Friday, April 26, 2013

Yard Work, I LOVE Yard Work, Really

Yesterday was a beautiful day so I worked outside all day long.  I started on the front yard first and part way through I managed to get the mower in a ditch in the front side of the yard.  I managed to get it buried up to the axle of the back wheels.  In my defense I usually use the lawn tractor to do that part but with all the rain the ground was way to saturated and the more I tried to get it out the worse it got.
I called my husband at work and asked if I ever got the lawn tractor stuck how would I pull it out with my vehicle.  He said no way could I do it and said it was almost lunch time and would come home and get it out.  He came home put a chain on the front of the tractor, hooked it to the back of his truck and in less than 10 seconds it was out.
While I was waiting for him I put together some recycled, re-purposed yard art flowers and put them out by my Fresh Eggs sign.  I thought it needed a little bling.
After the flowers I then went back to mowing and finished everything I could with the lawn tractor and then got out the push mower and finished the places I could not do with the tractor; like the ditch.

Today I pulled the few weeds from my garden beds, I have onions, radishes, beets, 2 kinds of lettuce and peas up. The potatoes should be coming up in a week or so.

My sign with my flower art.

Copper decorative bowl and jello mold on green rods with old spoons pounded flat for the leaves.

View of the front of the house, check out those neat straight mowing lines.

Side yard, the bush to the right is a lilac bush and next to it is the little ditch I got the mower stuck in.

View of my "Garden of Eden".  Potatoes are in the front end, big empty space for tomatoes and whatever, radishes, lettuce, beets and peas at the far end by the blackberry bushes.

2 raised beds of onions with some chives and other herbs in the bed on the left.  That is my guard rooster who watches over everything.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ball Heritage Collection Jar, Product Review

I was contacted last month to see if I wanted to review some of the pint size Ball Heritage Collection Jars and I think I answered the email in record time telling them yes.  I received a case of 6 jars and have finally got around to using my first one.
I have to let them talk to me, have to let them inspire me and sometimes that takes a little time.
For my first jar I turned it into a light.  I took a jar light kit, small lamp shade form, vintage kitchen towel, vintage trim and vintage buttons and the lamp is finished.  It turned out real cute and could be used many places.  Use it in your kitchen on a counter where you need a little light and some decoration.  Use it on your desk in your home office or take it to work and use it on your desk there.  Use it on your shelf in your laundry room.  There are many places to use this.
I will be working on projects for the other 5 jars so watch to see what I come up with.  Better yet get yourself a case of 6 and come up with some projects of your own and share them with me.  The color is a little brighter blue than the original Ball Blue and I really like it.
I wish they would have made these in the quart size so I could use them for light fixtures.  I am going to try and use the pint size and hopefully next week will have it done.  The weather is holding me up as I need to spray paint the fixture and it hasn't been warm enough to do it yet.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it and no other compensation was received for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my honest opinions.

If interested in purchasing the lamp it is listed in my Etsy store.

Ball Heritage Collection  Jar made into a light.

Used a vintage kitchen towel and vintage trim for the shade.

Filled the jar with vintage buttons.

monday's homestead barn hop

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Amish Store By Our House

The Amish Bakery/Bulk-food store we used to go to by our house has closed and the owners are moving back to the community where they lived before moving to this area several years ago.  They had had an auction and several of the other Amish families in the area also brought stuff.  They had a lot of items that had no interest to us but did find a new in the box paint sprayer that I am going to use when it gets warm enough to stain the turkey coop.  Also picked up a couple small items.   We had homemade donuts for breakfast and hamburgers, hot dogs with a slice of pie for lunch.  All the food was by donation for the school.
The store/house will be occupied by one of the Yoder's sons for right now.
One of the Kaufman (dairy farm) sons has a piece of land on the main route and will building a bakery/bulk food store there.  He will be having a lot more meat and cheese and have a variety of different items.  Being on the main road should bring him more traffic.  Real anxious for it to open.  He just got his building permit so it will be a little while before it opens.  I wish them well and hope they do very good.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Update

The rooster that got a little tore up is doing beautifully.  His toes and head look good and the bleeding has stopped.  I will keep him in the "hospital cage" until we decide what to do with the offender.  Ron is asking some guys from work to see if someone wants him.
The 2 turkeys with the leg problems are doing much better.  The one who was always on his back is on his stomach most of the time and is starting to use his legs more.  The one who used to army crawl all the time is using both legs and is getting around pretty good.  At this point I really think they will make it.
In the brooder I have 12 chickens and 4 turkeys, not as many as I had hoped for but some is better than none.
The incubator with lots of turkey and chicken eggs has had no action and I have lost just about all hope anything else will hatch from it.  Tomorrow will be the last day I will keep the eggs in it and then I will give it a good cleaning and add some chicken eggs to it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Weekend of Life, Death and Rescues

