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Gage is a 13 year old homeschooled tween living on Live and Learn Farm. He writes about his interests, hobbies, and homeschool. He is in the 7th grade and is taking: Algebra II (VideoText Algebra), Physical Science (VHSG/ Apologia), Exercises in English and Vocabulary in Action (Loyola Press), All About Spelling, Spanish II Descubre (Spanish Clicks), SWI-B (IEW), Paths of Exploration.

It is Dark in Here

“It’s dark in here, wait where is here?” I ask myself as I awake from my sleep. And “Who am I, What am I?” I wonder. “Wait, I think I’m in an egg, I need… I feel like I need to get out!” I start ripping away at my egg, which is buried in the ground. After an hour or two I open my egg, “Dig!” I hear in my head. “What was that? Oh well, I guess I better dig.” After a few hours of digging, I am blinded by the light shining in my eyes. Then, when my eyes adjust, I see a magnificent wall of green.

Its dark in here

I enter the forest of grass and start wandering around, I hear my stomach growl, and think to myself “I guess I’ve been in that egg a while, time to find food to eat. “EEEEEK!!!” screams a two-legged, giant creature as it heads towards a colored, slanted-top box. “These aphids are tearing my strawberries apart!!”. The word aphid got my attention, “Aphids… yum, Time for lunch! I steadily make my way to the strawberry patch. Then I follow the trail of one of my tiny snacks, “Gotcha” I think as I see a tiny green bug eating away at one of the leaves.

I slowly sneak up on the quick, green, and hungry aphid. I ponder how I am going to get this quick little thing, it’s too fast for me. My thoughts were cut short “Paralyze it” said the voice. So when I got right behind the little aphid, I quickly lunge out and land over the surprised aphid. I realized I had paralyzed the aphid. “Wow, I wonder how I did that, oh well time to eat.” Soon after I finished my tasty meal it began getting dark, ” What happened to the light?” I wondered. A few minutes later as I crawl across the ground, “I feel something… something, exciting! It’s like a, sensation!” Then I notice I have some green stuff around my legs, “Oh, did I crush a small insect?” But I know I didn’t step on anything… I was making the green glow, “Oh my I’ve hurt myself! But, that’s not blood… Wait, I’m not bleeding I’m glowing!

“That means I am a glow worm, the larvae of the…” Suddenly a bat swoops down and captures a moth on the ground near me. “Oh no, my glow gives away my position to insect-eating animals!” I quickly crawl under a leaf, where my glow cannot be seen from above. I soon fall asleep. For the next few weeks, I learn how to hunt and get my fill of aphids in this wonderful strawberry patch. Weeks later I have an overwhelming urge to… “Dig” again. But the mysterious voice tells me to dig down this time. So, I start digging away and making a pile of dirt. Then for the strangest reason I feel like I need to make a shell for me, out of mud. Soon after making my shell I… start… to feel… sleepy… and I fall into a hibernation like sleep.

I awake to this now familiar voice saying “Break out!” I immediately start trying to break out of my mud ball-like shell, and out into the night. After breaking out of my mud ball I sit on the ground, drying but I feel different. Soon after I dry in the warm night air, I notice I have a throbbing, like my heart but it’s not, I notice my glow is turning on and off. I realized that while I was in my mud ball I had changed into a firefly. After that I live out the rest of my life, flashing my dazzling light every night. Oh, and that voice guiding me, was something God gave me before I was born… it’s name is instinct!

And like the Bible says in Mathew:

Mathew 5:14 “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

Like a Firefly

 

I was a light. In a way, I am a Firefly today, spreading the light of our Father’s Word to others.

 

I’m linking up to the Middle / High School Creative Writing Linkup, come join us!

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

There Has Been a Misunderstanding

“Sir, there has been a misunderstanding, I am not the President!” I say to the well-dressed man who just addressed me as the President. “No, Mr President, the people just decided there should be a teenage President with an assistant to help him with the job. We had a computer randomly choose someone as President, and you were chosen,” the man said. “But I don’t think I have the qualities to be the President!” I say. “Maybe not, but that is the reason I am here. I was appointed to be the assistant of whoever was chosen.” he said.

