Saturday, June 18, 2016

Turkeys' first day out

Last Saturday we opened up the turkey coop and let them come out so they could wander around a bit. The had a wonderful day outside. The chickens seem very accepting of the turkeys, as well.



Everyone got along and the chickens had the turkey food. Seriously, the chickens loved having access to the turkey's high protein feed. They weren't shy about it either. Now, as soon as the chickens are let out, they make a beeline to the turkey coop and barge on in.


Saturday night, when my son went to go tuck the big girls in, he couldn't find the turkeys.  Mild panic happened, until we realized that the turkeys followed the chickens into the big coop for the night. This was surprising to me.  I thought it would be a while before the turkeys felt really comfortable with the chickens.

The next day, after letting everyone out, everyone started working through the pecking order again.  One of the wynadotte's tried to start a fight with one of the turkeys, and it earned her a turkey wing slap down.  Wow, is about all I can say.  I heard that wing come down with a crack. The wynadotte was still holding her ground, but the turkey earned her respect.

Now everyone is coexisting peacefully.  The turkeys are still following the ladies back into the coop for the night.  Most every morning we carry the turkeys back to their own coop, so they have access to their food and waterers with deeper troughs on them.

However, last night we corralled the turkeys into their coop for the night and they started crying.  After I made sure they had enough to eat for the night, I opened their coop and let them back out.  The stared up at me like, "What now?" I said "Go to the big big coop" and walked away. They followed me, walking like gangly puppies, over to the big coop, up the stairs, and into the big coop. They were happy as could be and settled in for the night. Silly birds! You could almost hear the "Oh boy! Oh boy!"


Friday, June 10, 2016

The months that flew by ... And now we are in to June

Where did April go?  Oh, that's right, I was busy baby chick wrangling.

April is this sort of haze of baby chicks, incubator alarms going off, turkey calls, and tending to all sorts of chicken-related chores.

We've hatched out quite a few baby chicks in April, and was able to see them off to their new owners. All "totes adorbs" and sassy in their own little way.

And now May is one-third done with. We are almost halfway done with June. Where is the time going?

Since May started we've experienced some really nice weather days. However, since I last posted an entry, we've experienced more cold, windy, rainy days than should be legal. The wood stove is still running in the evenings.  Sometimes we get it going in the morning. Depends on the temperature inside the house. Yes, that's right.  In *June* we are running the woodstove.

So, a chicken and turkey update. ...

Well, the turkey's have grown significantly, and are out in the open air coop.  They are happy to be outside but are eager to start spreading their wings, so to speak.  We are thinking that this weekend we will let them venture out on their own for a bit.  We will need to keep the big ladies in their coop for a while.  They know each other's smell but I'm not quite ready for a face-to-face meeting.



Believe it or not, the fat babies grew up and had a fabulous life.  They are already in their permanent home in the freezer.


They were processed last week. Thirty birds in two batches. We are happy to have it taken care of so soon in the season.  Sounds like we are ahead of everyone else too.  One person we were speaking with said her birds were nowhere near ready to be harvested.

We still have a mess of chicks.  They are going on two months of age now, and loving life out in the little coop. Bit by bit, they are all going to their new homes.  And that's okay.

My son is all done with school for the year. It's amazing how fast the school year went.  He was sad to see the year end.  However he is greatly looking forward to Y camp, and being a middleschooler next year. I'm still wrapping my mind around him being in middle school.

I've been doing a little bit of knitting.  Bits and pieces, here and there.  For a while I was cranking out a few dishcloths. Then I made a couple bookmarks.

Currently I'm working on a vanilla sock using this yarn. The sock is my purse knitting.  I've been knitting it a few rounds a day.


 

I have about an inch and a half more to go before I can place the scrap yarn for the afterthought heel.



The Pamuya Shawl. Cascade heritage yarn.  It's deep stash yarn and I have long since lost the ball bands.  I'm cranking along slowly.  This is my second attempt at the pattern.  I need to be focused when I work on it.

 

A mood scarf. A different color for each day, for the month of June.  I need to take a picture from today.  This photo is a few days old.



On the garden front, I *finally* got the garden in this past weekend.  Then the next day we had hard rain and I'm not sure if my seeds washed away. I should know within the  next week if the seeds stayed or not.

No reading has been happening, sorry to say. I haven't been in the mood, which is odd, because we have had so many rainy days.

Now that summer is in full swing things are going to be busy, busy around the homestead. I'm enjoying the little bit of down time before the garden starts sprouting (fingers crossed) and all the other things that will be occupying my time. Thanks to some "found" free time, I've written my first blog entry in a few months, I won't be quite so hesitant about writing again and trying to think of ALL that stuff that's been going on.  Now would be a time to mention my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook social media, I think.  I post photos a lot more frequently than I blog, lately. I didn't mean to, it just happened. The buttons to my other social media is on the right side of the blog.

Well, I guess that's the jist of the last couple months. :-) Let's get in touch again, sooner than later, okay?


