“Be Careful Mom, Don’t Be Fat!” and a chicken update…

So our babysitter introduced the boys to the Fatbooth app on iphone which they thought was hilarious. They insisted I participate, so I had my photo taken by said babysitter and waited a few seconds while the app interpreted what I would look like many pounds heavier. Not cute. Not at all.

We were eating dinner the other night, a few days after the introduction to Fatbooth, and we were talking about how if a person were to eat way too much, they’d get fat. Which is when Alex said that to me. “Be careful Mom, don’t be fat.” “What excellent English,” I thought. And yes, I should beware of the late night ice cream I’ve been eating in an attempt to wind down from a day of herding he and his siblings. Because I might just end up fat, and now that I’ve seen what it looks like, I know exactly what I’m trying to avoid. Thanks Fatbooth!

And now a chicken update:

Way back last spring when we were desperately awaiting news of the adoption of our baby girl (haha, if only we knew we would have immediately gone on VACATION!), we added chickens to our family. Three Black Australorps to be exact, which you can read about here and here. Well two turned out to be roosters (which we ousted), (wait, is it eerie that it turned out that we adopted THREE black chickens, two boys and a girl???) and a couple of weeks ago I had to say goodbye to Lulu, a nice laying hen who ended up prolapsing (you don’t want to know). In the meantime, we had added some new chicks last spring to replace our boys. They are beautiful Silver Laced Wyandottes…I call them the twins because I can’t tell them apart. Here they are all grown up as nice fat hens:

Then we added some Auracanas this year (because our egg consumption just tripled), and just integrated them into the run a few weeks ago. Wow, what an ordeal…chickens are unbelievably brutal and the twins were merciless with the new young chickens. Even after several weeks the ‘baby chicks’ as we call them, only really eat and drink when the twins are either out free ranging or up on the roost. It’s a grim existence, but it is getting better. Here’s what the new little ones look like:

They are not laying yet, but when they do, we should be getting Martha Stewart-colored eggs. I thought it would be fun for the kids.

Anyway, so I’ve been thinking the twins were slacking off a bit. Melkam is diligent about checking for eggs several times a day, and we’ve generally been getting one egg a day, which means the twins are taking turns or one of them is just not producing.

A couple of days ago I went out to refill the chicken waterer. Ellie was sleeping and the boys were watching a movie. The twins had been free ranging and I wanted to put them back in the run. I couldn’t find one of them, and we’d recently discovered that she likes hanging out in this compost bin near the coop. There are lots of bugs and worms in compost, so it makes sense.

I opened the top to look for her in there, and that’s when I saw this!!

What the heck? That little sneak has been laying eggs in a custom nest in the back of the compost bin. There were SIX EGGS in there!

So I went inside and got my sturdy little 3-step ladder and set it up in front of the compost bin. Then I went back in and convinced the boys to let me pause Thunderhead, Son of Flicka (they like horses, and one of them found this at the library). I told them Mommy had something to show them. Alex, who prefers to know everything in advance, asked me eighty-five questions on the way outside, but he willingly mounted the ladder and was delighted to see the eggs! He thought it was so funny. Melkam refused to come look. It was really sad actually, especially since he loves looking for eggs. Finally we had to tell him there were eggs and he climbed the ladder. He was thrilled. Each of them got to carry three eggs as I reached in and emptied the stash.

This morning at breakfast I reminded the boys what we found yesterday and I asked Melkam why he didn’t want to look. I asked Melkam if he was afraid, if he thought Mommy was going to trick him. He said yes. I asked Alex if the kids at the orphanage tricked each other a lot and he said “Oh Yes!” and proceeded to give me some examples. It makes sense, I mean, a bunch of kids with out of control lives trying to feel like they have control of something. But it made me really sad. I told both of the boys that Mommy won’t trick them. But I know that for their little minds and hearts, I have to prove that over and over again before they will be able to trust and just enjoy the surprise.

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