Plans laid astray…

Wow… today didn’t go at all like I planned.

I had hoped to get in a great full day of little projects around the farm.  The weather was supposed to cooperate with middle 50’s, sunshine, that sort of thing.  Tolerable for a winter day for sure.

But when I woke, it was dark and a little threatening out there.  Looked like rain.  Jessy had a rush package that she got together and I took up to the post office before they closed up around noon.  Maggie was still feeling a little under the weather, she’s had a cold most of the week, so she was still sleeping.  I was just putzing around online, checking Facebook and all.  Trying to decide how to spend this rather unpleasant day.

Well, my surf putzing led me to a local Facebook group that is all about selling in my area.  Within a county or so.  It’s usually for things like clothing, shoes, and furniture, the occasional housewares and media things.  I did get a nice piece of new carpeting off there for $30 and I watch it but usually get beat out.  Things are usually rather cheap and someone will immediately tag anything really cool.  You have to check it often and hope you are there when something you want is posted.

Well, a lady posted that she had 8 banty chicks for sale… 50 cents each.  Whoa…  what?  Chicks?  50 cents?  I immediately posted that I was interested.  I like bantys, they are adorable.  I asked what kind and she replied fairly quickly… BB Reds.  I quickly looked online and found they are beautiful little English game banties and I said, I’ll take them, where are you?  And I was off to a nearby little town to score some little cute chicks that most hatcheries wanted at least $3 or $4 dollars A CHICK for…

Well, since I was on a chicken run, I called this lady that I had seen on Craig’s List that had some Black Copper Marans for sale.  $30 a bird!!!  Show lines…  Well… I had noticed that she said she had a few older hens available for only $10 a bird.  I really wanted to add to the farm’s BCMs and this seemed like a way to get a pair of birds from awesome lines, for a fraction of the normal cost of young pullets.  And to be honest, I wanted to meet with and visit the lady as well as see her operation.  She was home and happy for me to come over!  Yeah!

Well, the banty lady was super nice and explained that her daughter raised 4H birds and that this little BB Red hen had laid a clutch and they thought it would be neat to see if she would hatch them.  And she did.  And then they realized that they really didn’t want any more chickens.  So here they were.  4 weeks later, fit and healthy little critters.  They had them in their garage and the mom was still there, a beautiful little bird.  I paid my $4 and felt a little guilty, like I had just gotten away with poultry murder!  I knew they would go nicely in the brooder and then come spring, would do nicely out in the little coop.  In my mind, I was already thinking of taking them to the Hillsdale livestock auction in pairs, a little hen and roo and getting a decent little return on my cheap investment!

Off to my second poultry visit…  the Marans lady was nice and friendly and we chatted about birds.  She told me that come January, she would start her four incubators going and would hatch out 40 birds at a time, until March!  And she would have a waiting list for her chicks… at $10 a pop, straight run, meaning males or females, unknown.  Wow.  And I will admit, her birds were stunning.  Oh my gosh.  She let me come in and see her poultry setup and it was really nice.  She had all her breeding coops set up with nice inside runs and each with an outside area as well.  Just like I wanted to do in the poultry barn!  And I loved how she didn’t run chicken wire all over, in fact, she had it more like little low horse stalls, with nice wooden porch screen doors for the entry into each run.  By keeping the roos from easily seeing each other, she avoided fence fighting and stress.  I really liked that.  And it made it hard for anyone to escape, and also kept drafts down in the cold seasons.  Super nice.

Oh, she had this one black rooster that was HUGE!  Oh my gosh.  All feather footed and stunning.  Lovely quality.  I was getting so excited to have a pair of her older hens…  the mothers of her current stock!  I really don’t mind if they are not prolific eggs layers, if I can get a dozen or two outta them and hatched, I will be so happy!

As I see it, sure, nice new pullets would be great.  But they are unproven.  They are not laying yet and who can tell what they might breed out with.  These older hens, well, the proof was in the pudding and I was looking at their sons and daughters in their magnificence!  They were stunning examples of the breed.  And proven.  Okay, they were looking a little more worn out.  Not quite as beautiful as the young birds.  But for $20, I was getting a pair of experience brood hens for our little breeding program!  If I had a little more, I might have gotten another one or two!  And who’s to say I won’t be back in a week or two as holiday sales pick up!

