Meet Miracle

This is Miracle.

Miracle is a Buff Orpington Rooster.  He has lived on our Farm for about a year and a half.  Usually I do not name my chickens and roosters as this just makes it tougher when one dies or is butchered.  But occasionally one of the birds earn a name and is rewarded with a promise that they will live a long and healthy life on our farm.

Before Miracle only two other birds had earned names.

This is Nugget.

She is a mixed breed Banty of some sort.  She was the only survivor of my first attempt to hatch eggs under a broody hen before we had roosters..  The 5 eggs came from a neighboring farm.  Only two eggs turned out to be fertilized, Nuggets egg and one that never hatched.  Her small size and just the fact that she was different earned her the name Nugget.   Plus I also thought it funny to have a Chicken Nugget.

This is Parmesan.

About a year and a half ago I ordered a batch of Day Old Chicks from Murray McMurray hatchery.  When you order 25 chicks they will throw in a “Rare Breed” chick for free.  As this lone brown and white chick in a sea of yellow baby Buff Orpingtons began to grow I knew he would grow up to be really special.  It just had this aire about it that said “I am important.”  As it grew we realized we had a rooster on our hands.  A little research told me he must be an Araucana Rooster.  His beautiful white feathers earned him the name Parmesan.  Plus I also thought it funny to have a Chicken Parmesan.

So back to Miracle.  Miracles story is, well, miraculous!  Earlier this week I went to let the chickens out of the coop for the day and to feed the baby chicks which are in living the brooder coop.  I store the feed inside the coop and when I entered to fill the feeder I found a rooster upside down, feet up in the air, wedged between the bag of scratch grain and the rubber container I store the feed in.  I picked him up, sad that he had died and set him aside so I could get the feed and then take care of disposing of him.  Further inspection revealed blood on the wall and that his comb was quite bloody.  I finished filling the feeder and looked around to see if I could figure out what might have happened.  I had only two thoughts. One, he got disoriented or bumped into another chicken while coming off the roost and hit his head on the wall or two, he fought with another rooster.  Either way, he was gone.  As I turned to exit the coop about three minutes later the rooster suddenly jumped up and shook off!  Scared the CRAP out of me!  He shook off like a dog and then attempted to exit the coop.  As he walked he seemed to sway back and forth and appeared to be VERY disoriented.  He would take a half step, stop and then fluff his wings.  I stood there dumbfounded and watch him do this for about 5 minutes.  Finally, he planted both feet firmly, puffed out his chest and let out a mighty “Cock-a-doodle-doo” and then ran off.

Just like that he was completely fine! Even now he acts normal even though he appeared to be dead for about 5 minutes AFTER I found him.  No telling how long he had been there prior to me entering the coop.  So the rooster earned the name Miracle.  Plus futher research revealed that there is a recipe for Miracle Chicken so I thought it would be funny to have a Miracle Chicken!

In other chicken news the babies are getting quite big.  Some are Pure Bred Buff Orpingtons but some are a beautiful mix of Arucana and Buff Orpington.  It already appears that we have a few roosters which will likely end up in the stew pot.  I am interested to see if any of the Arucana/Buff mix hens lay any colored eggs.

After School Art

Part of the reason I haven’t been posting much is because the only thing that seems to happen around here is snow and you can only say so much about snow!  It seems we have had some type of snow event every week for the last month or so.  We have now missed 4 days of school and dismissed early twice.  For Arkansas this is actually quite unusual.  We are in the midst of a “blizzard” right now.  It is just after 11 and has only been snowing about 3 hours and we already have several inches on the ground.  They are saying we could get up to 8 inches or even more before the day is done which likely means we will not have school tomorrow either.  So much for summer vacation!

Additionally, I have been teaching after school art on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I did this last year and it was a very stressful thing because of the way the program was set up but I requested some changes this year and I am actually really enjoying it.  In keeping with the winter weather that ceases to end we have been doing winter themed projects.

One of my favorite art lesson sites is called Deep Space Sparkle, named after Patty’s (the author) favorite crayola crayon color.  3 of the 4 lessons I have taught so far for the after-school program came from her site.  Because the after-school program groups consist of a wide range of grade levels it is a challenge to find lessons that are easy enough for the younger kids yet still interesting enough for the older kids.  Yesterday my k-2 students put the finishing touches on their Close-up Snowmen.  Here are some pictures of the kids in action.  Their paintings are currently drying but when they are done (well actually when it quits snowing and we go back to school…)I will post pictures of the final products.  I was REALLY pleased with the results!