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Kimler Adventure Pages: Journal Entries
It takes time to create blog entries and not everything that happens, merits an entry. So, we've created this 'news' section, to keep readers up-to-date with our misadventures and accomplishments. Read about it here FIRST, before it makes it into a blog entry.
NewsBrief: [Aussie This Aussie That] It's been all about Scott's application for Tourism Queensland's "Island Caretaker" lately • [New Lay Record Set] The Hutton House hens laid seven eggs today, setting a new single-day lay record • [Valentine Amore] Scott made a small blunder in buying Rachel's Valentine card.
NewsBrief: [Little Hen's Big Day] Yesterday, the new hens (which we got in October) laid two eggs. Their first eggs! It was a big day for the little girls, as they moved in with their older "sisters"!
Little Hens, Big Day
Hutton House Chicken Run - Yesterday, Scott and Rachel's four new ISA-brown chicks became full-on hens!
"Well," said Scott, "Two of the four did anyway."
"The chicks laid their first egg!" exclaimed Alex, explaining things to Rachel, clutching a small egg in her hand, "Two eggs! One broke though."
The four chicks have been growing at a fairly good clip and are nearly too large for their small wire cage. Both the eggs were laid inside the cage and one had broken, presumably trampled. It was a double-yolker, but small.
The other egg had a small crack in it, but otherwise survived the close-quarters.
"I guess it's time for them to move in with the big girls," said Scott, as he removed the temporary wire fencing that divided the chicken run into two unequal areas.
For the first time, all seven chickens (3 from our first batch and the four new ones) spent the entire day together.
The older ones asserted their pecking rights and chased the young ones around the run, occasionally, but for the most part, the amalgamation went fairly well. No one was injured, though there was a fair bit of squawking going on, during the day.
Scott had to lower the other roosting bar, inside the chicken coop. This meant clearing the mesh floor of chicken poop, climbing inside and un-screwing the 2nd roosting bar and lowering it a foot or so. (One of the flaws in the original coop design, the roosting bars - two - were placed too high up and none of the chickens ever used it ... until Scott lowered it. Even then, he had to train the birds to "climb up" every night, by manually lifting them onto the wooden bar, for a few nights, before they got a clue that's what it was for.
When evening came, the three experienced girls put themselves to bed, on their normal roost, while the new hens were still clucking and scratching about, outside. Scott had to shoo them all into that coop and then later, had to climb inside and set them all onto the roosting bars. (The things he does for his "girls", eh?)
Once they settled down, Scott climbed out and washed his hands of the matter (literally).
"Hopefully, the new hens will into the groove and follow the pattern of the older, more experienced hens," said Scott, "They'll learn to put themselves to bed on the roosts and use the nesting boxes for eggs."
Scott and Rachel are hoping egg production will pick up as spring approaches. With seven laying hens, they're hoping for about six eggs per day (depending on how much of a slow-down there is with the older hens).
No matter the total, it's more than the Kimler clan can consume.
"We give eggs to our friends, fellow firemen, neighbors and house guests," said Rachel, "There's more than enough to go around!"
NewsBrief: [Go Snow Go] After a record-setting month of snow, the white stuff is finally starting to melt. • [Masked Bandits] The Hutton House girls catch another two raccoons.
NewsBrief: [Utility Room Redo] Scott has been spotty on the Internet - here's why • [Chickens Three Raccoons One] Another two raccoons have been caught • [Oop Rabbit] An update on Alex's kindergarten year • [Festival of Lights] Kimlers head to Ladysmith for a Light-up Celebration
NewsBrief: [Off with the Blue] Scott's no longer considered a "rookie" firefighter • [Raccoons One Chickens One] Hutton house chickens retaliate after losing one of their own to raccoons • [National 'Kick a Ginger' Day] A teen FaceBook group acts out on a satirical South Park cartoon episode, with socially concerning results
Off with the Blue
North Cedar Fire Hall - Amidst loud clapping and a mayoral handshake, Scott and two other volunteers at the North Cedar Fire Department, graduated from being rookie firefighters - to full-fledged members of the fire hall.
