Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tomorrow Isn’t A Guarantee; Only Yesterday Is.

We all know someone who is always stressed, on edge, on the go, wound up real tight and never seems to be satisfied in the current moment.  They are exhausting to the content person yet energizing to those like them.

I am that person. I am that person who is stressed if I’m not stressed because I worrying I have forgotten something. I am always uptight about something, usually cruelty to animals, unjust treatment for our fellow persons and don’t even get me going on captivity, GMO’s and why you should never trust the government.

I’m always wondering why am I here, what is my purpose? Surely this can’t be it. Why can’t this be it? Why can’t what I do be enough? Some nights I fight going to bed unless I am ready to fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. My internal self gets talking and I swear it doesn’t ever shut up.

I’m always questioning why I am not more. Why I am not this heroic person I feel I am destined to be or should be. Why am I just a simpleton?

Maybe I’m meant to be on a Sea Shepherd vessel fighting the anti-whaling wars. Maybe I’m meant to open and run a soup kitchen and help spread awareness for hunger and homelessness.
Maybe I should be out in a rescue vessel untangling whales that are wrapped in fishing gear and wouldn’t survive without our skills and dedication.
Maybe I should have a dog rescue for all the strong hard breeds, rehabilitate and rehome them.
Maybe I’m meant to be that 9-1-1 dispatcher who helps to saves lives everyday.
Maybe I’m meant to travel our Great Lakes and educate on how to clean up our shores, water and ultimately Eco-systems.
Maybe I am meant to live off the grid, entirely self sufficient and be an inspiration for others to move towards simplicity? (But off the grid means no AC? Oh decisions decisions).
Maybe I’m meant to have my own farm animals, green house and live more sufficiently, or at least enough that we aren’t dependent on grocery chains and all the manipulation that goes along with it.
Am I missing my cue here? Are one of these opportunities just waiting for me to take the plunge?

Why haven’t I abandon my lifestyle to chase a dream? There are so many ‘dream’ jobs I inspire to have, so many possibilities, but why aren’t any of them my reality?

Reality. I’m a mom. I was also a young single mom with my daughter which turned into surviving and getting to the next day. I’m a partner. I have a mortgage. I have pets and most recently 17 (soon to be 20) chickens have been added to my list. We own a small business which I swear makes us work longer days than if we were on someone else’s payroll. It is almost impossible to manage a get away for a long weekend vacation once a year, so of course these other ‘dream’ jobs feel like Tom Cruises Mission Impossible for me.

Flyp (stage name) is almost 16. He definitely needs both his parents hot on his tail and me off sailing the ocean rescuing whales just won’t cut it. However, children grow up, move out and become adults. So…is this when I’ll be the hero I feel I am meant to be?

There are so many things I tell myself I’m going to do when Flyp is an adult and I’m not feeling so compelled to be up his ass and parent him every day. But will I? Do I have the drive to go after a dream? Do I have the means? I know it just is not as simple as it is in books and movies. Mortgage has to always be paid, animals always have to be cared for and everything has to be attainable and sustainable. Some of these dreams, like opening a soup kitchen .. Wouldn’t require me out on the vast ocean, relocated or travel around Canada, instead I would be using my resources and connections at home plate. A dog rescue is always a possibility – except I’d have to deal with the bureaucratic bullshit of by-laws and being governed by so many regulations that I don’t support etc., traveling Great Lakes? Head to school to be a 9-1-1 caller? So maybe 50% of my dreams are attainable?

I tell myself I have a lot to look forward too and a lot of time ahead of me. I’m only 45 after all. But do I? Will I wait too long? Will tomorrow always be waiting for me?

Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee. Only yesterday is.

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Sixteen Girls & One Little Dude

Good news!! They all arrived alive. They looked healthy and ready to lay me an egg, cause I would know…pfft! My big challenge now is to keep them breathing and healthy. They over shipped 1 baby. Either someone at the hatchery can’t count, or they figured I’d kill at least one and they gave me a bit of a buffer.

They arrived in the same box, but with a divider between the different age groups, the almost 2 week olds and the 5 week olds. What a disaster!! The box lid is one piece, not divided so the exit plan went to shit before it was executed. I had to get them out and I tried to do it one by one separately, mission impossible. Lift the lid and they are out of there!! I had to grab them as wings are flapping and chirping and squawking and what a procedure. I was sweating buckets keeping everyone apart and trying to not have a mass murder in front of me. I wanted the little ones in their pen so the big ones don’t bully them. By big ones I mean the 5 week olds. In the end, everyone got separated and no one was injured, not even me. I set up the water and feed and got the lamp going for the babies. They all kept their distance from me and the big girls went to the back of the baby pen on the outside and I thought they were going to try and get at the babies. After all, it’s in everything I read and was told would happen.

Well, let me tell you how it really works. There are 5, 5 week olds and 12, 10 day olds. Everything I read to prepare myself to be the best flock mommy I can be, all went to shit when I saw what went down in the next 30 minutes. According to books and blogs, the 5 week olds, being bigger, will bully and possibly even kill some of the 2 week olds if it gets crazy enough. Separation was mandatory.

