Duck Shit

Yup, that’s what I’ve been up to…
Shoveling duck shit/bedding.
Last week we flipped the top of the duck coop open (it’s on hinges), kicked every birb out, and I shoveled it out.
Twice.
I did that twice.
Then, everyone got a dose of ivermectin on their backs, right on the skin (I hate trying to get through those downy feathers to find skin, but the ivermectin has to go right on the skin to be effective) and they also got a 3 day course of penpro (antibiotic).
They had a respiratory infection that just wasn’t clearing up, so after a quick discussion with our vet, I dosed every damn duck (and T.D, a sweetgrass turkey who is convinced she’s a duck…so her name is TallDuck) in the coop.
Today, I am optimistic that everyone who is left will pull through just fine.
Today was their 2nd round of the ivermectin, and they’ll get one more in 7 days.
I’ve also had my second round of the ivermectin, because it is inevitable that I wear some while dosing ducks.
Muscovy hens are bitches when they don’t want to be handled.
Damn, them girls got some *fight* in ’em this week…and that’s a helluva good sign.
Means they’re feeling much, much better.
And everyone’s feathers are looking better, and they’re eating us out of house and home again…
And they’re running The Kid over when she opens their coop.
So, all good stuff.

I just feel like a shitty duck owner because it took this long to get them dewormed again and far too long to get them antibiotics….my Kid lost her foundation drake, Cricket:

Cricket the Duck. He’s a handsome fella!

And let me tell you…there’s nothing worse than listening to your kid’s sobs of heartbreak because an animal she loved died…
Problem was, the weather beat the shit out of us mercilessly and there really was no way (besides ivomec in water pails) to deworm them, and I didn’t put 2+2 together on the resp. infection until the sneezing didn’t clear up with clean bedding.

So now we’re just doing everything we can to keep the last 17 ducks going…
Fingers crossed, and a whole lotta ducks shit shoveling, and so far, everyone is good.
They’re having meetings and trilling and cooing and wagging tails (which are growing back in) and the drakes are starting to get *that look* and the hens are giving them the okay wags…

And for the record, Poop Machine (yep, that’s his name) thinks this hands on health care is complete duckshit. He ain’t liking it one little bit.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

In other news, the snow is finally melting.
About damn time.
The chickens and turkeys are doing well.
Oscar is dancing and prancing and the hens are squatting.
Next week begins the collection of eggs for the incubator(s).
Hopefully we’ll have a bunch of little Narragansetts running about come May!
Then any hens can be put with Dingus when they’re older.
Right now he only has 1 girl and she keeps calling for Oscar.
Fucking turkeys.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
But Oscar is the dominant tom, so all the hens who have been in with him (and Dingus’s girl was before the great garage move) want to stay with him.
Problem is I can’t keep the 2 toms together, or Oscar kills any hen who shows interest in Dingus.
Turkeys are misogynistic bastards.
Tasty bastards tho…

Down to my last 4 bales of hay.
The Merry Mares are going through roughly 1 a week…yup, still doing the put a whole bale out thing…just because the snow hasn’t melted enough that I can portion feed again.
But as the snow recedes and more ground is showing, they’re finding tasty bits to nibble.
Once the frost is out of the ground and all the melt soaks in, it’s take a day or two of warmth and the grass will explode into growth that they won’t be able to keep up with.
I am so hoping for an excellent hay season.
We need one after the last few years.

But, Mother Nature is gonna do whatever it is that She’s gonna do and we humans are just going to have to deal with whatever She throws our way.
Again.
I just hoping for good growing and harvesting weather.
It’s all I can do.

Happy Spring

And here we are…we made it to Spring.

