Wednesday, September 26, 2012

BOTH ducks are laying! Yay!

Both Crusty AND Olga are laying now. They both gave us an egg yesterday and today. Good girls!

These eggs are weird! Very smooth/polished, compared to chicken eggs. Also, unlike the chickens who just drop an egg in the nest box, our ducky gals make a little nest in the straw and lay their eggs in the same spot. Haven't tried them yet, but planning on it this weekend before heading out to our tree stands.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A drive in the woods

Took a drive up above Molalla today. Henry had fun running in the woods. Lots of good smells. Especially after Gus went and rolled on a snake (retch). Plus, Henry had rot gut today, so it was a very fragrant trip, even with the windows down!

Got home and set up my new deer stand. Very cool. If I don't get a deer, may have a chance at a bear (lots of big bruin poopy piles around the property) or a coyote (got me a new predator call at Cabela's this weekend!)

Buck season starts next Saturday. Yay!

Friday, September 21, 2012

First whole duck egg!

I say "first whole duck egg" because the real "first" egg was two days ago and had been stepped on. Not quite whole once I got to it. :)

Don't know whether Crusty or Olga laid this egg. Gonna have to see if some ducks lay green eggs and others don't. Pretty exciting, though!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Still alive!

I really am still alive. There's just too much going on to find time to blog. Pigs went to butcher, turkeys too. We'll cull the young roosters here in a few weeks, and Dunder will be butchered as well and replaced by one of his offspring. Darkwing and Launchpad are gone... We gave the two drakes to our neighbor's brother, who has a pond. We drove by to look, and they were happily swimming around with his other ducks. Currently working to get the old house ready to go on the market. I'm at this moment covered in paint, taking a break from kitchen painting. The next few weeks will be spent working at the old house, along with a full time job and farm chores at home. Gotta get this last coat on and head home to check on the 5 new chicks (3 ameraucana and 2 speckled sussex). We saw them at the feed store and, well, we're suckers.

Hope everyone's well!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We REALLY didn't need more chickens!

But MAMA maran gifted us with 5 new babies. Yes, Mama. One of the marans reappeared with 5 chipmunk chicks and one black sex-link girl. Maybe the other maran is also hiding out? We can only hope, eh?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I spotted a Maran

No joke. I mentioned before that both the marans are missing. Well, I was working from home yesterday, and happened to look out the window, and there was one of the marans guzzling water. She was acting very broody, puffed up, clucking away to herself, and pecking at the other chickens when they crowded her. She went over and started eating, and next time I looked up, she was gone again. So, my guess is that she's got a nest out under the brush pile (where we have no way of reaching her). I hope the other maran is out there with her. We are reasonably certain that the Wyandotte is gone, as I found a pile of breast feathers about 50' from the chicken yard, out in the woods. :(

Maybe the maran ladies will turn up with a mess of chicks someday soon (like we need more chickens).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Parked in front of the fan

Henry, parked in front of the fan this weekend, watching the Olympics.... Yes, my dog will watch tv. For hours. :) The funny thing is that he can tell if there is a dog on the screen, and knows the difference between canines and "other" critters (cats, bears, deer, etc...)  Only dogs/wolves/etc get a real reaction from him. Crazy pup.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Totally bummed

I totally intended to post this last weekend, and even have a half-finished post on the garden... But, I'm totally bummed and not motivated due to a couple critter deaths and some missing over the last week.

We had to put Betty barred rock down. She was the sole survivor of the Henry Massacre last year. A good hen that layed well and never got out. Opened the nest box this weekend to see a prolapsed bottom facing me. I think she'd been like that for a few days. Would never have seen it if she hadn't had her butt facing me. When standing, it couldn't be seen. In any case, I'm not going to go into gross detail. I'll just say that it wasn't something we could fix.

