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A lucky man

There is no doubt I have one of the best wife’s in the world. I have no idea how I got so lucky.  She works hard on the property, works at the pharmacy, runs with the rescue squad and still finds time to be an awesome cook. I appreciate every meal she lovingly prepares, and over the years there have been some really great ones. 


This last one was just the other day and was her first attempt at rabbit, as she is thinking of us raising meat rabbits next year.  Needless to say it was a winner, and rabbits will be in our future. 

Thanks beautiful.

D.

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Staycation 

Today marks the end of a week long staycation for me.  Lots of runs to the dump as we try to devoid our place of unwanted stuff.  Also took the opportunity to add a second set of external nesting boxes to our chicken coop.

They made added so much extra room inside as we removed the boxes from inside.


We also were able to harvest another bunch of potatoes, which had turned out to be much easier to grow then when we tried in past years.

I took a couple opportunities to do a little fishing and caught some of the channel catfish we had stocked the pond with last spring.


I’ll fill the rest of this post with some photos from around the homestead. Hope you enjoy.


D.

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Not for want of an egg

The wait for our ducks to start laying eggs seemed to take an eternity, and once we saw our first few eggs that was all we were seeing, a few eggs. Two, possibly three eggs per day out of what we believe are 11 females. Possibly due to peer pressure, and not the fact they are all the same age, we have gotten 15 eggs in 2 days.

  
These are on top of the 8-9 eggs we get each day from the chickens. What this all means is that Santa Claus will be giving out lots of yolk filled treats to all of our relations this year. 

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And so it begins

I was awoken this fine summer morning by the roosters call and the sounds of his flock itching to be set free from their nightly entrapment in the coop. Each morning begins the same, out the back door to the coop to open the door, refill the food and water. The chickens fly out the door, racing to be the first to the compost bin to see what kitchen scraps have been left overnight. Then it’s a cut back through the house to the koi pond to feed the fish on the way down to the pond to open up the ducks.  I can hear the ducks loudly quacking as I throw a few handfuls of food to the voracious fish.

With the chickens and fish done it’s down the hill to the noisiest corner of the property. I fill the feeder and water before I open the door to the quacking horde. As I pull down the door there is a moment of silence from the beasts until they realize it is only me there to open the world to them for another day.  They waddle as quick as there feet will go to be the first down the ramp and to the food. 

I stick my head in the coop to make sure all the ……Wait what is that?  Is that… No it couldn’t be. It’s…..it’s…..it’s an egg!  Glory be the long wait is over. The ducks have laid their first eggs.

  
Not one, but two. One good duck used the nesting box.

  
The other just dropped theirs in the middle of the floor.

  
 
So snuggly duckling farm now has egg laying ducks. Now how do I train these fowl how the keep there eggs clean until I get there.

  

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 an unwelcome surprise

This past saturday we were away from the farm all day long, so when I got home about 8:30pm I had a bunch of chores to do.  I started with a trip down to the duck house to herd them inside and close the door for the night.  Next I headed up to the pool to get the cover pump going since it had stormed during the day and filled with water. By the time I made it to the chicken coop, most of the daylight was gone.  

The girls were all up their roost, and I noticed that for the first time, all four pullets had made it up there instead of sleeping on top of the nesting boxes.  I stepped into the coop to collect the eggs and peer into the nesting boxes. The first box is closest to the door and thus the most lit, but all I see is the golf ball we put in early on so the hens know where to lay.  Oh well, the girls dont seem to prefer laying in that box as much as the other two. Squinting into the darker middle box I find the same thing, no eggs just a golf ball. Seems a little odd, but hey, I’m not going to question the mind of a chicken.  The third box is farthest from the light, but there appears to be a lot of something in it.  As I reached into the dark box to collect my bounty of eggs, I thought for a split second about how all ten hens must have been lined up all afternoon for their chance to sit in the prized box.

My mind switched gears an instant later, and I realized that I had just grabbed ahold of something that felt nothing like the shell of an egg.  I knew now why we seemed to be short on eggs over the past few days.  It was time to take a picture to let my wife know what she was missing out on by staying behind to help clean up after a party at her parents houe.

  
Thankfully, Mr. Black Snake had been attempting to munch down another egg when I stuck my hand in and he hadn’t snapped at me, but now I needed to extract the visitor.  I quickly grabbed an empty feed bucket with lid that was sitting in the coop, stuck it near the box and put on a thick pair of gloves, but then decided to use the pitch fork in the corner instead of reaching back in there with my hand.  At this point the chickens on their shoulder-high roosts were getting restless, and they rustled and peeped disgruntedly, eyeing me as I moved around the coop.  

I slid the tines under the snake to gently lift him into the bucket, but he took off and high-tailed it out the door. I chased him down, pinned his head to the ground with the pitch fork handle, and quickly grabbed him at the back of his head.  He instinctively wrapped himself around my arm; looking back, that would have been the perfect moment totake the picture I sent to my wife.  Wearing my new snake bracelet, I had to re-enter the coop to grab the bucket, further distrurbing the chickens, especially Mr. Rooster, who has taken a great interest in my adventures.  They bob their heads and fidget nervously as I unceremoniously dumped the uninvited guest into the bucket.

With the snake contained and the wife notified, it was time to decide the fate of my captive.  I know this type of snake is good for keeping down the rodent population, but his appreciation for eggs means he can’t stay here.  We decide not to take the thief’s life, but definitely want to make sure he won’t easily find his way back.  

I threw the bucket in the back of the truck and drove the snake over the river to the next county.  For the sake of accuracy, the county line is only about a mile away, but to make it back to our coop, he will have to cross a set of railroad tracks and a hundred yard bridge or swim across the river.  For now, I feel the eggs are pretty safe.