Since Scott joined a year ago last April, he's been wearing the reflective blue stripes that are the hallmark of junior members of the firefighting team. After much training, including first responder, CPR, live fire, air brakes, incident command, auto extrication, ladders, pumping, wild-land fires and hazardous materials ... as well as attending many calls ... he's now been moved into the regular ranks.
There was much back-slapping and quaffing of beer, by hall members, welcoming in Scott's graduating class. (Mind you, it doesn't take much cause for celebration at the hall. After fighting hot fires all day, most members have a nearly unquenchable thirst!)
(Hover over the helmet to see the "before" and "after" look).
From "Rookie" to "Pro". Way to go!
Raccoons One Chickens One
Hutton House Chicken Coop - After the loss of Chicken little, there was much clucking and brawking in the Hutton House Hen yard this past week, as they mourned the loss of one of their own.
In the wake of their grief, the girls put their heads together and came up with a daring plan to build - a raccoon trap! With Scott's help (and that of our neighbor, Charlie) they managed to fashion a galvanized metal trap.
The girls have been baiting and setting the trap each night, before they head into the coop. Using everything from meat to chicken feed - whatever they can get their little beaks on - they've been "trolling for 'coon", as they call it.
It took a while before they caught anything, as most of the time, birds would fly into the trap and peck at (eat) whatever bait was used.
Last week, however, the chickens were met with success, as they captured a live raccoon!
As you can imagine, there was much glee. They clucked and brawked ... then they scratched dirt at the trapped animal. They even tried to elicit information from their prisoner of war, but the raccoon refused to answer their questions.
We can't really say what became of their prisoner, as it's not appropriate to discuss such things in a family blog. Let's just say that the chickens got their revenge.
The girls are feeling better these days, though they still keep their raccoon trap baited and set.
Official "Kick a Ginger" Day
Canada - In a very bizarre and disturbing collision between technology and juvenile behavior, November 20th became promoted as Canada-wide "kick a ginger" day. (If you don't know - I didn't - a "ginger" is a deragatory name for someone having "light skin, freckles and red hair").
Fueled by a South Park cartoon episode (see video snippet on the left**), kids that are way too young to be viewing such satire, decided that they would use the Internet - by way of FaceBook - and create a "National Kick-a-Ginger Day" group.
The group attracted as many as 5,000 members, many of whom vowed to "kick a ginger" on the designated day - November 20, 2008.
Sadly, many people followed through with their promise and some did so in a non-joking manner. There were many instances of red-heads being kicked, some over 80 times and a few were left with physical evidence of their battery - bruising and such (and any associated emotional scars).
The story came across the Randsco editorial desk after one of Rachel's co-workers, Diane Mishkin - who has a 13-year-old red-headed son named Aaron Mishkin - was victimized at his school on "National Kick-a-Ginger Day". He figures he was kicked or hit about 80 times. He was traumatized by his treatment and elected not to go to school the following day. He was amazed at the behavior or his classmates who participated in the violent kicking and punching.
The FaceBook group has since been removed and the administrator of the group - a 14-year-old Courtenay kid - has been questioned by the members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Some parents are so outraged, they are considering suing South Park. Other parents are angry that the schools weren't aware of the impending date and that they didn't take stronger actions.
Ironically, November 20th fell during the Canadian "Anti-Bullying" awareness week.
People are pointing fingers at South Park, teachers and administrators, but this author puts the blame squarely on parents. What the heck are they doing allowing juveniles to watch South Park? (With such episode titles as "You got F'd in the A", "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut", "Erection Day" and "Guitar Queer-o" ... this is obviously not material intended for undeveloped minds). Where is the dinner table discussions about bullying, tolerance and good sense?
That an early teen made a FaceBook group is not what's deplorable - don't blame the technology. What's deplorable is that kids actually acted-out on their cyber promises.
It's not a Village-idiot award here ... it's more like an entire village gets the award.
Smarten up folks.
** In the South Park show (not a show I've seen much of), the kid giving the speech during the episode above, wakes up one morning to discover he suddenly has red hair. By he end of the episode, he's advocating "red-power" and promoting tolerance. (i.e., despite the horrid language, the show does come back with a redeeming moral message).
- Vancouver Sun Nov-22 Article
- CTV.ca Nov-24 article and video interview
- Google search for "Kick a Ginger Day"