Tag Archives: new hampshrie

Lesson 398 – It doesn’t mean a thing

This past weekend we went to the Hillsborough County Agricultural fair. This is the second year we’ve gone and even though a small contingency of us had to leave early (it’s the fall, travel soccer calls) we were still able to see quite a bit from New Hampshire’s agricultural community.

I let Addy have my camera to take photos. Make sure you take photos of the chickens I said.

Well she did take some chicken photos. She took this one:

And this one:

And this one:

Good job Addy. But when I was looking through her photos this morning, I also saw that she took this photo: Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Chick Photos, Chicks, New Hampshire, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids

Lesson 392 – and then there were none

Well, we can’t escape it.

This week is “going back to school week” for the entire flock. Griffin left on Tuesday, our other college student Spencer leaves tomorrow and the rest of the kids went back to school today. It’s the first day of public school.

Here is a photo of Addy and Logan happy to start off the new school year. Addy is in 8th grade and Logan is starting as a freshman in high school. Addy got braces this summer and apparently wants everyone to know. Logan is just happy to be back in his very cool under amour a hoodie.

Logan was in a bit of a bad mood earlier this morning. When I asked him why, he said that it was because he had to wake up early. Continue reading

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Lesson 391 – our annual practice-day-before-first-day-of-school party

I know, I know, I’ll be getting back to the chickens tomorrow. It’s just that having a flock also means being in a flock.

And that’s what today’s post is about. Today is our annual “practice-day-before-the-first-day-of-school” party.

Each year, on the day before the first day of school, we set our alarm for 5:45 and at the stroke of 6:00am, Marc and I pound pots and pans with wooden spoons in order to wake up the kids. I usually belt out that song “Ri-ize and shi-ine and give God the glory, glory” not because I’m religious or anything, but because it’s one of only two songs I remember from Girl Scout camp (the other being about having a smile in your pocket which doesn’t have enough “umph” to it IMHO for waking up a bunch of sleepy kids.)

This year, because Marc is still at RIT with Griffin, I had to do all the pot pounding. (and may I recommend it as a great stress reliever?- although I did break the wooden spoon this time, um, did I mention it was a good stress reliever?)

This sure ain't your mama's wooden spoon

Once all the kids got up, they tumbled downstairs where one was assigned to the bacon and one to the pancakes. One child went out to the henhouse for eggs and another scrambled them on the stove while the last child set the table and poured the orange juice.

I drank a cup of coffee (what? there are *some* benefits to having a large flock, you know.)

Friends of ours who have been coming to this party now for several years brought fruit salad and champagne grapes (if you haven’t tried them, you must, they burst like tiny bubbles in your mouth.)

Although cool, the weather was nice enough for us all to sit outside where we talked about the upcoming school year, what to expect, teachers that we’ve liked, and one in particular to avoid at all costs (seriously not kidding here.)  At the end of the party, each child got new pens, a notebook, and some colorful napkins to pack in their lunch bags.

It’s an annual celebration of hope for the upcoming school year but it’s also a communion of closure. Summer has passed, another school year begins in 3, 2, ….

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Lesson 390 – One little chick flew the coop today

Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to hold on to things (and yeah, I can hear the sarcastic “Oh really?” all the way from here.)

Many, many years ago, my son Griffin got interested in calligraphy. That year’s Christmas he got a calligraphy set and in the evening when I went to bed I found this note on my pillow.

I kept it. (did you really think there was even a remote chance I would not?)

This morning, after days of packing, writing lists, re-checking the lists, verifying the lists (are you sure you packed it?) my son left to begin his freshman year at RIT. Other than for school trips and a short stay with an Aunt, he has never been away from home. Continue reading

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Lesson 389 – Surviving Hurricane Irene with the flock

I know that a lot of you were worried about us during the hurricane Irene that came up the east coast this past weekend. To be perfectly honest, I was also worried. When you have 6 kids (and 40 chickens and 3 dogs and 1 rabbit) you learn to take storm warnings very seriously.

Before the storm came we stocked up on food for the animals, water, and this most amazing brand of Kettle corn. And then we hunkered down for the winds, bring it on Mother Nature.

