Still January

January goes by so slow.
It’s cold.
Today isn’t supposed to be *as cold* as it has been.
In fact, the rest of the week is supposed to be much less cold than it’s been.
I’m happy about that.
We have a new-to-us washing machine coming tomorrow.
I’m so excited about that!
Since the beginning of August, I’ve been doing laundry with the wringer washer outside…now until it started getting cold, it was kinda nice.
Set up a load to wash, putter in the garden ’til it was ready for rinse.
Then Fall came, and weather turned, and then we moved the washer back to the garage.
And then I’d wash clothes in the garage.
Oh, but then came the c-c-c-cold days where the washer couldn’t even run because it was just too cold.
That was at Winter Solstice-ish.
So for the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve been doing laundry by hand in the tub.
lol
Yeah, well…we need clean clothes and someone’s gotta wash ’em.
But the new-to-us machine arrives tomorrow.
And once it’s set up, Ima wash aaaaaaalllllll da things that have been waiting because it’s been too cold to wash ’em in the wringer washer.
I’m looking forward to it.
🙂

That bit of excitement aside…
I ordered seeds from Vesey’s.
Just got the confirmation email that all but my carrots and rattlesnake pole beans have shipped. Those are on backorder and they’ll ship them out once they get them.
So, now it’s one more seed order for this spring, and I’ll be ready to go.
The last seeds will be ordered from Ravensong Seeds and Herbals
I’ve been waiting for a few things to come into stock before I place that order.
Hopefully soon!
And then everything I’m wanting to start (this year) in the medicinal garden will be here…
I tried to limit what I ordered because I don’t want to do too much all at once and get overwhelmed.
That is easy af to do!
lol

Not much else new.
Just hunkered down, waiting for the snow to melt.
Shoveling, moving snow, tending the animals, trying to stay sane in a stupid and insane world.
There might be alcohol involved.
😂😂😂
But just think, in only 49 days we’ll start up the incubators to bring new life to the Farm.
49 days.
And I’m eying a 3rd incubator.
So we can run bigger numbers of eggs, less times.
This way, I hope to be done hatching by the end of May.
Not July like last year.
End of July left me with far too many birds to be butchered into the beginning of December.
I don’t like that.
Not at all.
So, bigger chicken hatches, less times, hopefully chicken butchering done sooner.
And the ducks will do what the ducks will do.
As always.
😂😂😂

Just for fun…
🙂

Babies!!

There’s been a bit of a baby explosion here this week.

I have repeatedly been told that muscovy duck hens left alone will hatch tons and tons and tons of chicks…
Well we’ve had a few clutches hatch out, but nothing like the “you’re gonna be over run with that many hens!!” like I’ve been told…
Truth be told, because we eat our extra drakes, I *want* to be over run with ducklings.
I’m still waiting for that…

In the meantime, there’s kijiji.
It’s a Canadian buy/sell site where most farm folk list their extra animals for sale.
Welp, after a couple of beers I decided, the other night, to scan the livestock section…we’re coming into fall and lots of folks try to sell off extra animals so they don’t have to winter them.
Often, those animals go much cheaper than they would in the spring.

And so when I saw week old muscovy ducklings for $5 each, 21 of them, I contacted the seller…who said if I took them all, she’d charge me $80.
So we met up and made the duck deal in a Walmart parking lot.
😂😂😂

When we met up with the seller, she did say she could only catch 19…that’s okay though, because $80 was still a great deal for 19 ducklings.

Away we went, with our bounty.
And when we pulled into our driveway, we though “huh, we’re almost out of shavings” so Hubby and I planned on a quick trip to the feed store for another bundle of them, so that we could clean the empty brooder (we finally got the cornish meat birds butchered last week) and put these 19 babies in there…
As we’re transfering them to the bigger crate with shaving in it for a temp. holding pen ’til the brooder was cleaned, The Kid yells “duck baby!!” and runs off…I’m thinking “what the hell??”
And it turns out one had hatched while we were gone and had escaped from Mama.
Huh.