Got back on the road and headed for home.  I stopped by at the local manufacturer that has shipping crates and pallets available for the free taking.  We got a whole fence off their generosity, and I figured I had a fairly empty car and I might as well take a look.   And, it was a winner.   Got a nice solid wooden shipping crate, a couple 4 x 4 long posts, four solid pallets that looked like gates to me and a few other pieces of nice lumber.  You just can not pass up on decent 2 x 4s and such when you have a little farm.  They are so useful!  I loaded up Blue and called my neighbors to let them know that there were a few more nice shipping crates (great nest boxes and such) and good pallets for the taking.  They were interested too and I hope they can get a little time to swing by with the trailer sometime!  I just can’t wait till we can get a little truck…  someday!

This day was getting better and better.  I like driving by myself sometimes, it gives me time to think about things, plan and plot, sing at the top of my lungs and just be me for awhile.  Not a mom, or a friend or something else, just me.  Stopped and got a sandwich and a pop for lunch, got gas, talked to a few friends on the phone, that kind of thing.  Felt a little like being 20 something and just having a nice afternoon.

I called my Dad, had to share with him the newest farm additions.  I sure like talking with him, and I wish just about every day that he’d move back up here near us so he could share in our adventures.  I know he’d like it.  He’s got good Indiana farm folk in his blood and he’s crafty and ingenious with his engineering background and curious nature.  I’m pretty sure its where we all get some of that plucky determination to make things work and work easy and smoothly around here.  I like to hear him laugh about our crazy critters and offer suggestions on how to make things super neat.  I asked him to name the two black copper Marans and he stepped up to the plate.  Mabel, after Ma and Pa Kettle! And then Martha, since, well, Martha Stewart is a huge fan of the black copper Marans!  Works great for me… Martha and Mabel it was.  He thinks I should get a unicorn horn for Cody to strap on for picture taking.   I believe that Cody would enjoy that and be quite the cool little unipony if we asked.  As soon as the spring comes, we are going to be getting him all dressed up and beautiful as he learned to be a photography model as well as all around good equine citizen!

While I was talking, I came upon an bad accident that had just happened.  A big black pickup had spun out on the wet road, overturned and people were just stopping and checking on the driver and passenger.  Had to stop my call and see if I could be of any assistance, but thankfully, a lady first there was a nurse and a few others had already called 911 and things were in control.  They were still confined in the truck, but no one seemed seriously hurt and they were alert.  Got back on the road, called my Dad back and all I could think is that life is so very precious.   I mean, I’m sure those folks were on their way to town, or to something they needed to do, heck, maybe pick up some hens or pallets or whatever and quite suddenly, they were in a bit of a pickle, upside down in their totally smashed new truck and probably thanking the Lord above that they were okay.  You just never know when your number is up.  You just have to live life to the fullest, every single moment.  You just never know.

Once I was home, the girls were up and busy with this and that, enjoying that new TV they got off Craigslist.  It sure is nice, I will admit.  Huge thing… 36 inch flat screen.  Nice for sure.  Everyone is going to these new plasma flat screens and I’ll admit, they are nice, love how skinny they are… but the price tag… wow….  $400-$600 for something that we really don’t watch that much, I will admit, I love the $30 tag on this one!  I think we can make due with it for awhile.  It says it’s digital ready and we tried, but there are no good signals that it can pick up out here.  I guess that we might need to get a boosted antenna if we’d like some of the free stations from the nearby big cities.  We’ll see.  Right now, it will be nice for DVDs and for the girls’ video games.  They do love those.


I got those feisty little banty chicks ready for the brooder.  Put a new fresh bowl of feed in there to distract the current residents of the brooder and then slowly slipped in the new babies.  I had made a little box with a few banty sized openings in it, so that the little ones would have a place to hangout if the older pullets were a little too pecky towards them.  But the funniest thing happened… a few of those chicks walked right up to the big pullets and just puffed up and wham, started to pick fights with the surprised large birds!  They immediately got themselves right in the middle of the pecking order and took over the whole bowl of food, and my older birds looked at me like I had unleashed little chicken demons in their midst!  Haha… so much for letting the big guys push you around.  I guess the lesson learned is that you go in with a big attitude and set the flock in order immediately and everything will be just fine.  Only one of the large birds wasn’t taking it, one of the cuckoo Marans and she was a little rough on them for a few minutes until they started to dash about and pretty much run circles around her.  She gave up and went back to try and find a spot at the food dish.  When I checked after an hour, everyone was quite fine and established in their run of the brooder.  The little guys were pretty much doing whatever they wish and if they ticked off a bigger bird, they would dart underneath them and away from any hassle.  They would be fine!

