So Far, So Good

So it took some minds smarter than mine, some finangling, and many trips back and forth to the local small town hardware store…
BUT
The new pressure tank is in!
And it’s working very well.
We do still have an issue with the well pump coming on too often, but it’s now 40ish minutes instead of 6-8ish.
Since a friend suggested it could be the foot valve on our well pump, I did some research on that…it does seem, after all the work done so far, that it could very well be the problem.
Hubby is all for opening up the well head and having a look himself.
I, however, think having a pro come out and do it (plus add the electrical ability to hook the well pump to the generator in the event of power loss) is a good idea. Mostly for the hooking of the pump to generator ability.
Plus, if we can watch someone change the foot valve, then we know exactly what to do next time.
But, we’ll see.
Right now we’re waiting on a end-of-March storm to hit us.
*sigh*
Because March is gonna go out like a lion.
Ah well…it’s March in Manitoba, so no surprises here.
😉

One big surprise we got with the pressure tank repair was this:

Ever since we moved in, we’ve had this mystery pipe sticking out of the ground in the middle of the backyard.
We’ve always thought it had something to do with the septic line…because it goes out past this pipe to the ejector in the pasture. We’ve always just left it alone, not really knowing what to do with it.

So, remember that “wtf is this line?” in the house?

There ya go, just in case you forgot…the “wtf is this line in?”
Welp, we know what it is now.
The general consensus was that it was to the hydrant and horse waterer, so the guys hooked it back up into the system…because horses gotta drink, y’know?
So they get everything hooked up and yel that they’re turning the water back on.
Okay, I figure I’ll pop out to the hydrant and make sure it’s working.
I step out on the deck and yell “Uh, guys!! There’s water spewing out here!!”

Turns out the mystery pipe in the yard is actually a rough in for another hydrant!!
And that’s what the “wtf is this line?” goes to. The shut off valve to it was actually shut off…well, seized closed…but still!
We can have another hydrant, putting water *closer* to the poultry and the garden.
That was a wonderful surprise, to be sure.
And that means we can get rid of the hose hook up on the house… that for some dumb assed reason ran *through* the water softener…really?? We needed soft water for the garden?? *sigh*
Oh the stories I could tell y’all about this house….
🤦‍♀️🙄

Anyways…

So this summer, that pallet fence is going to be ripped out.
It’s done it’s job. That *was* the pig yard for the years we raised them.
This year it’s going to be converted to the permanent duck yard.
It does get a bit wet and sloppy in the spring, but, ducks like that, so it’s a good spot for them.
We have to build a raised section of that yard to put their house on, and then fence it all off.
And we’re going to expand it with another yard and gate, so that once the hens are sitting on nests, we can send the boys over to they “bachelor” area and let the girls make with hatching out the bebes.

In the meantime, we’re just happy for water flowing, ducks laying eggs, and friends and family who’ve been able to help.
Next thing to work on…brooders for turkeys and meat chickens.
Those are coming in just 4 short weeks…

Updates on that Pressure Tank Thing…

Lemme tell y’all something…when things can go wrong, they tend to want to go wrong.
Our current pressure tank is what’s known as a “flow thru”.
https://www.flexconind.com/products/specialty-products/flow-thru-/
It has one pipe going in one side and a pipe going out the other side.
This is not a standard well pressure tank.
A standard well pressure tank has 1 outlet on the bottom where water goes in, then comes out again.
https://www.rona.ca/en/pressuretank-pre-charged-vertical-34-gal-white-92155065

Now, we thought that we had a standard tank.
Nah, that would be too easy, right?
Turns out we have the flow thru…and no one stocks flow thru tanks.
To order one in could take anywhere from 4-8 weeks!
😂😂😂
😂😂😂
And one more time I say:
😂😂😂

Clearly this is not going to work for us.
So…we sat down and had a really good look at the plumbing…

As it stands, we actually have 2 pressure tanks.
The small blue one, which is the first in line, and the bigger grey one (this is the flow thru…and the bladder on it is most definitely hooped…there should not be water coming out the top nipple thing when depressurizing the system to work on it, and I have a short video showing that exact thing happening.).
On the line that goes to th blue tank is the pressure switch and the gauge…and just after those 2, there is a shut off ball valve. (more on that in a moment)

This literally looks *nothing* like any of the well pump/pressure tank installations I’ve looked at online.
Like…absolutely nothing.
😂😂😂
Plus none of the online ones have a helper tabby anywhere.

So since the well pump is running *a lot* and way more than would be if it was a simple leak, we had depressureized the system and discovered that, indeed, the bladder int he grey tank was compromised.
So in order to *not* have the well pump burn out coming on far too often (like it was coming on every 8ish minutes…that is not good at all), we’ve been doing our daily water based things, then turning the power off to the well pump.
At least until we can get the tank replaced.