So she catches him, and puts him in the house with another one that she had found earlier in the week.
That made our 21 ducklings. 😉

Then this morning, I step out to feed the cats (always before the chickens get out, because otherwise the chickesn steal the outdoor cats’ food) and I see the duck Mama in the puddle (from our leaking well line that has yet to be fixed even though I have been all over every damn company within a 30 mile radius to come help us…fingers crossed this last guy, a local plumber who has been right on top of all my questions adn is booking his excavator guy to come do it, can make it out and get it done…) with 2 little yellow balls of fluff.
Huh.
So there’s more of ’em.

THEN!!

My brother gets here to check on his old car stored here, and as I come out to talk to him, I see 5 little balls of fluff following Mama Duck and an angry chicken clucking at the extra bebes to come back to her…and when Hubby comes out he says there’s 6 balls of yellow fluff in total.
So it turns out that this duck and chicken co-sat the nest and so far have hatched out 8 ducklings.
It’s really late in the year for ducklings.
And chickens can’t be trusted.
So we’ve cleaned out the brooder in the Little Red Shed and duck babies will go there…

But wait!!
There’s more!!

This is Lefty…

Lefty listened to all my yelling about if chickens are going to hide eggs here, there and everywhere, then they should at least come back with some damn chicks!
So she did.
😂😂😂

In 24 hours, we’re up 32 babies, bringing our grand total for poultry this year to…

10.

That’s it, that’s all.
We only have 10 birds.
That my friends, is how poultry math works…and why I’m the head and founding mother of Poultry Anonymous.
To think, I don’t even really like birds.
😂😂😂

Geeses

Things have happened this weekend…
Birb things.

Last week my incubator of 41 Narragansett turkey eggs hatched out 32 poults.
2 passed away shortly after hatching.
That left me with 30.

I have to add…out of the 41 eggs, only 2 weren’t fertile.
But, we did have some strange temperature issues on one of the crazy hot days we had last week, so there were a couple of poults who died in the shell.
It’s was sad, because they were almost fully developed, but incubating can be a delicate balance of heat/humidity and fluctuations can cause deaths in the shell.

Plus, there were 10 already in the brooder from the new incubator…then we lost one because it drowned in the water.
Have I mentioned that turkeys can be stupid?
Yeah, this little one fell asleep in the bottom of the waterer and died.
So we’ve added some cleanly scrubbed rocks…which adds the bonus of giving the poults something to peck at, so they find the water easier.

So I now have 34 poults, with 6 belonging to a friend.
How does 39 become 34?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

39 poults becomes 34 poults when a friend says “hey, I’m going to be in your general area picking up some geeses bebes, do you want some?” and I says “um, yes!” and then she gets here and says “hey, want to trade poults for geeses?” and I once more say “um, yes!”

😂😂😂

And that’s how 39 poults became 34 poults and I now have 5 geeses bebes.
😂😂😂

And what exactly do we plan on doing with 5 geeses bebes?
Welp, we’ll see who’s a boy and who’s a girl (because I have no idea how to tell, if one can tell, at this age) and see who pairs off (because I am told geeses do the 1 mate thing) and then let them make the geeses eine kliene bang bang musick so we have more bebe geeses next year…and the extra geeses will become Freezer Campers.

Until that time though, they get to get acquainted with their space and then they’ll get to wander the yard with the rest of the poultry…because even though no one is supposed to be free rangin’, they don’t listen to me and just do whatever they want…
😂😂😂

Kinda like the turkey and cornish chickens yesterday…

But y’know…
Happy food always tastes better. 😉
And it sure does make them happy to be running all over the place eating bugs and grass and picking through the horse piles. Who am I to deny my food the right to be happy?

It *WAS* a Trap!!

I knew it!
I just…knew it.
That nice weather last week was lulling us into a false sense of security.
Mother Nature said “oh, yeah! Go right ahead and plant out your tenders…your tomatoes and peppers and pumpkin starts…I promise, I’ll take care of them!”
And here we are.
Shivering because I’m too damn stubborn to turn the heat back on.
It’s currently +3c with the wind it feels like 0*
So had I planted like I really, really wanted to, my tender plants would be toast.
😂😂😂
Nice try Mother Nature.
But not this year.
I fought myself for a few days and then said “Wolfie, honey…it’s only the 3rd week of May. You are gonna get frost. Be. Patient.”
Well, glad I listened to myself, because, here we are.
Frost last night, frost tonight.
But my carrots, peas, and beets are planted and I’m ready to go on onions, radishes, greens and a few other cool weather crops.
Then I can look towards the warmer days/nights ahead for the plants and the beans and corn.