Then, Monday afternoon, we realized we were missing guinea girl. We looked everywhere and found no sign that she'd been attacked/eaten/dragged off. Then I looked in the coop and found her dead on the floor. Don't know what happened. She was a little scuffed up, but that may have just been from being kicked around by the chickens jumping down from perches. I don't get it. She was alert and fine the night before when I closed the coop, staring down at me from a perch. Maybe something grabbed her and she got away mortally wounded... maybe one of the chickens landed on her just right when jumping down from the perch and broke her neck?  No idea.

To top it off, we realized today that the wyandotte and both the marans are missing... Miss wyandotte was last seen day before yesterday when I caught her and put her back in the chicken yard (she's been escaping a LOT lately).  Neither of us can remember when we last saw either of the marans... perhaps last weekend?  Dunno.  I think the coyote is back. 

Goal this weekend: move the chicken yard, make sure the fence is supported to where there are no low spots (where the ladies jump over), and electrify it for a while.  The blackberries and weeds have grown INTO the fence along the side furthest from the house... we need to remedy that problem so that Dunder can see problems coming and warn the gals.  As for me... I've got the rifle loaded, and I'll hang out on the porch tomorrow morning.  I can watch some netflix on the iphone and keep and eye out for that damn coyote.  We'll see how it goes, eh? Wish me luck!

Anyhow, I'll have another go at an update on farm progress this coming weekend. Just not up to it right now, ya know?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quick update... Birds, bees, and busy

Still crazy around here! Between my off-farm job, chores, post wedding stuff (almost done with thank you notes!), and general summer stuff, I just haven't had the time to blog. So, a quick update, and I'm determined to get some real posts (with pics no less) done this weekend. Maybe by actually posting an intended deadline, I'll actually do it? We'll see.

This year's chicks are getting huge, yet are still able to squeeze through the fence, and they have discovered the blueberries and huckleberries. $@%#!

Both Jeffrey and MiniMeatGoose developed angel wing, and I fixed them! Woot!

We caught a bee swarm. It was in a tree at a coworker's house. I have a friend that really wants one (her bees bailed this spring), but in my rush to run LJ his bee stuff, I left my phone at home. With time running short to go grab them and get them installed, the decision was made to get them home. Sorry Paula! :( I don't know if there's enough time left this season for them to build up for winter. From what I've read, "a swarm in July isn't worth a fly". We'll see. They've started drawing out two frames already, but I don't know enough yet about bees to hazard a guess at survival. More on the swarm in a future post.

Busy busy... Moved 3 project cars from old house to new (come-along, a tilt trailer, and a 49 4dr... Not fun), moving bird yards, the garden of weeds, prepping the old house to go on the market, my new piano, double whammy dead AC (in the house AND my car!), and more. I need a nap. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Our rooster is an @$&@#%!, but my turkey toms are MY HEROES!!!

Ok, no posting for a while then bam bam, two in a row! Was out throwing scratch to the ladies, and was hand feeding a couple of our toms. Out of nowhere, Dunderhead jumps in and spurs me through the fence. $&@%!! Well, the toms didn't take too kindly to Dunder attacking me, and two of them cornered and WHALLOPED him! Atta boys! I laughed til I cried, then gave the toms a bit more scratch and went in to scrub my new battle scars.

Recently married, and back soon

Been super busy around here! Got lots done around the house and farm in prep for family in town for the wedding, and we're getting SOME stuff done during our "rest" week after Sunday's wedding (especially weeding the garden... On day 3... SCARY!!). Be back very soon, and looking forward to getting caught up on everyone's blogs!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coyote casing the chicken yard

Saw a coyote about 10 feet from the chicken yard this morning before work. Guineas, rooster, and the crows that live in the nearby trees were flipping out and the hens were running for the coop. By the time I grabbed my rifle and loaded it, coyote was gone. Looks like we'll be putting up game cams and watching closely in the mornings. Hopefully we'll get him before he gets any of our birds (or Gus, who isn't a huge dog). That coyote was HUGE. Biggest coyote I've ever seen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Henry!

