Friday, April 6, 2012

Chick Update for Mamita and the sound of Freedom

This is an update on the great chicken empire and is for Mamita who so graciously mentioned the blog on the HT (homesteading today) web site. Something tells me she would get on great with Holly and Judy because her posts are always so upbeat and supportive of everyone..just the kind of person I enjoy being around.

We have been busy enjoying this fantastic spring and have in the last week mainly concentrated on landscaping. We had a great yard to start but it was plain and ill defined like many old farm houses and we suspect that most farmers were just too busy farming to worry about making the old farmhouse look nice with foundation plantings etc. We will post an update on what we have been up to soon in that regard. But I do want to take a moment to try and illustrate what its like in our small town.

We have a small mom and pop grocery that is barely making it and is in an old false front building of about 2200 square feet (not including the small attached warehouse). In that small store that we try and support you can find some basic staples, meat once in a while (we get our bacon there and my favorite...livercheese!), some feed from a local feed mill, you can buy your hunting and fishing licenses, get a sandwhich or icecream both made while you wait, and of course there is a dog that sleeps on the front stoop and there are various benches and a small table to sit and have coffee or a pop with the owner. Of particular note that I find just too cool is that there is a shelf or two of libray books in the store where you can check out a book or two if you have a library mobiles are still very evident and active here...anyone else remember those? This community will have lost something special when it goes away and that makes me sad. Across the street is a small feed store that we frequent and again, you can get a pop and there are chairs for folks to sit and pass a little time talking...something that happens all the time and if you just want to dash in and grab something without chatting a bit and seeing how eveyone is your just ...rude...and missing something special. Its not uncommon to have tractors, 4 wheelers, pickups, and even a golf cart or two pulled up in front. We have a body shop, a hair do place, the senior center (its our polling place and we vote there and since we know all the election officials...I suspect we would get a phone call to see if we were all right if we didnt show up and vote), a very small post office next to the feed store that is a friendly...gotta take a bit of time and chat sort of place (and not slated for closure yet), two churches, a tire repair and general work on what ya got sort of place in an old former gas station (think 1940s) where they do everything from tire repair to welding and lots of old timers like to hang out there, an excavating company, a competent auto repair place, a stop and go gas station and quickie mart sort of deal where you can get some Hunt Brothers Pizza, some fried catfish and other delights, a soda fountain drink and of course your lottery tickets, and in addition we have an elementary school that the whole community supports even if they dont have kids in school, we have a great headstart program, some storage units, and a small fairgrounds owned by the Lions Club that has a horse arena, barns for the 4-H, a cook shack and a clubhouse, and small picknic area...we have our tractor pulls there along with the horse shows, fire works etc. Up by our main fire station we have a nice little restaurant where you can eat pretty well for about 3 or 4 bucks and a small engine repair place that seems to do a good bit of business. In the general area, we have a very nice chocolate making place (Uncle Joe's), an Ozark gift store and nursery (we get mochas there each week), a small wood moulding factory with a breakfast and lunch/bakery with a small dinning room operated by the owners wife that is pretty good, several stables that offer riding lessons, many beef and dairy farms, a U-Pick blue berry farm (2 of them), and you can buy farm fresh eggs from abour 10 different places with prices ranging from $1.25 a doz to $1.75 a dozen.  If you want alcohol have to drive about 20 miles and we like it that way.  If you cant tell we like our little town

I notice that lots of folks mention in various venues how they like thier privacy and are hostile to unexpected visitors, solicitors, evangelicals etc and I guess that even though we like our privacy too, we enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere here. Its not uncommon to have people drop by for coffee or to chat, we have met some interesting people who have stopped and asked about our gardens or other things on the farm....and heck, we wont even be rude to salesmen or women or folks trying to get us to join their religion...might even offer them a cold drink.

Well Mamita and everyone, we have been very fortunate with our chicks because they all seem healthy and happy. They are down in our basement for the time being and though I can hear them chirping once in a while they dont make much noise (it also helps that I am deafer than a door nail) and its been fun seeing them grow. Holly checks on them several times a day and I get a chuckle listening to her walk down the stairs and talk to them in the morning. They do seem to respond to her which is...kind of ..cute if I may use that term. The chicks now can fly a bit and as you can see in thos picture are starting to roost.

We now have two of these guys with the bigger comb and it looks like the 10 pullets and 1 cockeral we bought turned out to be 9 pullets and 2 cockerals. So we have 2 roosters in the making and the smart thing to do would be to cull one know...I cant do it and neither can Holly or Judy so unless one of you wants to come visit and do the dirty deed we will likely have to live with 2 roosters. I may feel different when they are crowing at 0400 but for now they are safe.

The little plastic feeders and waterers were okay to start but we ended up going to the local MFA and getting these metal feeders and waterers. They cant roost on these and they are more suited to our little farm.

They are really a hoot and I admit I enjoy watching them. They are starting to develop their own unique personalities so who knows what will happen next. Holly had one chicken when I met her (Specks) but other than that neither of us has any experience with chickens and this is just another adventure for us.
We have mentioned before that we are in a training flyway for Whiteman AFB in Missouri (up by Kansas City) and we have seen A-10 tank busters flying over several times and they do fly low so we wave and generally act like the patriotic fools we are. But yesterday....we had 12...twelve...yes thats two nore than ten...C-130s fly low and slow over our farm a couple times and it was so cool. We can only surmise that these crews will soon be supporting combat or contingency operations somewhere around the globe and we fully support these men and women. I know personally I have flown on C-130s on several continents and I sure appreciate what these airframes and their crews did for us ground pounders.
We have 2 sons currently serving in the Air Guard and we sure enjoy this infrequent but very vivid reminder that there are those that are risking all to watch over us.

So there you have it, Mamita, I hope the chicken post wasnt a disappointment. We look forward to getting them into the coop and we have plans to extend the outside pen. Tomorrow we have the chain link fence contractor giving us a bid for the front yard (gotta keep those free range chickens contained you know), I have fire department training, and we have more planting to do. Just another day at the farm!  

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