Posts from the ‘Chickens’ Category

2014 Wrap-up (Prt 1)

Note: I have been working on this post for a month and a half. No joke. Between school, business, travel, sickness and poor Internet connection, it has seemed to take “forever” to get this much accomplished. No wonder I’m not much of a consistent blogger! This post was going to be all of 2014…and then the first half of 2014. But, as you will see, June is not included. Oh well. Close enough for me at this point. It will just have to be included in the second half of 2014. Hope you enjoy what there is and I’ll do my best to hurry with the rest.

Again, the days…the weeks…the months slipped by. Blogging just isn’t high on my priority list when we are busy living life. But, I do want to preserve a little of it the best I can. I gave up trying to scrapbook a long time ago and, instead of a “diary”, I keep a daily “calendar.” My next best attempt is to summarize our happenings here. I used to do it monthly…that’s still my goal…for now this will have to suffice. Without further ado, here is a summary of 2014.

January

Pretty slow and uneventful after the holidays.

23rd – My bday.

February

5th – Oldest moved out. Will be staying with friends and looking for a job where there are better opportunities.

8th – Butchered and ate our first home-raised rooster! He was big and meaty and tasty! Mmmmm!

1rst Home-raised Roast Rooster
1rst Rooster Drumstick!

9th – First egg from “Downstairs Bantam-mix.” On schedule for their ages. Egg count will grow quickly now we hope!

March

5th – First day over freezing. 34F! The chickens were let out for a while. They sure enjoyed it!

Fresh Air Nest   Feb-March2014016_zpsb04f385a

6th – First time getting max. number of 8 eggs!

Eggs!  Beautiful Eggs!

7th – G. bday. 3 years old!
26th – Q. bday. 11 years old!

April

3rd – Hit 40F for the first time! I say it’s Spring…
7th – L.’s 7th Bday!
27th – P.’s 9th Bday!
28th – E.’s first kill on his own (besides chickens). Look out squirrels!

This…just because he’s sooo cute!
April2014016_zpsd47f994f

May
Started off with a bang with 68F on the 1rst! Hit a high of 80F on the 13th! Temps stayed pretty much above normal the whole month (upper 60s & 70s) during the day and dropping off to regular low temps (30s, 40s) at night.

Chickens continuing to lay well.

The day we took everyone to the Yak farm we also spent some time doing a favorite activity when we are down that way. Playing at the “sand hills.” Everyone comes home quite covered from head to toe with sand (the younger ones at least) but they have such a great time it’s worth it. πŸ™‚

Climbing the Sand Hills

May2014058_zpsf40139e8-1

P - Sand Hills

L & G - Sand Hills

Sometimes you get sand in your mouth while sliding down…then it’s not so fun any more.

G- Sand Hills

Mama helped him clear his mouth and gave him some water to rinse it and all was right with his sandy world again. πŸ™‚

11th – Mother’s Day was celebrated with a tire blowout on the highway to church. Managed to get most of the children to church with friends while youngest two stayed at my Aunt’s with their oldest sister and W. and I dealt with car. I received some lovely gifts though (along with some handmade cards not shown) and am a very blessed and grateful mother!

May2014073_zpsdc150eb2   May2014078_zps03e7b106

My children are always being creative. This time we discovered a pendent that the 15yo made matched her shirt perfectly – not only the colors but the flower design as well! Totally unintentional. πŸ™‚

C. Funky Pendent 5.14

The creativity even extends to chores. I asked this same child to wash some throw rugs as the weather was perfect for drying them fast on the clothesline. I suggested she hang them up, hose them down, scrub with a brush and hose again. She made a face and was reluctant. So, I suggested she could always throw them in the kiddie pool and stomp on them…half jesting. She thought that sounded like more fun! The video is even funnier…but I promised I wouldn’t post it. πŸ˜‰

C. Washing Rugs

The boys get in on the creativity too of course. Here is the 11yo’s get-up for the day’s “war game”…

Q. War Get-up    Q. War Get-up 2

His ingenuity and improvisation tickled me! Oh, what would life be like without duct tape… ‘Cuz, you know, a combo nerf / light saber gun is better than a plain one! πŸ˜‰

My oldest son (13yo at the time) got creative with a dip net and one of our rubber balls. The two older boys were trying to think up a new game to play. The other son had a big stick. He would try to hit the ball after his brother tossed it to him from the net. I think we’ll call it AK Lacrosse-Cricket…AK LaCricket…AK Cricrosse… πŸ˜‰ They looked like they were having a good time and there was a lot of laughing! Laughing is good. πŸ™‚

E dipnet ball E.'s New Game

We also finished gathering eggs from our own hens (2nd time) to hatch! The borrowed incubator had a capacity of 42…yeehaw! That will be the most we’ve ever raised at once and will boost our hen ratio substantially – Lord willing! Here they are marked, the incubator up to temp, and ready to go in…

