First off, since I didn't blog yesterday, I must note that R is now a twelve-year-old. My little girl is in her last preteen year. The day was spent pretty quietly as she will celebrate tonight with D home for birthday supper (R's choice: crab cakes, corn on the cob, and salad) and next week with friends. She's reached the point of legally babysitting (YESSSSS! D and I can go out without so much sitter arranging!!!) and is growing up to be quite a young lady. Easygoing, thoughtful, and funny. Love her.
The chicks (aka chicken nuggets) seem to be happy in their little brooding area, which is decidedly low-tech but does the job well. We put plywood on the floor, covered it with shavings and then paper towel for the first few days, and made four walls using hay bales. This serves to keep the chicks in, keep the heat in, and give them some entertainment as they pick at the strands of hay. The heat is courtesy the heat lamp that we use to keep the layers warm through the winter, the feed in a little trough with a guard on the top so they don't sit in their food, and the water in a waterer that uses a little mason jar.
They also listen to CBC radio, since we read that classical music helps them stay calmer and grow better (that, and the noise discourages predators from coming in). Either that, or it's to expand their culture. They've gotten classical, Gregorian chant, and some nice jazz so far.
They're pretty funny little babies. They tottered around for the first day but now are more sure of their footing and will suddenly run across the space flapping their little wings. Others will sit quietly on the floor and just put their heads down and fall asleep, looking the picture of peace and quiet until another one runs right over top and wakes them up. Their little peeping seems happy and calm and they all seem to be alert and healthy.
The pullets (laying hens), meanwhile, are also settling in and have figured out that they can in fact sleep on the roost and go outside, though Biddy continues to be quite a bully. I've given her to the end of the weekend to play nicely and get along with the others, or there will be dire consequences.
Some of the new girls have been named, including Miss Havisham 2 (named after the first Havvie, lost to predators last summer, who was named after a Charles Dickens character), Pickie (she was picking at some of the other hens), Lickie (she has this strange habit of sticking her tongue out as if she's licking the air), and the one I've called Other Chicken (wonder if that name will stick?).
Today is caring for the birdies, visiting with a friend, baking biscuits and a couple more batches of jelly for the farmer's market tomorrow, making R's dinner. Quite domestic, really. Maybe I'll do something rebellious.