It’s That Time Of Year

Oh boy oh boy…
I’m soooooo itchy to get things going!
The only thing keeping me from firing up the incubators is the darn cold.
*Still* under an extreme cold watch.
It’s been 10 days straight.
That’s just crazy.
Hopefully tonight it’ll end…tomorrow?
Soon. It’s gotta end soon.

But here I’m thinking about ordering my meat chicks.
In fact, this week I have to buy layer feed again.
With this cold, the birbs are blowing through feed like crazy.
Like.
Crazy.
3 25kg bags typically go 2 1/2-3 weeks.
Pfft.
I think we’re at a week and a half, and we’re gonna need for this weekend.
So, yeah…effing cold.
When I place my next feed order, I’ll order my meat chickens and 10 white turkeys.
Now that I have a better grasp on raising turkeys, I figure I should be able to raise the whites.
Hopefully.
Looking forward to putting a whole bunch of turkey into the freezer.
🤤🤤🤤

And once the order goes in, Hubby has his orders for building.
We need a whole separate brooder for turkeys.
The biggest thing we did wrong last year was not keep them in the brooder with high protein feed longer.
My Narragansett crew did ah-mazing staying in the brooder for almost 4 months before getting outdoor time.
And I tell you, they are hardy af!
This cold snap, they’ve been out doing turkey races over the snow drifts like maniacs!
So hopefully they breed and lay like nuts come spring time, because we need more of them. 😉
But whites are a raise for meat, short season bird only.
So they’ll spend a good long time in the brooder, then get some outdoor free ranging time away from chickens before going to Freezer Camp.
And we can’t have them tying up the brooder that cycles chicken chicks through it throughout the summer…which means building work for Hubby…well, all of us, really.

Then we needs a shelter in the old pig yard for ducks.
We’re changing that yard from pigs to the ducks full time.
We’ll rip out the pallet fence, replace it with stucco wire, and put up some windbreak boards as well.
We’re looking at making it the year round duck yard, so we have to account for the snow that blows in there.
To go with the new shelter (that we’ll be able to lock ducks in at ight to protect them from coyotes) we’re planning on a few broody boxes…that can also be closed up at night to protect broody ducks and their eggs from predators.
This is the design I’m thinking about:

Image shamelessly stolen from Google.

I want to make those fronts removable though, so that once ducklings hatch, Mama Ducks can take them out and teach them all the things bebes need to be taught.
But those fronts would be easy to close up to protect everyone too…

And it’s almost time to start pepper seeds.
I just need a bag (or two) of potting soil to get going.
Peppers take longer than tomatoes to start, so they’ll be going in the next week.
Than ground cherries.
If the damn things will ever germinate for me.
🙄
They are sooooo tasty, and supposed to be super prolific. But I can’t get even 1 seed to start.
Stupid things.
I’ll try again, because I have the seeds, but I might through them in the garden and see if they’ll volunteer if nothing happens indoors.

And that’s where we’re at.
I’m itching to get busy, but it’s not quite time, and we’re not quite ready.
Sooooooooon, though.
Very, very soon.
🙂

Ruby says this cold snap is equine excrement. I agree.

Oh Look…It’s February

Welp, that escalated quickly, didn’t it?
New year, then all of a sudden it’s February.
And yet, it still felt like the longest January ever.
We sure enjoyed the nice days we had.
Didn’t care for the crazy cold ones though…of course, I never do, but I recognize that our climate needs that cold time for the Earth to reset Herself for the coming growing season.

Last month we sold 36 dozen eggs.
No joke, the hens have been blasting them out.
For which I’m glad because I’m sure I gave away that many eggs too.
See, we’re still in “code red lockdown” here.
And no matter how I feel about that, I know that for some that means putting food on their tables is that much harder to do.
Not everyone is “lucky” enough to be considered “essential” by our oh-so-benevolent govt 🤦‍♀️🙄 and not everyone has the ability to work from home.
I am always and forever a person who will hand food off to people who need it when I can…and I try to make sure it’s done in a way that it doesn’t look or feel like charity.
No one wants be treated like a charity case.
But I’ve had extra lately and a few people have come to my attention about needing, so Hubby and I have been porch dropping bundles of food when we can.
I don’t say any of that for accolades. I don’t want that.
I just want people to be able to eat.
And if they can, pay it forward when they can.