The babies could get out of the pen .. They were small enough to fit through the holes (I have since put chicken wire around it to keep them in) and it took them 2 minutes to figure that exit out. The 2 week olds actually bossed the older girls around. The babies peck at the older girls, flap their wings and bounce off the bigger girls. Obviously, in the poultry world there is power in numbers, not just size. The big girls haven’t been mean at all to the babies. Obviously, the babies are the ones to keep an eye out for.

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Pecking order is a bit disturbing to witness with the bigger girls. It’s kind of political, like they are running for office, just with not as much lying and deceit that we humans are used too. It’s all about who will be the boss, who won’t be allowed at the feeder and who’s feathers will they make fun of the most. I want them all to be so carefree and happy, not pecking at each other.

Yesterday the 5 week olds had a squabble and the smallest girl had a bloody toe. By the way, chicken feet are nasty!! They are so prehistoric looking they disturb me greatly lol. I kept an eye on her bloody toe, washed it with some peroxide and well, now I can’t even tell which one had the bloody prehistoric toe. They walk on each other, peck at each other, and sometimes even peck at the eyes😳. I want to interfere and tell them to knock it off or they’ll be sent to their coop corner for a time out, but you have to let them sort it out and the majority of it should be all done in a few days.

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I’m giving them organic apple cider vinegar in their water. Many reasons. It’s good for their digestive tract, helps with any internal parasites and helps prevent pasty butt. Yes, that’s right, I said pasty butt. I also add probiotics to their feed. They help with immune function and healthy intestinal flora. I’m not doing a medicated feed for the chicks, so I’m taking other precautions, like probiotics, DE and apple cider vinegar.

Last night I added 4 tbsp of apple cider per litre … Ummm Ooops? It should of been 3-4 tbsp per gallon. Good news! Everyone was still alive this morning. I also gave the older girls a sand bath this morning … I’m paranoid of mites etc., and when Flyp gets home we’ll do the babies. I lost track of which baby had been dusted and I think I dusted one baby at least 3 times, if not 4 times. I’m bathing them all in DE and sand. The hatchery says they are mite and lice free, but for my own state of mind a dusting is in order.

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Flyp & I think we know who The Fonz is. (The rooster). Oh boy, I can tell he’s going to be a handful. He spends his entire time trying to get out of his pen and bossing all his girls around. He better not be a total dickhead or he’ll be dinner before he can say Cock-a-doodle-doo!!

The big girls aren’t overly adventurous yet. They are free to come in and out of the coop into the pen all day at their leisure. They are at the point where they are at the door and even take a step or two onto the exit/enter ramp, but that’s the extent so far. I know the relocation is hard on them, so I’m giving them their space and time to get sorted and comfortable, You can tell they’ve been caged … They aren’t very ‘free’ in their habits yet. They also don’t eat fresh food. They’ve never had it at the hatchery, so they haven’t bother with it yet. Tomorrow is watermelon with their feed sprinkled on it, and hopefully they will at the very least sample it.

C’mon girls, let’s live a little!!!

TaaaaaaaDaaaaaa!!! The Coop Is Complete

Woohoooo!!! Look – eeeee – here. The coop is complete. It’s ready for the arrival of our chickens. A total of 16 birds arrive today, 15 hens and 1 rooster.  There are 5, 6 week olds and 11, 2 week olds.  It will be a busy coop in a few hours!!

There is one last thing for me to do today, but that’s because our store was out of inventory yesterday so I need to go to a different store. The electric rope that is going around the pen for further protection will go on today after I get them home.

In the fall Einstein wants to put stucco on the nesting boxes, and the remainder of the plywood areas. Stucco seams like over kill to me, but if he wants to, go for it. He says with stucco it will be insulated which would be an added bonus.

Einstein had to go to work which left Flyp and I to finish up and get the coop done. The good thing about working with Flyp is he likes to get it done, much like I do. We don’t need to overly think anything and analyze it 10 times before we move onto the next piece of wood. Einstein drives me bananas with the speed he works at, a turtle would warp speed his ass in any race!!

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The inside has the bedding layed, the internal pen for the 11, 2 week olds, both heat lamps hung and the boxes in the nesting boxes are upside down for now. They are all too young for egg laying at this point, but when they reach the age of maturity is when I will prepare their baskets for them. The 6 week olds will have the opportunity to just roam inside the coop.

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It’s hard to tell how big the inside of the coop is because the baby chick pen is huge!! Flyp did a great job on the ramp. I was like just put a piece of plywood with s few traction boards. He said ok, and he reinforced it with 2×4’s, secured it to the coop. I was a bit annoyed and said why did you do all that extra work? He said so you can use the ramp mom. Ugh!!! Sometimes I suck. I gave him a hug and said thanks little man!!

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The fenced in area entrance door has a sliding lock with a clasp that goes through it. The coop itself has a much bigger lock that will be double locked as well. Double protection against those nasty predators, especially the smart ones like raccoons that can slide locks to open things.

