Ok, so you may have noticed that the posting schedule was a bit – irregular for a while; sorry about that. I took a quick trip with Alexis, to California, to be with my folks, visit a friend, and drop Alexis off to visit her dad – while my blogging intentions were good, and I had planned on posting last Friday, when I went into Starbucks to use the wifi (my folks live in the boonies as most of you know and, while visiting with them, I don’t have cell phone service, nor is there anything but dial-up internet <gasp>), I ran into several people from my previous church and didn’t end up typing anything but a title! Once I returned to Arizona, we had Patty and George visiting, and we were off having too much fun with them after I was done working and… I didn’t post. I tried to make it up by posting on Tuesday about our cute little Roman, and now I’m back on schedule for a while. In the interest of full disclosure, this off schedule thing could very well happen again because my folks, along with my niece, Rhiann, and my Aunt and Uncle from New Mexico will be here during Holy Week through to Easter (Would anyone else like to come and visit for the holiday? Just let us know and bring a dish to share! Hey, we might have more hands to help out with the P.O.W.W.O.W. that Saturday!). We’ll just see how that goes. Enough with the excuses~ let’s get on with the update! Continue reading
This little cutie is our newest family member; a gosling! Specifically a Tufted Roman (also called simply “Roman Goose”). We don’t know if it is a girl or a boy, but we’re calling it Roman for now. According to The Livestock Conservancy, Tufted Romans are on the critical list. We wanted to have a guard goose for the flock, and thought we might as well have one from the critical list… perhaps we can breed later. Plus, this breed of goose has an illustrious history of guarding. Again, from The Livestock Conservancy, “The Roman goose originated in Italy. More than 2000 years ago, Romans considered these geese sacred to Juno (the goddess of marriage). In 365 BC, as the Gauls attempted to steal into Rome under cover of night, it was the honk of a Roman goose that awoke Marcus Manlius and saved the capitol.” Continue reading
…the number 9! We’re starting today’s blog off with the Egg Report, just to mix things up a bit. Nine eggs! Yesterday and today, this seems to be the preferred number from the chickens. They are laying happily and steadily… occasionally we receive an egg from everyone, but that is still a rather rare happening. We’re just happy that they are producing regularly. And today, there’s that one ginormous Easter Egg again. We haven’t come across another double-yoker, but Sue’s pretty sure that the one she had isn’t going to be an anomaly. We’ll be sure to document that if/when it happens. Continue reading
It the first day of Spring! Thought we’d do an update on all things little and/or growing. Below, for your viewing pleasure, are photos of many new things coming up around the farm 🙂 It may seem like somewhat of a cop-out, but I think in can sum up the new spring growth that’s happening around here quite nicely.
Today’s Weather: Oh my goodness, it is just beautiful! I have to say that the early evenings are my most favorite part of the day. Actually, I may have already said this! Everything is settling down, the sun slips behind the mountain and leaves us in its shadow, but there are still a few hours left before sun-down. It was around 78° after supper and just a slight breeze. It was a hot one though today in the sun, my phone says it was 83°, but Sue said that it felt more like 89°. It was around that in Sierra Vista at 1 or so. Generally we’re slightly cooler. Low tonight is supposed to be 50°. All-in-all, pretty nice weather for us Hereford chickens.
Egg Report: We had a great weekend for eggs. Saturday we had 7, Sunday we had 10, and today we had another 7. 7 seems to be our new normal low. 11 is the high, but we only hit that a couple of days a week. All told, last week we had 48 eggs! That’s not shabby.
Even when we’re not around as much. It seems like it was a super busy week, and there were not enough hours in each day to get the things accomplished that we want to. And yet, things keep happening around here… Continue reading
We are always looking at different ways to harvest and keep water on the property. You’ve seen and read the blogs about the rain water collection tank, creating bio-swales, using mulch to prevent evaporation, the Hüglekultur techniques that also help conserve water use. We’re doing some versions of all of that, but these still rely on rain or utilizing well water to get/keep them going. Now Sue has found a water collection system that is just in the developmental stages. It harvests water directly from the air. It’s call the WaterSeer and is being developed in conjunction with the UC Berkley Sutardja Center and the National Peace Corps Association, and with viewers like you, or rather investors like Sue. Sorry, PBS announcer was creeping in there.
