Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Lost Has Been Found!!

My sister was finally able to locate the hidding guinea nest.  It had 60+ eggs in it, and out of those 60+ only 6 of them were bad.  I didn't know how old the eggs were, and since they were too heavy to float properly, I had no idea which ones weren't good any longer, so I gave them all to my chickens.  I had some very very happy hens lemme tell you what!!! LOL

The guineas are most displeased, and Ms. Bunny didn't steal all the eggs, leaving about 5 so they would potentially still lay their eggs there, but the nest was kind of really gross.  I went in to look at it and they had obviously been laying their eggs here for a good LONG time.  You could SMELL the nest long before you saw it... and it makes me really wonder how in the world I ever missed it!!  However, in my defense, they DID choose to lay their eggs underneath a large mulberry tree that drooped down to the ground and created a natural "cave" of sorts.  I think it even ended up "protecting" them from most of the rain, which is kind of neat.

Ever since the summer warmth kicked in I stopped bothering to pen them up, so they've been "on their own" without me feeding them at all for probably close to 4-months. 

We had 4 guineas to start with, thought we had at least 1 roo, but have not seen any keets out of them, so if we do have a roo, the hens are just too stupid to properly raise the chicks and keep walking away from them & they all die... OR we don't have a roo at all.  Either way... I'm not very impressed with guineas.  Thinking of butchering them out when I butcher out the roosters... but we'll see.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New chicken pen, & other goings on lately

Our homestead has been busy!!!  Goodness gracious!! 

  • Ms. Bunny has been building and painting me a sign to put by the side of the road to advertise the chicks, eggs, etc. I have for sale.
  • Mr. Massey Ferguson has been employed by an elderly woman to help maintain her property, as well as his normal everyday work around here.
  • My husband & dad worked together & built me another chicken pen (second one thus far, both have same dimensions, but one has lots of roosters and the other doesn't.) which I am currently using to contain the roosters destined for the stew pot.  The new pen is entirely too good for them, but my hens don't like the new pen because it is too "clean" they say, so they keep parading right back into their hen house and making nasty clucking noises in my direction for even making such a suggestion as to MOVE!  lol
  •  Mom, Ms. Bunny & I are preparing to begin the corn preservation push (we put up between 30 & 60 quarts of sweet corn per year).  That corn is a very much enjoyed food during those long cold winter months.
  • Our garden was a fail on almost all fronts this year.  Except for the raspberries, everything failed to produce anything, which was a disappointment but it's just how the world works sometimes.  Unfortunately we'll just have to end up buying broccoli, carrots, potatoes, and onions this next year... We've never been allowed to grow our own corn, if we were to grow corn it would mess up the seed corn grown by the farmers who rent our land, so the corn we get is grown for us and the other land owners by the farmers who've signed our contracts.  However the raccoons have found the corn patch, so I don't know how that has been handled thus far but live traps & poison were on the list of possible ways to resolve the issue.
  • Little Frog is busy as a little bee!!!  He's crawling full throttle now, into everything, pulling himself up on furniture and walking along it.  Even though he is 9-months, he is registering in the 92nd percentile on development and abilities.  We suspect it is due to having 6 adults in the house and all of the non-electronic stimulation he receives from being in a large household. (I do not allow him to play on or watch any electronics).
  • Dad is busy busy busy with his honey bee "ladies" as mom calls them.  His bee hives are doing fantastic, he's had to add several extra boxes because his "ladies" are working so hard that they are just filling everything up to the brim.  If their behavior is any indication, this coming winter is going to be a very very hard one.  Dad is making plans to move the hives into a storage shed nearby to protect them from the winter winds, also contemplating providing some sort of a heating system in the event that the interior temperatures drop below 40*F.  He is ecstatic that they are doing as well as they are since this is his first year keeping bees.
    • He has realized that he knows as much, if not more than most "experts" because he has spent SO MUCH TIME researching, reading, watching videos, talking to people in the area, looking at various set-ups...  My dad & I are both the type of people who do a lot of research about things we get into.  Total immersion and all that stuff.
  • I was "given" 11 chickens last night.  10 chicks that are 2-weeks old of various "mutt" breeds because they are 50% white leghorn, but the other half of their breeding is:  welsummer/brahma cross, white leghorn (not a mutt of course), buff brahma, rhode island red & australorp) in various numbers.  Also 1 barred rock (adult) rooster, that has been dubbed Coronal Sanders because he is most definitely going to be eaten.  He scared little frog by crowing in his face, already has spurs, is too pompous and struts around like he's gonna attack anything that comes too close to him.  It hasn't helped his temperament that he has been 100% free range for his entire life, but I am currently counting the days before these boys are getting tossed in the pot.
    Coronal Sanders