Which leads me to the shut off ball valve…
Hubby decided we should try shutting that off today.
Leave the well pump on, because it also runs the equine auto waterer (they have water in the steel trough, so they are not going without) and shut down the house.
Well…
He did that and the pressure switch and gauge had a spasm.
Switch rapidly turned on and off, and gauge bounced up and down between the come on and cut off numbers.
Oh.
Okay then.
So it looks like the pressure switch is hooped too.

But…
As it turns out, we can buy a new switch/gauge assembly to go on the tee pipe we need to put on the conventional tank that we bought.
So that’s the current plan.
We think (and this is just a theory right now, so if anyone has a better understanding of those pictures, I’m all ears!!) that the shut off valve keeps the 2nd line in from the well closed…so we should be able to take the main line and attach it to the tee fitting for the conventional pressure tanks, hook up the electrical for the pressure switch and run the lines to the house.
We think.

Honeslty, I’m leaning heavily on other people’s knowledge here.
A good friend’s son (who is also our friend and a pretty awesome guy) is a new plumber who’s been sharing knowledge.
I’ve also been picking my brother’s brain, because the dude is a smart dude.

Today we’re ging to get the necessary parts and tools (because pex…jfc…so many different materials in this house’s plumbing…the last owner put pex in everywhere she worked on…which is fine if you have the $140 crimping tool and rings to work on it…which we don’t. Yet.) and hopefully this weekend, we can get this done.
*sigh*
Because the pro guys around here that we called and left messages with have not returned our calls.
So it looks like we’re, with the help of friends/family, figuring this out on our own.

Farm life is fun.
I don’t know what else to say.
😂😂😂

A Little Jaunt

Yesterday was the first day we all left the Farm for errands in just about a year.
It’s been mostly Hubby, sometimes I go with him, but The Kid has 99.99% of the time stayed home.
Yesterday we all went for the drive.

First up we met up with a friend so she could get some delicious farm fresh eggs from my asshole birds.
That was a lovely visit…we hadn’t seen her for more than a year, between life schedules and then this *waves hands* stuff going on…but it was so good to see her. ❤

Then off to see the Lady with the turkey eggs.
Holy smokes, this woman is living the Dream!
Moved from a crowded once country turned citified area to a 1/4 section farm where she can see elk off her deck most mornings. So exciting! She’s a really cool lady, and I’m super happy for her and her family.
And when I found out I could still get turkey eggs from her this year, I jumped at the chance.

DaisyMae Flerkin helps incubate the eggs. Notice the candling light is on…DaisyMae *always* turns that damn light on.

And then from see the Turkey Egg Lady, we went into the big city to get a new well pressure tank.
Our well pump has been coming on every 20 minutes or so…which is not normal and not good.
After posting on Facebook for ideas, we checked/fixed the leaky toilet and the leaky water softener and that didn’t change things. So a friend’s son, who is a plumber and former farm boy, said the next thing is the tank, because it sounds like the bladder has a leak.
To be fair, another friend, who just recently had her pressure tank replaced, said the same thing.
So now we have a new pressure tank, and Hubby (with the assistance of The Kid and I) will set about to replace the leaky one with the new one.
Wish us all luck.

And finally, we were given some more feed seeds.
Beans, and some feed corn.
Pintos, and navy beans.
Those got put into the “we’ll plant these for food for us” pile.
And then there was the bag of feed corn.
Um, yes please!
I don’t actually have to tell y’all why I might want to grow feed corn, do I?
Knowing that I love to do home brewing?
Yeah, so I now have enough feed corn seed to do a very nice plot of corn.
That may or may not become a lovely alcohol in the fall/winter.
😉

Seeds!

And the duck girls have started to lay…we’re taking the eggs away for a bit, just because it’s still chilly at night, but in a few weeks, we’ll leave them for the hens to start to sit, so we can have many, many bebe ducks.
Fingers crossed!
🙂

Chicks and Chickens

I love this time of year.
Spring brings new life on the Farm, and new hope for a prosperous year ahead.

Our first round of eggs has hatched.
I initially set 80 eggs between the 2 incubators.

In the small incubator was all the blue and green eggs I was able to collect before starting.
22 colours and 2 browns.
Of those eggs, we had 20 hatch.
1 died in the shell, and the last 3 weren’t fertile.

Chicks in the small incubator…can you tell who’s going to be the trouble maker in this group?

In the big incubator I set 56 eggs.
1 was tossed due to having cracked in collection…those frozen eggs can really fool you with the cracks sealing back up when thawed.
In total, we had 24 hatch out.
5 of the unhatched were viable.
1 of those died shortly after pipping, the other 4 died in different stages of development.
The last 26 eggs weren’t fertile.

