Category Archives: Work

The Great Flood of 012 or Chickens can float……can’t they?

I shoulda known somethin was wrong when I pulled up to feed the chickens and Oddie was hangin out on the roof. It’s not that it’s hard to get on the roof, there’s a deck up there with a set of stairs for access. It’s just that I’ve never seen Oddie up there before. By the way Oddie is my sons formerly chicken eating dog that always reminded me of this famous movie star:I’ve been expecting him to talk any day now for years and I swear if he tells me to kill someone Oddie’s goin to the pound and I’m checkin myself into the looney bin PRONTO! As an aside isn’t Summer of Sam a great movie? such a vivid depiction of the sheltered life of a group of people who think their living in the center of the world…..or not. So Oddie seeking high ground should have been a clue but as usual I was clueless.

As I was leaving I snapped a couple shots to send my good buddy from BostonMark.The first picture is from the front porch showing a modest amount of water flowing in the driveway from the street. The second picture ironically shows the area where public works installed a new storm drain this past year to stop my little piece of Heaven from flooding. At the time I took the picture water was flowing down the drain and everything seemed wet but OK. About an hour later I got a panicked call from my son Thomas that the house was flooding! This was as I was trying to get the Union Hall’s computer system back online after a lengthy power outage. The brand new storm drain inlet is right next to that power pole. Those gates were tie-wired shut.The view out the back of the house, My orchard/chicken corral is to the right of this picture.The irrigation system has been shut off, I don’t think my garden will need much water for a day or two.It was amazing how forceful the water coming through was.Notice the Georgia Buggy? it can be seen earlier in this post in the picture from the front porch. Alexa, Shanda, and Thomas were out in this mess trying to create a makeshift dam to slow down the water and rescuing chickens.

As you can see we have quite a mess to clean up. Those logs piled out on the street came from clear back by the jeep, they were washed down the driveway, out the gate, and into the culvert next door. The old saying about mad as a wet hen is absolutely false! My poor girls were just plain miserable, the only ones having fun were the ducks. Except for Chuck the ducken who was hangin out with his hatch mates bein miserable in the coop. The BCM roo on the roof got there when Thomas grabbed him from the storm surge as he floated by and tossed him up there for safe keeping. I honestly don’t know yet who else got swept away, I couldn’t find my 2 little Barney’s and the 3 little ones Karen had brought home from escondido were so wet and cold I thought I lost them. A couple hours in the brooder though and their doin fine.

 

 

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A Goodun

Looking back yesterday was a goodun. I don’t particularly like fictitious holidays, it’s one of the things that my sweety Karen and I see eye to eye on. I remember wondering what was expected of me our first valentines day together, Karen removed all doubt by letting it be known that she would kick my butt if she got roses or candy on February 14th. Her position was “You shouldn’t need a special day to prove you Love me”, that reaffirmed what I already knew….This is the girl for me!

We have always done things for each other because we wanted to, not because the calendar said it was time to. Karen always understood that to me Mothers Day and Fathers Day were literal, and I wanted my sons to understand that to. While always being willing to help them do what they wanted for their Mommy, it was them doing it. This philosophy has helped our sons to appreciate the little things instead of being a slave to societies pressure towards more.

Karen loves 6 cheese bagels from Einstein Bagels so I got up early and went and got a dozen, while I say this was for her it was really a little self serving. By getting Bagels I made Karen happy, avoiding going out to breakfast like we usually do on Sundays and was able to get an early start up at the Orchard. My goal at the Orchard was to put in a another 4’x4′ raised bed, modify the greywater drip system, work on my feeding setup, move the 2&3 month old chickens out of the Juvenile pen and move the newest chicks into the Juvenile Pen.

This is my latest modification to my high tech foraging/stimulation table ( really its just 4 old logs with half a sheet of old warped plywood on top). I drilled a 1″ hole in the middle of the plywood then screwed my self feeder bucket down over the hole so that the trigger thingy hung down underneath. I have to admit that I ordered my fancy self feeding trigger off of E-bay for 4 or 5 bucks then paid $7.50 to have it shipped from England. Since then I have read that a teaspoon works just as well. The bucket is kept full of 19% all-purpose pellets. While my fancy Treadle Feeder is kept full of Lay Pellets. Each feeder holds about half a sack of pellets and usually the Treadle Feeder needs to be refilled every 3 weeks and it appears the bucket will need it about every 2 weeks.

The Pullets (I hope) that I booted out of the Juvenile Pen mixed right in with the big girls, in the foreground above you can see my GCM that I hatched out earlier this year. They really go nuts for the rice mixed with fermented scratch that I give them. My newest batch of mutts moved right into the Juvenile pen and booted the quail outta their little hidey-hole. BCM genes must be really strong cause all of these little fluffy butts look just like every BCM I have hatched out but not a one of their mamas is any kind of Marans. Their Daddy is but their mommas are outta that gaggle in the picture above.

Now that I have spent so much time talking about my Chickens I realize I didn’t take any pictures of the other projects from yesterday, I did accomplish all I set out to do and will blog about it when I have pics. Having the guilt free 5 hours to spend puttering with things that I wanted to get done was wonderful, the sunburn on my back from 5 hours spent shirtless in the 113 degree sun not so wonderful! And sorry I don’t have any pics of me shirtless, I’m self conscious since the Dance Network incident.

Obviously my day up to that point had been pretty nice, but towards the end of my time up at The Fruity Chicken my son Thomas came home and we had one of those conversations that make me proud of the boys I’ve raised. It wasn’t the subject in particular but more the fact that he brought up a topic that his older brother Michael and I had been discussing earlier in the week. He had some thought provoking takes on my thoughts and we had a pleasant 30 minute dialogue. The key factor being that not only do my sons listen to what I have say they care enough to think about it and have strong enough character to tell me if they disagree with my point of view. What more can a man ask for out of his sons? This scenario repeated itself later that evening when Michael called to wish me a happy Father’s Day and discuss Thomas and I’s earlier conversation. Truly I am blessed, my three sons Brian, Michael, and Thomas are all three intelligent, hard working, thoughtful young men that even though they may not recognize it are developing strong characters with a social conscience I don’t believe I had at that age.

So Fathers Day 2012; while being just another mass marketing, consumer driven, fictitious holiday was actually a day full of gooduns. Three boys to make a man proud, butt load a tasks done well, an honestly earned sunburn, a drool covered pillow kinda nap, all topped off with a eat enough crab & hushpuppies to make you sick kinda dinner with the woman you love? Yup them are all Gooduns!

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