Oh Monday!

Almost all of Saturday’s plans happened.
We didn’t get the landscape fabric down (that’s okay because it’s for the pepper/tomato area and we can’t plant those for a few weeks yet…and The Kid and I can get it done during the week if we have to…), and we didn’t get to the Merry Mares’ hooves.
The mares were fine with that though, because they were busy eating pasture.
Why?
We got a little rain.
In 3 rounds, just about 15 minutes of solid down pour each time.
We literally watched the grass greening up in front of our eyes.
It was beautiful.
And we need so much more…

But!
Check out this forecast:

*IF* that comes to pass, well have a lot of sky water coming down and that makes grass for equines grow.
I only hope it will fall far enough north that our Hay Guy’s hay fields get a good drenching too.
Fingers crossed for a bountiful hay season for us all!
And can I just say, I’m so looking forward to our grass growing long enough to cut for hay?
I have been having dreams of pulling the scythe out to cut the grasses again.
Like, vivid, can smell the fresh morning dew on the newly cut grass capital “D” Dreams.

Today I’m starting getting the seeds I can get in, into the garden.
Yeah, I know, I said that before.
But here’s the thing…

Getting this plastic up took the 3 of us to get done.
And, much of the things I wanted to plant would have been at risk of being stepped/trompled on.
I love my Hubby, but dang!
That Man does “bull moose” not looking where he’s going way to easy and my plants/seeds sometimes suffer for it.
So far this year, he’s stepped on 2 currant bushes.
🤦‍♀️🙄
Years before, he destroyed half a row of pepper plants…
He just doesn’t look, sometimes.
So.
I wanted that plastic up first.
Now, I can start planting.
And it’s okay, because yeah, we have heat for the next day or 3, but then we have rain, so that’ll be just fine for the seeds/onion sets.
And I’m not as behind as I feel, because really, it’s only mid-May.
This ain’t the city where by May long weekend I was yelling “All in!!”.
We just can’t do that out here.
And I’m of the opinion that what I get in, I get in.
As much as I possibly can.
I’m just not going to stress about it too much, because that triggers anxiety, anxiety leads to depression, depression leads to me not doing a fucking thing.
So if I hold the “que sera sera” attitude, I get a fuckuvalot more done.

So today, peas.
I already have them soaking, so that they can go in after my 173rd coffee.
And perhaps the onions too…
I have 3 kinds to plant this year, but I’ll have to cover them with something to keep the dang barn swallows from ripping them out. Barn swallows can be assholes.
No surprise there. It’s a bird thing.
Yeehaw.
Tomorrow I’ll do beets, and carrots.

And now, I must go chase turkeys off my front step.
Because apparently my hens think they should peck at the door.
Maybe they should just go lay some damn eggs for me to put in the incubator.
Stupid asses.
😂😂😂

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.

Happy Tuesday

Today I am happy.
Tired, but happy.

You see, since March 28th, I have not been able to upload a single picture to the blog.
I’ve been having to link to Instagram to show y’all pictures.
Today, for some reason unknown to me, I decided to try to upload a few images.

KABAM!!

It worked!

So, now I’m going through any pictures I’ve taken the last month and trying to do a mass uploading, just incase WP decides that I shouldn’t be able to again…

Today you get Cricket, the happy muscovy duck:

Why is he happy?
He doesn’t know.
He’s a duck.
😂😂😂

Ducks and images aside, gardening is getting underway.
This past weekend, I rejigged the small raised beds in the front yard.
There are 9 ~ 3’x3′ beds.
Well, were.
Now there are 3 ~ 3’x3′ bed that are much deeper.
I took out 6 of them, stacked them on the other 3 and made them more usable.
A good heavy layer of rotted horse manure in the bottom, some straw over top of that and then topsoil.
And lots and lots and lots of watering in between.
Then yesterday, I planted rhubarb in one and asparagus in another.
I have room in the asparagus box for more crowns, so next time MCFHubby is at Canadian Tire, he’ll grab another pouch of them for me…and Thursday, he’s going to a friend’s to help split an established rhubarb for us.
So I’ll have 2 rhubarb plants.

And anyone who knows me is doing the quizzical doggy head tilt, because I don’t like rhubarb.
But, I like the *medicinal properties* of rhubarb…

Plus there’s wine, sooooo, yeah.
😂😂😂

Next up, prepping the spots for peas, and getting those planted.
then we’re onto parsley, carrots and beets.
While hathing more chicks…because we like eating chicken.
😂😂😂

I set another 80 eggs on the 1st.
And I don’t know what the ducks are doing, but I’m hoping to see some duckling action happening soon.
We have so many girls going broody, but no one is sitting nests yet.
Our Ripple abandoned hers after we moved it…we knew that would be a possibility, but we couldn’t leave her getting beat up by the turkeys.

