Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Additions to the Flock

Here at the Halpern Homestead we pride ourselves on having a very diverse flock. We try to have just one or two of a certain type of chicken, except the Delawares which just kinda happened. So, we have a great variety of types and colors of chickens here. Although we can and will hatch our own chicks, today we got a few different types of chicken that we don't already have in order to preserve or diversity.

This lil fella is "Bob", Bob is a White Crested Black Polish

This is "Louisa". She is a Rhode Island Red, a replacement for one lost to a coyote or a hawk this past summer posted here.

This is a "Rufus". Rufus is a Black Cochin, we have a blue cochin now named Fancy the $204 Chicken, who is just the best!

This is Denise, she is a replacement for a hen that also passed away this summer to an unknown cause.

This is Myrtle, another replacement to a hen lost this past summer to a dog.

This lil fella is "Allie". A white silkie whom we hope will befriend Mere the Mighty, our black silkie.

Baby chicks are my favorite. Such an exciting little creature that can bring happiness to anyone. 

Thanks for reading! 

We love the comments, so keep them coming!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Goose Video, Rooster Identification Needed

Pierre our goose who was introduced here. Is still sitting on eggs. The goose eggs have been under her for 40 days. I assume there not fertile. Today however, I went into the coop to collect the eggs and noticed that she had eggs sticking out. So I investigated, watch the video below.

Can anyone identify what type of rooster this is? We got him from Mcmurray Hatchery last spring with an order we placed. They gave us a free 'rare' breed but, we don't know what type though and since we are going to be hatching eggs for sale, people want to know the mix. 

Drifting Snow on the Palouse!

Spokane received a late February snow storm, lots of snow last night and today. All schools are closed, city in a panic, really dramatic. I don't mind though, I love storms that are unique. This one for instance is really light snow with strong winds which creates wonderful snow hills in random places. Like in our doorway. 
We won't be getting the garden ready this weekend I guess. Sadness for me. It's also Kelsi's Birthday weekend tomorrow which is very exciting!

Thanks for reading

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Hatching.

Just wondering if anyone in the Spokane/CDA area is interesting in buying baby chicks from a local source instead of a hatchery. It's about time to start incubating eggs for spring sales and I want to judge the interest level so I know how many to hatch. Let me know if you are interested. The chicks will be a barn yard mix of layers. We may also have some ducks and geese for sale too. Prices will be very reasonable. Chicks will cost no more than the feed stores.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Merè The Mighty

Cashmere or 'Merè'(Meer-eeee)as we call her, is our Black Silkie hen. She is small, but very powerful. She has the biggest personality for such a little fella. She was a chick just last spring. Now she is the broodiest hen we have. Every other month it seems that she is trying to sit on eggs. Usually when hens go broody they stop laying eggs. Merè has been broody for a week or two now and yesterday she started laying again even though she is broody. 
She wants to be a mamma so badly! It's kind of depressing. 
So, today when I pulled the eggs I marked her egg.
And gave it back to her.
She wasted no time pushing the egg back under her.
Way under her.

We do have two other hens that frequently go broody, but not near as much as Mere. They are pretty special too. Shown below is Fancy, or the 204 dollar chicken, read her story here. She is a Cochin and one of our favorites.
This hen shown below is Dori.
Dori is an interesting chicken to say it nicely.

She is known for her delirium. She runs around in psychotic tantrums, running in circles, yelling awful noises, she doesn't like be cornered, she especially doesn't want you to look at her, and she is great at just being a general nuisance. But we love her, even though she is crazy. Wont she make a great momma?
This Aurcana below is another favorite of ours. She never goes broody. She lays giant green eggs. She follows us everywhere especially to the garden and greenhouse, and she likes to be picked up. Cant ask for much more in a chicken. 
If you don't own chickens then you may not know that chickens all have different personalities. Some like to be held and pet, others just like your company. True some breeds share similar temperaments, and other characteristics, but each chicken is different in a great way. I guess that's why we love them so much. Do you love your chickens like we do? Tell us about it.

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Its a Dogs Life

There is a dog park a few minutes away from our house that the girls are crazy about. Mike worked on Saturday and since the girls and I were feeling a little lonely we decided that we would go socialize with a few of our dog friends. Let me dialogue this out for you...

Juliette: "Where are we going, Mom? OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG Are we going where I think we are going??? YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

Mom: "Jules, Hunny, calm down. I know you are excited, but is it really necessary to bark at anything and everything that we pass?"

Juliette: "Mother! Must I pose for a picture when all I want to do is run around and play?! Jeez."

Mom: "Sorry Jules.. Go ahead.. rudepants."

Mom: "Smile, pretty girl!"

Khma: "Maaaaaaaaaam... C'mon"

Juliette: "O.M.G. I see... A SQUIRREL! Stop taking pictures, Mom. Im a little busy."

(This was the best shot I could get of my babies together)

Khma: "Imma get cha.... where are you..? Stupid jerk squirrels."

Khma was clearly not having any luck at the hunt.

She tends to be a little camera shy. 

Julies saw her squirrel. She attempted to climb the tree and was, unfortunately for her, unsuccessful.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


As most of you know, I am in nursing school right now and it keeps me pretty busy. I have a funny story that happened today at clinicals. We have a pretty strict dress code for us while at the hospitals, this code however, happens to not be gender specific. My instructor told me that some of the other instructors had engaged her in a conversation about my hair! This is funny to me because my hair is long, but not that long. I was likened to Justin Biebber(Whom I had to look up) or a hippie from the 60's and 70's. I decided that I didn't mind being likened to a hippie. That's not a bad thing right? 