My sweet boy turned 5 yesterday! I think we'll take him with us to the drive up coffee booth. He sure does love rooroorooing at the gals for cookies. :) Spoiled rotten!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chinese goose... Last new farm baby

So, of the three goose eggs in the incubator, only one made it. It's been alone this past week. I tried to foster it off on the geese, but it didn't work. The adult geese were interested and happy to include the baby into the family, but the juveniles attacked the baby mercilessly, and it came running to me each time they did, screaming to be picked up. *sigh* So, I went by Wilco to see if they had any waterfowl left. They're done ordering for this season, so I didn't have super high hopes. They had two. A huge male pekin duckling, and a male white chinese gosling. Of course, remembering how very very messy ducks are, I forked over a whopping 16 bucks for the goose. He's awfully sweet, loves to be held, and doesn't pick on mini-goose. I've decided to name him Jeffrey, because he reminds me of the gosling in Charlotte's Web (haven't heard him oink yet, though). I think we'll keep him, and he can live with Jiminy and the ducks. We may have a taker for mini-goose... One of LJ's coworkers. Fingers crossed!

Gonna be MIA for a bit. Work is crazy right now, and planning the wedding (only a month away!) is stressing me out something awful. Anyhoo, when I get back I'll have critter updates and hopefully a post on butchering the Cornish X icky chickies (what we did last weekend).

Have a nice June, everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jiminy's albatross imitation

Geese are so funny. When they're little, their wings are just little tabs, and seem way too small for their bodies. Then, seemingly overnight, their wings quadruple in size and are suddenly too big. They remind me of some sort of sea bird fledgling. Great big heavy wings that they can barely lift.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quick pic Thursday... More chicks hatched

The other broody's chicks hatched yesterday. Providing I'm correct about Dunder over a barred hen producing sex-linked chicks where the boys have a white head spot.... 3 of 4 maran eggs in this hatch produced boys, one of which is in the pic above. Ugh. I'm gonna name him Stewy. :) At least Belly gave me 2 girls of the 3 maran eggs she hatched.

I think the white head spot means that he should be barred? If so, with that brown face... Interesting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I love our wisteria

Enjoying it while I can, as the recent wind and rain have been knocking off blooms at an alarming rate.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Internally pipped goose egg!

Ok, so I'm on my second round of goose egg incubation. The pic above is me in a dark tiny closet, holding a small maglite to an internally pipped egg. That little peak is the beak! Internal pipping is where the gosling/chick/keet/whathaveyou breaks through the membrane inside the egg, allowing access to the large air cell at the big end of the egg. Within a day or so, I should see an external pip, where the baby breaks through the shell so it can access outside air. Shortly after that, baby will "unzip" the egg, breaking the shell in a circular manner so it can get free of the egg.

In the pic above, I think something is wrong with the egg. See how there's a lighter area under the air cell, unlike the first pic? Perhaps a ruptured air cell? I dunno. In any case, the gosling is moving around in there, so hopefully it can proceed to external pip.

This is my last round of incubator eggs this season, and it has been an incredible experience! The geese are done laying, and our second and last round of chicks are due naturally-incubated under Jerky Pecking $&@#% Hen next week. (Not every hen can be as sweet as Bellina, you know). I'm hoping to foster these new goose babies (if they make it through hatching) with Affie. Sooooo much easier when the geese raise them, as I don't have to feed and water them separately, and I also don't get ATTACHED to meat birds... sigh... We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My, how the goslings have grown!

So, these are the goslings that I hatched in the incubator a few weeks ago. That's Jiminy in the front, Meat Goose behind, and their pet duck (Crusty) on the right. They're currently living in the recently vacated duck tractor. Every evening, I let them out for a walk and some socializing. They're way too much fun. I do love geese!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Soaking up the sun... Turkeys finally outside!

