Summer Shenanigans. Sort of.

FIRST! Big news will be coming soon – are you signed up for my newsletter? You need to be! Especially if you’re curious about what’s been happening with the A-Zs of Worldbuilding!

Um. So. Summer happened. I’m not quite sure how the last month passed as quickly as it did.

Floofers (baby chicks) are doing well. The good news – everyone is still alive! Even Seven, and I honestly can’t tell which one is Seven anymore.

They also moved OUTSIDE this week. Ahead of schedule, too, since they were fully feathered at 6 weeks, and some of their parents weren’t until 10 weeks. I don’t know why. Genetics, probably. 

chickens, raising chicks, backyard chickens, black australorps, austra-whites
The proud father, Jon Snow, ‘meeting’ his children. He was amazingly gentle even through the fencing and let them tug at his comb and wattles.

The bad news: we have five boys.

Seven is one of the girls. Hopefully girls. They’re still only 7 1/2 weeks, and one of the roosters from last year didn’t start presenting as a roo until he was 10-12 weeks old. So anything can still happen, but they do act like girls, which our late-blooming roo was more roo-behaviored at this age than they are. I really hope their girls, because we’re going to need to replenish some of our remaining older flock soon.

So it looks like we’re going to be butchering this fall, because I doubt I can get rid of five boys. However, if any of you Tulsa people reading this might be interested in a rooster that you’re NOT going to eat, I have two full-blooded Black Australorps, two Austra-whites (white leghorn/black australorp crosses), and one Black Australorp/Red Sex Link cross (he’s my buddy. I’m trying to figure out how I can keep him without butchering him. But I’d be willing to let him go to a good home. Maybe. sniffle cuddles her buddy). Free to good homes, lol.

In other chicken news, we’ve been dealing with bumblefoot again this summer – five chickens have had it. I’m pretty sure I know what the cause is now, so I hope to completely avoid it next summer as soon as I’ve figured out how to completely remedy the problem.

Polly’s molting, and it’s SPECTACULAR. But her molt also hit a full month earlier than it did last year, and that along with a few other nature-signs make me wonder (hope?) that we’re in for a hard winter this year. We haven’t had one for 3 years now, and there are so many bugs that desperately need to die.

And we have a HUGE praise report – we finally found a truck! It’s been ‘ours’ for a little over two months now, but I don’t think I ever had a chance to blog about it before my unintentional summer hiatus.

We had to compromise on some things we wanted – it is an extended cab, but doesn’t have doors in the back (ergo, you have to slide the front seats forward and crawl in that way), and it’s not 4-wheel-drive.

But. We were able to pay cash for it, AND while it’s over 20 years old, it only had 153,000 miles on it.

For comparison, in the 8 years we’ve owned our regular ol’ car, we’ve put well over 100,000 miles on it. So the mileage on the truck is a HUGE plus. It does have a few quirks and maintenance issues we’re still taking care of, but it does what we need it to, and we didn’t have to add debt to do it.

Before baby chicks invaded my house, I was planning on some remodeling projects. I got one room painted, and now that floofers are OUTSIDE, I can start this up again as finances allow. The spare bedroom is slowly transforming into my parlor. Here’s a sneak peek:

Rebekah's Parlor-in-Progress.
Rebekah’s Parlor-in-Progress.

In case you haven’t noticed by now, a few things around the blog have been spruced up, and there’s a few more that will be.  Mainly – I’ve (reluctantly) added a pop up for email newsletter subscriptions. My tests indicate that it should only pop up once per visit at the most. I personally despise pop-ups… but I needed a way to get people’s attention. I’m sorry!

(I’m probably make a bigger deal of this than needs be, but I feel so guilty because I hate them personally so very much.)

I’ve also updated my ‘Popular Posts’ selection on the home page, so you can go check that out if you want. There’s only one ‘new’ post on there, though, and a couple of position changes (I do the top five according to views), so nothing incredibly exciting.

I need to update my sidebar links, too, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I have somewhat tentative-firm plans for Worldbuilding Wednesdays to come back in the next few weeks, as well.

And one more reminder – SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER. 😀

Also, there’s a new series starting on the Ferret blog next week. Click the banner below for more info.

The Writer's Pursuit of Health

How has your summer been?

Recent Comments

  • mariazannini
    August 27, 2016 - 10:54 am · Reply

    re: chickens
    I’m waiting to see how many of ours are boys. I always put the roosters in the freezer. There’s nothing better than stock from homegrown chickens. It’s rich and golden. You can really tell the difference in soups.

    Congrats on the truck! I know how much you were needing one.

  • Rebecca Enzor
    August 29, 2016 - 1:32 pm · Reply

    Yay baby floofs! Even if most of them are male 🙁 And yay for new truck!

    What did you find out causes bumblefoot? We haven’t had a problem with it yet, but I’d like to steer clear of ever getting it if I can. I can’t imagine wrapping up a chicken’s foot is easy…

    • Rebekah Loper
      August 29, 2016 - 1:43 pm · Reply

      Bumblefoot is usually caused when they get abrasions on the bottoms of their feet, and an infection sets on. Usually it’s caused by staph. All kinds of bacteria, etc, are naturally present in the soil, but their population explodes in warmth and moisture (Oklahoma’s primary summer settings, of course).

      In our particular case, I think there’s two things that have been contributing to an increased likelihood of abrasions. First, when it’s really hot and humid, I have run the hose in their enclosure (not flooding the entire thing, just a corner or so of it) to give them cool puddles to walk through and help cool their body temperature by contact. However, soaking in water has the same affect on their skin as ours, causing it to soften, which in turn makes them more susceptible to cuts or scrapes. The water itself may contribute to the growth of even more bacteria in the soil, as well.

      Additionally, I suspect that their ramp on and out of the coop may be scraping the bottoms of their feet. I’m going to cover it in non-stick shelf liner to help with that.

      • Rebecca Enzor
        August 30, 2016 - 10:31 am · Reply

        Ahhh ok, that makes sense. Poor Ladies, just trying to keep cool and instead they get bumblefoot 🙁 Hopefully they’ll heal up soon and the weather will cool down and give them some relief!

        • Rebekah Loper
          August 30, 2016 - 10:36 am · Reply

          Hopefully! I’m seeing signs of an early autumn/winter, and I’ll be incredibly grateful for it this year. Cold temperatures help kill off staph, so several hard freezes would be so beneficial!

  • Rebecca Enzor
    September 29, 2016 - 9:38 am · Reply

    I just got your newsletter (I didn’t know if replying to it would work, so I came here instead), and GOOD LUCK with butchering the chickens <3 I can honestly promise you it will be worth it in the end (Jordan made risotto with the Littles stock this past weekend and OMG it was the best risotto I've ever had) even if it's hard to do at the time. I'll be sending good thoughts for quick, easy processing.

What do you think?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.