chick, chicken, chickens, egg, eggs, farm, Farmer´s market, hatching, hobbies, homestead, homesteading,, Keeping Chickens, killed, loss, mother, sustainability

Sad and Crushed.

My mamma nerves are raw tonight.

A little over 3 weeks ago I went to the farmers market to pick up some eggs. When using set eggs I saw that they were fertile eggs. So on a whim I put 2 of them in my small little incubator. I thought since they had been refrigerated that there would be nothing of the eggs and from my reading on the web it said that they would most likely not hatch but I was wanting to give it a try.

Ten days later I candle the eggs and see that one had started developing. I thought this very cool and had this great blog post brewing in my head about how you can hatch out eggs from the farmers market at only pennies on the chick where they would be good layers since they come from stock used for laying.

Anyhow, fast forward to today, day 23 of the chick being in the egg and the normal cycle 21 days to hatch day and I thought the worst, that the baby chicken had died. Crack open the top where the air sack was and to my surprise I see movement. I instantly feel horrible. Baby was still in there and alive and clearly just behind because, duh… I put COLD eggs into the incubator and it took a few days for the temp to get just right.

I hurry up and put the egg back in the incubator and go online to look for guidance. With the information I had given of baby being on day 23 someone told me to pip the egg (making a hole in the membrane) so that the baby could breath. I try and it starts bleeding! I’m horrified! I feel so guilty and dumb. Poor baby I should have just left it alone to do its natural thing like I believe in for all healthy births! I watch until I notice that baby is not moving anymore. My heart sinks. I leave the egg in the incubator until the boys go to bed to investigate. I poke at it and no movement. I watch for anything but the color now is off too. Finally, I come to terms that the baby is no longer alive in the egg and I crack it open to find a beautiful baby that died because I could not wait longer.

Perfectly formed. All the toes and nails and everything there. Just me being a bad, ignorant mother hen. Had I given the baby a couple of more days to finish absorbing the yoke and pip itself then I would have been welcoming a new member to my flock of chickens instead of feeling loss and guilt tonight.

Australorp, Backyard, boots, Buff Orpington, carrots, chicken, eggs, fava, garden,, planting, sustainability

Mini Farm Coming Along

OK, so I was going to take a before pic but honestly I was too ashamed at the state of my garden and horrified that my neighbors back door opened up to it and has had to look at it. It’s the only place where we do not have privacy fencing since there was already a fence there. But so far, I cleaned out the beds, used my Garden Weasel to turn the soil, added 6 cubic feet of peat moss and some organic fertilizer then turned the soil some more to mix it all up and then watered thoroughly.

I know it’s a mess! Wish me luck!

 I planted some Fava Windsor Broad Beans a couple of weeks ago and waiting for them to pop up and this weekend I´m planting some Organic Carrot Seeds Carnival Blend, some beets, some peas, lettuce and other cold hardy plants.

A couple of years ago I put down some weed cloth and put mulch over it. This looked great and was an awesome idea until my cats and the neighborhood cats thought that this would be the ideal place to poop. Yeah, eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwww. I kept stepping in it. I got to the point where I didn’t want to go into my garden area. That, plus the heat and the bugs just caused me to quit all together. My garden became a mess and my harvest was lost since I wasn’t keeping up with it. Now I have vines and weeds growing through the cloth. What do farmers do then (this is an Icelandic saying when there is a problem)? I´m going to clean out as much as I can put down even more mulch and then put down pavers for stepping on. This means that I need to go to my city’s free mulch site and pick up LOTS of mulch.

Mathilda the s/he bird
Owl, Buff and Mathilda getting lost in the weeds.

OK so the chickens are growing FAST! I know one of my Easter Eggers is a rooster so his name is Dinner. I live in the city so keeping a rooster is not being very neighborly. I’m still waiting to see if Mathilda is really a girl. I go back and fourth on if she is a he or a she so right now she is a s/he. LOL. I have just started letting them free range in the backyard. They are funny to watch and much easier to keep then I thought. Don’t know why I didn’t do this a LONG time ago. If you are on the fence on this one just jump in! If this is not the hobby for you then you can sell them and people will for sure buy laying hens and your coop.
Just make sure to read books on keeping chickens so you know the basics and have a library to reference to if you start having any problems and check with your local ordinands to see if you can legally keep chickens in your city. The entertainment value alone is worth keeping these birds. I could sit around and watch them all day. In June they should start laying if what I am reading about them starting around 18-22 weeks of age. I can’t wait! I’m still waiting on my Icelandics (lay white to pink eggs) and on a Maran (lays chocolate brown eggs) and Cream Legbar (lays blue eggs). It will be so much fun keeping these fun colors in my frig and giving them to the neighbors and friends.
Waiting for my boots to arrive from Amazon. Have to have proper attire for taking care of my mini farm.

