Farm updates and a llama in a hat

I am so looking forward to the day when my mornings aren’t split between two houses, two sets of critters, and one coffee maker.  At the very least, there should be two coffee makers.  Or three.  Or seven.  (Perhaps I should put one in every stall, or just get an IV.)

Complaining aside, we are making progress.  Jeremiah has been putting in ten hour days out there.  In the past week, he has managed to almost completely reorganize the main barn, utilizing tool sheds to store things in rather than the aisle ways.  It’s looking fantastic.  I’ve been reorganizing the feed room, and that’s going more slowly.  Partly, that’s because I’m not a working maniac like he is.  Partly, it’s because my task involves organizing hundreds of small things rather than tens of big things.  (Checking expiration dates on medicines, etc has eaten up hours by itself.)

I have nine chickens moving in before the end of the month.  A friend of a client had to rehome her flock.  All are under two and good layers, and they asked me to take them.  I’m actually pretty excited about it…and oddly terrified that I’ll be a terrible mother hen (not to be confused with THE mother hen of motherhendiaries).  (I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing with chickens.  Somebody walk me through a day in the life, because the books I’ve read tell me a lot about splay leg in chicks and various mite solutions, and not very much at all about what to feed the darn things or what kind of waterer to get!)

The house, well, it is mostly just sitting there, being a house.  Between the barn eating up all of our time, and the little house renovations eating up ALL of our money and the rest of our time (we’re only $5,000 over budget so far…if I had known how much it would take, I’m not sure we would have renovated that place or had someone planning to live there), we’ve had little of either for the house we’re actually planning to live in.  We have a new window purchased for the living room (it’s beautiful!), but it’s sitting in the living room until we can afford to install it.  The new floor for our bedroom is bought and paid for and should be delivered to Lowes later this week.  (The carpet that had been in the bedroom had to go.  My allergist pretty well insisted that I get rid of any carpet…especially carpet that has been down for probably 20 years.)  Some of the paint is purchased, but not applied.  (I have some lovely people coming to help us paint on July 3rd! Yeah volunteers!)  One of these days, I’m almost sure of it, we will move in.  When that happens–well, first I will cry because I will truly, truly miss our first home–but then I will sing from the mountains.  AND BLOG!

We’re planning to go out of town for a friend’s wedding this weekend (Friday and Saturday), but I have my parents looking after the dogs and Jeremiah’s little sister in charge of the big critters.  Everything will be safe and sound while we’re away, and everything will start up again when we get back.

Finally, so to not disappoint, here’s a llama wearing a hat.

 

Minnett wearing a hat...headband...thing
Minnett wearing a hat…headband…thing

 

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8 thoughts on “Farm updates and a llama in a hat

  1. Chickens, how fun! You will be a fine mother hen. 🙂 I feed my chickens a 22% protein crumble although laying pellets are fine too (and I think they waste less). The main reason I feed crumbles is I have so many bantams right now. I’m not sure how well they could eat the pellets. I have a 12 pound metel feeder and keep it full all the time, giving scratch only as a treat. I’d get a 3 gallon waterer or you will be filling it up every day. Mine lasts about 4 days with my flock of 38. I’ve never had any ‘medical’ problems or mite problems. I think the main thing is letting them have enough space to take a nice dust bath every day. Mine take theirs in the evenings with they are let out to free range a few hours. They LOVE the horse stalls for this reason. Hardest part (for me) is keeping raccoons and hawks from getting them. Just make sure they are somewhere safe each night before dark. Hope this helps! Have fun with them! And post some pic’s! 🙂

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      1. Your Grandpa Cook ‘s family always had chickens;and so did we when we starting farming; T The chickens were my job, until I realized bedding of nests and floor area sent my allergies sky-high! But I still gathered the eggs and cleaned them. The $5.00 for the 30 dozen eggs was our grocery budget. John took over the chickens as a 4-H project when we lived in Rock Falls. ( Maybe you can get the 4-H project books to start you out) JUST KIDDING!!! But if an 8/9 year old can raise chickens, I’m sure you will do just fine. (( 🙂 ))

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  2. Hello darling girl! Thank you so much for the shout out and for the inadvertent introduction to thewickedchicken! Her advice is sound! I have a flock of 12… Layers pellets are available in any feed store and are perfect for normal to large layers. Get a drinker, as big as you can manage, that self refills. I have 2 metal waterers and one plastic that I have to manually pull the stopper to refill, which is a pain, but the birds love it, so it stays. I never give grit as mine are ranging free in a large fenced yard (they have a coop, but I never shut them in because I don’t fancy getting up at 5 to open it up again.a 6 foot fence has kept them save from the fox, and the pen has plenty of trees (pine) for cover. They take all our table scraps, eggshells etc. DO NOT GIVE SCRAPS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING OR LATE AT NIGHT. Scraps or mixed corn treats are given mid to late afternoon as the morning and evening feed (they’ll fill their crops with pellets on their own) ensure good egg laying. Table scraps make good eggs for sure, but they need the calcium from the pellets to form strong shells. Clean the coop regularly and scrape down their perched for healthy feet.dust for mites when you clean. Just dust everything with mite powder before laying clean sawdust, and make sure you put a bit of straw in the laying boxes. They are actually very low maintenance and a lot of fun to keep! And there is no egg like your own!

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    1. Thank you. You guys have been so helpful! And way less terrifying than the books that read like an episode of 1000 things that can go wrong with Chickens. (I’m sure animal planet did a special on that, right?)

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  3. Yay chickens! You’ll be a great mother hen with the rest of us. I think you have plenty of people here to tell you how to care for chickens 🙂 You’ll do fine… they’re way easier than horses, I’ll tell you that! Best of luck! (and work on getting that rooster.. you need some chicks!)

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