Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Day 19 - Chicks are on their way!

These videos were taken last night on Day 18. All in preparation of the birth/hatching of the chicks!

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Day 17 - Countdown to Baby Chicks

Thanks to the folks who originally took this photo. I copied it after seeing it on someone else's site.

We are getting very excited around here! The babies are due to start hatching on Thursday, day 21. On Monday or Tuesday we will have to move the eggs off of the egg turning device in the incubator. This is to prevent the little chicks legs from getting caught! I had to look up a picture on the internet to let me know what the Silver Hamburg chicks look like. I am especially excited about these chicks because their breed is on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list in the "watch" category.

Farmer Jeff spent part of the day building the first of two brood boxes. He is amazing! The both of us keep forgetting just how many babies we are going to have once the hatch takes place...I need to buy special medicated chick feed for them! I also mentioned that I would need to get a bigger chick feeder for them because I don't think our little regular feeders would handle it all. We shall see!

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Day 15 on the Countdown to Baby Chicks!

There is not much to report on the eggs/chicks. Things still look the same in the incubator. I need to refill the water trough more frequently and I still am guessing at the humidity. Eventually I will order a gauge from the poultry equipment catalog. The heat is finally holding steady, thankfully, so I don't need to worry about constantly readjusting that! Once we get to February 9th I will need to remove the mechanical egg turner and place the eggs onto the screened floor of the incubator. This will need to be done very gently and carefully. I have NO idea what I am doing, but will imagine I do! Act as if, right?

Life around here is getting busy. We are busy getting ready for farming. (Farmer Jeff has forgotten he also needs to help Chicken Mama rig up a brooder for the babies...!) We bought many packets of seeds (over 50!) at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Bank in Petaluma. Farmer Jeff and I were each walking down the aisles collecting seeds. We ended up spreading them all out on the floor, grouping them in food categories (cucumbers, radishes, beets, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, corn, beans, and assorted herbs) and interestingly enough, we didn't duplicate a single one! If you live near by you really should go and see the place. We swoon the whole time we are in the store. I feel myself growing faint and needing my smelling salts just thinking about it! Okay, not really...but it is simply amazing to experience if you are a farmer/grower.

Farmer Jeff has gone on to order yet more seeds from a couple other of his favorite seed places (Seed Savers, Johnny's, Tomato Growers Supply, Victory Seed) and the dreaming begins! He has been carrying around a diagram of how things are going to be planted at our furthest/biggest site. He is engaging a little crop rotation action.

We have set Feb. 15th as the start date for seeds and have actually planned when we can go away around the growing season. We can't leave the seeds because if they fail we lose the whole crop, but we may be able to get away later.

It is raining again. I feel as though I should have gills or at least webbed feet with all of the water. We are supposed to get 5 inches of rain from this storm alone. Last week we ended a 10 day stretch of rain with a total over 13 inches of rain. Crazy!

In between the rain Farmer/Inventor Jeff is out taking apart his portable smoker. He is removing the existing lid and will weld it onto/over the built in pig roasting pit. He will then add a rotisserie/motor unit to the portable smoker. If you get the idea that:
A. Farmer Jeff likes to build things, you are correct.
B. Farmer Jeff likes pork, you are correct.
C. Farmer Jeff can't sit still, you are correct!
When Farmer Jeff stops...he falls asleep!

I leave you with a picture of our sweet feral porch kitty, P.J., safely perched up in the tree.

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