Saturday, April 2, 2016

March is hanging on

Yesterday after work we called L & M and was informed they have meat birds in the store.

 

So we drove down there and picked up 20 Cornish X meat birds and brought them home. 

 

I forgot how cute they start out.  These guys are still pretty active when they aren't dog-piled together, sleeping. 

 

I need to remember this phase once they get older and they turn into the eating machines they are known for being.


Once we got home, I set the brooder box up quickly and got them settled in.  They didn't act stressed in the least.  One was trilling for a while. 


 This evening the boys each took a chick and held them for a while.  I don't imagine many people treat their meat birds like this.  Why not?  They should get to experience some love and affection, like the other chicks.

 

This one fell asleep under my husband's chin. 

 
 
We woke up this morning to snow on the ground and the wind blowing it all around.  Not a nice way to start the weekend.

Ran to town and did our shopping, came home and ate a late lunch.  Then I went out to the coop to do chicken chores.

If we are feeling miffed at Mother Nature, I can't imagine how the poor ladies are feeling. They want to be outside in the worst way. They won't walk in the snow so they are stuck in the coop.  I felt bad and gave them some extra scratch and that appeased them a little bit.

 

I see a lot of ladies going for their fair share of treats.


After doing the other things that needed to be done, we've basically relaxed for the day. Not that we had much of a choice.  The weather is just so crummy.

My "relaxing" consisted of making a low-carb coconut pudding for my guy, and some scones for myself.  I tried a different recipe and I'm pleased with the results.


The scones will go great with the "Highland Cream" I made last night.  I didn't cover this batch of cream.  The result?  A beautiful buttery yellow crust on top.  It didn't detract from the flavor or the consistency. But ... I think I'm going to stick with keeping it covered.  I think I like the texture from when it's covered better than when it's uncovered.


Some coloring happened tonight. Nothing too intricate or fancy.  I did this while watching "Alone" through the History website.


"Alone" is interesting.  We binge watched and viewed six episodes, I think. The wannabes quit pretty quickly. I had to shake my head at the one guy quitting after the first night. I guess they are all wilderness survivors, as long as they are in their back yard.

Yesterday I finished "Summers at Castle Auburn."


If you enjoy coming-of-age stories, with a bit of fantasy and a sweet love story, this book is right up your alley.  I enjoyed this book SO much.  The writing is fantastic and I'm so glad I learned of this author.  I'll be checking out her other books.

There was one line that stood out to me.  So much of the book made me smile and this is one of the sections.


"Everyone will tell you she chose foolishly, but it's a wise girl who knows what will make her content."

The entire paragraph is great.  The girl being spoken of is the girl who marries the prince, but winds up with someone beneath her station, and she couldn't be more happy because she is with the one she loves. She walked away from the life that had been thrust upon her, from the day she was born, for the one she chose, and the man she loved with her entire being.

Seriously, go get the book!

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Listening to an audiobook and a section where the main character explain love, and having my husband reach for my hand and say "That's how I feel."

2. This Meme has cracked me up every time I've looked at it.


3. The fat babies, aka cornish x meat birds are happy and healthy.

4. My son's love of nachos.

5. Highland Cream.  Oh my gosh, I love it so!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring break

Let me give you an update about the baby chicks.

This little one decided to tell us a story back on March 27. 


Those sassy little budgies of mine have been going to new homes, group by group. 


And then we were down to nine babies from I don't remember how many.   I love the perky little tail on the one to the far left.


On Monday this final group went to their new home.  They will have a little girl taking care of them.  She was excited to get them.  She's in 4-H and will be learning how to show poultry at the fairs and such. Before they even left the house she pulled one of them out and was holding it while the adults talked. 


One of the ladies that came to pick them up decided she was in love with the white one in this photo and said she hoped it turned out to be rooster so she could have him. I guess she gets all the Roos and is happy to take them in. The chick right next to it is the one who had the straddle leg.  Look at her/him!  Legs are like nothing was wrong. I love those cheek puffs!

It was sad to see them go off to their new homes.  There are so many different emotions from hatching them out and keeping them for yourself versus hatching them out and sending them off into the world. I feel good about each family that came and picked chicks up.  This helped ease my mind.  One lady sent a photo to us as soon as she got them settled in. I though it was very nice of her.  Her little girls were thrilled to be getting baby chicks.

 

But never fear, we have more babies on the way! Yup, we now have two 'bators. We have 11 more days until the next batch starts hatching out.  *Squee*


Good mail arrived last week. I've been flipping through the encyclopedia a bit and learning all sorts of new things.  I haven't had much time to go through the chicken health book.  I also ordered myself a candler for checking eggs. 


 Last week was spring break for my son.  The weather was not optimal. On Wednesday the wind was going strong enough that we decided to check out the big lake after work.


 It's been many years since I've been out to the point.  My hands were instantly cold and I didn't have gloves on. The waves were baby waves compared to what I've seen in the past.

My son said he LOVED seeing the waves and would love to see them again. 


