Saturday, April 16, 2011

A deal is a deal....

Brian is a hands off Dad. He has yet to change their pen since the day the arrived. Every night I go and get new bedding, water, and feed. Tonight I just couldn't do it. I have been working a bagillion hours this week and was just exhausted. So I made a deal if Brian changed their box tonight he could buy a new model fire truck. To Brian model fire trucks are the VERY best things in life. It is all he ever wants for Christmas and his birthday. He usually goes to Code 3 Collectibles everyday and checks out their newest trucks. They average $90 so they are a big purchase in this house. 

So a deal is a deal and Brian was set to change their box. I thought I would take a picture to commemorate Brian's active father role. 

 Little did I know.... he is actually terrified of touching the chickens. 

So I got it all on tape:

At one point he actually had to stop and wipe the sweat away from his face. He was seriously that freaked out. But he prevailed and at the end of the chicken changing he held Betty for a picture :)

After he put her down he said he was ready to go sky diving because if he could get over holding a scary chicken.... he could do anything. 

That is what we are all about in the Walsh-Bird household. We are all about overcoming obstacles and becoming a better farmer each day ;-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flew the Coop!!

Every night I have to change the chickens cage. It used to be VERY simple and I would place them next to the brooder and they wouldn't go further than the light could shine. They stayed perfectly still until I was done and then I placed them gently back in their cage.

... but then they got BIG! Now they run and fly and poop everywhere if you let them out!

So for the past week I would keep them in their cage while I quickly took the bedding out and changed their food and water. I just worked around them and it was going well. Until tonight I walked away to rinse out their water dish and returned to see Betty.... flying the coop!

Betty is always our adventurer

So it seemed my girls had grown too big and too smart for the "quick change." I looked around until I found the next best "holding pen" 

The trash basket worked perfect!

I was worried they wouldn't fit, but I then remembered factory farming. I thought they would be more thankful for their  plush lifestyle after the basket experiment.

My babies are getting SO big! Sometimes I get sad realizing we will most likely have moved before they ever lay their first egg. But I know they will be in good hands at the farm market. 
The Three Girls

I also found a few pictures from a couple weeks ago. They are MUCH bigger now but the pictures turned out so cute.  A look back.....

A chicken model in the making

Poor Bernie. She is just a wallflower


Monday, April 11, 2011

What I have learned....

Since moving to the city and joining this whole "local food movement" and starting to see both the city, granola crunching side, all while having my family's background and talking to my brother everyday and hearing his struggles. All I can say is Dwight said it best.

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." ~ Dwight D Eisenhower

I pray I never ever forget that in all my work and throughout my career. 

Time and Chickens FLY!

So sorry I have lapsed in my chicken updates. Life has been hectic since Brian learned of his discharge! Last week Brian went to DC and Annapolis for job fairs. He is taking his time in the decision and we are really thinking about where to move! Life was much easier when the Navy said where to go.
I was offered a job in DC working with minority farmers. When I called to turn them down because of timing issues they offered it to me long distance until we figure out if/when we are moving! If we don't move to DC I can turn it down with no hard feelings but for now they need help on a certain project. Awesome!

But enough about us, you really just care about those chickens.

Bernadette, Martha, and Betty are getting TOO big! We are both very ready to have them out of the apartment and at the market. Brian is now frantically working to get a coop built within the next two weeks and get them out. They start to smell a little by the end of the day, so we are changing their cage twice a day and they are SUPER dusty and our house has a blanket of chicken food dust everywhere.
Next time we get chickens they will live in a mudroom or a garage for sure!! This one time experiment is enough. I remember growing up and always having abandoned lambs in our kitchen during the winter lambing season. I always was so embarrassed at our level of redneck and now I am an adult redneck in the city. But they are still very quiet and cute to watch.

We got a video of them attempting to fly. They get better everyday. They HATE the laser pointer Moe plays with and so inhumanely we scared them with it so they would fly on video.

Bernie is still the very best at it. She is still super scared of her own shadow and when you change their box she just about has a heart attack each time. Betty and Martha walk right up and let you pet them and they will follow you around.

Hopefully we will get lots more pictures up this week of us building a chicken coop!!