Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Telescope Head, Bullseye, and Flower

The kids have named three of the chickens.

Our oldest rooster, a Buff Orpington, Jonathan has named Bullseye. Ghon had both kids with him Tuesday while I was at work, and after the lucky ducks slept in and had breakfast, they headed to the farm.

Ghon finished installing the gate to the chicken run. We were given some dog kennels, so he used a panel with a swing door as the gate to the run. After installing it, Ghon dismantled the smaller enclosures the chickens were using as their run. Once done, the 5 remaining adult chickens, four hens and the rooster Bullseye, were set loose in their new run. They had plenty of grass, clover, turnips and other greenery to chow down on. All that vegetation gave them some yummy bugs as well. Apparently, the rooster was running pretty fast, so Jonathan named him Bullseye after the horse in Toy Story 2.

This past Sunday night, the kids named two of the chicks. It looks like we have one, maybe two roosters. The largest chick is a rooster, and Jonathan has named him Telescope Head. He had some other random name for him, but as we left the farm, he spotted his telescope on the front porch and changed the rooster's name.

Genevieve named a chick Flower. Surprisingly, she has remembered the name, but still hasn't quite figured out which one is Flower. She just points at all of them and says "that one." She loves watching the chicks. When I came home from work Tuesday, I met them at the farm for dinner. Before we left, she helped me feed the chicks and sat in the coop watching them - and trying to pet them.

The brown one looking at us on the left - that's Telescope Head. Pick a chick, that's Flower.
The gold guy on the right, he's Bullseye.

The coop door has been in place for six nights now - and we have no chicken loss. I am almost ready to call it a complete success. Kinda wish we'd taken the advice of our friends the Kropps about a year ago.

Once I had dinner started, Jonathan took me for a ride on the tractor. He knows how to start it up, put it in gear, and go... Genevieve and I rode in the trailer while Jonathan drove us out the orchard and made a few laps before bringing us back to the side yard. He did a really good job driving - and he's not even five yet! He is so proud of himself every time he drives it.

After dinner, Ghon set a leg trap in the garden. Jonathan and I watched and learned about how to set the trap (we even helped), how and why to cover it with dirt - not mud, and why it's important to hide the trap in a funnel. I demonstrated how a trap works with my hands - grabbing Jonathan's hand over and over. I want him to understand how important it is to pay attention to where you walk - and how dangerous the traps are. Jonathan acted pretty excited with the prospect of catching more raccoons and other creatures. Between that and his obsession with shooting a bow and arrow, I don't think Daddy will have a hard time turning him into a hunter.

Wednesday I headed to the farm to meet the propane company. I had them remove one of three propane tanks. This tank feed into the dryer and the stove. The plan is to move from having three tanks to one large tank in the future, and removing this tank allows us to demo the mud/laundry room whenever we decide we are ready!

Rolling the tank out. Goodbye propane tank!

After the propane company finished up, one of the guys asked me if I was Ghon's daughter or daughter in law. I hesitated a second, then responded daughter in law. Both of the guys knew Ghon's father, and that the house was his. Small world...


  1. The auto door motor works well. Just keep an eye on it. We have had a glitch or two (mostly when the computer is acting up, but we did have the cord break once), but it's been darned reliable. Glad your chickens are safer now. Nothing more frustrating than having them killed off regularly, I bet. I've only had a hawk take one, and I was pretty upset at that one!

    1. I think Ghon picked up a slightly different model, but the same concept. He has it set with a regular indoor timer, so it comes up around 7am and down around 8pm. Will have to change that as it gets darker earlier. I visited them yesterday and it hadn't opened. Sent Ghon down to make sure it closed properly and he thinks the timer somehow was turned off or messed with. Probably him showing Jonathan how it worked...
      We've also had no hits on the trap. Also saw two dead 'coons the day before we got our last one. Hopefully, we've thinned the population a bit. It is pretty sad to lose them. We had so many at the beginning of the year, it was hard to really tell we were getting hit.