    Over-all look at 1/3 of the rooster house.
    Rusty (EE)
    No-name EE 2
    No-name EE 1

  • The three below are NOT being put in the pot, but while I'm posting rooster photos I thought these boys needed some recognition too! lol



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Butchering issues

I have done a headcount, and have 7 roosters. (1 Silver lace wyandotte, 1 jersey giant, 3 easter egger, 2 buff orpington) so such decisions... I decided the buffs and 1 easter were going out the door for sure, looked up how to butcher them and on a whim looked up WHEN to butcher them... and have realized I'm 10-weeks early! Gah!! I thought they were kinda "thin" when I picked them up but thought it was just because they're roosters... I guess if I let them live awhile longer, keep them penned up away from the rest of the flock and feed them meat food they will fatten up a lot more?? Perhaps this is worth considering... I don't really like how thin they are... it seems as though it isn't worth all the work... but they are fighting amongst themselves... and my hens are getting over-bred by the not-quite totally mature roos...

I really don't know what to do... do I let them keep growing, keeping them separated out from each other?  Do I butcher them now and be done with it?? *humph...* I don't know.  I think its time to ask my mother..

Rodney - Jersey Giant - probably keeping him

Rusty - EE - Keeping him or Roger, probably not both

Roger - EE - Keeping him or Rusty, not both

Lightning - Silver Lacey Wyandotte - probably keeping him

Buff orpington roo 1 of 2; not named; plan to butcher
 Then there is a non-named EE that is also planned to be butchered out

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New dog - finally have another german shepherd

On July 11 our family lost one of our long time pets, Hannah the dog.  This was also the day my sister turned 18, and the day before Melody & Steven got married.  At that time, everyone knew that it would be only a matter of time before we got a new dog.  That new dog was found and purchased on 7/17/2014 via the classified ad paper.

He is a good addition to our "ranks".   His name is Kirby, he is 9-months old, and he is of german shepherd leanings in his breeding although the previous owner wasn't 100% what exactly he has in him because of some random crap he may or may not have made up on the spot about a dog stealing ring sting and Kirby being part of it.  (( The guy was a real douche bag, so he could have very well stolen him himself to turn some coin. ))

Either way, he's better off here on our farm, seems happy with his new home, and loves to play.  Someone has worked with him to teach him commands like sit, stay, roll over, back up, lay down, fetching a ball either thrown or hit with a bat, tug of war etc.  He's a bit thin and I believe the previous owners to have been limiting his food in an effort to keep the feed bill down, combined with the overall stress of being part of a stolen dog ring sting (so the guy claimed) then getting a new owner, then another new owner... stuff like that can really put some stress on dogs ya know?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Goings on around here lately

**  Purchase offer for bantams, husband wanting to become breeder for hire, and possible lost chicken

It looks as if one of my laying hens has either gone missing, or was attacked last night.

When I put them all away last night I did a general glancing headcount, but didn't check-list count them each and every one...  Guess perhaps I should have.  We had 5 eggs this morning just like normal, since one hen hasn't been laying.  Not sure which one it is, but I have my guesses. 

On another note, I found somewhere that I can technically purchase my husbands breeding stock, if he so chose, however he says they are charging too much.  I agree, but it is what it is.  I guess he would rather by 20 birds and spend $100 than buy 5 birds and spend $50, because then he can decide and choose which ones he likes best for his breeding stock rather than picking the cast-offs from someone else's flock.  And Amish flock to boot... which for those who are unfamiliar, Amish livestock are generally less than desirable when it concerns the english buying them.  Generally anything purchased must go through extensive TLC and isolation, above and beyond normal regiments because they've been so poorly cared for.

