Here We Go Again

Yesterday was “moving chickens around again” day.
Y’see with chirping in the incubator, we needed to get the now 3 week old, fully feathered chicks out of the brooder so the chirp chirps have somewhere to go.

A while back, Hubby had bought a steel tool rack at a surplus sale.
It’s been sitting in the yard until we had a chance to figure out exactly where it was gonna go.
Yesterday, he layed it on it’s back and it became a temp. chicken house.

These are the 3rd hatchers.
There’s 40 of ’em there.

Into the brooder went 33 chicks, with one still working his way out of the shell.
Today, I helped that one finish hatching and into the brooder it went.
So, out of 50 eggs in the incubator, 34 hatched.
Of the last 16, 13 weren’t fertile and 3 died early on in development.

That brings us to a total of:

1st hatch ~ 45
2nd hatch ~ 53
3rd hatch ~ 40
4th hatch ~ 34

Total ~ 173 chicks so far this year.

We’ve had a few losses…like in the 1st hatch we had 2 die in one night.
2nd hatch, I forgot the 2nd light and we lost 7 of the 17 that hatched from LemonChicken’s parent flock.
But considering how may birds we’ve hatched out losses have been small.
It’s never a good thing, IMO, to lose livestock (especially if it’s due to human error) but it does, unfortunately, happen.

Today I loaded the incubators for the last time this year.
24 in the small one and 56 in the large one.

The other thing we did yesterday was move our broody hen, Owl to a spot she can sit on eggs.
That rack Hubby bought?
2 levels, so 2 separate areas for chickens.
Owl got her own spot with eggs, straw and food/water.
She wants to hatch babies, so we’ll see what she can do.

Owl

And then there’s Turkey and Lurkey…

nomnomnom

Doing much better, actually growing and enjoying time in the grass.
Singing.
Holy do turkeys like to sing!
Clearly raising slower moving birds with the walking stomachs that are cornish is just a bad idea.
These guys are so much happier in their own space.
πŸ™‚

That makes me much happier.

Sunday Morning Musings

Sundays are egg washing day.
It happens other days of the week too, but Sunday always seems to be egg washing day.
It’s a constant in my weekly routine that gives me a chance to reflect on the prior week and think about the week ahead.
I have a lot of eggs to wash on Sunday mornings.
lol

This past week was a tough one, mentally.
We’re half way into June and my garden is still not planted.
It’s been so windy (right now, at this exact moment, the wind is gusting to 57km/hr) that to plant my tomatoes and peppers would be certain death for them. And it’s been too windy to move the tarp by myself to plant the rest of the seeds…
So I’ve been frustrated.
But…
Good friends come along and remind me that all things are possible with some determination, hard work and some humility.
So instead of doing more whining, I used a gift to buy the bones of our hoop house.
I may not have it for this year’s garden, but Hubby and I will build it this Fall so that come spring, it’s ready to go.
Enough whining.
More working.

I needed that mindset for the poultry too.
In just a couple of days, our turkey flock dropped to 2.
Now, I’m not sure why.
They weren’t showing signs of blackhead (a poultry disease that kills turkeys, and gamebirds), but were still dropping dead on me.
Frustrating, because I hate losing animals.
Raising them for meat is one thing, random deaths are nothing I want happening.
They were in with the meat chickens and the meaties are thriving.
Eating, drinking, pecking at bugs…

A ton of reading later, I was still at a loss of why my turkeys were dying.
I figured I might as well move them to their own pen and see what happens.
I grabbed one of our compost bins that we got when a friend moved (these make **excellent** poultry houses when needed!!) and put up a chicken wire yard for them. I gave them fresh water with electrolytes and cayenne pepper in it (cayenne is supposed to help with blackhead *if* that’s what was going on) and I gave them the high protein game bird feed they were started on.
Well damn if the little buggers didn’t start gobbling food and water like crazy!!
Could the meaties have been forcing them out of the food?
Could I have had these poor birds starving right in front of my face???
O.M.G.
Needless to say, I am horrified (and ashamed) at the thought… 😦
The one thing I hate more than random animal deaths is knowing *I* failed them.
Fuck. Me.
So as of this morning, they’re doing pretty darn good…lots of eating and drinking, lots of proper looking poops.
And singing!!
Oh, they’re singing again!

