickly nearing laying age. They will be 18 weeks old on September 1st. It will be interesting to see how they ease into that phase.

And it’s time to pick blackberries again! Couldn’t you just reach right out and pick these and pop them into your mouth?

That would be great if they weren’t ALL THE WAY UP THERE!

I’m thinking we’re gonna have to break out the tall ladder!

There’s so much that I should be doing in the garden today – but it’s Portland CityFest today and tomorrow. So the garden must wait! I mean – seriously – how often is Kirk Franklin in Portland?! Hello! Can’t miss him! And tomorrow night – Toby Mac! We’re really looking forward to the entire event… Hopefully I’ll get some blackberries picked in the morning and made into syrup before we head out tomorrow. We’ll see…

Sometimes the rain is a happy thing

The occasional showers – well, since the HUGE downpour that came with the thundershowers the other night – have been really quite nice. They’ve done wonderful things for the garden – even if they do have the chicks really puzzled about those strange drops falling out of the sky!

As you can see, the Welsumer babies are growing up! Everyone has feathers on their heads now! Wow – that was fast! Looking us straight on at the center of the photo is the little roo who will be moving to a wonderful farm come later in the week. He will be well-loved there. I’m convinced he’s going to be a wonderful roo – he’s got such spunk and fun personality – not to mention is quite handsome!

On the left is Speedy, BB (which stands for big black) who is in the center, and on the right one of the California Whites – maybe Angel, I’m not sure – not all of them have names.

Can you believe how much smaller Speedy is than BB? And how much HUGER BB is than both the others? Speedy *is* the smallest in the flock – without a doubt, but she is catching up. She’s really made quite a turn around and we’re just so pleased. She is retaining her fun personality – and is definitely the most comfortable of her group (the middle girls) with human interaction. We continue to give her treats daily, hoping to help her catch up on that disparity in growth!

Below is the green bean plot. I walk out the door each day and am just blown away at how much they’ve grown in another 24 hour period of time. Since yesterday tendrils have shot up on the pole beans. We MUST get the trellis in tomorrow! When I look at the Squash patch I just smile – in happy anticipation of my very favorite veggie coming into fruition! We had that conversation again this year – John and I – the one we have every year. In his mind – one or two yellow crookneck squash hills will do us just fine. In my mind – there’s no way it’s physically possible to have too much! I will absolutely, positively eat it every single day that it is available – I never get sick of it. In fact, I’ve been known to eat it with breakfast (it’s wonderful sauteed in an omlette!), lunch, and dinner! Okay, I confess, I’ve also just run out to the garden to snatch a couple of baby-ish sized squash and quickly sautee up some for a snack as well. It won’t be long – and I simply can’t wait! I’m so pleased that they are progressing so nicely.

I also firmly believe that there’s no such thing as too many cucumber plants, either. I tried for YEARS to grow them – and never with much success. When we finally got it right, we really got it right – and it’s been wonderful ever since! They’ve got a lot of growing to do these cucumber plants – but I have faith that they’ll do very nicely. Gosh, I’ve got plans for those cucumbers! LOOK! They’re growing! Lots and lots of blackberries! Yay! The past couple of years we’ve started picking them right around the last week of July. That’s not that far away, is it?!
Here’s another flower that came up in the flower bed with the wildflower mix that got scattered last year and did nothing. I can’t seem to figure out what it is – but it sure is pretty!

The cool weather has been a nice change after the super hot days. But I’m happy to see the coming week’s forcast – in the 80’s and sunny. 🙂

Phew – it’s finally cooler

After all of my whining about the cool weather I’m a little ashamed of complaining about the heat! Does it make it any better that it got up to 100+ degrees here? Does that make me less of a wuss? LOL! Today… sigh…. it was a beautiful 85 degrees here. My, it was lovely. I love 85. I even love 90. I don’t love humidity, though – I confess.

We’ve gotten so much done!

We got the chicken wire up around the rest of the garden – hooray!

We got bark mulch around the plants in the garden that the chickens had scratched the first layer away from.

We got the rest of the flower bed along the street planted and bark mulched – what a relief to have that done!

With those things done my garden is looking so much healthier, happier, and just generally beautiful. I love that.
(The green beans are growing like crazy!)

I’ve got to say that having the kids home to help has been invaluable. They’ve worked so hard – and helped in so many ways. And with virtually NO reluctance to pitch in and give a helping hand. I’m so proud of them! And of course my beloved husband who gets up at the crack of dawn, works a long day at work, then comes home to work further here at home on our various projects – well, he just blesses me like I really honestly just don’t know how to adequately express. Gosh, I like him so much. Yes, of course, I love him (I mean, I did marry him, afterall!) – but, gosh, he’s so cool! I love hanging out with him! I love talking to him! I love spending time with him out in the garden, or working on some project together, or just sitting on the lawn furniture enjoying the quiet of the afternoon. I’m so glad that God doesn’t work on the merit theorum!
I promised more pictures of Roos. Here is Alexis – one of Jessica’s friends (Alexi) named him – 🙂 He’s 9 weeks old now and nearly as big as the big girls. He’s definitely the alpha male around here. [Don’t panic – the stump he’s perching on is the one the boys used to spray paint the bottom of William’s skate board red!]

This is kind of a typical event at our place… right after I’ve given Speedy her special treat (still giving her preferential treatment) I let the babies a little turn at whatever might be left over, and then the middle chicks get a run at it all. They all particularly love the oatmeal with fruit and a dollop of yogurt on top the best. Note the babies (who’ve just eaten their fill and walked away from the treat) are looking longingly on at the middle chicks who are now getting their turn!

