Monday, March 19, 2012

It's spring and some good news!

Seems like I say this everytime I write a new post, but its been a busy spring. We are busy hatching chicks, turkeys and ducks, planning for our move to the new farm and what else...attending seedy staurday/sunday events, continuing our grain deliveries and telling people about our meat and grain shares (that are still available!!)

We've had lots of eggs in the incubator, and under a muscovy hen. The past two weeks, we watched many chicks hatch, including one turkey.

Its an amzing process, to watch a chick hatch. First, they make a little pip- their very first craxk in the shell that begins this long, difficult process. Then, over the next hour(s) they continue to work at and crack a ring around the shell...until, that crack widens. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of some of their feathers as they heave and wriggle to push apart the two halves of the shell.

First pip

Within minutes of hatching

And then they push it all the way open and their little, wet, heaving body unfurls. They often start wriggling right away, fighting to stand and totter around aimlessly. And chirp hello to the world.

3 exhausted chicks in incubator

Chick and turkey

In the next few hours they begin to dry, and they begin to look like a real, fluffy fuzzbut. At this point we can remove them from the incubator to a brooder where they can mature for a few weeks.
Straw bale brooder
Plus just today we saw two ducklings peak out from under the muscovy mother. Wow, she's been sitting on thos eggs very tightly, not even budging for a second for us to see whats under her! But we managed to catch a glimpse of two that peaked out from under her!

Look for the ducklings peaking out!

As many of you know, we have bought a farm. Our move will be happening in two weeks and we are packing packing packing. And I am really bad for sorting stuff as I am packing (I have a 2nd hand store box, a to consign box, recycling boxes, throw out boxes of course...) makes everything a bit more time consumuing! But we're so excited. Every day I find more things that I am really, really excited about. There are the big reasons: we now have permanent land to make our plans and raise our animals, grow food and live a much desired life of self-sufficiency. Then there's the small things. Thinking about where to put in the veggie garden. The deck that we can BBQ on. Where in the yard that we'll have the fire pit to have fires and watch the sun set over the pond. Being able to build things, have a work shop.... Planting fruit trees and flowers. Getting goats to provide meat and milk in addition to the other animals. Soooo many things to look forward to that are making my heart feel like it'll burst out of my chest.

Oh ya, GOOD NEWS!! We have found loacally grown, all natural, SOY-FREE feed for all our birds. We are so thrillled about this, and we know it is an important consideration for many people who are concerned about the diet of our birds, so we want everyone to know. We will be day-ranging our birds year round, and supplementing their natural diet with this feed. Day ranging is basically free-ranging. They have unlimited access to the spruce-sheltered pasture and then at night when they return to the coop we lock the door to protect them from predators.

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