Eggs Ready for Incubator

‘Til next time,
Tamara

ps – The second half of 2014 will be in a future post. Stay tuned…

Garden UpdateΒ +

I found the first ripe raspberry last night! Mmmm, was it good! πŸ™‚ Gave baby his first taste ever! He thought it quite sour…oh, the puckered lips!…but he asked for more. πŸ˜‰

I didn’t venture too far into the patch as two rather large webs caught my eye… I’m arachniphobic. Seriously dislike spiders. With our recent warm summers (anyone catch the PBS show on the warming trend in AK?) and looong daylight hours, we are starting to grow mongo bugs around here. (You should have seen the catapillar dd2 came home with the other day! It was at least 3 inches long and as big around as my middle finger! It escaped before we could take it’s pic or I’d show you. πŸ˜‰ ) Last year, I found a *huge* spider in the patch and that’s part of the reason I didn’t pick as much (along with it being terribly over grown and not producing well, etc). Well, I’ve let it get over grown again but this time I had done some heavy pruning in the Spring so from where I was standing it looks like the patch has done well this year despite the jungle it became. I caught sight of the spider that made them…it’s big too and the same kind that freaked me out a few days ago above our deck.

I went out late one evening to put the chickies in their carrier for the night and happened to catch a glimpse of a blob above my head off to the right. I had been knocking down webs every morning attached to the railing or the clothesline but hadn’t seen the culprit yet. Ugh!!! Was it gross! I changed my mind about the chickens and came in exclaiming to the family and everyone had to rush and see except dh…he :rolleye: his eyes (figuratively)…until the children told him how big it was. Then, after he saw it it was deemed worthy enough to have it’s pic taken! LOL

Anyway, that was the first. A couple days later, the same kind and almost as big was found in one of the playhouses. Oldest dd tried knocking it down to step on it but lost it in the grass. Last night, a third was found above the front porch and then I found a fourth in the patch. This morning I found a fifth in the other playhouse. I think they are surrounding us for an attack!!! (Actually, dh teased me that the one above the deck was trying to catch me since I inevidibly caught part of the web in my hair every morning… :-P)

So this morning, I put the chickies in the playhouse the children refused to play in as I wanted to move the other to a new place. Discovered both spiders and decided to give the chickies a snack. (evil grin) So, I took the hose and knocked down the spider in the empty playhouse and then grabbed the largest pullet and set her in there close to it…she spied it and gobbled it lickety split.

Chickens 1 Spiders 0

Yay!

Took her back to the other playhouse, knocked that spider down with the rake but that one laid still and didn’t catch the attention of the chickies. So, I pushed back the grass and wiggled the stick I was using a tad and the chickies came to investigate. The Silver Laced caught it but was slow to gobble so the pullet I used previously snatched it out of her mouth and dropped it in the feed dish to be sure it was ediable and then yum-yum! (another evil grin) So, the score should now be:

Miriam (name of that chickie ;-)) 2 Spiders 0

We are now devising ways to catch the other spiders and get them into the feed dish. >:-) So far there are no volunteers to do the actual deed but there sure is a lot of nominating going on! πŸ˜‰

Back to actual gardening news…

I picked the first two zucs yesterday. Yum-Yum! Sauted one with some of the fresh bushbeans and some garlic cloves in butter with a dash of salt and pepper. The children were standing around begging for some out of the pan like it was candy! πŸ™‚

Gardening will be wrapping up here soon. The weather has been rainy and the temps have turned cooler. We’ve been seeing yellow leaves drop occasionally and there is a tree out back of our property that has several now. I think they mostly started turning because of the heat and lack of rain we were having…but now… The Fireweed is just about done blooming and the grasses have their seed heads.

Blueberries should be ready soon considering the above…

Happy Gardening…and Harvesting…until next time!

Garden Update (plus a chickie mention)

Updated left sidebar.

I’m actually still working on getting a few more (4 or 5) of the squash and cauliflower transplanted into the boxes (hauling dirt at the same time as planting really slows things down! LOL) Also, the long box is mostly filled…still some room for some small things…but I need another big box for the squash and cauliflower. The new chicks (see main journal) are using our big square box from last year as a “corral” until my dh can get their portable pen done. So, if I use that the chicks don’t have anywhere to run…unless they run free…*not* a good idea! =8-0 I think since he’s so busy that I’ll try to hammer out one today myself (he was using power tools and I’d be using hand tools…so I don’t know…) or maybe I’ll chance it and dig some holes, amend the soil a little and put them directly into the ground. They’ll die anyway if I leave them in their smaller containers…if they don’t do well directly in the ground…well, oh well, at least I did all I could. It’ll probably be a couple of days before I get back here to say what I ended up doing…

Also, I want to put up current pics. So, much to do… πŸ˜‰

May you and your gardens be blessed ’til next time!

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