We put the turkeys outside yesterday. First thing, they all flopped on their sides and started soaking up the sun. Silly birds! They were the last birds to go outside, along with Belly and her babies. No more brooder birds! Woohoo!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Standing guard

Ever vigilant, Bitor makes sure that nobody gets near his goslings.

On another goose note, Affie has been halfheartedly sitting on a beautiful nest she made and the remainder of Baby's eggs. I went in last night and took them all away. Good thing I did! I candled them all, just in case any were late lays and showed development. Yeah, no. Most were sloshy inside, and a couple had some evil streaks. Yeah, they all went carefully into the outside trash before they could explode on me. Lol. They were starting to stink. Ew. Ew ew ew! If Affie wants to be a mommy so badly, and Baby's babies aren't enough for her, perhaps I'll try and get her to accept the incubator babies when (if) they hatch next weekend. Would sure help me not get attached to them! Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

UPS deliveries in the country, and why you should order extra wedding invites

This is what I came home to at our gate. My wedding invites came today, yay! Something ripped the box open and destroyed 1/4+, BOO! Hopefully I still have enough, as I ordered a few extra. I think it was a neighbor dog, as ours were all still in their kennels. $&@%#!!! WTH!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quick pic Wednesday... Icky Chickies

Because I've been too busy to post about the Pekins yet.

Meaties are getting big! 3-4 weeks to go until butcher day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pekins off to butcher!

Well, I got up at the crack of dawn and delivered the pekins to the processor before work. Yesterday, we drove out and picked up two dog crates from the processor. We loaded the 9 ducks up last night, and they were delivered to the dock at 6 this morning. 5 in one crate, 4 in the other. I'm relieved to have them gone. They are incredibly messy creatures. Upside, though, was that they didn't seem to eat nearly as much as the Cornish X, and seemed to grow out faster. We'll see what the weights are like when I get them home this evening (same day pickup! Woohoo!)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lap goose

The weather is halfway decent, so I brought Jiminy out to eat some grass and stretch his/her legs while I listened to some Diana Gabaldon on my iPod. Yeah, didn't work. Darn goose insisted on being in my lap, and would only eat grass if hand fed... I'm a sucker. This baby seems like a female to me, so I'm gonna start calling Jiminy a she, and we'll see next spring if I do or don't see eggs. :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sweet Jiminy

I adore this goose. It loves to snuggle, and screams to be picked up. I took the two goslings out for a walk on the lawn yesterday, so they could stretch their legs and have a bite of grass and clover. Jiminy didn't want anything to do with Meat Goose (what we call the one that isn't particularly friendly). Jiminy just wanted to run circles around me and eat, every so often looking up at me and chattering away like I could understand. :) Too cute.

Oh, and I checked on Baby last night, and she has 3 goslings. Will try and post pics and more info this weekend. Happy Friday all!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another new mommy on the farm!

Baby Girl's goslings started hatching yesterday! See the little gosling by her side?

LJ went out to change the goose water, and all the girls were in the hut and hissing at him. Strange, as the ladies don't hiss at us... Just at strangers. Then, he started to hear peeping. :) When I got home from work, I had him distract Bitor so I could snap a quick pic. All the geese are excited and hanging out around Baby. Bitor diligently guards the goose hut, Sweet Girl snuggles down a couple feet from Baby, and Affie has been smack in the middle of things, nestled right next to Baby and helping her incubate the eggs. Can't wait to get home this afternoon and check on the progress!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blackberries 1, Henry 0

This is what happens when stupid dog goes tearing into the blackberries after mangy rabbit... Looked much worse 4 days ago.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pics soon

Ok, so I've been mia again. Lots going on! Training new gal at work, playing brooder musical chairs, some critters now outside and others scheduled for butcher, down to 2/7 guineas, Belly's chicks hatched, more eggs in the incubator, visit from Mom and finally have my wedding dress, my beloved van died, etc etc etc. I'm exhausted. Hope to post soon WITH pics. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Broody Bellina

Has a week to go before we find out whether there are any chicks in the 7 eggs she's sitting on. She's such a trooper! Lets me lift her up to take the eggs she's stolen over the course of the day. If another hen lays nearby, Belly snags the eggs to add to her clutch. When I open up the nest box door, Belly puffs up into a huge ball and churrrrs at me, but that's it. No pecking. Such a good girl!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Only the one fluffy baby so far

How cute is this little guy/gal?!