Speaking of turkeys, my 5 left from the hatching are doing great!
Same with the 10 whites in with them.
Eggs every day for breakfast and tons of gamebird feed in their feeder 24/7.
Finally, they’re all growing gangbusters!
Thank goodness!

Now I just need my full grown turkey hens to get on with the laying.
They all have the tell tail sign that Oscar and Dingus are wooing them, but we haven’t seen any eggs yet.
They might be like the ducks though…the ducks did nothing for laying/broodiness until their 2nd year.
Eh, we shall see, right?
In the meantime, there’s no shortage of chickens to eat here.
😂😂😂

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday

So Far, So Good


I told y’all how we moved the turkey poults out of the one brooder, into a new one and how we were still losing them…
Welp, so far, we’ve managed to stop the losses.
From 16, we’re down to 5 Narragansett poults, plus our 10 white poults.
So far, everyone is doing very well.
I am…cautiously optimistic.

So, aside from the brooder change, what did we do?
Hard boiled eggs.
Yup, hard boiled eggs are a miracle food for poultry.
They’re power packed nuggets of nutrition that give baby birbs an excellent boost.
Thankfully, my chicken hens have been laying like mad, so having extras to feed my turkey kids is no problem at all.

I take 3 eggs, hard boil them, peel them, mush them up, add in a little poul-vite (it’s a vitamin mix for birds), a small pinch of brown sugar and water to make a slurry.
Put the bowl down in front of those chicks and watch ’em gobble, gobble, gobble it down!

Plus they have fresh water and gamebird feed (with 28% protein) at all times.
So I am very hopeful that the last 5 of the ones I hatched will survive.
If they don’t now, it’s not because I haven’t tried damn near everything!

In the meantime…

Gardening has begun!
The grape plant has been uncovered from her long winter nap.
The garlic is getting uncovered tomorrow.
And MCFHubby brought this home for me:

Onions, asparagus and rhubarb.
All of which can (and hopefully will) be planted this weekend.
Yes, it’s early before the frost date for us, but this is all stuff that can go in early.
I’m also hoping to prep the area(s) for carrots, beets and peas.
Again, cool weather crops that can get started soon here.

Every year I’m anxious for this time, and now that it’s here, I’m ready to get things going…
So.
Ready!
🙂

Meat Chickens Have Arrived

Back when Hubby, The Kid and I were thinking about how many meat chickens to order, we thought we’d settled on 50, like last year.
And then, something picked at me and told me that wasn’t enough.
I’ve been alive long enough to have learned to listen when my gut says something to me.
So I ordered 75 of the little nuggets.
And 10 white turkeys.

I figured with the success of our Narragansetts from last year, I oughta be able to get 10 whites to Freezer Camp size.
I sure the eff hope so, because things have not been going well with my Narragansetts I hatched this year.
My excitement over 16?
Dashed, because we’re down to 5…and may very well lose them as well.
Fuck.

Y’see, turkeys are very delicate.
Yep, even heritage breeds. Even though the heritage breeds are tougher than the whites, they’re still delicate little things.
As we were awaiting hatching, we evicted the ducks from the brooder, gave it a deep cleaning, sprayed it down with cleaner, thinking we were good to go with our poults.
Welp, as it turns out, there was mold starting in the floor.
I say again…fuck.

Turkeys are susceptible to mold.
Even when us humans don’t know it’s there, have no fucking clue it’s there…turkeys will be doing great, bopping around like crazy birbs, eating, drinking, pooping beautiful turkey poops…and then just drop dead.
Because their little lungs are that effing delicate.

So after the loss of 6 we thought “huh, this is more than just weak poults not making it”.
Hubby and The Kid whipped off another brooder like the last one I showed y’all…metal floor for ease of cleaning, fresh new walls, lid that’s easy to lift for air movement and a door for easy access that doesn’t let heat out…
Then, The Kid and I put fresh straw in, and I crawled into the old brooder to catch our remaining poults.
That’s when I found the mold…under the straw, the wood was wet. And there were small fuzzy spots.
Fuck.

Now we have the last 5 in the newly built brooder, nothing is in the old brooder until it gets torn apart and maybe refurbished…but it might just be scrap now.
Fuck.
I mean, we can’t really complain about it, if we have to scrap it.
The brooder was here when we bought the place, it’s successfully raised near onto 500 hundred birds…but I hate that I found out this way that there was a problem with it.
I hate that it’s costing little lives.
😥
That’s what kills me.

