Chicks ahoy!

Hi All,

Firstly, we are now getting 5 eggs as we rumbled the Wyandotte who was laying in the shrubbery. There might actually be more, but we haven’t found their nests yet as we have 8 non-broodies. We just headed out to do our regular check under our broodies as from the 18th onwards (yesterday) there could have been chicks hatching. We have a mixed batch of eggs that we bought including brahma…

This is what the chicken looks like

And what the adult Brahma looks like, note the feathery feet


This is what the chicken looks like

And what the adult golden laced Wyandotte (standard) looks like

And here are the Plymouth Rock chickens that we really wanted most of all…

Here is what the chicken looks like

And what the adult Plymouth Rock looks like and you know what? Our 2 that have hatched so far look EXACTLY like this :o) we don’t even care if they are roosters.

Hopefully we get more hens than roosters, but it’s not hard to offload specialty roosters if you are giving them away for free. We have chicken crumbles and a plant pot base with a stone in it for their water and now we just have to build a ramp for the mothers and babies to get out into their enclosed area where they can be safe from predation (we do have feral cats remember…). It’s very exciting especially for Steve who hasn’t ever seen baby chickens before. He held one in his hands and ‘bonded’ with it. We are planning to get them used to us and handle them a lot so that we can at least have some of our chickens somewhat tamish. I have one blue Wyandotte who will take cheese from my hands but the rest of my flock are very wary. It’s lovely to have baby chickens hatching out and hopefully we get more as it looks like they have only just started to hatch out. Nature is an amazing thing. Isn’t it funny that I can be so excited about one kind of bird and want to strangle another kind? The “Weep-weep-weep” bird was in fine form last night. I didn’t sleep all that much and lay there listening to the persistent little sod and the worst bit was that I stood on the deck with my red eyes with bags underneath them with my morning cup of tea and heard “Weep-weep-weep” as it was still going strong! I wonder what it is. I have several “what bird is that?” books that we inherited and my mother gave us and there are no categories for “soon to be strangled” birds or “birds that squeak non-stop and die of over squawking” or “birds with a death wish”… so I am not sure that I am going to find out what it is. I know that it’s a small bird as I have heard it and seen it in a large eucalyptus tree outside. I know that it chooses to spend the night in the tree outside our bedroom window. What I DON’T know is how to get the little sod from repeatedly squawking day and night!

Does anyone out there know where I can get a C.D. called “So Frenchy, So Chic” 2009? I used to go to a local café in Launceston that has changed hands several times over since my daughters and I used to go there. One day, the proprietor was playing this C.D. and there was a song on it that I really loved. I wanted to purchase the C.D. but the owner couldn’t remember which one it was. I have just taken every single So Frenchy So Chic C.D. through my local library but they don’t have the 2009 one! I am destined not to have this song! I have strange things happen to me occasionally regarding music. One of the strangest and most disturbing is what happens to me whenever the band “The Witlams” comes to town. I really like this Australian band and think that Tim Friedman is a very talented song writer and singer. The first time that I was able to attend a Witlams concert I bought advance tickets and was really looking forwards to the concert. Steve and I had decided that we were going to get married without telling anyone apart from my children and at the last minute, we approached the minister of the church behind where we lived and the only date available for us to get married on, was (you guessed it) the day that the Witlams concert was scheduled for….so I gave my ticket away to someone who was most happy to take it. Getting married was much more important than attending a concert no matter how much I wanted to go…The next time that The Witlams were coming to town, I made sure to purchase my tickets as soon as they went on sale. I was really looking forwards to going but on the day of the concert, Steve’s father Pete died. It was terribly sudden and none of us was completely expecting it and it floored Steve. There was no way that I was going to leave him grieving to attend a concert of any kind. I decided that there was some reason why I wasn’t meant to go to Witlams concerts and the escalation of severity regarding the ‘happenings’ that occurred to prevent me from going was quite alarming and so the next time that The Witlams came to town there was no WAY that I was going to go… So until this day, I have NEVER gone to either a Witlams concert OR a Tim Friedman (who most coincidentally is in town soon…) ‘event’ ever since. Call me superstitious, but I don’t want to be responsible for the next 9/11! We have been working hard on our final assignment for our diploma course. We went out yesterday to take all of our levels and survey the site that we are working on. The problem is that Steve and I tend to work differently and both of us tend to ‘take over’ what we are doing. We have a bit of a communication breakdown sometimes as we both think that we are the most capable to do the task at hand, in so saying this, we missed a couple of level measurements that we should have taken. We are new to this, so it’s inevitable that we are going to make a few mistakes, but it’s also annoying as we have to go back in to Polytechnic (in Launceston, 40km away from here), pick up the dumpy level and other equipment needed, head out to the site where we are surveying (another 20km from Launceston), head back into Launceston to drop off the borrowed equipment, then come back home, all up a trip of about 120km and that is before we choose to make the trip worthwhile and attempt to do whatever we can to ensure that we don’t have to go back into town again for a while (like shopping etc.)

