Monday, March 19, 2012

A Harbinger of Spring

Spring will soon be here.  It's been an easy winter, and spring is in like a lamb.  The geese are here, large flocks, and so are the crows and red-winged blackbirds.

Every year we have hummingbirds in the yard.  There is usually a family nesting in the spruce tree beside the house.  They arrive mid-May and I have their food waiting for them.  We always follow their progress on the internet.  Right now they're as far north as Tennessee and Oklahoma. Check this map out, it's pretty cool.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I got my catalogue from my favorite hatchery not too long ago.  Last year my order was royally screwed up.  They got the hatch days wrong, then I ended up with 100 wrong chicks when they finally showed up.  I like black or red birds.  They said my normal black birds ( red rock cross) that I order wouldn't be available because the hatch got screwed up. So, they talked me into red sussex cross which should be red. 

This is what I ended up with - 100 white chickens  They said they were red sussex cross but the parents were switched in the hybrid process.  Whatever.  All I know is that I've got free-range birds that the coyotes will be able to see from the neighbors.  Red or black camouflage themselves where as white sticks out.  We ended up loosing about 20 birds last summer. 

So, taking into account all those problems from last year, and the rising price of chicks ( again), I decided to go back to hatching my own.  I'll try to hatch about 150 birds, half will be boys and will go into the freezer.   I've got 75 eggs in the incubator now and they should hatch April 2. Not all eggs are viable, so I will probably end up with 50 or so.

When we home schooled and were learning about chicks I used this website.

It has a wealth of information if you ever wanted to know about hatching chicks.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Winter Gardening

Winter is the hardest part of the year for me.  I think I go into withdrawal when I'm not able to be out in my garden.  I love the garden in the early morning when the sun sparkles off the heavy dew.  I love to walk through the garden in the morning and check everything, to see who grew since the day before.  While doing my early morning walk I will decide what we're going to pick that day for market.  I am happy to putter in my greenhouse for hours on end with dirt under my fingernails.  I just can't wait for the snow to be gone, so like many other incurables, I start seeds early in the house.  I have a sun room on the the south side where the babies spend their days, then they come into the house at night.  We won't move to the greenhouse until it warms up at night.  It's not cost effective yet to run the heaters.  It's like Christmas morning when the boxes come from Stokes and Vesseys full of the promise of new growth.

Baby basil enjoying the hot March afternoon sun

Rosemary cuttings from some mother plants that I overwintered.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We're in the Navy!

Not too long ago Rebecca had her enrollment ceremony into the Canadian Navy Reserves.  She plans on doing that until she's finished high school and then joining the regular forces.  She will be gone for 9 weeks this summer to Halifax for her basic training.  You can't imagine how proud of her we are.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I recently got some new farm residents.  They are Black Swedish Ducks, a pair of them.  Right now they are living with the chickens, and not too happy about it.  It won't be long and there will puddles and streams for them to swim in and enjoy.  But for now they have to content themselves with bathing in the chicken water.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seven days. Six mommas and fourteen live  kids.  We're done kidding.  I'm back milking goats again for the summer.  Kidding went well, we only lost 1 out of a set of quads.  All families are doing well.

It's a windy cold day, but the door on the goat barn opens south.  Everyone is enjoying the warm sun.
I'm off from having babies until April first when we start these.

It won't be as easy as the goats and will last for a month.  I'm gonna enjoy my sleep now though.