Lindy's Homestead

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    Location: Pacific Northwest, United States

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    Things are changing

    My parents have decided they are done with farming. They want to lease out the majority of the farm and sell the animals. We are right now in negotiations [me and them] about giving me a section of land and some of the animals. Right now I will retain about 25 acres+, perhaps the big barn, the little chicken house, the hay barn and two loafing sheds and the new goat house. Also one or both ponds. I would like to retain both ponds and the cistern.

    I am thinking about keeping 20[?] sheep, five goats, all my chickens, etc. I told my folks that they would have no financial responsibility for my animals and that we would cut the farm ties between us right there, except I would continue to raise the family beef. I have a lot of plans to make.... This is going to be so good for me.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    baby chicks or not?

    The momma hen has been moved to a box with a blanket in it and I went through the eggs. I am not sure if there are live chicks in there or not. I do know that she has been setting on the eggs for about 3 weeks and if there are chicks in there then they should hatch soon. I got out there with a piece of cardboard and held it in a tube over my little flashlight, but I could not determine much. It has been a couple of years since I candled eggs. One would think that at this time when I held the eggs up to the light there would be some peeping. I am going to try again tonight. I cannot try it durring the day or the hen will try and kill me *laughs*

    IF there are no viable eggs then I get to go to Shanks. I am wondering if I should get some meat chicks for her to raise, or maybe some more pullets.

    I need to go to the livestock auction today to see what is going on with the sheep market. Our usual lamb buyer has cancer, and feels he will recover completely, but the prices in the meantime seem VERY low... 78-80 cents for lambs when last year fats were over a dollar and feeders [less than 100#] were nearly $110. I wonder if my broker was setting the market here because he is a very fair man. I cannot speak for the other brokers, but usually brokers do not have a reputation [in my experience] as being fair people.

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    I'm Back

    {coming soon picture of this sneaky hen on her nest}

    I never really left, I just became a bit broken hearted. I was working on a story about Chicken Ellen and her family when one of the family members disappeared. I was so sad that I could not write. It is very hard having critters. They get sick, they die, they simply disappear, and it is hard to write about.

    I have a job now, doing cargiving/companionship for a man who is 101 1/2 years old. On the weekends when I work 9 hour days it is pretty bare bones chores around here. I spend Friday afternoons getting ready for the weekend. Somewhere along the line I lost track of this Barred Rock hen who is supposed to be sleeping under my window that is at the foot of my bed.

    I just figured that she had "slept out" somewhere and something just happened by and the inevitable happened.

    WELL, a few days ago I was out and about and as usual I was surrounded by chickens looking to mooch some feed off of me. I spoil them rotten, when I happen by a feed barrel I always throw out a handful or so on the ground. I looked down at my little flock and counted THREE barred rock hens! THREE! THREE! THREE! I counted and counted and counted.

    As it turns out she is BROODY and has a clutch of eggs in the big bedroom in the old mobile home. I could tell by her demeanor [clucking like a hen with chicks, temperamental, etc] that she was setting somewhere. SO that night I got the flashlight and looked until I found where she was setting. THANK GOD she picked a safe place. I have found more than my share of remnants of hens that have chosen poorly and have become the victim of a passing raccoon.

    So I have her locked in there, very safe. She has food and water and I am going to get her a proper nest tonight and candle the eggs to see if they are any good. IF they are I will let her hatch them out, if not I will go to Shanks (I have been going here since I was a wee lass) and buy a few chicks and slip them under her in the night and she will think they are hers. I have done this before [you can find the entry in the archives].

    Hens who hatch out chicks or raise a clutch from the hatchery get special status here on my homestead and get a "forever home" ... Especially if they raise more than one batch of chicks.

    About that story about the snowy night... I am feeling like I can finish it up now!