Despite having a condo, the chicks are growing apace and getting messier and messier!
They are at a very gawky stage at three weeks old. Their wings are well developed, but their back and neck feathers are coming in slowly.
This little gal is taking in the world from the edge of their house. Note : bum out. Where does the poo go you may wonder? Yup. On the floor. And dust. Oh, my, the dust. All over the house. Serious Spring Cleaning time after they move out!!
Ours has never been a shoes off house, but not it is for sure shoes on, if you intend to visit the chicks!
So! The last few days have seen Matthew and Enrico working hard to create a safe outside place for them.
The hay area in the barn was selected for ease to predator proof, rather than to restrain the gals. I wish I could keep the sparrows out too, but they seem to be able to get through the tiniest gaps to eat chicken food!
We will be able to rig up a light out there, and will move them in their cardboard condo. The plan ultimately is for them to move into the wooden crate that brought our circular stair from Italy years ago! A good re-purpose-ing. We knew it was too good to throw out!!
The chicks are growing so fast, it was time to extend their house yesterday. Thanks to Sears giving us a big box, Matthew built on a whole new exercise yard!
The chicks are a little suspicious of it, but I think they will move out there pretty quickly, as long as we can keep it warm enough. They still need temperatures of 90 degrees, until Wednesday when they will be 2 weeks old, then the temperature can go down to 85. At 3 weeks old they can handle a chilly 75 degrees, which is when we should be able to move them outside, as long as they still have the heat lamp.
10% of the chicks left to a new home in Princeton yesterday, but they didn't seem to be missed by the rest of them, just gave a bit more wing space to those remaining.
I can't believe how much they eat, but when you see how fast they grow it is understandable. Their wings are quite fully formed now, with feathers not fluff, and they are all starting to get tail feathers. They are fascinating and such fun to watch!
My seed potatoes arrived yesterday so now they are sitting out chitting on the window ledge. The chicks took second place today, as I got out and started raking leaves inspired by a bright blue sky!!
Also managed to get some seeds planted yesterday - broccoli, yellow and purple heritage tomatoes, more spinach and head lettuce.
I am very grateful to Thomas, our house-sitter for the winter, for getting some heritage red tomatoes, spinach and arugula going, not to mention the lettuce he started that we are already picking. The new green room is working just like it was supposed to!
Lovely to have Angelique tulips flowering in there too, wafting out a wonderful heady scent. Speaking of scents, the daphne is in full bloom and is glorious. I have been pruning liberally so there is lots all over the house, and in the Cabana.
It is hard to believe the speed they are growing. They are starting to get wings. The day they arrived they could climb inside the feeder, now they can only get their heads in.
We have moved the box into the TV room, and that is helping keep the temperature more stable.
When we went to bed last night, I was sure that one little one would not survive the night. This morning I couldn't tell which one she was. Same for all the pasty bums. All healthy and chipper.
We had one very lethargic looking chick.
On closer inspection it had the dreaded Pasty Butt.
This is when their vents get blocked with poo. It can be fatal.
So I have spent the last couple of hours cleaning Pasty Butts as some of the others were showing early signs of the same problem.
Chicks are always such a learning experience.
It is so cute how they are already showing signs of personality!!
We hung the thermometer to have amore accurate reading than when the knock it over and sit on it! They are very happy with their new toy - lining up for their turn to tap the hanging thermometer!! Makes a lovely noise!
Chicks arrived a whole week early so we were caught a bit off-guard since we only got home 4 days before they arrived!
3 days old in the photo!
Quite different to the last batch we got, which was a couple of years ago. Much more variation in colouration, and I suspect, character.
Finding it a tad difficult to maintain a steady 90 degrees - either gets too hot, or too cool - so a lot of vent opening and closing going on. Their home is a giant cardboard box that delivered a new lawn mower, and has been saved for this auspicious purpose! At least it will last for a while before they outgrow it. The last batch grew up in a TV box!
You wouldn't believe how much they can eat and drink! They are noisier than their size merits! Always one pecking at the wall or its food holder.
Matthew and I are spending the winter in India and Sri Lanka. Our travels are drawing to a close, and we are starting to get excited about the up-coming spring and summer season at home.
Despite being away, the Cabana has had a busy winter under the care and attention of our winter host, Natalie, and our house-sitter Thomas.
Life goes on even while we are away. Chicks have been ordered, and arrive on March 21, soon after we return! Looking forward to sharing the TV room with them for a few weeks!!
Onions sets and seed potatoes are ordered and should arrive shortly.
It is quite amazing how far away we can be, and in such a different world, and yet still maintain being touch (thank you Skype!) and continuity of life (thank you wifi!).
If we have any tea aficionados staying at the Cabana this year, they are welcome to request a pot of real, wonderful Ceylon tea, or a cup of tasty masala chi with fresh cardamon direct from India and cloves from Sri Lanka!
Matthew and I are now bundled up in the car heading towards the Oregon Coast.
So glad to know Natalie is at home looking after the Cabana.
I had forgotten how wet it is on the West Coast even though I lived over here for 20 years. So mild too. Interesting to see how much grows here. Were hoping for a Farmer's Market today but no luck so far.
Yet again, summer got away from me and there were no posts on my blog. The positive is that we started a Facebook page, and have been up-dating that more regularly.
Exciting news for us, Natalie is going to look after the Cabana while we are away this winter, so we will be open year round. That is the first time for 10 years!
It is such a romantic spot in the snow! Not too shabby out in the hot tub, and huddled around the outside fire in any weather actually!!
The Cabana is the perfect spot to enjoy an evening at the Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove, without any fear of driving....
Spent a great couple of hours in the soggy wet garden this evening. No gloves of course, I was just going out to bring Kharimha in from the orchard. Got a little side-tracked pulling weeds. The ground was so soft with all the rain. I love weeding. More and more. There is something very calming about connecting with the earth. About focussing on a small area, looking at all that is there. Concentrating on pulling every last weed, yet allowing my mind to wander, to meditate on life.
Perhaps as the world around seems to get crazier by the day, it feels good to come down to earth literally. Certainly feels good to me.