Sometimes, the challenge for me (as it pertains to this blog) is coming up with something to write about. Not because nothing is happening – there’s always something happening around here – but its hard to come up with big, exciting, interesting happenings. I really don’t like to simply blather along about nothing. So, today, I’m going to quickly talk about a few little things. Nothing major. Continue reading
…is there such a thing? If you watch the news or follow The Weather Channel, you’ll know the south west has been having some record high temperatures for this time of year. We’ve been doing ok here, mostly working in the cooler hours of the morning and the evening, but the chickens – they have trouble managing through the heat. We’ve tried to do a few things to help them weather the – well – weather. Continue reading
Again, our weekend seemed to go rather quickly. We spent a bit of time doing things that will help us with water management during the monsoons. It was exceedingly hot this weekend and threatening to rain the majority of the time. On Saturday, we started out working on the tree basins, earlier in the morning. We needed to make the basins bigger to hold enough rain water, once the monsoons start, to keep them watered. Some of the trees still had the size basins for when they were first planted – they have actually grown a whole lot this last year, as they were watered regularly. So, before we added more mulch, we wanted to expand or deepen the existing basins for many of the trees. I did the basin work and poor Sue moved the mulch from the depression to each of the trees. I am continually pleased with how the mulch helps keep the moisture in the ground. With the added layer, I’m hoping that we can get down to deep watering the trees only once a week. Once the monsoons start, I’m thinking we won’t need to water at all. That’s the point of the water-harvesting type measures we’ve been taking. We want to be able to retain as much rain water, on the property, as possible. We want to continually replenish the aqua-fir, by slowing down the run-off and helping it soak back into the ground. Sue has started creating little dams in the lower contour areas that collect and funnel water down our sloping land. Just small rock berms or walls to slow the water and have it take time to soak in before running off the property and down the road. Every little bit will help water retention. Continue reading
In the last couple of days, there has been a lot of this going on, really. On different levels and regarding different aspects of the farm life, but going on none-the-less. So, when tossing about for today’s blog theme, this is where I’ve landed. Let’s see if we can make that landing stick. Continue reading
Yes, that’s the word for today: bountiful boun(t)əfəl adjective 1. large in quantity; abundant. “The ocean provided a bountiful supply of fresh food.” 2. giving generously “This bountiful God has thought of everything.” synonyms: plentiful, ample, abundant, copious, profuse, bumper, fulsome, inexhaustible. Of all those synonyms, I really enjoy the word bountiful. Over time, since the early 16th century when utilization was plentiful, the use of the word – in every day language – had been on a steady decline; until around 2010, when it began to enjoy a resurgence of mention in popular culture. Does that mean that the general outlook of the populous became more positive? I like to think so. Read on for our example of a bountiful day. Continue reading
ABOVE GROUND POOL WITH DECK! Was it really short, or was that just for me? As you know, I was off visiting my folks – Sue was home working in this amazing heat we’ve been having. What better way to prepare for more of the same than making an above ground pool with decking… for the water fowl, silly! Here is the 100 gallon tank and the beginning of the decking. Just took her two days to get everything done. Ramp for them to get up there, deck to lay out on, 100 gallons of water fun… what else could they possibly need? Well, they are just not too sure about it. Roman was in it for a few seconds, but jumped right out. We wanted to get something bigger so that they could really paddle around and have room to dive under. We also wanted to be able to just change some of the water out when it got yucky, instead of dumping those little kiddie pools every other day. We were using a lot of water! This pool has a drain towards the bottom that will make cleaning it out so much easier. I think once they realize what it is, they will be happy to have it. It had been outside through the hottest part of the day and the water was still quite cool. In fact, it was way cooler that the kiddie pools that they were still hanging out in. It’ll just take a bit of time. Continue reading
Really, they are. We enjoy watching them, from afar, do their little chicken things. You wonder what the heck is going through their little bird brains. They make us laugh. It is quite relaxing – like watching a fish tank. You never know what they’re going to do. Yesterday, Sue went out in the afternoon and saw the Delawares’ rooster lying flat out on the ground by the escape hatch. She thought he was dead and beheaded. He was simply lying in the shade with his head through the bars trying to get at the food on the ground. Silly thing, at least it was in the shade! Sue made the escape hatch for the little Specks as we knew they would be the lowest in the pecking order and would need to be able to get to their own food and water. The Delawares try really hard to get in there, but only one has ever made it. That one has been picked on by the ducks for some time, quite badly actually – and we recently put it in isolation so it’s wounds could heal and may be not so picked on when it gets back into the flock. Continue reading
We’ve had some excitement around here over the weekend – or early Monday morning, actually. Sue’s grand daughter was born at 12:20 a.m. Since then, we’ve been taking things kind of slow. Doing what needs to be done, catching up on sleep, and Sue’s been spending quite a bit of time at the hospital- so the bottom line is that there’s not a lot of exciting and new things going on here. Currently Sue is playing for the Vesper Service at Church and I’m sticking around to put the chickens in; hopefully in time to make it to Gospel Choir rehearsal. So here is a brief update. Continue reading
We survived! Barely. Actually, this time went quite a bit more smoothly than the last time. We processed 13 chickens – one of which was our friend Lily’s Cornish Cross Rooster, which dressed out at 8.89 lbs.! He was huge and almost didn’t fit into the killing cone. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading
Tomorrow is the big day. Not always something one looks forward to, but we have been working towards it for some time. We are physically read for processing. We have isolated the Rangers from the other chickens, they had all day to eat and run around; now they are at the no food portion of the evening. We have also placed Lily’s Cornish Cross Rooster in the kennel to keep him safe and also keep him from eating. We also gave him a frozen water bottle, because he was just so incredibly hot. When I left him, he was sitting on it and starting to feel a bit better. Our Rangers have an oscillating fan that they enjoy laying in front of during the day – it helps keep them cool – they were pretty relaxed when I was in there stealing their food this afternoon.
Dustin and Sue set up the processing area today. This time we’re going to do it under cover of the car port. We’re using a huge tarp on loan from Lily to keep everyone on. We think cleanup will be a lot easier this way; we are still picking up feathers from the last time and that was almost 6 months ago! It sounds like Dustin is planning on helping us out – so that may make things easier. We have two cones now; I had explained last time that this was a more humane way to dispatch the chickens. For a great explanation of the killing cone – and detailed instructions on how to make one, in case you’re in need of them – check out this blog post by Razor Family Farms. We didn’t make ours, they are readily available on-line… in case you’re wondering. Our plan is to begin early tomorrow, we have around 13 birds to process. Last time we only had 6 and it took us all day. We know what we’re doing now, and we have help so it should be faster this time. At least that’s what I’m hoping. If you are the praying type, I’d ask that you’d keep us in your prayers over tomorrow. It does take something out of us and is a long, tiring day. We will document the process as much as we can and share it with you on Monday. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s weather: HOT! It was 102° when I came home this afternoon. At least it wasn’t a humid as it had been. The heat is one of the reasons we moved the processing station to the car port area. At least we will be able to be in the shade for that part. High tomorrow is only supposed to be 94°.
Egg Report: for the last few days, we’ve been getting 7 eggs. That’s a nice number: Lucky Seven Sampson, for you School House Rock fans.