Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Peeps have arrived!!

We ordered 12 baby chicks 2 months ago from My Pet Chicken.
Of course I wanted them right away, but I chose 6 different varieties
(Australorp, White Leghorn, Plymouth Rock, Buff Orpington, Red Star & Rhode Island Reds) it took some time to get hatch dates close together. 2 months is long time to wait (well, for me), you'd think a person waiting that long would be more then prepared for the arrival.
Not me, I'm never ready for anything.
Luck for me the people in my life know this and expect nothing more ;)

My chicks were due to arrive in the mail today.
Yesterday, I planned to run errands gathering a few supplies I was missing.
That was the plan, but here's what happened...

Picked Bella up from preschool at Noon, came home to make her lunch before heading out to run errands.
12:30 the phone rings...United States Gov...hmmm, guess I should answer that.
The man on the phone said my box of chicks just arrived at the PO.
While he was saying some non important things or at least I wasn't paying attention, I could hear Chirping in the background.
My stomach started feeling sick, I hung up so fast I have no idea what I said to him.
Except the obvious, I'm on my way!

I ran around the house freaking out, in panic mode that the brooder wasn't setup, I didn't have the right heat lamp and what I thought was a chick waterer, wasn't!

I called Dave at work rambling about having to go to the pet store, get to the PO asap to get the chicks home to give them water before they DIE!
(This post is going to have lots of "!")

During all the chaos Bella was following behind me telling me not to worry because the chicks weren't coming until tomorrow.
(children, like animals instinctively know when you are loosing your mind and they need to step in and comfort you...don't you love that)

Bella helped me set up the brooder, prepare sugar water and fill the feeder.
We jumped in the car and raced to the PO, while Dave kindly ran my errands.
(he could have saved me some stress by doing that days ago, LOL)

We cut in front of the Huge line at the PO and excitedly told the clerk that baby chicks were waiting for us. Bella was jumping up and down, clapping and squealing with delight.
The people in line were laughing, either out of excitement for us or that we must be crazy.

No lie, I was giddy when I saw the box.
We carefully carried our precious babies to the car.
Took a second to snap a quick pic, of course

Bella made the calls to announce the arrival of grand babies/nieces to our family.
I concentrated on safely driving the chicks home.

We opened the box to lively chirping chicks eager to get out.
What a relief all 12 were alive!

(look Dave saved the day, just in time with the right waterer, but that long feeder had to go!)
I carefully took each one out of the box and dipped there beaks in the water.
The chicks were much larger and hardier than I thought they would be.
Really what do I know, I had never seen a baby chick before.

Proud Papa and Chick Sis admiring our new additions to the family

Crazy Chicken Brother!
This kid has loved and talked about chickens his entire life.
Why, I don't know?
The speech he did a few weeks ago was even about Chickens!
That turned out to be a great way for us to research chicken care.
(I'll have to post his fabulous speech)

Cat introductions
(btw, that is our new kitten, Honey)

Sleeping fluff balls or are they dead!
No they aren't, just looks that way ;)

Brooder setup
I can't maintain a high enough temperature for the chicks in our house.
It's 85-90 degrees outside, so during the day the brooder will be on the porch with the heat lamps.

121 pictures later, the chicks have made it through their first day/night at home :)

We are all chicken smitten

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Homemade Topsy Turvy

I mentioned in my previous post that you don't need a special "sold on TV" pot to grow tomato plants upside down.

Here's what you need to make your own:
Coconut Fiber Hanging Basket (I used 14"x6")
Tomato Plant
Garden Soil

Choose a strong wire basket.
I lucked out that this one had an open circle on the bottom creating the perfect place for the tomato plant to rest.

Cut a cross in the bottom center of the basket.

A small tomato plant will be easiest to fit through the hole.
Gather the branches, gently push them through the hole while turning the plant upside down.

Super easy and none of the branches broke!

Aww, how cute ;)

If your plant comes with a peat pot and you leave it on, I suggest breaking apart the bottom to help the roots spread.
Fill with Garden Soil and Your done.
You can take it a step further and add to it's function.
Add Flowers or Herbs on top to make an extra attractive Homemade Topsy Turvy!