Category Archives: chickens

A Birthday, An Author, A Runner, and A Fox

Some VERY exciting events have been going on around here.

First, my mother-in-law had a very exciting birthday:  60 years old.  Quite an accomplishment.  We had a lunch with the other Makechnies at Carrabas.

Very fun time with all the cousins.  Now Heather is as old as Dunkin’ Donuts!

Nelson, Brynne, Chloe, Ella, Paige, Cope, Hailey, and Grace Makechnie
We all LOVE Grandma Heather!

Secondly, Last night I met my writer friend Kate in Portsmouth NH.  We met to see my favorite author these days:  Ms. Jodi Picoult.  Jodi P. was very funny, happy, and articulate.  I was very impressed at her amount of research (which is obvious by her books) and her down-to-earth persona.  I was only disappointed when I couldn’t get our Andover Library copy of “House Rules” signed.  She didn’t take questions and we were not allowed to approach – stand back, kids!
Kate is actually a Proctor alum who went to school with Gregor.  It was very exciting to be such a Jodi groupie. 
The next exciting event of the week was tonight.  I opened the May 2010 edition of Runner’s World, the magazine, and sitting there on page 94-95 is my running buddy, Sarah Lester.  It’s a whole two-page spread!  The article, Work Hard, Run Hard is how Sarah juggles it all.
This picture was taken last weekend, a very cold 5k in Gilmanton NH.  It’s our first out of five races for the C.A.R.S. – Capital Area Race Series (more on that later.)  Sarah is training for the big Boston marathon and it’s working for her.  Saturday she beat me on the horrid hill the last mile and sailed ahead, clinching the 2nd place prize (of our age group) of maple syrup.  Man!  The rivalry is on.
Anyway, I am very psyched for Sarah to be in the magazine – WOW.  And here is my claim to fame:  The article says, “Lester runs with a friend one to two mornings a week. ‘It’s hard to skip the run if you know you’ll be letting someone down before 5 a.m.,’ she says.  ‘That’s a bad karmic way to start the day.'”  I’ll never complain again.  Good job Sarah!
Couldn’t find the article on-line yet but don’t worry, I’ll brag some more when it arrives 🙂  You don’t mind, do you?
And the last bit of excitement for today.  I looked out the front window and there was a big ol’ fox holding one of MY chickens in his mouth.  I screamed, then Brynne screamed!  I ran out with Tenny but sly fox was gone.  Brynne yelled that he went down to the donkeys.  Tenny was going crazy and took off, hot on the trail of the killer.

Sadly, this is all that’s left of my Rhode Island Red.
The whole neighborhood got involved.  Diane, Donkey neighbor, called and said the fox was eating the chicken behind her barn.  Mr. Goody came over, Suzy drove down, and Jay and doggie Georgia showed up.  What an event!  Brynne and Paige seemed quite unfazed.
Now we have to put our electric fence back up.  And it was so much fun to see them toddling around the yard all day.  Bad fox.
The fun doesn’t end here.  Tomorrow is Nelson’s 9th birthday party; a Harry Potter party -Expelliahmus?  Easter baskets Saturday morning, followed by the 2nd 5K race of the C.A.R.S race series (can I beat her this time?) with Nellie by my side, out to lunch for birthday, and then General Conference and Easter Sunday.  A very wonderful weekend with 70-80 degree temps.  May yours be just as exciting!

Ding Dong the Wicked Rooster’s Dead

So I took the kids to school this morning and stopped at Proctor.  There the hunter sat, eating his breakfast.  Seeing me reminded him of what he needed to do.  I really needed some exercise so I didn’t follow him home.  But I should have.  Those play by play pics would have been priceless.  I got the call an hour later.  The deed was done.  Paige and I went down to see.
What’s this?  Sitting in the middle of the snow was one of the hens.  Hmmm.  How strange. (Do you love the outfit?  Pajamas and rain boots).
“What are you doing?” Paige asks.  “Are you stuck?”
Ms. Hen let me pick her up and put her over the fence.  I tell ya, I’m getting to be a real pro at this animal thing – picking up a chicken!
So I of course had to see where it happened.  Right here.  That’s gross, huh?  Hunter man used his bow,  hid behind the shed so the neighbors wouldn’t report him to Fish and Game for showing up and shooting a random rooster.  Two shots.  Plucked and cleaned as quick as that.  Sitting in his fridge.  He asked if I wanted some fat juicy rooster.  No thanks but I’d love a shot of him in the fridge.
Yes darling, all is well.  No more rooster.  All is well.

A Stay of Execution

Seriously, can you believe this justice system?
Sure, sure, sure, at the very last moment there’s a stall.

Alright, it wasn’t a plea from Mr. Redbeak.

Procured assassin threw out his back.

Rooster just got lucky for a few more days.

Enjoy your last moments.

Other top news stories:
It’s Bonus Weekend!  Yeah!  That means all the students at Proctor go home for the weekend – Thursday-Monday night.  Gregor went in this morning but I’m going to pick him up for a trip to Michael’s (his favorite!), Sam’s Club, Target RX, and maybe Taco Bell.

Tonight is Nelson’s pine wood derby. The car is still not done! Will they make in time?

