Transplanting Seedlings

I’m quite excited that my peppers are at the point of needing to be transplanted.
This is exciting to me because, even though there is snow on the ground outside, the garden will soon enough be filled and growing.
The problem is always those seedling trays.
What on Earth is with them blowing holes in the corners all. the. time?
I get it, they’re not the sturdiest of plastics, but why doesn’t someone make a sturdy, hard plastic version?
I have said I would happily pay more so that I don’t have to re-buy them every season or two.

Yesterday, in our nearest small town, Hubby went into the hardware store to see if they had seedling trays.
Well, they did, but for some strange and ridiculous reason, they had drainage holes in the bottom.
Um, does the manufacturer (in this case Jiffy) even understand the usage of the trays?
*sigh*

But, The Kid and Hubby came up with a fix, so that I can get the peppers transplanted:

Yeah, that’s a drawer.
And that’s gonna work out juuuuuuuust fine!
But this is what manufacturers need to do.
Make us trays that are rugged and sturdy like this drawer.
We serious gardeners would *happily* pay more for them.
And let’s be honest, not having to ditch those flimsy ones every year or two and replace them would be a helluva lot better for the environment.

In other news, tomorrow is day 25 for the turkey eggs.
Tomorrow we take the turners out of the incubator, raise the humidity and wait…anxiously, for the turkey chirp, chirp, chirps to begin!
Still haven’t seen any eggs from the girls in the turkey yard, but that’s okay.
Last night I had to carry 3 of them back to the yard because they thought they should escape and go to bed with the chickens.
πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ™„
Um, no my poor silly birbs.
What I did notice is that they have the tell tale signs on the backs of their heads that Oscar and/or Dingus are doing their job(s). So hopefully soon, but even if not until next year, that’s okay too.
Good breeding stock is worth the time and investment, and these guys are quality birbs.
❀

So. Much. Chirping.

On Thursday I took the turners out of the incubator.
I thought it was day 19.
It was actually day 18, so I was on time instead of a day late.
Which was why I was worried when I didn’t hear chirping right away on Thursday evening.
It’s all good though, the birbs are making up for it!
Last night was almost impossible to sleep because of the chirp, chirp, chirping.
Tomorrow we’ll pull the ones that have hatched out and put them in the brooder, and start all over again.

Speaking of brooders, Hubby got one built for me.
Yay!
Check the Farm Instagram on the sidebar…
(I still haven’t figured out WP’s problem with me uploading images, so I’ll be recycling some until I do…and there’s always Instagram for current images.)
Meat birds come in 3 weeks, and when that happens, the current chicks will go into that brooder (and hopefully he’ll have the chance to build a couple more!) and we’ll go from there.

Yesterday I took care of two asshole roosters.
I had kept them back from last years hatches because of their size (big, big boys!) and because they were not showing the mean rooster traits.
I don’t mind so much if roosters are shitty with us humans *IF* they’re good to the hens.
Well, as the winter wound down, these boys started getting shittier and shittier with the girls, to the point where they were holding girls down just to hold them down, while pulling out head feathers.
I ain’t having that.
There’s way too many nice boys out there to put up with that garbage.
And so, they went to the soup pot.
No room in my poultry yard for asshole roos…
**LOTS** of room in my freezer for ’em. πŸ˜‰
It wasn’t even that there were too many boys (we had before yesterday 7 roos) because I have (even though I claim only 10 πŸ˜‰ ) at least 60 hens out there. So there’s no excuse for shitty rooster behaviour.
Welp, now the girls can be happy because the mean boys are gone…and the girls happily consumed their innards.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Yeah, anyone who says chickens are vegetarians ain’t never seen the glee in a hen’s eye when she gets the testicle from a shitty rooster.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I had also planned on send Oscar to Freezer Camp.

But lately he’s taken a shine to Daphne…

Booooop the snooooot!

Daphne is not impressed that this big bird has decided he’s in love with her.
She’s not impressed by his dancing, prancing and turkey songs.
Nope. Not at all.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Us humans, however, find it funny as hell…and when Oscar is busy trying to woo Daphne he’s not fighting with Dingus.
And Dingus then spends *his* time trying to woo the turkey hens.
So it all works out just fine.
Besides, I have Narragansett turkey eggs in the big incubator…Oscar can stick around until we see exactly what hatches for us there. He might get him a flock of his own hens. Or he might go Camping.
But there’s time to wait and not be hasty about sending him to Camp.

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…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

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!
πŸ™‚
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!
πŸ˜€

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.

Capture 52 Catch Up

So far, so good, I’m staying fairly well caught up on the Capture52 photo challenge.
I do mean to share them here too but I forgot to last week, that’s why this is a “catch up” post.

Week 2 was “Framed”

fencing around the turkey/duck yard

I quite liked the way the frost framed the turkey/duck yard fencing.
What was even better was watching the turkeys peck at the frost and marvel when it melted in their mouths.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
As I have previously said, turkeys is my stupid children…but they are so much fun.