What are you doing this spring? Trying anything new? New plants, animals, hobbies?

Ameraucana, Australorp, box, brooder, chick, chicken, chicks, Cube, egg, Eglu,, Orpington, Tulsa

Got Chickens on the Brain

Yep, I have got chickens on the brain bad! Yesterday I drove all over Tulsa County trying to find the chickens I wanted for my backyard coop (that we have yet to build). I want colorful eggs and good birds. I chose an Ameraucana, a Buff Orpington, and Australorp. I also want some Icelandic hens and will be hatching some out later this spring. I found a farm here that has all 3 breeds for me and a breeder of Icelandics sending me some eggs from Washington. I´m so excited! So then I have green or blue eggs, brown eggs and white eggs!

Yesterday we set up a brooder box for the chicks and now we sit and wait. I’m using a cardboard box until I have organized my deep bins in the basement and free one up to use for chicks.  Hubby is putting together my coop this weekend. Is it so odd to be so excited about feathery farm animals? The boys keep asking “Can we go get the chickens now?” I´ll be letting them decorate the outside of the box tomorrow.

I’ve read and researched and getting my chicks now against a wiser person’s advice of waiting til April (I do value this advice just to impulsive to go by it). Just getting a little start means I am just that much closer to having eggs, hopefully. Some of the birds I´m getting are even 3 weeks old already. Hope the stench in my house won’t get too bad if I change bedding every day until it is warm enough to put them outside.

Yay for being a step closer to being more self sufficient!

Is anyone else getting ready for spring? If so, how?

Here is the book I have been reading on the subject of chickens the last 2 days.

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Dreaming of owning one of these Eglu Cubes.

And getting some of these for my kids to run around in the backyard in this spring.

chicken, Curry, garlic,, Recipe, soup

Cold Weather Soup-Recipe

Everybody but Magni and Alex got sick this week and since my throat was raw I wanted something soothing. I found an Icelandic recipe but it didn´t quite have everything I wanted in it to be perfect. SO here is what I made and I’m writing it down so that I can make it again.

2 onions
2 carrots
2 ribs celery
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 sweet potato
4 garlic cloves
2 table spoons olive oil
1 Crushed Tomato with Basil, 28-Ounce Can
1 Coconut Milk, 13.66-Ounce Can
1 15oz can chick peas.
4 cups veggie or chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
2 table spoons curry (I use McCormick Hot Madras Curry Powder)
1/4th teaspoon Chili powder (taste it first to see if it is hot enough because chili will make it hotter)
1 teaspoon Turmeric Ground  
1/4th cup sour cream (if it is still too spicy for you later you can add some more)
1/4th cup parmesan cheese
1 roasted chicken (I get them preroasted at grocery store)

Cut down all the fresh veggies in to bite size pieces and saute them in the olive oil until the onions are clear. Add everything but the last 3 ingredients. Let this simmer for 45 min to an hour. Then add the last 3 ingredients. I pull the chicken instead of dicing it but as long as it is in bite size pieces it’s fine. Cook for another 10-15min and then serve with extra sour cream for those that want it. I like it the way it is. I´m sure this would be good with out the chicken too. The carcase can be saved to make stock for your next soup.

Backyard, chicken, hobbies,, project

Because my life isn´t busy enough.

Hahahaha. So I´m looking at even more hobbies like bee keeping or back yard chickens. I actually really want back yard chickens. I like knowing that I´m producing my own food. That is why I like veggie gardening so much. I like to know where my food has been and what has been done to it.

This is the coop that I would like in my back yard

I would only like 2-3 chickens. That would be enough for us for now. I might add another when DS gets older. The droppings will be good for the garden as well.

I also have way to many projects going on my needles. I finished a whole project yesterday. It is a bag that I´m sending to a friend. Made with Icelandic wool. It was a fun make.

I am also sending these socks.

Well need to go take a shower and then go outside and garden.