Monday, February 28, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Dogwood flowers have found their way into a good deal of legend, and have also long been touted for their many uses. One of the better known legends – which is still of unknown origin – states that the dogwood plant was once the size of an oak tree, and was considered one of the largest trees in Jerusalem. The bark of the dogwood was used as timber for crucifixions, and from one such cross Jesus was hanged. The trees, though, felt the pain of all that were hanged from them, so Jesus took pity on the poor plant and said, “Because of your regret for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross.” And so the tree shrank to the petite size that it is today. Another myth tells of a Native American princess who was killed by a jealous brave whom she had scorned. As she lay bleeding, she blotted her wounds with the petals of the dogwood flower. Because of this – according to the story – many of the blossoms carry trace amounts of red on their petals.
As for their variety of uses, early American settlers used slivers of the bark to clean small crevices of watches and lenses – they also used it to create tools such as hammers, knitting needles and even printer’s blocks. American Indians used the bark to fashion arrows, and the spring blossoms to predict the time to begin planting their crops.
In North America, dogwood flowers are considered an all encompassing religious symbol. These flowers are often given as gifts for holidays – especially Easter – as the four bracts can represent the four points of the cross; small indentations along the outer edge of the bracts represent the marks left by the nails; the spiky yellow and green flowers at center are related to the crown of thorns, and the fruit is indicative of the blood of Jesus. These flowers may also be given for a number of other symbols, such as sacrifice, regeneration, and enduring love.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Our oldest son constructed the cupola to add aesthetic appeal and ventilation.
The weather cleared enough for a good day of work on the roof and installing the cupola - looks terrific and the weather vane functions well!The automatic door from Murray McMurray arrived - some assembly required...
YouTube demo of the door in operation: coop controller
And it all can't happen any too soon - we've already had to double the cardboard brooder to accommodate the growing chicks:
Remember how tiny and cute they were just 2 1/2 weeks ago?
Now, they are not as cute with their growing feathers, long legs and mottled coloring!
Today is warm and sunny, so hopefully work on the roof will be finished! Next, add the doors and maybe moving day for the chicks to leave the brooder and take up residence in the coop will be within the week!
Friday, February 11, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
The chicks continue to eat....and sleep.....and sleep...
and a week ago....I can't imagine what they're going to be like next week! Better get after the completion of that coop!I had left out this shot that shows what supplies were needed to get the chicks started. We have a box, newspaper, pine shavings, chick feed, 2- 1 qt. waterers, 2 - 1 lb. feeders, parakeet grit (we couldn't find chick grit), a heat lamp with a 250 W. bulb. Several sources recommended using a red bulb to reduce the chick's tendency to peck one another, so we followed that advice. They only need about 1/2 sq. ft. per chick to start, but their space requirements will be increasing rapidly!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
We immediately burst into laughter as all the chicks were piled on top of one another in half of the box - at least 3-4 chicks deep. The 'king of the mountain', or should we say 'queen' was ready to hop off! We set about dipping each chick's beak in water, then feed and setting them in their new temporary home.
Now - honestly...didn't you want to say 'awwww' as you gazed at these photos? How much cuter could anything be? In person, they are absolutely mesmerizing!
While we mixed up a product called 'Gro-Gel'. The powder is mixed with a small amount of water and immediately becomes the consistency of sticky Jello. Here's a link to the details of the nutritional benefits and contents of the product.
The green blobs in the feed are bits of the Gro-Gel and obviously, the chicks like it!
We also purchased a water supplement called 'QuikChick'. A teaspoon per gallon for the first two weeks adds helpful vitamins and electrolytes to assist in recovery from stress during shipping and give them a nutritional boost. For the first two days, we also added 3 T. of sugar to each waterer.
One last photo of the chicks in their growing quarters. The essential elements: a box with tall sides for draft protection, a heat lamp to create the appropriate temperature, a couple of quart size waterers and a couple of one lb. feeders, a layer of changeable litter and there you have it! Here they'll stay until that coop is finished. Stay happy, chickies - we're working on it!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Well, not exactly. The cold weather returned but to a lesser degree than the cental and northeast regions of the country. At least we had a window of some dry weather for a day, so the walls were hoisted out of the garage and to the coop site!
- doors and shutters for windows
- contract electrical installations
- install automatic door for chicken access
- wire apron around foundation
- install perches
- build interior dividers between chickens and storage areas
- build and install nesting boxes
- Build a secure run for the chickens to enjoy exploring outside!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
- protection from predators,
- dry roosting quarters with perches and nesting boxes,
- room for feeders and waterers and very importantly,
- adequate ventilation - but protection from drafts.