Anyways, we sold a lot of eggs.
And from those sales, I shared half the money we earned with Can Praxis.
Now, another thing this entire pandemic thing has done is beat the crap out of fundraising for groups that rely on donations.
Can Praxis uses equine therapy to help veterans, first responders and their families manage PTSD.
They rely on donations a lot.
I am happy to have been able to send them a little money.

Now, once I get things settled out with my credit card…
Oh yeah, some douchnozzle stole my credit card number and went on a shopping spree last year and I’ve been working on getting it straightened out…in the mean time, I have no credit card to use to purchase my seeds for the garden. Joy! But thankfully the credit card company has been easy to work with and hopefully in the next couple of weeks it’ll all be sorted…
But until then, this months egg money over and above feed costs is going into *MY* food security…aka my seed order. lol
Once that’s done, I have another place in mind (or 2 or 3) to share our egg money with to help others.

In other news…
4 weeks.

It’s 4 weeks until we start the incubators.
Whew!
And then the work begins.
We have to build a couple more brooders.
Plus we have to build a couple broody boxes for the duck hens, so that when they decide that it’s time for bebes they can do so without being bothered and are safe.
We’re looking at the end of April for meat chicks and white turkey poults.
And then there’s turkey eggs to hatch as soon as they start laying…
So yeah, brooders to build.
Thankfully the source of free building materials is still an option and Hubby has been stopping every darn chance he gets to pick things up.

Oooooh….and these 2 big boys joined our flock just over a week ago…

LemonChicken giving the 2 new boys the what fors and whys of the poultry yard…

Ain’t they handsome?
😍
They are Lavender Orpingtons.
Big boys, to breed more size into our next generation of birds.
Just like our Orpington/Wyandotte cross boys.
Big roosters with good meat to bone ratio.
Eventually I want to only be buying meat chicks to raise for sale and we eat chickens from our self sustaining flock. (We’re close to that now, just need a couple more breeding seasons to perfect my crosses.)

Yesterday was Imbolc.
That means we’re officially half way through winter.
Yay!
It also means that the nags got them the next round straw bale to explode and enjoy.
When that happens, they also get to run…because fat mares gotta get a little exercise and thy sure do know what the shakin’ of the tractor bucket means…prance, dance, run like mad whilst posing for The Food Lady to take pictures.

Running through my Capture52 “landscape” shot…brat! lol
Yeah. Tell me that Palomino doesn’t know aaallllllll about performing for the camera while running around! 😂😂😂

So we’re at…waiting for seeds so I can start seeds…waiting for March 1st to rev up the incubators…waiting to collect enough building materials to build brooders…waiting for spring weather to get the first walls built on the greenhouse and the herbal/medicinal garden beds built…and rhubarb! Gotta get me a rhubarb plant…but gotta wait for spring.
😂😂😂
That’s my life folks, hurry up and wait for the busy season to start, and then the busy season hits and we don’t have time to think.
It’s all good though.
Don’t think I’m complaining. I’m not.
The only thing I’m complaining about is the impending ass numbingly cold front headed our way this weekend…oh and the govt, because I hate those bastards. 😂😂😂

😂😂😂
Worth a shot, doncha think?
😂😂😂

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday. 🙂

This and That…

Back in the Fall we ran out of time, energy and money to get the greenhouse built.
I’d say material wise, we’re about 90% there…now it’s just having the manpower come spring to get ‘er going.
As much as I wanted it done before the snows came, we are only 3 people and there was A LOT of other things to get done.
And, considering what a bag of dog excrement the person who runs our province is, it’s not like we could put out a call for helpers to get it done either. 🙄
No matter how one feels about the entire virus issue, any politician who encourages snitching on friends, family and neighbours is, IMO, of significantly less value than a bag of dog excrement.

