I have for years subscribed to Countryside and Back Woods magazines. Mother Earth News I have now on CDs because the years of magazines seem to fill space I don't have in my home. I dream of becoming self-sufficient and leaving my 9-5 job... but mine is 3-11 (AM!). July 2nd is my last day of corporate work. In this economy does it seem like a wise decision? Yes it does! I have a plan... part of that plan is to become much more self sufficient.
Here I am building a door for a chicken run I built myself with scrap wood. Did I know what I was doing? No. But I did it anyway. And what I keep telling my future father-in-law - the chickens won't care what it looks like. :-)
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Cliff - my future father in law, helped me get started in building the run. He helped me get the first bottom layer of chicken wire stapled up to the garden fence, and the fence dividing our house and that of our neighbors homes. From there we got the frames up - scrap wood about the same height up in 3 places, with a board stretched between that and the neighbor fence - so I could later put chicken wire over the top to keep the raccoons out... and the feral cats. I did most of the rest by myself, but Kevin - my boyfriend, figured out the locks for the door. Nice pieces of wood that rotate. Some are on the frame, some are on the door. This prevents the door swinging both in-wards and out-wards, unless all pieces of wood line up.
CHICKENS! We have CHICKENS!
We decided to get a variety of breeds of chickens, to keep it fun and interesting. We went to Ham and Eggs Ranch in Norco, Ca and hand picked what we wanted. Here are just some of the 10 chickens we brought home with us.
These little guys (gals) were so cute, we had to take them home with us too.
I'm a new Mama
We got a new egg just barely starting to hatch. It was recommended that I keep it warm in my bra as we were going home - about a 45 minute drive. So here I am, hatching an egg... No those are not butt cheeks :-P I'm not sitting on the egg to hatch it.
I took these with my cell phone as Kevin drove us home. The little thing ended up hatching before we made it home. Guess it thinks of me as Mama now. It's very comfortable with me holding it. (Hopefully a 'her')
Here they are, all home safe and sound, eating like little piggies. All of this happened yesterday May 29, 2010. It is Memorial Day Weekend - and it's one I will remember forever. The little guy is all fluffed out now. He's eating and drinking with the others, and I notice that it sleeps a lot. We are fascinated by them all. They are kept in the guest room in a container for now. Though the other little chicks have been outside and I was told they don't need the heat lamp like the new baby does, they all seem to enjoy the warmth together. So I guess that's how I'll keep them.
I also raise worms to eat my fruit and vegetable scraps, and use the castings for my garden. I decided to pick out a few today and see how the chicks liked them. I guess it's instinctive - it caused quite a halabaloo! They were all running around stealing worms from each other. It was quite comical. So I'm going to be moving half of my worms out of the kitchen and into the chicken run. I'm digging a hole and will feed them there. The chickens will have a fresh, constant supply of protein.