Saturday, December 17, 2016

Animal Farm

When we moved here, the house came with 3 hens and a barn cat....apparently that's a thing.
Binky the Barn Cat

Well the hens are old so they were only laying an egg here and there and since we are experienced farmers, Nick decided to picked up a box of chickens on his way home from work so we could eventually have more eggs.

Now our old hens stay in the field and every night they walk back to their hen house.  We thought all chickens did this.

Not so.

The new chickens immediately flocked to the woods.

So we spent the next 2 hours catching them.

We got 8 out of 9 back and counted it as a success.

Then we read about chickens and learned you have to coop train them and so we did. 

This stressed the old girls out and they stopped laying altogether. 

Since it was going to be some time before we'd get eggs from the new hens we decided now was as good a time as any to order baby chicks.......which come in a box in the mail.....who knew?

I was so scared I'd get a box of dead chicks, but all 26 were alive and well.

Nick and I built this brooder (and felt pretty proud of ourselves)

The new chicks were a novelty and the kids did school in the barn for a few days....until they realized how much work baby chicks are.  Rahel and Caroline were official chick care takers and did a great job.

Around this time, still feeling super sad about our move and missing family and friends, I had the brilliant idea that we should adopt a dog....because we had nothing else going.

We found the sweetest hound mix at the animal shelter and brought her home at the end of September.

Meet Mali aka "the best dog ever" (at least that's what we originally called her until she started leaving surprise puddles on our she's just "the averagest dog ever" but we still love her).

The only animal we had when we moved here was our rescue cat Wally.
He is such a trooper.

Wally:"help, he's got me again"

He's the most tolerant cat and allows even the little boys to scoop him up.

Which they do often.
Feeling the love.

Wally: "Seriously?"
Then Colton found a turtle.  His very own pet!  We kept him in a flower bed for a few days before turning him loose.

We marked him in case we ever saw him around again.

As if one turtle wasn't enough, Colton rescued this injured turtle at the playground one day.  Luckily we were near the local zoo and they were able to take him in.

The animal farm adventures continued when we realized that 4 out of our 8 "hens" that Nick had brought home were actually big fat roosters!

We separated these boys out and eventually found them new homes where they could do what roosters do.  The 5:20am rooster crow added to the farm ambiance, but we surely do not need any more chickens around here.

The baby chicks grew and transferred into the hen house.

These black and white ones are my favorite.

And then finally, after nearly 4 months of raising and feeding chickens, we got our first egg.

We affectionately named it the $500 egg because that is about how much we've spent to this point feeding and brooding our little flock.

We now have a grand total of
 30 hens
8 kids
2 cats
1 dog

and now
all we need is the partridge in the pear tree!

1 comment:

  1. This is great. what a learning experience for those kids; not one many have.