Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chicks Arrive!

Got  “the call" Sunday 8 am from the Topeka postal distribution center that the chicks are here! Wasn’t expecting them till Monday, but this is good!  Birgitte practically flies out of her bed to get ready to go.  She sings, “Oh we are picking up our chicks today” the entire 25 minute drive there. 
We are the third new chicken family to pick up their wards and still one more box of chicks waiting for their new family to arrive.  Chicks are quite noisy in car drive home, Birgitte tries to reassure them that they are going to a new home.  Label on box tells us that chicks were hatched on Friday, June 24th at 5 pm.  In the mail on Saturday and arrive in Kansas Sunday morning. 
Brooder is all set up for their arrival in our basement, a cozy 95 degrees.  (FYI:  our brooder is three extra-large cardboard boxes taped together to create a 4ft x6ft chick playpen with cushy pine shavings as the litter). 
CozyMailing Box

Just Released!

As soon as we get them out of their mailing box, they run around and find the food and water immediately!  Birgitte thinks her chicks are very smart since we didn’t have to help them find their food or water (FYI: the yolk of the egg they hatched from allows chicks to survive up to 3 days without food or water, and yes they like the small box to keep each other warm, don't worry, no chicks were harmed in the mailing process).

Cuckoo Maran & Buff Rock at the feeder
Each time we check on chicks, we put our hands in and peck at food with our fingers and call out, “here chick, chick, chick, they come scurrying over to see what goodies we may have.  They love to hop onto our hands and eat the feed right out of our palms.  So cute!

Eating from my hand
By the time they are just 4 days old, they have sprouted tiny tail feathers and the beginnings of wing feathers too!
On Thursday, we enlarge the brooder to full size and take away the paper liner to reveal the pine shavings litter.  Oooh what a party!  You’ve never seen such scurrying and wing flapping going on.  They are getting to be very fast and constantly flapping their newly sprouted wing feathers. 

Birgitte loves her Chicks!
There is a lot of - “I don’t know what this is in my beak, but I am going to run around and peep loudly so everyone thinks I found something good” going on!

A bird in the hand.....One day old Buff Rock enjoying a warm hand

Araucana/Americana in front, Buff Rock in back

Cuckoo Maran- 4 days old

So the morning routine has changed, get up, let the dog out, get dressed and run down to the basement to the chicks.  They are softly peeping keeping close to each other and the red heat lamp.  I tell them, get ready, here it comes, Mr. Sunshine!, as I turn on the light.  WOW do they ever get excited! It’s total chaos with all the running, peeping, wing flapping and jumping.  It makes us laugh every time!  As soon as we put our hands into the brooder they all come running over looking for goodies.   They are wanting more and more company, just to hear our voices nearby.  When we leave the basement, some start to peep loudly until someone comes back to check on them….then they settle down.  
Chicken coop isn’t done, but we are getting there, now if we can only finish before the chicks take over the whole basement!
Loving the brooder, but where is the coop?
Till next time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Beginning

Ever dream of leaving the suburbs, starting a farm and living the country life?  We did after years of dreaming, searching and finally finding a small spot of Kansas country to claim as our own. 

A beautiful hilltop view over the valley

Front yard view

As children, Andy and I were blessed with parents who also wanted a taste of the country life, something we wanted to pass on to our own daughter, Birgitte.   But after 20 plus years of suburban living, did we remember anything from our farming childhood?  We are soon to find out!

A walk through the meadow
Enjoying the simple life

Follow us as we update a 1957 raised ranch farmhouse, build our farm, and create a new lifestyle for our family. 
This is our story, our adventure…. we hope you join us!
We wake up October 1st, 2010 on “the farm”, first order of business?  Have a party of course!  So after ten days of painting rooms, unpacking and a bit of landscape pruning, we are ready to show off the beginnings of Dragonfly Farm. 

Enjoying the party
A beautiful party Sunset

So, why has it taken me nine months to finally start to post about our life on Dragonfly Farm?  Well let me tell you, starting up a farm from scratch is no walk in the park!  Unfortunately, none of the previous farm buildings still stand except one roofless silo near the back of the property.  No fencing either.  And since winter was upon us when we moved in, woodcutting and wood fuel took on new meaning in our life.  Windows needed replacing, gardens needed planting and well, you get the idea. 

One of the few remnents from the former farmstead

A beautiful snowy scene

 Now summer solstice is upon us and the chickens have been ordered and on their way (they arrive in six days!), the chicken coop is still being built, gardens still being put in and oh my where has the time gone?  And did I mention the grass needs cutting again?

Where oh where will our little chicks sleep?

Hard work aside, I love this place, the hilltop views, amazing sunrises and sunsets, the lake less than a mile away with a small horizon view and a feeling of pioneer spirit growing inside.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Till next time,


Next Post: Chicks Arrival!

Future Posts:
 “Before & After” with paint:   I will share some of our “lipstick” redecorating  projects throughout the house….this is definitely redecorating on a budget, we get creative!
Creating my Art Studio Space:  As soon as I saw this house and its fieldstone basement with daylight windows, I already pictured the beginnings of my studio space!