If I were president

Soon after we finished our talk, he led me out to his car, a long, black limousine. After getting seated and situated, we start our drive to the airport. When we arrive I spot a sleek airplane from the window of my car. My assistant said that is what we will be using to get to Washington, DC. The moment we enter the airport, two men start escorting me to the plane. Once on the plane, I am offered a meal, which I happily accept. My meal is chicken, covered in spices with a side of rice. The meal lasted the whole trip, because after I finished the meal, dessert was served… a snickerdoodle cake, my favorite. How did they know that, I wondered as I devoured the scrumptious slice of cake.

As soon as we arrived in DC, we got in another limo and were on our way to the White House! As we pulled out of the airport, two black cars surrounded us. One in the front and one in the back of the limo. My assistant saw me eyeing them and explained they are our escorts. After about 30 minutes of driving, we arrived at the White House gates.  The driver showed the gate manager his card, and once it was confirmed to be real, we were allowed in. When we pulled up to the entrance, I hesitated.  I was not sure if I wanted to go in… I mean being the president is not something I studied in school. My assistant noticed my reluctance. Sensing why I was worried, he said, “Don’t worry I will guide you through most of the work and hard decisions. I’ll give you the pros and cons on each situation and you get to choose how you want to handle it.” This comforts me tremendously, and at that moment, I decide to do the job as best I can.

My assistant takes me to my office where I find a suit my size is laying on my desk. He casually states “Your live interview is starting in 5 minutes, hurry up and get dressed.” “WHAT!?” I scream. “Don’t worry … you just have to read this to the press.” He hands me my speech and leaves so I can get dressed. In five minutes I find myself in front of a hundred or so people, with notebooks and taking my picture. Almost all of them are asking me questions, which my assistant deflects by asking everyone to quiet down so I can read my speech.

After the interview, work starts slowing down and getting less exciting … bills, papers, speeches, meetings, limo rides, flights, bills, papers, etc. Then, in what seems like only a week, I am shaking the hand of my assistant as he walks me outside and says “this limo will take you home Mr. President. I hope you enjoyed your time with us as much as I did.” After finishing our goodbyes, I get in the car and am driven home.

From then on, life gets back to normal.  Well, except for people saying “Wow! I can’t believe you were the President!” and things like that. Yeah, life was pretty normal until one day the phone rings… I immediately recognize the voice on the other end of the phone.  He says “Good afternoon Mr President, How are you? I hope you have enjoyed your time off…  but something has come up”… 

Hope you all enjoyed my post on if I were the president.  You never know, I might have a sequel to this!

See ya soon!

I Have a Power

I have a power, a power that many people desire. A power that places me in danger. If I could see through walls!The power to see through walls. At first I thought it was just going to be something fun, being able to flick on and off the ability. Then, when the black unmarked car followed me through the city, I knew I was in danger. And it’s not a total secret. My secret, the fact that I can see through walls, has been leaked. And It appears someone or something wants me, and I believe they’ve found me. I need to find people who will help me, maybe there are people like me and maybe there being hunted too.

So I start my quest, looking for people that will help me, or people like me. But where should I start? There is a whole world to search. So I’ll just start by strolling the stre- a black car floors it around the corner and straight at me! I start running, I then turn on my ability, to look into the car as I run. Four men, in black suits, are in the car. I then use my ability to spot an almost-invisible ally and dart down it. It was too narrow for the car to follow.  So when I reach the end of the alley, I jump on and over the wall. I think I lost them, when I see the black car at a stop waiting for me.

Suddenly, a blue car stops right in front of me. Three people are in the car, two about my age, and one about 25 who is at the wheel. “Get in, there’s not much time” says the driver. “Who are you?” I ask. “People just like you” says one of the teens. “as in you can see through things?” I ask. “Yes, now quick get in before they see you!” says the driver. So I get in the car and we floor it back the way they had come. “We work for the government trying to stop those people who were chasing you.” says the driver. “Who are those guys?” I ask. “Those people want to use our abilities for evil, like seeing the combination to a gold safe or things like that”. “I have an idea, lets follow them since they did not see me get in your car and see where they go. We can then contact the police and they can arrest them.” I say.

