Sunday, March 10, 2024

Update on the Birds

Well well.  I went out just now to get pictures of the chicks, and guess what?  Dead batteries!

Bad me!

We are at 64 and sunny today, and there is more news to talk about. 

On Wednesday, this was delivered: 

Yes, friends, it's a new chicken coop! 
 It's pre-fab, made at D and M Mini Barns in Garnett, Kansas. 
It was used, and I stopped at their lot when I took grandson Chris to the doctor two weeks ago, and took a look.  I signed to buy a 6 x 8 building, also used, but went back the next day when I took Chris home, and got the bigger building. 

It is waiting for electricity to be brought to it from the barn.  I hope to have it in this week, and then the chicks will move into it and grow out. 

It has a coop space attached to the front, but there is a problem there, and I have time to fix it. 

Because it is on skids, the front enclosed part does not reach the ground, and we know what a problem that would be with possums and raccoons and skunks.  So.... I will be closing that off with hardware cloth this week, and probably put some landscape timbers around the three sides.  The reason we had to place it there is that the original place I wanted to put it... over by the big henhouse and the little hen house.... the cost of trenching electric from the barn to this house was estimated at 5,000.00. My budget did not allow for that.
The electrician looked at several places, and we decided on this.... he will run a pipe from the box in the barn just behind this coop, and put an overhead light with two receptacles with two plugs each.  I will be able to have light, and to run a warming light in winter, a fan in summer, and a heated water, if I need to.  I hope to have the Buff Orpingtons in the big henhouse when they are old enough. 

I will get better pictures of it this week. 

This little guy about tore our hearts out on Monday.  I was outside cleaning the inside of the car out, on a beautiful day.  Chico was with me...until he was not.  He literally disappeared.  I stopped what I was doing and began calling, because he absolutely loves this yard and would run all over it. 
The problem is, he only weighs eight pounds and three times, squeezed through and went into the pasture. 
Well... he did not come back.  My son got the binoculars and walked up the road towards the highway, looking into our neighbor's pasture.  I went up into the wild 26 acres across from my place... there is a comm tower there but the access drive has deteriorated and I had to stop the car and walk in.  I called and called and called, thought I heard barking once... called some more. 
I posted him in Basehor Lost and Found and Tonganoxie Lost and Found, called my friend in rescue, she called KC Dog Trappers.  My neighbors were all out checking their buildings and pastures, and I checked and then checked again the cistern in my pasture. 

After four hours, the dog trapper got here after work and set up cameras and bait, and my friend the Bonner Springs Animal Control Officer came as soon as she got off work to help. 
We all feared he had been picked up by a hawk or eagle. 

About three, Kendra looked at her phone and said someone had reported him crossing the four lane highway that is two tenths of a mile from the house.  

My heart was breaking.  When the trapper left, at almost dark, Kendra and I decided to go up to the wild area one more time.  We called and called, and Kendra, who was in front of me, turned around to say something and then said "Turn slowly"  There was Chico coming towards me.  He got scared of Kendra and turned and ran again... but I called him and he stopped and then slowly came to me.  Remember, I have only had him since mid-January. 

Here is the stupid thing.  I had vetted him, as far as bloodwork, heartworm, removed 14 teeth, etc. but had not chipped or neutered him yet because let's face it, I am not made of money.  He had no colllar on because it was a little too large for him and I had taken it off Sunday because we were always outside with him. 

We reported him found, and at dark, we went to the Bonner Springs animal shelter where Kendra went in and got the microchip kit which belongs to Bonner Animal Rescue, from whom I have adopted two dogs in the past.  He was chipped in my kitchen. 

Tomorrow morning, at nine plus years old, he is going to Northland Animal Welfare Services to be neutered.  We don't know that he smelled a female in heat, but, we are not ever taking a chance again. 

He now, as of Tuesday, has a 20 x 30 foot yard to be at large in, and he does not like being confined, let me tell you.  The Dog Trappers gifted me a thirty foot lead, so I am taking him for walks in the pasture so he has an illusion of adventure, but he will not be able to run again.  Yesterday afternoon, he tried to go through the front fenceline (across from the wild area) with the lead on, and I gently pulled him back.  

A few months ago, I  noticed that I was no longer able to "go to my phone" on Blogger, as I had in the past, and pick photos to be uploaded from Google.  Now, there is a long way it must be done, and it is very time consuming.  What it has meant is that I struggle to get the pictures I am posting and it takes twice as long.  The photo utility I used for years, a Sony product, has stopped being available, so that takes longer as well.  On top of all this, the computer squad I used to teach me here at home once a year or so has now closed, so... there's that.  I'm still trying to learn new tricks and will figure it out. 

I planted these daffodils when we moved in in 2005.  I can't believe a few are still coming up. 

These are blooming down by "Oscar's Tree" in the north end of the yard, someone long before I planted them.  

This is the male Harris Sparrow, outside my window (and someone correct me if I am wrong).  I have not seen any here before. 

You can just barely see the exercise pens we made Chico's Yard with... it is attached to the fence that separates the north and south ends of the yard.  We drove four tee posts into the ground to strengthen it, they are attached with zip ties.  He does not like being confined but I am going to say something mean... that's tough.  I can't go through that worry again. 

There is a better look at the henhouse on the trailer as he came in. 

The eleven chicks are now together in a brooder pen in the old henhouse, still under heat as we are having cool nights.  We did get to 65 today, and the rest of the week should be in the 70's. 

On Tuesday, I am going back out to Rare Treasures Hatchery in Oskaloosa (Kansas) and getting some chicks that have been hatched on Thursday... they are Putih Ayam Cemani, the white sport of the all black Ayam Cemani.  I am getting close to the maximum number of birds I want to keep, so this will be close to the end of my purchases. 

The electrician is hoping to be here by the end of the week to run the electricity to the new pen, and as soon as he does, I'll move the older eleven chicks over there and let them grow out inside it.   I have a trough set up in the old hen house for the new chicks coming on Tuesday. 

I took a picture of the brooder, but of course, the computer is not letting me share it with you, sometimes my camera pictures save as .heic... this is something new... and doesn't want to convert to jpgs without me paying for the service. 

I did take a couple with Nikon but I'll be darned if I can find them now.  


I'll post pictures (I hope) of the new chicks in a few days, and please say a prayer for Chico's surgeon tomorrow. 



  1. Thinking of you & sending best wishes for a successful surgery. Lucky chicks! Take care, WI Dee

  2. I'm so glad you found him. Little dogs like that..... well yes, it's tough.... he'll just have to grin and bear it. Better safe than sorry. Looks like you'll have a good setup for your chicks when it's done.

  3. SO glad you got ahold of Chico again! And it's not "mean" to practice tough love; you are keeping him (and your heart) safer. --Michelle at Boulderneigh

  4. omg, i am so glad you found him. we are just beginning week 5 post-op with winnie. we sit with her 24/7 while her leg is healing.

  5. That had to be so scary! So thankful that you found him safe!!

  6. I appreciate the effort you put into making your content relatable.


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