Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brandon's Evening in Pictures

Pea bloom.

Birdhouse Brandon and Ron made several years ago.

Flower bush out front.

Egg sign on the tree.

Garden that is doing wonderful.

Onion beds.

3 chicks that are about 3 weeks old.

Chicks that were born this weekend.

What is that crazy Brandon doing?

No I'm not smiling.

I did not know for sure how many hens I had so we went out and counted them.  There are 33 hens and 1 rooster.  Some of the hens are on a roost on the other side of the coop.  Please note that you can not see them but there are 2 more roosts below where they are all crowded together.  Chickens by nature will sleep as high up as they can.

Broiler turkeys and chickens. 4 turkeys and 12 chickens so far.

Memorial Day Get Together In Pictures

Some of the chickens eating lettuce that the girls feed them.


Gina "the new mom to be"

Gina and she is about 5 months pregnant.  I did not take this picture her daughter Hannah did.
Reagan in her favorite place, the chicken coop.  She just loves to hold them and feed them and of course collect the eggs.

Mighty Derek, yes he is as ornery as he looks. 

Me, yes that hair is natural white.  Been grey/white since I was in my 30's.

Caleb, the second oldest.

Brandon, my helper and the one that comes over and stays a lot with his old grandma.

Ashley, Caleb's girl friend.

Ilayda, Ali's daughter from his first marriage, she is always so polite and has the thickest hair and love when she has it braided.

Ali, the new dad to be.

Renee, Tony and Ronnie, they were the cheering section for the games some of the others were playing.

Kartal, Ali's son, he says he never smiles, very athletic and smart.

Blossem, she always has a smile.

Ron playing "Hillbilly Golf"

Hannah, the oldest granddaughter.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Huge Shock

We celebrated Memorial Day today and had the entire family over for lunch and fellowship.  Right after everyone got here I got the biggest shock of my life.  Ali and Gina (oldest daughter who is 42) were discussing something and acting a little funny.  I asked if something was wrong and they said no and Ali said just go ahead and tell them.  She said we are going to have a baby, I thought she meant her 21 year old son or God forbid her 17 year old daughter.  I said who is having the baby and she said Ali and I.  Gina is 42 her kids are 22, 21, and 17 and is almost finished getting her RN license.  Ali's kids are 17 and 10 with the 17 year old living with him.  So this fall they will have 2 seniors in high school and a new born.  She just found out for sure on Friday and is due the first of October but will have the C Section at the end of September.  She still plans on going to school this fall but will not be able to take as many classes as she had planned.  She is going to school this summer and will continue to do that.  Of course this was not in their plans but as Ali said you have to deal with what life gives you.  She is taking it OK but Ali is taking it better.  They have been thinking about finding a bigger house and now they will for sure have to do it.  I figured some day I might have great grandchildren but NEVER anymore grandchildren.  I might even get to watch the baby a couple days a week as she goes to school.  I haven't held a newborn in 6 years that's how old my youngest grandchild is.
I am happy for them and knows that this changes their lives so much.  They thought they would be "empty nesters" in a couple years but that won't happen for a long time now.
Now my garage sales take on a new angle, they will need EVERYTHING and she will use second hand items.  They aren't that picky.  Next month they hope to find out the sex of the baby which will make it easier to get things.
Congratulations Gina and Ali and everything will work out just fine.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Moving Day Went Very Good

By 10 AM everyone was in their new homes and things seem to be doing good.  The broiler chickens and turkeys stay all bunched up right now but when they get used to their new space they will explore more on their own.  The 3 baby chickens and 1 turkey are all over their huge space and seem be enjoying it just fine.

The broody chicken thing is not going so good, there were 2 other chickens trying to sit on the eggs, someone else laid another egg in that nest that no one has used for over 6 weeks and Miss Broody was sitting on another next that had 2 eggs.  I moved the other 2 chickens and did not enjoy all the biting they were doing and put Miss Broody back on the eggs.  The other 2 chickens who were on the eggs when I first went out starting to get her off the nest and then they was a little hen fight going on.  When I left them things had settled down but I'm not sure this is going to work.  It was much easier to listen to her cry when i took the eggs everyday than to go through this.

This is my brooder; picked the baby bed up at an auction for $1, Ron brought some heavy cardboard home and used zip ties to enclose the sides, used a piece of scrap plywood left over from the turkey coop for the bottom, used recycled pallet wood to build the lid and covered it with chicken wire.  Not a beautiful thing but for the price it works just fine.  Total cost about $2.