Yesterday we fixed the garage door.
Well, I say “we” but Hubby did the hard work on the ladder, while The Kid and I held said ladder and passed tools as needed.
So the driveway is now clear, those fat, fat mares got another bale of hay (they had to eat every single scrap of the last one…poor fat, fat mares πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) and while the tractor was out of the garage, I cleaned the turkey hut.
The turkeys were not amused.
But I’m tired of shit covered eggs, and their straw pack was getting ridiculously high, so I pushed them into the corner with a board, dug out the gross stuff, then let them back into the rest of the hut while we gathered fresh straw.
Kid threw the fresh straw in, and the turkeys were convinced she was trying to murder them.
Turkeys is dumb.
But next thing y’know, the hens were spreading bedding and doing the come hither squat at Oscar, so clearly clean sheets works to help a guy get lucky. As if we human women didn’t already know that. πŸ˜‰

Last week The Kid and I got the duck coop dug out…again.
Hopefully this is the last time this year we have to do this dig.
Then we flipped open the lid (hooray for lids on coops that open!!), kicked aaaaaaallllll da leetle birdies out, and I cleaned the coop down to the floor.
Whew.
Stinky, stinky, stinky.
We love our ducks, but damn, they are gross little birbs.
But now they’re clean, and they’ve been spending days hanging out on top the drifts.
My only sad face was that there’s too much snow to move the stinky, duck poo laden, wet, juicy straw to a garden bed. There are some super awesome nutrients in that grossness that plants just love!
Ah well…there will be more later.

Yes, that one duck is a bit weird looking. πŸ˜‰
That’s “T.D”…also known as “Tall Duck”.
She’s a sweetgrass turkey who Cricket (the main drake) decided was his pet turkey.
She’s a bit stunted, and not terribly smart, but she’s kinda sweet and the ducks like her.
She’s way too small to be in with the turkeys, so she lives with the ducks.
Come randy, horny duck spring, she’ll go with the younger hens who are not ready for breeding, so that the drakes don’t decide she’s attractive. Turkey and duck parts are not compatible for breeding, so we can’t let that happen.

Tonight we’re staying above 0*c weather wise, and the melt is on.
So the next few weeks will see us shoveling more paths, as our drifts melt, and trenches for water to run off.
But it’s finally melting, and we’re happy.
Tired, but happy.
πŸ™‚

Almost Done

So after too many whining about the weather posts, today is not that.
We’ve had a few lovely days, that even with a bit of wind blowing, have led to a lot of digging out.
We were able to get the ducks out of their coop for some fresh air yesterday, and today I have the oh so lovely task of scooping out their coop…it needs it.
Ducks, while cute and funny and really tasty, are gross little goofs who love to make every single thing wet with either water or shit.
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Their bedding makes excellent compost tho…if only I could get to the garden expansion spot.
Not that I’m worried about that, since the little brats just keep shitting.
There’s a never ending source of fertilizer for the gardens.

The warmer weather really has the green thumb itching.
Yesterday I grabbed up my pile of gallon milk jugs and set out some more winter sown seeds.
This time it was 2 types of peppers, mullein, and 4 types of tomatoes.

Now, this method doesn’t make things grow sooner.
What it does is give the seeds the chance to grow with Mother Nature, and in the end, makes for hardier plants, because they’ve adapted sooner to Ma Nature’s proclivities than if they were started inside and needing hardening off.
For our micro climate (which, in case you haven’t noticed, can be quite brutal) plants that adapt and produce well here are very desirable.
If I can select seeds from short growing season varieties that prove hardier than most, welp, then I can create my own seed bank for this space.
That’s a good thing.
(I am assuming that makes sense to more than just my short-on-coffee-brain this morning)

I’m poking at the husband to keep drinking the milks so that I have a few more jugs to set out before spring comes…I have some native perennials that are also medicinal to get going and I want to try both the outdoor and indoor method for starting them.
I’m sure those who drop in are confused by my mass of milk jugs sitting in the garden.
But if this works?
Then I can start a lot more seeds for a lot more things.
That’s a good thing.

