November 2008 Archives

Sunday Farm Report

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Wow, 18 eggs today!  I have 6 dozen that I can take to the feed store to trade for some feed! (Well, he gives me money for the eggs, and I give it back for feed)  If the chickens can lay enough to pay for themselves, I'll be happy!

I made a nice beef stew today. Tried some different spices than I usually use, and I liked them!  I used some Thai Red Curry Paste, Lea and Perrins, garlic, marjoram, oregano, basil, celery, carrots, onions, beef (dredged in a flour/spice mix and saute'ed until browned) and some leftover red wine and a can of tomatoes.

It was good.

Buffy and Gunner had a grand time running around in the snow today.  They ran around each other for what seemed like hours.  Both are just wiped out now.  Buffy is sleeping on her big cushy dogbed in the barn next to her goats, and Gunner has taken over my sofa.

The lightbulb in the old chicken coop burnt out - not surprising, really, as I stole it from a lamp in the extra bedroom.

So that coop will be cold tonight - should get down to 25 degrees.  Brrrrrrr. Unless, of course, I bundle up and go over there with a flashlight and save the guineas, ducks and the few diehard chicken who don't want to live in the lovely warmth of the heat lamp in the big, new chicken house.

Well.  I suppose I should go bundle up, get a lightbulb and a flashlight and take care of my birds, else I'll end up with a bunch of frozen chicken nuggets come morning!

Well, winter is well on her way to the Farm.  We had snow last night, not a lot, about 2 inches.  It’s cold and windy.  I still have to get outside to feed the critters, water the critters and clean up after the critters.

So my winter farm fashion forecast is as follows:

Carharrts - overalls,Flannel Lined jeans ,jackets socksand gloves

Ariat boots

silk long underwear

My dear husband, John, took this picture this morning of me in the snow. Modeling part of my winter outfit:

Now, it is a bit big for me this year, last year it was too tight. So even if I look goofy, I’m a healthier, thinner goofy this year.

Saturday Farm Report ):

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Today was a difficult day.  Our sweet Little Girl, the Empress of Argghhh!, left her sunbeam and John and I today.  She was a wonderful, beautiful feline family member.  Up until last week, she could still jump onto our bed at night and snuggle up with John, unless he was sleeping too restlessly, and then she would come over to my side of the bed and let all other cats know that they had lost thier place because She had arrived to take her place.

Little Girl bossed the dogs around, even big huge dogs knew better than to mess with her! 

I will miss her. 

Now, to the farm report - one dozen eggs today!!!  And, the hens are starting to lay in the new nestboxes in the new chicken house!!!

I have decided to start feeding them just the scratch grains, as the price of layer feed is out of site for 60 to 70 birds (including my guineas).  Because they free range, they eat a lot of grass and weeds, and because John and I are on diets, they get most leftovers every day. (except chicken.  I cannot feed them chicken, it's just wrong).  I found they love ground beef, turkey dressing (baked outside the bird) and carrot casserole.

I did stop in to Kansas Country Store to pick up the scratch grains, and I spoke to Major briefly about the roofing for the chicken house.  I think he's feeling guilty, and as soon as we have a decent day, he and his brother will come out and put the roofing stuff on the roof.

From 2008 11 24

I took all three dogs for a walk yesterday. Got this shot of Buffy, thought that you would like to see how she is growing!

From 2008 11 24

But the eggs are still good.  They will not develop into baby chicks unless they are sat upon by a broody chicken for 21 days. 

My chickens have - um - sex with roosters, and occasionally one of the boy ducks gets kinda weird.  However, I collect my eggs two to three times a day and refrigerate them below 45 degrees farenheit immediately.  

Thanksgiving kept me in the kitchen for the bulk of the day.  I only went out to tend to the animals and gather eggs.  I am very pleased to report that the lighting I added to the chicken coup  and the chicken house is working - I gathered 11 eggs yesterday!  W00T!

I have at least 36 hens, so I really should be getting 2 dozen or more a day.  They are sneaky hens - they like to find new spots to deposit their eggs in, so I am always searching out those spots.  

