One family's journey from the very urban to the very rural
Thursday, December 8, 2011
look what we found in the incubator!
Chicken TV right on our kitchen counter!
This was the very first time we have ever used an egg incubator. These guys came from the first batch of 11 eggs we tried out. All the eggs came right from our own chicken coop, fertilized by our own busy roosters. How cool is that! Of the 11, just 4 hatched. We were actually expecting the worst and were happy even at this small success because, this being our first time, we had to fiddle around with it trying to get the temperatures regulated just right and work out all the kinks. Many incubator related YouTubes were viewed. ;)
So, three of them are great. Cute cute cute little fluff balls that have made themselves right at home under the super cozy heat light on our kitchen counter. It is amazing how soon the teeny little things act like regular ol' chickens- running around, pecking, scratching, grooming themselves. Within hours of emerging from the egg!
But, the fourth one. There could be no other name for him but "the poor little guy". He came out with his beak all wrong and appeared to be missing his right eye. He was all messed up & lethargic. I didn't expect him to last the night. And when he did, and was even up walking around the next morning, my heart kind of went "uuuuhhhhng, he's still alive.....the poor little guy." With a beak like that, he'd never be able to eat.
Hens and chickens are a pretty fascinating design. It takes 3 days for a batch of eggs under a hen to all hatch. She stays on them all, keeping them warm & cozy & awaits all of them hatching before she takes them out of the nest to eat & drink. So chicks are designed to not eat or drink for 3 days while they wait for their siblings (which is how chicks can be sent through the mail without starving).We knew the poor little guy wouldn't be able to eat with a beak like that, but had some kind of hope that maybe magically over those 3 days he would either work his scissor beak out or figure out how to eat, or even just fall asleep & not wake up because he was a messed up little guy.
But alas, 3 days went by. He acted like a merry little chick doing all the normal little chick things until the 3rd day when we knew he'd start getting hungry. Like clockwork he started pecking at the feed dish on the 3rd day. Pecking & pecking. And I watched him closely to see if he could get any food but there was no way. His poor little beak just couldn't grasp a thing.
There are many millions of male chicks killed every year in the hatcheries because they can't lay eggs so no one wants them. Millions, usually ground up alive or suffocated in a dumpster at less than a day old. Those little guys are totally expendable according to our culture. And yet seeing this one poor little chick that I knew was doomed was just so sad. :(
He started getting lethargic again, and watching him peck & peck was so sad. We couldn't just watch him slowly starve to death, that would be cruel. So, we sent the poor little guy to little chicken heaven this morning. He was just one little chicken out of billions born every year, but it sucked to see him wanting to live & be a normal chicken. But with that beak it was not meant to be.
I met my husband at a party in San Francisco in 2004. We were big city club and party kids. Vegetarians who had never milked a cow and rarely left city limits. Now we are farmers in North Idaho, one of the least populated areas of the country. I'm no longer a goth clubbing radical feminist party girl. I'm a happily married dusty farm chick living out in the incredibly beautiful countryside and thanking God for it every day. We're working hard at building up our new homestead and business, and growing deep our family's roots. We call our farm Rootsong.
My days are mostly filled with homeschooling, homekeeping, cow milking, cheesemaking, diaper washing, breastfeeding, laughing with my seven fantastic kids and homesteading with my best friend in the whole world, my husband. I have a passion for natural foods and natural birth, and living simply and joyfully.
A brief timeline:
I began this blog way back in early 2006. Husband and I lived on a postage stamp lot in the suburbs until the summer of 2011. We then packed up our family and moved to a 20 acre rental in the middle of nowhere north Idaho. I had never set foot in Idaho until stepping out of that moving truck. Nine months later, in April 2012, we were able to purchase our very own dream come true- a modest home on 10 acres of gorgeous rural land. We worked hard to make our (serious)fixer-upper livable, and moved in late June 2012. We've been working even harder, laughing and loving on this land ever since. I am in awe that I get to live this life.
Our Etsy Shop
I wanna live like there's no tomorrow Love like I'm on borrowed time It's good to be alive! ~Jason Gray
Beloved husband & I in our natural habitat: me breastfeeding, husband kid-holding.
They must find it difficult, those who have accepted authority as truth, rather than truth as authority. ~ Gerald Massey
“If we don't believe in freedom of speech for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.” - Noam Chomsky
"Feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers, but slaves when they help their husbands."