Stupid turkeys are doing well.
Oscar is dancing and a couple hens are letting him do his job.
He and I had a “come to Jesus” meeting on Friday.
Since I’m not letting the hens sit yet, I’m collecting eggs.
Well, Oscar has decided that I am a threat to his hens that must be run off.
Oh Oscar.
So we had a…discussion…one that reminded him that *I* run his little flock, and he defers to me…so when *I* want the eggs, he will move his tail feathers out of the way and I will collect them.
Poor guy.
He’s just trying to be a good horny bird, protecting his ladies and making like a big man.
But, coming at me with them spurs while I’m picking up eggs?
Stops now, or he goes to Freezer Camp.
I do believe we have come to an agreement now.
Hopefully.
I really don’t want to butcher the guy for doing what his hormones tell him to do…he just has to remember his manners with the humans.

And then yesterday, the feathered assholes broke out of their cage in the garage.
Hubby was thrilled (not) to find them all over the place.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
They only shit on the tractor a few times, so it wasn’t *that* bad.
And I cleaned it up, so he can’t complain.
πŸ˜‰

So now we just have to get through March.
Hopefully it won’t be all lion-like and kick our butts with more snow.
I keep tellin’ my 2 that “we’re hardy prairie ponies, not pony princesses…we can do this”
And they look at me like I’m nuts.
Eh, maybe I am.

So off I go to dig some more, fling some poo…and then perhaps grab my favorite Paint and have a discussion with her about how she needs her hooves trimmed.
That’s gonna be fun.
Everyone is overdue because the weather has been an asshole.
Nicer weather means we have to get them Merry Mares back on track.
Yeehaw.

Still Digging…

We’re still working on digging out from that last storm.
Well folks, we have moisture.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
If we don’t see the return of Lake Midnight this year, I will be completely shocked.
I’m sure we will though…
Just look at what we have right now:

Behind the drift is our truck.
In front of the drift is 2 large round bales of straw.
That drift is rock hard…Hubby used the blower on the tractor to cut through it.
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It’s one of the smaller drifts in the yard.
The back yard has now 8 foot drifts.
This is the most snow we’ve had since we moved here.
Even our first year didn’t have this much snow.
So I am seriously hopeful for a good growing season without drought issues.
I suspect our sump pump in the basement will be working overtime this spring…we have a backup, just in case. In the country, it’s *always* a good thing to have back up pumps stashed everywhere.

But the exciting things are…
The last of my seeds I ordered are on their way.
Then I start more winter sowing containers.
Yarrow, plantain, echinacea, some peppers (that I have tons and tons of seeds from), mullein, parsley, nasturtiums, marigolds…oh I have plans for many seeds to be started this way!
Most of what I’m doing self seeds easily, and in my growing zone, so winter sowing should work very well.
And it gives me the chance to see what the seedlings look like when they come up, so when they do re-seed next year (and in years to come) I know what I’m looking for.

I also received my seed package from the Northern Seed Library:

I am incredibly excited to grow these seeds.
Save the seeds, save the world.
Normally I’m not a pretty flowers kinda gardener, but I did discover that all parts of hollyhocks are edible, and bees love ’em, so the idea of growing black ones just tickled my fancy.
I had winter sowed a jug of red ones, but I figure I’ll plant those out at my brother’s country property.
He can have pretty, edible, bee loving flowers too.
Seeing as how I have to leave 1/4 between varieties to ensure pure seed.

I’m also eyeing places where I can add a good sized raspberry patch.
I have a few canes that a friend gave me after thinning hers, but I want a *patch*.
That won’t happen this year, but I can prep the space in the Fall for them.
This year the focus is on growing as much garden foods and medicinal herbs as possible, and always with an eye on expansion.

I always have huge plans, and then get frustrated that I’ve bitten off more than I can possibly do…so this year I’m being more cautious about what the hard core must do plans are. There’s still a lot of work, but it’s at the level that I’m pretty sure we can get done. And grow on in the coming years.

