Monday, October 20, 2014

A Porchy Post

Spell Check does not like the word "Porchy"
But, I am a rebel today.
It has been awhile since we did one of these types of posts!
You are all 'tsking' me and saying things such as "Well, a post like this might have been better suited for in the summer" or maybe you even muttered a slightly snarky comment such as "What! A post that is not about a Chicken (Gasp)!"
Which, while those comments might be justified, personally I prefer nothing better then sitting on a porch on a crisp autumn day, wrapped in a cozy blanket and a nice hot mug of tea in my hands.
The porches I have been enjoying gazing upon as of late are a little on the simpler side than I have usually posted, but sometimes there is so much beauty in the simple things.
And, really. Isn't a porch just a wooden platform to gaze out on the world?
So, without further ado, here are some wooden platforms in front of houses...or porches.











Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meet Wilma!


This little Funny Faced gal is Wilma.
My hair dresser got chickens around the same time I did, but since has decided that it is not the right time for them to have chickens.
So, yesterday in the midst of getting my hair done, she asked if I would like her hens.
Now, I did not have room for all 4, but I knew a family member that has been searching high and low for some young hens.
So, we grabbed our cardboard boxes and went running around catching hens (the one day I dress up and put on my "town clothes" and I end up in a chicken coop, You can take the girl out of the country but never the country out of the girl;)
Anyway, so, my family member took 3 hens and I chose Wilma.
She is a Ameraucana or Easter Egger Hen.
She has not started to lay yet, (they begin laying about 7-8 months, I am told)
So, once she is settled in to her new home, she should start laying in a few weeks!
And, of course, she will give me Pink, Blue or Green Eggs! (Hence the name Easter Egger;)
She is in a dog carrier in picture because we had to wait till the other hens were fast asleep before adding her to the group (plus, I had to make sure she was healthy, wormed and mite free before exposing her to my other girls:)
Adding a new hen to the coop at night when the other hens are asleep, cuts down on fights and being picked on.
(Although, for the next day or so, make sure you are around the coop, in case blood is drawn, that chicken must be immediately removed otherwise further injury will happen)
So, now I am back up to having 5 girls again.
We are in the process of building another coop, but it has been slow going since we are still busy haying.
One of these days, the girls will get a new home:)
Also, someday, I will post about something other than chickens, its seems like my blog for 2014 has turned into a chicken blog!
Have a great rest of your week!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finally!

Yes, I have been meaning to post for over a month now.
Sorry, folks.
I am currently trapped inside with a nasty cold.
But, something just happened mere minutes ago that made me say, "I have to share this with my peeps" (that's you folks, in case you were wondering;)

Maude laid her first egg!!!


Atta girl, Maude! (she is 25 weeks come this last Friday:)


I love how in this next picture, she looks like she is saying "What in the world just happened to me!?"


It could be another 4-8 weeks before the other girls start laying.
So, there you go. Thats about as exciting as it gets around here.
I am fighting off a cold, all the while trying to put up tomatoes and other garden produce and helping Manly with the bean harvest and 4th (and final) hay cutting.
Pretty soon we will be starting into the working with the Sheep.

But, standing still long enough to breath in moments like this one...

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peachy Keen

I dig this late summer rhythm.
Yes, things are still very busy.
But, this is about when we catch our second wind, see an end in sight and realize we are going to live through it all.
Plus, this is when the Peaches are on.
See. I smiled just typing that.
Seriously, who can be upset when the house smells like Peaches and when there is a Peach close at hand to grab and eat.
They taste like summertime.
Last night as I stood at our kitchen sink staring out at the sunset, peeling peaches to make Jam, and Manly was out baling hay, I thought "Hey, life really is Peachy Keen right now"


I have been putting up green beans, peaches (canned and peach preserves) and making sauerkraut.
I am going into making apple butter, tomato sauce and salsa next.
I am processing a batch of peaches now, I have till the buzzer goes off to finish this blog post.


We have been dodging in an out of thunderstorms for the last couple of weeks.
The rain and hail they bring have damaged some of the crops.
A freak storm came through last night and rained Manly out from baling hay and of course, worse off...rained on the hay.
Which is not good at all.
But, we are okay as a whole.
I see I have five minutes left on the timer, so I better wrap this up.
Just wanted to drop in and say hello to you all and hope your late summer is going well!
What have you been up too? Are you canning too?