Don’t mind the phone pics…it’s too hard to use Voldemort when the chicks are still int he incubators. 🙂

Overall, I’m happy with 44 little chirp chirps this round.
Considering those eggs were collected during our polar vortex cold snap that darn near snapped us all, any life coming from them is amazing and makes me happy.

Now the small incubator has 24 greens and blues in it, due to hatch in 2 weeks time, while the big one awaits the arrival of turkey eggs sometime next week. 🙂

We’ll keep running the incubators until mid-summer.
Last year my last hatch finished the first week of July, and with excellent Fall weather, we were able to put all the extra roosters in the freezer. Fingers crossed for that kinda luck again!
This year though, I want to keep better track of how many roosters we butcher.
That way I know if I have to up my hatching game next year.
I will say, I am considering a 3rd incubator just for turkeys…though, I have noticed lots of folks will run chicken eggs in an incubator with turkey eggs.
I might try that. We’ll see how my turkey hens do when they start laying…if I get a lot of eggs from them, I might just spend the money for a 3rd.

The current crop of hens is happy as can be with Spring weather too.

Dust bathing…

They sure do make a mess of the lawn.
😂😂😂
This is just outside the gate to their yard…because heaven forbid the jerks stay in their yard and dustbath in there…oh no, that would make too much sense!
And if there’s one thing chickens ain’t got, it’s sense!
😂😂😂

They’re so funny…

😂😂😂

Tired

With the excitement of starting up the incubators for the years comes the forgotten knowledge of what the 3 days of hatching is really like…
Exhausting.
Once the first chirp starts, there’s excitement.
Yay, we’ve got chicks!
But then…as more come out of their shells, the *loud* chirping starts.
And the scrabbling, jim jamming around…at all hours.
Then, throw in Daisy Mae, who has to tell me she can hear the chicks in the incubators.
At 2am.
*sigh*
Yes cat, I am aware that there’s birds chirping in the house.
Quite. Aware.
Thankyouverymuch.

So here we are on day 2 of hatching, running low on sleep, just waiting for tomorrow morning when we can take aaaaaallllll da little birbs out to the brooder and start again.
😂😂😂
And so it will go, every 3 weeks from now until the beginning of July.

This…this is what my face looks like right now…”Can I just get a little quiet time for a nap??!?” 😂😂😂

Wednesday March 10th ~ Day 18

First thing off the hop…fonts are weird on WP this morning.
Maybe it’s just me, but in my posting block page yuckiness (I can’t be the only one who hates the way the new posting system works, can I?) the fonts changed and it’s weird.
I don’t like change.
Especially when it happens without warning.
(Like change often does…😂😂😂)

Also, today is day 18 with the incubators.
Today I take out the turners, bump up the humidity and wait for the sweet sound of “chirp, chirp, chirp” to start.
By this weekend, we’ll have chicks!
🙂
Tomorrow I’ll start saving eggs for the next round…
I can only run one of them for the next round though, because in 2 weeks I have turkey eggs coming and they need 4 weeks to hatch, compared to chicken’s 3 weeks…I need the turkey eggs to hatch at the same time as the arrival of the white turkey poults.
I’m sure I’ve blathered on about this before…heritage birds of the same species in with meat birds helps the meat birds learn *how to bird* so that the meats are much healthier…as long as they think they are hatchmates.
That is very important, because if they are introduced too far apart, it becomes difficult to integrate them.
There is too much $$$ wrapped up in my turkeys to chance the poults not integrating well.
This is my experience.
Others may have different experiences, but this has worked very well for us.
And so I have to leave one incubator free for the arrival of 2 dozen Narragansett turkey eggs.
Squeeeee!
😀

Finally, for Wordless Wednesday, my lovely sleeping beauty, my chubby Painted Unicorn, Ruby…

And one just for thought…

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Wordless Wednesday.

It Has Begun…

Seed starting space is still at a premium.
So I work with what I have…for now.
Peppers are started.

Only 6 varieties…

I wanted to plant so many more.
But these 6 will do for this year.
Spicys with the poblanos, Anaheims, big Jims, and jalapenos.
Sweets with the shepherds and red bells.
The shepherds are a first for me…last summer our local mega-mart (Superstore) had cases of them on sale.
They do every year.
Last year was the first year Hubby managed to get them before they sold out.
They’re a long, sweet red pepper that tastes like candy when roasted.
Oh. My. Dog.
I did jars and jars of pressure canned roasted red peppers.
So damn good!!
And then I thought “huh, wonder if these are open pollinated?”
Off I went to ask the google…because the peppers themselves come from a farm in Ontario (one province east of me) I figured they grow fairly decently in our climate.
I worried briefly about them being greenhouse grown, ’til the farm itself posted images of rows upon rows upon rows of pepper plants….so I took a chance and emailed them to find out where they sourced their seeds.
Stokes!!
And they’re o/p.
So guess who saved a whole lot of shepherd pepper seeds?
That’s right.
This woman did.
🙂

peppers!