I am still waiting to hear from the local greenhouse to let me know when I can pick up my plant order from them.
Though, with the cooler temps. I’m happy to let *them* baby my plants a little while longer!

So my food production for today included putting 40 turkey eggs into the incubator.
To go with the 19 I set last week in the small incubator.
The eggs in the small one though, are being split with another farm.
I think mentioned this already, a friend had Sweetgrass turkey hatching eggs, and I set them to hatch. Well, I also had 7 of my Narragansett eggs ready to go in, so all in they went.
Our deal was to split whatever hatched from the Sweetgrass, but I figure the whole set is fair to split.
Since I have extras in the big ‘bator, I have no issues whatsoever counting my 7 Narragansett into the split deal.

My hope is, as always, for an abundant hatch.
Of the eggs in the big incubator, all the hens will stay on for eggs/hatching.
Any boys will have the most excellent of life before going on to Freezer Camp.
I hope that of the ones going to Freezer Camp there will be enough of them to offer a few for sale (after we take care of family and friends).
We still have people interested in well raised, home slaughtered birds, and I would love to have more to offer for sale.
And that’s why hens are staying on…our two toms Oscar and Dingus need more girls (5 hens to 2 toms is not ideal!) and welp, food is not going to get cheaper or easier to get. Especially well cared for, well raised, happy food.
I want to be you #HappyFoodTastesBetter dealer.
😂😂😂

And my other food production thing today was the finding and very much enjoying Les Stroud’s website for his latest project:
Les Stroud’s Wild Harvest

Les had a show years ago called “SurvivorMan”.
He was dropped off in remote locations, just him and his cameras, for 7 days.
And he had very, very limited tools to work with.
I really enjoyed the shows.
Now he’s exploring foraging, hunting and using all that he finds.
I’m telling you, it’s one more piece in the puzzle, foraging is.
So I’ll be binging that for a while.
Testing recipes where I can.
Soaking in the knowledge.
Trying to stay warm for the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, Ruby just wants a nap…

So. Tired.

Can’t say I blame her.
😉
Happy Wednesday y’all!

Skeksies

Turkey poults look like skeksies.

I’m sure I’ve said that before.
But it’s true.
I call their hatching eggs “grow your own skeksies” kits.
Oh, and I juuuuuust happened to have made a deal for 3 dozen more Narragansett hatching eggs.
Nope.
Not addicted to turkeys.
Not at all.

I may, however, have to create my own support group.
I’ll call it Poultry Anonymous.
And we’ll meet on a weekly basis, enjoy wine and pictures of our poultry, and throw middle fingers at the govt, because self-help groups are “allowed” to meet.
Yup, sure sounds like something I would do.
😉

Look at that little face? How can one not be smitten with poults??

We had an impromptu shoot with this little dude yesterday.
The Kid grabbed them out of the brooder and onto the big mirror they went.
Of course it was scary (because everything is scary when you’re a wee little birb in a great big world!) and they called and called and called for their brooder mates…which made the big turkeys wonder what was going on.
It was really cute watching a couple of the hens, everytime this little called.
You could just see their brains go “Baby!! I want Baby!!”
So I said “Hurry up and get to laying eggs, you sillies! Then you can has Babies!”
I don’t think they understood me.
😂😂😂

I love those moments when they look down and see “another bird” so close to them. ❤

And then they poop on the mirror…
😂😂😂

And then, poor little pumpkin just got tired and sat down:

“Oof. Dis hard work. Birbs no want hard work. Just want eggfood”

Hopefully this weekend will be nice enough to grab a couple of the whites out of the brooder and we can get a few shots of them with a Narragansett for size comparison.
All in all though, every one of ’em is cute little birbs.