So we followed the black car, until they stopped at an old abandoned store. The men got out of their car and we stopped across the street at a coffee shop and watched. One of the men revealed a secret panel with buttons that was hidden on the wall by the abandoned store’s door. “A code lock!” said Keith, who had introduced himself while we followed the car. “This should be easy” said Luke. After the man clicked four buttons the door opened. “The code is 2962” says Katherine the driver. “Let’s phone the police” I said. But Katherine already had her phone out and was talking to them. She hangs up and says “they will be here in five minutes shall we stay and watch?” “Yes!” we all screamed. Those five minutes seemed like the longest ever. But then the police silently pull up and surround the building. After making sure there were no secret exits all thirty-five charged in.Fifteen minutes later the police come out with twenty men who were all brought to jail. After the people were arrested who were trying to hunt us down, we all settled down together like normal citizens and resign from our government work. We made a promise we would not use our abilities again, unless it was an emergency. 

I hope you all enjoyed my story: If I could see through walls!

See ya soon!

A Review of The Amazing Caves at The Pink Palace

It all started about 2 months ago when I watched a video on deep, underwater caves called blue holes. It has sparked a huge interest in caves and diving for me. One day I was telling mom about all the different caves when she mentioned The Pink Palace has a movie about caves playing right now. About the same time, I was working on my bucket list for our creative writing class blog posts, so I asked mom if we could go see the movie soon and she said absolutely.

Disclosure

After hearing about the movie, I started researching it.  It is called “The Amazing Caves”. The movie is about two cavers, Nancy Aulenbach and Hazel Barton who travel to three different remote areas of the world to collect samples of extremophiles, which are bacteria that have created immunity and adapted to their harsh environments. They hope to study these to help identify cures for diseases.

On the day before we go to The Pink Palace, mom researched the time of the movie and discovered that it is going to play at 1:00 but it will be going into the vault (storage of past movies) on Saturday! The next day when I woke up, I was filled with excitement, I quickly got ready and headed downstairs to eat a quick breakfast so we could get on the road!

Pink Palace

When we arrived at The Pink Palace, we went to the ticket window where we were greeted by the extremely polite staff. After getting our tickets, we decided to stroll around since we had a few minutes before the movie started. We found ourselves looking at their amazing collections of skeletons from snakes to a tiny hummingbird, they had a ton!

Soon it was time to go downstairs to the IMAX.  We all went and chose our seats in the back but inline with the giant IMAX screen. After we got situated, I went around photographing the humongous screen and movie player, and the vast room. After a while, the movie hostess came in and told us all the rules (like stay seated, please don’t take photos, turn off your phones, etc.).  After waiting a few more minutes, the lights dimmed.

The movie starts in the Grand Canyon with you suddenly flying over the breath-taking canyon! With a bird’s-eye view of the canyon, you see every stone in the enormous formation. After soaring through the canyon a while you see two floating Amazing Cavesspecks on the side of a cliff. Slowly, as the camera zooms in, you can see two people dangling from ropes!  Under them is a hole into the side of the mountain, a window where you can see the inner beauty of this rock formation. The two people on these life-preserving ropes enter the cave, here we meet Nancy Aulenbach and Hazel Barton.

Grand pillars stand tall in this vast cave, which formed over thousands of years ago. This cave might have started as a small hollow hole in the rock, but as water seeped in, it cut away at the rock which turned it into the massive cave we see today. Then, when the cave mass is formed, the mineral-rich water that drops in, leaves sediment that builds up into pillars and spikes called stalagmites and stalactites.  Stalagmites grow from the floor and stalactites grown from the ceiling, and if two meet together, it’s now called a column. In the very bottom of the cave is some water which the two cavers take samples of in search of extremophiles.