As for the others... One of the babies died late in the shell. It was turned the wrong way. 2nd hatched baby (hatched last night) passed this morning... Was pretty weak. Still have one working on unzipping its shell, so perhaps I'll be 2/4? We'll see. From what I've been reading on the goose section of the backyardchickens forum, this isn't exactly unheard of, and goose hatching is difficult. More than a little disheartening, but the one baby I do have is absolutely precious.

Friday, April 13, 2012

First baby hatched on the farm!!!!

Say hello to a noisy and very energetic new gosling. Little guy isn't even dry yet, and has been careening around the incubator and squealing for a good 45 minutes. Thought they were supposed to take a post hatch nap!?

We have a beak!

More patient than I am, by far

Baby is still sitting her nest. She has at least 15 under there. On the rare occasion that she gets up, Bitor hovers near the nest to protect it, and often Sweet Girl will go sit on the nest til Baby gets back. Affie, of course, doesn't sit. As far as she's concerned, the other two ladies make perfectly servicable nursemaids, and this way Affie keeps her lovely figure. :)

Me, though... I. Can't. Wait. To. GO HOME! When I left this morning, the two pipped eggs hadn't made any more progress from last night, though both eggs peeped and rocked when I directed the light through the incubator window. According to LJ, a couple hours later before he left the house, both were rocking away, and one had started to unzip the shell (he said it had broken off a large chunk!). I hope the other two non-pipped eggs have also progressed since this morning. One had finally pipped internally (I could hear the clicking breaths), but nothing yet from the other (just some faint movement at the top edge of the air cell). Fingers crossed for some more shell pips, and maybe a couple newly hatched goslings when I get home!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It pipped!

One of the goose eggs pipped internally today! That means that it broke through the membrane inside the shell. I heard it PEEPING!!!! Yay! We're not out of the woods yet, though. Lots to happen still. Goosey baby still has to pip the egg shell, "unzip" the egg, and get free. This should happen over the next 24-48 hrs, from what I've read. The other eggs need to catch up already!

Fingers crossed! Hopefully I haven't screwed up this hatch in some way, and these 4 eggs will produce little fuzzy butt babies. Cross your fingers for them. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Easter parade, and white runner has a name

The future laying ducks had a lovely time trooping around in the sunshine yesterday. Unlike chickens, who run around helter skelter, these guys paraded around in tight formation. Lots of fun to watch. The runner ducks are too funny. They remind me of skinny people running around with their hands clasped behind their backs. As the chocolate runner is named Darkwing Duck, we've decided to name the white/gray runner Launchpad McQuack. Loving it. Still don't know the sex of either, but I think the names will stick, regardless. Ducktales, woohoo!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

And then there were turkeys...

I think we're finally done buying critters. Though LJ keeps mentioning quail. I don't think I'm quite up for quail. They're so tiny, they just don't seem worth it.

LJ's newest project

Headed home to their new hive.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Eat up little meaties

Grow nice and big...

The feed store had shorted our order of 20 by 3. I found some cornish chicks of approx the same age at a different store yesterday. LJ had me pick up 8 more. So, 25 meaties this year. Yum yum!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Icky Chickies have arrived!

And, the next-to-final shipment of springtime fluff balls has been picked up! (still need to get some turkeys) Today we brought home 17 Cornish X meat chicks.  Ordered 20, but the gals at the local feed store mis-counted, and when we got the couple miles home and called, they had already sold the few birds they had left... grrrrr!

