First Week of March

And we’re marching right along.
Heh.
See what I did there?
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I promise, I’m funnier in person.
Or, maybe I’m not.
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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. πŸ˜‰ ) 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.
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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.
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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.
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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. πŸ˜‰
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.
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My big chubby monkey…
Daphne…because she’s hard to photograph, and y’all don’t get to see enough of her. 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.
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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.
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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.

Almost Here!

Tracking says my incubator is in the nearest big city.
All I need is for it to make it to where we can pick it up.
Squeee!!

And, I’ve contacted the lady I bought Lemon Chicken’s batch of chicks from…

Lemon Chicken is in this box somewhere!

She’s selling hatching eggs from the same crosses that Lemon Chicken came from.
Hopefully I’ll be getting 2 dozen from her at the end of the month.
Looking forward to firing up the incubators!

Hoping to hatch out a few more like her! πŸ˜‰

Lemon Chicken

Around here, all the animals have jobs.
If you’re a hen, you lay eggs…or you hatch eggs layed by others.
Ducks, same thing.
Eggs, either for eating or hatching.

Horses…well, they don’t do much other than eat, shit and be pretty, so modeling is their biggest job.
When Food Lady says it’s time to work for the camera, they darn well better work for the camera.
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Yesterday, The Kid and I made Lemon Chicken work for the camera.
She’s just back into laying after molting and to make up for her lacking egg production the past few weeks, we put her in a pumpkin for Hallowe’en.

Hey whoa, whatchoo doing to me???

Yeah okay, I can sit here…

lol wut?
My pumpkin now, bitches.

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Like this post?
Feel free to buy me a coffee.
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Itchy, Itchy, Itchy

This is a tough time of year for me.
There’s so much that I want to get going on the Farm, but the weather…oh lawdy the weather!

98% of our snow has melted.
A lot of the resulting water from that has soaked in.
But…
There’s still too much water to take the tractor into the pasture.
The ground is still too wet to rake the yard(s)…which also means it’s too wet to use the tractor to move big bales of straw to the garden.
The garden is drying out nicely, and I could probably think about pulling out the rototiller…except I really want to move to a no-till garden.
Which means getting the big straw bales I have for the garden over there, using the tractor, where it’s too wet to use the tractor without ripping up the lawn/pasture something fierce.
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And that’s my conundrum.
So much to do, but hurry up and wait before I can do it.

At least my tomatoes have started.
I already ordered more, because with what I can start in the various places in the house, it’s still not enough for our garden.
And we need to figure out how to keep the rotten not-supposed-to-be free ranging asshole chickens out of the garden so they don’t destroy tender shoots when they start coming up.
Like they did my garlic.
Assholes.
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Lemon Chicken…she does what she wants…like standing onΒ  one leg to make people think she’s a one-legged chicken when she’s not. She’s just a feathered asshole.

Soon enough I know it’ll be time, and I’ll have more work to do getting the garden and food animals going that I won’t even have time to think.
But for right now, there’s too much time to think while I plot and plan and long for things to dry up enough that we can get going.
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Tired…But Hopeful for Spring

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of talking about the weather. Not that there’s much else to talk about these days, with how the weather dominates everything we do at this time of year.

Honestly, how can we *not* talk about -40*c temperatures?
With windchills in the mid to high -50*c range?
How we survived it for near on to a week, with very few little glitches?
How the Merry Mares came through with kicking, bucking, galloping, playing colours?
And now how we’re under a snowfall warning and could see as much as 8 inches of snow by tomorrow morning?
But we’re lucky where we are, because south of us, they could see upwards of 15 inches…so there’s that.

It’s tiring though, when we’re longing for spring and sunshine and warmth that doesn’t come from the furnace…

In 25 days I will start my pepper seeds.
2 weeks after that, I will start my tomato seeds.
I’m clinging to that, because that’s my sign of spring is coming.
I’ve been ready to start seeds for months.
I’ve studied what worked last year, what I can do better with this year, and made my list of what I need to buy for seeds to get going.
I’ve been diligently cleaning the horse shelter to grow the compost pile to add to the garden next fall.
I’ve also been on top of the household compost and look forward to it cooking down some once the melt hits.
Then I can clean out the poultry coop and put the bedding/waste in the bottom of the bin when we move it.

We never did get a fence built around the garden, so I’m hoping to get that done this year. We found a couple of dog run style chain link set ups this past summer, and I’m hoping to use one of those.
I really want to be able to pen the poultry into the garden at the end of the year to act as the clean up crew.
Makes my life so much easier in the spring!

In the meantime, since it’s been way too cold to take the camera out to capture the Merry Mare’s in their playing glory, The Kid and dressed up the cats.
Nancy was not happy and none of his shots turned out…unless you like flaily blurs of tabby running away from the camera.
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Daisy Mae, however….


And this one…


Next up, I’m going to crochet her a little hat and scarf set.
A chicken hat.

There’s a reason for it to be a chicken hat…

See that chicken in the back?
The light coloured one?
That’s Lemon Chicken.
That’s her name. She’s one of my green egg layers.
She’s also a brat who loves to come up on the deck and eat the cat food I put out for the outdoor cats.
Well, we’ve had some rather lovely days, where she’s been wandering about the yard like she likes to do.
One of those days, I came back from collecting eggs in the coop to find her at the back door, having a conversation with little miss Daisy Mae through the door.
There was cooing and chirping from Lemon Chicken and mewing and other odd noises from Daisy Mae…
Un-fricken-believable.
The cat and the chicken have decided they’re pals.

So, once things warm up enough that Lemon Chicken starts free ranging again (even though she’s *supposed* to stay in the chicken yard), the plan is for the unlikely friends to have a face to face meeting.
And Daisy Mae will be wearing a crocheted chicken hat.
Hilarity oughta ensue.