Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Chicken is Born Fowl Doings

Since the demand for our free-range eggs is always high, and my Americana hens are getting a little old and not laying as well...

we decided to incubate some eggs! We've never incubated eggs before, I've always had bantam hens to brood for me, but my adult bantam can focus long enough to set, and the new bantam hens haven't got the urge yet...



An incubator isn't an ideal situation for taking photos; the cover is glass and there's also a heating element that runs through the glass, but this is the best I can do, so...We knew nothing about incubating, so this batch was an experiment, we just stuck the eggs on a turner and put it in the incubator and waited...after 21 days, the first chick started poking its way out of the shell! We figured something was gonna happen soon, because the night before all the eggs were tilted up, very strange...We first saw the hatching was beginning about 10 a.m.
You can see the very tip of the beak in this pic...

The crack is getting a little bigger now...

You can't tell it from the pictures, but the egg was very visibly rocking back and forth the whole time...




We can finally start to see a little bit of the chick now...


The shell would open wider when the chick was moving or kicking, then it would close back up some when the chick stopped, to rest, I assume.




Finally, the chicks head is almost out-her head is kind of tucked around back into the shell-that's her eye right above the shell...

Finally she gets one of her feet out-I thought it was essentially out of the shell at this point, but...


it still took some more effort until she was completely...

free!

Not the best looking thing you've ever seen, huh? lol!

The whole process was much longer, and more violent than I had imagined! She finally hatched about      . After she did finally hatch, she was kind of bashing around the other eggs, which we thought was maybe not a good thing, so...

we moved her to the chick nursery. She started to dry off, but remained pretty unfortunate looking until the next morning...

which is when we found these two that hatched sometime during the night! We only ended up getting 3 chicks out of this hatch-and man am I gonna be mad if they're all roosters, lol! But we did some research and asked some questions and think we know how to refine the process for better results next time. We had to run to the feed store to get some chick supplies, and we came home with...

28 more chicks lol! They had some  chicks, which are going to be our new core for the chicken operation, more on them later, so we got all 16 of them. I've been wanting to get Cuckoo Maran chickens forever, they lay the most beautiful chocolate brown eggs-I've never been able to find any, so I was thrilled to get 6 of them, and they also had Welsummer chicks, which are cool and lay a pretty egg too! So, one of these days I'm gonna have to do a chicken count and see how many we have now. PS, I know why people count their chickens before they're hatched...because it's almost impossible to count them afterwards lol! Until next time, happytrails!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch; Part LXXV

 
YES! It's official, we are engaged!

Giant picked out the most beautiful ring for me, it suits me exactly and I love it!
 
We celebrated by going out for our fave, sushi!

Another pic of the ring, just cuz I'm so in love with it lol! Ok, we can move on now ;) 
Little Loki is as cute as ever...
 
 and growing fast!
 He's even getting his little horns now!

One of the biggest perks of warmer weather is not having to deal with frozen water hoses and hauling water! Loki says Hi to Smalls...

then decides to eat my shirt instead lol!
 
This Americana hen has almost abdicated from the hen house entirely...I barely have to feed the North 40 chickens anymore, all they want to eat is pig chow!

The critters all enjoy playing in the water when it's warm...

This hen takes advantage of the water that leaked out of the spigot while we were watering...
In goat news, Legacy finally had her babies...

Here they are with their half sister, Dora...

and of course Loki feels the need to be in on everything lol! Since we had new babies in the nursery, we moved out everyone except Legacy and her 2 new babies, Dora stayed to keep Leg company, and we moved Lola out so we could wean her other baby, Rolo...which means we weaned Loki too, so now he lives with the goats and eats goat food, thank goodness!

Baby goats are actually quite a bit of trouble...

but they sure are cute!!! Until next time, #happytrails!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quote of the Week

"and yes I said yes I will yes."  James Joyce

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 Week by Week-weeks 12 & 13

March 2014 is in the books! Simple layout with patterned paper, washi tape, stamps and some green bling for St. Paddy's Day!

Love how this pic of Maya climbing the stairs at the Maya exhibit at the museum turned out! We had such a fun day laughing about all the things the "Maya" do!

More washi tape, rubber stamps and of course my beloved Victorian ephemera scraps! Heidi Swapp arrow and dictionary quote 'blessed', for the great food and companionship we share! I journaled on a piece of vintage book paper, and fringed the bottom of the page with my new Martha Stewart shredding scissors-they shred like a boss!

And just because he's a darn nice barn cat, a layout of Chicken George...washi tape, ephemera and a very funny & true quote!

The March divider page with extra photos, tickets from events, etc. I added an ephemera rabbit and a pressed shamrock with a vintage dictionary description to fancy up the page a little...

and the reverse side has the Farmers Almanac for March and some washi tape. Can't wait to scrap April! Until next time, happy scrapping and happytrails!