Tonight we are trying our junior rooster crowing control experiment. Thanks to Danni for the great suggestion. We’ve taken Pepper’s “bed” – a cage-like dog crate (it’s huge – so is she!), put it on the back porch (which is protected on 3 sides), covered it with the exception of a small corner so that there’s good ventilation, and put the four oldest (and now all crowing) boys in it. We’ve noticed over the past few days that they are all polishing their ahem – abilities – in the crowing arena. It’s time to take steps. If this doesn’t work out, sad but true – they’ll have to go. We must maintain good neighbor relations!

I’ll report back on the rooster control tomorrow.

Disturbing development!

I want to warn you – the next picture is graphic and more than just a little disturbing. It’s actually pretty horrible, but I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it – and am amazed at how quickly everything went from being just fine to simply horrifying.

Our seven little Welsumer chicks are now 4 1/2 weeks old. We’re pretty certain that there are six pullets and one cockerel – it’s obvious who has the more pronounced comb, quickly developing wattles, as well as definitive male behavior. Funny how these chicks have remained nameless thus far – I think we’re all becoming more accustomed to the fact that they are – indeed – livestock. Yes, there are some that are more bonded to us and much more pet-like, but for the most part, the majority are indeed livestock.

Our routine of late – particularly with the dramatic increase in the temperature the past few days – over 100 degrees at our house yesterday! – has been to allow the big girls (now 15 weeks old) and the middle chicks (possibly as many as four of them are roos! – and are now 9 weeks old) out of the coop to free range. We then move the Welsumer babies into the 4′ x 16′ run to get some “outside” time in a more controlled environment. It’s been working out very nicely.

We did have one of the Welsumer chicks who seemed to be – well, for want of a better word – a runt. At one point in time we found that she was really getting picked on by the others, and went so far as to separate her out from the others for a little while. She seemed to have a slightly swollen foot, and after the separation it quickly resolved and she went back to her pals. She reintegrated nicely. So nicely, in fact, that I’d lost track of which chick exactly she was as she seemed to be catching up with the others – and they’ve all been feathering out so nicely in the past week or so.

Sundays are busy days for us. We checked on the chicks before heading out to church. Everyone was doing great upon our return. John and I headed out to Costco for about an hour this afternoon, and upon our return Jess informed me I’d better come check one of the chicks right away – something was very wrong – it seemed to be bleeding. I quickly went out to the run and quickly ascertained that, yes, our runt, was more than being picked on – she was being brutalized. The picture below is what we found – brace yourself:

They literally tore her apart. You could see completely into the cavity of her body and she was obviously failing rapidly. How could everything go so wrong in 60 minutes? What was the catalyst? She’d been busy, active, involved with the other chicks when we’d left. They had food, water, lots of space. There was no boredom going on here.

We’ve watched these babies closely – they’re beautiful and fun. They’ve been very different from the other chicks. They were actually hatched under a Mama hen – their behaviors are so distinct as a result! They’ve been so interesting to watch. How could this have happened in just an hour away from them?

Our kids are pretty deeply disturbed. They were so sad to watch as this sweet little chick died. Well, so were the adults! We disposed of her body carefully, and set out on a mission to try and determine the big WHY?! Frankly, we found nothing to be a catalyst. We did pick up her tail feathers and the little bits of her that were left in the run.

I find myself feeling even more than normal paranoid Mom thoughts… Will they do this again? Can I leave them alone – at all? How can I *not* leave them alone? They’re in a lovely coop with everything they could need – lots of elbow room. Do I go and check on them though the night to make sure they don’t find another victim from amongst themselves? *shudder*

On to happier thoughts… although it will be some time before I am able to dismiss the above event from my mind!

Our warm weather has worked wonders for our beans. The row against the wall are the pole beans. John will build the trellis for them on the coming weekend. The two front rows are bush beans. I’m so pleased this many of them have survived the chicken mauling! I am a little disgusted, however, at the mole that came up right in the front row of bush beans – the stinker!

Here is one of our – what seem to be – many roos. Comparing him to the other California Whites – he’s obviously male! He is lovely, and sweet tempered – and definitely on the bottom of the roo pecking order. He will occasionally have a stare down with the other (Dominique) roos, but always backs down and walks away. Interestingly enough, he was one of the roos that took Speedy under a protective wing when she was reintegrated with the flock.
Isn’t he handsome?
I will try and get some pictures of the other roos in the coming week. It’s been astounding to see how quickly the middle girls (and boys) are not just catching up to the big girls – but some of the Dominique roos are even MORE than catching up in size!

Earlier in the week – much eariler in the week (like nearly a week ago!) we heard the strangest noise. We were all out in the yard – I was working on the garden the kids were hanging out in the hammock and playing cards. We all looked up and at each other and couldn’t figure out what it was – then – simultaneously – we all noticed one of the Dominique roos let forth with a very pubescent sounding crow. Oh my! And he’s not the only one – it seems all of the then 8 week olds were learning the crowing ropes.

At first we thought – well, it will be ages before they get past their changing voices and figure out how to crow with the dawn.


This morning one of them – hard telling which one – right at 5:30 a.m. let out with a fairly polished crow. Nothing like the likes that Harlan used to belt out – but I’m thinking the junior roos took notes while Harlan was visiting!

Oh my!

Gosh, we need to move! We need a home with a couple of acres and plenty of room for roosters to be roosters and not get in trouble for it! We’ll see how things progress… I’m sending up lots of prayers – trying hard not to nag God, just tell Him what my heart is feeling!

Okay – still sad. It’s gonna take a while to get over the chick incident. 😦