Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who is the bigger kid!

Two (okay three) of the things I have been looking forward to the most since moving to the countryside of beautiful Madera County have happened this April (Jill is still looking forward to the whole swimming season this summer). That is right, its tractor time. This is one time in life where it is not only "ok" but acceptable and approved to drive a Ford (Sorry dad, no Chevy tractors). In between the weather trying to decide if it is stilll winter or going to be spring we have been borrowing the tractor from across the street, a Ford 600 from the about early 1960's. It can be on the loud side so Micah gets to wear my radio/soundproof headphones that are also great for any other yard tool or shop equipment when ear plugs are needed.
We have to have our weed control completed by May 1st when the fire department comes around so we have been learning how to use the disc with the tractor. So far we have learned how to get it stuff when the ground is both dry and wet. More importantly we have learned how to get it unstuck! Current status is stuck again. Luckily you just unhook a pin similar to a trailer and drive away so atleast the tractor itself is not stuck.
The first fun event actually happened first in March with the chipping of the wood piles that I have created in the process of trimming back and cleaning up the yard from several years of the last owner not doing proper maintenance. In addition to our fire safety being required by the fire department (maybe common sense doesn't work anymore) we also are not allowed to burn yard clippings. That only leaves several other options, most of which involve time, money or both. Due to the size of our pile (this one is the bigger of the two) we went with the chipper. We didn't know how big our pile would grow as we cleaned-up the front yard and put it closer to the neighbors house than I liked.

So, like any reasonable person I got my dad to help for the weekend and rented a "beast" of a chipper. Yes, it was loud, messy and pure manliness. You just stick a branch in and presto it is chips. This thing worked so well that we were also able to take out three trees in the front yard that I thought would have to wait until next year. This made Jill very happy since two of the trees are only green for about 3-4 months and looked dead for the rest of the year.
Lastly and most importantly, it's CHICKEN TIME!!! We are in the process of fixing the old coop that was here before us and have another month or so to do that. As a little kid my dad had chickens and I remember how much fun it was feeding them and collecting eggs. I also remember being scared of the rooster so at this time we are not planning to have one and just buy new chicks from the hatchery each spring as needed. Jill did not know what she was agreeing to and has had to put up with me researching chicken breeds and other stuff about chickens. We (I) settled on four breeds for eggs (get a few of each and it is easier to name them) and also wanted some bantams (small) chickens.

Well they mostly arrived today. Even at just a day or two old you can see that they are different breeds. Jill's pick, Silkie bantams did not arrive today and hopefully will be here next Thursday. They also only gave us 2 of 3 chicks that lay colored eggs (most likely will be green shells) and slipped a yellow colored chick in as a replacement. We also found this baby chick below wandering around our house a few weeks earlier and decided to keep it too!

For anyone who tried to count them there are a total of 14 right now, not counting the 2 they did not have when I showed up that the feed store. They said last week that they were still waiting for the Silkies at that time. It should be a fun six weeks or so watching them grow and getting them used to us before they move from the garage out the coop. We will have to see what Jill thinks in a few weeks when they get big enough to eat treats and hold for awhile.


Jamie said...

Hooray, hooray, hooray for chickens! I'm first on the egg list! How much are you gonna charge? Can I earn a discount if I send Isaac out every once in a while to clean your coop?

The Isaac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Isaacs said...

Sorry, I posted another comment with a different user name and it came out weird... Let's try this again!
Adam, I loved your post! I can practically hear your utter joy in being able to use the tractor, in having chickens, and introducing Micah to everything, etc. Yup, sounds to me like you're country folk for sure now!