Our entire flock retreated to safer places, the chickens to the roost, the rabbit to the shed, and the kids and the dog to the PlayStation room.

First the heavy rains came. The holes dug by our chickens for dust baths quickly filled up.

Then the rain started to collect and was threatening to go over our house’s foundation (that’s a cinder block that’s fully submerged there near the side of the house – and yeah, we have cinder blocks by the side of our house.) Continue reading

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Lesson 386 – a bird of a different feather

It probably comes as no surprise that I find chickens to be beautiful. Like snowflakes, each one is just slightly different enough from the others to make it an individual within the flock. (even our twins Simon and Garfunkel are distinguishable from each other – Simon has an extra little toe and Garfunkel’s top hat lies a little flatter than Simon’s.)

Just take a look at the gorgeous patterns on the backs of some of our juveniles. Now remember that all of these guys have the same father (Rocky Road) but you can definitely tell that they have different moms.

First we have this white slightly speckled one.

Here is another white feathered chick, check out the design on this one. The white chicks are the largest of our juveniles and one guess is that their mom is probably one of the ISAs (a type of chicken that is bred for hardy egg production.) Continue reading

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Lesson 385 – Our rabbit is a chicken

Our rabbit is a chicken.

No really. Vivian’s cage is kept in the dog pen area (the better to keep her safe from neighborhood predators) and so she has a first hand view of the chickens when we “take them out to pasture” (which is fancy talk for letting them roam in what is now considered the wastelands (literally) of the pen.) When the girls do not have Vivian out playing in the rabbit yard play-pen (which also doubles as a baby chick playpen these days), the rabbit is attentively watching the chicken activity from the safety of her perched cage.

Hey watching chickens beats whats on the Disney channel any day.

Trevor was out with the chickens yesterday and asked what would happen if we let the rabbit loose with the birds? Continue reading

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Lesson 384 – oh my, how you’ve grown

In the “my, how the little ones have grown department” I’m going to show you before and after photos of one of our “newborn” chicks.

This one is clearly the largest of the batch and although I’m not 100% sure, I have suspicions that she is really a rooster just waiting to break out in song. Not only is she large in size but she has humungous, dark yellow feet and while one of my sisters also has very large feet, in a chicken, this is usually not a good sign with regard to hen-domness.

Here is she at just a few weeks old when we let them play in the pen for a bit. By the way, we do have grass in our yard but the chickens have stripped the pen clean of any type of vegetative growth. It’s amazing to think that before we had chickens, we used to have to mow inside the dog pen. Continue reading

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Lesson 381 – Members of our photogenic flock

Recently a friend of mine, Em (the very same one who gave me the Geeky gal chicken) came to visit so that she could take some photos of our chickens. She spent about an hour communing with the birds out back and ended up taking some amazing shots of our girls.

Photo Credit: Emily Bersin

This is Jerry – yeah I know, she’s a girl with a boy’s name but she was also part of a pair named (of course) Tom and Jerry. Tom turned out to be a rooster who got re-farmed (Sunday Dinner) leaving us with this our lone Light Brahma.

Jerry wears the most amazing black feathered cloak that is truly worthy of any Harry Potter story. She’s a cautious but gentle bird who prefers to situate herself neither in the front nor in the back of the flock but instead right in the middle where she can scratch and reflectively peck with no one bothering her. Continue reading

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Lesson 379 – Chickens in the rain

We have a good old fashioned summer rainy day in New Hampshire. It’s the perfect day to send the kids to the laundr0mat with all the dogs’ bedding and for putting children in bathing suits to play outside. This afternoon I’ll be making a large pot of chili and after that I’m looking forward to starting a new book.

I love rainy days, they give you a chance to sit back and exhale. There’s nothing that can be done about the lawn today, can’t really scrub any floors because they won’t dry, so you might as well kick back and do some organizing and play a board game or two.

Chickens, however, are not so keen on rainy days. It disrupts their daily rhythm, they can’t quite get a handle on whether they are supposed to be in or out.

Although it sounds like the beginning of a good joke: Here is the answer to “What does a chicken do in the rain?” Continue reading

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