Now I know…once they’re ready to be off the heat and have access to outside, turkeys need their own pen.
Otherwise the cornish will eat them out of house and home and the turkeys will fail to thrive and die.
And that is not fucking okay.
But another pen?
This I can do.

Turkey

Lurkey

So fingers crossed these 2 little dudes (dudettes??) do well in their new-to-them-and-only-them home.
Turkeys were supposed to be our “taking a break from pigs, but need more food in the freezer” animals this year.
Clearly that’s not going according to plan.
But y’all know the saying…

Want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Today though, there is chirping from the incubator.
I have 24 of our mixed flock coloured eggs in there and 24 Ameraucana/Jersey Giant cross eggs in there.
And chirping has begun.
😍

I’ve begun collecting eggs for my next (and last for this year) round of hatching.
24 in the small incubator, 48 in the big one.
Then all we have to do is feed ’em, and let ’em grow until October/November.

Today I have 3 muscovy duck nests in the coop, with 2 being sat on by very broody want-to-be-Mama ducks while the 3rd grows for the next broody hen.

Today I will water the straw bales that I used last year for gardening and hope the beans I planted in them grow.
The bales were still there, they were well conditioned last year and are breaking down and warm inside this year.
I took a leap of Faith and planted hundreds of beans in them.
Beans we were given to feed to the birds, but I did a test grow out over winter and found they made excellent eating green beans for humans.
So I planted a whole bunch of them.
If nothing happens, I lose nothing.
If they grow and produce, I gain a bunch of food.

Today I will get Hubby to help me move the tarp, and I will prep areas for the rest of my seeds.
I may not be able to get the delicate plants in yet, but I can get seeds in.
It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself and do the work.
I’ve had my whiney baby moment(s) and now it’s time to dry the tears and get it done.
Because come the Fall, we’re still going ahead with the garden/food forest expansion.
It has to be done.
This world is too unstable to not have a massive amount of food growing.

Oh, and haying starts next week.
So food for the horses is being put up too…

And this is them mooching grain screenings, thinking they need more food, more grain, more fat.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
There was barely a lick’s worth in the bucket when Hubby let them stick their big heads in there…
But it made them feel good to hoover up the feed.

There Was a Plan…

For this weekend.
It’s the May long weekend here in Canada.
Typically this means it’s time to get the garden planted.
Meh, where I am, waiting another week or two is a good idea because of those sneaky frosty nights that love to kill tomatoes and peppers just for a good time.
But, there’s other things that need to be done to get ready for the mass exodus of plants out of my house and into my garden…
That’s what we were planning to work on this weekend, so that during the week I could get seeds in and then plants go in next weekend.
*sigh*
If’n you wanna hear God laugh, tell Her your plans.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Friday The Kid’s phone crapped out.
Dead as a doornail.
Nothing more than a smart phone shaped paperweight.

So I go looking to see what we can replace it with and what local cell stores are open.
Because the virus, y’know.
Gotta make sure the small town stores close and funnel folks into the big city to do their business.
Bcause that absolutley makes sense, right?
Those of us who’ve stayed *out* of the city now have to go *into* the city to take care of things.
Effing brilliant.
Said no smart person ever.
πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

That was Saturday shot to Hell.
Didn’t even come away with new phones…we figured ours are on their last legs, so we’d upgrade everyone at the same time…but…there’s some network blather that made it so that the technician helping us couldn’t port the number from Kid’s old phone to the new phone and someone at a different location had to do it and we couldn’t have the phone ’til it was done…
Essentially, it’s a stupid system and when they get to ours it might take an hour to do or it might take 5 days.
They don’t know.
πŸ™„

Today we were going to work on the garden.
Until…
I woke up with seasonal allergies kicking my ass.
Yes, I know it’s allergies.
No it’s not SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus.