Behold an Icky Chicky, while it's still cute (the cute phase only lasts about a week).

Haven't posted in a bit, as we've been running our butts off. Over the last couple weekends, we have ground out around 20-25 stumps and smoothed the stump areas out in preparation for more lawn/chicken/goose/duck yard locations. We've seeded and leveled and seeded some more.  This last weekend we thinned a small grove of alders and maples to the north side of the current chicken yard. We limbed the saplings, and will use them to beef up our chicken run construction. Last year the heritage turkeys (never ever again) liked to jump to the top of the chicken run and they collapsed it more than once. Since we're pretty sure it will be a prime guinea perching spot, we need to beef it up before we put those birds outside. And now for the rest of the happenings....

Yes, we're getting bees this year (or rather, LJ is getting bees this year). The hive is painted lemon lime and is sitting in the shop. The plastic inserts are in the house where shop-living mice can't gnaw away at the beeswax coating. We've cleared an area near the garden but away from any areas we want to clear this summer (don't think the bees would take too kindly to saws and the tractor running next to the hive). We leveled the area, and LJ seeded it in clover in the hopes that the clover will spread and help to choke out other weeds. He picks up his 3lbs of bees on Friday, so we need to get the hive set up this week.

Yucky Duckies-
Are growing like weeds. They are freaking huge at just 4 weeks old, and are out in the chicken tractor. We're planning some brooder musical chairs, hoping that the layer ducks can go outside before the Icky Chickies outgrow their brooder. The Icky Chickies will go in the big brooder when the laying ducks go outside. The guineas will go outside so the turkeys can go in their brooder. And, if all goes well, the Yucky Duckies will go to the processor just in time for the Icky Chickies to go into the chicken tractor. That's the plan, in any case. *fingers crossed*

Are also growing rapidly.  They are scared to death of us, unless we're refilling their feeder, at which point they jump all over our hands to get to the food (which they mostly fling out of the feeder and onto the floor).

Laying ducks-
More quick growth! All 4 run away from us. Darkwing the runner is sweet and calm once caught, as is the Swedish female (I named her Olga, which LJ does NOT like). The white-ish runner is a spaz, and very vocal (still no name), as is the Swedish male (Sven… LJ doesn't like that name either. Lol). I hope the runners are both female, but we'll just have to wait and see. They were straight run, so we have no idea. I'm thinking at least one male, one female, given the difference in personality and vocalizations. Darkwing is rather quiet and raspy. The white-ish no-name is a freak and extremely noisy. Another we'll see situation, eh?

Are doing well, though one has a cough and we'll need to catch him and give him a shot. We've had to treat two others. Not fun trying to catch a 60 some-odd lb pig, sit on it, and jab a needle in its neck. Not fun at all. You wouldn't believe how loudly they scream.  Not over the needle, but over being caught.  Craziness!  We don't like medicating, but neither do we want to have animals that are sick or unhappy. It's a line to walk. I've read blogs/stories of people that just let their critters die rather than call a vet or administer wormer or antibiotics… all in the name of "natural". The way we see it, that's cruel. Additionally, they're LIVESTOCK, not wild animals. The "natural" has been bred out of them over countless generations. True, some are a bit more hardy or disease resistant, but all the same, I don't get letting an animal suffer. If it doesn't fit your ideals, treat it and sell it so it doesn't "contaminate" your farm. Ok, ok, turning my rant off now. :0)