On Good Friday I had the day off of work.  I took him to the roller rink for the afternoon. He had fun and that's all that matters.  Me, it was too many people.

The epic mural is still there.  This mural is part of my childhood. I think people would have rioted if the owners tried to paint over the wall. I'm pretty sure it's been touched up a bit.  Still just as awesome!


On Saturday we celebrated Easter.  It was a very nice and laid back affair.  It was also great to catch up with family.

And now ... back to work.  Thankfully work has been kind to me.  It's been quiet this week.

On the knitting front ... I completed a few things

Firs thing off the needles was the hat I was making from a pattern by Plucky Knitter, and knitting with double yarn.



It turned out slouchy for me.  I have mixed feelings on it.  I have been assured I look adorable in it.

So far I've been wearing it around the house.  If I was wearing it in the wind I'm not sure it would stay on my head.



The next thing off the needles was a scarf. I used US size 15 needles, cast on 200 stitches and knit, double yarn, until I ran out of yarn.


I just barely made it!  I was playing yarn chicken at the end.  It is LONG.  It's got to be 9 feet long at least.  I can wrap it around my neck several times and it's really cozy.


If I could do it over I'd cast on 150 stitches, so it would be a bit wider.

I do have a small crochet project going on.  It's a cowl. I'm not really feeling it so it may go to the frog pond. I'm still deciding.

On the book front ... I finished "Helena" for book club. 

 

I liked it.  I annotated all over it.  My first time doing so to a book.  Felt a bit odd at first to be writing in a book but after a while I got over it. It was nice throwing my two cents in.

Last week I picked up "Summers at Castle Auburn" from the library and started it this evening. 


One of the book bloggers I follow recommended this book.  I can't remember who it was.  Sorry.

I'm just over a chapter in and I'm hooked.  I'm not sure what it was that piqued my curiosity about this book but so far it's a good read.


Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Fires in the woodstove.  It was so damp and dreary today.

2. Starting a new book.

3. More baby chicks are on the way.

4. Laundry is all caught up!

5. I didn't have to leave the house today.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

First day of spring

Happy spring! Woke up to temps in the teens.

We all decided today was going to be a day for relaxation.  I relaxed by baking and puttering in the kitchen, among other things. 

The last few days have been pretty calm around the homestead.  We've been oohing and awwing over the baby chicks.

I know this is why you come to the blog. 



 And that's okay.

 

I tried to get sharp images of them but they decided to be busy little budgies this evening. Most of the time they've been pretty chillaxed or sleeping. 

In all the times we've had baby chicks I think this is the most relaxed group we've ever had.  They barely make noise.  Whenever I look in the brooder, a few of them are doing the "I'm so content" leg and wing stretch.

We realized on Friday that one of these babies has spraddle leg.  It's our time time experiencing this. I immediately went to The Chicken Chick website and found how to treat spraddle leg. If The Chicken Chick had a book, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I love how informative her blog is.

So our little guy now looks like he's on a chain gang of one.


He looks pretty normal in the picture above. Just yesterday his poor little legs were sprawled out and he could barely move.  It was sad.


Here are his little leg braces.  Almost right away, no kidding, he was standing and walking.  Now he runs all over the brooder and he takes no sass from anyone.  Yesterday the other chicks were running over him and he had to put up with it.  Now, they fear him. As well they should! .

Naturally I have video, cause everyone wants to see these little guys in action.






 


One Saturday we sold 6 chicks to a family that drove a couple hours to our place.  That's determination to have chickens! I wish them lots of luck! It is their first time having chickens and they were quite excited.

Other things that happened this weekend:

We finished the circular woodpile.  I now know this style of wood pile is called a Holz Housen.  It's eight feet across and six feet tall. 


I crocheted a hat.  My son decided he wanted it. 


I started it on Friday night and finished it Saturday.  I realized about five rows into it, on Saturday, that I had flipped the hat inside out and started working on it.  I'll call it a design element.

I started a knit hat Saturday night.  I was looking for a pattern that called for using double yarn.  Found a pattern by plucky knitter. I'm about halfway through.


I got the itch to sew a little bit again.  I pulled out a tote bag I had goofed on and put away.  I fixed my issues and got to sewing it.

I used my wonder clips for the first time.  They are nice!



I love this fabric. It's something I found at Wal*Mart way back when.

 

I'm not one hundred percent happy with my finish work on this bag.  I'll be using it as a WIP bag.

When I was sewing I realized I never posted a picture of the skirt I finished back in January.



I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I did cut out the pockets and do a straight seam on the sides.  I messed up placement of the pockets so they didn't mirror each other properly.  I will be making this skirt again as soon as I find some fabric I enjoy. This fabric is jersey fabric I purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Now ... I need cute shoes.

And this might have happened today ...


Yes! More eggs in the 'bator!

**Squee!!**


Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Getting crafty this weekend

2. Scones and cream.  Yum!

3. Watching the babies. 

4. It's finally spring.

5. It's staying light out later now.  Does so much for the peace of mind.