Sunday, May 18, 2008
This is my one night off this week, and as per usual, I'm using it to relax and prepare my body for a 48 hour marathon at work. I do this every other week and the older I get, the harder it is to recover from it. Needless to say, Jim and I are pushing hard for an independent life through his new business and my desire to homestead.
As I look out the window I am enjoying this moonlit scene. The sparkling water is our pond. You can just make out the spruce and pine trees that make up our windbreak if you look at the center. And if you listen closely you can hear the sound of the wind blowing through the pine trees. My grandma enjoyed this sound too and it's one of the reasons I've chosen to name the Twelve Acres "Whispering Pines Farm". This is one of those nights when I'll wait till 2 a.m. when everyone else is deep asleep and wrap up in a quilt, go outside, and listen to the night while breathing in that sweet country air. Pure heaven!
We have a pair of Barn Swallows nesting in the security light above the east end of the house. They are welcome to raise a family of voracious, insect-eating youngsters. In fact, they can raise two broods as far as I'm concerned! It's a welcome sound to hear their alarm call when anything gets too close to the nest. It's funny to watch them dive-bomb the cats too! They chose a good location for their nest; it is the lowest foot traffic area on the property.
The chicks are fast asleep in their little coop. Derek and I spent time checking leg bands tonight, replacing any outgrown cable ties with permanent, 3/4" leg bands. The Australorp pullets are large enough to keep their leg bands on and Sweet Pea (Barred Rock) is just barely large enough. Little Betty will have to wait a bit longer--she's my smallest bird and the band slips right off her foot still. The next time I get chicks, I'm going to order some smaller leg bands to fit the awkward teenager phase so I don't have to use cable ties again. Roo, the Barred Rock rooster, is sporting his bright red leg band on his very large left shank. I hope his shanks don't get much larger or I'll have to either buy a goose sized band for him or let him go without one altogether. It'll be easy to tell him apart from the other chickens, so if I have to, I'll opt for plan B. He's a really large bird and I'd guess his weight at over a pound at 6 weeks old. Now that's a rooster! He's a sweet boy too, and doesn't harass the pullets like the Australorp roosters. I have to give Derek credit for working with Roo and taming him down. Roo owes his life to Derek. He was slated for butchering up until two weeks ago! But now, he's a sweet boy with a good temperament, so he gets to stay with Betty and Sweet Pea. Lucky Roo!