Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Broody's

We've had three broody Iowa Blues sitting on a nest of around 45 eggs for a while. It started with just one, but the other joined in later. The first gal has finally hatched out 2 babies! Cutest thing ever. There might be more, but I've only seen two. They are so sweet popping out from under the mama. I'm so glad we let them set on the nest instead of taking the eggs.


We had three week old chicks living in the house when these babies hatched, so we decided to see if the mama would adopt them. Yeah, that didn't go so well. One was rejected pretty much right away and nearly got its neck pecked off. The second Tyler found shivering in a corner of the coop later that night. And the third was alone by the next morning, so they are all back in the house again.



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Favorites at 2.5 & 4.5







I asked the kiddos what their favorites of each of these things were, here's what they had to say.

Food
Mason - Mango
Finnley - Peaches
Elliot - Grapes

Color
Mason - Red
Finnley - Pink
Elliot - Purple

Drink
Mason - Water
Finnley - Almond Milk
Elliot - Almond Milk

Place
Mason - Grandma Jackie's
Finnley - Kid's Museum
Elliot - The Restaurant

Best Friend
Mason - Dad
Finnley - Grandma Kim
Elliot - Mason

Song
Mason - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Finnley - (screeched some made up ditty)
Elliot - EIEIO

To Play
Mason - Legos
Finnley - Candlyland
Elliot - Candyland

Animal
Mason - Zebra
Finnley - Pigs
Elliot - Zebra

Book
Mason - Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Finnley - Diego
Elliot - Dora

Dessert
Mason - Chocolate Cake
Finnley - Suckers
Elliot - Choclate

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Future Coop



Back view.


In front, where the runs will be.


We finally made a little progress on our future coop location. The coop the chickens and ducks currently reside in is one major patch job. The roof has a tarp over it to keep rain out, there are boards rotting off, the door is about to fall off, and the floor boards are uneven and nails are popping up making it very hard to clean out. We're lucky to have other buildings on the acreage that were used as hog houses over 15 years ago before my dad left that arena.
As you can see we have a lot of work ahead of us, but at least we have a start. We have a plan and the windows are covered with chicken wire, plus I got a bunch of weeds chopped down. We'll be getting a curtain to keep the elements out, like there once was before time took it's toll. The building will be divided into 4 separate pens so we can do some breeding down the road. There will also be an outdoor run for each pen we'll put in front of the building.
The kids had so much fun while we worked. They rode their bikes and ran around inside. They played school bus on the livestock chute for quite some time. It is awesome seeing your kids pretend in the same environment you did as a kid. Lindy and I had so many adventures on this farm growing up, and our kids are just dipping their feet in. There is so much they have yet to discover.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sky








One thing I didn't realize I missed while living in town was seeing the sky. I love seeing the sunsets, the storms rolls in, going to the top of the hill and getting a great panoramic view. These pictures are from the other night, I couldn't stop snapping pictures because the clouds and colors were constantly changing to something even more awesome than the previous minute. However cool the photos are it really doesn't compare to the real deal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Catch Up, Mustard

Here's what the beginning of spring has looked like on our farm.



Poor birdie flew into the window (happens quite a bit), I picked him up before a cat could snatch him and right after the picture he was able to fly into the trees to finish his recovery.



It was like wild animal rescue week here, we spared a few baby bunnies from the jaws of the cats and dog and tried to nurture them but failed.





My garden before any planting took place.







We burned the pasture on my birthday and a couple weeks later started seeing the lovely green return.





Duck eggs!



This is what happens when you don't listen to Mommy. When she says stop, you should stop otherwise you might just walk through a big patch of stinging nettles...




We did our first IMAX movie at the zoo since it comes free with our membership and somehow made it through the whole 45 minute show. Probably won't be doing that again for a while however.



Our first hatched babies that came from our own chickens. So far we've hatched two purebred Iowa Blues and one Iowa Blue/Rhode Island Red cross (yellow one). We had another that didn't make it and almost had a duckling but didn't make it past the pip. We have a new incubator on its way as ours is quite unreliable.


 7 new ducks that are much bigger now and an assortment of purchased chicks.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eggs



We've been getting around a dozen eggs a day from our chickens and ducks this spring. Mason's new job is to go collect the eggs in the coop at some point in the day. He loves the responsibility and the fact he gets to do it by himself makes him so proud.
Our hens have done a much better job at laying in the coop instead of having secret nests all over like last year, but there have been a few incidents. They were laying in a bucket right outside the coop, which was convenient. However, they decided to up their game and make things more difficult.


This is the burn pile. It is a bunch of sticks, boards, etc. awaiting a calm day to be set to fire.  Wynona, our young silver laced wyandotte made a nice nest in here. To get to the eggs you have to somewhat climb into the middle of the of the pile while the sticks poke you in the head and get stuck in your hair. She hasn't laid there this week so hopefully I don't have to do that anymore.



This is an old grinding room, a small room on the side of the barn that obviously doesn't get used. There were a handful of hens laying in here, to the left of the spiral-y thing under the pvc pipe in the photo. It was a bit treacherous to walk into the room, but the part I hated most was I always collected the eggs at dusk and just knew there would be a raccoon or skunk waiting for me in there at some point. Luckily that was not the case and there haven't been eggs in there now recently either. Phew. 


Here's a popular nest, under the coop. One night I found a clutch of 18 eggs under here. After I finally got the feisty Iowa Blue hen off, I reached under to grab them and of course they are just out of reach. The nest is like a hole in the ground so it took me what seemed like twenty minutes laying on the ground with a stick carefully sliding the eggs out of the hole and close enough for me to reach. I was covered in straw and probably bits of poo by the time I was done. We don't eat eggs we aren't sure how long were in nests, so I popped them all in the incubator and some of them are developing nicely. I've also found a cat on this nest. She sat on one egg for two days, I got a chuckle out of that.


Our incubator is maxed out. End of the month we should have some of our own barnyard raised chicks and ducklings. Each time we candle them we get a bit giddy about how well they are doing. We're trying the dry incubation this time as opposed to messing with humidity levels and it is really working much better for us.