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Chickens and Unschooling
Learning through living
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23rd-Dec-2014 12:41 pm - 6 week old ducks.
The ducks were 6 weeks old yesterday. The significance of that, is they have enough adult feathers grown in that they can be full time outside if we want them to be.

They are extra spazzy about dealing with the other birds, so I wasn't comfortable with just dumping them in the main bird yard and letting all the birds work it out (something we've done with previous young birds to reasonably good success - probably because of the large size of our bird yard). I was worried they'd freak out and run themselves into a fence (worst case, if they ran towards the neighbor border fence where the neighbor's dogs could possibly reach them) trying to get away from the scary larger birds.

M came up with a brilliant idea, and built me a small temporary yard situated between the mixed bird yard, and the goose yard. I strung up chicken wire along the neighbor border fence, so the neighbor's dogs shouldn't be able to reach them. I gave the ducklings the turtle water (an old plastic sandbox shaped like a turtle, that we turned into a pool many years ago) and a bucket for drinking water.

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Yesterday they spent most of the daylight hours outside - but I still brought them in at night. I expect that by the beginning of next week, they'll be out 24/7, but I'm being overprotective for a short while longer.

ETA: I left the ducks out till after dark tonight and they made it very clear they do not like dark. They bunched up (M started calling them bunching ducks due to their tendency to cluster very close together when moving around or distressed) near a corner of their new outside yard and yelled about their displeasure. I could sit close to them, but they wouldn't budge towards the house till I picked them all up at once and moved them past the gate of their pen. They are now very contentedly sleeping in their inside "nest". I think I need to break out the extension cords and light I set up for the geese during their transition to being outside birds.
14th-Dec-2014 04:53 pm - Tree Trimming.
It is a work in progress. It looks like it may be a two day process to completely trim the tree this year. We got a larger tree than last year and have it on top of the air hockey table, so all sides are visible and need equal ornament treatment. It's also a little harder to reach the higher bits.

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H and S.

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I broke with tradition and played old Christmas songs on YouTube instead of uncovering my record player. I did at least find a Jim Reeves album someone had uploaded. Maybe if the kids get a second wind, I'll do my part and play some records. I'm pretty sure it doesn't count as Christmas till I play The Christmas Guest by Johnny Cash, and I still have to dig out my favorite - (Little White Donkey)Carrying the Lord to Jerusalem by Ed Ames.

Eh, why dig when there is YouTube (Little White Donkey)Carrying the Lord to Jerusalem.

Seriously, YouTube makes me lazy.
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Ducklings on their first day with us (2 days old).

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3 days old.

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1 week old.

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10 days old.

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12 days old.

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2 weeks old.

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4 Weeks old.
1st-Dec-2014 10:56 am - Guardians of the Galaxy
We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy at our discount theater yesterday (whole family outing). We all enjoyed it. The kids and I loved it. M liked Avengers better (I never got to see Avengers in the theater, so I suppose my perspective might be different if I got the large screen experience for it, but I'm not so sure, I really loved Guardians).

During the credits, a little boy who was sitting behind C (and had been talking quite a bit during the movie) asked C why he shushed him. C immediately, said, "Sorry, I meant please be quiet." Then C found it necessary to explain to the little boy that it was mean to talk during a movie, except during the credits was ok.
27th-Nov-2014 04:59 pm - Happy Thanksgiving!
M made the turkey this year as usual. He also made the mashed potatoes and cooked the Spätzle.

I made salad and made the Spätzle dough.

S and I made the cranberry sauce last night (using the recipe on the package - 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 12 oz cranberries), and both the girls set out the rolls on the pan to heat after M pulled out the turkey.

The ducks enjoyed some outside time (they crawled into my lap when Pete got too close - then cuddled even closer when the air-conditioner turned on). While H and I supervised the ducklings in the backyard, S and C had Grandma (M's mom) judge their scooter contest in the front.

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24th-Nov-2014 08:41 pm - Two weeks old - ducklings.
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24th-Nov-2014 01:16 pm - Bowl Ducks
In all of these pictures, it is the same bowl.

Fang and Amazon are featured in these pictures.

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Two days ago (ducklings approximately 1 weeek, 5 days old).

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Day one with ducklings (approximately 2 days old).

They grow very quickly - they are much bigger today, just two days later at 2 weeks old.
23rd-Nov-2014 12:10 am - First Flood day for ducklings.
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H and S.
19th-Nov-2014 08:41 pm - First Outside Trip for Ducklings
I probably should have taken the ducklings outside on Monday, at one week old, but I wasn't organized enough. Instead, today was the day, at one week and two days old.

They really enjoyed the weeds in the yard. They also had a go at a dog bowl full of water. Their first swim. It took a while for the ducklings to figure out what to do with the dog bowl - at first they just drank and ate the weeds we threw into the water.

Blizzard was the first to brave the water on her own. She stepped up on the rock we put next to the bowl, then stepped in; she promptly freaked out and left the bowl as fast as she could. She tried again a couple of minutes later and was fine, since that time she was ready for the big step down.

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I like how bottle duckish they look in this first picture.

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S and C were outside with me today, H was still asleep.

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Soft Spot is in the bowl in this picture.
Pictures of our five ducklings. The first of each set is a picture from the first morning we got them (thus 2 days old). The second of each set is from yesterday (thus one week old).

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H's chocolate runner duck - Amazon.

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S's Welsh Harlequin - Blizzard.

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M's fawn and white runner duck - Fang.

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My black runner duck - Castiel.

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C's blue runner duck - Soft spot.
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