Meet the Chickens

Hi!

Today is “Reading Day” at school. Final exams start this week! Actually, mine aren’t until next week…so I have a ton of time to walk around in sweat pants and putter around my yard 🙂 (My favorite things to do, obviously). I thought you might like to meet my chickens. They are the cutest and coolest around. I’ve loved watching their personalities grow over the past month or two.

We bought our hens for $10 a piece from the local flea market. And our rooster, Kingston, was given to us by Jason’s grandfather. I’m not sure how to feel about shopping for our chickies at the flea market. All of the chickens there looked so sickly, so I tried to pick the three best-looking. I looked at all of the hens for a looonggg time, walking up and down the row..and then walking up and down the row again. Finally, I stood in front of a batch of Silkies and just watched them. They were calm, no physical signs of stress (loss of feathers, etc). I picked girls that were caged together and another from a different cage. And here is where I’m torn:

The guy, an older fella with a super thick country accent, grabbed them by their feet and put them into what looked like a large potato sack. He bagged my birds. When he picked up the bag, all of the birds tumbled around until they were one on top of the other, claws and beak sticking out of the bag. They were clucking up a storm at this point.

Not sure if you guys know how I feel about animals, but this infuriated me. If I had known that he was going to shove them into a bag, I would’ve brought a ventilated box or something from home. Jason could see that I was about to loose it, so he quickly paid the man and I took the bag. I walked down the aisle a bit and sat the bag on an empty table so the girls could get their footing and regain composure. Once they sat beside each other, I gently slid my arm under their feet and carried them like one would cradle a baby..all the way home.

I’m not sure if we’ll buy from the flea market again..on the one hand, I do like giving those birds a good, free-range home, but I can’t stand supporting practices like that. On the other hand, I like supporting local farmers..so..I dunno. I probably would go back, but next time I’ll take my own carriers!

 

Anywho, we got the girls home and let them loose inside the coop, where Kingston was. The first thing they did was nestle down beside each other and have a relaxing dust bath in the dirt 😀 They were flinging dirt everywhere! It was clear that they were enjoying themselves very much 🙂 And on that note…let’s meet “the girls” (and Kingston):

Kingston

kingston

Kingston is a Polish rooster and was the first to get here. He was a happy rooster until he stood in the rain all night (when it was 40 degrees out) and got sick. His then girlfriend, Lady (a Polish hen), tried to peck him to death, so we re-homed her and nursed Kingston back to health. He’s been sick once again since then, but now I think he’s finally fully recovered. Thank. goodness. He likes corn, sleeping in the sun, and following me around the yard. Things he doesn’t like: Marley (our dog), being petted, and the rake. He hates the rake I use to clean out their coop. He doesn’t mind being held, but he gets squirmy after a few minutes (understandably so). Jason says he’s a wussy…which I agree. Kingston is not very dominant. He just sort of goes along with the others. Maybe I coddle him too much? 😀

Kiki

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Kiki is my favorite! She is a Silkie (all of our hens are). Kiki is the brave one. She will walk up to me when she sees me. She doesn’t run away when I come near coop. We didn’t find out until after we brought her home, but her wings are deformed. She cannot open or spread them out, she can only lift them a little. She is the darkest of all of our girls. She loves looking for bugs in leaf piles, dust baths, corn, napping on our porch, and strawberries. She loves strawberries. Kiki is at the top of the pecking order. The other girls do whatever she does. She is always the one to eat first. She’s their leader. And the youngest. And my favorite because, out of all three, she gets the closest to me 🙂

Roberta

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Roberta. She has a very laid-back personality. She follows Kiki everywhere. I think she feels pretty indifferent about me. She will only get close if Kiki gets close first. She’s definitely a follower. She loves searching for bugs, dust baths, zucchini, and mash. She doesn’t like Marley, any disturbance while she’s nesting, and she doesn’t really care for strawberries.

