Garden Delights

I love to garden and I know many of you do as well. (The worst part is the weeding, but the mulch this year has helped keep that to a minimum.) There are many things I love about gardening. I love to dig in the dirt, plant the seedlings or seeds, watch them grow, and the best part when you get to harvest. I also love watering. It’s a serene and peaceful time where I just chill, hold the water hose, and spray the ground and plants. It’s a time I can zone out and just listen to the sounds around me and watch the animals play. Walking though the plants gives me a sense of accomplishment as well.

Big squash plats

I enjoy helping the plants like the cucumbers find their spot to climb the fence…

big cucumber plats

And its fun trying to find the little cucumbers so you know where to watch for the harvest…

baby cucmber

And see them grow…

cucumber

It gives you purpose to try to keep the tomatoes contained in their cages…

big tomato plants

Along with the tomatillos….

1 tomotillo

And the pretty flowers on the plants, like the tomatillos, are so pretty to watch come up, as you know there will be a pod or veggie there soon…

flower tomotillo

The squash plants this year are taking over my space between the tomatoes and I am anxiously waiting a zucchini from those blooms…

flower squash

The tomatoes will be abundant this year as there are baby green ones all over the place…

baby tomatoes

And some that are already getting big…

Big tomatoes

My peppers are a little further behind, but I see some coming in now so I can’t wait for them to use in a stir-fry or salad…

baby peppers

The babies have seemed to enjoy watching from their pen close by my garden…

baby chicks

And the big girls are anxiously awaiting scraps from the garden to be thrown their way…

big chicks

Oh, what a hopeful time of year for the garden as well as for my waiting pantry and freezer- which are awaiting sliced peppers to freeze for the winter, cans of tomatoes, and combining may of these veggies for salsa (which usually gets canned as well for the winter).

1 baby cucumber

Anyone have any ideas for things to do with cucumbers outside of pickles, tomatoes/cucumber/onion salad, regular salads, or snack item? I am looking to get creative as I have in a few day picked over 10 already and there are triple or more the that are coming in in the vine already. Ideas welcome 🙂

Baby Chicks Days Out

Our youngest chicks are now a month old and we have taken them out a couple times into the yard in a protected area for some grass play time when it is warm enough.

baby outside

Their play time was cut short today by a thunderstorm, but they seemed to enjoy the time they had.

Baby white

They had been playing out of their pen under a heat lamp inside for a while now. But we really like them to get used to the outside if it is the right temperature and safe for them.

babies play

If they had been hatched here their mama would care for them and keep them safe. But without a mama bird we have to do things a little different.

baby brown

We use a Tarter big burn ring to keep them corralled and put fencing over it so they don’t get out but can experience the sun and air.

babys ring

We are in the process of getting our almost 3 month old chicks used to outside all day and the big girls used to them. Slowly getting their day time pen closer to the big girls. In the next 2-4 weeks we hope to have them outside full time and the other chickens accepting them into the flock. (Hopefully closer to 2 weeks 😉 )

adolescents pen

Wish us luck with all these girl. This is the hard part, getting the old girls to accept the new ones. As well as getting rid of this rooster and the others in his group getting used to being without him. At least we have a trusty dog to help manage when they get a little out of hand 😉

 

Middle 4 Chickens…

So in my last post I said I would tell you about our rooster… that we didn’t know and wasn’t supposed to be  a rooster. So our friends got us 4 chicks with their chicken order.

4 baby adolescents

They were supposed to be pullets. Well about a week or more ago now we were out in my garden trying to get it ready to plant. We herd a strange noise coming from the basement where we keep the girls. Hubby went in to investigate and no noise. He was coming outside again and there was the noise again. So back down he went and then I herd…. um honey I think we have a rooster! I about fell down… we have raised quite a few chickens and never got a rooster. But I guess there is a first time for everything.

Adolescent chicks

Rooster is on the right with the red crown.

 

So yes we have a rooster and his crow has gone from a sick sounding curdle to an actual small crow. We aren’t sure if we will keep him, but he is a handsome boy and so far not aggressive. And here he is…

Rooster

And he used to look like this when we thought he was a she… we used to call him diva because he liked to primp in front of the mirror but that’s when he was thought to be a she… 😉

diva

The weather is breaking some, so on the nice days we have been able to get the girls and guy out to play outside.

4 adolescents 2

They enjoyed being outside and on Memorial Day were outside most of the day in the warm sun. We made them a longer run to be in until we can incorporate them in with the big girls. So far the big girls check them out across the yard on occasion and these 4 check them out back, but they are still a distance away.

Adolescents

As they get bigger we will move them closer to the big girls until they are side by side with a fence in between.