My turkeys are starting to lay eggs…

We’ve gotten a few so far.
It’s too cold to incubate them yet.
And though Oscar and Dingus are dancing, I don’t think the hens are letting them actually work yet.
This year we’re going to let them do their thing…I’ll collect eggs to incubate, but I won’t be buying any hatching eggs this year.
Last year I got in over my head, and hatched out too many birds.
We didn’t have enough space for everyone once the bad weather hit, and some ended up in the soup pot way too young.
Add to that we had some horrible losses because the weather was bouncing all over, and the respiratory problems ripped through the chicken coop, taking out 3 of my 4 roosters and a lot of the youngsters.
Ugh.
Not over hatching again.
So this year, I’m getting 20 dual purpose birds from the local hatchery, and 15 white turkeys.
No meat chickens.
We’ll let the dual purpose ones grow up, see who’s a nice enough rooster to keep on for breeding, butcher the rest of the boys, and keep the hens in the program.
All white turkeys are Freezer Campers.
So my incubators won’t be working as hard this year.
And beside, we have to redesign the winter coops for the turkeys and the ducks (the duck btw, will be left to their own hatching devices…).
Turkeys need height.
They love to perch up high…even if they’re standing on ducks to do it. 😑
Ducks like ample straw bedding down low to snuggle in.
The current shared coop accommodate ducks decently (though it wasn’t designed with an eye towards cleaning, which is something that needs to change!), and would work for turkeys by themselves, but it does not work as a shared coop at all.
So that needs to change.
And we want to put the turkeys in their own winter yard next year.
3 yards/winter coops are needed right now.
Turkey.
Ducks.
Chickens.

That’s Hubby’s first building.
Yards and coops.
While I work on the gardens.

But for next week, while we have a stretch of nice weather, it’s digging.
More digging.
And more digging.
Yeehaw.
I am ready for Spring!

Ready For Spring

I’m ready and rarin’ to go!
First of the seed orders went in on Sunday.

I went through my seed stores as well.
I saved *a lot* of seeds this year too.
Some things will be grown just for the animals…like the tons of pumpkin and squash seeds I saved.
Those ducklings sure do love them a pumpkin…and they work great as feed bowls!

And I’m trying something new (to me) this year.
Winter sowing.
I have a tiny house.
And really not enough space to start aaaaalllll the plants I want in the garden.
Which is why the push for a greenhouse (plus I can grow extra plants through the summer in there).
Then I found the Winter Sowers group on Facebook and decided to check it out.
I have an abundance of seeds.
I have an abundance of containers (hooray for Loop!! I can re-use the containers we get stuff in!).
I have nothing to lose but a bit of dirt (that will go into the garden later anyways) to try it out.
So that’s my plan.
On the Winter Solstice, I’ll prep my containers and sow my seeds.
I’ll let y’all know how it works out for me.

So now, I figure the only things I *need* to order are peas, yellow beans, and carrots.
Probably beets too, just because my store of pickled beets has dwindled.
Must have pickled beets on the shelf!!
I still have this years beets in storage and can pickle them, I just haven’t gotten to that yet.
πŸ™‚
I’ll probably order some extra of the Blue Lake pole beans too…I’ve read that they are incredibly prolific, tasty, and excellent for canning.
Those will go in the greenhouse.
Just because it’s so damn windy here.

I’m also ready and rarin’ to go on making more growing space.
With all the boxes from Loop and the compost/fertilizer from the animals, I have big, big plans.
lol
I have the space to do it.
And a source for more straw for mulch…

Plus, in just a few short months, the incubators will be fired up again.
And in spring a new turkey coop/yard will be built, while the ducks get the shared yard they’re in now.
I’m ready for it.
I’m rarin’ for it.
C’mon Spring!!

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.
I am extremely thankful that we made the move to the Farm when we did, that I have the skills to grow this much food, and that we have the ability/wish to share with those we can.
❀

Sooooooon….this will be happening again!
πŸ™‚

Still Here

Still working.
Still…sumthin’ or other…
Meh.

We’ve had 2 major storms in the past 2 weeks.
We now have more snow on the ground from those 2 storms than we did all last winter.

Little arrows on the sides of the images give you a chance to click through all images…don’t hit that arrow on this one if blood bothers you, ‘kay?