Friday, August 1, 2014

Sad News

I have had a bit of trouble sharing this news with you all.
I normally try to keep things fairly light here around the farm blog, but I knew you all would want to know.
Last week, at midnight, I heard 'my girls' (my chickens) making a fuss, I jumped up out of bed and grabbed the flashlight, however by the time I had reached the coop, the 65 pound German Shorthair had ripped off a large dog-sized chunk from the coop wall and killed 4 of my 5 hens, injuring the fifth.
Manly had been behind me just a few seconds and grabbed the dog before he could kill the last hen.
They were 2-3 weeks away from starting to lay.
I am heartbroken.
I raised them from babes and they were gifts from my darling hubby.
They were beautiful and so sweet.
I am sad. But, also angry.
Not at the dog.
The poor dog was just as much a victim as my girls, a victim of neglect, lack of training and boredom.
Too many hours in a kennel and too few hours with any attention.
Also, please, If you live in the country versus the city, that does not somehow give you the freedom of letting your animals run around loose.
Oh, your dog would NEVER do anything like that, you say?
Really, how would know? Your dog is running loose, you do not even know where it is, and you are not with it.
Manly said the real sad thing, is that we put more love, time and money into those chickens in the short time we had them, then anyone has ever given that dog.
Yet, my girls are gone, and the dog is alive and well.
Please be responsible for your animals. No matter where you live.
Secondly, I showed pictures of the coop we purchased on this blog.
I feel responsible to tell you, as cute as that coop was, it is not "dog proof" or large predator proof.
Unless, you live in a walled off yard in the city, and never get visited by coyotes, wolves or bored German Shorthairs, I do not promote buying that coop.
I not here to slander them. Just to warn you all.
Maude is the surviver, she received bites across her chest, but thankfully due to our interruption and my twice daily doctoring, she is healing nicely,she has no indication of internal damage and should make a full recovery.
I told Manly I was done with chickens. I could not do this anymore.
I would get Maude healed up and then give her to a family member.
Manly encouraged me to wait.
He fixed up the coop and did what he could to dog proof it (we have plans to build another one when Harvest is over) and told me to see if anyone had a young pullets.
It took a bit of convincing, but I finally made some calls and found a lady that had some 8 week old pullets.
Which is a bit young (half Maude's age) but the ladies place was clean and the chickens were all healthy and beautiful, and I fell in love with these three.

Okay, so obviously, the large black hen is Maude.
The gold colored one is Marmie (short for Marmalade)
The brown one with white spots is Frida and the little brown one is Inga.
Every night the coop gets moved to right under my bedroom window.
If I have to, I can leap through the window, if something comes around again.
Besides, this sad bit of news, we are busy.
Second cutting of hay under way, wheat harvest is going, irrigating the beans and trying to find the garden through the weeds.
Hopefully, next time I post I will have more cheerful news.
Maybe something like Maude's first egg???
We'll see...







Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oops, I blinked.

Don't Blink.
Not because the Weeping Angels will get ya' (sorry, Doctor Who reference)
But, because I did, and now it is nearly Independence day.
I swear that yesterday was just the beginning of planting season, and that my now nearly 11 week old chickens were just wee widdle babes.
Anywho, PICTURES!
Here are a couple of random blooming flower pics.



So, I did take some pics of the babes when I first moved them into their new home, they were nearly 6 weeks old at the time.
That is their little baby chicken treat (and nutrition booster) hanging back there, in case you were wondering.

Here they are as of this morning, at nearly 11 weeks.

Now, the Lacey's (Silver Laced Wyandottes) are named Flora and Flossie

And the Aussies (Australorp) are named Maude, Mazie and Mabel

I grew up around chickens for most of my life and I guess took them for granted (as well as the fresh eggs since there was always plenty of those too!) But, apparently absence does make the heart grow stronger because these funny little gals have just made me so happy.
Manly says they are probably some of the most spoiled chickens ever.
(Its hot today, so they get one of their special treats.
I slice up watermelon and put the slices in individual ziploc baggies and put them in the freezer, then on a hot day, they get a watermelon frozen treat:)
Anywho, other than spoiling chickens, gardening and farming, nothing too exciting around the farm.
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Daddy's Day!

Happy Fathers day to all the wonderful men in your lives and a very special Happy Daddy Day shout-out to my wonderful Father!