Monday, April 21, 2014

What We've Been Doing

Things are a little hectic on the farm these days. Winter would not let go when we wanted it to and the chicks arrived before the snow was gone. Half of the birds are not where we want them to be. The ducks are in a tote in the kitchen and the new layers are in the broilers "new" coop.

We started the spring the six new layers in a box in the kitchen. We purchased six new ones because we lost a few chickens over the winter; one due to illness and another due to what we think was a birth defect, plus the original Rhode Island Reds are not laying as well. Recently we put the six new chicks where the broilers will be. 

The Broilers also arrived (and spent a brief two weeks in the kitchen) but have since been moved out the brood box in the barn. They will be ready for processing in less than two months.

The Coop Plan for this year: last years turkey coop will become this years layer coop. There are a few modifications that need to be made to the coop. Dad will make a man door and devise a way to add boxes for the chickens to lay eggs in. The fencing will be re-organized to make the turkey yard and most of the current chicken yard into one large yard. Moving the fencing will make the old chicken yard smaller so that the broilers can have a small outdoor space, but not so large that they won't gain the muscle weight required for a meat bird. We are hoping that with an outdoor space to run in the broilers will have larger drumsticks and thighs.

We have ducklings in the kitchen that will hopefully be moved to the blueberry bushes (so they are fenced in) before they are moved to the brood pen in preparation for taking over the pond. And what will happen to the current ducks? We are replacing them. We want friendly ducks, and the two in the pond are not friendly. We've been handling the ducklings a lot and it seems to be working. 

Thankfully we are waiting to get turkeys until summer, because some fencing still needs to repaired, purchased, and put up. 

In addition to all that going on. Dad bred two rabbits and a bunny (for those who don't know around here rabbits are food and bunnies are pets) so in a few short weeks we should have cute fuzzy things!

Not to mention that the garden is finally free of snow!

I have been knitting like a woman possessed. I decided that I would knit Stomper and Our Sweetie matching vests for Easter. The Saturday night before Easter found me weaving in ends. I cannot believe I finished them! In between knitting the two vests I've been working on a test knit. They are this really beautiful pair of fingerless gloves The gloves feature a cable that starts on the forearm and winds around to the top of the wrist. It's really neat. I was able to knit one before I had to set them aside to finish the vests. I will post pictures as soon as I can find a model.

For April vacation we have the teenagers. It was great to have them around for Mimi's annual Easter Egg Hunt. This year she prepared, and Jason and his brother-in-law hid, 300 eggs. The kids had a blast finding them.

Hope your spring is going well too!

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