Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Coop

Well this post has been sitting in the edit box for 3 weeks. Between vacation, planting and some technical issues( computer illiteracy) I am a little behind. We had planned on building a new coop but our time line was accelerated when on the 2 day of vacation I came downstairs to find one of the new chicks out of the brooder and strutting around the kitchen floor like she owned the place.. SO... we kicked it into high gear and got the coop done in 3 days.

I have mentioned before that we went through a rather lean time financially, and as a result had to make due with what we had to complete the projects we wanted to do. I recommend this approach to anyone. When you tell yourself that a trip to the hardware store in not an option then it is amazing what you can come up with. Necessity really is the mother of invention. In that spirit we decided to build the new coop with the most common of urban detritus, Pallets. A quick add on craigslist and we were in business.

The shingles were donated by Friends( thanks Brian and Mary) and the siding was saved from the scrap pile from a neighbor who made furniture out of old fencing. The total cost was around 75$. So without further ado.
We used the dimensions of the pallets to guide the construction, and even used 1/3 pallets upside down for the nesting boxes. It ended up being a really easy method of construction and we are planning on building the goat shed the same way. The chickens really seem to enjoy having a little more space, and we were able to move the baby chicks into the old coop and out of the kitchen.

In other news we are planning yet another garden expansion. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Local Honey

I went to " A Beautiful Day"(3918 Broadway St ) for some bumper stickers and stumbled across some local honey. I have bought local honey at City Market before but it is local to Missouri , and is usually been processed. This new honey is local to KC and unprocessed. It has a more complex taste and texture. It is also darker and thicker. I have been taking a teaspoon in the morning in a attempt to help my allergies,and it is a pretty palatable medicine If you are in the market for some REALLY good local honey give Blue Moon a try.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saga of the Clothesline

When we decided to fence off the back portion of the backyard for Chicken and future goat use - we had to move the clothesline. Mrs Phantom refused to have to lug baskets of clothes through fencing and gates. We hunted online till we found one that was the style we wanted and during a snow day in March - it was installed. Previous to the snow - I had dug and made a very good concrete foundation for the clothesline.
Let me share some info - the Clothesline that we got- advertised it would hold 4 loads of laundry at one time. Sturdy pole and flexible cord that would handle wet laundry. So now flash forward about a week - Mrs Phantom is ready to try out the new clothesline and hangs a load of towels out.
It was not all that windy out - really just a great Spring day to hang out clothes.

Yeah the sturdy pole SNAPPED.

Needless to say we were not impressed and after going through the hassle of getting the thing and then it breaking - we're not dealing with that website again, and are now thinking of other options. We love our towels and bed sheets in the summer to smell fresh and like sunshine. Back to the drawing board we go.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Colorful Additions to the Farm Flock -Mrs Phantom

A few months ago, we were in need of egg cartons and Mr Phantom said lets just order some from Murry McMurry Hatchery so I did. BUT while I was wandering around their site - I came across a special Ornamental laying collection. You would get 25 chicks of mixed variety from the more fancy breeds of chickens. Of course I ordered them. The chicks arrived this week...

Monday to be exact. Picked them up at the post office, got them home and settled in the brooder. So far - we have lost 2. the website says its normal to have a 1-2% mortality rate. But it makes it no easier.
Anyways - now that we have had the chicks for a few days we have been going through trying to determine what breeds we got in our variety pack.
OK so best we can tell - we have a Sultan or 2. One Buff Laced Polish, Several of the White Crested Black Polish, we think we have 2 Golden Polish and possibly a Silver Polish, 2 Crevecoures. Oh wait there is more.... a Buff Cochins, a few Red Caps and some Golden Campines. They are the cutest bunch of little fluffs. High energy and very entertaining.

As of this post the chicks are almost 1 week old. We'll let you know how the rest of this adventure goes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crop Mob. The conclusion.

Thanks for all the help to everybody who showed up on Saturday. We were able to get everything done plus some. Now let the planting begin.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ducks - post by Mrs Phantom Chicken

I grew up on a farm in SW MO. My family had cows, dogs and a herd of cats. We attempted a horse once and it didn't go so well. Needless to say, I love critters. Grew up always having something furry under foot, so when Mr Phantom wanted chickens - I said sure why not ? Eggs would be great. Then we started talking about dairy goats - so I said yes and I know exactly what kind I want us to get. ( by the way - goats arrive end of May) Conversation went on to ducks - and now there I was not too sure, till I discovered Indian Runner Ducks. Instantly fell in love and I received 2 of them for Easter.
This pic is of them the 1st night at the farm.

What a great gift - so I immediately start researching the best ways to care for them (since I now had some in my care.) What they need - what helps them to thrive and I have discovered that they are some of the most fascinating creatures { I think} God ever created. I have really enjoyed the website .
This is the site of the Indian Runner Ducks Association. Full of information and wonderful pictures.

I am anxiously watching my ducklings as they are losing their "fluff" and starting to get in their feathers. Hopefully when they are fully feathered and I can tell what colors they are - I can determine the sex of the birds. Because right now - we are clueless ! I only know we have super cute yellow things. In fact that's what I have been calling them - Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Loud little creatures..... very talkative, messy and love to play in the drinking water.

This pic is 2 weeks later, of them outside in their safe pen in the chicken yard.

So onward we go - learning about new critters and having adventures here on our little urban farm. Its wonderful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Egg info.

This is something my friend Jeff sent me. He is just getting into the gardening/urban agriculture thing and lives right up the street. Check out his blog. The modern minimalist.
Maybe this is why we can't keep eggs.
Seriously, we never have more than 3 or 4 eggs in our fridge because when people find out that we raise chickens/grow eggs they want them. Then their friends want some, then their friends parents want some. We actually have a waiting list.
Our friend Cheryl took a dozen eggs with her to a get together in Saint Louis and two pans of eggs were made. One of conventionally raised eggs, and one of ours. Apparently the pan of conventional eggs just sat there while ours were devoured.
Our chickens rock.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

retro razor update

I posted about a month ago about my new razor from retro razor. I have been shaving daily with it and am still on my First Blade. So at the rate I am going I received enough blades with the sample pack to last me a year. If I was using mach 3 blades my shaving habit would cost me roughly 156$ yearly. The retro razor with shipping was around 30$. So I am making a proclamation.
Everyone! Buy a RetroRazor! Save the World!( and a whole lot of cash)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Chickens

We have chickens. We started with 8. Two were killed so we got 4 more. Aliens abducted one so we got 8 more. somewhere in there we lost another one. So that brings the current population to 18. We have on order 25 baby chicks from Murray mcmurray to be here in 2 weeks. (that makes 43)

Guess what my dad got the grandkids for easter?
I hope no one from the city reads this blog.