We picked up a load of pumpkins at the beginning of the month, so I’m smashing bunches open at a time for seeds for me, and feeding the pumpkin itself to the animals.
We got our hay.
We got our straw.
We finished butchering drakes just this past weekend.
Now, butchering is done for the year.
Unless Hubby gets a deer.
He’s going out Thursday/Friday for that.
Fingers crossed.

We have spring plans underway.
We need to build an entire yard just for turkeys, plus another coop for them.
The low coops that work for ducks don’t work for turkeys.
Turkeys like to be up high as much as possible. Even if that means standing on each other and squishing each other. Because turkeys is stoopid. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„
So we have to re-jig that yard for ducks and move turkeys to their own space with a bigger/taller coop.
But first!
The greenhouse.
Snow hit before we got more than the 4 walls done.
Yes, yes, the fall was a long and lovely one, but there was soooooo much else to do.
But, the second things are melted, up it goes!

I’ve saved seeds from a bazillion and 2 things.
I’ve jumped into a couple of seeds swaps and gotten seeds from plants I really, really wanted to grow!
I think the only thing I might have to buy seeds for in spring is carrots.
I’m not 100% certain until I go through my seeds.

I started the garden expansion to go with the greenhouse.
In cleaning out the coops when we brought straw home, I had some really nice, composted, chicken poo rich dirt…and a metric eff ton of boxes…hey, that Loop program provides more than feed for the animals!!
Boxes to layer to start new gardens too!

Oh look!
You can see my greenhouse walls in the background!
And the straw bales…and chickens picking at the straw bales.
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So in the spring, I’ll build some simple board sides to keep the dirt where I want it, and then using t-posts and stucco wire, protect the space from the asshole birds, and plant my plants.
Every year I can/will expand it.

Tarp did not get pulled over the garden.
As I said, too much to do, and not enough time or us to do it.
In the spring, I’ll take a bunch of that straw from the horses (because they’ll explode their bales effing every damn where and shit in it) and layer it over top the last plants that didn’t get pulled out.
Then, I’ll plant into that.
Voila!
Mulch and weed suppression, whilst feeding the soil with the urine/shit soaked straw.
Worked effing beautifully this year, and I suspect it will work effing beautifully next year too.
And there’s no tilling, just soil building.
I call that a win/win/win!
‘Bout time them horses did something other than eat money.
πŸ˜‰

So now we just have to get everyone through the winter, so we can start building and expanding again in the spring.
Because spring means??

SHEEPIES!!!

I am so damn excited!!
πŸ˜€

Down Sizing

This past weekend we got the news that our regular feed guy did not have good returns on his fields.
Which means, he doesn’t have as much to sell to us for feed for the birds for winter.

Now, we had already been discussing downsizing some of the birds, simply because the bulk of our feed money is going into The Merry Mares.
Hay prices are…well I don’t know exactly what’s doing with our regular Hay Guy.
He says things have been real bad (that was back in July) but he didn’t say he wouldn’t have for us.
I’ve been looking and trying to get bales elsewhere, just in case.
One of our other connections had an entire field of hay stolen.
That’s the new thing this year.
Stealing hay.
Hell, she didn’t even get it cut!
They came, cut and baled in a 24 hour period.
Which means it’s either gonna go up in flames or it’s going to mold.
Either way, if they sell the stolen bales, the person buying is fucked and if they try to use it themselves, their animals are gonna suffer.
What a fucked up year.

My straw connection has bales for me.
In fact, she says she has a fair bit extra, so if we had to use straw and supplement with grains and hay cubes, we’ll be able to do that and keep The Merry Mares healthy.
Her prices have gone up…almost double.
But, we also have to consider the low yields on fields, the rising gas prices, repairs to equipment, etc.
It all adds up.
I will not begrudge someone needing to make a living.
And you know, both my straw connection and my Hay Guy have been fucking awesome with us.
I have no complaints about them at all.
Besides, that’s the joys of having money eating shit machines.
In years like this, you pay through the nose to keep them.
But realistically, there’s no market for aging mares who haven’t been ridden for years and who’s only job it has been is to be pretty. Besides, I told them all that they’re here for life.
That’s it, that’s all.

