It isn't going to get any easier, so I'm just going to do a quick briefing for you all on what is happening here on the farm. I can call it our farm now because we officially have animals.
About a month and a half ago, we bought six baby chicks. Three Rhode Island Red pullets (baby hens) and three straight run (could be male or female) black ones in which I'm totally blanking on the breed name right now. We brought them home, stuck them in a tote and they lived in the bathtub for a couple days. Well, the reds were a little bigger than the blacks, and there was some butt pecking going on, so we separated them and moved them to a spare bedroom until we decided what to do with their outdoor living situation.
We were going to build a chicken tractor/coop with a bunch of scrap wood, but we decided to just patch up the chicken house that was already here. I raised a couple hundred chickens in it when I was in high school, but it is in rough shape these days. So, after the major holes were patched, we put an old rabbit cage in the back half, hung their heat light and called it a day.
Not too long ago, we added a few more feathered friends to the flock. We had been wanting to get some ducks, but every time the store got some in, they were gone instantly. Finally the timing worked out and we had our pick of four "assorted" ducklings. We also brought home four Americana pullets that day, they are really cute and will someday lay pretty blue eggs.
We kicked the older chickens, who have gone through their ugly teen years and are getting big, out of the rabbit cage and let them roam freely in the back room of the chicken house. The little peepers are in the cage now. That yellow duck is loud!
Tentatively picking at some brussel sprout scraps.
Now that the weather has taken a turn for the better, we've been letting the big chickens outside some days, into the little pen attached to the chicken house. They aren't full grown yet, so we can't trust them around the cats. It'll be a bit longer before they make it to free-ranging status.
Wait, where'd Mason go?
Since we moved to this place, we've been on the lookout for a dog, a good farm dog. We knew we didn't want a puppy. Been there, done that, too much work especially with youngsters to manage, too. We kept an eye on Craigslist, adoption sites, and even visited a shelter.
One night on Craigslist I came across a 9 month old miniature Australian shepherd, my dream dog breed! I inquired about him, we met him, and next thing we knew, Jax was arriving home with Tyler one night. He was such a sweet guy those first few nights with us. Then I guess he got comfortable and the remaining puppy now has come out in him. He has lots of energy, but at least we didn't have to house train him. He's had some "I'm so excited!" accidents on the floor and chewed up one of my shoes, but other than that, no puppy damage to the house. (Our three border collie puppies back in the day chewed all the legs on our table and chairs...)
He's very jumpy and excited, so we will have to work on that along with his desire to chase the cats. Maybe the cats should just learn not to run, if they just sat there he wouldn't have any interest. Also, Mason is like a crazy person around him 90% of the time. Hoping that is just a three year old thing that will pass with time, because that poor dog has to be so tired of him.
When we first got him home, we only took him out on a leash. We didn't want him to run away, so we planned to take him out each time he needed to go potty and walk him around the acreage to help him learn where we live, yada yada. Well, by the second day of doing this, I just let him off the deck and he just stood there wanting to come back in. I couldn't help but laugh. He's a huge people dog. He doesn't want to go explore or do dog things, he wants to be with us. Whenever we let him out, he's almost instantly at the nearest window, peeping on us.
We are planning a garden this year, not extravagant, but bigger than past attempts. I started some seedlings for the first time, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, ground cherries, and broccoli. They are growing nicely (in the only available south-facing window), now to prepare a place to transplant them eventually!
I just love spring so much, seeing all the plants and flower come up makes me happy. We plan to get to work on the garden within the week. The original plan was to build a bunch of raised beds, but we don't have the funds to do so this year. There are already a couple raised beds (sorta falling apart) that we can use, but the rest will just go straight into the ground.
So you know that my sister and I opened an Etsy shop a few years back. It has been going well, every once and a while. Recently we scored a booth at the local Flea Market shop and we're so excited about it! The space is pretty big and our current inventory looks a little
pathetic minimalist in it, but we're hoping to fill it up over time. Lots of crafting in our future.
Those are some of the major highlights of our lives. Many more things have been going on and of course the kids are growing and changing constantly. I think I can get back in the swing of things now that we're a little more on the same page now though. I'll leave you with my favorite picture from Easter, think I will be hanging this one on the wall.
So, what's new with you?