The blue bucket is for their sand bathing they like to do. It just has regular play sand, but I mix in DE, and we have a natural preventative and a treatment for external parasites.

Just to remember what we started with, here’s a picture of the first day it was started. It was a 6.5’w x 7’l structure. Now we have a 6.5wx12.5’l coop (not including the pop out nesting boxes in the width) and a 12×12 secured pen.

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It was WAY more work than anticipated, but I’m glad the time and effort was put in make it sturdy and predator resistant etc. Thankfully 95% of the wood was left overs from previous jobs, this and that kind of inventory. Some things like the door hinges etc., we bought, but all in all, the coop cost us very little to build. Obviously, this would not of been the case if we didn’t have the inventory already.

Next post, pictures of the new hens and the Fonz!!! (Rooster)

DIY Coop – Almost Done

Yesterday was a day of great progress.  What’s left for today is minimal. The 2 doors, one into the fenced penned area and the one into the coop. The ramp for the chickens to get in and out, Flyp will construct tomorrow.   Of course clean up and then putting the lamps in for the babies, setting up a small roost for the 6 week olds, putting litter in, setting up the barrier for the age differences (just for a little while), and a few other small things and it’s good to go!

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I’m pleased and relieved with the progress that was made yesterday. The paint job will obviously have to be at a later time, we are out of time, but I’m ok with that. For now. Late fall when we are down some meat chickens for ummmm…obvious reasons, we’ll get some painting done and I can house the chickens in the shed or something for 24 hours so they don’t have the fumes to inhale.

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The coop inside is much bigger than I anticipated, which makes me very happy!! I’m not a person who can visualize a finished product, nor do I have any measurement relatable abilities. Seriously, I’m brutal that way. If you tell me drive 1km before you turn left, I could drive 12 hours and say, turn left now? I’m constantly asking how long is 1′ and Flyp will say 12″ Mom, and I’ll respond with how much is 12″??

I’m definitely glad I decided to project the nesting boxes out the side of the coop instead of them being internal. That decision gave us a whole lot of extra room inside. I love it when the brain comes up with a good plan and when executed it is!!

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I’m installing an electric wire around the pen and coop at a few different levels, for extra protection for the flock. This way when I secure them in the pen when I’m not going to be home, I still know they are safe from predators. There won’t be any free ranging when I am not home because we live quite remote i don’t see a need to tempt the wildlife with a buffet. Plus they learn, get them once, they’ll be back for seconds and the job of keeping predators out just keeps on getting more complicated.

Next posting will be of a completed coop.  Woot woot!!

The Fonz!!

Anticipation for the arrival of my chickens is growing, actually if I’m truthful, I’m basically busting at the seams. They arrive on Tuesday morning and the coop has to get done this weekend. Rain or shine. Unfortunately, it looks like more rain than anything, but that’s what happens when you leave it to the last minute – Einstein style. I will try to post pictures of the coops progress as the weekend goes by.

I’m reading ‘Raising Chickens a For Dummies’. I love these books, especially the style of writing; Simplistic. Anyways, there’s a section on parasites, internal and external. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown at the thought of mites, lice, ticks, scaly leg mites, worms etc. on Friday when I was reading that horror chapter. I actually had a sudden twinge of regret. Then one of my dogs farted while laying at my feet and it came to me as we all evacuated the room, that the same issues are possible and in some cases likely with dogs, except dogs are kept in our homes. So I settled quickly with the anxiety and I have DE for the mites etc and a tub for them to sand bathe in … I think I got the external parasites covered. Or rather they’ll take care of it themselves with the sand and DE.

The most disturbing bug listed was bedbugs and bat bugs. Wtf!?!? Apparently bedbugs are the human prey version of bat bugs. They said basically kill your chickens and burn the coop down and be careful to not carry them into your home. Ok, seriously? Bedbugs an issue in a coop? I never would of taken my though process there, but it’s obviously been an issue for it to show up in a few books. I guess if they were ‘tenants’ somewhere and they had bedbugs over ‘there’ they would bring them with them but I’m pretty sure bedbugs aren’t going to be an issue for us. Bat bugs on the other hand I guess could be a possible issue … Currently they aren’t and I’m not expecting it to be a problem. All this bug talk is making me super itchy.

I’m picking up some preventative ingredients for the chickens and internal parasites. I need Apple cider vinegar to add to their water (helps rid and prevent intestinal worms), probiotics to add to their feed for their immune system, vitamins and minerals to add to their water for the first week they are here. Stress from being moved to their new home can lower their immune systems and I don’t mind giving them a little boost of nutrients to help them through until they are settled. If they get/have parasites I will add the food grade DE to their food intake (maximum 2%) and do my absolute best to take care of it naturally.