I can be sneaky, too.  When I find a clutch of eggs, I mark all of the eggs with a magic marker and leave them there.  The hen or hens using that hidden nest don't realize I've found them out, and they continue to lay their eggs there, but because I know where the hidden nest is, and I know which are the older eggs (the ones with an x on them), I can collect the new eggs with confidence twice a day.

Bwaahahaha.  Those chickens can't get one over on me!

Which reminds me - a commenter wanted to know if you have to have roosters for your chickens to lay eggs - No.  You don't need a rooster.  The chickens will lay eggs if they have enough light, food and water until they can lay no more!

However, I have roosters.  I rather like them, and so far, there have been no serious incidents of rooster grumpiness.  Probably because they have 80 acres to wander every day, and they don't get into arguments because they can get away from each other!  Quite often, it is the hens who pick on roosters.

I am going to be making a video of the chickens.  I plan to interview some of them and see how they feel about living on the Farm at Castle Argghhh!!


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I like blogging again.  So much so that I’m even going to play Tag with Amanda and 7 as yet to be named friends. I have been reading Amanda for years.  Her newest blogeration is Sleeping in Sydney.

Amanda is one heckuva cook.  I think I met her when I first started the Carnival of the Recipes and she sent the most yummy recipes to me.  I kinda wish she was here in Kansas with me now, as I’m pretty sure she is a much better cook and it is Thanksgiving, after all!

Anyways, today she has tagged me for the following:

The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Tell 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag.

7 Random things about moi:

1.  Our son and our future daughter-in-law are here for just the day.  They both have to work tomorrow morning in Manhattan, Kansas (The Little Apple) and it’s a couple of hours from here. They are pregnant with my (please note the "MY") Grandson, Miles.  I adore all three of them, and I hope they have fun with John and I today.

2. The chickens are revolting.  No, not really, some of them are molting, and that is kind of revolting because they have these odd little spikes of feathers yet to be sticking from their necks!  Our chickens are not for dinner.  Ever.  They are for eggs.  When I get them all laying enough, I can sell the eggs and buy feed for them.  Someday, I will break even.  Hopefully, I’ll make money.

3. My dearest husband says I make a better photographer than a farmer.  Maybe.  I did a Senior photo for a friend’s daughter this year - here it is:

You can tell me if I’m any good at that. I suspect that shooting Senior portraits might be a decent moneymaker. I don’t know. I prefer landscapes and nature: , but so does every other photographer on earth!

  1. The darned “R” key on this Dell Inspiron keeps popping off the keyboard. I have replaced it once, and now it is happening again - does anyone else have this problem? Laptop is only about 14 months old!

  2. Burrs. I really hate burrs. I love the farm. Love the woods. Love the fields. Hate the burrs. ugh.

  3. I have to finish thawing the turkey!! It never thaws in the fridge like it is supposed to, so the bird is in the sink, covered with cold water to speed things up. I also need to find a recipe for dinner rolls. Hopefully I can use the bread machine for the mixing and raising. Oh, gosh, I just realized my son used whole-wheat flour to make his pie crust for the pumpkin pie. That will be interesting!

  4. I can out in the goat pasture and watch those goofy critters for hours, with my dogs at my side. Actually, I can watch the chickens for hours, too. They have some kind of weird pecking order. And the top rooster or hen is always being challenged by some young upstart, much noise and flapping of wings occurs.

So, now I get to pick 7 people to tag. Hmmmm. FBL, Cassandra, John of Argghhh!, Stacy, Right Girl, Tammy and Greta.

As a farmer-in-training, I am always checking out ways to use the food I can or hope to produce in new ways. 

Well, AliThinks has a review of this wonderful new concoction called Baconnaise.  You must, must watch her video, she is funny and darling, and you gotta love anyone who loves mayonnaise and bacon!

Anyway, I'm thinking that Bacoonaise might be great in deviled eggs.  I have got to get my hands on some baconnaise so I can test it out.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm up early to get to cooking and stuff. 

Tuesday Morning Farm Report

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Darn, I'm late!  The chickens are starting to lay eggs!  I found 5 last night, and I hope I will find more later this afternoon.  

The goats are fine.

The horses are well.