So we’re downsizing where we can.
That’s with birds.
But the good thing with that is, birds are food.
I’m going to go through my hens and take out the aging girls (except for a choice few older gals who will get to die of old age.) Once I have an idea of how many older girls are going, then I’ll see how many roos will stay.
I want to keep 40 hens, so that means 3 roos.
Frank, Blue and probably Darryl (or is it Larry?).

Geese will go to Freezer Camp.
I had hoped to be able to keep them, but…
They’ve been complete assholes to the ducks (they were in the duck yard) and have been picking at new growing wing feathers on the duck hens.
The geese aren’t lacking anything, their just dicks.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
We’ll get more in the spring.

Turkeys will be whittled down to Oscar, Dingus, Emma, 12, 13, and at least 5 other hens.
The boys do best with 4 hens minimum each.
So 8 hens (for sure) and the 2 boys will stay and they’ll easily replenish the flock come spring.
I had thought about keeping a white hen, from the hatchery turkeys.
Those hens do get kept for breeding, but as I thought about it, I worried whether I’d be allowing not-so-hardy genetics into my flock.
Yeah, I might get interesting colours, I might get a faster growing bird, but I might also get the worst of the whites too…
So nope, all whites are Freezer Campers.
In my littles flock, there are 4 Sweetgrass turkeys and the rest are Narragansetts.
6 of that flock belong to a friend.
She’s the one who gave me the Sweetgrass eggs.
I want to keep 1 of the Sweetgrass for my flock, so we’ll have crosses that way, and Sweetgrass are hardy like the Narragansetts, so that works.
Size wise, they’re the same, so it’s just going to be colours that the Sweetgrass will bring to the genetics.
I’m not dead set on pure Narragansetts, so that’s a good thing.
I want hardy, decent layers/mothers, pretty, and tasty.

And then there’s the ducks…
Well, we did just buy 19 bebes, then had another 8 hatch out, so we have a lot of ducks.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
But, we have drakes going Camping, and any drakes in the 19 we bought will go Camping too.
By the time November rolls around, we’ll know who is who and who’s not staying on.
Hens (for the most part) will stay.
We have 4 older gals, the foundation 4, who will be kept because they hatch clutches happily.
Hell, they’re trying to hide nests now!
Ya, no…no nests allowed now!
And the younger hens have been doing just as well too.
Plus, out of those 19 we bought, there should be a few hens, and it’s always good to bring in new bloodlines every few years. Once their coop is renewed (Hubby is working on that and the greenhouse at the same time…the Man is *busy*!!), we’ll see how many fit and go from there.
We have 2 drakes that stay on, Cricket and PoopMachine.
Drake (our main guy) should be staying too…we know he *works* πŸ˜‰ and then we have Howard and another 1 who looks like Cricket. The Cricket look alike is being replaced with PoopMachine.
We try to keep 4 working drakes, but can go down to 3 if we have to.
That gives us a hen flock of 15-20, depending on space.

So we’re eating bird this winter.
That’s always been the plan, but some of the ones I had originally thought about keeping (space permitting) are now on the table.
And y’know what?
I’m not going to feel bad about that.
Thing is, birds, as much as we enjoy them being here, are food.
For us, for the cats, for the dog.
The rule is they get to live a good life being birds, then when it’s time, they feed us.
That’s just how it is.

Happy Food Tastes Better.

Cricket the Duck. He’s a handsome fella!