If you scroll through the pictures, you’ll see the size of the white turkeys, compared to my Narragansetts.
The whites are a day old in the picture, the heritage birds over a week!
They’re all getting along beautifully.
I’m actually hoping that the whites will give the heritages enough impetus to keep fighting to stay alive.
There’s really no treatment for mold exposure.
Fuck.
But I’ve got them on high protein feed, clean water with vitamins, a bit of brown sugar and apple cider vinegar twice a day, clean fresh bedding every other day, and today they got some mashed up hard boiled eggs with the vitamins mixed in.
I’m trying my best to make the best of a shitty situation.
While hoping that my turkey hens start laying soon…because goodness knows, the boys are doing their jobs.
The very second I see eggs from the hens, I’m whisking them off to be incubated!

I’m going to bet dollars to donuts, that the second my incubators are full and working on chickens again, that’s when those turkeys will start popping out eggs…and then I’ll end up having to buy a 3rd incubator just for turkey eggs.
😂😂😂
Because that’s my life…chaotic, crazy, and always learning.

16!!!

It’s just a quick shot with my phone, but so far 16 poults have emerged!
I’m pretty darn happy with that.
Considering we keep having help from Daisy Mae with the cord being knocked out, and the humidity was a bit wonky near the end…still…16 poults.
Yeah, that’s good!
Fingers crossed for a good amount of hens this round, so that we can add them to Oscar and Dingus’ harem…any boys, unless they’re perfect/awesome will be Freezer Campers.


Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays.

Voices

Turkeys are hatching…

Hit play and turn up your sound!
There’s many little voices in there.
I’m so looking forward to meeting them all!
Humidity is still high, so they’re not quite done hatching.
When the humidity drops and stays low, then that’s an indication that they’re pretty much done.
That’s when I open the incubator and see if there’s any who need help out of the shell.
Until then, the ones that are out get to sing and dance around while they absorb the last bits of the yolk from their eggs.
They’re good for up to (and sometimes longer than) 72 hours in there without food or water.

The brooder is ready and warmed up for them, when they’re all done and ready.
🙂

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.
🤦‍♀️🙄
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 Far, So Good

So it took some minds smarter than mine, some finangling, and many trips back and forth to the local small town hardware store…
BUT
The new pressure tank is in!
And it’s working very well.
We do still have an issue with the well pump coming on too often, but it’s now 40ish minutes instead of 6-8ish.
Since a friend suggested it could be the foot valve on our well pump, I did some research on that…it does seem, after all the work done so far, that it could very well be the problem.
Hubby is all for opening up the well head and having a look himself.
I, however, think having a pro come out and do it (plus add the electrical ability to hook the well pump to the generator in the event of power loss) is a good idea. Mostly for the hooking of the pump to generator ability.
Plus, if we can watch someone change the foot valve, then we know exactly what to do next time.
But, we’ll see.
Right now we’re waiting on a end-of-March storm to hit us.
*sigh*
Because March is gonna go out like a lion.
Ah well…it’s March in Manitoba, so no surprises here.
😉

One big surprise we got with the pressure tank repair was this:

Ever since we moved in, we’ve had this mystery pipe sticking out of the ground in the middle of the backyard.
We’ve always thought it had something to do with the septic line…because it goes out past this pipe to the ejector in the pasture. We’ve always just left it alone, not really knowing what to do with it.

So, remember that “wtf is this line?” in the house?

There ya go, just in case you forgot…the “wtf is this line in?”
Welp, we know what it is now.
The general consensus was that it was to the hydrant and horse waterer, so the guys hooked it back up into the system…because horses gotta drink, y’know?
So they get everything hooked up and yel that they’re turning the water back on.
Okay, I figure I’ll pop out to the hydrant and make sure it’s working.
I step out on the deck and yell “Uh, guys!! There’s water spewing out here!!”

Turns out the mystery pipe in the yard is actually a rough in for another hydrant!!
And that’s what the “wtf is this line?” goes to. The shut off valve to it was actually shut off…well, seized closed…but still!
We can have another hydrant, putting water *closer* to the poultry and the garden.
That was a wonderful surprise, to be sure.
And that means we can get rid of the hose hook up on the house… that for some dumb assed reason ran *through* the water softener…really?? We needed soft water for the garden?? *sigh*
Oh the stories I could tell y’all about this house….
🤦‍♀️🙄

Anyways…

So this summer, that pallet fence is going to be ripped out.
It’s done it’s job. That *was* the pig yard for the years we raised them.
This year it’s going to be converted to the permanent duck yard.
It does get a bit wet and sloppy in the spring, but, ducks like that, so it’s a good spot for them.
We have to build a raised section of that yard to put their house on, and then fence it all off.
And we’re going to expand it with another yard and gate, so that once the hens are sitting on nests, we can send the boys over to they “bachelor” area and let the girls make with hatching out the bebes.

In the meantime, we’re just happy for water flowing, ducks laying eggs, and friends and family who’ve been able to help.
Next thing to work on…brooders for turkeys and meat chickens.
Those are coming in just 4 short weeks…

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.
😉

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!
🙂