I had to chuckle when Nora and I were watching the Cat in the Hat on PBS one morning. The Cat and the children were talking about bird nests and wanted to build one on their own. The fish smugly commented, “You don’t know how to build a nest!” In the sage words of the Cat in the Hat, “I don’t know how to now, but I will when I’m done!”
That’s the mantra we have to follow to succeed with our daunting coop planning project. It will take time, lots of weekends, but it will be done just in time. We won’t be incubating until June so warm (hopefully drier) spring and summer days are ahead of us for building.
If the rain would stop for one weekend, we could really get started on our coop. I can’t complain too much, because I planted most of my early spring veggies last weekend and now I don’t have to worry about watering them! The next seven days are all forecast for scattered thunderstorms. Such a bummer, and raincoats aren’t my idea of a fashion statement! We’re itching to get started, so I may have to just take a few rainy days and clean the garage out well so we can start building in there instead. I looked through several books with my husband, Derek, and we decided to start with a coop to accommodate up to 10 chickens. This way we have room to grow and add to the flock next year.
On the bright side, I went to our local library book sale last month and scored a bunch of books for the girls about chickens! I put the books in their Easter baskets and they continually pick chicken-themed books for our bedtime stories.
I also found some nifty wind-up chickens that lay bubblegum eggs for the girls’ baskets. It was such a hit!
At my last visit to the library, I stumbled upon a really awesome book that I wanted to share with those out there with little ones. It’s called Egg to Chicken/Tadpole to Frog (Flip Me Over) (QEB Life Cycles).
The book does an excellent job of explaining and defining essential terminology like nesting, brooding, parts of the chicken, what happens inside a fertilized egg and how it hatches.
What’s even better, you flip the book over and the other half explains the lifecycle of tadpoles to frogs! The book appealed to both our daughters (almost 3 and 6 years old). Nora, our youngest, enjoyed the pictures and asked questions, while Ara grasped more and asked really thoughtful questions. The book had a picture of an ostrich and its egg, and she remembered her visit last month to Reptiland where they had emus.
She wondered if emu eggs where close to the size of ostrich eggs. I was impressed that she made the connection! This book was certainly apropos.
On a recent visit to our friend Bonnie’s house, she gave us frog eggs to take home. Nearly every egg hatched and we now have a little two-gallon tank bustling with tadpoles!
One other book that I checked out of the library turned out to be wonderful for younger ones. It’s called Dora’s Eggs. It’s a board book and the illustrations are great. I looked online and the library version appears to vary a lot of from the retail version.
We were also lucky this past week to meet Bonnie’s daughter Raisa’s ducklings! As you can see from the pictures, the girls doted on the ducklings and had a blast!
I was really pleased that Raisa allowed the girls to play with the ducklings. As I expected, there were a few ducklings that were a bit tenuous with two young, independent-minded girls!
Nora and Ara held the ducklings, watched them swim in the pond and followed them around as they quacked! Raisa paddled in her kayak with the ducks on the pond and watched after them carefully … as any mother hen would!
We also checked out their coop. It was a great experience for the girls and it was awesome for us to watch them interact with the ducklings!