A “cheep” thrill

Meet the newest members of our little family.

The yellow chicks are a breed called Delawares, and the patterned ones are Ameraucanas. Delawares are on the American Livestock Breed Conservancy‘s critical list. They are supposed to be very good winter layers. Ameraucanas are also referred to as “Easter Eggers;” the eggs they lay have shells that are tinted blue or green.

I ordered these chicks from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio, which is one of the few hatcheries that has a small order program. Most hatcheries require a minimum order of about 25 chicks. That’s waaayyy too many for my little urban hennery, so I’m very glad that Meyer has this option available.

It is possible to order small numbers of pullets (“teenaged hens”) from most hatcheries, however the selection of breeds is you can get as pullets is very limited. My current 3 hens came to me as pullets, and while they are fine ladies, I wanted to try some different breeds this time. Hence my search for a hatchery that would allow me to order a small number of chicks.

The chicks are growing really fast. Every day they look a little bit larger and a little bit more feathered out. And they are starting to show their personalities, too. One of them required a bit more of my time because she started “pasting up.” This is something that can happen to young chicks and needs to be taken care of right away. Pasting up is basically a euphemism for “getting plugged up with poo.” The way to fix this is to carefully clear away the dried droppings from the vent area, and monitor them to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I never would have imagined that I would be wiping chicken butts at some point in my life.

Anyway, I’ve taken to calling the gal that needed this special attention “Miss Poopy-Butt.” I think I may shorten that to Miss PB, or just plain ‘ol Missy when she gets bigger.

Between these little gals, the garden, work, and general life stuff, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Good thing I’m starting to get some of my energy back!

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Red, white, and blue

It’s the end of a wonderful long holiday weekend. I loved having this four day weekend (my employer gave us Thursday off, too!). I got to enjoy some more of my yummy garden produce…

Broccoli from my garden

And I got lots of rest. On Independence Day, Laura, Matt (her boyfriend) and I grabbed some buckets and headed next door to my neighbor’s sour cherry tree. The result of an afternoon of picking was astounding.

Lots and lots of sour cherries.

And this is not even *all* of the cherries on this one tree. There were several branches that were just too high for us, and also many cherries that were not yet ripe. Laura took some home right away to bake with and the rest are now sitting in my basement refrigerator (otherwise known as “the kegerator” and typically filled with yarn…which had to be temporarily moved) until we process them tomorrow. Some will be frozen and some will be canned.

I also went to see the doctor again on Thursday. I brought with me about 20 days of documentation of my basal body temperature (averaging 97 degrees) and lots of questions and comments. I have to say, I sort of melted down, too. I have had it with being tired, achy, and foggy-brained and sat there crying quite a bit. Most of my labs came back “normal” (whatever that means), although I am too low in vitamin D this time and need to take uber supplements for several months. The vitamin B-12 is elevated, although a level of 736 seems paltry considering that I was getting 1000 mcg injections twice a week for 5 weeks. Nonetheless, that level is in the OK range and will do for now.

Since my body temps are low and my clinical presentation is consistent with hypothyroidism, I’ve started on a low dose of Armour Thyroid. And I’ve had some blood drawn to test for food sensitivities, too. Since I seem to be having issues effectively processing all the vitamins out of foods, it may be that I’m sensitive to something and need to change what I eat. (The antibodies that could effect my processing of B-12 came back normal, too, so no pernicious anemia it seems.)

Between the visit with the doctor and the long holiday rest I’m feeling better already. Having an action plan makes such a difference to me, and the nights of 9 and 10 hours of sleep have been lovely.

Tomorrow I start back to work and back to working out. I don’t expect much out of myself yet, but I am hoping that I’ll get through the day OK and feel like I’m back on the path of what is normal for me. I’d love to be able to resume my busy lifestyle again and stop being such a bummer to be around. That’s my idea of independence right now.