So 2 trays of those, 2 poblanos, and one each of the rest. b
That’s my peppers started.
And my new grow light will arrive when Hubby gets home today.
Squeeeee!
Ima little happy about extra lights. 😉

And then, because I have so much time on my hands
🤦‍♀️🙄
😂😂😂
I decided to do one more thing with seeds this weekend…

With a recycled bag to act like a wee greenhouse, recycled peat pots, and a recycled mushroom tray, I figured I’d stick a few chokecherry seeds in to see if they sprout.
I saved them from the mash that made the chokecherry wine, and popped them into the freezer to mimic our crazy cold winter.
Now, we’ll see what happens.
I have nothing to lose if it doesn’t work, and everything to gain if it does.
In my opinion, that makes it worth trying.
🙂

Hobbes

He appeared here last year.
As always, when they come, they get fed.
That’s the rule here:
Everybody eats.
He wasn’t our cat, but once they come and learn that The Food Lady makes sure there’s enough for them, they become mine.
We’ve been waiting to get him into the vet for neutering.
That’s coming.

For now though…

rolling in the dirt…

He gets to roll around being cute and cuddley.
Trust me, it doesn’t take a long time of good food in their bellies before they become lap sittin’ farm cats ’round here. 😉

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Feline Friday.

First Week of March

And we’re marching right along.
Heh.
See what I did there?
😂😂😂
I promise, I’m funnier in person.
Or, maybe I’m not.
🤷‍♀️

So I’ve booked 2 dozen turkey hatching eggs for the end of the month.
Why?
Uh….why not?
So I have 2 toms and 5 hens.
The hens should start laying soon…and if their shrieking songs are any indication, it will. be. soon.
But the lady I got the eggs from last year moved far, far away and chances to get eggs from her again this year dwindled…until we found out that she’s still finishing up the relocation of her family (to an amazing property in the bush, surrounded by wildlife, huge areas to forage and so much space for growing her own food…I’m teensy bit jealous. 😉 ) so is back in the area once a week for a few more months.
So I jumped at the chance for a couple dozen eggs, since she had added new genetics last year, meaning I could hatch and run the new hatches with my current turkeys.
Hopefully, by the time we get eggs from her, my hens will have popped a few eggs out so I can add those to the incubator too.
I know the boys are dancing up a storm and there has been some turkey lovin’ goin’ on.
😂😂😂

We’re half way through the incubation for the first 80 chicken eggs.
So. Exciting!
I get excited about them hatching until the work of taking care of the chicks comes along.
😂😂😂
I’m a bit like a little kid like that.
But this is what we have to do to make sure there’s food in the freezer for next winter.
I mean holy crap, it’s not even spring and I’m already planning for winter!

And like every other year, thoughts move towards “what else can I grow”.
We have enjoyed having pigs for the summer…well, until these last ones.
Those effers were scary. 😳
And I’m not one to be scared by animals.
But watching them hunt chickens, stalk the cats and a time or two stalk Hubby, well…as much as I want pigs again, they have to be manageable for The Kid and I.
So we’re thinking potbellies.
Smaller, easier to handle, and if we get a boar and 2 sows, a renewable resource.
😉
We’ll try them out and see how they work for us.

LemonChicken enjoys the droppings off the hay bales.

The weather is warming up and the chickens are wandering around the yard again.
No matter how hard I try, those dang birds just won’t stay in their yard!
But they have fun picking through the bits of hay that fall all winter when we feed the Merry Mares.
And they find any voles that might be coming out into the sunshine.
Plus they steal cat food.
Because chickens is jerks.

the mares mooning me under the full moon…

The northern lights have been crazy active!
I keep trying to go out a photograph them, but I really don’t think my heart is in it.
When trying to take pictures, I don’t get to enjoy them as much.
I’ve just been enjoying my glass of whiskey and watching the lights.
In a world gone mad, it’s been a pleasure to enjoy the magic of their dancing with a fine sipping whiskey in hand and cats in my lap…
Because I can’t sit anywhere without cats in my lap. I ain’t complaining about that though…I do love a feline lap warmer. 😉
Last night it was Max, Trouble, Xena and Coal all vying for who got to sit in my lap.
4 cats don’t fit so well, no matter how hard they try.
😂😂😂

My big chubby monkey…
Daphne…because she’s hard to photograph, and y’all don’t get to see enough of her. 🙂