At the Halpern Homestead, we are having to wade through a yard full of birds, hopping and jumping all the way. We love baby chicks, so we have a lot of full grown hens now. We like it, but our yard is always full of them. They have acres to run on, but they really only like to be by the house in the front yard. Heres what the yard looked like a couple of days ago.
Tawny, Lois, Rhonda
Rhonda, Betty, Lois
Kelsi and Tawny
Willis! Our female duckin
Sophie's head and Willis
Blue, our male duck
Sophie and Willis
The water fowl running from the camera.
Julies and I looking for squirrels
If anyone is wondering why we have been posting so much these past two days, we have a good reason. The garden is planted. The weather is poopy. We are running out of spring projects. Just today Kels asked me how much paint costs so we can paint an out building thats looking a little rough.
Julies loves the squirrelies... and by love I mean she wants to eat them. We have this ancient cottonwood tree in the front yard and, I must say, although is a beautiful, most of the time, in the springtime it 'snows' meaning that it spreads cotton everywhere! Ugh! I hate it! However, there is one positive thing that I have found about this tree is...
Aww! How cute is that? If that wasn't cute enough by itself, then more popped out of that little hole!
I think these are babies. They sure were curious about what I was doing and who I was. They just stared at me. It was pretty sweet.
Mike decided to climb up near the hole to get a better look. The babies didn't like that very much and one even fell out of the tree. I was petrified that Jules was going to try to eat it, but the babies got away in time. Thank goodness.
Here is a picture of their little home. I guess it went back pretty deep. It must have taken them so long to hollow that out.
Again, Julies loves to try to climb the tree to get to the squirrelies.
I always feel guilty when I include one of our children and not the other. So, I included this picture of Khma modeling. Does she know how to work the camera or what?
This Saturday Kelsi and I went to the airport and picked up our second batch of meater chicks from the USPS distribution center. This time instead of the cornish variety, we bought 30 Deleware chicks from McMurray Hatchery. We were pleasantly surprised when we opened up the box and noticed that their were well over 30 chicks in there. I guess they packed in ten extra Red Star males for warmth for free. We liked that!
So now we have 40 meater chicks in the brooder box! We will be looking for customers these next few weeks and hope to have a successful batch of meat chickens. Thanks for all of your support in advance!
My wonderful wife to be helping the chicks into their new home
Let us know if you want to be a part of our chicken service! We will work out the details but here is a rough outline as posted in an earlier entry
This was today. All the chicks slept in a big ol' pile
Very much unrelated but we cleaned out the coop a couple days ago. We then filled the two 3.5ft tall by 3ft wide compost bins full of chicken bedding and poooo. If you all remember, we got them for free on Arbor Day at the Spokane compost fair.
That's a lot of fertilizer! In 6 months to 1yr........
Also while cleaning out the coop I found these old signs on a shelf covered in dust. They are from the old homesteading days of the prior farmers. It is kind of ironic that our hens share the same space as these signs, the signs which represent everything we are working so hard to get away from.
I feel like a terrible chicken mommy! Today was beautiful. I was reading on the hammock after Mike went to work for over an hour. It was marvelous. After I finished my book, I decided to go down to the garden and admire all of our plants (a post on that is coming soon!). When I got down there, I saw Juliette looking mighty interested in the ducks pond. When I got closer, I saw one of our white leghorns, Betty, in the water! Who knows how long she was in there struggling to get out... I feel terrible that I was enjoying myself, while Betty was suffering. I scooped her out of the water and ran her into the house to wrap some towels around her. I could tell she wasnt feeling well, because she wouldnt even move.. and if you know white leghorns, you know that they are very skiddish. I took her to the bathroom and attempted to blowdry her to warm her up. She was shivering and she kept closing her eyes. I was afraid she was going to die right there in my arms! After checking her out, I found that she is missing a lot of feathers on her belly and backside.. this leads me to believe that the prolonged water exposure made her feather fall out.. I dont know though.
Now, I dont know what to do.. I brought a kennel inside and put a heating lamp in there along with some towel to try and warm her up. I tried to get her to drink a little, but she wasnt interested..
Do any of you chicken mommys and daddies have any advice about what I should do next? I feel frantic and so sad.
As most of you all know, Kelsi and I have been growing like crazy in our new greenhouse this spring. We have grown so much that we are actually having a plant sale tomorrow at our house. I just wanted to share some pictures since we are very proud of all that we have done.
The tape measure is hidden in the back but this tomato plant is nearly 16in tall!
We have 21 tomato plants for sale
These are the pepper plants. We hoped for better growth but they are doing pretty well.
Beans and squash plants
Smaller squash plants, cucumbers, and melons
We had some dead space under the shelves so we put a few raised beds in the greenhouse under them.
This is the tomato bed. We planted it earlier this week, three weeks earlier than normal in this area.
This is an experiment bed. We planted a couple melons in it just to see how well they grow under cover.
The view from the door. Shows the new beds and all the plants.
Lower view from the door.
These are the pepper plants we are also growing inside the greenhouse. We planted 5 total inside
One of our melon plants in our raised bed. Looks pretty good
So, Kelsi and I just finished our first batch of meat chickens, and we have another batch of 30 arriving at the end of May. We are pretty good with chickens and really want to expand our farming practices, so we were thinking that this might be a good way for us to get into farming.. raising organic meat for others. Although, we would differ from the organic stores because we really want to incorporate the consumer into the act of processing the chicken. So, we are thinking of starting a chicken CSA ( community supported agriculture ) type operation. We haven't worked all the details out yet, but we were thinking that each customer pays the price of 4 chicks from the hatchery and one bag of organic feed of their choosing. We raise the chickens and when they reach maturity, you come help us by working one of our stations in the processing operation by either helping process or package the chickens. In return, we will raise them, feed them, change their bedding, let them out in the morning, bring them in at night, and just provide love. If you want additional chicken past that you can pay us a price per pound for organic free range chicken.
I really enjoyed my experience with the last batch and think that others could benefit from the experience as well. It really brings you a step closer to your food. Cut out the middle man, the fossil fuels, the hormones, the antibiotics. Just get so real wholesome chicken the way it should be raised. We would also sell these wholesome chickens at a price per pound if helping process would be too hard for people.
If you have any advice r suggestions about this please let us know. We are still working out the details so this is all subject to change, but we think this could be a rewarding experience for us and the consumer. Please offer any advice you can think of or any experience you may have in this field.
For our blog followers out there in the spokane area, we would like to invite you to our first annual green house sale at our place. I posted an ad on CL feel free to check it out and email us if you want to come by. We will be doing the sale Thursday May, 13th. Hope to see you all there.