Week 3 was “Mobile Phone”

Booooop the snooooot!

I do not have the greatest phone camera.
This phone’s is better than the last one, but I really just needed a basic smrt phone, so I didn’t go all out on something with a camera better than Voldemort…because it’s easy to do that and then you have this expensive phone to pay for.
Uh, no thanks. I’m good with this. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
And beside, this ain’t too shabby for a phone picture!

Next up is “Scapes”…land, sea, city or maybe garlic? If my garlic was growing?
But at a brrrrrrr inducing -23*c before the windchill, my garlic is busy sleeping and getting ready to burst forth come time for spring warmth.
So I figure I’ll end up with a landscape shot with some sort of animals in it…
We’ll have to see. I do have the week ahead of me to take the shot.
πŸ™‚

13

In the beginning of July, I purchased 24 turkey hatching eggs.
With a whole lot of hope, I brought them home and set them into the incubator. 27 days later, we started to hear the tell tale chirps and scrabbling around of hatching poults.
We were very excited!!

Then on the 29th day, we opened the incubator to find 13 poults.
Oh, but one had it’s tiny wing somehow caught between the plastic grating and the edge of the incubator!
With a whole lot of patience, I managed to free that little wing.
But that wee poult was having trouble standing.
We think in it’s attempt to free it’s wing, it may have wrenched a leg.
So I picked up this little poult and cuddled it close to me, while the other 12 were whisked off to the brooder and placed under a heat lamp with food and water.

I held this little one for a while, whilst using The Google to see if there was a way we could fix the legs.
It’s wing tip seemed fine, once they were able to get it back against their body.

What I found was that most birds can do okay if you can keep their legs together.
Okay then…I found a small twist tie and made a hobble of sorts…with help from The Kid, because that poor turkey poult panicked everytime I moved them onto their back!
And then, we found a small dish for food and water and a box to put them in, then tucked them in under the light in the brooder with the other 12.

It really was a hail Mary sorta thing, because I didn’t know if they were ever going to be able to use that leg, but I felt like I had to try to help out.
Even being raised as a potential food animal, they deserved the chance at a good life.
Being that they were the 13th poult, they were given the name 13.
And y’know, once you name them…
lol
The urge to make the birb all better was heckin’ strong once a name was bestowed.

It became clear, fast, that this wee twist tie was precisely what 13 needed!
Within a day, there was weight bearing on the leg.
By the end of the 2nd, 13 was full on hopping from one side of the box to the other.
And singing.
Oh turkey songs are the sweetest of the birb songs!
I love having them around just for their songs.

Then came the day I took off the twist tie and set 13 down to see what happened…
Up came those little wings, that fluttered so hard and out of the box leapt 13 to join their 12 hatchmates!

And this is our lovely 13 now…

13 the Turkey

I had told The Other 2 that no matter what, 13 stayed.
If they were a tom, but not breeder potential, we’d have to build a separate pen.
If they were a hen, hopefully she’d be breeding potential, but if not, she’d get to have her own space and we’d have turkey eggs to eat.

Well, as it turns out, 13 is a hen, and she’s a lovely hen who is absolutely (IMO) a good foundation breeding hen.
She’s tough, having survived her early days after hatching.
She’s pretty…I mean, just look at her!
She’s friendly. Because she was handled so much after hatch, she likes to be handled, and does like to cuddle (on her terms of course…;) )
She take no guff from the boys. Which is a good thing. Boys must behave or else. πŸ˜‰

And poor Oscar…he’s so smitten and she just isn’t interested.
lol!
Probably because right now Oscar isn’t “husband” material.
He’s just a horny teenager tom who wants to get it on with any hen.
Even those duck hens.

13 is more interested in Dingus, the other tom we kept for breeding.
Dingus isn’t quite the horny boy Oscar is, so they’re taking things slow. πŸ˜‰
We’re looking forward to spring courtings between them though…I do believe they will make for some lovely poults of their own.
πŸ™‚

December Already…

You wouldn’t know it, looking out my window.
It’s sunny and cool, there’s not much snow, and today is Rooster Rehab day.
I’m grateful for the nice weather.
Not only because I can take out more roosters from the flock, but because I’m just happy for nice days.
We don’t get a lot of those right now.
So I’m trying to find a bit of peace and happiness wherever I can.
Plus this nicer weather means The Merry Mares aren’t gobbling through the winter hay supply like it’s endless.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Last week we butchered 3 of the turkey boys.
Welp, Narragansetts win for flavor!
Holy. Moly.
This ain’t your grocery store bird, lemme tell ya!
So we’re pretty okay with our breeding flock, now more than ever.
I still plan to raise some whites, but now it’s just to prove I can.
Not that I’m stubborn or anything.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Aside from running the Rehab today, there’s not much new here.
We’re still plugging along, watching the world burn around us, trying not to get caught up in it.
Egg sales have finally caught up, and I’m making some of Alton Brown’s aged eggnog this weekend.
At least I’ll have that to sip while the world continues to lose it’s collective mind.

