May 15, 2007
Chicks to their new home!

Today the chicks finally went out to their newly assembled mobile chicken pen. They are seven and eight weeks old which is way late for what I normally recommend. As one extension agent mentioned, these chicks are not as vigorous as the ones I've gotten that were not chilled in transit. So they were treated to several weeks longer in my brooder, with heat at night until last week. It wouldn't have been possible if all twenty-five had survived, but with only seven chicks there was room so they stayed where they were protected until they were too tall to stand up straight.

Even so, the first evening that I turned out the heater in their brooder, even though they were inside an outbuilding and the temperature outside only got down to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, the smallest runty chick got chilled and died.

One advantage of putting them out to a henhouse later is they had the "go in the coop at night" thing figured out. Tonight they were all up in the chicken hutch as the sun went down. I didn't have to put any of them into the hutch by hand. Just as well, it would have been a pain to do with the small yard.

Life here has been eventful, though. Friday night our neighbors (see 3/8/7 blog ) decided to start shooting off fireworks. It's against the law and with three wildfires in the last week in Los Angeles it would seem that they might have more sense. They don't.

Then the young men who were partying started to shoot rockets over the fence at our horses and hay barn. That got me out there immediately. Luckily for our horses, the next salvo of rockets bounced off the top of their fence and began shooting around in their horse stalls with terrified horses lunging around their small enclosures to try to escape. God does take care of fools, though because none of the horses were injured, theirs or ours. The boys began laughing hysterically and they started lighting and throwing firecrackers into their own horse stalls!

For the first time since we moved here, my husband talked about whether we will stay here forever. It's hard to know if the world is getting tougher, or if we just have the bad luck to live next to folks who are ... "twisted" might be a good term.

Well, as our new chicken-broke horse illustrates, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. At least here we have good water and a lovely orchard laden with fruit.