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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain


The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.


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So here are our chickens, while they are still cute wee babies. Already, we can see them growing; they are noticeably bigger and flying a lot more and starting to perch. We figure that we will have them outside within the next week or two. Bobby built the coop on Sunday; all that he needs to do now is build the free-ranging pen, which is fairly easy.

Currently, they are in a big cardboard box in the basement. So, yeah, the basement smells a little barnyardish right now. Well, it could be worse ...

(Last week, before we hooked up with Tim, we went to the Westminster Livestock Auction to see if we could get any little ones. Unfortunately, they were all being sold in bigger lots than we needed for our small backyard flock! However, we did have a good time ... but the smell of the auction reminded us of how a family friend's living room used to smell ... :^S)

So here they are. The black ones are the Australorps; the light-colored ones are the New Hampshire Reds.


The difference in personality between the two breeds is astounding. The Australorps are flighty and don't like to be caught or handled. They're also really fast and so a pain in the ass to catch. (And, of course, one of them has pasty butt*, so I have to catch her every day to check and clean her butt. All poop- and butt-related pet chores are automatically Mommy jobs.)

* Pasty butt is a condition that some young chicks get where their droppings stick around their vent and, if not cleaned up, can actually block them entirely and kill them.


The Reds, on the other hand, are calm and friendly. Rose, my favorite little one (not that I have favorites; Mommies never have favorites; I don't have a favorite Golden either *shifty eyes*), falls asleep in my hands, and twice today, she has fluttered up to perch on Bobby's arm when he's reached into the box.

Here's Bobby with one of the Australorps:


Who looks like she'd rather be somewhere else.


The whole time you hold the Australorps, they're stretching their necks to look back down into the box, like they can't wait to get back down with their sisters.

Now, Bobby with Rose:


And me with Rose:



We have picked out six names but haven't assigned them yet. We are naming four after the Golden Girls (yes, okay, embarrassing confession that this is my favorite TV show ever) and the remaining two after women in Irish folk songs, so we will end up with Rose, Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, Molly Malone, and Dicey Riley. We have assigned names to Rose and Dicey Riley (the one with pasty butt, of course), and I'm pretty sure I've got Dorothy picked out too.

Rose is easy to identify because she has dark markings on the top of her head. (She is also the friendliest and most at ease with us, hence my choice of names for her.) Actually, I can tell them all apart already, which is good.


Another of the Reds, not Rose. If we tried to do this with one of the Australorps, we'd have a flying chicken on our hands! Erm ... off our hands??


Chickens being chickens:


They love squash bugs too, by the way. They get a little treat every morning. >:^)

Chicken breast:


Bobby tried to do this the other day with one of the Reds, and it wouldn't work. No wonder, I told him, you don't have boobs!

And what a badass pirate I would make with a baby chicken on my shoulder instead of a potty-mouthed parrot with a peg leg.


And, finally, their big brothers aren't quite ready to interact with them yet. My goodness, when Bobby and I are in the chicken's room, you should hear the whining and crying on the other side of our impromptu barricade!


We're hoping to have them out in the grass for a little while sometime in the next few days, so I'm sure there will be more chicspam to follow.
  • (no subject) -
    • That's interesting about the different chick personalities. I never would have guessed.

      Oh, yes, they're just like people! :D Different breeds have different temperaments (the Reds are particularly recommended for beginners because of their personalities), and different chickens have different personalities too. :)

      Aaaaw, I bet the Goldens are jealous!

      They're getting used to it--you should have seen them the first time we carried a peeping, chirping cardboard box through the living room! :) Alex had a similar reaction when we first brought Lance home. He slept up on our bed the first night. They're not allowed to sleep in bed with us at night--and he had never tried before--but we let him that once because it was pretty clear that he wanted to be sure he wasn't being replaced. :)

      I like the white patches on the dark chicks. It's almost like paint got dropped on them.

      Lol--you're right! It does look like that! That's how I tell the Australorps apart; each one has a slightly differently sized white spot. I don't know if they'll grow out when they get combs, though. I hope not--I don't know how I'd tell them apart!