So I took a Reactine.
Fuck.
What a mistake.
Non-drowsy my shiny metal ass.
Normally I take the Costco brand of Reactine.
Same medicine in it, different carrier, clearly, because I *never* get drowsy on the Costco version.
But the name brand stuff?
Yeah, can’t say the same.
In fact, I’m feeling side effects so bad that I called off working on the garden.
I just can’t.
The allergy symptoms are gone, but the side effects…drowsy, foggy, drowsy…are kicking my ass.

And so, tomorrow for garden work.
And if the allergies are acting up again, I’ll stick with my Costco brand allergy pills.
Plus, they’re a whole lot cheaper than the name brand.
200 Costco allergy pills for $18.99.
Or 48 Reactine pills on sale for $38.99.
Mind boggling.
Seriously.

In other news…

The meaties, 2nd hatchers and turkey poults are doing very well.
Getting big.
Next weekend they’ll move to the meat chicken house.
In fact, they’re don’t even have heat on during the day now.
It’s too warm in the brooder with it on…so we’ve added a wire section to let cool, fresh air in for them to enjoy.
Soon they’ll have the fun of running around outside. πŸ™‚

Now, one of the joys of the easter egger/barnyard mix chicks is the interesting colour combos we get.
Like this eagle looking one:

Kinda cute little fella…

“I am the albatross!! I will destroy you all!!”

Sure ya will, little buddy…

Gonna have to grow a wee bit more before you do…
πŸ˜‰

Out 43 first hatchers are now mixing slowly with the adult chickens.
And next weekend the eggs in the incubators should start hatching.
I did realize though, that my next round will only be with the big incubator.
I have 3 muscovy duck eggs in the small one, and they take up to 35 days to hatch, compared to 21 for chickens.
So, they have to stay in for another 2 weeks, leaving me with one working incubator for another round of chicken eggs.
*shrug*
I didn’t think of that, just wanted ducklings, and now I gotta deal with it.
And we’re letting the muscovy hens hide eggs so hopefully they’ll hatch them out and not let them rot.
Fingers crossed.

Monday Morning Round Up ~ May 11th, 2020

Things have been fairly busy on the Farm.

We moved the 43 first hatchers from the brooder to their transitional home in the poultry yard.
They are almost ready to move into the bigger meat chicken house.
That will happen this coming weekend.

We hatched out another 40 some odd chicks…lost a few due to my forgetting to plug the 2nd heat lamp back in.
100% fail on my part.
πŸ˜₯
I haven’t made that mistake again.

We brought home 10 turkey poults on the 28th…

Hello turkey!

Almost a week old here, and nearly a full pound in weight already!

With the turkeys we brought home 50 cornish x meat chickens.
We timed the hatching perfectly, so that the meaties and the turkeys are in the brooder with the hatchers.
We find that meaties learn how to “chicken” from the egg layers so that we don’t have eating/pooping machines. πŸ˜‰
It gives everyone a better life that way.
And the turkeys…
Yeesh.
So much attitude, so ugly they’re cute, and doing very well.
Fingers crossed they continue to grow well.
They’re broad breasted whites, so they’re like the meat chickens of the turkey world.
Bred to grow big, fast.
I’m hoping the do just that.
πŸ™‚

And on May 1st, we refilled the incubators with 64 chicken eggs and 3 duck eggs.
After this hatch, we have 3 more we can squeeze in before our hatching season ends for the year.

Hubby went a did a welding job for a friend.
I tagged along to take pictures.
As usual.

Not so easy to take daytime welding pictures.
I’ve asked him to do some night time ones with scraps so that I can capture the full lightshow.
Looking forward to that.

