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