Next we see Nancy and Hazel in cold weather gear getting ready to travel to Greenland to get their next sample of extremophiles. As their helicopter approaches camp, Nancy describes it as a few specks on the frozen horizon. When they land, the helicopter leaves and they start talking to the man who has ice caved deeper than anyone alive, Janot Lamberton. They can not go to the cave they want to explore for a week, because when the water melts it flows straight down the ravine-like cave. After 4 days of the temperatures dropping, they head to the cave.

ravineThe cave does not look like a cave at all. It just looks like a crack in the ice.  However, it really leads to a steep, ice ravine that drops hundreds of feet. They have to use cliff climbing gear to repel into the ravine to obtain the samples they want. Janot goes first, breaking away all the stray or weak ice. He is also the one who is going to go to the bottom of the cave and actually gather the ice sample that Nancy and Hazel want. After he collects it from the bottom of the ravine, he starts the long climb up. When he gets back to the surface, they take their samples and start preparation to leave. Nancy explains why cavers have such a strong bond… “When you and another caver depend on each other for your life, you get an unbreakable bond that will last forever”.

Finally they travel south to Mexico Quintana Roo where there are underwater caves running under a lot of the peninsula. Some of the water in these caves is fresh water, but there is also salt water. When the two meet there is a blurry wall called a halocline. They hope to find some extremophiles living in the halocline there. Only Hazel and their guide will be diving because Nancy promised her family she never would cave dive.

The first place they are diving is in a pool of water that leads down into a deeper underwater system of the cave. After searching for quite a while, they reach a dead-end. Later they return and explore another cave with a pool that leads to a deeper system. When they dive in this one, they find a guide line already laid. A guide line is a long strand of thin rope that cave divers release so they can find their way back out, sort of like bread crumbs. Most cave divers give themselves a set of rules that they do not break. One is always set down a guide line and hold on to it. The reason they hold onto the rope is, if stray mud and particles blur the water and cause a blackout, you can easily lose sight of the line and you may never be able to find it again.

After a while, they enter a bigger chamber where in the back they see another passage, in the passage is the blurry wall. Finally they found the halocline.  After collecting the samples, they head to the surface. Now, seven years later, they have developed several cures for leukemia from their samples and they hope to find more cures to different diseases.

Boys pink palace

I also have an interesting fact about Nancy. She is a teaching assistant at a Montessori school in Georgia. The entire time they are exploring caves, she is reporting back using her website to teach her class about caves and all the interesting things they were doing. Before we started homeschooling, we attended a Montessori school in La Grange. The fact that she is a teacher in a Montessori school, is extremely cool!

If you want to visit The Pink Palace you will have to wait a couple months because they are now in the middle of renovating and changing the IMAX projector to be digital and 3D. I am excited about these changes happening at The Pink Palace, I don’t know what all they are doing except what little information the hostess shared about what is happening to the IMAX. But I do know the first movie playing is called The Flight of The Butterfly in 3D. I can’t wait to see it because my favorite butterfly is what the whole movie is all about, the Monarch butterfly, and it’s migration!

Have you ever been to The Pink Palace? If so, tell me about your visit?  I recommend You go see Flight of The Butterfly. It looks amazing from the trailer!

So, I now have only six things on my 2014 bucket list instead of seven … and I still have 11 months to do them!

See ya soon!

If I were trapped in Walmart over night.

If I were trapped in Walmart over night. Intriguing thought. Have you ever thought about being locked in a store? I’ve never really thought about it before.  But, now that I do think about it… it would be kind of strange and interesting. The first thing I thought of was… Walmarts don’t close at night. But some close around the holidays. So I’m going to just pretend that they were closing this night.

Trapped in Walmart

As  I crawl out of the tent I was testing, I think to myself “all the lights are off.  Hmm… strange maybe the power is out.” But as I look around, I realize no one is in sight. “HELLOOO???” I yell out.  No response, just eerie silence. “I guess everyone’s on break”. But wait, it’s dark outside and then it dawns on me, OH MY GOODNESS I’M TRAPPED IN WALMART!!!! Wait, maybe I can call mom.”

