Down On The Farm

Roy, Curly & I went to an outdoor flea market near Kimmell, Indiana this past weekend. We had visited the flea market in Hillsdale, MI on a previous visit to my parents’ house. The Hillsdale market is great – lots of vendors, and several animal barns which we all enjoyed. Roy found the flyer for the Indiana flea market posted at a Hillsdale board.

The Indiana flea market is set up on 34 acres. Once we finally found the place (directions were kinda sketchy), we made our way to the parking area and got a spot fairly close to the market. We had Curly strapped into her little Winnie-the-Pooh stroller with her pink hat and apple juice, slathered up with sunscreen/bug spray, and away we went.  (She started humming as we pushed her around so she could hear her voice break and jump with every bump & hole.)

We were both surprised by the size and variety of the market. We saw plants & trees, jewelry & art, baked goods, jams & jellies, household goods, and just about every kind of farm animal or pet you could buy. There were spiders & snakes (which our soon-to-be-4-year-old-nephew, Larry, has already requested for his birthday. And if we can’t get him a snake, he wants another snake!). There were guinea hens. Peacocks. Doves. Pigeons. Pigs. Chickens. Goats. Miniature Donkeys. Puppies of all shapes & sizes. It was AMAZING.

We visited several booths and saw one that had a lot of little seedling trees. Roy & his dad have been planting several little seedling trees in our back yard in the past year, but this particular vendor had corkscrew willows, which I really like. We looked, but kept on going since we were still early in our visit. We skipped many of the booths – some of the vendors were a bit scary looking…

[I should give you a background on our history of pets/animals: I came to Ohio with Macks, my apricot miniature poodle. Because of Roy’s & my work schedules, he was left alone at home all day and it was too much for him so he went back to Missouri to live with friends. We got 6 ducklings – while Macks was still around – from TSC (Tractor Supply Company) in Mansfield. We kept the ducklings in the house for as long as we could – which was a great experiment and enjoyable for me. Two of them became nesting pairs and are now living happily on a farm in Michigan. Shortly after Macks went to Missouri, Roy found a tiny little kitten in the middle of the road, whose entire family had already been run over by cars, and he brought her home. I did NOT welcome her arrival immediately, but she was so tiny that I ended up driving in with her to work, keeping her in the vented car all day, and feeding her kitten formula and soft foods for about 10 days. We named her Sadie and she’s been a family member ever since. Then we had 3 rats – which was supposed to be 1 rat for Roy’s niece, Moe, to come visit and take care of – which soon turned into about 36 rats. We were able to get rid of the final 3 (you don’t want to know how we went from 36 to 3) before Curly was born. I can handle mice – in a cage – but rats are NOT my thing. The babies were cute and all, but then they get bigger… We even started looking for property & houses this year, looking for a few acres of land that we could have our animals on. We would really love to have goats (or at least one goat), chickens, dogs, and other assorted critters. But after some looking, discussion and consideration, we refocused, and will work to get our house in good shape and put it on the market and THEN we can get our land and build our hobby farm…]

Anyway… We looked at a wide variety of chickens, doves, and pigeons. Roy has been talking about having chickens or pigeons since we’ve been married. He is always telling stories about the animals he & his brothers grew up with, and how much he really wants to have animals around for Curly. I tend to agree with him.

Roy said I should go back and get 3 of the willow trees to plant (yay!) and we walked around awhile longer, and then we decided to go. We started walking to the car and Roy said, “Let’s go up this one row,” so we did. And there they were. Pigeons & chickens galore. We started looking and Roy was asking how much they wanted for these pigeons and those chickens. We saw this one cage with bantam chicklets (that’s what I now call baby chick that are starting to get their feathers). They were $1 a piece. $1!!! So I said, “Roy, seriously – they’re only $1.” I was all for getting a couple of chickens for us to take care of. I saw a silver-colored one that I thought was beautiful, so that’s the one Roy started with.

We walked away with 10 CHICKLETS! We think we have 3 golden sebrights, 2 silver duckwings, a white/buff colored one we can’t identify yet, a black silkie – who I’ve named Queenie and she is my “baby” – a buff brahma or buff cochin, and 2 quail or cornish bantams. You can find pictures of these types of chickens at: http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/category/bantams_chicks.html . I have actual pictures, but my lithium batteries died and I can’t transfer the pics until I get new ones. =)

So, with our new garden (pictures to come), our new trees and the Chicklets, we are creating our own little farm right in our back yard. We have a chicken house to build, a garden to tend, rooms to paint and remodel – we’ve got plenty of home projects to work on while little Curly keeps growing like a weed and looking at her parents like she thinks we’re crazy…

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