Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes

Last Week's Peeping Fuzzballs

Are quickly growing to look like little chickens with tail feathers and wing feathers and a more upright gait.  

What a difference a week makes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food Revolution Review

If you haven't seen Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I recommend you take a peek.  There is no streaming TV in my house, but thankfully you can watch it the next day on hulu.

Last year, Jamie took on the processed food and obesity crisis in Huntington, WV (my mother-in-law's hometown) both in the community and the school lunch program.  His mission is to get real, non-processed food into every home and school in America.  This year he's taking on L.A, though to even more resistance than last year.

The two things that stood out to me:
1.  His demonstration on Pink Slime, an additive/filler in most ground meat products in the U.S. that used to be used solely in pet food but then they figured out how to wash it in AMMONIA and serve it to humans.  The truly crazy thing is that they don't have to label the use of the product, or even the ammonia.  the FDA has declared it a process, not an ingredient.  It makes me glad I haven't bought ground beef in quite a while.

2. Jamie, in an effort to healthy-up a fast food restaurant decided to try to replace the ice cream in the milkshake with greek yogurt.  The owner said it was a wonderfully tasty smoothie, but that you can't call it a milkshake.  Here's the thing: I kind of agree.  Now, I would disagree with the fast food owner in that I see nothing wrong with replacing the milkshake with the smoothie, especially if its tasty and comes in classic milkshake flavors, but it's NOT a milkshake without ice cream.  In the same way, Miracle Whip is NOT Mayonnaise and if you replace the butter in a hollandaise sauce, it's just not hollandaise anymore. I don't think Jamie would be doing anyone any favors by refusing to call a spade a spade.  Just like i think Mrs. Seinfeld's hiding veggies cookbook doesn't do us any favors.  Because, if the "milkshake" at Jamie's place is OK, then all milkshakes are OK, right?  I think we'd do better to just teach an appreciation of veggies and healthy eating habits, than hiding wholesome foods like they're something to be afraid of.

Cheep! Cheep!

The chicks arrived yesterday morning, and everyone made it safely!

At about 7:30am, I was called by the post office to pick up my peeping package.

Inside were 8 little peepers huddled with bedding and a heating pack.  (they don't like to pose for pictures)

As I transferred each of them to the brooder, I checked each of them for "pasting up", a common condition among shipped chicks that can be fatal.  Thankfully, none of my chicks were constipated though I did notice a number of them still had their umbilical cords intact.  They just look like little black strings dangling from their behind, but don't tug it can hurt them.  Sorry no pics, but getting one of those fluffy little behinds to sit still long enough is quite the chore.  

I kept an eye on them for the first hour or so to make sure they found their water and food and to adjust the heating lamp to make them comfy.  Once they figured out where the food was, it was funny to watch them fighting over the feeder even though there are plenty of holes for each of them.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I've Been a Real Bum

Really and truly I have, but now is not the time for explanations.

Yesterday, I realized that a week from tomorrow AT THE LATEST, my chicks would be here.  Yes, sometime next week my post office will call at o'dark thirty for me to pick up my chicks and not only have we not started a coop (which they probably wouldn't be able to use for a few months) but I haven't even started on the brooder.  Oops.

This afternoon, I gathered the heat lamp & feeder bases I bought a while ago and set to work.  I took the tub we used to store our inflatable kayak (which I donated to our neighbors, it's not a purchase I recommend) and cut the lid in half.  That's it.  Can you believe people pay for these?  I need to buy some non-cedar hamster bedding (as a kid we always got some  made from recycled paper, ill prolly use that) for mess absorbency and I've already got organic chick feed hanging out in the basement.

The big thing when it comes to brooders is keeping the chicks warm, but not too warm.  Ideally, the temperature should not be consistent throughout so they can find where they like best.  If the chicks are too cold, they'll be noisy and huddled under the lamp.  If they're warm they'll be far from the lamp and each other.  Too warm is actually more of a concern than too cold.

Oh, and just to catch you up on what has been up elsewhere around here, the wainscoting & shoe moulding are about done in the livingroom and we're nearing paint time.  Also, Nick has been turning up sod for the garden expansion.  More to come on both of those projects another day.