Some people are totally mortified that I am not giving the babies a medicated feed. Gasp! I know. I’m just not interested in the whole medicated feed as a preventative step. If you have a medical issue, yes, treating it is necessary but using antibiotics just as a preventative doesn’t fly with me. All my research leads to medicated feeds preventing the body from making immunities and also, then their poop doesn’t have the necessary bacteria to break down into the good bacteria etc., needed for a successful deep litter method in their coop. Even if they get/have worms, there are more natural ways to deal with it. By the time the egg or meat is being presented, the given antibiotics will of left the body, but that doesn’t change my way of thinking. My commitment to having backyard chickens is for a healthier happier chicken that produces healthier eggs and meat.

Now down to the important stuff. I’ve finally decided on a name for my Rooster. 😁 The Fonz, or Fonzy for short. Its been recommended so many times to me to not name my meat girls, this way when I’m eating dinner I won’t think, oh Roxanne, you were so sweet. I’m naming my rooster because I won’t be eating him, unless he’s a complete asshole, then him and his rooster attitude will be in the soup pot. My primary egg layers, the Plymouth Rocks, I’ll likely name as I plan on keeping them around for a few years – as long as they are good layers (approx 2-4 years). Remember every chicken has a job to do…this isn’t a petting zoo.

I’m also considering adding 2 ducks to my flock. They would be Muscoveys. They actually ‘hunt’ flies and mosquitos. A definite bonus for our place. Mosquitos ruin our summers here. We basically can’t and don’t access the majority of our property or else you’ll be covered from head to toe in mosquitoes bites. Its absolutely brutal. The Muscoveys would be a definite asset for fly and mosquito control and they would just bunk with the chickens in the coop and they also roost like chickens.

They would arrive later in July, so I’m taking the time to really think about it and make sure it’s the right choice for us. The good thing is this breed of duck doesn’t need a pond, they are free ranging, but they’d just need a bucket to plunk their heads into. We have a river that sometimes gets very shallow and dry in some spots, especially when we have had a very dry spring like this year, but when it’s dry and to make them happy I would get them a little kitty pool. The hard part is keeping the dogs out of the pool!

Oh the dogs. This is going to likely be my biggest immediate challenge when the chicks arrive. Teaching the dogs the chickens aren’t a free buffet. I’m definitely alpha but I’m not always outside so I’ll have to make sure I’m always on aleft for the first few weeks. Miss Cinder is a ‘free ranger’ and she’ll be the one I have to train first. Drake will want to play, but any running chicken is ‘fair game’ to an untrained dog and more often then not, also a trained dog. Diligence will be the secret to my success. The babies won’t be free ranging for about a month, but the 6 week olds will have access to the fenced pen area within 24 hours.

On a more personal note my blood sugar/glucose is out of control. I have no idea what is going on. I’m exercising every day, feel better, eating like a super star, yet I’m off the charts. Disturbing to say the least. I’ve lost 5 lbs in the last few weeks, it’s not the fastest results, but it is better than nothing.The one thing I’ve done is not taken in as much H2O. I make my own ice tea and put it in with lemons and it’s refreshing and delicious and I’ve been drinking that during the day instead. 1L of ice tea has a tsp of organic sugar cane so the sugar content shouldn’t be an issue. That is the only major difference that I’ve done lately. So today I’m back in ice water for hydration. I’ve even removed honey from my tea the last few days. I’ve passed on servings of watermelon, grapes, berries, cantaloup etc., after dinner to help things get back in line, even though they are all my favourite things. It’s not having any positive effects yet. For some reason between lunch and dinner I’m shooting up to 8.1-8.5 for my before dinner reading. Then it drops to 5.5, 2 hours after dinner, then back up over 6 before bed and over the 6 before-bed-reading for each morning. This has me very confused!!! I think it’s time to get into a diabetes clinic and get some help understanding before I pull all of my hair out.

This Backyard Is For The Birds. Literally

Spring, here on our property, means an abundance of birds and amphibians. Let me give you an idea of how many toads, frogs and salamanders I relocate while cutting the grass…on Friday I stopped counting after 66 relocations from our grass. Most of the time the turtles stay at the small creek that runs through our property, but last week I had to put the little gapper back at the creek. It was the first grass cut of the season, we usually let the grass get a bit long for the first cut just for the lush thickness factor. I won’t use any fertilizers or enhancers … It’s all natures work on our property.

I know I’m fortunate to have all of these birds and I’m always watchful to make sure our regulars return after the winter. Today, out of curiosity I decided to take note of who was in the backyard accessing feeders and perches. Ready for this list? It’s impressive!!

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The Yellow Finch. Aerodynamic, playful with the sweetest calls. The majority stay with us all winter but our population definitely grows each spring. At any given time I have 20+ flying around our feeders and trees.

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Chickadees. Like the Yellow a Finch, these guys are in abundance and the majority stay with us all year. They are super friendly and I’m pretty sure if I was patient enough I could get them to sit on my hand. They will sit on the feeder, chirping at me when I fill it, their eyes checking me out as they turn their adorable heads side to side.

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Indigo Bunting. I only see them spring to fall. Quiet shy small birds, but a lovely site on my feeders with my finches. Only 2 are regulars. The first year I didn’t see any here and I’m hoping as time goes on I’ll see more.