As I dash to the front of the store I glance out the front windows and I now know, for sure, I am all alone.  There are no cars in the parking lot.  None!  I turned my attention back to looking for a phone, and notice the steel gate.  “Dang, the phones are Swiffer_Sweeperblocked off.” I look through the thick steel bars and see the phone on the counter just a few feet away. “Maybe I can use a broom to reach it!” and I quickly run to the cleaning aisle.  I grab the first long-handle tool I find, a Swiffer Sweeper.  I race back to the cage and I stick the end of the sweeper through the opening. I barely am able to reach the phone. As I start trying to drag it to me, the phone falls and bounces out of my reach. As I groan out loud “Mom’s going to be worried sick”, I plop down to contemplate my situation.

“Wait, maybe this isn’t so bad, I mean, I got a whole Walmart to myself!” I stand up with excitement, and then slowly sit back down as another thought crosses my mind ” What if  am here for weeks? I’ll get dehydrated.” While sitting there on the floor pondering this new thought, I hear the hum of a nearby refrigerator.  I start laughing out loud as I realize I am sitting against a drink refrigerator! I reach in and grab me a Sprite. After hunting down and eating a bag of chips with my sprite, I decide to stroll over to the toy aisle to pass some time.

On the way to the toy aisle, I stop at the candy aisle and grab me a pack of gum.  As I unwrap the lego citygum, I think to myself “I should not open a bunch of toys cause I might have to pay for them later.” So when I get to the toy aisle I immediately spot the Lego section and open a Lego City kit which I assemble in 30 minutes. “Well I’ve passed 30 of my minutes and it’s…. hmmm where is a clock?  So I have who knows how much time left till morning, better find one.” On my way in search of it, I happen to spot the video games, “well… a minute or two won’t hurt” as I get detoured and start looking through the video games. “I’ve always wanted to try a Nintendo DSi.  Oh here is a green one, how cool and look, it comes with a Mario game!”  

I continue looking for a clock while I try to figure out how to play the DSi.  I find myself a wristwatch and notice it’s midnight so I guess I’ll figure out what I can use for a bed… “I know, a blow up camping bed!” I try to remember where the camping area is and if that is even where the blow up beds are located.  When I finally find the camping area, I hunt the aisles for a blow up bed.  I can’t find any anywhere.  So I decide to settle for a soft sleeping bag. I haul the sleeping bag over to the TVs star warsand roll it out in front of the largest.  I find the newest Star Wars movie and put it in. I climb into my sleeping bag.  Not far into the movie I’m asleep.  

The next thing I know, I hear the hum of lights as they flicker on. “Morning? Already?  I pull myself out of the sleeping bag and stretch.  I see the lights again and realize… that means somebody is here!!  I dart to the front of the store where I find two ladies busy getting the store ready to open. I startled them as I approached.  And I said “Boy, I’m so glad to see you!  I got locked in here last night!” They both looked at me with large eyes,  “How?”  I started explaining and suddenly stopped… I ask “can I call my mom?  She is probably sick with worry over where I am!”  The ladies immediately opened the gate so I could use the phone. Not 30 minutes later I’m riding home thinking “What an experience”!

I hope you all enjoyed my story of what I would do if I were trapped in Walmart!

See ya soon!

2014 Bucket List by Gage

Good Morning! Today I am going to tell you about the things I want to do in 2014, my bucket list. You may be thinking “A bucket list, is that a list of things you do with a bucket?” Nope. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do, before a certain time, like mine will be 7 things I want to do in 2014. Just like my Tween boy Gift Ideas post, this is not numbered from most wanted to least wanted, just random.  So let’s get to my 2014 Bucket List.  

2014 Bucket List by Gage

1. Sell  20 dozen eggs in 2014. I want to sell eggs for my business so it can get more known and can help pay for the expenses of raising my chickens.  That will only be 5 dozen per quarter, so I think this is manageable.  I am going to create posters for my dad to post at his business in town.  Since most people living in the city don’t raise chickens, they might want my farm fresh eggs! 

2. Make a stop motion Lego video with over 1000 pictures. I have worked on a few stop motion videos over the last few years, but they only had about 200 pictures max. I am hoping I can create one with sound and audio in the background.  I need to learn how to add the audio and sound effects.  Mom got us a Lynda.com subscription so we can do hackschooling and learn things that really interest us.  So, I’m going to look there for some tutorials there.  

