Beautiful Day!

Awe, man! Today is a reminder that summer is on its way – and one of those days that I wish I didn’t have to work… There’s not a cloud in the sky, no gale force winds to contend with and temperatures are in the high sixties. The chickens have done very well free-ranging in the afternoons though I wish I felt safe enough to let both the dogs and chickens run free together. I try to give each 1/2 a day out in the sunshine.

My “tiny chicken” has found a home. My last hatch had a surprise banty cochin in it – and though I’ve had it in the chick-condo with the babies, it wouldn’t be long before they would be double in size – which put me in a bit of a conundrum because big chickens could easily kill a tiny chicken without even meaning to. So tiny chicken is now “Chance” and lives with a sweet little girl addicted to the love of animals. Chance’s biggest worry now will be Leo – the chocolate lab…

My incubator is on schedule to start hatching tomorrow. I have not been nearly as attentive to this hatch as my previous hatches due to respiratory funk that I’ve just not been able to kick. Respiratory infections can pass from human to egg – hence the worry with Avian flu – so I’ve been careful to stay away. We’ll see if the hatch is successful or not within the next 48-72 hours or so.

Tonight will be my first night back to work after being sick. It’s one of the drawbacks of being a nurse. When sick people always surround you, it’s inevitable that eventually, you will catch something. Now the goal becomes to continue getting better and not get sucked back into the vortex of illness…

Spring Improvements

The chickens are free ranging and the dogs are not, I think we only have 1 cow left to calve this year and a friend is finishing my much desired garden boxes.  As much work as our lives can be at times, this is what makes it all worth it.  A ray of sunshine, two baskets of fresh eggs, playful calves running around the pasture, healthy happy dogs and dark fertile soil full of promises – this is the good stuff.

Learning to Blog

Inspired by a recent late night chick flick and the sad reality that technology has passed my comfort zone, I have decided to take on the blogging challenge. This is where you will learn that I can not spell, I spend too much time alone and that I learn everything I do from a book, the hard way or by winging it and getting lucky.

That being said, you will also learn that there are ranching books for hardcore farm folk – and there are animal hobby books written for city dwellers who have a few acres and a couple of farm animals but that when it comes to finding a book that teaches a subdivision kid how to manage a 160 acre backyard complete with cows, chickens and irrigation – well, not so much…  In truth, I’ve learned more about farm animals by reading the back of their feed sacks than any book. It’s the equivalent of learning to parent by reading the cereal box.

Today’s experiment involved cleaning outdated cans of food from the pantry and posed the question: What foods can chickens eat and what happens when they eat too much chili?  This will be one of those trial by error situations I was talking about earlier…