πŸ–€rainπŸ–€

We’re getting that rain we wanted.
We actually have puddles.
And ducks in the puddles.
They are very happy ducks.
I am happy that I got a bunch of seeds planted in the garden before the rains came.
I am also happy I didn’t fall for Mother Nature’s trap and plant my tomatoes and peppers…since it’s a chilly 2*c right now.
But, we have the moisture we so desperately needed.
The trees are popping.
My lilacs might actually bloom…if we can keep a certain large blonde from nibbling on them. πŸ˜‰
Apple trees are starting to blossom.
And the grass!
*swoons*
With a round of heat and a few more quick showers, I’ll be cutting hay in just a few weeks time.
Thank goodness!
And the mares are officially off hay.
They got their last portion last night, and it’s all still sitting in the feeder this morning.
Unless some weird weather event happens, we’re done feeding hay for the year. (please, no weird weather events occur!)
So with today’s rain, I’ll be doing some wine maintenance (got a few batches ready to bottle and another one to transfer out of the pail, plus a beer kit to start and a sugar shine to get going) and enjoying coffee while trying to beat off a migraine.
In short, I’m staying inside today.
Have a great weekend friends!
❀

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.
πŸ˜‰

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!
πŸ™‚

It’s That Time Of Year

Oh boy oh boy…
I’m soooooo itchy to get things going!
The only thing keeping me from firing up the incubators is the darn cold.
*Still* under an extreme cold watch.
It’s been 10 days straight.
That’s just crazy.
Hopefully tonight it’ll end…tomorrow?
Soon. It’s gotta end soon.

But here I’m thinking about ordering my meat chicks.
In fact, this week I have to buy layer feed again.
With this cold, the birbs are blowing through feed like crazy.
Like.
Crazy.
3 25kg bags typically go 2 1/2-3 weeks.
Pfft.
I think we’re at a week and a half, and we’re gonna need for this weekend.
So, yeah…effing cold.
When I place my next feed order, I’ll order my meat chickens and 10 white turkeys.
Now that I have a better grasp on raising turkeys, I figure I should be able to raise the whites.
Hopefully.
Looking forward to putting a whole bunch of turkey into the freezer.
🀀🀀🀀

And once the order goes in, Hubby has his orders for building.
We need a whole separate brooder for turkeys.
The biggest thing we did wrong last year was not keep them in the brooder with high protein feed longer.
My Narragansett crew did ah-mazing staying in the brooder for almost 4 months before getting outdoor time.
And I tell you, they are hardy af!
This cold snap, they’ve been out doing turkey races over the snow drifts like maniacs!
So hopefully they breed and lay like nuts come spring time, because we need more of them. πŸ˜‰
But whites are a raise for meat, short season bird only.
So they’ll spend a good long time in the brooder, then get some outdoor free ranging time away from chickens before going to Freezer Camp.
And we can’t have them tying up the brooder that cycles chicken chicks through it throughout the summer…which means building work for Hubby…well, all of us, really.

Then we needs a shelter in the old pig yard for ducks.
We’re changing that yard from pigs to the ducks full time.
We’ll rip out the pallet fence, replace it with stucco wire, and put up some windbreak boards as well.
We’re looking at making it the year round duck yard, so we have to account for the snow that blows in there.
To go with the new shelter (that we’ll be able to lock ducks in at ight to protect them from coyotes) we’re planning on a few broody boxes…that can also be closed up at night to protect broody ducks and their eggs from predators.
This is the design I’m thinking about:

Image shamelessly stolen from Google.

I want to make those fronts removable though, so that once ducklings hatch, Mama Ducks can take them out and teach them all the things bebes need to be taught.
But those fronts would be easy to close up to protect everyone too…

And it’s almost time to start pepper seeds.
I just need a bag (or two) of potting soil to get going.
Peppers take longer than tomatoes to start, so they’ll be going in the next week.
Than ground cherries.
If the damn things will ever germinate for me.
πŸ™„
They are sooooo tasty, and supposed to be super prolific. But I can’t get even 1 seed to start.
Stupid things.
I’ll try again, because I have the seeds, but I might through them in the garden and see if they’ll volunteer if nothing happens indoors.

And that’s where we’re at.
I’m itching to get busy, but it’s not quite time, and we’re not quite ready.
Sooooooooon, though.
Very, very soon.
πŸ™‚

Ruby says this cold snap is equine excrement. I agree.