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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tribute to Pinky

We started our chicken journey last spring when I found 2 leghorns on Craigslist for sale. We drove over to Carter Lake Iowa and met the family they were living with at that time. We fell in love with the chickens and the family. We named one Pinky because she had somehow gotten pink hair dye on her from the “mom” who had bright pink hair. The other was Whitey, because she obviously was white.
Our chicken journey went kind of crazy from there. These two small chickens became the core of our flock. We could always pick them out and they came to us by name. We also added another favorite, Red our Rhode Island Red who came just a bit later. Last winter all of the chickens got sick with a cold. We lost quite a few of them, including Whitey and Red.
A few days ago Phil called me at work and said Pinky was acting strange. She didn’t come to him and just didn’t look good. Yesterday we went to put the chickens to bed before the storm hit and Phil found Pinky lying beside one of the sheds dead. We always said she would live here until her time was over, we didn’t realize it would be so soon. She hasn’t laid an egg for quite some time but that didn’t really matter. We love all of the animals here on Pooh Acres. I know they are supposed to be livestock but they are Gods creatures first and foremost. I am thankful she lived a good and peaceful life and I am thankful she spent the last year with us.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chickens and stuff

Oh my, what a night! While I was still at work a thunder storm warning was issued. I went out to the parking lot to close the window on the car and the sky was blue with a few puffs of clouds. Absolutely beautiful!!! By the time I left for home the sky looked kind of funny but it was still nice out. Not long after I got home the clouds rolled in and the sky opened up. We were able to get the chickens into the run just before the downpour. The rain didn’t last long but we stayed in. A while ago it started raining A LOT! The wind was blowing the rain into the windows in the front of the house and in the back at the same time!! I went outside to see why there was so much noise …. We had hail the size of quarters falling! I am concerned about the roof on the house and the cars! The weather in the Midwest is so DRASTIC! I wonder what the gardens are going to look like in the light of day. We are still under a thunder storm/tornado warning but I think the worst is over.
We got new chickens 2 weeks ago (today!) We decided to get the fast growing “broilers” that are ready in 7 or 8 weeks. I am already not happy raising these chickens. When we had the heritage chickens … they were chickens. They played and raced around their brooder. These chickens just kind of sit there. We saw a few of them chest bumping and playing but for the most part they don’t. I feel bad raising these chickens. This doesn’t seem natural or right. It feels like killing a fish in fish bowl! They have no chance. Our heritage chickens had fun. They ran and played and enjoyed life. I guess I shouldn’t over think it …. but I live with these animals and I want to make them as happy and comfortable as possible.
I harvested the rest of the sweet corn a few days ago. I was so sad to find out that the deer had eaten most of corn in the upper garden. They ate part of every ear in that patch. It is OK …. I am willing to share part of my harvest with the wildlife. Thankfully they haven’t found the blackberries and grapes.
I can’t believe how large the blackberries are. Some of them are twice the size of a quarter. They are so sweet and wonderful Yummm. We have grapes for the first time this year as well. I STILL don’t have them staked so they are laying on the ground and rotting. Hopefully I will be able to get them staked soon. Apparently the are not eating grapes …. But juice grapes. I don’t think I will make wine … but maybe jelly.