3. Write 50 posts for our homeschool blog Live and Learn Farm. I enjoy blogging about my chickens and what’s up with school around here, so why not do 50 if they are fun?  That is less than one a week, and we already have it in our homeschool schedule to write one every Tuesday.  

4. Add some larger chickens to our flock so I can get more and larger eggs.  I sure love my basketball bantams, but their eggs sure are small!  So, I’ll do some research on the larger breeds of chickens and decide on which one would be best for us.  I have Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens which will help me decide the right breed.  

5. Go to the Pink Palace, and watch their movie on caving. I have been interested in caves ever since I watched a video on blue holes which are deep under water caves that can preserve bones and things for thousands of year.  We just found out we are going tomorrow because the Caving movie will stop playing on January 10th!!!  

6. Invent a useful basic machine or tool or make an already invented one more efficient. I want to create a tool or machine or make one better because if I want think it would be fun and cool to create my own invention. 

7. Master the controls to an advanced RC helicopter. I have been interested in Advanced technology for a while ever since my friend got a RC helicopter I have been trying to master a basic RC helicopter for a while but it only has up-down, and left-right, So It is not very easy to work with.

 

Tween Boy Gift Ideas

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Hello! So you are looking for gift ideas for a tween boy…. Well I’m a tween (actually I’m 12) and a boy, so I figure I am an expert on tween boy gift ideas!  I cannot guarantee that the boy you are shopping for will go dancing around the room screaming with joy. But, I can say that I have two brothers (a ten year old … well in two weeks and a 13 year old) and they love these items too.

Tween Boy Gift Ideas

As I’ve gotten older, I started getting more into technology, things like RC helicopters, RC cars, and other things, but I still like my Legos, although now I am becoming more attracted to buildings and architecture.  Note: these are not in favorite to least favorite order, they are just random.  

Disclosure

1.  LEGO Architecture sets.  I have the White House but really want to get the Imperial Hotel!  It is huge! 

Imperial Hotel Lego 

 2.  LEGO Minecraft.  I have the Micro World set but would love to get The Village, and the Nether.

 

3.  RC helicopter (for beginners).

RC Helicopter

 4.  RC car.

RC Car

 5.  Yu-Gi-Oh Trading card game.

Yugioh

6.  Risk board game.  Our best friends just gave us this game and we love it!  

Risk Game

 7.  Cannon EOS Rebel T3i.  I know this is a big gift, but I have been showing maturity and have been taking really good care of all my electronic equipment.  We just got one for me and my brothers.  I do recommend if you get your tween/teen something this expensive, get the drop insurance too!  My mom did 🙂

Canon T3i

 

8.  Raspberry Pi (just search it)… and a guide to go with it.  This is a way to get tweens / teens programming.  My Dad is the Director of Applications for a college and they have a whole room of Raspberry pis for there students. I.Want.One!  

Raspberry Pi

9.  A subscription to a technology education site like Lynda.com.  We took photography lessons there last year and LOVED it.  We want a new subscription.  

Give lynda.com

 

10.  A friendly pet. (A turtle, cat, dog, hamster, guinea pig …  I have two turtles, 30 chickens, 3 cats, a dog and would gladly take more.  It is a great way to teach teens responsibility.  I have to feed and water my chickens and put them up every night.  My dad lets them out in the morning.  I also feed our cats.  My younger brother gives them water daily.  We also have two turtles that we both feed and take care.  We love our animals!  

Sunny Bear

I hope this list of my favorite items will help you choose a gift for the tween boy on your shopping list!  Be sure to check out my other articles… especially all my articles about my chickens!  

See ya’ soon! 

This post is linked at http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/

Meet the Chicken Snatcher

 

Hello and good afternoon!

See, I told you I would be writing on Tuesdays… here I am!  I thought I would update you on Les and let you know he has been moved out to the big chicken pen and is fitting in quite well.  There are a few ladies hogging the food from him, but we are making progress. Do you remember back in August, when I told you something was getting our chickens?  This post will give you all the details and you will get to Meet the Chicken Snatcher!!!!! (cue: dramatic horror movie music here).