Here’s a picture of Astrid in the early morning light, just to make you smile. πŸ™‚

Turkey Day

I think it’s kinda funny that on American Thanksgiving I’m butchering a couple turkeys.
I’m Canadian, so our Thanksgiving was last month.
None of my turkeys were ready then…but now?

So, we have 7 toms.
That means, as they’re maturing, there’s a lot of dancing and gobbling and trying to figure out the whole mating thing.
Having 6 hens, well, that’s waaaaay too many boys to be strutting around and hopping on the girls.
Sadly, earlier this week, we lost a hen to over enthusiastic toms.
Now we’re down to 5 hens.
So it’s time to get real about who gets to stay on as a breeder and who gets to go to Freezer Camp.

Hens stay, there’s no doubt about that.
But only 2 toms get to stay…and of those 2, if they start being too much for the hens, I’ll take one of them out later.
The good thing is, my feed bill will thank me.
5 toms eat a lot of food!
And the family will thank me because 5 toms is a lot of food for us.
πŸ˜‰

The blonde fellow will stay, and one of the other bigger boys.

The rest of the toms will feed us.
That’s just life on the Farm.

Oh Monday πŸ™„

It all started at 4ish am…
Hubby helped me run the next set of pork bellies out to the smoker, so I could pull out the done ones and re-load.
This was after I stayed up ’til midnight and The Kid and I checked to see if the first ones were done…obviously, they weren’t.

Once Hubby was off to work, I napped in the recliner chair for a bit.
As the sun was coming up I wandered off to the bathroom…and that’s when I heard it…
The very distinct sound of one of my stupid feathered children calling his stupid feathered siblings.
πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

I’m just gonna say it…
Turkeys. Is. Stupid.
They’re flighty and dumb and just plain stupid.
However…
They’re also sweet and rather endearing.
So even when I call them my “stupid children” it’s said with love.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So what’s the big deal with hearing a turkey calling at just past dawn?
Uh, I hadn’t let them out of their coop yet…so this stupid feathered child had managed to hide out somewhere outside of the turkey yard for the night.
Stupid.
Stupid.
Stupid.
Clearly *someone* missed the memo about coyotes having chicken snak paks at night…trust me, Ol’ Wile E Coyote would love him some turkey bird snax!
Stupid turkey.

So off I went, leaving the dog inside, to capture the feathered idiot and put him back into the turkey yard…it wasn’t much of a chase. He *really* wanted back into the yard…he kept calling his siblings, who of course, were calling back.
Finally he just hunkered down by the fence and I picked him up.
And then he started to cuddle.
Oh yeah…
Turkeys, once caught, seem to love to cuddle.
Dinguses.
By the time I had him back in the yard and cuddling, The Kid had made it out to give me a hand clipping the idiot’s flight feathers. Only 1 wing…that way they (supposedly) can’t fly.

Some of my feathered idiots…

Hopefully tonight everyone will go to bed properly…fingers crossed…but they’re stupid, so I’m more hopeful than sure.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Skeksies

Welp, I finally managed to get out to the turkey yard with my camera.
Hubby and The Kid got the fence pulled and we now *have* a turkey yard!
Those poor birds were so confused the first time we left the door to their coop open.
And then again when Hubby shoveled out the mass of poo and straw.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
He was stealing their good stuff!!
But they’ve had a few days of freedom outside now and they’re starting to get it.
So the other day I went out with Voldemort and just sat down in the yard…in a spot they hadn’t shit yet…lemme tell ya, turkeys can shit a lot. Everywhere. Lots of shit.

But I found a spot and had a seat, giving them a chance to settle down and try to figure out what the hell I was…

“Oh hey…what are you?”

They spent a lot of time just staring at me, completely confused.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Um, turkeys are confused a lot.
And a bit sketchy/skittish.
Oh but they’re fun!
They sing and hoot and call to each other and they’re like gangly teenagers who don’t have complete control of their bodies yet.

And I am 100% convinced that turkeys were the inspiration for the Skeksies.

Tell me that bird doesn’t look like a Skeksie!
Of course he does!
In case you’re wondering what the hell I’m going on about…
Skeksies

Just wandering about, doing turkey things…
Pretty light coloured hen…and some ducks.
The light one right in front is a tom…he’s figuring out his strutting and dancing…though he keeps doing it for the duck hens, not the turkey hens…I guess he likes his girls short, fat and weird looking. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

In a few months, we should see the hens begin to lay eggs…probably end of Feb., beginning of March…and then we’ll see the boys dance their mating dance…and then! Then I’ll be grabbing eggs to put into the incubator, because more turkeys is a good thing. πŸ˜‰
Hell, if I can order some broad breasted whites (commercial birds) to raise with a round of these guys, hopefully we’ll be flush with turkeys for next year!
Fingers crossed.
πŸ™‚