Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chickens are a go.

Apparently I have a reputation around here as being a good opener, but a poor closer. I disagree. Also, I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. Really. It's worked for thus far.

My parents are on board with us trying chicken ranching. Just a few at first, keeping startup costs to a minimum, seeing where it goes, if it's worth the trouble. I already know the answer. Yes. Yes, it will be worth the trouble.

Keith says he's going to make a schedule so that I am bound (legally?) to do at least half the work. I mean, seriously. His own wife. The audacity!

I admit, I'm in love with the idea of chickens.

We're going to not buy chicks. I didn't call the feed store advertising "Chicks are here!" because I just assume they come in a box from the midwest. I'd rather get a local chicken. I think. So we're waiting until the county fairs this summer (3 or 4 nearby) to try to buy a variety of young chickens who can lay eggs. No roosters. Which is fine. Although I think a rooster would be fun. Although that's probably what everyone thinks pre-rooster and no one thinks post-rooster.

So in the meantime we have to build a shelter. We're going to modify the dog pen to make it critter-proof (raccons and skunks, pit bulls, etc.) and look for a solar panel to run the coop's heat/light. A lot of work and research. I am interested in finding out what kinds of things we can grow/have on hand (e.g. compost scraps) that we can use to supplement grain feed.

Lazlo would love him some chicken.

I have a couple of good leads on chicken blogs and of course, HenPower is so inspirational. Good Portland folks. They run an chicken co-op in Portland and have a super informative blog.

And Patia told me about Dig This Chick, an urban chicken farmer in Missoula.

Backyard Chickens
Backyard Chicken Forum
A Flock of Your Own

Me and internet research are TIGHT. It's a known fact.

Today I was on assignment at work, covering an assembly at the elementary school where the principal had to kiss a pig. Quite entertaining.

Saturday is my parents' 33rd anniversary and we're giving them a free day by borrowing their truck and driving up to the prairie to explore some thrift stores, etc. (And then cooking them dinner Sunday night.) You know, kitschty rural Americana. Like I hear there's a huge rifle hanging over Main St. in a nearby town called Winchester. Seriously, I'm taking a photo of that.

Another photo op coming up: there are cranes or herons? nesting down on the island. Our neighbors say they've been watching them through a spotting scope and they all take off at the same time in the morning........And an eagle comes in and eats some of the eggs!! Harsh!
Anyway, might see something neat. Or horrifying.

We sure enjoying the warm weather here. Germination of garden seeds will commence shortly. Keith is logging the outside and greenhouse temps.

Mom hanging up a new bird feeder.

Naps are important.

If not uncomfortable.

And of course, we have a ton of "projects" in the pipe. Painting the interior, making bookshelves, making a counter/kitchen, finishing the bathroom, hanging the hammock chair (also, we've decided: we're putting hardware on the deck to hang a hammock), replacing the broken window (Keith found 2 smaller ones at the local 2nd hand store). Not to mention water.

paint for the bedroom (not the darker one)

While we discuss what we're doing for a countertop, etc. I am totally coveting this kitchen.

I mean, yes. Right?

Only a woodstove means during the colder months everything would likely be covered in ash.
Still, it's an idea. Not that we're having a shortage of those around here, ever.


Patia said...

Yay, chickens!

Those napping pics are adorable.

Grant Wagner said...

I LOVE the kitchen, with it's completely open cabinetry. I'm sure it's super cheap compared to just about anything else as well. You'll get to use every square inch of storage underneith it as well. If the clutter it to much, make some curtians to go around. A good chance for some indivduality as well.