Halloween is coming up (stop grinding your teeth Stewart…) and my daughters, who both used to complain most loudly and vociferously about how stupid people were to celebrate it, are now officially celebrating it this year. I don’t really know why the change of heart, but I tend not to ask as my daughters are somewhat of a close knit pair who tend to change their minds frequently without my knowledge most of the time. It’s great that they get on so well, as they are living together in the same house and it would be total chaos if they were not friends as well as siblings. This year they are going into Launceston to give out interesting treats to people that they meet. Launceston hasn’t taken to Halloween with quite the avid intensity that people living in the USA have, and so the girls get some very confused people when confronted by Dracula and Dr. Spock (their last years characters) handing out free sweets. Their costumes were amazingly well done and I am looking forwards to seeing just what their costumes look like this year. I have already agreed to stay overnight with them so that they can head off into town purveying their sweet treats to unsuspecting passers-by. I will stay at home trying to work out how to use their television and Austar remote control (remember…I am 9/10’s Luddite). The girls carved a pumpkin last year that was really impressive. We thought that they were the only people that were doing anything for Halloween until they saw a man dressed as a witch driving past in an amazing old American convertible. I guess it’s just the eccentric and the Americans that are doing anything of interest regarding Halloween. It isn’t something important at all in my yearly calendar but each to his own, I am sure that my girls don’t give a monkeys uncle about the Melbourne flower show or the local Horticultural Society shows where they make me very happy.

Here are some amazing things that people have made for halloween. It constantly amazes me with how creative people can be…

These are eyeballs and are a type of truffle with smarties on

These are both repugnant and amazing. They are dead men’s fingers and actually look like they are! The nails are thinly sliced almonds, aren’t they fantastic?

And these are my personal favourites…

Mummy cupcakes! Blue smarties, a bit of licorice and some rolled out white fondant have transformed the cupcakes into something very funky.

Steve and I have been out to check on our chicken situation and we now have 6 babies! They appear to be a mix of the 3 types of chick and we are very happy (especially Steve as now the chickens value is aligned with what we spent on buying the 2 dozen eggs and the $60 of petrol that we had to spend to get them…). Tomorrow we will sort out their food and water but for now, they are being sustained by their egg reserves. We will have to sort out what to do with the 2 hens that are in nesting boxes mounted on the wall as they might be able to get out, but their babies most certainly can’t. I would imagine that we will have to move the chooks and their babies to the floor where the other 2 are nesting. We are very happy with the baby chickens and might be able to take some photos to show you our lovely babies tomorrow. There is a pair of heron’s nesting between Glad’s (our neighbour) and our place and tonight, we heard the sound of squawking so perhaps they have babies to? Our friend has baby ducks everywhere and her dog that used to cull them has not been seen in a month, so she is going to be inundated with ducks and has been trying to get me to take some. We don’t have a water source here apart from the Tamar River which at this point is salty, and a teeny tiny garden pond that is full of muddy silt and won’t retain water (or frogs). I have been offered a dozen turkey eggs for free but the chicken that was trialling ‘broody’ for the last few days has found it wanting and abandoned being a mum so I guess that’s that for the turkey eggs.  Should we get another broody, I will get some turkey eggs, but at the moment we are over the moon with our expanding chicken coop. The odds are that half of them are roosters, so hopefully the roosters are of the kind that people want or we might be known less as Serendipity farm, and more as “those bloody neighbours who’s roosters crow all the time”! I can hear the weep-weep bird loosening up its vocal chords in the trees outside. I am just going to have to start using my ‘mum’ powers of extreme deafness, learned after years and years of “mum…mum…MUM!!!” and “why can’t I?” and “she/he’s hitting me!!!”. Once employed, I am able to filter out any noise that isn’t directly related to my imminent demise, or to my happy place where I have taken myself for the duration of the racket. I guess I should head off now and do some more studies, but you know what? I don’t think so! Steve is watching the television and I am just going to play some computer games until my eyes start to hurt. Have a great evening, and enjoy whatever it is that you are doing (apart from if you are planning on doing nefarious deeds…I don’t endorse that!)


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kreebard
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 20:29:17

    You’re confusing us with Stewart again, ma. WE always wanted to go trick-or-treating as kids, but you said it was too dangerous! We said people were stupid for NOT celebrating it. You’d best be nice if you want some Icelandic licorice! And you should get some ducks so we can call them Scrooge and Donald and Ludwig! (It doesn’t matter if they’re girls)


  2. narf77
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 20:34:04

    What say I get some ducks from Jenny and YOU call them Scrooge, Donald and Ludwig and if they ARE girls, bonus to you as you get eggs from them….thinking about it…why not go whole hog and get geese? They eat grass and you will never have to worry about mowing the lawn again…and Qi couldn’t POSSIBLY eat a whole one….


  3. mum.
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 22:37:19

    Conmgratulationms, new baby chicks! Get the two broodies in their nests down opn the ground as soon as you hear chickens. If they fall out of the nest, they will cark it, not keeping warm under mum. Love the halloween goodies too.


  4. mum.
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 22:38:15

    I note I hit the wrong buttons in my haste. Sorry about that.Must’ve been the red!


  5. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 00:04:12

    My daughter will be 33 this year. Her memory of childhood and my memory of her childhood are always different. We both agree that Halloween was the big holiday for her, not because of the sweets, but because she loved to dress up. She won the best costume award several times in elementary school. We thought about getting chickens. They guy who Chris carpools with (also my daughter’s age) just got chickens. We don’t eat eggs though. I used to love eggs. Occasionally we slip up. It’s hard when eating out, and we both love Starbucks. It is so hard to get vegan treats where we live.


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