4 adolescents

So with the new babies we have 15 big girls, 4 (as we call them) adolescents (they are 2 1/2 months old+ now), and 7 babies. So 25 total gals and one rooster. With 10 total breads. Its getting exciting here on our homestead. Chickens laying and other growing, garden in, herbs growing, etc. Busy and exciting time 🙂

Chickens are like potato chips…

You can’t eat just 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 or more -or- in this case can’t just have 5 or 10 or 20 or more… And with that in mind meet our newest baby chicks…

baby chicks

Yes we just got 4 more about 2+ months ago, but one turned out to be a rooster (more on that later), we lost one of our buffs on Easter, and I got more requests for eggs. So hubby and I saw these girls and had to try out some new brown laying breeds. So we got 8 more…

chicks2

We did get one additional Americana that would lay colored eggs (green/blue), but the rest lay brown. This includes three Speckled Sussex, two coco marans, one amberlink, and one barnevelder. Unfortunately we lost our Americana about 3 days in. We think she got smothered by her sisters or something, she was very small, it was very sad 😦  She was fine in the morning but by mid day when I got home from work she couldn’t stand and wasn’t eating or drinking. We kept her alive for a few more hours before she passed.

baby chick passsed

Our hen house in a few months will include a colorful array of chickens. And we will be up to 10 different varieties of chickens.

baby chicks2

So if you have one of our new breeds in your hen house let us know what you like and even what you don’t like about them. We are eagerly learning more about all new breads. (Lets just hope none of these babies are roosters 😉 )

 

Rain and Chicks

Hello All

Hope everyone is having a great week and have good plans for the weekend ahead. We have been dealing with a lot of rain this week, but trying to get the babies out in between the rain…

4 babies

They just love getting out and are growing so fast. Enjoying having these babies in the house 🙂  (on a sad note we lost one of our 2nd batch girls the buffs… but moving forward with the new little ones ). Sending out sunshine and blessings your way!

Happy Easter 2017!

Hello…light chick

Wanted to wish you all Happy Easter!

4 girls

Christ has risen and even our baby chicks are celebrating this beautiful day. Hope your Easter was blessed.

Chick Adventures

The baby chicks have been getting out more now that it is warm enough and are learning many new things. Sometimes they learn together…

chicks

And other times one or two will get brave and venture a little further solo before running back to the group…

chicks black

But they are never to far from me yet…

chicks 1

Because Chase will herd them back if they do go to far…

chicks herd

They are learning how to peck at the ground for food…

chicks peck

And how to pose for the camera…

chicks pose

It’s a fun time with them and will put you in a good mood watching them learn to be chickens 🙂

 

 

 

Growing babies

Its been a fun experience so far with these girls. Each batch of chicks we have had has been slightly different in the way they interact with us, interact with each other, and depending the season how much they get out and how early.

4 baby

These girls like to pair up a lot. But which two are together usually depends on situation and who is doing what. I think this also has to do with number… there are only four of them. Before now the fewest we have had together is 8 and usually get 10 at a time.

2 chicks

Each is starting to get their own personality and each has her own coloring which makes for a pretty batch of girls. One is very light in color… (she is always primping)

light girl

Another more medium brown… (she likes to sleep and is passive with the others)

med brown

The last Ameraucana is dark brown and black mostly in color… (she is the leader)

dark girl

And the other girl is our brown egg layer so she is all back with little spots of white… (she is all over the place and likes to be second in domination)

black girl

Over all they are a fun bunch 🙂

 

Guess What…

We got new baby chicks… (yes mom we did 😉 )

4 baby chicks

It wasn’t planned really as we thought we were done for a while with chickens, but these girls are addictive. A friend of ours at church was getting some and offered to add to his order because he was getting a kind I always wanted… Ameraucana ‘s 🙂

3 americanas

So meet our three girls the Ameraucana triplets…

3 Americanas chick

And here is our other new girl as we decided to go ahead and add a new brown egg layer. So here is our first Barred Rock baby…

bard rock

They are sweet birds and less skittish then the last couple of batches we got. So we are excited to add to our flock.

4 babys

If you think chickens are not addictive… I beg to differ 😉 The proof is above 🙂

Growing and Laying

Our baby chicks aren’t so babyish anymore… sad face 😦

Chicks2

Two of our Columbian Rock Crosses have started laying (but not the one pictured below)…

Chicks

And maybe even one of my New Hampshire….

Chick

Their eggs have been so little and cute 🙂 No yokes in them at first, but now they are getting a little bigger so we’ll see when I crack open a bigger one…

Egggs

It has been very interesting to see these chickens integrate into the old flock and find their place among the other ladies. Its also fun to hear the difference in their clucking and little noises from the other types of chickens we have. I sat outside the last couple of nights since its been cooler, and just watched and listened to them…. Loving our adventures in chicken land 🙂

Previous Older Entries