chickens, Spring

Chicken Sitting 101

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We have so many things to share with you, but time is short right now. Until we get a chance to give you all a farm update, I thought I’d share the chicken care taking instructions I made for Beth and the kids – and our neighbors, Andy, Amanda and Duffie.

Chicken Sitting 101
1.      In the morning, open the little door inside the barn to let the chick-a-dees out. There is a little hook and latch to hold open the little door. NOTE: When you first open the barn door, those chickens will be standing right at the door looking at you. Shoo them away and step through them to get to the little door. Even though they’re looking at you in the big door, what they really want is to go through the little one.
2.     Once most of them go outside, check the water buckets. Be sure the water is clean and accessible. If there is straw in the water, clean it out and dump out a little water until the trough is clean.
3.     If there are any eggs in the nest boxes, take them out (take them home, scrub them clean with a brush or a scrubby sponge and put them in your fridge – then eat and enjoy!).
4.      Toss a few heads and leaves of cabbage into the pen outside (open the door to the pen – it’s a latch to toss them in).  
— They’ll be fine through the day. They’ll lay eggs throughout the day too. At some point, either in the morning when you let the chickens out – or sometime in the afternoon – or later in the evening when you close them up for the night – their water needs to be changed out. You don’t need to change out all the waterers everyday. We usually rotate them and do one or two – depending on how they’re looking/doing. —
5.        Sometime around dusk, or even after dark (but with a flashlight), go back to the chickens to give them their pellets and to shut the little door up for the night. Be sure you turn the little wooden slat so the door is secure and some critter can just push the door open to get in.
6.       Gather more eggs if they’re in there. Good night! 
Oh, and one more thing! Spring is almost here! 
Thanks for stopping by!
bok choy, broccoli, chickens, collards, eggs, lettuce, low tunnels, red Russian kale, roosters, tat soi, Thanksgiving

playing catch up

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Hi y’all!

We finally found our camera and the battery charger, so I took some snap shots yesterday afternoon/evening to update the blog. As you’ll see, the chicks are well on their way to being full blown adolescents. The roosters finally have their crowing figured out. For some time all we got out of them was a “cock-a-…” and no “doodle doo” of any kind. It was amusing for a while – and just as our amusement was about to wear off, they figured it out. At the moment we have three roosters: Ted, Bocephus, and Uncle Jesse (of the Dukes of Hazard variety, not Full House). We’re still reluctant to have to get rid of any of them, as they’re growing on us, but we’re also practical. We’ve decided that Uncle Jesse is the best suited rooster for the coop. He’s the least “chicken-y” guy of the three, he’s extremely protective, but he also lets us hold him, although I don’t think he cares for it very much. The hens show no sign of laying eggs any time soon, but they’re really not ready to lay yet anyway. They’re almost 4 months old and they really shouldn’t be ready until the beginning of 2011 (but we’re hoping we have a couple early layers by the solstice). The guy above the right is Ted.

The fella in the frying pan above, humorously the one we will keep, is Uncle Jesse.
The white rooster above is Bocephus. He’s kind of the biggest “chicken” of the three, so I had a hard time getting a picture of his face. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time. 

(Above) My dad and Ben built the low tunnel in the middle and the hoop house to the right (Ben built the one on the left all by himself while I was in D.C.).
Below is tat soi. It’s an Asian green that tastes kind of like spinach and bok choy crossed (although I think it leans more toward spinach).
Below is a head of oak leaf lettuce. It’s one of my favorites. I love that that color of green actually occurs in nature! 🙂

red Russian kale (below)

Then, in order, we have broccoli, a field of broccoli, red cabbage and collards, and finally, savoy cabbage.

That’s it for now. Now that we’ve finally organized our lives a bit more, maybe we’ll be posting more regularly and updating the farm pics. So much changes daily – but it’s hard to tell when those changes are picture worthy.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Thank YOU for caring to keep up with us and take care!

Patricia & Ben