Friday, February 28, 2014

Homestead Update

It's been a cold winter for our part of the world.  My Aunt laughs at me when I fuss about the cold and the "winter weather".  She lives in Northern Vermont. 

Mr. Marvelous has had two trips to Northern Wisconsin since the first of the year, each one lasting a week.  The trips somehow seem to have coincided with the worst of the weather here. 

I've been busy keeping the animals warm and keeping their waterers thawed.  Spring is coming, the worst is (hopefully) over, and the animals have survived.

Before the first trip to Wisconsin we harvested all our old Buff Orpingtons and consolidated all our pullets into the large pen.  We now have eight Buffs (seven from the incubator experiments this past year and one "Old Girl" whom I made the mistake of naming.  She gets a permanent reprieve), and eight White Leghorns.  We will eventually get a White Leghorn Rooster to go in with all of them (of course his name will be Foghorn, what else?!).  We probably won't hatch any more of the Buffs; they just don't lay quite as well as the Leghorns.  We do plan to hatch out one or two runs of Leghorns periodically.  These girls average one egg/day six days a week.  They are amazing.  And they know it!

It is easy to tell who lay which eggs.  The Buffs' eggs are always brown, and the Leghorns' eggs are always white.  So we will know which ones to put in the incubator when the time comes.

The little Buffs are so funny.  The two who are laying both learned to lay right there in the middle of the pen by the fence.  Personally, I think they were trying to show off for the Roos on the other side of the fence.  Little hussies!

The roos.  Ah, the roos.  We still have six Buff Orpingtons.  We would have already harvested them, but the last harvest was eight and that was as many as Mr. Marvelous could manage in one morning.  We will get to them soon.  I'm going to try plucking when we do.  If that goes well we will definitely make turkeys our experiment for 2014.

All six of them have found their voices at this point.  I think they think the American Idol Scouts are in the area.  They begin their serenade/competition promptly every morning at 0400 .  And they don't stop.  This business of a rooster crowing only once at sunrise is a bunch of hooey!  On the plus side, that makes the harvest a lot easier emotionally.

We still have bees, and they are enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine. 

The rabbits are multiplying like you-know-whats. 

More with pictures next time!

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