Friday, February 21, 2014

Broody Soup

Let us begin with reality: I am no chicken expert.  Far from it, as we have had chickens for less than a year.

I do know that something is up with Soup.

Soup is Stew's "big" sister.  (Remember Stew?  She of the traumatized life?)  Whether they are actually sisters, I don't know, but they are our two grey rescue hens.  As the larger and less abused of the two, Soup has remained in the white whale.
See the pile of food next to her?  Probably ridiculous, but I know she didn't eat yesterday
 Yesterday, when I came out to open the coops, feed, water, and check for eggs, I discovered Soup cowering in one of our nesting boxes.  And not quite growling, but making noise and simultaneously trying to avoid my notice.  I thought she was in the middle of laying an egg, so I went on my merry way.
Ooh, the stink eye!
 When I returned for midday egg check and afternoon feeding, she was still huddled in the nesting box. I don't think she's sick; I'm fairly confident this little biddy is broody.  I should have James check if she has any eggs under her (On a side note:  I do lots of care for my animals, but when it comes to touching them, dead or alive, that is my job only in emergency.  I just don't "do" touching animals.).  I may sneak a few under her today, with gloves on, so she has a few chances at hatching chicks.
Daddy Rooster, Mild
Mid-March chicks would be a lovely spring treat for us.  Then again, she might be dying.  (Probably not, but let's keep it real about life and my ignorance!)

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Purgatory Ranch Update

As you may or may not know, we own 40 acres two miles from our house.  Since we don't live on Purgatory Ranch, we tend to not visit when there are no immediate tasks to attend to there.
 It is one of our many dreams to live here someday, but for now, on this spur of the moment trip, I observe that we have our work cut out for us.  There needs to me some mowing and then some tilling.
 Even through the weeds, some tree onions, missed at last year's harvest, are resolutely poking through.
 Work... lots of work...
And maybe we should trim on the driveway.  Another day.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow Days

I apologize for abandoning descriptions of our journeys to growing and raising more of our own food.  Life has been busy, and crazy, and at the same time, routine.

Early in the day, as snow accumulates.

Neighbors.  Guineas.  Problems.  Enough said.

We lost a rooster.  I still don't know why.

Our dog, Hope, still steals the food of our cat, Andromeda, at every chance she can.  Hope now howls when a particular train rolls past with its whistle tooting.  I could do without this quirk, thankyouverymuch.

During our unusually long and bitterly cold cold snaps, I struggled to keep water thawed and clean for the chickens.  We switched to hanging waterers with nipples, which has helped in all but the longest and coldest stretches.  Sometimes I still carry out hot water to pour in basins several times a day.  Tomorrow will likely be one of those days.

Kids and snow!
James is building a mini greenhouse and a meat chicken coop.  Pictures will eventually appear here on the blog!

There has too much illness and death in our extended families and acquaintances.  Perhaps it is our age or our awareness, but I feel a little as though are a collective Job!

God has been good to us.  We have avoided major illness in our immediate family.  We've ordered seeds for the summer garden, and plenty of new fruit bushes and plants to fill the insatiable hunger in our children for fruit.  We are at that time of year in which I will only buy a few fruits from the store as everything else is too expensive or disgusting.

Avalanche off the white whale.

It had been snowing all day.  We have over 6", and the snow is still falling.  Since we need moisture, we are praying for several more inches.  (At least I am.). Today is a snow day.  Tomorrow will be as well.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.