It's official, we been getting eggs for about 4 weeks. At first, I was in mild disbelief at the first egg. Actually, they had been laying for a few days before we realized what busy girls they are. Now we are getting about 4 eggs a day. Here they are eating up spent grains from Adam's ginger stout beer.
Today we switched the girls to layer feed. It should be just a few more weeks before all our time and work will pay off. The chickens are happy in the back yard.
It has been 7 weeks since we brought the chicks home. They are definitely a part of our life now. This time of the school year didn't allow for weekly updates, but I did document their growth along the way. They are officially chickens these days, at two months old. We are only about four or five months away from collecting eggs.
They rapidly outgrew the plastic tupperware, so we moved them into Olive's kiddie pool and put that in the garage. At this stage there was no way to anticipate the indescribable mess that would be created (I'll tell you more about this later). For now, look at how cute they were!
We added a roost, from an aspen tree outside. Also, we elevated the food trough by tying it to the hard cloth wall with wire (Erika's stroke of brilliance) because it was an extra chore to clean it out everyday. Once we got it off the floor, they didn't stand or poop on it as much, but they could still reach into it for grub.
They grow at such a rapid rate, that every day they look bigger. At this stage they kind of looked like awkward teenagers. Their "furry" feet grew in, and they began practicing flight. Actually, we had to put a large piece of cardboard on top of the hard cloth wall because they were hopping, climbing, scurrying their way to the top.
I was not prepared for the dust bowl era conditions that resulted from an open chicken coop in my garage. I am not exaggerating when I say this. Every single surface in our garage is coated with thick layer of sawdust. For me, this created a sense of urgency to get them outside as soon as possible. Another poultry unpleasantly is the smell of their poop. I can only take about two weeks worth of bedding-build-up. We added fresh pine to it every day, and after two weeks it became putrid. Consequently, it has Erika and I rethinking our plan for the bedding of the coop. We were originally going to go with the "deep litter" method, but are going to try the "sand" approach. It will require us to scoop it like kitty litter daily, but the odor is supposedly greatly reduced and that means more hygienic living quarters for our hens.
Matt, Adam, and Erika built the coop while I was out of town for the weekend. The coop gives each bird 3 square feet of space. After I got back to town, Adam and I painted it up on a Monday after work. This weekend we will be finishing it up! I'm so excited to get the coop all done and the chickens outside!
Erika and I decided to give the chicks some outside exposure to prep them for moving to the coop. They did great and loved the grass. I cannot wait until this summer when they are a part of our backyard landscape.
I keep thinking that I have to go and feed them, or water them, or change something but, no. They really are so easy breezy on day two. Also, we can already see their growth. It won't be long until they outgrow this temporary home.
At night they stay in the garage, but today we put them on a book shelf in the house so that they could get the benefits of natural sunlight. Plus, it was a joy to sit in my chair and watch them while I was enjoying a book and tea.
Don't tell anyone, but I think Adam really likes them too.
Let's Boat to Dinner
The London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona?
An afternoon soirée found us at the Colorado River for a drink on the floating bar at Fox's.
I love to cook with my mom when we are together. We slow down and smell, taste, and savor new ingredients. We always start with a cocktail. This one was inspired from www.countryliving.com.
Cheers Mom and Dad
The day after halloween, Jason and I headed to the rapid camps yurt with a few of his coworkers. We walked in at 7pm in total darkness. The evening unfolded into candle lit
Morning broke to a peaceful and solitary yoga practice. For a moment, the clouds cracked to reveal a blushing sunrise. A symphony of pink and orange dazzled the clouds that weighed heavily on the shoulders of the valley. Then, it was back to the churning, stirring, brewing
fortress of grey.
So, the scene is set. I thought I would upload a few pictures as I sit on my front porch enjoying our award winning brew. Aaaahhhh, life is good.
Then came the peak...
For the final push, Jason and I took a game trail (by mistake) around the rocky peaks.
Once we realized our path was better suited for sheep than for humans and dogs, we decided to climb up the vertical rocks, where we were reunited with the trail.
Though, at this point, our hike had officially morphed into a rock climbing adventure.
Back on the "trail"
A hike of surprises
I was surprised by the variety of terrain and the adventure that it led to. Watching the tide come in as we climbed and the clouds billow over the peaks, we were witness to Alaska's summer in full motion. Starting at 6pm the ocean began its metamorphosis from river rapid currents--brown with sediment--into a sapphire sea at 9:30. For the whole evening, turnagian arm brewed a slurry of eddies evoking satellite storm images as ominous clouds ballooned over Rainbow peak. As a final note, in the car ride home, we saw a rainbow as we looked at the back side of Turnagain Arm from North Anchorage. Awesome.
Later in the week, I hiked Wolverine Peak with Kathryn and Andrea from Polaris. It was an amazing climb. We walked 11 miles, and we were in the clouds until we popped through them at the summit. It was truly beautiful.
Here, there are also pictures from the return hike from the yurt.
Laura, Shane, Jason, and Tiffany helped us with Adam's first batch of sous vide baby back ribs last weekend. We had to test the ribs before summer solstice. We will be making two kinds; one with regular barbecue sauce and one with our tequilla glaze.
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Today was the first day of summer that I spent with Mom and Dad. We replanted pots and enjoyed the amazing greenhouse in all its glory.
Memorial Day Dinner
We were super lucky to share our Memorial Day with Joe, Heather, and Ben. Together, we cooked an eclectic variety of amazing food. Joe cooked a 5-spice venison tenderloin; the best venison I have ever had. Heather made a spaghetti squash curry that was to die for. Adam grilled up some halibut cheeks that had spent the day soaking in a lemon pepper marinade. Ben rolled up some smoked salmon and grilled asparagus sushi. I whipped up broccoli ginger wontons from a book my mom got me in Monterey Bay last year. We ate everything as it was ready, finger food style. I won't forget this for a long time. Thanks Ben, Heather, and Joe!