The dogs and I went on a long walk this morning.

All the cats but one are well.

Our precious Little Girl, our oldest kitty, is failing fast, I'm afraid.  I've been holding her for the past hour or so and she is very quiet.  She drank some water earlier and even ate a tiny bit of food, but I'm afraid that her age has caught up with her.    I'm asking St. Francis to ask God to make her journey over the Rainbow Bridge to be an easy one.  Right now, she is asleep on my lap, in her sunbeam.


Time for a new blogroll

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This time, I think I'll go back to creating it myself.  It will speed things up in the long run.  Please, leave a comment with your blog name and the link so I can add you.

Monday Morning Farm Report

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Here is my promised update on yesterday's accomplishments.

1. there is now lighting in the hen house that should encourage the birds to start laying again.

2. I made one nesting box out of an old plastic storage bin (not clear, they like their privacy, don't ya know!) and some scrap wood.

3. I discovered a hidden nest they have been laying eggs in. It is in the barn, the little sneaks, they are not supposed to hang out in there. So, I marked the eggs in the nest (I have no idea how old they might be, so they will be decoys) and now, if any of them lay there, I'll know the fresh eggs from the decoy eggs. I figure this counts as a nesting box, so I got two finished!

4. I decided to start a blog devoted to the farm and all the activities based on the farm. I will probably be writing there more than here, unless I get really riled up about something that I cannot relate to life on the farm.

Cross-posted at She Who Will Be Obeyed.

We have been building a 14x8 ft. shed for the chickens for the past *** months.  It is taking a very long time.  Much of that was my fault.  I was afraid to start!  But finally, I realized that the chicken population was expanding rapidly, and the little coop I built last year for the guineas was no longer big enough for all the birds.

You see, for some reason, chickens keep being brought to me by people who thought they wanted chickens but really didn't, or who thought they could get away with having chickens in town, but really couldn't.  I figure that at least 30 chickens and 2 of my 3 ducks were all given to us to kind of rescue.

They all have thier little personalities.  And they all like to eat.  A lot. 

Now, in the spring, summer and fall, my chickens can pretty much feed themselves because they are free-ranging.  They can eat bugs and frogs and snakes and weeds and seeds.  I always supplement them, but this time of year, after a few hard, hard freezes, the birds need more feed than usual.

And feed has nearly doubled in one year.  There is a lot of corn in chicken feed, and you know all about that ethanol stuff, I'm sure. 

Hopefully, all the girl chickens will start back to laying more regularly now that their chicken house is done enough that they can live in it at night.  Then, I can afford to feed them the good stuff, because the feed store sells all the eggs my hens can lay, and then I can buy them the good grain.

But for the past 3 weeks, the hens have been pretty lazy - very few eggs.  The shorter days of winter cause them to decrease their production.

Today I installed a light in the chicken house.  This way, their days will lengthen and they will start laying again.  

If anyone wants to help feed the Chickens of Argghhh!  please hit the donate button on my sidebar!

Back to the chicken house - all is done but a second coat of paint and the roofing that goes on over the roofing felt.  I'll take pics tomorrow!

The old version of MT let me see all the code for the main index.  This version does not appear to do that - just parts of the index at a time.

I don't know how to add a form (Paypal button) to one of my sidebars.  Does anyone have a clue?  I know I dont'!

The Farm Blog

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I have decided to start a new blog focused on our farm.  I will write about any and all things that are farm related from updates on critters to my attempts at actually making money by growing and selling veggies, herbs, berries, etc.

I'm even going to add a PayPal Tip Jar.  Since all my time is devoted to trying to learn to farm, and I am earning no (zero, zilch, nada) money, maybe someone might throw me a dollar or two to help feed the chickens, ducks, goats and Guinea Fowl.  Maybe I'll be able to buy a Spinning Wheel eventually, so I can spin the mohair from my goats and maybe even sell the resulting yarn.

We'll see.  No pressure, really.

I have not done any kind of blog creation for years, so it might take me awhile to figure out how to fix the indexes up, etc.  I might even ask for assistance.

So, welcome Dear Readers.  Comment anytime, that's what makes blogging fun!

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the next archive.

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