trystinn: (PCG)
There are few things more degrading to a chicken than being stuffed in a cage, tossed in a car and driven to a strange location where they are then brought out for Show & Tell. Even so, our ladies and lads did great!

Scarlett, the Professional Chicken, was absolutely wonderful. I set her up on a roost (very much like a parrot) before class and she proceeded to have a great time showing off for folks as they came in the room. The space the Grange uses for classes is also rented by the Christ the King Church, which means there is a very large rustic wooden cross in the room. Which Scarlett thought would be a great thing to explore! It took us awhile to get her down, to which she complained bitterly for awhile until I gave her some feed to make it up to her.

Big Blue was an awesome model of well-behaved rooster. He submitted himself generously for petting and even let folks tug on his wattles. Most folks, I've found, have a sort of preternatural fear of roosters, which is quite sad. They are delightful guys if you're willing to pick tolerant breeds and handle them regularly. Even Napoleon, our little bantam cockerel, was well behaved and let folks pet him.

The chicks were a hit, of course. Who can resist floofy goodness? I thought they'd be the highlight of the class until someone asked me about interpreting chicken noises. I went through several examples of noises the feathered ladies and lads make, which began a very lively Who Can Top This contest. I crowed - Big Blue crowed, then Napoleon crowed. I sang the Happy Song and Wendy, our little bantam smooth-feathered Silkie pullet answered with her own. I brought her out of the cage and let her sing along for awhile, folks were absolutely charmed at this unexpected song bird in our midst.

All in all it went very well. The chicken breed spreadsheet was very informative, though I ought to have included a Legend. The new version has one. I'm looking forward to teaching the next class and hope we can double our numbers next month!
trystinn: (PCG)
I was thinking to skive off, to go help Kevin supervise his soon-to-be ex-wife's move out but last night one of the older PCG members called and asked for a ride. So, I'm going. Guilt works.

Woke up a bit early to get out and vacuum the car out. Several trips to the dogpark, carpooling Flash to and from the bookstore, etc. leaves a LOT of fur in the car. My big shop vac doesn't work so well as a car vacuum in that the long rigid pieces of tubing are just too inflexible to maneuver into the nook and crannies, but its done a pretty good job.

Hopefully, Louise will be comfy for the 30+ minute drive each way. And maybe, my poor lungs will get a break.
trystinn: (PCG)
The new Master of our Grange is a little meeting nuts. I'm to meet with him and our Family Activities Coordinator to go over which Chicken 101 classes we want to teach next year. Which is fine, but I could have emailed this in, yanno. And not first thing in the morning, when I'm a complete grump and brain dead.

10am is first thing in the morning to me. Shut up. I don't count stumbling around the place, feeding chickens and dogs, throwing back coffee and the like to be civilized activity. Hell, I've thrown feed at the sheds instead and likely will again (released too late on the arc of the throw), much to the confusion of my ducks and chickens. I am *just* that much of a dud in the morning.

How brain dead? Well, I was looking at the invite and it said 10am at Miriam's. So now I'm wondering, who the heck is Miriam and where does she live? Do I need boots to get there? Some farms, you do - so I might need to sterilize my galoshes and pack them. No judgment there. And then, I remember. Miriam's is that lovely little Espresso place in Coupeville. *headdesk* Context, I need a context in the morning.

Geez. Morning meetings are just not my thing.
trystinn: (ducklings)
The Penn Cove Grange has been holding agricultural classes as a fundraiser and networking opportunity. Tonight was my turn to co-teach with Stinger a class on chickens. Since the north Whidbey crowd is decidedly more egg business/chicken fancier than the south island folks (who are interested in meat production, typically), our class focused on Chicken Keeping 101. Stinger is pretty big in the chicken production industry here and supervises the Poultry Barn at the Island County Fair - to which I've signed up to help coordinate, so this was a great opportunity for he and I to work together.

To make things more interesting, Josh and I hauled three of our girls to the class: Scarlett (our Alpha Rhodie), Opal (Blue Cochin) and Polly (Silver Spangled Hamburg). They were a huge hit and helped as demonstrators for Stinger. Scarlett is a professional chicken - anyone can pick her up, rub her comb and neck, flip her over to inspect her vent and even judge the width of her pelvis. Stinger had a ball with her, he'd never seen such a laid back chicken!

I made a few contacts here for chicken sales and may have a buyer for Opal. From the sounds of it, I may be able to sell off the Spring Chicks entirely. If those pan out, I'm well on my way to another chick and duckling order.

The chickens are exhausted, having been tucked nicely into their coop for the night. I'm exhausted too and will be tucking myself into bed soon as soon as I can get Josh away from looking at pickup truck ads. Men. *shakes head*

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TrystInn

October 2012

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