The 3 chickens and 1 turkey (one in front) in their new huge home for  about 4 weeks and then they will go outside.

This is the broiler home; cost for this was only the zip ties and the 2 pieces of lumber for the roosts.  The fence frame was from the neighbor who gave it to us for cleaning up the eye sore he had going on, I bartered with him for it and some that Ron got at work.  The chicken wire was some we got free last year, it is a heavy duty stuff not like what you buy at the store.  The tarps were some we got at Menards and when you mail in your receipt and the rebate form you got your money back.  Nothing fancy but will only be using it for the summer.  We will take off the tarps for the winter and the rest will sit until next year.  We don't have any wheels on it yet to move it around but Ron is working on getting some free and then we can move them to new ground so they have grass to eat all the time.  He also is adding another support post in the front tonight, we kept some of the left over posts in case we needed them.

  Just remembered that really we made money on building this.  All the chain link fence and metal pieces we couldn't use we took to the scrap yard and got a little over $50 for the stuff.

All huddled up in the shade eating grass.

Miss Broody

Monday, May 13, 2013

Broody Chicken and Moving Day for the Broiler Chickens and Turkeys

I've have had a broody hen for several weeks now and finally yesterday I got tired of hearing her cry when I took the eggs so I decided to let her have 5 eggs.  When I was out cutting grass this morning I saw that someone else was in the nest and she was carrying on something horrible.  She must have got up to eat and drink and someone got in the nest as it is a popular nest.  So after all the yard work I went out and moved her to a nest that they don't use and gave her 4 more eggs.  At first when I moved her and was moving the eggs you thought I was killing her.  When the eggs got moved I picked her up and sat her in the new place and have checked on her several times and she seems very happy now.  This is the first time I've had a broody hen.  She is one that we got free when we got the turkeys last year.  She is a Spotted Sussex; she is brown with white spots.
Tomorrow is moving day for the 12 chickens and 4 turkeys that we plan on butchering.  After I get them moved I will clean out the brooder and then move the 3 chickens and turkey that was hatched last week into their new home.  Then when they get about 4 weeks old they will go out with the rest of the broilers.  They have been in a temporary small tote and will have a huge amount of space when they get moved.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chicken Feed

For the last several months we have been getting our chicken feed from a feed store/grain mill close to our house.  I found out about them when we rescued the chickens we got earlier this year.  The feed is fresh made by them and looks like real food and not something that has been pressed into a pellet that looks all the same.  Each bag is dated and I never have purchased anything that was older than a couple weeks old.
When I went to pick up some starter, layer and grower/finisher yesterday they were out of starter and was in the process of making up some more and did not have any grower/finisher.  They said I was the first person this season who had asked for it.  They said they would make up a 500 lb batch (I only buy 150 lbs at a time, that's what fits in the metal garbage cans I keep the feed in) and offered to deliver it to me with the starter last night so I wouldn't have to make another trip up.  Now how many places would do something like that.  I told him that was extremely nice but we would be coming that way the next day on our way to an auction and would picked it up then.
They sell eggs there, not for a profit but as a service to the community.  They were out and asked if I had any that I needed to sell and if so to bring them up and they would buy them; I took all I had, 5 dozen.  So every time I need feed I will take up my extra eggs.
If you raise chickens and you have a grain mill/feed store by you check and see if they make up their own chicken feed and try it.  I like that the grain that is grown in my area is being feed to my chickens and I am buying local and supporting my local farmers and businesses.  The price for a 50 lb bag of their feed is much cheaper than the commercial feed I was buying at my local farm store.
For those in my area it is the grain mill in Glasford, I always called it the Glasford Grain Mill but it is officially called Akron Services and I know they have other mills in other parts of the state.
So a big thank you to the extremely nice people at Akron Services AKA Glasford Grain Mill for going that extra mile for its customers.

One Year of Retirement and What Have I Learned

Its been one year since retirement and a lot of things have gone on.

I expanded my garden, I started canning again and canned about 700 jars of items.  There are some things I will do again and things that I will not.  I tried pickling some different veggies that I did not like, made way too much jam and will do more of some items.  Potatoes, potatoes with carrots, beets, pasta sauce, vegetable soup mix are all things I will for sure do a lot more of.  Chicken, turkey and ham will be done again.  I also want to can some pulled pork and try some beef for soup or stew.