In other Hubby news, he went back to work today.
His work is set to reopen fully on June 1st.
His dept. is part of the crew getting ready for the regular line workers to be able to do their jobs.
So, they started 3 weeks ahead of everyone else.

I am torn on it.
I wanted him to go back to work, because money. lol
We have a lot of mouths to feed here, several very large ones…running on short income gets hard to do.
But I also enjoyed having him home, working here.
And of course, he gets the call just as things are drying up enough here to be able to work on building projects that need doing.
*sigh*
No surprise.
At the same time, I do also have a bit of anxiety about all this.
It’s hard not to.
6 weeks of doom and gloom and terror tactics used by govt and media to instill fear over SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus will do that to the most sound of mind people…let alone those of us who live with anxiety in the first place.
Hubby has been the one doing the bulk of the supply runs and being in contact with the world at large anyways, so how much I actually need to worry?
I don’t know.
But I am tired.
Tired of being told to stay home to protect others, being told that if I go out I could kill people because no one really knows if they have it or not (hence SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus) and I am tired of the hearty helping of fear created by those who have our “best interests” in mind.
When people are afraid to leave their homes because of what the govt and media are saying, that is straight up using terror tactics to control the public.
No matter how you feel about this virus, that is bullshit.
And I am tired of it.

In garden news, my tomatoes are huge.
Ready to plant.
So are my peppers.
I’ve collected all the seeds I want for this year…
Still need a few more plants though.
The greenhouse in town was open last week, so I made a trip through there.
Bought some extra tomatoes and peppers (because I can never grow enough of either πŸ˜‰ ) and some pansies.
I’ll go back as we get things into the garden and get more of each, plus look for some johnny jump ups (violas) just because they’re edible and they draw pollinators.

I’m still planning the expansion for next spring.
Found a source for the berry shrubs/trees I want to add out there.
Now I’m looking for a large piece of black plastic to create the large permabed area come the fall.
We have a few dairies around us that use silage plastic, so we’ll see if we can take away some from them once they’ve used the bales.

And then before the end of April, I took a few early morning pictures of the horses…because I can.

Ruby shaking off the after effects of a nap.

Sable having a lovely nap in the straw pile.
❀

Chicks!!

Just a couple pics of the new chicks…

It ain’t easy getting a decent shot with the red heat lamp in there, but I tried.

There’s so much attitude in this picture…what is with chicks and giving me attitude??!?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

They’ll stay in the brooder for a few more weeks yet, while their feathers come in some more.
Then we’ll move them to their own house in the poultry yard ’til they’re ready to fully integrate into the rest of the flock.
We’ll watch for roosters, band them, then start sending them off to Freezer Camp before the boy fighting starts.
And that will continue with each hatch through out the summer, until the freezers are filled for winter.

Farm Stuff

Loooooook…

Just look at my pretty, pretty hatching eggs!
😍😍😍

Hatching eggs

There are blue ones, pale green ones, a couple pinky shaded ones, a super dark olive green one and some lovely speckled browns.
Fingers crossed they hatch well and give me some more coloured egg layers.
Incubators go today…I’ve just got to finish collecting today’s eggs and then they get fired up for round 2.

My chicks from the last hatch are growing like crazy.
I will admit, I have been worried about them in the brooder in some of the more oddball weather moments…but after we lost the initial two, everyone else has been doing very well indeed.
So 43 going forward from that hatch.

Garden wise, the peppers are up and looking good…
We have sweet red bells and jalapenos.
Not a lot of either one this year, because for just our use, I’m the only one who likes peppers.
Next year that may (or may not) expand, depending on interest.

peppers

And this morning I was greeted by these little beauties:

tomatoes!!

Just a small assortment of variety this year.
Ropreco pastes, brandywines and bush beefsteaks.
Smaller plants, but heavy fruiters and short seasons.
We don’t have a long growing season here, so I’m adapting our plant selections to that.
All of them are heirloom, so I can save seeds for future use.

