Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moving Day

The coop is finished; water is hung, food is loaded in the new feeder, the heat lamp is up and the bedding is down.  So, today is moving day for the chicks.  They will be 5 weeks with us as of tomorrow and have plenty of feathers.  The temperatures look good for the next week, so it is time.  We video'd (sp?) the move, but it doesn't play on this blog.  The chicks are definitely not so afraid of being handled as they were when little, and actually seem to like a little petting.  Pooping, eating, drinking and chest butting are definitely the daily activities.  Can't wait until egg laying is in progress!!!  It had been a cold rainy 4 days and I am so ready for spring and warmth.  I am done with sweaters and pants; I want shorts and short sleeved shirts!!!!!  We put in a few more plants today and moved a few yellow lillies to some bare spots - free is good!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chicken Run

It has been a crazy week here in Cowland.  We had Mia and Elizabeth here for part of their spring break and had a great time.  There was a lot of play outside along with great help watering the new plants and fertilizing the blueberry plants, azaleas and hydrangeas.  Also, Kirby did the second mowing of the year. We made lunchmeat - four kinds and 21 pounds of meat: Berliner, venison, pastrami and bologna.  Towards the end of baking it, of course, a power failure of 5 hours!!  At least it wasn't bread baking and at least the meat was 99% up to temperature.  It did finish by leaving it in the oven until the power came back on.  During all of this, Kirby and Kevin worked on the chicken run which is nearly complete now.  It just needs some of the dirt at the edges smoothed out and packed down.  Today was build a walkway day.  The old stones from Mom's front door were used (as she now has a lovely cement walkway) and mortared with old mortar from previous projects.  As you can see, the coop is looking classy!  The chickens have been with us for four weeks now and are really growing quickly.  They are definitely pooping machines.  Good fertilizer after composting!!  We still have to build the roost, a poop box for underneath the roost and install the outside watering system for the run.  Inside will be the jugs attached to the wall.  Kirby finished the automatic 5 gallon bucket feeder today and it works great!  We had a rainy day yesterday so the house got cleaned up - which doesn't happen too often when the outside calls!.  Now, if only I could get back to weeding..............

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This is last Thursday's post!!  Well, finally got the coop painted; between rain showers.  The chickens are really growing in their feathers and getting pretty good size.  It is impossible to tell who is who name-wise, so once they're fully feathered, we'll figure out who is who!!  We put a few more plants in the garage hillside.  It is finally starting to fill up.  It is hard to find "littles" - small containered perennial plants - that will fit in between the roots of the maple tree.   Had a few freezing nights this past week, but the plants seemed to have survived.  We are looking forward to warmer temps.  The porch and decks need painted yet and weeding - that never-ending chore must be done again........

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Of Cheese and Chickens

Today being a rainy day, we tried AGAIN to make the mozzarella and ..... it turned out great!  This time, we used powdered whole milk and added citric acid and after 2 1/2 hours we had a beautiful hunk of cheese, as well as some more ricotta cheese.  It's a great day!  Yesterday, with no rain, we worked on the chicken condo.  The shingles are nearly all finished, just short a few.  Hopefully, completion of that will be tomorrow.  Also, the condo is caulked (I learned how to caulk) and almost all of the white trim has been painted.  Just one fascia board along the roof over the nest boxes to paint is left.  Weather permitting, the outside walls should be painted this weekend.  Then more hardware to keep the vent cover on and open and close it and also the hardware for the run opening.  The chicks are getting their feathers in really well now and their looks are changing daily.  They eat and poo really good!  They have learned to drink from "nipples" attached to a water bottle - no more poo in the drinking water!  Yay!!!  So far, the four of the ladies have names - Abigail, Dreamer, Splashy and Charlotte.  More to come......

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Turkeys and Chickens - Oh My!

Happy April First!  The courting season for turkeys has begun.  This morning, Mr. Tom Turkey was in our yard strutting his stuff .  He was sooo handsome..  Kirby got a really good picture of him.  The chicken condo construction began yesterday and continued today.  The chicken ladies are going to live in style.  We still have about a month to finish it - some final touches like hinges and paint and stuff but the major work is done - Thanks Dan!  The chicken ladies have grown some feathers on their wing tips and are now starting with some feathers at the tops of their wings.  They eat like crazy and nap attacks abound.  They ate their first worms and crickets this weekend. Such a treat.  It was like holding out a chocolate bar to a chocolate fiend....A lot of chasing of the lady chick with the worm by the other seven ladies.  In the kitchen department, I tried again to make some cheese.  This time cheddar, but the stuff just is not cooperating fully.  It did finally curd and it is in the cheese press, so we will see how it comes out.  At least, it should be edible.  Also, ravioli was on the menu this weekend.  The ricotta did turn out and the ravioli was really good.  So, some success in the kitchen - we'll have to wait on the cheddar!