learning life

Lovin the life that brings me home.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Peeps and chicks!

Well, this spring, we have officially ventured into the farm life.

We usually grow edibles every year (some years just culinary herbs), but this year, we've planted more than we've ever planted (grapes, raspberries, green beans, sunflowers, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, onions, and lots of flower planting and trans planing).

But what makes us officially "farming" this year is our new baby chicks! between the three adults (Daddy, Grandpa, and me), we've got a lot to learn (or in Dad and Grandpa's case, remember), and we have decided to learn by actually DOING it rather than reading the manual.

The funny thing is that most things end up that way for the Pieper family (learning by doing rather than asking or reading). We typically don't take the usual route when venturing into the unknown.

I got a phone call last night from Grandpa saying, "Holly, I have the chicks and I was thinking of dropping them off to you tonight so the kids can play with them, and then you could bring them up in the morning."
What he REALLY said was: "I have the chicks, but I have to finish the coop. You can take them right?"
Sorry Grandpa.

Well, because the coop we were building was only half-finished, they stayed in his house for the night! I had to laugh at that one. Well, needless to say, he was mopig the floor when we got there. Thats the Pieper in us. He didn't have a box big enough to keep them, so they were "free kitchen range". Needless to say, he was moping the floor when we showed up for breakfast. Sorry for that. I had to throw in.

Something else I felt extremely grateful and complimented by was that the first time I mentioned wanting to get chickens was at last Saturday's breakfast. Not even a week later, my sweet Father-In-Law made it happen. Without a concrete plan, he bought me (and the peeps) the chicks I wanted. Honestly, I was just saying it- using up air- never actually thinking we would do it. He immediately started taalking about where he could build a coop for them. and one thing led to another until I ended up with that phone call.
I also would not have planted so many "edibles" this year if it weren't for his help. We (Grandpa, Peeps, and I) plant almost every Saturday after breakfast, and he does almost all of the grunt work (hole digging). I do not have space for a garden or chicks, so he has agreed to let me have all the fun at his place. Thats the kind of guy he is. Did I get lucky or what?

Anyway, after our breakfast this morning, Silas and Grandpa made a little pen for them to be in while they worked on the coop.
Then the kids had fun "sitting not trying to catch them, letting them get used to being with Pieps" Yeah right.

She just wanted to grab and squeeze.

Day one has already brought a couple funny crisis scenario's. The kids were REALLY scared to catch them and when Silas finally caught one, He wasn't holding the wings down. Well, it got loose and somehow got caught in Laurens Pony tail. I am not sure how (maybe by a toe nail or something) but this thing wrestled in her hair for a good 5 seconds! Now I want you to stop and count out 5 seconds because its actually a long time. I -being the rookie mom- just sat there in horror thinking what do I do? I let that chicken have its way with her hair because I was scared too! I know they don't bite, but they sure act like they can and it intimidates the nerve out of me! Anyway, she got over it and was able to pretend to catch one again. She would say she wanted to hold one but would never actually reach out far enough before the chick would scurry away, each time convincing herself that she did actually want to hold one and that she was actually trying to catch one.

The other craziness with the chicks was that Silas let one out of the pen by accident. He was rounding them up out of a trailer that Grandpa had them in (to get them out of the house) and let one get away. I was chasing the thing for a good fifteen minutes and just happened to get lucky that the thing didn't disappear into the monstrous blackberry bushes nearby. I think I could have caught it sooner, but I was trying Lauren's technique (make it look like your trying, but really your too scared to do it). Exausted, I finally caught the thing and was ready to fal over and have a heaart attack. I don't think I need my gym membership anymore.

Man I have so much to learn.
I think I will start by trying to convince myself that I an the bigger, stronger, more intelligent specie (right?).


  1. So, what kind of chickens did you get? Buckeye's, Barred Rocks and what's the white one?

  2. Oh man.. did I laugh. Poor Lauren. Was she frightened at all? What a brave girl she is. I would have been scared and 5 seconds is a very LONG time when a chicken has it's foot is caught in your pony tail.