Archive for chickens

Lost my compass. Anyone seen it?

Posted in geese and guineas, insomnia, job stuff, life, random, this-n-that, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by bosquechica

Drat.

My brain’s gone walkabout again.

Don’t know where, exactly. When I look inside my own head, I see mostly fog.

Maybe it’s the new year making me fuzzy (August is my new year).

The chickens, geese and keets seem more important than writing.

I can’t seem to get enough sleep.

 

Maybe it’s the weather.

 

Maybe it’s my disorganized office.

Maybe it’s my hormones.

 Maybe it’s astrological.

 

Maybe it’s nothing at all.

I’ll be back when I’ve got something to say. Or when my office is clean.

Whichever comes first.

 

(Cross-posted from Cuentos – at Laurie’s suggestion.)

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Uh-oh, it’s July already

Posted in bird talk, chickens, family, farm, geese and guineas, home, life, nice things, this-n-that with tags , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2008 by bosquechica

Well, the chicks, guinea keets and goslings are all peep-peeping in their new coops. The grown geese and ganders are standing guard. All is secured. The goslings grow inches overnight. They are two weeks old — the guinea keets and the chicks were just hatched Tuesday. About the size of a golf ball right now. 

I’ve made a commitment to blog every day in July. Maybe twice today will catch me up?

The topic on nablopomo (huh?) dang – let me get back to you on that, with link – anyway, for the month of July, is food.

 

who eats who

I can write about food. No problema, chicos y chicas. I can write about food chains, about predators, about bechemel, making a proper roux, about grilling fish, about what chickens eat. Ah — a starting point!

Today: food for hatchling chicks

Ingredients:
Starter scratch
Water

Preparation:
You’ll need tiny little watering jars, usually a standard mason jar with a lid that has a specially designed lip to provide water for the peeps. Fill the jar with water and turn it over. chick watererIt must be teeny-tiny or new-hatched chicks will fall in and drown. Do not assume instinct will inform them. It does not.

Notice:
Keep hatchlings separate from your other birds. They need more heat and protection. They are easily stomped to death, and are prone to die with very little provocation in those first few days.

Next:
You will also need little feeding dishes, also made with mason jars and chick designed lids. You can buy these at your neighborhood feed store. They will also sell you incubator lights and guide books on how to raise chicklets. Now, if you live in a city, don’t assume that you can’t have chickens. In most cities, hens are fine, but roosters are not. You can order your chicks sexed (funny job, that), online or through your feedstore, and even hens who do not have roosters will lay eggs every spring. They will also eat bugs and provide manure that can be used in your garden (another topic for another day).

Pics of chicks as things evolve.

I’ve got a new job and a bunch of other stuff too, but for now, think about baby birds. Peep-peep!

Goslings from the cacklehatchery.com gallery!

 

 

Everything is in the driveway, and then it starts to rain

Posted in family, goose talk, home, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by bosquechica

……. and rain, and rain.

On Tuesday, as the wind is whipping up but before the rain begins, Mrs. Bosquechica spends hours climbing around on the roof in the heat (93F/33.88C), setting up the swamp cooler. I am on the ground, handing up wrenches and wire brushes and hoses. The carpenters are work demons – the first dumpster is filled, hauled off and a second dumpster is delivered. The afternoon heat rises, the winds are gusting, but the rain has not yet started. We brilliantly decide this would be a good time to clean out the pump house, which acts as household storage. We pull everything out and put it in the driveway.

Over the course of the next two days, the temperature drops 25 degrees. The wind howls. The driveway is full of half sorted storage, there are vacuum cleaners and fans scattered on the lawn, next to a partially cleaned woodstove that has been sitting in the barn for 20 years or so. The winds are up to 45 mph as the rain begins. The rain turns to hail. The ancient cottonwoods wave their arms and threaten to come down on our heads as we run around in the weather gathering armloads of soggy guilt. The dogs circle us in muddy galumphing joy, helping out by biting each other in the head and running in and out of the house with their big wet dirty feet.

Around that time, the toilet in the main bathroom breaks. The rain continues to come down, the wind is still blowing madly. Lightning strikes. My old laptop takes a hit during the storm, the OS is fried and it is now past time to buy a new one.