Rhonda

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(Shown left, Roberta is on the right). Ugh. Rhonda. She has been the most trouble. (Yes, I named my chicken Rhonda..which is also my neighbors name. No relation. I hope she isn’t offended). Rhonda is the biggest drama queen. She caused trouble from day one. On the first day, when we were opening the sack to let them into the coop, Rhonda forced her way out and ran– when I say “ran”, I mean sprinted..I’ve never seen a chicken move so fast!- across the yard and into our neighbors fence. Luckily, they were outside. So they came through the woods in their back yard, all five of them, and helped coral our scared hen. Rhonda was terrified of us. We were able to get her back in the yard, but then we just let her be. For the next two days, she sat in the bushes with only her head sticking out. Whenever I would go outside, I sit just close enough to where she was so that she wouldn’t run away, and so that she could get used to my presence. She watched me with the other chickens, but for those two days, she didn’t move an inch. And then, on the third day, she came out of the bushes and joined the flock.

She is the talker. She squawks over everything. She is the lowest in the pecking order. She and Roberta are close, but I’ve never seen Kiki and Rhonda together. She likes strawberries, dust baths, privacy when nesting, and corn. She doesn’t like me, Jason, Marley, being alone, the rake, me, and strangers. Did I mention me? The other day, she had just laid an egg, so I reached in the coop to get it (she was in there alone)..and oh. my. GOSH. You would have thought I was killing this chicken! The way she was squawking and flying around the coop! Just because I stuck my hand in there!

She is terrified of me. But, I respect her. I try to keep my distance. I love my girls, they bring me so much joy! ❤ They are so much fun to watch. I get about 2-3 eggs a day from them, so they are pretty good layers. I’m hoping I can talk Jason into getting another farm animal, perhaps a goat? Pig? We’ll see!

As for me- I planted my garden this past weekend! We’re starting off small, and if we grow successfully this year, then we’ll double the size of our garden next year. Right now, we are trying to grow cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, squash, pickling cucumbers, and yellow and green bell peppers. I’m so nervous about it. I have no idea how to grow stuff, but I guess it’s a learning process! Either way, it will be a fun journey 🙂 I hope to do a home update soon. And perhaps a life update, now that school is ending. A lot of people are asking me what I want to do with my degree…but that’s another post. Happy Wednesday!

Love each other and please recycle ❤ Aaaaaaaaa-men.

Xoxo,

Stacey B.

PS. See more of my life on Instagram! stacey_belk

Things

I learned some (random) things this past week.

For instance, the Old Crow Medicine Show station on Pandora is THE BEST station there ever was. Johnny Cash, Avett, Wailin’ Jennys…so much goodness to it. I like to put Pandora on my phone and then stick it in my pocket while I clean.

I also learned that my chickens go apes**t for some dang strawberries. I cut them up really small and put them on an old pie plate. Its barely touched the ground before Kiki (the deformed one) starts pecking away. I also now know that this is the only chance I will have to “pet” her. She’s so soft 😀 Sometimes I feel like my animals put on a certain face when they see me walking towards them…maybe their view of me is like this:

(Elmyra from Tiny Toons)

They get this look that says “Oh God. Stay calm, she’s coming towards me. She’s going to shove her face in my fur…it only takes a few seconds. Just grin and bear it.”

They love me.

In other news, Jason made a raised bed for me in our field this weekend! I originally planned to start all of my plants from scratch- germinating them, etc..but we waited too long to till the land. So Jason built this out of scrap wood that was left behind in our barn 😀 Yay for re-purposing things!

field

 

This past week, I also learned that I should wear my glasses while trying to read a recipe. I dedicated Wednesday morning to pie-making and house-cleaning. It’s a pie recipe that I’ve made 1,000 times, so I kind of glanced at the recipe (without glasses). Instead of adding the 2 tablespoons of flour, I added two cups. I thought to myself the entire time: “Surely this isn’t right. Two cups is so much. I don’t remember it this way.”

