Monday, February 28, 2011

Dreaming of Spring

It's snowing. Again. Big Fat Flakes are floating down. *sigh* I DO love snow, don't get me wrong. But I am ready to be out in the garden, digging in the dirt and watching things grow. I want to watch chicks play in the grass for the first time! I want to finish my goat pasture fencing! ug!

I just ordered new raspberry and strawberry plants last night. I hope I will be able to get them in the ground when they get here! The berries I bought are Tulameen Raspberries and Shuksan Strawberries. Both kinds are supposed to do well in the PNW, and especially in my yard of poor drainage. AND they are not patented or trademarked or whatever. :-/ As tempting as the new Puget Summer strawberries were to us, they are patented. And literally this means you can't grow your own plants from the runners, you can't share your extra plants with other gardeners and on and on and on. How ridiculous is that?? Not only is it ridiculous, it's scary. And that is a whole OTHER conversation.

So for now.. I will just keep dreaming of Spring, leafing through the seed catalog and sketching and re-sketching the goat 'barn', and watch those fat flakes fall to the ground. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

little dinosaurs

Just when you thought you had some chickens.. you find you actually have a couple of good old fashioned dinosaurs in the hen house.. (also known as Broodie girls)



Thursday, February 24, 2011

random pictures from a couple weeks ago...


Hedwig--a white frizzle cochin

Slick-- one of the pet silkies

Big Bird, the one Standard hen we have.. she is a Light Brown Leghorn

Susan, the beautiful Silver Duckwing Araucana queen of the yard. :)

Snow Day!

We are having a beautiful, lazy snow day here. My son is home from school.. the fire's goin', snow flakes are falling... Love It!

I'll take some pictures later today, and post them.

The play of light across the snow is always so pretty..

Winter Trees

Most of the chicken gang hanging out on the straw


Miss Val

Spring is trying so hard to be here!!

Waiting for birds...

The daphne is just starting to wake up

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Peas in by Presidents Day!

At least that's the old saying!
We also got some Spinach and my favorite Mesclun Salad Mix in as well. MmmMM!

I had some excellent little farm hands, and it was a beautiful day to be outside.

There's always time for playing with the chickens!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An update on the Sickens

I just wanted to let you all know that Cee Cee has been doing fabulous. She has started laying again on a regular basis. Woot! :)

Voltron is back out and about with a hen. He is also back to his normal bratty self. ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hatching ... not for the faint hearted...

It's hard to fool Mother Nature. If she ain't ready for chicks.. then it's pretty hard to hatch them. Between non fertile eggs, and my inexperience.. sheesh. I know some folks are really good at it and can probably hatch a rock in their incubators. But I am really new, and have zero experience. I am learning as I go. I got my new incubator, so learning where the settings need to be for it's location in the house -- it's all going to take time.

The January 21st set was 18 eggs. 5 of those hatched and 3 lived. And they are DURN adorable if I say so myself! Two Seramas, and one Mille Fleur Cochin. Little balls of fluffy cuteness overload!

I tried the egg carton method in the hatcher.. I had read that people swear by it. You set your eggs air cell up in the carton inside your hatcher and it helps prevent the hatched chicks from rolling the hatching chicks around. I noticed that a few pipped and hadn't been able to orientate themselves correctly, so never hatched. THAT was frustrating to see. I think this next time I will not do that and see how it works out....

So.. for now .. The Peep Show is small-but mighty! ;)

~~~Because you can never have enough chick pictures!~~~
KatKong stalking Peepzilla (a Serama)

The light colored Serama

The Mille Fleur Cochin.. being watched... :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boys will be Boys

It started with name calling from across the yard. Then it was Trash Talkin 'bout Yo Mama up close... Then... it was eyeball to eyeball through the fence. Blood was shed. Lots of it. Neither won, neither lost.

You see, I like to let the Cochins out of their tractors, one pair at a time, when I am home to supposedly keep an eye on things. (where was I anyway? Probably daydreaming). Well, AJ of the Cochin Coops and Voltron of the Main Yard thought they would square up with one another, just to see who might be Top Boy. Welllp, neither of them are-sorry to say-because Mr. Sir is King of the Yard and I don't know what HE was doing either during this... Maybe he thought if AJ took care of Voltron, that would be one less headache for him to deal with. Who knows, but I am sure he had a motive. Maybe he paid AJ to off that little brat.

AJ was easy to catch and clean up.

Voltron.. not so much. He really is a brat and pretty wild. I'm working on that. My husband and I chased him around the yard, we had him almost cornered when Voltron tried to make a break between my feet. I accidentally stepped on him. Voltron's day had just got a lot worse. BUT, lucky for him, he was only shocked--literally, I had to treat him for shock, dumb chicken. Nothing was broken.. for which I am relieved.

He is in the Sicken Kennel, in the Kitchen, complaining about the lousy food and no women. He is recoverin' nicely.

Little does he know, his Wild Boy days are over. He is going into a pen, (with a woman of course) so that I can handle him and work on his Table Top Skillz. He is gonna hate it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

SEEDS! And some hutches..

When I went to visit my Dad last weekend, I was able to go through The Seed Stash. whhhooo how fun was that! All kinds of stuff that he and my mom have saved from their garden thru the years. Tomatoes, Squash, Carrots, Dill, Peas, Beans... I can't wait to start growin' stuff. It's a neat way to carry on a part of my Mom too. :)

I am also going to finally be able get the ducks separated into their hutches. Nathan helped me fix the roof on a couple of them. I hate taking them off the ground, but it's only for the breeding season, then they can be back to muckin' around doing what they like--eating slugs n bugs. It just might give the yard some time to recover from their Tender Ministrations........ ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Everyone is happy all around

Had a nervous start to the week.
As I was leaving for work on Tuesday morning I heard a huge ruckus in the front yard. This is where my breeding cochins live in their tractors. "The Cochin Coops". I recognized Talon's panicked squawking --how goofy is that, to recognize your chickens sounds??-- ;) Anyway, I ran around to the front of the house to find two stray dogs in our yard!

One was an Australian Cattle dog and the other was a large black wolfish looking dog. The black dog immediately took off across the yards, but the little one was too intent on herding up Talon and Sheryl. I yelled at them to GO ON OUTTA HERE! and they took off.. or so I thought. I HAD to leave for work.

Luckily my son was home from school, so I thought he would be able to keep an eye on things for me.

My husband texted me later in the morning telling me he had also chased the dogs off himself as HE was leaving for work. This set me into full blown panic mode -- imagining all kinds of awful at home--I tried to call Cameron. Being the teen that he is, he was still in bed at 10:30 and I could NOT wake him up. Dratted kid. I hit redial on the phone a hunnert times in a desperate attempt to rouse the dead. 'Cause you KNOW if he can't hear the flippen phone in the house, he isn't hearing the chaos going on outside. AN HOUR of this, and he sleepily asks 'what's up momma?' I will not tell you the things I said to my son, my pride and joy... ;)

Anyway, he got up and checked on everyone.. caught the cattle dog who was making a HUGE nuisance of herself, and tied her up with some food and water. The wolf dog was too shy to get near, and I told him to keep it that way. Tying up the lil dog kept him around and kept her out of mischief. I called all the animal control places near me, as well as the nearest veterinary hospital, leaving descriptions of them. I also listed them as FOUND on craigslist--gotta love that thing right?

Someone finally called on them Wednesday afternoon, desperately hoping I still had said doggies in my possession. YES YES YES--PLEASE go get them ASAP... which he did.