Posts Tagged ‘chicks’



Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real this week starts with some birthday fun from yesterday:

Look what I bought us for my birthday!  A proper step-through ladies’ bike for me and a bigger mountain bike for Ella.  Mine was on back-order and arrived just in time for my birthday.

For some reason, when I was riding it yesterday all I could keep thinking of was the scene where the witchy neigbour is riding her bike in the tornado in Wizard of Oz??

It’s a 7-speed, enough bike for me.  Too bad the cables are in the way and I can’t put on a basket.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Happy birthday post without my Pretty girl:

A little bit of helmet head, but I love my girl!

We’ve got more Happy Fun here on the farm:

The day old chicks arrived last week.  I think the light coloured ones are the meat birds and the darker ones are the laying hens.  And yes, I know this space is a little crowded.  The barns are still rather cold and with baby chicks warmth is more important than space.

Judging by how much they have grown since this picture, the light ones are the meat birds.

I guess the Real for this week is how horribly out of shape I am.  Considering the trips Belinda and I used take ‘back in the day’.  I wish we had decent side roads up here.  At home the roads are laid out in a grid.  It was very easy to go on big looping bike trips (and they were all fairly well paved).  Here roads just go anywhere and Snake River Line is so bad Colin often takes the highway with the big equipment instead.

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Our Little Flock

Our little flock is growing by leaps and bounds.  Just when we are about to give up on getting any Chantecler chicks they finally start hatching.  First it was Claire on the weekend and then we had two more.  Colin gives them a bit of a hand.  The shell and the egg sack are very hard to break.  We lost one letting it do it itself.  I guess the mother hens must help them along too.

We kept the 2 new ones separate for a couple of days.  I had to put my cooling rack over the incubator.  I came in Tuesday evening to find Figaro (the cat) half in the incubator with a chick in her mouth!!!!  Luckily no harm was done.  Needless to say, both cats spent the night in the cellar as a precaution.

Peep is getting quite the brood out in the summer kitchen.  We now have 10 chicks, 7 Banty hens and 3 Chantecler.  It’s very hard to get a good picture of everyone.  Every time I lift the mesh lid they run and hide.  They are such chickens -ha ha!   In the picture above you can see Henry.  He’s to the right of Peep with his neck stretched up.  You can see his comb starting to come in.  It was funny when Colin put the Chantecler chicks out in the box.  The brand-new 3 day old chicks were larger than the week old Banty chicks.  Every one seems to be getting along.

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Colin and Dad got started at the barley harvest on Saturday.  Dad loves the new combine so much that Colin didn’t get a chance to drive it.

They did a bit of tinkering with it, but the combine did a great job.  Most of the adjustments were because the previous owner combined wheat last.   They have to make adjustments to the combine for every different crop.  Today Colin pulled out his cleaner and cleaned the barley.  Now they can be put away until next spring.

Before we left for the cottage on Sunday, we were watching ‘Peep and the Big Wide World”.  Suddenly we here some ‘peep peep’.  Colin asked if it was the show and I said ‘no, Peep doesn’t actually peep’.  So we checked in the incubator and there was an egg hatching.  We’ve not been able to catch one starting.  This time the egg was a Chantecler!  By the time we got home from the cottage the chick was out and mostly dry.  This morning we moved ‘Claire’ to the box in the summer kitchen with the others.  She is already bigger than the last bunch of chicks.

Today while Ella and I had our afternoon coffee break, Ella heard some more peeping.  None of the eggs are cracked yet, but we did find which ones were peeping.  We should have a few more friends for Claire in a couple days.

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Peep is getting quite a collection of ‘babies’ to take care of.   We have  2 more banty chicks.  They look like twins, their markings are identical.

Colin and Dad were able to get the barn door back up and attached.  It took most of the day, but at least it’s done.

And just a final photo of my Sweeties relaxing.

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We’ve had a busy few days.  We’ve made garlic dills, spicy dills and old-fashioned garlic dill.  I made pickled beets a while ago.

I’m desperately trying to keep up the garden.  This pile of beans went with supper and was yummy.  We’ve actually got some peas that are getting too big.  I should have taken them to market on Friday, but Colin didn’t notice them till I was getting ready to leave.

This crock is full of a Fletcher favourite.  I call them Renfrew County pickles because I never saw them until marrying Colin.  Really they are icicle pickles.  They are a pain in the neck to make and take about a week and a half.   But I’m the only one of the family that is willing to make them and they are Colin’s favourite.

Peep and the babies are doing well.  The little ones are getting their wing feathers.  It’s a little cool today and so they are huddled up trying to keep warm.

Garlic Dill Pickles

In sterilized jars, put in a small bunch of dill, a clove or two of garlic and then pack jar with cucumbers (sliced or not).  On top of each jar, put 2 T sugar and 1/2 t salt.  Cover with hot vinegar.  Seal for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

For Spicy Dills, add 1 t pickling spice to jars.

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Peep’s Friends!!!

Woo Hoo!!!  Peep has friends!  We had 3 little Banty chicks hatch last night.  Two of the chicks have black stripes down their backs.  The other is just yellow.  It’s funny to watch them, they keep trying to get under Peep to get warm.  Colin’s got the heat lamp up.

Peep is taking to them well.  As you can see, she’s got her ‘mother-hen’ position figured out.  I reached my hand in the box to get this picture and Peep perked right up and kept an eye on me, to see what was going on.  She’s trying her hardest to sit on the chicks.  It’s so cute.

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We don’t seem to be having any luck letting the chickens hatch their own eggs.  I wonder if maybe it’s because it’s been so cold and dull.  I know last year when I bought the chicks we had to settle for 11 instead of the 25 I wanted.  Even the hatchery was having trouble getting chicks.

So we have decided to make our own incubator and try to hatch some chicks.  We started with a large cardboard box.  Colin lined it with tin foil and then installed a 40w light bulb.  We need to get the temperature up around 100F.

We headed out to the barn and gathered up all the eggs on the floor.  Colin ran interference with the mean rooster so I could do the bending for him  🙂  We’re not sure if we are going to have any luck with these first few eggs.  Since Colin has been laid up, we’re not sure how old the eggs are.  But we will be back in the coop in a few days and gather up some really fresh ones.

Hopefully, in 21 days we will have a box of peeping little chicks.  We’ll then move them to a safe location and let them grow before putting them back in the coop.  Ella’s very excited to see the chicks hatch.

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