And then I read the tablespoons. It was a strawberry pie, so I had to sift the flour back through them to make it right. And there was still about a cup that didn’t come off. So instead of a pie, it baked into this sort of strawberry biscuit-type thing 🙂 Jason says it’s awesome. #winning

Sometimes I do weird things that leave me laughing all  week…but Jason never gets the joke. Which makes me laugh more.

Last night there was a plastic hanger on the floor of the bedroom. Jason was already in bed, waiting for me to turn the light out. So I grabbed the hanger and started hitting him with it (gently) while dramatically yelling “No! Plastic! Hangers!”. He’d never seen Mommy Dearest, so it wasn’t funny to him 🙂

In other other news: I am so over school. June 20th is my last day!! It gets harder to care about with every day that passes. My brain is already heading towards the freedom and I have to keep reeling it back in. It’s torture. I’m so close though!

Another thing: I’ve now crossed another band off of my “to-see” list! We went to see Weezer a couple of weeks ago! It was a decent show; they played all of their hits. It was super crowded and the stage presence wasn’t anything to write home about, but a good time nonetheless. This is what my “to-see” list looks like now (in no particular order):

Counting Crows, Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, Aerosmith (I doubt this is going to happen. I actually had tickets to one of their shows many years ago, but they cancelled the day before), Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Eat World

Artists I’ve crossed off my list- Weezer, Avett (four times!), Langhorne Slim, Hillsong

What shows do you want to see in your lifetime? Top 5? Got any awesome music recommendations for me?

 

One of the best moments of my week: Me, and two other friends, prayed over our other friend who had anxiety about an astronomy test. It was random, public (in the hallway at school), and awesome. I love laying my hand on someone’s shoulder and praying for them (when they invite me to, haha). It creates this closeness that only God can give ❤

Well, those are my random thoughts! I hope to be back with some home updates for ya’ll! Things are chugging along at the Belk Homestead 😀 Whatever you’re doing or have done this week, I hope your hearts are light and merry ❤

xoxo,

Stacey B.

For a giggle….

I’m watching The Office reruns while I play on the internet. It’s great. I had two exams today and haven’t watched TV in days (weeks?)! Feels good to rot some brain cells 😀

My heart felt sad this week…for a couple of reasons.

1. I learned what happens (neurologically) to bugs when you use insecticide on them. It’s heartbreaking. I walked out of Zoology vowing never to use that stuff again…but I still thought about it all week.

2. My TA lost his temper with me and called me an idiot in front of the entire lab class. I know he didn’t mean it, that he was just angry from the way I’d handled a slide. I don’t mind being called an idiot (because I definitely know that isn’t true!) but the yelling kind of shocked me. I don’t like, no, I hate when a person raises their voice to me. That’s something I don’t handle very well. I’m not used to being yelled at! So naturally I went to the bathroom to cry it out, regained composure, and walked gracefully back to lab.

So, anyway. Those are my sob stories of the week. Now, let’s get happy! Whenever I get down about school, or life, or human existence…I like to do something I call “laughing”. I thought maybe you need a laugh too this week 😀 Here are some things that make me LOL ❤

Look, I'm a hooman. Get off da counter, don't eat mai fud, dur dur dur dur

yes

Oh my gosh

When you ask your brother to pick you up…

"She's pretty much my soulmate."

Haha! Best episode ever

:D

If none of these are brightening your mood, well…put on some music and dance around your house. Some people drink beer to help them calm the heck down and take a load off. I like to dance. It’s not really “dancing” as much as it is jumping up and down from room to room…like a bunny, but you get the idea. I would tell you a joke, but I don’t know any. I would tell you a funny story from my childhood, but there are things that probably shouldn’t be on the internet 🙂 Anyway, all of those pins are from my “Things that make me LOL” board, which has more hilarity if you choose to go there!

Here’s to not being an idiot! Here’s to laughing and loving yourself no matter what others think of you ❤ Cheers,

Stacey B.