Maggie was ready to go out and work on the big barn doors with me,  she wanted to get at least one thing off our list.  The big barn has these two wooden doors on those sliding rollers, and one was in sorry shape.  It has lost a couple boards to rot and was just letting in too much cold air.  It would have been nice to take them down and start all over, and Steve said he would help, but after pricing the wood and such, it was going to be a serious project and frankly, just too cold to try and do right.  So we decided to make do… to use up some of our salvage wood and get it through the winter and replace them in the spring.  So we gathered up a few odds and ends from our lumber depot, drill, hammer, staple gun and supplies.  It didn’t take us too long, and before no time, we had sealed up the holes with a few odd looking boards and taken a bunch of feed bags and stapled them on the inside of the doors to block out the wind from a few holes and gaps.  It was stunning how nice it was inside the barn after those simple fixes.  We left a little rectangular doorway at the bottom, about 12 inch by 8 inch wide, but other than that, the doors were nice and solid.  And didn’t cost us anything new, just a handful of screws and nails.  I like that.  It feels good.

Sure new doors would have been wonderful.  $100 or more wonderful.  And in due time, we’ll get them.  I’m pretty sure that we might loose another board or two to rot within the year and in the spring, it would look nice to see a nice set of good strong doors, painted up nicely and with a little window and door for the girls to come and go from.  But in the meanwhile, the flock is warm and cosy in their barn and I know if I had to, I would put the sheep in there too, if the sheep shack got too cold.  They would be safe and secure in there with the hens.  I’d like to get a cattle or hog panel to section off a portion of the big barn for the sheep, or maybe even piglets in the springtime.  Just to be ready and prepared.  The sheep shack is good shelter, but it’s small, and if it got really cold, it might be better to house them in the big barn where they could hang out a few days or so in the bitter cold.  Just planning ahead!

Came back in and Jessy had dinner cooking for us.  She’d taken care of the kitties and the bunnies and had set up our new-used table and chairs we got off Craigslist for the parlor!  $30 for 6 chairs and a decent table is a deal.  We are short on chairs around the homestead and we hope to recover the seat cushions and paint the chairs to have some nice additions to the early American garage sale look that we are working on!  Hey, some day, we might be able to afford fancy new furniture, but you know, the thrill of the hunt and the sale is mighty intoxicating and I believe we’d rather spend that cash on other stuff, like banty chicks and old fancy hens!  And maybe a milk cow!!!

Yeah, we’re weird like that.

I’m hoping that maybe tomorrow will be a little more forgiving with the rain and the wind and we might be able to get to our laundry list of projects before we go into town and get that new video game the girls are just DYING for.  It’s the new Zelda game…  they love that series as does apparently the whole world of teens and 20 somethings.  I’ve heard many people talking about it!   We’re putting a ham bone in the crock pot and making soup and I think I’ll probably curl up on the couch and watch them in the afternoon, maybe even slip in a little nap!  We’ll have another fun day tomorrow, and hopefully, our plans will work out a little more on track… but truth be told, it was a wonderful day today, even if it was a little bit by the seat of our pants!!!




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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Plans laid astray… — 1 Comment

  1. Love your chicken tales! I am currantly living with a single house chicken and she is darn entertaining!

    In your posts of the past few days I wanted to mention something about electric heaters. Look up info on them before you buy. And NOT a website thet is representing a brand or style of heater. Find a site with unbiased info. Usually they will tell you that 1500 watts IN equals 5100 BTUs OUT. Electric heat is 100% efficient (although not cheap) so all heaters are generally 100% efficient. The same is true for a $20 heater or a $300 heater like EdenPure. Think how much of your electric bill you can pay for the $280 inbetween !!

    You are a smart cookie. You can look into it. Unless you really NEED a $300 end table!