Saturday, November 29, 2008

So Eggciting!

Today was a day of firsts. We culled two roosters (we actually means my DH) I helped once the birds looked like meat. That took quite a bit of time since this was our first time. C said he would just as soon work overtime and pay for natural free range all ready processed birds. So, he's definitely not sold on us doing it ourselves yet. We also took care of Yolkie, he was also a roo and had lots of issues, so he has now went on to the great Hen house in the sky.

Let's see that's two new things, what was the other thing, hmmm, OH YEAH! Now I remember I found our first egg!!!!!!!!! Our Buff's will be 17 weeks on Monday and already an egg. I am soooo Eggcited!

Here it is right where I found it. It took great restraint to not pick it up right away. (I had to run back to the house and get my camera)

Hmmm, could this be the girl who laid it?

Chicken secrets!

Egg on a bed of greens

Our first tiny egg vs. store eggs

Egg in a milk cap

Egg house

Egg on a piano

Egg in a yarn nest(this is my fav)

Ahhh, don't do it!

Egg vs Baseball

4x4 Egg

Mini truck Egg

A precious jewel, for sure.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Great Hunters *warning pictures of a dead deer

My guys have been talking about deer hunting all year. P turned twelve this year and I guess with all the testosterone swimming in his veins he really wanted to hunt. So, they have been scouting for weeks on our property. They set up a blind and would go down in the wee hours of the AM and sit and freeze and watch for deer. Most days they would come up and say they saw a couple. I would say, Oh yeah, well I saw four or six or eight right out the kitchen window depending on the day. Soooo, off to the local farm store and ninety bucks later, we have a deer stand in our front yard. Yes, you read that right, FRONT YARD. Our property sits off the road and is surrounded by trees. You can't see our house from the road. We are pretty secluded.

Friday morning they were up dark and early and out to the the stand they went. At about seven AM I was helping G get ready for school and we were keeping an eye on the hunters from the dining room and kitchen windows. G had walked away for a minute and I walked to the sink to do something looked up and saw a Mama doe and a yearling, called G in to have a look and about then, BANG! P had shot at a felted buck or possibly a Duck (doe with antlers) and missed. Then the deer ran of course. But the shot flushed out another group of them from the west and DH shot the buck you see in the pics.

Talk about one excited and yet at the same time disappointed boy. It was his first time and he rushed the shot. Now he knows for next time. He was right in there with his Dad though, my soft hearted boy helped field dress, skin and butcher that deer without blinking.

G was so happy that it happened before he got on the bus. DH was happy it happened the first day, he hates the cold and P was wishing we had more than one deer permit. Maybe next year.

Two happy guys!

How did this boy turn into a young man?

A few more years G and it's your turn.

Too Many Roos

Roo #1- Rooster, the main man, numero uno. Isn't he handsome.

Roo #2- Pat, mean, frustrated, dinner soon. ;0)

Roo #3- No name, not mean or aggressive yet, still will be in my freezer soon.

Roo #4- Yolkie, issues, issues, issues. Not staying in this world much longer, but not dinner.

FYI-I only ordered one roo and there was one marked with a blue head when they came. That would be Rooster. All the others were OOPS! by the hatchery. I used Cackle Hatchery out of Missouri.

So, after the Holiday weekend we will be down to 12 birds, 1 Roo and 11 Hens.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My First Award!

This was bestowed upon me by Angie over at Children in the Corn. Thanks so much! I'm soooo excited that I got an award.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adventures in Chicken Farming Part 1

Everyday with these chickens is a learning experience. I was just talking to my chicken mentor about how the cross beaked, crooked leg chicken was doing fine. Nobody has been bothering her, just yesterday we had this conversation. Then today I go out and she's got a bloody comb. OH NO! So, I chatted with my own personal chicken ER hotline and she walked me through it and warned me of the upcoming decisions I might have to make concerning "Yolkie". I went and cleaned her up, applied some antibac ointment, while I was doing this I had the rest of the flock in the tractor. *This is where it goes a little awry. I needed to go to town and didn't want to leave them in the tractor so, I started shooing them into the coop. Some of the girls weren't cooperating and then suddenly one flew the coop, I mean tractor. And when she hit the ground she high tailed it towards the woods. This was not good, not good at all. There are foxes in there and skunks and owls and hawks and all sorts of animals who wouldn't mind at all if they happen to have chicken for breakfast. So, I ran up to the house to get boots, a hat and gloves and the butterfly nets (It was about 27 degrees this morning and no the nets weren't for butterflies). On my way I was thinking "no way am I taking my shirt off this morning to get this bird" (I learned my lesson last time). So, I got back chased her back into the yard. A few scratches, from the briar's, two broken nets and one winded lady later, I got that bird and put her back in the coop.

So, what's next? I mean really, I could use a break here God!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Advice on chicken wrangling

I have now been a chicken farmer for three plus months. Here's what I've learned so far.

  1. Chickens are unpredictable. They zig when you think they are going to zag.
  2. No matter how many people tell you how easy it will be, expect some difficulties.
  3. Chickens are fun to watch. They can entertain you for hours.
  4. Chickens poop A LOT!
  5. When you decide to let your flock free range, I mean really free range, expect some difficulty in getting them back into the coop. If you are by yourself you may end up chasing a chicken around for half an hour or more because she simply doesn't understand English. She can't get it in her super small brain that she could go up that ramp into the coop. After using a broom and other objects to try to "gently" guide her up the ramp you may resort to removing your shirt in an effort to scoop her up in it. DO NOT DO THIS. It will not work and you may or may not be spotted by a neighbor! (Thank God we live 700 feet off the road with trees all around us)