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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Friday, October 23, 2009

Welsummer chickens

I decided to get welsummer chicks this year. They are rare and an old breed. We had to wait forever because many other folks wanted them also this season. That is how we ended up with the golden polish neurotic rooster and hen. The rooster would not let the new crew of 5 stay in the chicken house, so they slept in a pile in the chick cage until he departed for wilder environments.
I will tell you a bit about these little girls. Our other fave chickens we have brought on board for their calm temperament and egg laying aptitude. The Black Australorps and Golden Wyandottes and Buff Orpingtons are all wonderful fat birds. Nice and friendly and laid back... they even purr.
These Welsummers cluck and scratch, they have a hard time roosting on a perch (actually fell off the first time up) and like to sleep on the ground in a pile except for one dignified gal. They don't purr, they can honk like geese. The first time I heard it, I figured some ducks or geese were hanging around, and then I realized these wee hens were forcing air out of their blowholes (I am sure that is not the official name for their breathing holes, probably nostrils) and causing a big honking blart sound to be issued forth. It is their wayfinding tool to keep track of each other, they primarily do it when they are in their little chicken herd going over grass in the yard. They are more naturally cautious and seem more street saavy when running around the yard. They keep an eye on the sky, and seek shelter and lay low if anything suspicious pops up. They have good heads on their shoulders (for a chicken!) They are too young to lay as of yet, but we are expecting great things.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Visual "To-Do" List

Maybe I will do the list if I can see it....
1. Plant nursery finds before chill sets in the ground. Report sunflower growth and bee visitation results to

3. Scoop poop. Move compost pile.

4. Make apple sauce.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rooster Tale

Photos: The young juvenile delinquent.

Last night Wilder and I did some illegal stealth maneuvering. Not entirely responsible behavior, but we were torn. Half our family will not let us eat the chickens we raise, and half does not like to be attacked by a big fluffy ball of rooster feathers.
This year we accidentally got a rooster. I actually considered getting a rooster -- one of the docile friendly breeds. Did that happen? No, we ended up with the neurotic, paranoid breed of chicks. (Don't trust your feedstore young men to know one chick from another) When you get the wee chicks at the store, they are usually in a straight run, which means "who the heck knows if these are wee hens or wee roosters take your chance." One of our new pullets turned out to be a rooster. Not bad in itself, I was not worried about it, but this one turned out to be the stupidest, crowingest, attackingest, glowing red eyes terrorizing the barnyard bird. He is lovely. Actually, he is lovely, reddish luminescent feathers, and long green black tail feathers. He has had a variety of names.... but as of last night he shall be known as "the wild rooster of North Kitsap."
I will say no more.

House - Update

Photo Detail : Stupid old electric ceiling light in process of replacing.

Photo Detail : Smartness-challenged previous owner that put two 100 watt bulbs in 60 watt limit receptacle. Note discolored overheated ceramic holder and bulb base still stuck in the holder after blowing the bulb out like a bomb. Every light was over-watted in this house. Did you note the above wiring pic? Not really the electrical system one should be overloading.
Photo: The start of the bathroom tear-out.

Don't even ask about the light that was the three day job. It is still not done. I blame it not on me, but on my endless illness that is finally lifting. The bathroom is still in a funky state of disrepair. I have been eyeballing it, and then leave the room. Ok, really, I eyeball it, pull up a section of the 5 layers of linoleum, think "I am exerting myself" let it drop and then leave the room.
The thing with this clingy bug which I have learned is not to push it. When I felt a bit better and moved manure, moved hay, clambered up and around the ceiling.... I got sick for another two weeks. Have been moving slowly. Which KILLS ME. How am I supposed to be my laid-back overachieving self if I have to rest all the time.
One thing I have been very effective at is shopping on craigslist for my bathroom stuff. Here is the genius thing. I have a limited budget to do this bathroom, yet have now found a kohler shower unit and restoration hardware lights, sconces and towel racks for 27% what I would pay for them new. And they are new! It helps to be sick in bed, since craigslist is weird and varied in terms of the deals you can find. I am still holding out for my new bathroom window and skylight on there.
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