The forming blossom of the lace cap hydrangea.
We spent today in domestic chores. First off, we had to go to Monticello to visit the Tractor supply to get chick starter feed. When we went out this morning to see how the hatch was coming along, we found four chicks and no activity visible going on with the other seven eggs. Last night when we shut the hen house up we looked under Darla again and there were still just the two chicks but one egg was being pecked from the inside, the process wherein the baby uses its egg tooth to make first a small round opening in the top of the egg and then to go from there to breaking the entire shell open enough for it to step out into the world of mama and fresh air and siblings.
It is a long process and one that many of us want to help along, especially if we are watching the process take place in an incubator but that does the chick no favors. The whole of it is important to the chick's development and if a chick isn't strong enough to peck her way out, she probably won't be strong enough to survive.
That's just the way it is.
But here's what Darla and three of the babies looked like this morning when we ambushed her from behind the nest and Mr. Moon held out her wing so that I could get a good picture.
I fretted about what to do while I made breakfast and we decided that we should clean up the little tractor-coop where other babies have been raised and I now recall that Dearie spent some time in there with her young'uns.
First we went and bought the starter feed and when we got back Mr. Moon hauled the little coop out of the big coop and washed and scrubbed it down with bleach water and I raked the ground under where it had been sitting to clean up the old poop. We tugged and rolled and lifted the now pristine coop back to where it sits and I filled up the feeder and the waterer and added the vitamins and electrolytes and probiotics that I'd bought at the tractor supply, all combined in an orange powder that you mix into their water. I always wonder if it tastes like Tang. And then I carried Darla and Mr. Moon carried the babies to their new home. I was getting a little frantic by then because I knew those chicks needed to eat and so did Darla and indeed, she'd been on the perch by the nest trying to coax them out of the nest so she knew that too.
Here they are, the precious little things.
I also gathered up the unhatched eggs and brought them to the little coop and set them in some hay so that Darla can continue to sit on them if she wants.
And she does seem to want to do that.
I'll give her another day and then out those eggs go. Trust me- she'll barely notice.
It's funny. I don't quite feel the faith in her as a mother as I did with Dearie. She doesn't seem as focused and grounded about it all as Dearie did. For one thing, when Darla was scratching in the dirt she didn't even notice that one of her babies was right there and back-kicked her into a tumble as she scratched.
Luckily, baby chickens are incredibly sturdy.
So that little project took up about half the day and I spent some of the rest of it dealing with things in the garden, pulling up the collards and kale which the bugs have attacked fiercely and giving some to the goats next door and then weeding that part of the garden. I also did laundry, hung it on the line. I'd do a chore outside and then come back in to drink water and cool back down. I cleaned up the hen house and discarded the shells that the chicks had broken free of and hauled the poopy hay to the garden.
Same old, same old, same old.
Meanwhile, Mr. Moon moved the dryer to the new laundry room and spent a lot of time dealing with electricity for the hook-up and at one point I thought we weren't going to have air conditioning tonight which I tried to take in stride but when he did get that figured out, I cheered. He's going to have to get some other parts or wires or something very mysterious to me in town tomorrow to successfully get the machine working but that's okay with me. Since the weather forecast seems to hold no rain in it for the next week or so at least, I imagine that a clothes dryer is not going to be of utmost importance.
I got bit by two damn yellow flies today. I did manage to kill one of the fuckers.
Jessie and Vergil are safely home with their boys. I haven't talked with Jessie but in a text she mentioned something about it all being very buggy and snaky. Glen talked to Vergil who said that quite possibly camping trips in Florida are best taken in the fall.
Bless that North Carolina boy's heart! I know he's looking forward to getting back to the mountain where he grew up for a few months. They'll be leaving at the end of June, I think.
It hasn't been a terrible Sunday but it hasn't been glorious, either. At least I got a few things done. I'm going to cook some grouper tonight- holy fish that it is- and I have a wild pig ham sitting in a sort of Yucatan marinade made with mojo criollo, orange and lime juice, achiote, tons of garlic and sliced red onions. I'm going to do something with that tomorrow although I am not sure what. Heat will be involved though, in one form or another. It's interesting having a husband who fishes and hunts and knows people who hunt and fish. Throw in stuff from the garden and it's never boring. I have no experience whatsoever cooking wild pig but I am interested in learning.
As usual, I have no real tidy ending for this. I wish I did but I just don't.
Oh well, endings are probably highly overrated.
Unless they are something like the ending of Donald Trump's presidency in which case they would be marvelous and the very definition of a happy ending. Or at least a huge relief.
And on that note, I wish you good sleep tonight so that your loins can be sufficiently girded tomorrow morning to start another week.
Those littles are sweet to look at. They certainly have the stink eye for Mr. Moon, who is going to such great lengths for them.ReplyDelete
If there's anything cuter than little chick heads popping out of Mama's feathers I do not know what it is.Delete
So adorable -- those little chicks, but it sounds like so much work. There was a time when I considered chickens with young Oliver, but I'm sort of relieved that I don't have them now. I'm not much of a country girl, I guess. Amen to the last paragraph, though. You know what I mean!ReplyDelete
They ARE a lot of work, Elizabeth. And right now? I'm not thrilled about that. But...what are you going to do?Delete
oh baby chicks and baby cats. I'm ready for my sister to come back because these kittens are getting too attached to me and I'm NOT the mama. It'll be another week though. bad timing. that's a great picture of the little chicks though. and yeah, life drudges on, same tasks every day, every week.ReplyDelete
Every day. Every day. Which is somewhat comforting and can also be the reason we need to take vacations.Delete
The grandchildren will love to see your new chicks. Perhaps they can give them names.ReplyDelete
Yes! Owen and Gibson have certainly named their share of chicks.Delete
Oh, well, I take back what I said on your subsequent post about Darla being a good mom. LOL! It seems like she wants it so badly she'd be really good at it, but I guess the two do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.ReplyDelete
I LOVE that picture of the chicks under Darla's wing. So adorable.
Camping in Florida is always a dicey proposition, but come to think of it, I think I've usually camped in the fall.
She's being an okay mother with one major exception which I'll post about tonight.Delete
Camping in Florida in summer can be hell. One of my worst memories is of that very scenario.
New chicks! I remember Owen naming one group years ago. Now it's August's turn.ReplyDelete
And my nephew and niece used to name them too! It's a tradition.Delete