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Blue Jays. These guys are obnoxious!! 4 of them. They come barging in and clear the area out. They squawk and squawk. Yes they are beautiful, but why do they have to be the backyard bullies?? They are big beautiful birds.

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Orioles. Big, like the Grosbeak. Beautiful songs. Only last year and this year I’ve had them. 2 so far. They are usually in the trees and swoop in for some nectar and escape back to their branch.

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Red Capped Woodpecker. This guy is big too with a long beak. He sure gets his wood pecking going on. Sometimes he can be real annoying as he’ll do his thing on my steel chimney for the wood stove. The dogs bark, the echoes down the chimney and into the house are annoying, but thankfully it only seems to happen a few times in the spring.

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Hummingbirds. These majestic beauties are my pride and joy. Their little propeller noises as they zip past you make you think the largest mosquito known to man is about to bite your head off. Nope, just my hummingbirds. I buy flowering plants with them in mind, and I get the drop bell plant early spring for their arrival home and have feeders out to hold them over until everything blooms. I have 3 every year. 1 male, 1 female and their offspring. They are curious, will come and stop in front of me while reading on the deck or working in the garden – and by stop I mean mid air with their wings going so fast you can’t see them. It’s the closest in the real world we can get to fairies.

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I love to have my morning tea in the screened in room and watch all these sweet birds and get to know each personality. I’m very fortunate. Sometimes I feel like I live in a rain forest. One day when I have the patience, I will get the camera out and zap my own pictures instead of off the web. I normally have cardinals, but they aren’t here yet today. Only 2. I refer to them as Mr. &Mrs. Howell. Sophisticated. He is a gentleman oozing with chivalry. He swoops in, checks things out, and chirps at her until she arrives. He feeds her when she arrives and primarily stays at her side. If there was a branch to dust off, I’m sure he would before she perched on it.

I few other standard birds, like Doves and the Brown Woodpecker, but I’m out of time and have to wrap up this blog!! Oh and then good ole American Robin.  If you don’t have Robins take it personally … They literally are everywhere!!

We got a crazy storm last night and the hot humid record breaking weather has left town for a week or so. Time to get back outside and get the gardens ready for some vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Side note: I don’t want to talk about my blood sugar today. Don’t ask. 😡

The DIY’er Tells Me Time Is Quality

Admittely I’m frustrated that this coop isn’t completed.  Mostly because I want to see the finished product and have the security that it will be completed on time.  There was quite a bit accomplished this weekend so I’m more confident it will be ready for next Tuesday’s arrival of chickens.  Einstein tells me that he doesn’t want to ‘fix’ the coop every year so he’s putting a lot of bracing and quality work into it.  I think I might of mumbled something like ‘just hurry up’ and he whispered to me, ‘time is quality’.  It’s true, we don’t want to look at a shabby structure blowing in the wind, waiting for the day it collapses, or a big bad wolf huffs and puffs and blowwsssss the coop down.  Ok, ok.  He’s doing a great job!!

We are working without plans, not even a drawing for guidance. Just an old structure, my verbal translation of what I need and want and Einsteins ability to unscramble my messy english.  So far a success, except the nesting boxes, but that has been rectified.

So far we have only bought the posts for the ground.  Everything else has been left overs from jobs.  It definitely has its perks to own a small construction company, we also get builders price when we do need supplies.  However, we now will need to purchase some 2×4’s to complete the coop but the cost at the end will be minimal in comparison to having to buy everything.

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This is Flyp on the roof and after he was shown 2 shingles, he took over and completed the roof. He’s a natural with his hands and he wouldn’t not be a part of building anything.

When I checked in yesterday on the progress, to make sure he wasn’t forgetting anything, because I’m good that way, he said ‘And this is where the 4 nesting boxes are going.’
Wrong! 16 hens and 1 rooster does not equate to 4 nesting boxes. It might, but I doubt it. They often pick a few boxes and several of them use it, but I’m not willing to bank on 4 boxes for that many chickens. I explained that I needed more than 4 and why again. Now I’m apparently getting 16!! Haha. He has room for 8 nesting boxes down each sides, making it a whopping 16 nesting boxes. I said, oh good, now I can get more chickens. I was joking!! Maybe 😁

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Good job on the shingling Flyp!  He trimmed it all off the sides critics! Dont worry.

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The open area in this picture is where the nesting boxes are sticking outwards of the coop. The reason we decided to have them project outwards is it will help free up room inside the coop.

The entire inside will be closed up with plywood, and the wood on the outside we will be painting. The colour is still on the debate table, Einstein is thinking a barn red, but I’m not sure yet. Our home is country blue, so maybe a smokey blue is best.

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The ‘sitting’ boards, you see them? Remember this used to be a rickety gazebo type thing with benches. Well that’s going to be our floor level in the coop. Coops should be above the ground. I actually never cared to find out why, but if you look at most coops they are raised. For us in Ontario, off the ground is better. We get some serious weather in all seasons, and I would think above the ground would preserve the structure longer.

