Friday, August 10, 2007

new chicks and a picture of a slow unschooling moment

Gillen's Bourbon Red turkey chicks arrived in the mail early this morning. Two didn't make it, but the other 13 are fine. I'm relieved that they all didn't die in this heat. They will live on our porch for a few weeks before going to a bigger enclosure at the farm. The new turkey owner says that he feels like a father. He goes out to check on them every half hour. It's fun having squeaky baby sounds, even those of a turkey, seeping in to the house. It's 110 degrees right now! They only needed the heat lamp for two hours or so before the porch thermometer was reading 105, so we turned the lamp off. Now, we even have a fan circulating air right above them. Maybe we should move them inside with their lamp?

Poor Nicolas. I remember farming in this kind of heat, years ago, and looking for reasons to go to Wal-Mart (no other option and I was still naive...) to get supplies for the farm. I also remember not having air conditioning here in the house, for years. I am so grateful for it now but we can only put it on so high. So we are all moving slowly and hanging out in our living room - a picture of which room provides a road map of our life at this moment.

The book in my lap in the foreground is _Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows_ which we are reading a lot lately. On the ottoman are a few of my projects - the two blankets that I'm crocheting and the _Playmaking_ book that I am rereading to prepare for a theater writing class I'll be teaching in Sept. There is a NC map there that Jesse was using with his "Which Way USA" NC game book (that's a cool series of state books that the kids revisit every once in a while). There are piles of library books and an older Harry Potter that Jesse is rereading, Gillen's crochet project, a few board games, a yo-yo that they were trying to figure out, a 500 piece puzzle all out and only a quarter finished in the corner that Jesse has been working on maybe once or twice a week since June.

I know that Nicolas doesn't always see the magic in all this, just the chaos. I often try to neaten it up before he comes home. If only projects could all live under an invisibility cloak, when necessary, to then reemerge and be continued when the impulse rises.

We watched a great BBC documentary with David Attenborough - "Life in the Undergrowth". It's like "Life with Birds" (also really good if you haven't seen it) but with insects. Man, these insects have some amazing courting rituals and even more amazing mating talents.

In an hour, a new "Ben Ten" movie is being shown for the first time on Cartoon Network. Several weeks ago, Jesse created a banner to remind himself of this big premiere event and hung it near his bed. We'll record it and watch it again with his two "Ben Ten" buddies.

Hope you're all staying cool.


kelli said...

105-110...oh my gosh, I would melt. I think it was about 90 here yesterday and I stayed most the day in the air conditioning. It's muggy, not quite raining, but close.

I'm gonna now go and look to see what the weather in Asheville has been like ;)

Danielle said...

Poults can be really tricky to raise, and our mama hen has a *much* better success rate than I. Not a big surprise of course.

I've found giving them a hard boiled egg yolk and yogurt mixture once a day or every other day to be really helpful for keeping them alive. They need a lot of protein when they're growing, and it's hard to find a non-medicated feed with a high enough protein where we live. Also, the yogurt really helps their intestinal tract stay healthy and fight off coccidia.

Good luck!

Madeline said...

Thanks Danielle! The feed was give them is high protein and organic - my MIL put it together for her chicks but I am going to suggest to Gillen that we do the yolk and yogurt. I got up three times last night to check on them. Nicolas keeps reminding me that these are his chicks but my maternal instinct has been turned on.

Danielle said...

Oh man, don't I know it! I'm up constantly when we have babies, which is why I'm so lovin' having mama hens to do all that work and worry.

Yeah, I'd suggest a maintenance every other day or so of the mix, as I'm convinced that turkey poults need really high protein that just doesn't get metabolized well from feed.