Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Man's Garbage another chicken's home. Mathboy and I bonded over garbage-picking this weekend. You know, not every parent is lucky enough to expose her child to such a time-honored tradition. ;o)

It all started when I saw three wooden framed crates out by the curb on a nearby street. It took me a couple drive-bys before it finally occurred to me that they would be perfect for making some chicken things from. It got to the point where I would say somehting to the kids about how perfectly useful they would be, every time we drove by. Finally, I said to them, "If those things are still there tomorrow, I'm grabbing them."

They were there.

I zipped home to get all the baseball and softball junk out of the back of the car to make room and went back to get them. In the end, I needed two trips because they were bigger and heavier than I expected. Mathboy came to help with the bigger one.

With some plastic poultry netting and some more boards added for reinforcement, look what we made: A bigger, better brooder box! (Try saying that 10 times fast)
And the best is this, our chicken "tractor."
This will give the chicks a play-pen so they can go outside and be safe from predators. We can put it in different areas, so they can dig for bug and eat stuff and not ruin one particular place in the yard. Mathboy has come up with a plan to put wheels on it so that we can move it around more easily. I have told him that I am completely leaving this part of the project to him. I am not sure he really believes me yet, however.

The chickie-doos seem to like their new play-pen.
And I like that they are not in the garden anymore, for several reasons. For one thing, they were starting to eat the lettuce, which I just could not tolerate. Plus a couple of the chicks are now able to fly over the fence. Instead of making a break for it, they cry and cheep to get back in with their friends, but it was still a sub-ideal situation. And the final reaons I wanted them out of the garden? One word: poo.

Enough said.

In sports news, Catgirl's softball team stunned the league and the parents by winning two playoff games this weekend. They lost last night, though, so their season is over. They should be proud of themselves, because 4th out of 7 teams is quite a respectable finish for a team that went 2 and 12 for the regular season. Catgirl finished by successfully bunting for her last at-bat. Rich had been begging her to bunt all season, and she finally did it!

Mathboy's school finished on June 10, and so far his summer vacation has started off slow. At the school closing ceremonies last Thursday, we saw him get several awards of which he should be very proud, including the math and science award and an award for having the highest GPA in the grade. Go Mathboy!

I finished the Brandywine Shawl. It is gorgeous.
Great pattern! The yarn, though.... It took 14 rinses with woolwash to get this thing to stop bleeding dye. My hands were blotchy pink from the dye for a day or so. The needles are permanently stained pink. I was annoyed.

I have one skein left of this soft and lovely handpainted alpaca and silk yarn, but am not sure that I want to keep it. I've had this yarn since 2007. Every attempt to use it before now was aborted because the dye bleeding was so annoying. I pushed through this time, because I really thought it was the best yarn in my stash for this project. But now, with only one skein of 220 yards left.... Beautiful as it is, I don't know if I want to deal with the drawbacks of this yarn for another project. Ever.

OK, off to start party prep!


Meow said...

Great idea for the chickens!!!

bummer about the bleeding yarn....some tips, if you want them. Get a little synthropol, Woolbearers might have little bottles of it, and soak the yarn in that, and then in hot water with a cup of white vinegar. Its really frustrating to have that happen; I've had something I dyed rinse clear at home, and then bleed for the customer. Bad yarn! Bad. But the shawl is so lovely, you really did a wonderful job!

Sydney said...

Thanks for the advice!