Friday, August 20, 2010

Farm update

We've been so busy trying to keep our heads above water, that I haven't had a chance to update the blog. SO many fun (and frustrating) things going on on the farm!

First, here is a picture of some of our young turkeys. These guys are pretty little, and are still relegated to the barn. The brooder lamp is off and they get a whole sheep stall to themselves. The bigger turks get to roam outside during the day, but still come in and sleep in the barn at night. we were hoping to have a turkey house built for them by now, but at about 80% complete, a wind storm came along, and blew it to bits. So maybe the barn is the best place for them.

Two of our little guys and Blue Slates, and they are just beautiful little birds. I can hope that one is a hen, and one is a tom, so maybe I can breed some of my own!

I recently went to our local 4H fair, and went into the bird room to see all the chickens and turkeys. I promptly wanted to bring them all home. BUT, I saw a roo there that made me realize that I had one! What I thought, all along, was an Araucana rooster, is actually a Salmon Faverolle. It's easy to see how I could make that mistake, if you look at the coloring of some of our 'Canas. However, now I know I can't breed any 'Canas, myself. But I guess that is OK...

Here is a picture of Bridget. She's getting so big! We are trying to find another Belted Galloway to get. We love her so much! And since we bottle fed her, she's pretty gentle, and let's us pet her. She doesn't come looking for attention, like Marlow does. But unfortunately for Marlow, his days are numbered. Sigh. Nicest steer ever, but he won't be with us past the fall...
Here are my latest little chickies! I hatched these three last weekend. I have no idea what they are. At one point in time, I knew if I grabbed white eggs, I would get Ancona chicks. We have since mixed up all my hens and roos. I now have a Leghorn roo, Polish, a Salmon faverolle, a Barred Rock, some Lakenvelder and an Ancona rooster. However, when it comes to hens, I have Barred Rocks, Comets, Aracaunas, leghorns, Black stars, Production Reds, Rhode Island Reds,Lakenvelders, Hamburgs, Astralorps, Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons.... you name it! So who KNOWS what kinds of chicks I am hatching.

So these 3 are a week old, and in a brooder box in the house. In the barn, I have a single hen that is 4 weeks old, 2 hens that are 7 weeks old, a rooster that is 10 weeks old, and a roo and a hen that are 13 weeks old. That's a pretty good batch for hatching my own little chicks! I love it!!

In no way does it replace all the birds we have lost to predators, but it's kind of fun to raise our own!

I was out hanging laundry the other day, in the company of our big turkeys, who like to hang out with me. All of a sudden, all the turks scatter, and I see a bird fly up into a tree. Something had dive-bombed my turkeys. We have hawks and eagles around here, but this was no big eagle. I looked into the tree and found this little hawk. He is half the size of the turkeys he was trying to attack. Good luck there, little buddy! Why don't you chase after the field mice, they are more your size!!