The coop will now sit till the long weekend. True to Einsteins style, I will be rushed to put my finishing touches on like the roosts, bedding and mental preparedness.

I going to call the hatchery today and see if I can alter the delivery date on my June 16th order. I’m thinking bringing them all in at once is better for the actual combination of chickens. I’ve been reading how trying to incorporate new chicks to an established flock can cause some grief. So while a nail gun was going off yesterday and hammers being swung, I was trying to read all about the best way to get them to be happy quick. So many different experiences, opinions and essentially what I learned is each situation is different. So I had a brain fart. It doesn’t happen often but when it does I’m appreciative. I’m thinking if they all arrive at the same time, everyone is new to the coop then hopefully most of the major issues should be avoided. There will still be the pecking order to sort out etc., but that’s all normal and expected. Before I count on my easy peasy, I have to talk to the hatchery.

Well, I’m off to work myself into an oblivion today. So much to catch up in with being so sick for a long time.

Cheerios!!

Just in case you didn’t read the other post, this is what we started with…we’ve out in an extention as well.

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The Girls, A Rooster & DIY Coop

Excited and nervous.

I’m excited for my first batch of girls to arrive. I’m also nervous that one or more will die on my watch. Yikes!! Absolutely no day old chicks for me. Too much attention to detail, lower temperature by this much every day and do that and this and check for this bla bla bla. New born humans are easier.  A hen is meant to raise her babies, not us humans that’s why it’s so much work and attention to detail. I’m just not available for that level of care.

There will be 5 Plymouth Rocks, which will be my primarily egg layer breed. They are arriving at 6 weeks of age, and will mature (begin pooping out eggs) by 18-20 weeks. I’ve read a lot of amazing traits about these girls right down to their docile loving personalities, which I’m sure will make slaughter after they dry up the yolk production difficult, to their amazing hardiness in winters and consistent egg production. Ive read even if I put a light in their coop on a timer during the winter months, there is a good likely hood I will get eggs all through the winter. (Lights stimulate hormones apparently, which means eggs). Not sure where I am on that, we’ll see when I get there.

As you can read, I’m not taking on the mentality of my chickens being pets. I have a job to do, and my chickens will have a job to do. The goal is they must not cost more than it is to raise and keep them until the end of their time. We have a few neighbours wanting to buy eggs and pay higher $ for a dozen as they will be fed a non-GMO and soy free diet (receipts of feed available so they don’t have to just take my word for it) and a higher than average percentage of flax seed added to their feed.

$4/dozen gets you a healthy egg from my backyard. ($.50 deposit for carton)

I have a dual purpose slow growth variety arriving June 16th. Originally I had a September delivery for these ones, but I upped the delivery date to June. Why wait? I should have the chicken happiness down pat within a month so bringing in the new ones should be ok by then. Plus easier to mix the batches while they are all young. These guys arrive at 3 weeks old. I getting 10 females and 1 rooster.

These dual purpose chickens will also lay eggs, but not as consistently as my Plymouth Rocks. I’ll have plenty of eggs to go around, that’s for sure!! 15 chickens laying all at once. Yikes!! Quiche anyone? Hahaha!!! Actually my dogs eat 2 eggs a day, 1 each. It will be nice to not drop $7 on organic eggs for the humans in the household and $4.50 a dozen for the canine eggs.

I had to think good and hard about the rooster. I have 2 reasons for finally getting him. Roosters are great for flock protection and in the spring hopefully one or two of my hens will go broody and we can have some baby chicks and let their moms raise them. Roosters are really good at rounding up the girls into the coop at the sign of predators and I figured if I wasn’t getting a donkey for herd protection, it needed to be a Rooster.

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The coop is being worked on last weekend, before flip had his emergency visit, yesterday and day. I know Einstein really well, and this project will bleed into next weekend too. This is a picture of how much work got done last weekend before Flyp landed himself in emerg.

Isn’t this cool? This structure I wanted burned to the ground. It’s beat up, ugly and is an eye sore in my opinion in my back yard. I think it’s been here from the day the house was build, and the house is now 24 years old. We’ve been here 4 years this September. I had said lets get rid of it and put the coop in that area. Einstein being Einstein said, why can’t we incorporate the structure and the 4 poles that are cemented into the ground. Omg Einstein you’re so smart sometimes. So this is part of the coops structure.

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Currently it is almost 6′ wide and 7.5′ long. It doesn’t look that big I know!! I actually took a measuring tape and did my own measuring. Yup, it’s that big. We are leaving the coop 6′ wide but adding a few more posts and extend the length of the coop to 12 feet. Their finished run will be 12×12 all screened in. Einsteins frustration is rising and he wishes he would of torn it down and started from scratch at this point. Everything is out of line, wonky and it’s causing the process to be slower and extra work. As long as it’s done by the 19th we’re good to go.

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I don’t think Einstein has much faith in my chicken rearing capabilities. Yesterday he said to me “you don’t even know if this will work and you have a whole bunch of chickens ordered.”
Thankfully, I don’t listen to him. Ever. 😁 I’m nervous I’ll screw something up for sure, but I’m also determined for backyard chickens to be a success, so it will be!!