The carpenter is making sucking, picklish faces that make me wonder about his sciatic nerve and his prostate, both. His helper is soaked through but having the greatest time rummaging through our giveaway pile, presents for his wife. A lighted misting bowl on a copper pedestal stand! An arm bicycle! A black lacquered TV stand from the 1990s! A terrarium! A doghouse! A pump that almost works!

On Thursday morning, we call a plumber and a house cleaning service, and spend the day rummaging through the wet heaps still lining the driveway. By Thursday evening, the missus and I are so exhausted we can barely move. We sensibly take ourselves out to dinner, where we suddenly break down in a humiliating squabble over a shared hamburger. We sound like the geese attacking a UPS guy — honking honk HONK HONK or maybe even more like the guinea hen who makes a rusty crackling nervous KAH-KAH-KAH sound, very resentful and critical. All because the momentum created by even starting this project must mean we are insane. We collapse in the bed, face down and drooling, the instant we get home from the restaurant, and fall into a deep sleep.

Around 2 a.m., the cat shrieks suddenly at a skunk sneaking by outside the bedroom window. The skunk reacts, the window fan pulls in the fumes, the bedroom reeks. We put pillows on our heads and go back to sleep.

On Friday, the plumber replaces the toilet without drama – thank you, kind plumber! The housecleaner walks through the house, raises her eyebrows and her phone estimate by 25%. She quickly leaves in her enormous shiny expensive new truck with the huge monthly payments and does not look back. The carpenter’s helper tells me his wife loves her new arm bicycle. I get in my 17-year-old Toyota and go to various banks moving money around to pay for the first week of coop building. Kah-kah-KAH!

These are the most beautiful goose coops ever. And no, they are not done yet!

Chickens with singers’ names

Posted in job stuff, life, names, random, this-n-that, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , on March 11, 2008 by bosquechica
clearly you should buy these products

  Today someone found Trees for the Forest by searching “chickens with singers’ names”. I love that. I wish I had a chicken named Aretha Franklin or maybe Lori Anderson or Bono. I replicated the search (not having anything else to do, apparently) and was surprised to find Moonbeam McQueen at the top of the list. Small world, isn’t it?

I’ll be getting back to work here at Trees. So many things to say. Marriage, family, animals, springtime, woeful feelings, career indecision, poetry, politics, my ongoing discussion with myself about what I want to be when I grow up and I wish it was a beachcomber, like it always says on the Chinese astrology placemats. But enough about me. My main point is I’m trying to come out from under the bed and join in again.

Year so far plus trashy anecdote

Posted in family, personal history, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 7, 2008 by bosquechica

So far this year – that’s 6 days right? — I’ve been crazy overbooked, had a couple of nice hikes with the dogs, hosted a party for political bloggers and another for folk singers, stopped sleeping altogether, gone to urgent care with wheezing and bronchitis, alienated the staff at the rehab center where my mom is trying to recover from her stroke by asking stressy half-baked questions, looked at rentals for my brother to move here when my mom does and posted I don’t know three-four things on blogs 1 and 2.

Blogging personal history reminds me of this diary I kept when I was 12, where I made up things like “I want to be a skydiver” so that my creepy mom and brothers could find it, expose themselves as icky and intrusive, and I would feel justified in being mad and nasty to them.

It was a white leatherette diary, embossed with the words “My Diary” in gold print, with a little gold key that I hid in a small red silk chinese box in my closet. I got it the same year my g-mom gave me her favorite book of etiquette for young heathens — “White Gloves and Party Manners” — in a pointed commentary on my unladylike tendencies. She also sent me to dance classes and took me to museums in an effort to build my poise and public confidence.

Our neighbors gave us a flock of chickens that summer. We kept them hidden in the workshop behind the garage, where my dad (not a chicken fan) was unlikely to look. The workshop filled up with chicken shit and feathers. Behind the workshop was a little private office where my brother hung out, smoking joints with his buddies and making out with his girlfriend. Somehow, I got a chicken leg with a tendon dangling loose at the knee ( I suppose), and chased the other girls on my block with it, yanking the exposed tendon, making it contract into a little chicken-claw fist. Clutch and release. Eventually my dad noticed the smoke and the cackling out back, and then we were all in big trouble.

All of which is to say that the book was probably well intentioned and desperately needed. And no, I never wrote a thank you note for it.