Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring is in the Air

I want to show off a few pictures from around our little homestead this week. The ground is coming to life and I love watching the Earth wake from it's long winter slumber. This is without a doubt my favorite time of year. Enjoy!
Strawberries pushing through last falls leaves

Buds ready to burst open on the Lilacs

One lone pansy waking from a long sleep

And of course... a pair of our baby chicks (1 week old today)

This post was linked-up to New Life On A Homestead's Monday Barn Hop

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baby Chickens

We picked up our little flock on Friday morning. We brought home 4 Silver Ameraucana chicks and 4 White Leghorn chicks. They are just the most precious little things. Unfortunately this morning we lost 2 of them. 1 each of both breeds. After racking my brains trying to figure out what happened I have decided I'm pretty sure it was from an unnoticed case of "pasty butt" in each of them. I saw the "pasty" as I was removing their remains them from the brooder this morning. The other 6 seem happy and comfortable. I'll just be watching their little fuzzy bottoms much closer the rest of the week. For the time being the chicks are in our house. We had planned on keeping the brooder in the garage but had an unexpected cold spell this weekend. Better safe than sorry. Our cat Oreo loves to sit on the table above them and watch. For the most part she ignores them. She can't get to them, so they aren't much excitement. Our lab mix on the other hand stares at them as often as she can. If we take the top off she is right there licking her lips. She worries me. We make sure to keep her separated from them when we're not in the room and at night. Here are a few pics of our little flock...

We started pulling apart pallets for the coop this weekend. We still have a few weeks before the chickies can head out into the world, so we are taking our time and building it right. We are using mostly pallet wood as it is free and a good way to repurpose it. I will post pictures of the build process as we get it started. I am so excited for this adventure!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Chickens Are Coming!

Finally, winter is coming to an end and I have something to write about!

Spring = Easter, Easter = Chickens (and bunnies, but not this year), and Chickens = Simple Life Homesteading.

I have wanted to raise chickens for years. Even long before I chose to live a simpler more self sufficient life. This year, I am doing it! I know that this will probably not be as fun and exciting as I anticipate it to be. I'm sure I will have to learn from many mistakes. I've been researching what I will need to buy and build. Raising chickens seems like a lot more work than I would have ever thought. To be honest, I kind of put them in the same "pet" category as cats. You know, mostly care for themselves, just give them some water and food, clean out their bedding every once in awhile and collect the eggs. Boy was I WRONG! I haven't even received my chicks yet and have already put way more time and effort into them that I imagined I would need to! My pullets will be here in a few weeks and I am working on securing a few rabbit cages to keep them in (in the garage, since I have to keep them at a certain temperature) until I get the coop/run finished. I had no idea I would need to keep the chicks warm, even in the house! Or that they need perches to sleep on (I really thought they slept in the nesting box or on the ground). I didn't know that they need gravel in their diet if they don't have access to dirt/rock or roam free. I also didn't know that racoons can open doors and windows!!! Oh the many new things I am learning. What I do know is that I will have farm fresh, antibiotic free, pesticide free, hormone free, eggs....less bugs, and a much more lively yard! I am excited to get started and to share this new journey!