I have 4 eggs in the incubator right now, and they seem to be doing well.  My only concern is that the eggs have not lost enough weight.  I've been trying to follow the incubation guide that a wonderful dude named Pete posted on the forum.  The ideal is for the eggs to lose approx 13%, so the goslings aren't overloaded/overheated, and so they have the room they need to breathe and move in the egg.  I've been doing a daily water spritz and 15 minute cool down for the last several days, which mimics momma goose's getting up/taking a swim/setting back on the eggs.  We'll see how it goes.  They are due to hatch next Tuesday or so.  The goosey gals are still laying eggs.  I checked the nest last night, and they had built up a nest of 27 eggs.  One egg had broken on top of some of the others.  I removed the broken egg and the ones that had been contaminated by the contents and threw them to the pigs (the pigs LOVED that).  I stole the four freshest eggs (for another incubator run), removed the eggy straw, replaced the eggy straw with fresh, and replaced the good eggs in the nest.  Baby Girl hollered at me from 3 feet away the whole time I was in there, and has since been on the nest.  Perhaps my messing with her nest convinced her to get down to business?  Hope so, because it would be great to have some naturally hatched goslings.  Again, fingers crossed!

And, that's about it for the moment. Lots and lots going on, and dreaming of SUN. Right now it's a dream, but hopefully will return well before July this year!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Pekins have a new name

I have come up with a name for the Pekins. Given that they seem to us to be the duck equivalent of Cornish X chickens (which we named "the icky chickies"), the Pekins are now... Wait for it... The Yucky Duckies! These birds are seriously gross, and grow freakishly fast. The pic above is one of them last weekend, at about the 2-week mark. Crazy!

Grow nice and big you stinky little buggers. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bitor.... is a studly gander

So, my big mean gander managed to do his part to fertilize some eggs!  Happy dance!

I had been collecting goose eggs, with the intention of putting them back in the nest once I got a good clutch together.  It had been really cold out, and rather than have the eggs freezing in the nest while the girls built up a clutch, I'd been bringing them in and storing them in the back bedroom where the temp stays around 55 deg or so.  I kept only the nice clean eggs, and after a week had 9.  Then, LJ decided to buy an incubator!  So, even though I read that goose eggs are a bit tricky, we decided to break in the new toy with my carefully collected 9.  We put them in on the 12th.  I weighed them all and wrote their weights on the eggs with a pencil, as well as marking one side of the egg with an X, and one with an O.  I've been turning them 3 times a day so that the x's and o's alternate each night as far as which side is up.  So, on Sunday, I candled the eggs (shining a nice bright light into the egg), and FOUR showed development!  Truthfully, I didn't really expect anything out of this experiment, so I'm super stoked.  When illuminated, each egg shows a dark spot with veins radiating out from it.  I tried to take a picture, but it just wasn't working.  So, if I manage to not kill these four goosey miracles, I may (knock on wood) end up with 4 goslings in a little over 3 weeks.  Woohoo!

During the week that these eggs were in the incubator, I continued to collect fresh eggs from the ladies.  They'd originally had two nests in the goose hut, and they finally ended up dismantling the nest on the left and all began sharing the one on the right.  On Sunday I put 5 eggs back in the nest, and crossed my fingers that number of eggs would be enough for one of the gals to start sitting.  Lo and behold, they've all been taking turns on the nest!  I didn't think they did that, but I've seen it.  So, provided they do a good job (fingers crossed!) we may get a naturally hatched batch too.  *knocking knocking knocking on wood*

Wish me luck, because this is my first time incubating!

It's Affie Girl's first time too

And she was such a CUTE baby!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grassy goodness

We opened up the rest of the pen to the pigs this weekend. They fell on the grass like ravening beasts. Mmmmm... Grassy goodness and happy piggles.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We only went to town for a couple things...

So, we went to town for a heat mat kit for seed starting, coffee, pig chow, and straw. We came home with all of that PLUS a new brooder light, more seeds, 3 blueberries, 2 bareroot trees (semi dwarf peach and apricot... The kiwanis were having a fundraiser sale and they were only $10 each), 2 bareroot lilacs, and a pair of Swedish ducklings (boy and girl). So much for planning, eh?

Henry drooling over the box of EIGHT guineas we brought home last weekend. We'd only planned for four, but the lady gave them to us for half off if we took all 8 because they were nearly ready to start flying and they couldn't have guineas flying around the feed store. :)