By now you know that I had over a dozen chickens and 7 turkeys hatch this weekend.  I still have a lot of chicken and turkey eggs in the incubator and am loosing hope that they are going to hatch.  If nothing happens with them by Tuesday I will take them out and and dispose of them.  I will then sanitize it and put in some more chicken eggs.  I do have 5 turkey eggs that hopefully will hatch next Monday and 10 that will hopefully hatch in 3 weeks and 2 days.  These eggs are from Thelma and Ted and hope they do better than the ones I bought.

Not all the chickens and turkeys have lived and that is just part of the game.  Of the 7 turkeys 3 have died and 2 have leg problems (so did the ones that died) and 2 are doing excellent.  The chickens have done much better and have lost only 2 of them.  The rest are just happy and all over their brooder.

When we rescued the 10 hens and 3 roosters from up the road they were not taken care of very good and have come a long way since we brought them home.  Brandon took one of the roosters to add to his flock so he could have fertile eggs and has several eggs in his incubator that he got from us as an early birthday present and paid for the rest by doing yard chores for me all weekend.  One of the hens died about a week after we got her so that left us with the 2 roosters and 9 hens.  Everything has been going fine until a couple days ago when we noticed the red rooster fighting with the Easter Egger rooster who is also his father.  Today I noticed the father was bleeding and was staying in the coop all day.  I went out to do one more check of everything before it got dark and went in the coop got another egg but did not see the rooster.  I went out to the run and still could not find him and then noticed that a bunch of the chickens were in the back corner of the run making all kinds of noise.  Went back there and in the corner on the ground was the rooster and they were pecking him, at first I thought he was dead.  I realized he was still alive and kept hitting the fence trying to distract them until I could get Ron's attention so he could come out and help me rescue him.  Ron  got in and got him and then I held him while he sat up the cage we have.  The only places I could see where he was bleeding was from his feet and face.  We put the cage in the shed, added some straw, food and water and he seemed much happier.  When we put the food and water in he acted like he hadn't ate for a while.  Looks like we will be finding a new home for the red rooster.

My Weekend Help

Brandon came to spend the weekend and helped me out with a lot of things.  First thing Saturday morning he   fried me eggs so I could have an egg and toast sandwich.  He helped me clean out the incubator several times, helped me remove the birds that died and then we went outside.  Since we had a lot of rain last week the yard was perfect for rolling so Brandon rolled the yard.  I used the weed whacker and worked on the neighbor's herb/flower garden then did our whole yard.  Ron took off the snow blade when Brandon was done rolling the yard and then put the deck back on and Brandon mowed the yard for me.  It looks so nice when it gets done.
Ron cleaned out the entire shed and rearranged everything and looks so nice.  Last week he started working on his work bench in the garage and has it almost done.  Our garage is a catch-all.  It seems like we clean that stupid thing out all the time.  We don't have a basement so our storage space is very limited.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chickens and Turkeys

Yesterday morning my first chicken hatched and then throughout the day I had several more chickens and a few turkeys hatch.  I've had some deaths to go along with the births.  Right now I have 11 chickens and 2 turkeys that are thriving in the brooder (level 3 nursery).  In level 2 nursery I have a chicken that will go to the brooder in the morning, 2 turkeys that probably won't make it.  One has a leg problem and the other is constantly on its back.  I also have a turkey that just got out of its shell and looks good.  In level 1 nursery I have lots of chicken eggs and several turkey eggs that candled good but have not started to hatch yet.  My hatch rate is less that I had hoped but need to remind myself this is the first time I have done this and there is no way to guarantee an egg is fertile, no way to guarantee that if if you do everything correct you will have a good outcome.  It's a gamble and I hate to gamble.
At this rate I will be putting more chicken eggs and turkey eggs in again next week and hope to have a better outcome.

First egg that hatched.

First batch of chickens and turkeys going out to the brooder.

The black ones are turkeys.

