Friday, February 27, 2009

Fish Fry

Reflections from the Backcounter

It is once again time for the annual Lenten Fish Fry. Ladies and Gentleman start your engines and drive on over to the closest Catholic parish hall for another greasy but delicious fish fry. Every Friday during Lent Catholics flock to the church for a festival of fish and fun served up by our favorite knights...the Knights of Columbus. My family is a little leary this year (mom and sis) about bellying up to the table as last years fabulous plate of fried fish was a gastrointestinal fiasco....enough said...use your imaginations.....But undaunted, I will forge ahead and find my fish fry tonight...moderation is the key..remember it is all you can eat but maybe we should say change that to all you should eat!!!
Chicken update

Chickens are now teenagers and are happily clucking, eating, drinking and doing the unmentionable in their new cadillac coop which is predictably in my garage given my level of schoolgirl guilt about their illegality. I am confident that the neighbors know we are harboring fugitive fowl on our property. My husband continues to assure me that his carefully constructed cadillac coop really looks like a dog run and so it should remain under the radar. Can a chicken be taught to stop clucking? The newest additions, the Aracauna chicks are now two weeks old and are losing their peep fuzz...Looks like they will be brown ...all I care about is the blue egg potential. This weekend the little red hens (4 Red Stars) will be graduating from Chick starter food to Chick grower....They tried some chopped Kale and didn't really like it ...maybe too small yet or on the other hand ...there could be something about sis seems to have a weak constitution where Kale is concerned....a little visit to the ER this week but that is another story for another day. Suffice it to say she survived and has been rescued by a dear MD friend who it appears has been reading my blog and is NOT a supporter of the chicken project. You know who you are....send Good Chicken Karma my way please.

Peace, peeps and fried fish,


Friday, February 20, 2009

Coop construction and Coyotes

Reflections from the Backcounter

Coyotes are on my mind. Last night we had a coyote chorus right outside our window that went on for a half hour. The finale was the cacophony of the yip yapping victory screams that accompany a kill. Yikes...I think they have hit on the scent of the chickens in the garage. Construction on the camo coop began in earnest today and we are modifying the design as we go. The coyotes last night were rather centering. Function over form at this point. I do not want to have to run outside in my underwear to fend off marauding coyotes. This will be interesting. But...time is of the essence as the chicks are peeking over the top of the rubbermaid container at this point.

More on the peeps later


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time flies as the chikens grow Week 5 for the Red Stars Week 1 for Aracauna

Reflections from the Backcounter

And so the story continues....the economy worsens, jobs are scarce as hen's teeth and all the while my little stealth flock safely grows in the warmth of the heat lamps in their rubbermaid containers in the garage. Hope for brown and blue eggs remains foremost in the hearts of the chicken growers who eagerly ply the little peeps with chicken grow, fresh water and carefully constructed temperature ranges to encourage growth ane rapid feathering. And speaking of peeps, our latest little peeps, Lola and Penelope are purportedly Aracaunas who will grow up to supply the most beautiful green blue eggs. We can hardly wait. They are brown peeps who are hearty and hale in the incubator in the garage where we feel like we are watching time lapse photography show the sprouting of the wings throughout the day. As far as pets go, these are the least problematic in my long history of animal collecting. Much easier than cats, rabbits or guinea pigs and just forget about fish or hamsters. Dogs are a little too curious about the peeps and the teenage soon to be hen pullets in the container next store. These pullets are supposed to be high egg producing and quiet
Red star hens;. We will see...Gwendolyn, Henrietta, Josephine and Tallulah are quite the little talker squawkers. Now all human conversations surround best practice coop construction and gathering of inexpensive but effective materials to meet the three tenets of the coop project:

1. Stealth (illegal chicks must reside in a camoflauge coop)

2. Silence (squawky chicks will blow the cover of the operation)

3. Protection ( high predator risk in our area separate from domestic dogs on property. We need to be prepared to prevent predation from coyotes, owls and bobcats. If a mountain lion shows up....I may have to shelve the chicken project.!!!)

And so the story goes. I hope to provide ongoing pics of the project to document our progress. We have had very few slip ups yet and have not lost one chick to predation, escape or inadverdent broiling/roasting or freezing. Those heat lamps are tricky!
Peace and peeps,