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. 😉
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 😉 ) 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.
😂😂😂
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.
😂😂😂

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.
😂😂😂
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.

Building a Berm

One of our biggest complaints about our Farm is the lack of trees.
Yeah, we knew it when we bought the place, but I don’t think we realized how much we’d miss those trees.
Bald assed prairie land is freakin’ c-c-cold!!
Colder than bush land because of the wind.
It also makes it damn near impossible to do much shooting with anything other than the shotgun or pellet guns.
That’s frustrating.
And so, this past month, Hubby and I discussed what would go into building a berm for practice shooting.

Some work with the tractor, some too-moldy-for-the-garden straw bales and a whole lot of horse crap.
Well…
Turns out this is something we can do.
And we waited far too damn long to do it!

So, last week, before the snows came, Hubby got started on building the berm.
And The Merry Mares have continued to keep up with their contributions.
After they decided they had to “inspect” his beginnings…

The inspection crew hard at work…or, more likely, hardly working…

Goodness knows, them nosey mares have to inspect every little thing to make sure we humans are doing it right.
😂😂😂

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.
😉

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.

End Of November

As we slide into the end of November, I realize I’ve missed a few milestones this year.
It’s been the kind of year where it’s all fucked up and the things that were important before, while not any less important, slip past because of all the crazy and fuckery *waves hands* out there.

So, what’d we miss?
Well, back in August I turned 48.
The Farm turned 7 2 days later.
October made 7 years that we’d met and put a deposit on The Painted Ladies.
October was also 7 years that we met the women who run the Rescue that all our horses came through…and in the past 7 years, they’ve become very much valued friends.
Hallowe’en was the first time the whole Farm family (the 3 of us) were a part of renewing the spiritual protections on the Farm. Normally it’s just me, this year, though it was all of us…I was quite happy with that. 🙂
November 13th made 3 years since I lost my bestest girl.
3 days later made 7 years of being Home for The Original 3.

And now we’re moving on into December shortly.

I’ve ordered the first of my seeds for next year’s garden(s).
3 types of tomatoes, hardy tough tomatoes, good for a brutal growing micro climate like ours.
2 types of peas…both shelling, but one has an edible pod…I found a recipe for pea pod wine, figure I’d order these peas and give it a shot.
And a yellow bean for canning…because we can never have enough beans here. 😉

Next up, I’m working on saving for the next seeds I need…beets, zucchini, carrots, more beans (royal burgundy beans…purple pods, super prolific, grows amazingly well here), some ancho peppers and edible flower seeds (nasturtiums and johnny jump ups) and anything else that I can add food or medicine wise.

Last week we had the chance to go out and do a little shooting…Hubby had to sight in his deer rifle (and we all had a chance to shoot her) so we did a little plinking too…gave me a chance to shoot this:

That’s the rifle I inherited when my parents died.
43 years old, that thing is.
Bought by my Dad for my Mom’s birthday in 1978.
Pretty sweet to be able to (finally) take her out.
🙂

And then we also pulled this out:

Bought for The Kid just before we bought the Farm, and she was teeny.
It’s teeny, and cute and a lot of fun to shoot…even if it’s teeny.
😂😂😂

All in all, it was a nice chance to a. do something that needed doing, and b. get out and have some fun as a family.
Now we’re back to work…this weekend promises at least 1 nice day, which is good because I’ve got at least 10 roosters to send to Rehab.
Hubby’s still chasing whitetails, so hopefully we’ll have deer in the freezer too.
And the garden…I’m Dreaming about the garden, mostly because I want winter over with, but also because I haven’t finished cutting down last year’s plants (like the beans) mulching, and pulling the tarp over.
This week.
Hopefully.

One More Thing Done…

The gate is now hung on the turkey/duck yard.
Instead of being leaned on the posts and braced with a stick.
😂😂😂
Hey, we’re innovative here!
Sometimes things need a little ingenuity before being finished.
Especially when we didn’t have hinges for a week and quite honestly, I didn’t want to leave the turkeys cooped up in their coop for that long…see what I did there?
Cooped up in their coop?
😂😂😂

And now that the turkeys and ducks have decided that co-habitating in the new duck house is okay, we have the brooder coop free…well, it was free.
Now it’s housing 19 duck babies who aren’t quite ready to integrate with the rest of the flock.
And Mama Ripple didn’t give 2 duck shits about seeing her ducklings again.
😂😂😂
She’s already flirting and dancing for Drake so they can get to workin’ on the next clutch.

Next thing to get done is to run cords for the heat lamps.
I ordered new ones from Princess Auto (one of my favorite stores ever!) so that we can heat the 3 coops (ducks/turkeys, ducklings, and chicken coop) when the temperatures drop.
Plus have an extra for the brooder come spring…because y’all just know once March 1st hits, the incubators get fired up and we start this hatching/growing thing all over again.
Here’s hoping we don’t have to replace the outdoor plugs.
It’s one of those things that’s been on “The List” but has yet to get done…and Hubby is not a fan of electrical work, and trust me, a licensed electrician is *not* in this Farm Girl’s budget right now!
So we’re hoping the plugs don’t keep popping their breakers.
Fingers crossed.