So, I know that I had scheduled the project update post for Friday, but Monday seemed like such a better day to do an update – plus we had that interesting pasty butt issue going on with the Littles. So, here we are on Monday and it’s time to do an update!
Chickshaw Re-do: As you may recall, the wonderful Chickshaw had been battered about by one of the severe wind storms we had earlier this year. So much work went into making it, that we didn’t want to just scrap it and forget it. So Sue has been diligently recreating the concept and making it sturdier, heavier (good thing), and rethinking it’s usage. It is almost re-completed, only needs one leg (on the far front side) and then some hardware to keep the front hinged portion closed in a stiff wind. Dustin had the idea to place rocks on the wheel frame and a few inside and that has kept it quite steady and in place through some very harsh winds in the last few weeks. Sue is thinking of using it in more of a semi permanent capacity for the new Littles, once they’re ready to venture outside.She’s done a great job fixing it up and I’m so happy that we’ll be able to use it again! Continue reading
Chicken butt!!! I don’t know why that’s funny, but Dustin said it to us yesterday and it made me laugh. We used to do that when we were kids, or say “What’s up chicken butt?” This all comes to mind because we’ve been dealing with little chicken butts lately. Our babies are getting over what’s called Pasty Butt. It not horribly serious, but if not taken care of, it can prevent the chicks from being able to eliminate and then they could die, so that’s bad. Pasty butt happens when the poop collects on their bottom and dries over the vent. It creates a seal and prevents them from eliminating at all. Poor babies. Continue reading
There are just so many! Where do we start? Well – do you remember a post where I encouraged you to “never say ‘no’ to free”? We’ve done that again, or not done that again, whichever is correct there. Our contractor friend Brent had a tent trailer that he was going to refurbish, but decided that it would take too much work and time and money to get it to the point of usability again; he asked us if we were interested in it. Sue jumped on that opportunity. She’s been looking for a trailer frame/body to use as a large, movable Chicken Tractor out in the further pastures. We need something that’s relatively heavy so it doesn’t blow away, like so many others – and it needs to be movable, something we can hook up to the tractor and just take around to where we’d like the chickens to be working. This tent trailer will be great. We’ll end up gutting it, but there are so many usable items in there that we can re-purpose. We might be able to use the sink in our outdoor kitchen area (it’s just a little bit smaller than we were hoping for), and there’s a table that would be good to use outside as well. There isn’t a stove or fridge, but other parts will probably find good homes! Dustin has already claimed the bed mattresses for use in the dinky house, as their blow-up mattress was punctured by their kitty – oops! There are many design options for this new chicken tractor, quite a few plans on line, so we’ll just have to see what will work best for us and the chickens. Take the photo just above; I am NOT saying that this is what we’ll be doing, just that it is an option. Kinda cute though – trailer chickens. This is definitely something to be working on in the near future. Continue reading
The wind this weekend was phenomenal- kept Sue off of the tractor, which is where I think she really wanted to be. I was not feeling well at all, which is not what I wanted to be doing with the weekend; but, despite all of that, things were accomplished anyway.
The brooding table was completed, Sue purchased a couple bricks of shavings so that the chickies would be comfortable on top and on the bottom. She set up the warming platform and tested it out, placed the feed and water stations on the platform. She received a notice that the chickies shipped today, so we should be able to pick them up at the post office Wednesday morning, first thing. Everything is prepared. A week after the ducklings should be here! In an effort to keep down the dust in the coop, Sue set up one of the shaving bricks in the biggies’ side. Instead of spreading it out herself, she decided to let the chickens do the work , and give them some entertainment in the process… especially since they weren’t able to be outside very much due to the wind. The shavings come vacu-packed in a plastic wrap, when you take the wrapping off, they retain their shape quite well, so it takes a bit of effort from the chickens to fluff it up and spread it around. The photo on the left shows them just starting on Saturday. The second photo is of the same spot on Sunday afternoon! They did a very good job! Continue reading