-A lot of hippies started communes and were very self sufficient, as we strive to do! Quite well most of the time. We can, dehydrate, and preserve foods to last through the winter and we are slowly learning grow things and we are getting better every year! A married couple named Mr. and Mrs. H have a really nice model of self sufficiency on their blog
-Hippies are naturalist and support the environment! That's a great quality to have! We produce very little trash, we compost yards and yards of otherwise waste, and we buy chemical free cleaners and body care items. We diligently recycle even though there is no recycle service in our area and we have to take it in to a recycle center in the city.
- Hippies are often vegetarian or vegan or simply just healthy eaters. That's us too! We only eat meat we produce here, or from a source we can personally inspect and verify just and moral treatment of animals. 

I know hippies did a lot of other things, such as freelove and partaking in the use of psychedelic drugs that we don't do. However, I think that a lot of the moral values that hippies represented are great and should be carried on, especially in our disposable world we are living in.

On another note. The rooster I talked about last night has passed away. He went peacefully this afternoon in a soft bed of straw. Poor guy. Now Jane's babies are standing at 3 alive out of 7 hatched. Not a very good survival rate.

We also cooked up one of our homegrown meat chickens tonight. Raised here, processed here, and eaten here, just how it should be done. We smothered it in Jerk Sauce that we bought while on our honeymoon in Jamaica. 


Thanks for reading

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Injured Rooster

We have a rooster who appears to have gone lame on the left side. The foot appears flaccid, like he had a stroke. Right side seems intact. He can stand on his right foot for a small amount of time. Now we shouldn't be too upset because this young man is one of the terrorist rooster's shown responsible for attacks here and here. Still though, animal suffering is not something we like around here. 
I have been able to feed him and give him some water. I have some pictures here. Any ideas what has caused it? Any thoughts would be appreciated. We hatched this guy here a few months ago. He has had no vaccines or medicated feed, but the rest of the flock has been ok without medicated feed or vaccines. 
Lame foot?
Compare the two? The left has no muscle tension, just totally limp 
Just hangs down when I picked him up.
The only wound I could find on this guy was on his comb. Didn't look very bad though, maybe picked on because he was laying on the ground. I'm struggling with the decision to put him down, or to wait it out and hope for the best. He really cant walk at this point.

Thanks! Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An empty nest, cat hugs, and a delicious dinner

 Today was an interesting day in Spokane.Temps in the 40's, then snow. Must have been interesting enough to get Pierre off of 'his/her' nest
I eagerly await the times when Pierre leaves the nest so that I can candle the eggs to check for fertility. He/she only leaves the nest for a few minutes so you have to act quickly. If Pierre sees you go into the coop he/she will run back to protect the nest.
I ran to the coop flashlight in hand. 
I found a young pullet standing over the nest. I'm not sure if the warm nest attracted the guard, or may Pierre recruited some nest protection. Either way, the nest was barely noticeable. Pierre has been shedding down on top of the nest and also layered straw with the down to keep the warmth in I presume. I was able to candle two eggs before Pierre came back and both appeared fertile. In another 14 days we should have some goslings and a couple ducklings. Did I mention that? Pierre has both geese and duck eggs under him/her.
This cat named Henry loves his mama! He always gives mama hugs! I don't like it when he does it to me because he scratches my neck. So, it's a momma and Henry thing. A special moment for them to share. 
Tonight we had soup salad and bread for dinner. A simple meal with a variety of flavors!
Black bean soup with jalapeno
Fresh salad with blue cheese, and Dave's Killer Bread (The Peace Bomb)

We have also started a Facebook Business Page for our small but growing little farm. We don't have very much available for sale to the general public, but we did sell around 50dozen eggs last month! We also plan to grow a lot more vegetable starts this year to sell. Last spring we sold enough plants to equal the cost of building the greenhouse, so hopefully we will be as successful this year. If you want to check it out just click on the underlined 'Facebook' above and click the 'like' button. We thank you for your support, even if your not local.

As always,
Thanks for reading

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Halpern Homestead Gets a Visitor.

 Today when I got home from school I saw something flying over the chickens in the field. It is not uncommon for our chickens to be pounced on, cornered, or even picked up by hawks that are always flying around the surrounding fields. Today though, this was no hawk. It was much larger, darker, and had a white head. The bird flew off before I could get close enough to identify it.

About a half an hour later I left the house to go pick up our chicken feed order. I spotted a big bird with a white head in a neighbor's field. I thought, "weird, I didn't know they had a goose". On my way back from getting feed; the bird was still there. So I went home really fast to get the camera. I used the lens to zoom in and I knew what I had in my sights!
A bald eagle!
We do have eagles around the Spokane/CDA area, a lot of them. Mostly though, they hang around the water areas like Liberty Lake and Lake CDA. That's twenty or so miles away from us. It is weird that this guy was so far from the water. I usually think of bald eagles as fish eaters since I usually see them near the water.
Now, I couldn't get close enough to not have to use my maximum zoom but, it appears that this guy is feeding on an animal carcass.

This is from the back side of where the photos above were shot. 

I tried to get closer so that I could take bigger photos. As soon as I crawled through the fence he flew off. A huge bird and an awesome site for our farm land surrounded by miles of fields. This was a first time for me, seeing an eagle around here. Hopefully not the last.

Thanks for reading!