At any rate, without having the entirety of the supplies, it made no sense to knock ourselves out to build and leave it part way done…but now!
Ah, but now I’ve found a source of free reusable building materials!
Hubby has been stopping at the place for couple weeks now, and the pile of materials is getting to be awesome.
So once the ground thaws, the greenhouse project is a go…as well as a couple bachelor coops for roosters and another area for raised garden beds.

I have this plan…

LOL!!
It always starts with a plan!
So over the Yule break, in a random internet search for an old, long gone from my life acquaintance, I found her latest project. It’s an amazing, powerful, heart breaking, yet beautiful project.
And I immediately signed the family up.
It’s One More Candle (clickable linky)

From their website:

Our Vision

One More Candle offers you the opportunity to adopt the memory of a child whose life was cut short by hubris and deep seated human evil.

One More Candle is committed to remembering every one of the 1.5 million children murdered in the Shoah (Holocaust).

L’dor v’dor
From generation to generation

Simply stated, One More Candle needs you to adopt the memory, a child to honor as though having been one of your own family.

As I said, I got the family on board (trust me it wasn’t hard) and we’ve all adopted a memory.
Please consider doing so too.

So, how does this connect with my plan I mentioned above?
Well, the past year has shown me how much I need to work on an herb/flower/medicinal garden to go with my food gardens. I’ve been collecting seeds, planning additions, and looking at raised bed ideas to create.
And then, yesterday while The Kid and I were doing chores, we were talking about the medicinal garden and we struck on the idea of turning it into a memorial garden.
We’ve lost a few important people in our lives in the past few years (including one on New Year’s Eve…but that’s an entire different blog post) and it would be nice to have something on Farm as a memorial.
Really, what better than our herbal/medicinal garden?

And then The Kid says “And we can include our children too…because they’re family now, right?”
Well damn…
I wasn’t crying, it was the stupid turkeys cutting onions. 😉
But she’s right.
So, the planning is on for memorial stones for our loved ones (including our children) to remember them.
And if I can’t get stones made in time, I do have some lovely scraps of copper sheet and a alphabet punch set that I can make pretty little tags to hang in the apple trees as chimes until I get stones done…in fact, I think the chimes is a great idea to do as well.

In other news…

I’m attempting to do the entire Capture52 project again this year.
Last year I fell off the photgraphy wheel way too early, and never really did pick the camera back up to finish the prompts.
Ah well.
Try, try again, right?
And so here I am, giving it another go.
The first week was “New”.
What better than our “new” dear boy, Hobbes?
It seems I’m always going to have neighbour’s barn cats come find us here…it goes with the fact that our cats eat well. It is always The Rule. Everybody eats.
So when Hobbesy showed up, we just started adding an extra scoop of cat food to the daily rations.
*shrug*
Ain’t his fault that he’s here.
He’s a super handsome boy…and like aaaaaalllllll the other boys, as soon as we can get him in to the vet, he’ll be losing his boys. 😉

Ain’t he the handsomest?

Once he’s neutered, there will be peace among the felines again.
*sigh*
That’s the biggest problem with these guys showing up all the time.
No one else around here neuters their boys and I end up with them coming for food and fighting with my TroubleCat.
And Trouble is the King.
He takes no guff, but he’s getting older and eventually he’s gonna slow down.
I’m tired of the young boys showing up thinking they can beat the crap out of the King and take over.
Them young boys are too dumb and full of their balls to realize the girls ain’t interested since they’re all spayed.
No kittens for my hunting girls!
But at least Hobbes listens when I tell him to knock it off…and he’s slowly learning that Daphne just wants to play. lol

Snow loving weirdo freak dog…