Meet the Chicken Snatcher

It all started back when we allowed our chickens to free range.  Regularly, we started finding piles of feathers and another chicken had vanished. One day mom walked outside and came face-to-face with a coyote (it was only about 10 feet away). So, we assumed the coyote was our culprit.  In order to protect my babies, I decided to put them back in the pens. The attacks stopped … but only for a short while.  

Disclosure

About a month ago, it started all over again but for some reason the snatcher was only going after my big chickens (Rhode Island Reds) not my round little basketballs (Bantams).  I got really serious about catching this chicken snatcher.  Dad borrowed a live trap, and we put it by the chicken’s door with cat food in it.  For several days… nothing.  No food gone.  No trap triggered.  Nothing.  Then, one evening as I was putting up my babies, I happened to catch a glimpse of a large bird flying away. The next afternoon, I decided to bait the snatcher!  I was going to leave the coop door open for the snatcher to get in… but with a twist.  

That night, when I put my babies up for the night, I put the live trap inside the coop right at the chicken door! So, when the snatcher walked into the coop, it actually would walk right into my trap.  We returned to the house to help mom get dinner ready.  It wasn’t too long before we heard Molly, our Australian Shepherd, barking up a storm and the chickens raising a fuss. We go out to investigate and my little brother, Blake yells “Oh No! We caught Nipper”.   But, as it turns out, it was not Nipper… it was a much larger bird.  

Nipper the Rooster

Chase and I grabbed a hoe and fished the trap out of the coop … but it was so dark, we really still couldn’t see what we had caught.  We yanked out our flashlights and shined them on the cage.  There it was … the Chicken Snatcher and it had the most beautiful eyes staring back at us.  This bird was huge. It was a Great Horned Owl.  

We raced back to the house to tell mom and to do some research to confirm that it was indeed a Great Horned Owl.   Once we determined that it was, we quickly realized it is on the endangered species list! So we were very careful not to hurt it… we would never want to hurt an owl anyway!  However, we had to do something to keep it from killing our chickens. So dad relocated it about 4 miles down the road from our house.  No birds were harmed this evening… not my chickens nor the owl!  

Beautiful Eyes Staring Back at us

 

One of the harder parts of being a chicken keeper is dealing with the loss of chickens precious to you.  These chickens are my pets. Being on a farm, you do get half-way used to it, but it still hurts.  

Thanks y’all  for reading all my posts!!!  See ya soon!

 

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Manic Mother

Fowl pox in the Pen

Disclosure

Good Afternoon! Sorry I have not posted in a while.  But I am going to be catching up and starting to write every Tuesday, so be watching for my posts.  Five weeks ago when I fed my chickens I noticed one of my frizzled red roosters standing out in the middle of the walkway not going after the food. This was strange since when I feed them they normally go straight for it.  As I approached him to see why his behavior was not normal, he turned his head to look at me, and I noticed a bunch of odd lesions on his comb and wattle.  Oh no, it looks like we have Fowl pox in the pen again.

Fowl Pox in the Pen

I immediately went to create a “sick pen” for him in the garage.  I reformed the small pen out of book cases and feed sacks that we made months ago.  I filled the floor of my makeshift pen with the normal pine shavings then I added a small roost, food and water feeders and a door. Then I worked with my brothers to catch him. I gingerly put him In the temporary pen and put the wire covers on top.

Chicken Sick Pen

I had been researching this virus and it is transmitted through mosquitoes which have the disease, the only other way it is transmitted is by getting in contact with another bird with the disease. Although it is not transmittable to anything but other birds it is still reasonable to to wear safety gloves when touching or treating the bird. At first my research brought up “If you leave it alone in about 1-2 weeks it will go away” after two and a half weeks I knew that my big boy had caught a severe case of it. By then it had covered both of his eyes and he could not see to drink or eat.  We regularly set him on a plastic bowl similar to what he regularly ate out of so he just knew what was in the bowl so he pecked down and ate food. But after it had come to three and a half weeks he mostly slept.