And on another topic still, one of our barns partially collapsed in the recent storms we've had, thankfully no one was hurt including our animals but some of dads collectors grade antiques were at risk, so in the collapsing and so forth, it's become very evident that it's time to move out some.   My father has accumulated several of these over the 2 decades that he's hauled milk, and although in some ways I suppose he feels as if he is selling off part of "himself", it is literally money sitting in the barn waiting to be made.

Mom and I know their approximate value.  The lack of rust, the stamping on the cans identifying them to their original creameries, and the dates in the stamps raises the value to $150 per can.  We're selling them for $100.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Weapon Concealment thoughts

Just jotting down a few thoughts as I look around for alternative ways to conceal carry. 

**  On a side note, I love my firearm.  I love the lines, the form, the way she handles, the way the grip fits my hand as if it were made just for me... the gushing could continue but I digress...

Can Can Concealment:  These ladies have several holsters that I would love to try out.  I love this whole concept, love the idea, the colors, the extra pockets, however both my husband & I are concerned about several points.   The safety factor of only a piece of elastic, albeit a snug piece, holding my weapon to my body whilst I care for our son is a major concern.  If it contained a way to "hold" the weapon into the pocket, such as a loop or piece of velcro, I might be less leery of the safety factor here, but... as it does not, I am being very cautious.  So keeping with the thought path of "absolute most safety possible", I am considering using a secondary form along with it, that will help to fully cover the trigger.   There are several brands of holster available that use kydex that has been formed to your specific weapon, and these are quite appealing to me, although I am not overly thrilled with the lack of a "loop" in this instance either.

Back to my original topic though, the main belly band holster I would like to try from this company is the Big Shebang. But all in all, I would also love to test out all three. (The corset, belly band & the garter).... but with prices starting at $69 on up from there... this is just something that will need to wait for a later time!  They are truly works of art though.

Foxx Holsters:  Again there are several holsters I would like to try from this company, but the main two are "In the waistband hybrid" (two clip) & "In the waistband little foxx hybrid" (one clip).  This company offers lots of different colors for the kydex portion and THAT part will be a really difficult decision.  However I can deal with the price of these a lot better than some of the others I've found. :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The goings on in our world over the last week

SURPRISE rex bunnies!





Roger being roger.  Very cocky, very strutty

Buff Orpington Rooster - also for sale if anyone is interested, although he will be a stew pot guest if no one is.

One of the 4 red pyle old english roosters for sale

Spazzy, being very photogenic

Larry, being cocky.

Ms. Bunny's rex had another surprise litter.  9 of them this time! 

The beeplas playing & scratching under the elderberry's

Friday, June 20, 2014

First of the beepla's have crowed!

"Roger" the red and black Americauna rooster has officially crowed and is letting the whole world know he exists!  It's rather humorous actually because its more like a croak than a crow. LOL

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Photos of das beeplas! :-D

One of the Light Brahma Hens

SPAZZY!!!  Bahaha he's the most "show-off", photogenic, gentle rooster I've ever met. :-D 
He even lets my son pull on his feathers and he doesn't squawk or try to get away.

A light brahma hen & a jersey giant hen

Silver Lace Wyandotte rooster.  Thinking of naming him "lightning".

They're getting more adventurous!  Not quite comfortable enough with the outdoors to venture out of the barn, but they are getting closer!

Light brahma hen

Light brahma hen

Stella, 1/2 pastel easter eggers

Rodney, my jersey giant rooster

Roger, 1/2 easter egger roosters

Light brahma hen trying to figure out if this silver pan of water is a good thing or a bad thing...

Roger is investigating the food pan

2/2 pastel easter egger hens

They just got let out of the coop... it was a giant wave of 7-week old chickens!  LOL They were running so fast that some got trampled and went head over apple cart.

The adventurous light brahma who actually leaves the barn
The adventurous light brahma who actually leaves the barn.  She's pecking around under an old truck.

Roger being all pompous & strutting his stuff

Lightning poking around being nosy

All of the others following this point are Moms Isa Browns being nosy and poking around the yard for stuff to eat.  :-)