  • Cute chickens! And nice barricade. ;)
    • Hey, you have a retriever--sometimes, you just have to improvise! (Luckily, both of mine are wimps [I almost said chickens] and haven't tried to jump it yet ...)
      • I admit, I was looking at it and thinking, "I don't think that would keep my flatties away from the chickens!" ;)
  • They're so adorable, I don't think Sharon would let me keep any in the house though... not long term anway!

    It's so cute that you called them after the Golden Girls. That's our little secret too, we usually watch one episode before going to bed each night!

    So, since I'm guessing that they're not going to be used for chicken :-P are they just for eggs and looking cute, of course?

    BTW, you have such good taste in t-shirts. I approve. :-)
    • I thought you might like the shirt! :D It was acquired in Heathrow while, unfortunately, waiting to fly back home. :(

      Bobby claims that when the chickens stop producing (5-6 years), he is going to "retire" them. I'll believe that when I see it! He gets more attached to animals than me, for one, and he's already spending more time "visiting" the chickens than I do. But, yes, they were primarily acquired for eggs. :)

      (Just think of the wonderful custard-based ice cream it will make! :D)

      Luckily, they won't be in the house for long because they do poop a lot and, apparently, make a lot of dust as well! We're hoping to have them out in the coop in the next week or two. (The guy we bought them from had them outside already, but he also lost several of them during a rainstorm because, when they get cold, they huddle and smother the ones on the bottom. :( )
  • *dead from cute*

    Between this and getting scolded repeatedly by the tiny house wren couple out front and seeing a daddy cardinal feeding a baby at the bird feeder and watching YouTube videos of peoples' parrots and starlings singing classical music and talking, I'm really having to restrain myself from rushing out and getting some feathered pets lately!
    • I had budgies when I was younger and, I have to say, I like the chickens better! :D The budgies had no problem waking up at daybreak and shrieking continuously at the sun. Our first budgie, Petie, was an amazingly cool bird. He did learn to talk (he used to say, "Good bird," "Petie," and "Call Dawn") and was very sociable. Riley and Gertrude were budgies that Bobby and I raised as class pets in the 10th grade and, unfortunately, they were abused by some of the other students (we took them home the day we heard about it, whether I was prepared for them or not). So they never learned to trust people and, because they had each other, never learned to talk either.
  • I am slain by the cuteness. Just slain. ;-)
    • The chickens are fleeing in fear from your icon! :D And you'll recover soon enough because in the next few weeks, I suspect they'll start to enter the big and ugly stage. ;)
  • Oh, they're so sweet and fluffy. :)
  • (no subject) -
    • Go right ahead! :D We did check with Manchester first, and they're allowed here, but the chickens were one point on which I was willing to go all Thoreau and be civilly disobedient if we were told we couldn't have them. ;)
  • So Bobby has already come around and agreed to naming the girls :D And Rose's markings! She's such an adorable girl. At this rate they will be easy to handle in the pen/coop. The boys haven't jumped over the hurdle just yet? Look at Lance! LOL

    ps We love the Golden Girls here and proudly say so ;) They have been on the reruns here for so long!
    • Well, I told Bobby that I was naming them--everything in our house has a name! :)--and asked if he wanted to know the names. He agreed. I was going to name them after Valar, but it turned out I liked the chickens too much. ;)

      We love the Golden Girls here and proudly say so ;)

      I had no idea they had such an international audience! :D I think that's awesome. I sometimes feel a little dorky for my attachment to them, but there is so much to like about the show, and I grew up with the series on television before reruns. Ai, I wish we got a channel where I could watch them occasionally now ...
  • They're adorable. I'm just imagining what would happen here if we brought in this kind of addition to the family: I see feathers flying everywhere (just look at the icon and see her killer instinct eyes) and crazy(er) dogs to deal with. Luckily I can get fresh eggs in a street market we have on Saturdays :D
  • I don't think I've ever seen more adorable squash-bug killers!

    Now I have to wonder: do eggs produced by chickens eating squash bugs taste like Jolly Rancher candies? I guess you'll soon find out! :D

    (The squash bugs have arrived in my garden, as have the cucumber beetles, and my poor squash plants aren't long for this world. Despite the rain, we're having a not-so-good gardening year here.)
  • Ah, I wish I could hold one!
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