Can someone help me with this font?  Normal is this size. Large is the above.  How can I get something in-between


24 Hours to Live

What would you do if you had 24 hours to live?
If you were our rooster, Mr. Redbeak, you’d attack me when I tried to give you water this morning.
You’d run at me while I held a shovel, a hammer, and a water bottle.
You would keep coming at with your hackles high, in that aggressive way even when I shrieked, dropped the hammer and the water bottle and ran away.
For this reason, Mr. Redbeak, an assassin has been procured.
He will come in black.
He will come in the morning, 24 hours from now.
When the kids are in school.
And he will shoot you.  And take you away.
He’ll use your feathers for his arrows and then he will eat you.
Because I certainly can’t.
It’s been real fun getting to know you, but we know each other a little too well now, don’t we?
If you weren’t so obnoxious, I might feel a little bit bad.
But tomorrow’s the day buddy.
And then the whole family will be able to go in to gather eggs, singing a song of joy.
Without carrying a shovel for protection.
24 hours.

Dad Gets the Job Done. Beware: May Not Be Suitable for Children. Or Some Adults.

Last month I went out to the chicken coop to get eggs and nearly had a heart attack – there was a possum hiding under the hay. It’s nasty rat snout poking out. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t touch it, poke it, get rid of it. I am one of the chickens. I made Gregor go down with Nelson. A favor to them really. Made them feel like “real men.” They sure did appreciate it. Scooped it out with a shovel and threw it out the chicken door. Alas, it came back. If you were cold wouldn’t you want to hide under some hay?
It didn’t go away. I didn’t see it again but something kept eating the eggs. I knew it was that nasty rodent. I’d find big poop in the chicken feed and half eaten eggs. I suspected it was hiding under the hay. But again…chicken.
This went on for a whole MONTH.
Tenny tried to help with some good barking. But hark! Help was on the way in the form of my father. A farmer as a boy. He would know what to do with a pest.
You see this picture and say, “Ahhh…he’s sooo cute.” Believe me. He wasn’t.
“Does your neighbor have a shot gun?” My dad asked. I don’t know. We’ve never had that conversation.
“Do you have a shovel?” Yes.
We all went down to the chicken coop to watch. Saw the culprit. Did you know you can say opossum or just possum? I brought the kids with me for a real farm lesson. Uncle Patrick held the flashlight. Auntie Cassie held the camera. Patrick said, “I don’t know if I want to see this.” But he couldn’t leave because he held the flashlight! Now he really felt for the possum. Trapped.
After three heavy wacks we ran away. It was too much. Cope went into the house sobbing, “He killed it. Grandpa killed it!” Oh the tears, the wailing.
Got it
The oblivious chickens on their roost.
I asked my dad if it bothered him. He grimaced and said, “Oh yeah. I hate that.” But he did it! I’m in awe. I guess I have a ways to go yet. No farm girl yet.
Bravo Dad. A job well done.


That Darn Rooster

Haven’t given a chicken update for awhile.  And I know you’re dying for one.  The coop is finished and the electric fence is on.  But the fence has been sagging and some silly chickens decided to fly over it!  Trying to catch a chicken is quite ridiculous.  Amy trying to catch 3 is even more ridiculous.  However, it you ever need to catch one here’s the trick:  Don’t hesitate!  You are the boss!  You grab – lift- and dump over the fence.  Quickly and efficiently.  No wimps!  At least, that’s how I get ready.

Naughty chickens.  Tenny the doggie helped corral them for me.

You know that stereotype of the “cock-a-doodle-doo?”  Well this big old Mr. Redbeak gives it as good as it gets.  All. Day. Long.  He really does wake us up. I used to burst out laughing every time I heard it.  Now it’s just kindof annoying.  People kill their roosters b/c of this delightful sound but we do love the fat guy and he’s rather nice and he does protect the hens.
Eggs coming in about 2 months!
Omelet?  Fried?  Scrambled?  Boiled?
Please come visit and sample these home grown eggies.  They say you’ll never go back.

Pet Chickens

On April 3rd Nelson got a great birthday present.  Our baby chicks arrived!

The kids could not stop touching them.
Paige liked them but was kindof scared too.

Chickens grow so fast!  Within a week there was a big difference.

We got 3 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Barred Rocks.  Both hardy egg layers.

We think they are all hens.  But there’s a chance we got a rooster. Here is Ms. Redbeak.  She’s a big one and maybe she’s Mr. Redbeak.  Not quite sure yet.

Freedom!  They ran right under a bush and gave Cope a heart attack.  I think they are practicing to lay eggs; they love dark quiet places.

Paige thinks they are all named “Emmy.”  She says, “Here Emmy Emmy” to all of them but can hardly stand to touch them for long.

“Hold it,” she says

Brynne is by far the most fearless with them.  She grabs them like her dolls and hauls them everywhere.  Lucky we had her; she rescued them all from a demise under the bush.
2 more weeks and hopefully the coop will be ready.  And hopefully this will prove to be a fun and exciting adventure!


The chicks are ordered!

Our new babies arrive April 3rd or April 10th.  
We will be keeping you up to date on this process 🙂

We got 3 Rhode Island Reds and
3 White Rock Hens.

There is a 10% possibility that we could get a rooster.

I’m thinking of getting a piglet – they help keep predators away.

I haven’t had a pet since dad murdered the gerbils.  I’m really not an animal person, so what am I doing?  I don’t know!  But I think it will be fun!