Friday, September 28, 2012

Rainy Friday

 Earl Gray has turned into quite the mouser. At least 2 every night for the past few days.

 The chickens will often eat the dead/dying mice.
But, not the moles. Jack thinks he is missing out on something.

 This is why we have fleeces with muddy tips!! Nice dry barn, and they want to lay out in the mud.
 Christopher, our newest Horned Dorset ram.
He is just 7 months old.

 Ewenice, a Romney ewe, is posing pretty.
 Christopher. Isn't he pretty?

 Gray Girl. A pearl Bantam that was left out of last weeks butchering.
She doesn't want to be in the barn with Bardo's crew, so she'll be in here for a bit.
 The girls are slowing getting used to their new digs.

 They were not happy with the shavings, at least not to lay in...
 Poly coated hardware cloth to keep out the bees and predators.
 Duck cloth to cover the windows
 This egg was freshly laid on the floor by the chicken below.
And, as you can see my surgery incision is healing nicely!

 Temporary door. The glass door will come off the other chicken house and replace this one.
There will be a smaller chicken door to the left of this.
 Look!! A dozen eggs in 2 days instead of a week.
And the Ameraucanas are laying as well.
The label says it all!
We recycle cartons, with our customers help, to keep prices down.
And the only eggs that get washed are the really dirty ones and I use those.
But, since we had the butchering day, we've had nothing dirtier than what you see above!

Face Book and Happy rainy Friday!

If you read our blog, and are on Face Book, would you consider 'liking' our farm page?

It's a rainy day here on the farm. I am pulling out the last of the items going to VT Sheep & Wool and lining it all up at the door. When, if, it lets up I can load a bunch at a time.

I think this year will be only fleece and roving. We will be having a fleece sale this year. Named fleeces will be 10 or 20% off. Haven't decided yet. Depends on how many I have. May end up 20% off. Un-named fleeces will be $10 each, 5/$40.  Roving is still priced lower than most of our we raise our own and get a lot given to us, so I can 'share the wealth' with others.

Hope to see you this weekend! TTFN!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moulting-how, when and why

As a still fairly new owners of chickens, I found this article very interesting. We are down to one or two eggs a day.

I pick up another group of older laying hens today. Hopefully one group will still be laying while the other group moults. This way we can still have eggs year-round.

 The greenhouse/chicken house and the transport cages.

 Most of the new birds are Ameraucanas.
 One white hen decided to come along as well. Possibly a white rock?
 With a few NH Reds thrown in to round out the numbers.

 One of my black sex links was in a nest when we brought the birds in.
I think this one stuck her head where it did not belong. The bleeding was stopped when I found her.
I checked on her again later when we put the others to bed and she appears to be fine.
 Notice the linoleum floor. It should make keeping the building cleaning easy.

 Under the nest boxes will be broody central, if it happens again.
 It will be nice to see eggs in there in the morning. Or the next day. Give them time to settle.
 As close to nature as they will come inside their house.

 We borrowed the cage in front from Denise. It held 15 birds.
The cage in the back from Pam held 10.
We now have a total of 45 hens and 1 rooster.

Good morning

Leaving shortly for an EKG at 8 am in Concord. Going to pick up a large crate from my friend Denise. Also need to load the crate from my other friend Pam.
We only had 1 egg yesterday, 2 the day before, 3 the day before that...Guess the girls are in official molt. )o:  But, their bodies need it to replenish their bones and bodies. They will be eggless for a while.
Headed to Salisbury after my appointment to see about picking up some adult hens to add to our flock. 

Leaving Jerry here to close up the last few holes on the chicken house. I will (if I get them) put the new girls in the by themselves for a day or two.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hoop houses and blogs

I am reading my way through this blog today and was reminded that I need to feel better soon and get my hoop house up and over my tomatoes. This hoop house will be temporary. The more permanent one will be inside the garden. Hubby used 32' of cattle panel covered with chicken wire on one side of the garden to keep out the sheep and chickens. The tomatoes were planted all that for stability as they grew. The only problem with that is the 30ish feet of raspberries growing in front of the tomatoes. So, I have green tomatoes, flowers on the plants still, and the threat of frost.

This is the blog I intimated to above. Hooping It Up! Hoop Houses by Earthineer.

I could spend all day here-

Here too-

And from another contributor to this blog, Salsa recipe..  

I am enjoying Lambykins posts!
Kitchen Scraps and Food Storage

The next thing to add to the farm is a solar dehydrator!!

That will keep you all busy for a while! TTFN!

Today is a sick day, literally!

I don't know if I picked up a bug yesterday with all the time I spent waiting to see the doctor (1 hour+), sitting with the woman trying to schedule my next surgery, and an EKG, and then getting 2 more vials of blood drawn....Oh yes. I sat waiting to get blood drawn earlier, 6 vials worth, for the young man to try to translate the handwriting on 2 lab slips for 2 different doctors and to hand write EVERYTHING because their computers were down. And then I had an hour to kill, so I ran to Staples to get what I need for our upcoming shows.
By the time I was done in Concord, it was time to go pick up Jerry from work. All that on only one cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin. Blah!

I, almost, know what it must feel like getting ready for a colonoscopy. I will not be going far from my computer today. Which is fine, because I have paperwork to catch up on and labels to print, and blogs to catchup reading, and....

I may just take a book out to the covered porch and try to soak up some rays and warm up for a bit. I may update the blog with Saturday's pictures from our chicken butchering day, and then again I might just leave those in the hard drive for reference later.

Off to find something to eat and to do my paperwork. TTFN!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Butchering day

Pam and John came to help/teach with the butchering of the 
birds that we got from them last year. John killed, skinned and 
took the breast and legs from the birds. The only one gutted 
was Little Roo. He is whole in my freezer. He would have
 stayed but he was mean to the girls!!

  Setting up for killing.
 Pam is trying to hang another and to stay away from the blood of the beheaded chicken

 Waiting for them to drain and stop moving.
It is true that they move around A LOT after their heads are cut off
 John cut the head off. He cuts the spine first, then the rest of the neck

 He cut the skin up the front of the bird like a zipper. 
Then he pulls the skin away from the breast and the leg.

 Cutting the breast away from the bone.
 Pam setting up her Seal A Meal

 My lead her is trying to figure out what John is doing.
 All of the bodies go into the tractor bucket  and then buried in the manure pile.
Come spring you'd never know that they are been there.
 Thankfully it was a chilly bug free day. 
As soon as some were sealed they went directly to the deep freeze.

 Jerry even got in on it.

 Bardo comes to see what is happening.
 Little Roo. Even though he was gorgeous, I can't have any mean animals here on the farm.
He's got his head up trying to figure out how to get out of there!

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