I've learned to make some different crocheted items, sold items on Ebay and opened an Etsy store and do rather well on both sites. I've learned to keep busy most of the time but when I'm not busy I HAVE NOT learned how to handle down time.  I am a person who HAS to be busy all the time.

We built a turkey coop and run so they have their own area and Thelma has been laying much better since she was moved.

We built a chicken/turkey tractor, 10' X 10' to keep the meat birds in and it cost us less than $10.

I hatched by first turkey and chickens from my own girl's eggs.  Hopefully I have learned some things and have a better hatch rate as I go along.

Most important I learned that I thought since I was not working and under a lot of stress I could stop taking anti-depressant medications.  Since January when I started on the journey of stopping until now has been a tough time.  I ended up in the ER with a major stress attack (never had one ever before), have had horrible, horrible days, been off and on several different medications, have had several medical tests and finally am on the road to me again.  I am not there yet but I will get there soon.
I learned that just because there isn't a blood test, an x-ray or medical test to prove depression it really is an illness.  Even in today's world there is a stigma on anything related to mental illness or depression.  I've had people say just think happier thoughts, pray about it, just get over it and other stupid things.  Trust me if anything other than medications would help I would do it.
I am not sorry I did what I did because I learned a lot these last 4 months, learned it the hard way but finally learned that just because I take anti-depressant medications does not mean I am crazy.  I am a very smart, creative person who just happens to have an illness that most people don't understand including me!

I've learned that I do not miss working, learned who were my true friends and learned that the older I get the less contact our family has with everyone.  The grand kids are getting older so they have less time for old people, the kids have their lives, jobs and school so we see or hear very little from them.  It is sad but I guess it's a part of life, not a part of life that I like but it is what it is.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Beautiful Day in Pictures

View of my "Garden of Eden" and the trellis I made from a recycled cattle fence.

This is the chicken tractor we are making with recycled materials.  The only cost is for the zip ties we are using to hold on the chicken wire.  I'll take more pictures when we are done.  This is where the chickens and turkeys will live that are going to be butchered.

One of the apple trees that we planted last year bloomed.

2 of the 4 rows of peas, noticed the grass I added between the rows.

The row with the radishes and lettuce.

The tomato plants and a view of the trellis on the right.

The lilac bush has finally bloomed, late this year because it has been a late spring.

2 stray huge tulips out by the front tree.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Garden and Yard Work

Yesterday I planted my yellow wax beans, green beans and cucumbers.  The only thing I want to add yet is 2 egg plants.  Would like to add a few other items but have run out of space.  I also took some scrap fencing  and made a trellis for the cucumbers to climb.  It is rather unique looking and will have to take a picture of it. The garden is doing very good and the weeds are few.  I think I'm going to love this "Garden of Eden" thing.
Today I mowed the grass, took 5 1/2 hours.  Have a lot of hand mower work and because it did not get mowed last week it was rather long.  I bag my grass and the bagger needed emptied a lot and the grass shoot kept getting clogged so that is what took me so long to get it done.  Ron did the weed whacking when he got home.
I put the bagged grass between the rows of things in the garden.  This will add nutrients, keep down the weeds and keep the soil moist.  I also did give the chickens some, it is good for them and makes their yolks a deeper yellow/orange.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Peppers and Tomatoes are in the Ground

After delivering 10 dozen of eggs to a new customer, packing up several Ebay and Etsy orders and taking them to the Post Office I came home and worked outside.  We have rain in the forecast for the next 5 days so I thought I better get it done.  I put in 7 pepper plants and 6 tomato plants.  Sure hope we don't get too much rain because I'm not sure they can do the backstroke.  Next week I will put in a roll of green beans, half a row of black wax yellow beans and some cucumbers.  The only other thing I want to get is a couple egg plants.
While I was out I decided to bring out the babies (3 weeks old Friday and Saturday) and put them in a portable yard cage we got at a garage sale.  At first they did not know what to think but after a while they had a ball.  They got to stay out for about 5 hours.  Doesn't look like they will get to go out again for a while because of the coming rain.

Over the top is a piece of black netting to protect them and to keep them in.

The 4 black ones are turkeys and the rest are 12 chickens.

Picture when I removed the netting.

Aren't they so cute.