Today was payday so DS and I headed to D&B Supply to pick up a new bag of Starter feed for the chicks, another heat lamp shield, and a larger feeder for the whole flock, though only the hens will use it for now. While we were there, we chatted with our favorite poultry lady who always offers great advice. She recommended a 4-H feeder for the whole flock and said we could use it now, but it would work even better when all of the chickens are eating together. She also recommended that we dust the whole coop with mite powder again since we had new chicks. Thankfully the weather was good today so we were able to chase all the hens out and put the chicks back in their little carrier they came in for just a bit while we redid the entire straw and shavings as well as refilled all water and food containers. Unfortunately, during this process we lost our extra little rooster as he took a jump out of the carrier while we were placing another chick in and hurt himself badly enough before we could catch him and rescue him. This was not part of the whole process that we wanted to ever happen and I have to confess that I cried some tears over him, even though there was nothing different we could have done. Fortunately, all the rest are fine and have made the transition to their same surroundings but with fresh shavings over mite dust. The chicks took a good nap afterwards while the hens tried to kick the straw out of their section again.
After DH woke up, he helped us hang the new feeder full of crumbles and also secure the door that was getting caught in a gentle breeze. We have worked with this door situation several times and with a new breezy Spring, we had to address it yet again. The silly hens weren’t so sure about the new feeder so they decided to stay outside of the coop until dark. Hopefully they will adjust to it in the next few days as they need the larger feeder.
In all of this, we have been checking on the chicks quite often because they require lots of care. Today, it got quite warm in the coop so we had to raise their heat lamp but make sure that we kept their area about 90 degrees. Next week we only need to keep it to 85 degrees and each week thereafter, we will lower the temperature 5 degrees until we reach 65 degrees. Then, we will only have to wait until they are 16-18 weeks old and they can go outside and not have the heat lamp all the time. That will be nice because some days it is hard to keep it at the same or close to the same temperature all day. DH set up a thermostat that takes readings in their area and displays it in the house so we can see what is happening and that is helping a lot. I remember last year with the first batch in a brooder box in the garage and what a challenge it was to keep it the right temperature all of the time. We couldn’t go anywhere, even for the day and the one time we did, I came back and the heat light bulb had broken/died and even in the garage it had gotten colder than the chicks were used to. They were all huddled together and it took a new bulb and a while before everything was warm and good again. I didn’t sleep a whole lot that night, even though I had to work a 12-hour shift the next day. Too worried about the chicks!
DD is catching up with her Calculus after having a help session with her teacher last night. Now she’s moving forward again and hopefully on track. This class is really giving her a hard time and taking a lot of time each day. She will have several lessons/practices to complete on Sunday to catch up from this week, but she is planning on working hard on them. It was hard getting her together online with her teacher, but once we succeeded, they were able to work through her questions and move forward. Her AP Calculus teacher is the same gentleman who taught her Geometry class her Sophomore year and she really likes him. He is very good at putting things into “plain English”.
Hopefully, I will be able to knit a bit on DD’s sweater tonight before I go to bed. I’ve been so very tired this week that I didn’t want to risk making mistakes on the cables and having to tink back so I have just let it sit. It has been calling to me to finish it and I really hope to soon. In the meantime DS’s socks have been knit on while I wait for DD each evening to get off work and a one skein (hopefully) Simple Chevron Scarf has occupied my time here at home. The second sock is further along on the ribbing, but not really enough to show yet. The scarf is being knit from sock yarn (see previous posts) and the pattern is very easy to memorize. I don’t even look at the instructions any more. I just check to see which side I am on and go from there. It doesn’t look too bad and hopefully will make a nice gift for someone. Of course, I will try to give it to someone who likes such things to wear with their coats in the winter.
Yesterday, I cut out several craft items to sew together that should help me be more organized when I need to take sewing/knitting along in a portable fashion. One was a small zippered bag that I still need to find and cut out contrasting fabric for. I’m using scraps from my fabric stash and hopefully a zipper from my stash that has collected through the years. Depending on how this bag turns out, I may make a few more to put various projects in. There are two different styles of sewing organizers that I want to sew up and then decide which one will work best. One of them requires clear “vinyl” for pockets so I will have to figure that out. After I decide which one will suit my needs, the other one will be set aside as a nice gift for someone. The final item is a chatelaine that holds a small pair of scissors and provides areas for needles and pins. When these items are complete, I will try to take pictures to post.
After finding coverage for my shift at work on the 24th of this month, I waited to hear from one of my supervisors as to whether or not I would be approved to take time off. DH, DD, DS, and I have been invited to a staff training retreat for Pathfinders that weekend in McCall. Our only expense will be the gas to and from, the loss of half of my paycheck for one time, and any food/drinks that are purchased along the way. The meals and lodging as well as any supplies are provided, including for the kids. Earlier in the week I received the approval for the time off so can now go. It will be nice as that is also the first weekend of Spring Break for the kids. We almost never go anywhere because of obligations for school, church, and family, so this will be a nice treat. I am hoping that DH’s sister and father will be able to take care of our chicks while we are gone. We will most likely go up on Friday afternoon and return Sunday afternoon, but since I don’t have to work that Sunday, we don’t have to come back on Saturday night.
If you are still with me at this point, you have done really well! Thank you for reading and know that I will try to have pictures soon of some of my projects.