Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vigor, you handsome devil you

I have a habit of adopting chickens from other farms.

This spring, I adopted two from the Big Farm.  They were the only two that survived out of 50 incubated eggs.

I named them Vim & Vigor.

Since I named them, I got to keep them, since nobody could eat them after they had names.

(This was my agenda all along you know).

Well Helloooo sweetie!

We weren't really shopping for a rooster, but Vigor was, well, a cockerel, and we couldn't leave him and just take Vim, so they both came to live with our flock.

I've been trying to keep Vigor from growing up into an obnoxious, hormone-riddled teenager that would pick fights with me whenever I crossed their yard.

So far, it's working.  Threats of ending up in the stew pot seem to be taken seriously.

I was starting to think I was a little too successful, that our Vigor would never really, ahem, "grow up," but last weekend he put my mind at ease.

Shake it off Little Miss Sunshine

He croaked out two "Cock-a-doodle's" (he cut off the last "doo's") and I've since seen him "gettin' friendly" with the hens.

I haven't heard him crow since and frankly, that's just fine with me.

I like to sleep in a bit on the weekends, don't ya know.

And that's the end of my rooster tale.

A Vigorous ending to my tale

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Got Turkey?

 Everybody's got turkeys running around their back yard, right?

Finding Nemo.  Or grasshoppers, whichever.

I mean, why wouldn't you?

"peep PEEP"!

The only reason I can think of is, they're too darn cute and then it's hard to eat them.

Good thing I have a Thanksgiving ham in my freezer already.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baby Blue Slate turkey preening

I had to do it.  I had to see what they would do with total freedom.

When I take them out of their brooder, they just stand still as I scoop them up.

Then they stand on my thumb or wrist.

Sometimes they fly out of the brooder onto the rim.  And just perch there.

No squawking, running away, no flying into things, no craziness.  Unlike my newest batch of poults who are crazy wild.

Nope, these guys (or girls?  I can't tell which is which yet) are just sweet and docile and calm.

Baby Blue Slate turkeys exploring the yard

So I let them out of their kennel in yard today.  Because I knew I could walk right up to them and scoop them up if they strayed too far.

I figured they'd stick pretty close by, and all the cats were locked in the house.

I didn't have to worry.  They all stayed together.  They explored the front yard, the patio, the driveway.  They took a nap next to the garden shed.  Every so often they walked back into their kennel for a snack.

Baby Blue Slate turkey preens itself

I started cleaning out my garden shed, giving me something to do nearby so I can keep a watch on them. They were out for a couple of hours or longer.

They just hung around and explored together, making their adorable "happy turkey" noises and every so often a loud Peep! when they saw something new.

Here's a very short video of them investigating something on the sidewalk and making their 'happy' noises.  If' you've never heard happy turkey baby noises well then you're just missing out completely.

I am loving these baby turkeys just a wee bit too much.  Papa Bear has even suggested names for them.

Baby Blue Slate turkey exploring the patio

Goodness sake, doesn't he know if we name them, we can't eat them?

What ever will we eat for Thanksgiving?

Oh yeah, there's that pig our friends at the Big Farm raised for us that's being processed right now...

Thanksgiving ham anyone?

Cheers - 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Little lambs eat Queen Anne's Lace!

Moving sheep on our farm has been far, far easier than I ever thought it would be.

I have long ago shed the suspicion that sheep are stupid - quite the contrary, it is easier to move them to a fresh new paddock than our alpacas, which are supposedly more intelligent.

With sheep all you do is drop one section of electric netting and in they go, eagerly.

With our boys, we drop the electric line... and wait... and wait... and wait... sometimes we slowly herd them towards the new opening, only to have them circle around the paddock again and again.

Eventually one of them will notice the new opening in the fence (usually Boo) and wander over.

The sheep on the other hand wait in eager anticipation for the event.

Below is a very short video of the process.  Behind the whir of the wind you can hear the screech of a Red-tailed Hawk as it scolds us for being in its territory.  You will see how our sheep LOVE the Queen Anne's Lace.

I just love watching them go onto a new paddock.  You can almost feel their glee.

What gives you glee this weekend?

Cheers -

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pigs on Pasture at Kinney Valley Alpacas

Our friends at Kinney Valley Alpacas have been raising some pigs this year, one of which is ear-marked for our freezer this fall.

Hard to believe those 20# piglets from April are now topping 220# and growing. 

Pastured pigs at Kinney Valley Alpacas

By the time winter starts to blow in, our freezers will be packed with meat that we and our friends raised all within 10 miles of our farm.

It doesn't get much more "local" than that.

Who grew your food?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Little Miss Kali up in a tree... S-i-t-t-i-n-g

I'm not sure how she does this.

"Well Helloooo, Papa!"

She is the gymnast in our cat family {tree}.

Papa gives Kali a scritch

Despite her lack of front-wheel-drive, this doesn't seem to slow down either her tree-climbing or rodent-and-bird-catching abilities.


You will get yourself back down out of that tree, won't you Kali Kat?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

The new guys in the flock

So, no more holding out, I know you want to meet the new flock.  These pics were taken at just a few days old, and wouldn't you know it, these peeps are already two weeks old now.  Where does the time go?

In case you're wondering where you can order onesie-twosie chickens (many mail order hatcheries have a minimum order of 15-25 of one breed) Ideal Poultry allows small orders and gave us great service and all our chicks arrived in perfect health. 

So without further ado, may I present our next generation of layers:

Five Guinea keets of unknown gender (referred to as a Straight Run).  We bought these for predator alerts (they raise a ruckus any time they see something unfamiliar on the farm) and also because they are known to be tick eating machines.

Two Lavender:

Lavender Guinea Keet

 Two Pearl:

Pearl Guinea Keet

One White.  Her name is Betty.  White.  And since we don't know if she's a he, we're also reserving the name Bob. White. Because I think that's funny.

White Guinea Keet

Five bantam Silkies - also a straight run.

Two white:

White Bantam Silkie Chick

Two black:

Black Bantam Silkie Chick

One pheasant (we had two pheasant but unfortunately one died last week).  We needed more Silkies because Frickin says she'd like someone her own size around the hen yard thank-you-very-much:

Partridge Bantam Silkie Chick

Two Buff Orpington pullets (one of my favorites from last year's flock, Little Miss Sunshine, is also a Buff O):

Buff Orpington Chick

Two Golden Sex-Links aka Gold Star pullets - also in my flock from last year that we especially loved:

Gold Star Chick

Two Barred Rock pullets (also in our flock last year):

Barred Rock Chick

Two Black Australorp pullets:

Black Astralorp Chick

Two standard Americana pullets (aka Easter Eggers, which laying light blue/green eggs):

Americana Chick

Two bantam Americanas of unknown gender:

Bantam Americana Chick

And last but not least, two Partridge Rock pullets:

Partridge Rock Chick

We also ordered 4 Blue Slate turkeys from Cackle Hatchery when we ordered our broiler chicks.  They are the sweetest birds ever, calmer and less flighty than the chickens.  I hope their sweet disposition remains as they grow up.

Blue Slate Turkey Chick

I haven't named the 23 chickens yet, so if you have any suggestions please shout them out in the comments.

Cheers -
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