I guess they were a little frightened, the minute I put them in the transfer box they peed and pooped.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekend Chores All Done and Babies on the Way

Except for staining the turkey coop is done; the new window, huge window got put in the chicken coop and the brooder has been started.   When it gets warmer I will stain the turkey coop and plan on re staining the chicken coop this year.  Last year I re stained the shed and want to make sure we do it every few years so they hold up.
Today the auto egg turner in the incubator with just the chicken eggs was taken out, candled all the eggs and took out the ones that did not have any development.  Of the 38 eggs that I started with 20 remain and the other 18 I took out in the back field and broke them.  They did not smell at all and none had any development in them.  Sure hope the 20 that are left all hatch.  Hatching should start sometime Wednesday.
Then Wednesday the 26 turkey eggs and 15 chicken eggs in incubator # 2 will be taken off the auto turner, candled for the last time and the ones that show no development will be taken out.  Those should start hatching sometime Saturday.  In incubator # 3 there are only 6 turkey eggs that have been in for 2 weeks so I candled them and 5 look pretty good.  Right now I plan on adding the 6 turkey eggs I have in the closet (coolest place in the house)  and what is collected until incubator # 1 is empty.  Then next week we will see how many live turkeys and chickens we have and go from there.  We are not sure how many turkeys and how many chickens we need to raise for the year.  It's all a guessing game at this point.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Babies Due Next Week

Starting next Wednesday babies should start hatching.  First there will be chickens and then on Saturday the turkeys and more chickens will start to hatch.  When my granddaughter Hannah was here helping me on Monday we candled all the eggs in 2 of the incubators and am really disappointed with the results.  We put an X on eggs we think should hatch and ? marks on ones we weren't sure of.  We have more eggs without any marks and am disappointed.  I have to remember that this is the first time I've done this so I shouldn't be so hard on myself.  We did not candle the 3rd incubator with only 6 turkey eggs as it was too early for  someone not really trained to see something.  I will candle them this weekend.  For sure when the incubators get done they will be sanitized and filled again.  I have been saving the turkey eggs for the last few days and have 3 and by next Thursday sure hope to have several more.
As busy as the 2 roosters are the chicken eggs should all be fertile.  It only takes 2 days of saving eggs to fill the incubator and will use the one with the turkey eggs in it now to fill with chicken eggs.
I would love to find someone local who would take me under their wing so I could learn some of this type of things.  I'm thinking about putting an ad on Craigslist asking for someone who raises their own meat chickens if they would like some free help in exchange for teaching me to kill and clean chickens and turkeys.  I've read a lot, watched videos on YouTube but doing it is the best teacher.  Or maybe I could call my county extension office to see if they know of someone who might want to be teach me; this is probably the safest thing to do.  I'll put that on my to do list for next week.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Turkey Coop Update

Except for the wire skirting that is going on Friday and the staining that will be done when it gets warmer and finding something to put over a part of the top of the run to keep out rain and sun the turkey coop is finished. Thelma has laid 4 eggs since moving in, not in her nest box but always next to it so I put in a different nest box yesterday.  Maybe she didn't like the first one and hopefully will like this one.  Ted, I don't know about Ted.  He has to be happier not constantly being picked on but he doesn't seem to be happy.  I hope he is not depressed because I'm not sure they make depression meds for turkeys.  We do plan on keeping a tom and a couple hens from those we hatch so maybe he will be happier when they move in.

Turkey coop front view, pretty good for about 85% of the materials being recycled items and free.

The run side view.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Planting Done

After almost 9 long hours I have my spring planting done.  This is my first year planting in my "Garden of Eden".  I started out with planting 4 8 foot rows of peas.  I used the spade to dig the rows, it's like when Moses parted the Red Sea, you have to dig a trench to plant.  After the peas I planted 3 rows of beets and 1 row with radishes and 2 kinds of lettuce.  I dug these 4 rows by hand with a hand spade.  Then came 3 rows of potatoes which I dug with the shovel.  Then I started 15 containers of Cabin Tomato seeds that a fellow blogger sent me.  They are a heirloom tomato and are huge.  Really anxious to grow them.
I then came in at 2:30 for my breakfast/lunch break.  Went back out about 3:00 when Ron got home and he dug up the 2 beds for the onions and then Ron helped me plant them.
Done until it gets warm enough to put out the rest of the stuff which should be about 6 weeks.  I think I have more things I want to plant than I have space for.

4 rows of peas, I will add wire between the poles for the peas to climb on.  That is my blackberry bushes at the end of the garden.

3 rows of beets and 1 row with radishes and 2 kinds of lettuce.

Empty section where tomatoes and whatever else I decide.

3 rows of Yukon Gold potatoes.

This is where the peppers will go, I will put them in early and cover the frame with plastic  for my mini green house.

2 raised beds filled with onions, white, yellow and red.  Notice the huge rooster who is guarding the area, I bought him with our Christmas money from Tony and Renee.  I've wanted him for a couple of years and finally got him.