The good thing is this isn’t an overnight thought on a whim. I’ve been wanting chickens since we moved here. I just had to do all my research and make sure I was ready for the work load. It’s all coming together at the right time.

Today is Mothers Day. Happy Mothers Day !!! For all you moms out there I hope you spend the day your way, no matter what that entails. Personally, I don’t make a big deal out of it, it’s just another day over here. I will steal some time today to read my book, which has been a chore all week to even find the time to read one page and that’s about the extent of my Mother’s Day celebration.

Well, I have a lot to get accomplished today, so if I’m going to get to my book, I gotta get at it.

Wait! Blood glucose this morning 4.4mmol/L or 80mg/dL holy crap! Good job right?? What a relief because the stress of high sugar was stressing me out more lol.  Vicious circle.

The Crazy Train Stopped & Picked Me Up

Craziness aka My Week!

Life is definitely maxed out. I’m at full capacity right now and I only have time to write this while I drink a tea for breakfast. At this point in my week, I’m frustrated, overwhelmed and annoyed, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve been given an amazing opportunity with a supply of free paint to take on a DIY project and blog about the paints quality. Amazing right?! Right. I had a very short window to get this started and completed as being a small construction company, warmer weather consumes any spare time I may think I might of had. We also have backyard chickens arriving in 10 days and need to finish the coop.  Our property clean up is always a big deal in the spring with approx. 20 acres of trees surrounding us (of our 23 acres) you can not imagine the leaves around here and the clean up is a HUGE job.

In our home we have all been fighting this crazy cold and stomach flu for about a month. The weather only turned nice a few weekends ago giving me less of a window to get started on the DIY project. I need to be able to paint outdoors as I am the messiest painter their is. Trust me when I admit drop sheets definitely don’t give my home enough protection from me. I walk in paint and walk around and ruin floors, I spill paint and it always seems to be EVERYWHERE. I’m a hot mess when it comes to painting. You know how you see people accidentally pour trays of paint all over themselves and people win $10,000 on Americas funniest vides, well that is me (minus the $10,000 damn it!). Two left feet, and 3 right hands that all manage to get tangled. Anyways, being sick with this cold/flu, I just didn’t have the energy to take it on. That left this weekend as my final opportunity to tackle this DIY project until late fall.

Saturday is here and I’m still sick as can be but I was determined to get this project done this weekend. I had to do some quick errands and a quick visit with a friend, then I was heading home to prep for the DIY project. I wanted to respect the company’s generosity and do them proud and get this completed. As luck would have it, this weekend ended up being a total right off. Flyp, my 15 year old son had a medical emergency Saturday and ended in the ER getting his face and shoulder stitched, glued and taped back together.

I was visiting a friend on the outskirts of town while I did some errands in the area and he just bought a new home, I was only going to be 5 minutes as I got shown around and had a quick chat so I didn’t see a need to bring my phone in with me. You know how it is, 2 hours later I force myself out the door. Into my car and my stomach just sunk. There is nothing that can make my stomach sink deeper than looking at my phone and seeing 23 missed calls from Einstein and at least a dozen texts saying CALL ME NOW. By the time I called him back, Einstein tells me Flyp is in Surgery Room 1. What?? I screamed in the phone, what the fuck, what what what!!???!!!????

I make it to the hospital in record time and I’m horrified when I walk in the room. Flyp laying on a bed, doctor at his side but Flyp wouldn’t let them stitch him up until I got there. I felt like I was going to pass out as I saw my sons face ripped up and I must of looked like I was going to hit the dance floor because the doctor asked me if I needed to sit for a minute before we begun. I pull it together for Flyps sake and tell myself I can pass out and shed tears later so I respond to the doctor with ‘NOPE, LET’S GET’ER DONE.’

I rubbed Flyps arm and held his hand while I assured him he was fine and made small chat with the doctor while I watch his face get stitched, then glued and then surgical strips applied to the remainder of his face and shoulder. Btw, surgery room 1 is not surgery as I visioned or like I thought as I was breaking every speed limit on the way to the hospital, it’s where they stitch or cast up limbs etc. Not the face transplant I was envisioning.

So we finally get home and everyone is exhausted from the ordeal, especially Flyp. He apparently asked his Dad in the truck on the way to emerg if he was going to die. The loss of blood was apparently a lot. That alone brought tears to my eyes because the thought of how much fear he must of been experiencing just crumbles my heart.

It’s hard to have kids and allow them freedoms lol. We should be able to shrink wrap them until 18 and then mail them in a box to their college dorm. Ok, you made it to 18, I did my job. But as parents we know it’s never that easy. It’s even harder to love them so much you’d do anything to take their place when they are suffering but know that also isn’t an option. Powerless moms aren’t the happiest people on the planet, this I can vouch for.