We’re still planning a makeshift greenhouse build for this year.
Fingers crossed.
It ain’t gonna be pretty, but hopefully it’ll get the job done…while we plan for a better one down the road.
Wind is our biggest issue, after funds.
Building something that can stand the crazy prairie winds is going to be a challenge.
We’ll do what we can though, because that’s just what we do.
πŸ˜‰

Life Goes On…

Today I pick up 2 dozen hatching eggs from the farm this hen came from…

Lemon chicken…she does what she wants.

She’s a hilarious hen.
Acts like she’s a dog, goes where she wants, does what ever she wants.
And I let her get away with it.
πŸ˜‰

She was in a batch of easter egger chicks I bought 2 years ago.
That batch of 18 gave me 5 hens.
We ate rooster that winter.
And kept one of them for fertile eggs the next spring…that was The Highlander.
The Highlander turned out to be an asshole.
Oh he was crazy handsome, but at some point in his life, he decided that going for my face with his spurs while I was picking up eggs was a good idea.
So I made soup.

This year, I had wanted some more colourful hens, and was watching for the same lady to post chicks for sale.
But then, she posted hatching eggs…well…I has incubators.
So I asked for 2 dozen eggs.
And today I get to pick them up and fire up the incubators for round 2…once I have enough collected from my hens to fill the big incubator.
Tomorrow should be fire up day.
πŸ™‚

In other news, the tomato seeds are breaking the surface.
Yay!
I’ll be babying those a long for the next 4-6 weeks, until they can go out in the garden to grow like crazy.
And yesterday I told y’all we finally got things figured out to get our mail done.
I have my seeds now.
I have plans to go forward with a huge new garden next spring…gotta wait ’til next spring because we already made the lease agreement for the big field for this year.
Next year though…look out.
Even if it’s only zucchinis and squash.
I’m working on growing food on a much, much larger scale.

It’s Almost Time!

It’s day 19.
The turners came out of the incubators today.
We oughta hear cheep, cheep, cheeping in the next couple of days.

Hatching can start as early as day 20 and go as late as day 23.
Soon though, we’ll see what our hatch rate for this round is.

This is exciting to me.
I’m not sure this will ever get old.
πŸ™‚

These are from last year.

There will be new pictures once we see what/how many hatch.

It Has Begun

This morning, the incubators turned on for the first time this year.
(forgive the crappy cell phone pics)

24 in here…this is where I put the green eggs I was able to collect.

I only have 2 green egg layers left, so there’s not many of them.
Sadly.
But, next month I’ll be buying hatching eggs from the same farm that my greens came from…they have the same breed combo as when I got the 3 greens (and LemonChicken) so I’m hoping to hatch out a few more coloured egg layers.

56 eggs in here.
Holy.
Moly.
That’s a lot of eggs.

In 21 days, we should have a bounty of chicks.
And then, we’ll start again. πŸ˜‰
Because there are freezers to fill, and egg layers to add to the flock.

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Bounty
and
Comedy Plus for Awww Monday.
Sadly I have no rhyme for Dr Seuss day though…I do have green eggs, just no ham!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Busy Day

I feel like I’ve been going non-stop today.

From getting the feed ready for chickens this morning, I don’t think I’ve sat very long at all.
lol
But we have fresh hamburger buns for supper, a chocolate angel food cake for dessert, homemade mayo for next week’s lunches, plus homemade coleslaw and dressing…
Then all the clean up to go with that.
Oh!
And homemade cream cheese made from last week’s left over milk.
YUM!

And I’m prepping the pots for pepper seeds.
Then moving things around for the incubators.
Yup, got my 80 eggs ready to set, so gotta get that going too.

At the end of it all will be a nice glass of green tomato wine waiting for me.
Aaaaannnd, I have to get that bottled too.
πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ
That’s what I get for complaining that I’m having to wait too long to get stuff going.
lol

20 days to spring!!