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Archive for April, 2012

Chick Crazy Week!

Hungry?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have been letting a few chickens hatch chicks. Well, this week we got results.

Last sunday our Seramas hatched 5 chicks.

Hera with day-old chick

One day later our friend, who had been incubating our serama eggs told us that she hadn’t been having much luck selling them (she lives out in BFE) and wanted us to give it a try. This resulted in 19 more 1-2 week old chicks showing up.

Breakfast Time

We also had someone else donate 6 serama chicks to us, which brought our grand total to 20 chicks! Some of these donated chicks were less than a week old so we decided to try letting the mommas raise them as well. This seemed to be a good idea the first night, but the next day the mommas attacked them so we had to pull the chicks out and put them in a separate brooder box.

While all of this was going on, we had 3 more chicks hatch. We don’t know who did it, but either our roo our one of the mommas killed a chick. It may be due to us bringing new chicks in the mix, or due to the chick being weak. I also read that when chicks are born several days apart that sometimes the chickens will kill the older chicks. We decided to remove the chicks, since we didn’t want to risk any more loss.

One of the chicks out foraging

There were two serama eggs left so we decided to let them try again. The chicks hatched and everything seemed to be going well. The family was out foraging, sun bathing and taking dust baths. Then for some unknown reason another chick was attacked. We were able to save this one, but not without injury. We will be keeping these two chicks separate for a while, since we don’t want the older chicks to attack the injured one. I don’t know if the seramas just aren’t cut out for this? I don’t know if we’ll let them try again, definitely not this year.

We’ve sold 12 chicks so far, so numbers are slowly going down. Thank goodness! We don’t need 30 chicks.

After the ups and downs of the seramas, things took an up turn today. We got two full size chicks.

First tiny hole. You can actually hear the chick peeping at this stage.

Looks to be half brahma, half rhode island red. This one is sitting under Priscilla.

This one looks to be full brahma. You can't tell from this photo, but the feet are completely feathered. This one is sitting under Fancy. Shirley is still waiting for hers.

If this wasn’t insane enough for one week, my husband brought home 3 turkeys today. The plan is to raise these for Thanksgiving. We just had posts put in this week and will be building a separate area for them next weekend.

Turkeys

We got a crash course in farm life this week. It seems you have to take the good with the bad, and be ready for the unexpected.

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Veggie Garden Update

I just wanted to put pics of where my vegetables are at the end of April for comparison.

First Beans

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

Okra - It looks like the aphids have already shown up

Luckily the ladybugs have too.

Amaranth. I have this on two different sides of the same bed. The one with more sun is significantly bigger. Last year I tried seeding outside and they never came up. This year I started indoors and the amaranth is thriving.

Looks ready for pickling 🙂

I'm not sure if this is a lemon cuc or my white variety. I'll have to wait a little longer to determine for sure.

Violet Jasper

I lost my sheet which have the locations of the different varieties. I'm not sure on this, will have to wait and see. Maybe Cherokee Purple?

Another large tomato variety

Romas

Amish Paste

Yellow Pear Cherry

Fox Cherry

Isis Cherry

Tomatillos. I put my hand in there for scale. They are huge!

Pomegranate. Last year at this time all of them had been stolen off the trees by some critter. I'm crossing my fingers that we get to keep a few this year.

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Paradise!!!

We spent the weekend in paradise, no, not Hawaii 🙂 We went to our friends’ lease, just north of Enchanted Rock, near Llano. The weather was perfect, the terrain was beautiful, and the wildflowers were in full bloom. It was Central Texas Paradise!

Photo-op at a little creek

30 year old sign next to "Killer Duck" Lake.

Went for a morning stroll with their dog, Beta.

This dome is the same height as Enchanted Rock, which you can see clearly from the top.

Awesome Rock Formations

This is the view from the cabin porch, amazing!

Meandering Daisies

Heading Back Home

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Which apparently means its time to hatch chicks. We’ve been fighting several of our hens for the last week to keep them from going broody. We’ve given up on a few. We have out Patridge Rock (Shirley), our Light Sussex (Priscilla), and our Splash Orpington (Fancy) currently sitting on eggs. Priscilla is on fake eggs right now, as we’ve been trying to force her into a specific box, but we plan on giving her duck eggs tomorrow. (Started April 9, 10)

We also have our 3 Seramas (Hera, Athena, and Demeter) sitting together on 9 eggs. They are the cutest things. They all sit together on the eggs so that they can get up one at a time and the others will keep the eggs warm, and I’m sure sitting on eggs can be a little tiresome, why not have your 2 best friends there with you? (Started April 1)

 

 

 

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It must be due to the rather wet winter, but the caterpillars are absolutely terrible this year. I didn’t have anywhere near this many last year. This is only my second spring at my current house, so I’m not sure if this is the norm or not. I haven’t busted out the Bt yet, I’ve just been going out several evenings a week and picking off the caterpillars after dark. We’ll see if I can keep this up 🙂

 

Tonight's Haul

 

 

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