Sunday arrives. Can I just tell you what fibromyalgia thinks of sudden extreme stress? Flyp was fine, swollen and in minimal pain but true to Flyps nature, nothing slows him down because he was back outside helping with the beginnings of the chicken coop. Kids are so resilient!! I spent my day staying mobile for fear of a complete body seize lol. I went for a walk with the dogs, cleaned the screened in room and got the summer exterior furniture set back up, made dinner, some laundry, but no DIY even being a consideration. Couldn’t not even find the mental capacity for this project on Sunday.

This cold I have is horrible. It’s been a few years since I’ve been this sick. This week has definitely been the worst of the cold and only today I just started to feel a bit more energetic. Phew. It’s been a very long haul and I feel extra behind in everything as I’ve been at low capacity most days. Now I need to play catch up which will consume my weekends and make for longer than normal days. Time is not on my side this time of year.

Regrettably, I will be returning the paint for my not-started DIY project.  My frustration level is a bit high over this, as I recognize and appreciate the value in the opportunity.  Time won’t open up until late fall for me.  Ugh!

I’ve been struggling with my blood glucose since Sunday. I mean struggling. Big numbers, for me. I haven’t done anything different other than have a bit of ice cream here and there because of this insistent sore throat and my food consumption has actually been less because I just haven’t felt good. I’m the first to be accountable for my errors and wrong doings, but I’m just confused as to the high sugar readings.

In comes Google. Apparently stress, lack of sleep and sickness all rise your blood glucose. See my chart of blood glucose?. Sunday the 3rd ⬆️⬆️⬆️ the day after Flyps accident. See today? ⬇️⬇️ Much better as things seem to be coming back into line again.
Stress = Flyp needing his face sewn up
Sickness = Hell yes
Lack of sleep = hacking, sickness and stress all contributing this week.

With this nasty cold I can’t even walk the stairs without crackling in my lungs, wheezing and hacking my head off. I have not been ‘physical’ since Saturday am. Yesterday I bunkered down, went for a walk regardless of the hacking that took place. Blood glucose yesterday morning up 2 points. 118mg/dL. I know it takes more than a day to get things in order so I just have to stay diligent.

Yesterday morning I made a point of eating regardless of how crappy I felt (2 hard boiled eggs) and had to take Flyp to our doctor to get his stitches removed and check up on the other gashes that are glued and taped. It’s amazing how well the face heals itself and how awesome it is to be young. I was so impressed when I saw how it looked. I think I felt about 5000lbs of weight was lifted off my shoulders within seconds. The surgeon really did some amazing work stitching him up and he’ll barely have scars visible from what was huge gapping gashes. Anticipation of the ‘reveal’ I’m sure was an underlying stress contributor. After our appointment, we went out for lunch and I ate a Greek salad with fish on the side. Pork tenderloin and salad for dinner. No fruit yesterday.

I also got my ultra sound results yesterday at the doctor. No gall stones left in there. Everything in that area is happier now and my doctor said I likely had a gallbladder attack and/or passed small stones during my episodes with juicing. What the ultra sound also revealed is that I have fat in my liver and pancreas. Omg!! Like seriously, when is this going to end. Anyways, I’m remembering my accountability and I’m on it. (With the amazing help and support of my acupuncture/chinese medicine dude. I stopped to see him on my way home of course all in a tizzy).

I slept a bit better last night, feel like the cold is slowly but surely exiting my body and I have a tiny bit of energy. I’ve added vitamin D to my daily intake (via wild organic portobello mushrooms in a capsule). Also Chromium is now added to my daily intake with vitamin B100 complex. All to help with blood glucose, carbs, proteins etc along with other benefits of course. I also have some powder stuff to put in a tea from my acupuncturist .., DISGUSTING. I have to figure out how I can make this tea tolerable because I feel like I’m drinking a mixture of beard bacteria and toe jam. Yes, it is that yummy.

This morning my blood glucose was back down to 5.1mmol/L or 92mg/dL and I’m very pleased. It’s been a long week and I’ve learned a lot. I learned that our blood glucose isn’t only affected by what we consume in our meals, it is also affected by environmental, emotional and physical factors. I’ve also learned that getting my adventurous teenager alive into adult hood is a much bigger challenge than I ever expected.  Who would of known…

As the crazy trains whistle blows, I hope the next stop is mine to get off!😉

The Diabetic Food Pyramid

Low Carb RN (CDE)

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This food pyramid has caused an epidemic of illness, obesity and type 2 diabetes, yet strangely enough, it is still the diet being promoted for those people afflicted with these conditions.

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This is food pyramid* promotes wellness and reverses disease.

Every day in my profession as a diabetes educator, I hear the phrase, “it’s all about moderation.”  Strangely enough, those words are only spoken when referring to foods that are garbage, as if to give oneself “permission” to eat them.  In fact, the term “moderation” has no meaning at all, as it is defined only by the one using it.  One person may feel that moderation is 2 cookies, another may feel that moderation is 6.  Who is right?  Neither!  It’s not all about “moderation” or “portion control.”  It is about removing foods that are making us obese and sick, foods that are processed, and have no nutritional value.  It…

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