Boil and bubble

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It’s a hot one,

like 7 inches from the midday sun”

I really think Carlos Santana must have been living in the Pilbara when he wrote those lyrics!!! Man oh man it’s hot!!!!! All week it’s been sitting between 37-42 degrees (98-107 for my Yankee friends :))

It’s not just any heat either, it’s a really dry, horrible, suck-your-eyeballs-right-out-of-your-head heat.

The ground is scorching, the few plants are brown and very sad, my car becomes an oven two seconds after I turn off the air con. And don’t even think about touching the outside of the car..or the seat belt buckles..or anything metal really. Think instant branding iron. The water from the cold tap is hot enough to scold you when you first run it, and only cools down to warm-and-toasty. I haven’t used the hot tap for my showers all week, and they still feel hot!!!

So as you can imagine not a lot is getting done around here. It’s school holidays, so I have a house full of kids, but it’s far too hot to take them anywhere. Go to the beach and you burn in 5 minutes, and the water feels like you are swimming in pee anyway :/  So we are watching lots of movies. And TV shows. And Xbox. Basically anything that requires us to be inside and move as little as possible.

The poor animals are really feeling it though. They don’t have the modern luxury of air con (I worship whoever invented that!) The dog has dug a hole in the shady garden bed that goes half-way to China, and seems content to never leave it. Even for food. The budgies are all huddled on the floor of the aviary, chilling in the puddle I make for them each day. And the poor chooks! Those girls seem to really be struggling the most. I have put up so many shade sails, and keep watering down their run. They have fresh water, ice blocks, frozen food….none of it seems to help. They are still listless and panting. There’s not much more I can do for them, when even the very air we are breathing feels hot enough to burn the inside of your throat.

The weather department keep teasing us, and saying we will get rain. Thunderstorms, even the possibility of a cyclone. Bring it on I say!! Anything to blow away this heat! It rained for all of 2 minutes yesterday. Didn’t even wet the ground. Not even enough to settle the dust.

Ah yes, gotta love the Pilbara summer!!!!

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Chook chook chickens!!!

It’s been crazy around here for a while now. I have been really busy playing in the garden, making it nice, and making it productive.

I love the idea of becoming a little self sufficient. I mean, I know it will never happen totally, but growing a little bit of food for my family? That’s an idea I can get behind.  The veggie garden is going well. I am already using the fresh herbs, and have high hopes for veggie harvest time. Today I even found our first baby bean!!

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One weird thing that has happened while trying to grow this nice fresh food, is that I can’t stop thinking about eggs. Not the bland shop eggs, but real eggs. Fresh eggs. Eggs with bright yellow yolks that are bursting with flavour.

So whats a girl supposed to do but get some chickens?!

I emailed the real estate, trying to get their blessing on it. They never got back to me, so I rang them. They never rang back. So I chose to interpret their silence as ‘You go girl! Get some chickens! Everybody loves chickens!!!’

I really thought the biggest hurdle would be getting the idea past my husband. He’s not a big animal fan, and I am constantly pushing the boundaries with my ever growing menagerie. This time he totally surprised me. While not loving the idea (or even liking it, if we are honest) he had no big objection. Lots of head shaking and eye rolling, but I’m used to that!

So Operation Chicken was hatched!! ( sorry about that, but hey, it was an eggsellent pun 😀 )

So I started the online ‘research’. By research I mean obsessing and fixating on all things chicken, cause that’s just how I roll.

I looked into all of their needs, into coops, runs, feeders. You name it, I probably goggled it! Anyway, I soon had a working plan in action. I sketched up plans, redrew them into something more practical, priced materials, then showed the husband. He then priced better materials, cheaper, cause that’s how he rolls 🙂

So before we started building, before we even purchased the supplies, I did what any crazy-person would do… I brought home chickens!!! Two little month old, very ugly-but-still-cute Isa Browns. Only problem was they had nowhere to live. So two old budgie cages, lots of cable ties, and a cat litter box later…they had a perfectly acceptable little temporary run. Not pretty, but the girls didn’t seem to mind 🙂

Meet Mildred and Little

Meet Mildred and Little

It really was temporary though, so we had to get cracking. So I dragged my poor long-suffering husband shopping and we got the metal and supplies needed. I then lined up our daughters boyfriend to come around and do the majority of the building and wielding. I figured I’d better cut the hubby some slack, there’s only a certain amount of ‘chicken stuff’ a bloke can handle!

So imagine my surprise when I came home from work the day before the build was due to start, to find him over halfway through the main frame work! I love this man 😀

Two days of bloody hard work later (I really mean bloody, that chicken wire is nasty on your hands) and the framework was up, the coop was built and painted, and the wiring was started. At this point, my crazy started to show a little more. I went to the nursery, and somehow..accidently came home with two more little chicks. These ones were only 12 days old. So now there are 4 chooks in the budgie cages!!

Meet Mikah and Tink

Meet Mikah and Tink

At this point the guys left it to me (smart men). A few more days (and lots of swearing later) I had all the wiring done. It was ready for chickens. Finally!!!!

The finished(ish) run and coop.

The finished(ish) run and coop.

The “Great Chicken Releasing Ceremony’ was set for after school. I think I was more excited than the boy..but that’s kinda normal 😉

The girls took a fair bit of convincing to leave the safety of their litter box, but once they did..boy were they happy chicks! Dust bathing, scratching about, rolling in the dirt like weird feathered dogs (I swear it’s the truth, these chickens are crazy!!) They spent ages exploring, then when they got tired they retreated back to the safety of the litter box!!! I guess that can stay for a while, since they like it so much.

They seem to be settling in quite well. They are getting used to us coming in and out all the time. (For some chicken love) Mildred and Little (the oldest two) come up for pats and scratches, but Mikah and Tink are still pretty skittish. They tend to hide under the coop when we go in, only coming out after we have been sitting there quietly for a while.

They have such different personalities already, and are such fun to watch. Who would have thought chickens could be so entertaining! The feathered freaks have totally won us over. We love our chookies.

Chicken love :)

Chicken love 🙂

Now we just need eggs. Yummy fresh bright yellow eggs…….

Hey!! You lookin' at me!?!  Little has big attitude!

Hey!! You lookin’ at me!?! Little has big attitude!