Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catching Up with you. Part 1

Yeah - we are pretty horrible about staying up with this whole blogging thing. But hang on to your pantaloons, cause it is catch up time !  Oct/Nov 2011 - our 30 baby chicks arrive. 10 each of Black Stars, Barred Rocks and Rhode Island reds. Didn't lose a single one !!! We had our first experience with a litter of rabbits. Our momma California kindled a litter of 7. We lost all but 1 in the first 48 hours, that one lone bun survived for 10 days and then also died. We thought we were done - it was an awful experience. the Momma was not showing any signs that she was going to handle kindling  next time around well and then ( trumpets proclaiming) our friends from PA brought us a very experienced Momma rabbit. Izzabella. Bella is a baby making pro as rabbits go. We made it through December with no bad weather and only a few days of really cold temperatures outside. As we were sliding into January 2012 - Izzers is pregnant.... and yes on Jan 2, she kindled a gorgeous litter of 9 buns. Holy Cow Batman !!  5 survive the first week and we are now hunting new homes for 3 of those 5, and keeping 2 back to add to our "herd". 

Our 30 baby chicks are growing like crazy, they should start laying eggs in April !!
We have2 roosters. Yes I know - that is unexpected. We never wanted roosters. EVER.
But when we did the meat chicken adventure last year, we got 2 exotic free chicks from McMurray when we ordered the meat birds. Hoping that the freebies would be hens... didn't happen.  The Colonel started crowing- Thanksgiving morning. We identified him as a Silver Spangled Hamburg and is SO beautiful, but the bird has an attitude. After we had a serious "coming to Jesus" meeting 2 weeks ago - he is now leaving a wide berth around the kids.
So then fast forward to the mid of January - Brownie our pretty Partridge Cochin is full feathered and has the ginormous feathered feet- We're working outside on a weirdly warm Saturday and we hear this horrible noise, sounds like something is dying...... oh no - its "Brownie" trying to crow.... so renamed J. B. in honor of the lead singer from WideSpread Panic. Those dying sounds have become a lovely baritone croon. So we have decided to split the flock. Our hard core egg producing hens are going to go hang out with Colonel in the back of the property. My pretty fancies along with JB are going to stick close to the house along with the goats. Oh let me get to the goats.... Persephone got all out of whack from the HOT summer we had and once the cooler fall temps came back. She went right back on track with her heat cycle. We talked and talked it over and last week when Persephone did her thing, we had male goat product ready and waiting at the Vets office. Hoping, wishing and praying that all worked out and we will have our very own baby goats in July.  A few days after that it was Groundhogs day. Ben surprised me with getting us another goat. A 7 month old dwarf Nigerian doeling from a farm in KS. It was another adventure for us. Got her home, she is a stinking cute black and white doeling named Sierra. Has some very good bloodlines and we are hopeful for her.  Heading back to the chickens : we have roughly 50 laying hens - that should be laying now... as we type. The entire flock molted this summer. Some days I was only getting 8 eggs a day... from 50 hens. And when November hit - the feathers were mostly re-grown and egg production amped up. We now get 20-30 eggs A DAY and this is before the babies from Nov. have even started laying.  So we talk to our dear friends at BadSeed Market - if they have need for more eggs . Yes they do. So we are in the process of getting our egg vendor license and will be selling all excess eggs to them. I'm already selling 8-10 doz a week to everyone we know and we aren't going to be able to handle the eggs getting ready to arrive in just a few short months. YIKES.  Ben's greywater system is starting to take shape in our backyard. Especially now that we have had NO snow to speak of and its almost mid February.  I'll do part 2 of this catching up later in the week... for now I am all talked out.

Mrs Phantom

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