Oh!
And my light colored turkey boy has been figuring out his dance moves.
😂😂😂
He keeps doing his mating dance for the ducks hens, not the turkey hens tho…I think he likes his girls short, fat and weird looking. lol
But that he’s figuring out his moves now means he’ll be ready once the hens are receptive, and that’s a good thing.
So fingers crossed for many, many fertilized turkey eggs for hatching!
😍😍😍

Today’s next task is cleaning the kitchen so I can rinse the pork bellies that have been brining so that I can fire up the smoker tomorrow and have bacon…and see about hanging a tree stand for Hubby to hunt out of tomorrow and Wednesday.
Since all the Remembrance Day ceremonies are cancelled (#fuckcovid) he might as well go out and see about putting some red meat in the freezer.

Ruby’s face says it all about how we’re all feeling here at the Farm…

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.
😂😂😂
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.
😂😂😂
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. 😂😂😂

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. 😉
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.
🙂

Frustration

First snow last night.
Last night while The Kid and I watched some late night tv, we heard an unusual sound…it’s was shrieky/squeaky and loud enough to be heard over the sound on the tv.
Cats weren’t terribly concerned.
Nancy jumped off me to go to eat.
Daisy didn’t even lift her head.
Freyja was too full with chicken to care about anything.
And the dog?
Only barked because I got up to look for the sound.
lol
Like I said, not concerned.

This morning, wandering around doing chores, we see extra tracks in the snow…and discover we lost another chicken.
*sigh*
Either a fox (which would line up with the sound we heard last night), a coyote, or someone’s dog is wandering around eating my stupid birds.
Either way, we need to move the coyote trap into a place where the tracks are most prevalent and catch this asshole.

Now, before anyone goes off about protecting my birds better…yes, I know these ones need to be in a coop.
They’re from my last hatch and for some reason, they’re too damn stupid to find their way over to the coops at night…and until the snow hit, we had no idea where they were hiding, because they’re that good at hiding for the night.
Now that we have an idea where they’re hunkering down for the night, we can collect ’em up and toss ’em into a coop for safety’s sake.

I know the canine is just doing what canines do, but man…I hate losing birds.
*sigh*
And frankly, with everything else going on, we just don’t need this extra bit of stress.
😡

Turkey Update

When they were young…just over 2 weeks old here…

And then yesterday:

9 weeks old…

This weekend we’re fencing their new yard…because with 13 of ’em in there, this coop/brooder is just too small. Plus, Ima gonna need that brooder back thankyouverymuch for next March when the hatching begins again.

I do also have this lovely coop that’s going to be used for chicks too:

Which was given to us by a friend when she moved.
It’s awesome because it’s separated into sections, so when I hatch out eggs from different sources, I can keep chicks separate until they’re big enough to band for identification.
But anyways…the turkeys have to move to bigger, easier to keep them in, space for winter.
That’s just one of the many things we’re doing this weekend.

And damn, ain’t my turkeys cute??
😉

Sharing with Oak Hill Homestead for the Simple Homestead blog hop.

Tuesday Morning Round Up ~ October 6th, 2020

Somehow, October has crept up on me and bowled me over like a bull in a china shop.
Gee, surprise!
🤦‍♀️🙄
So much surprise (not) that I started writing this yesterday, when it would have been a Monday Morning Round Up.
😂😂😂

So, what have we been up to?
Welp, I do believe we are caught up on roosters.
For now.
We’ve got a handful that need to grow some more in the bachelor pen before going to freezer camp.
Next up, ducks.
That’s this weekend.
Then we’re finishing the turkey/duck yard so we can move the turkeys to their new house.
They’re growing very well, but not enough that we’ll have turkey at Yule for dinner.
Naw, more like in March…but that’s okay.
We’ll have a better idea on hens and toms then and then we can weed out the boys we’re not going to keep.

This also happened:


This little guy hatched out from our chocolate hen.
She had this one and one other duckling….but she decided she didn’t want to actually *have* ducklings, she just wanted to sit on a nest.
So she let the chickens try to kill the bebes.
We didn’t catch them soon enough to save both, but did save this one.
And for now (a temporary time) we have a house duck.
Ain’t gonna be for long because I detest having birds in my house, but right now I have turkeys in the brooder (still) so no place to put a duck on his own.

So, to sum up…busy, busy busy.
Roosters.
Freezer Camp.
Ducks.
Building.
Just trying to get shit done because, as we all know…

Winter is coming.

To quote a friend… “even the livestock are sick of 2020” 😂😂😂

Ducklings Round 2

Back in the spring I had bought a trio of muscovies…a replacment drake (because Donald was infertile) and a couple of hens…
I paid a fair bit for them, but spring is prime time for adding new blood to flocks, so people charge more.
That’s more than fair…if I wasn’t happy with the price, I wouldn’t have paid it…just in case anyone thinks I’m complaining about the seller. I absolutely am not. I know spring is premium price time and I needed a drake. 🙂

Well after a few slow starts and 2 eggs not hatching in the incubator, our muscovy ducks are delivering.
Last week we found Ripple’s 8 ducklings hatched.
Today we have another 9 or 10 more…

Don’t you be lookin’ too close at my babies, human!!

Oh, I’m lookin’!
And I’m wondering if those 2 chicken eggs are gonna hatch or if they’ve gone rotten.
🤢
🤮

All those fluff butts!
😍

I’ve got 2 more hens sitting on nests that should be hatching in the next week or so.
I hadn’t planned on over wintering quite so many ducks, but when the babies happen the babies happen.
Good thing we have a duck coop just about ready to move them all in to!

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays
🙂

Editing to add…
The final count for this hens hatch is…11!!
Eleven baby ducklings.
Pretty darn awesome.
🙂