But then I discovered something scary… if his eyes stayed closed for too long, he could go blind.  The only treatment for the pox was to put drops of Saline solution on the pox via q-tips (being very careful not to get it in or around his eye) and Triple Antibiotic ointment for his eye.  I also started spoon feeding him yogurt. After about a week his pox started shrinking!  

Then we started the wait to see if his eyes would open.  In three days one of his eyes opened and he could see out of it!  Then the lesion fell off his other eye, but the eye had remained closed. Today when I went out to check on him, his closed eye is cracked (as in cracked open, barely)!!  Hallelujah!  So he might not go blind after all! He only has a few more lesions but it is still there so he will stay in his temporary pen a bit longer. Please pray for my rooster to get better 🙂

Update:  ~~A week later~~ Les is now free of fowl pox! Another small issue arose when we put him back in the pen.  All the other chickens wanted to pick fights with him. After being around him for a few hours, everything seemed to calm down, and was able to be around them without being picked on. Then 2 days ago, I went out to find him with a bloody comb and acting very shy toward the other chickens. He was all by himself standing in the chicken house door instead of out with them. I dropped what I was doing, grabbed my baby and ran back to the garage (where his makeshift brooder pen was) I gave him clean water and more food immediately. Then, when all was taken care of, I had to sit down and think of what to do, he could not stay in the sick pen in the garage, nor could he stay in the big chicken pen because Rocky our rooster didn’t want him in there. Nor could he stay in the little chicken pen with the newly nicknamed “rooster attack force”.  Then yesterday my answer came as our oldest rooster who was in the big chicken pen passed away.  He was over 6 years old!  Now my big boy Les can move in and take his spot as “the boss”. Thank you all for praying for my big boy!!!

I decided to name him Les because of a man named Les Stroud who is best known for his television series Survivorman.

Survivor Man / Rooster named Les

 

See ya soon!

They are Laying!!

Hello! Sorry I have not posted in a while I have been busy with ALL kinds of stuff from chicken accidents to school to a friend’s birthday party!  So I have not been keeping you updated on my babies.  

I have a surprise… They are laying!! Our baby chicks and teenage chicks are laying eggs!  YAY!!!  If you remember, a friend of ours, Mrs. Pamela, gave us the teenage chicks. They are Red Sex Links and White Leghorns and there are four of them. We bought the bantams from Welp Hatchery.  There are probably 15 hen bantams laying eggs. With another 15 or so roosters… anybody want some roosters?

 

Hens are a' laying

 

Here is a picture of the variety of eggs we are gathering daily. The eggs vary in shape, size, color, and weight. The biggest ones are from our Rhode Island Reds that we have had for several years. The next brown one and the two white ones are from the teenage chicks. The cute little bitty ones are from my baby bantams… but they are not babies anymore!  I have not found any itsy bitsy eggs from our Dutch, Blue Bantam chicks yet… but am expecting to find one of them soon! Can you imagine how little they will be? The smallest eggs so far are about 1.5″ x 1.25″ to the big eggs that are 3″x 2.5″. The color ranges from a white/cream color, to a reddish-brown and then just plain tan. And the shape of the eggs can range from a normal ovular shape to a pointy bullet-shaped egg. I now have to check all the boxes every day, not every 2-4 days on the bantam side, since they were not laying yet.  

My mom loves the little eggs, she was so surprised at how small they are. Speaking of small eggs… my brother, Chase, loves omelets. My dad has been joking around with Chase saying his next omelet will be a three egg omelet using the littlest eggs. We have not cooked with any yet, but we are having breakfast for dinner tonight… I’m sure my mom will have me comparing eggs and photographing our dinner.  I’ll post those pictures soon!  I am sorry I left you all waiting for another post, while all these things at my house were going on. From now on I will try to post more often. 

One final note, we have a possum or raccoon attacking our chickens, and we have lost 3 chickens including two of my favorites… Cuddles and Sunny and another barred rock, Checker, who I have not talked about before. We just borrowed a live trap to try to trap the animal. Please pray we catch whatever it is getting my babies! I’ll update you on that soon too!  

See ya soon!

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