Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chickin' Kondo completed, a kidnapping plot in action....

Hooray! The Chickin' Kondo is complete and perfect timing. The cuckoo moran's are just a few weeks from being laying age and the other chickens are laying eggs in clutches all over the place but being displaced by amorous roosters. The condo should be a perfect haven for all the hens.

Moving the Cuckoo Morans was a breeze. It was just a matter of catching them in the small holding pen and moving them. However, the other hens we knew....were going to be a challenge.

All the other hens were free range and I mean free range. Daily they hung out with roosters and generally that meant 3-4 roosters per hen. Yes, we are a "no-kill" farm but those roosters are getting so big they could be Sunday dinner for a family of four.

Each night however the hens roost in the garage and most are quite accessible. SO, the plan was to sneak into the garage late at night when the hens were asleep and kidnap them one-by-one.

So at 10:30 pm last night we did just that, even though my body was begging for sleep, I accompanied my "skilled at chicken kidnapping" husband to do the deed.

The first few hens were a breeze to capture and haul to their new condo. John snuck into the garage and snuck up behind them grabbing them from behind running his hand under their bottoms to catch their feet. SCREEM SQUAK! Calming them down in a few minutes to go back for another. Quite a funny thing I thought until he got it into his head that he needed to get them ALL before he went to bed.

Once again let me remind you that my body was needing sleep...... and all but 2 were quite easy to get. Finally he agreed to give up letting them settle down before he tried it again.

This afternoon our son came over and tried his hand at getting the hen that had just gone into the garage to roost. She was accompanied by two roosters and were bedding down on the shop light above the work bench as they had many times before. In position with a huge fishing net, our son goosed the first rooster to make him move or fly out. Mission accomplished he goosed the second rooster to do the same....and mission accomplished, the hen attempted to fly across the garage to the other side. With one swipe of the fishing net he "caught" her in mid flight. Once freed they took her to the Chickin' Kondo to live for a while.

This morning I did notice that the recently kidnapped hens were not really happy that they could freely roam with their rooster companions but they quickly calmed down to their new surroundings. The roosters were quite confused too that they couldn't get to the hens and that their "women" were not as accessible as before.

Tonight we have all but 2 hens in their new home. 1 is a tiny bantum and the other has chicks far behind some boxes in the garage....not a place you or I could get to nor is brave enough to get to with a mama hen on chick kidnap watch....

So all is good. Hens should be laying and sitting eggs soon, Cuckoo Moran hens should be laying (did I mention they are virgins?) and we should start producing baby chicks and fresh eggs....

Life is good....

Now, to finish the greenhouse and build a breed pen....

OH and we got a little bit of rain! Maybe an hour....but the garden plants should LOVE IT....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Farm Sunday...

What a beautiful day this blessed Sunday was! Easter is such a humbling time and as I spent my hours outside completing tasks on the farm it was a special time. I don't know your spiritual beliefs readers but I do believe that there is a God and today is our traditional, symbolic day to remember that he died on the Cross for us. What love that is.....

As I work in the gardens and on the property I had to take some time to take in the wonder in his miracle. The spring flowers are really starting to bloom, the garden plants are starting to take off and grow and I have the first buds on some of the tomato plants.

We worked hard on the chicken coop these last few weeks...it has been our priority because all the roosters have had an extra dose of testosterone and the poor hens have no feathers on their back. John got the b-b- gun out after a few. The coop is almost complete....we have about 30 minutes of last minute tasks to do before we move the Cuckoo Moran hens in an entice the other hens to go in.

Funny but yesterday after we had it almost enclosed the hens would come up from the property, enter it and look around. However once the roosters figured out where they were they scooted out of it quickly!

Our plan it to try to lure them in with scratch at first..but if that doesn't work, then kidnap them once they are roosting in the garage. The latter may take several attempts but once kidnapped they'll be all good.

Knowing that they are probably more than fertile, for the first few weeks we'll let them sit their eggs. After a couple of weeks they should be laying just fresh eggs. OR at least that is the plan.

Back to work tomorrow for me. Both jobs are really picking up and I have less and less time to spend here. I think my husband is catching on that if I have some free time I am not leaving the farm. There is way too much to do! He is also catching on that I would rather homestead than be at work all day....and mentioned to a friend that this weekend that I am only there for the insurance and benefits....

And a good thing has come out of not starting to cultivate the back acreage...I have 2 full acres of dewberries with more blooms on them than I've ever seen! Now, for those who have ever picked wild berries, they are delicious! However sometimes you find snakes galore! And...these berry vines are quite thick. We'll report in a month or so when we can start picking how that crop is doing and if we can get into it.

It might be a record year for snakes too....a friend of ours just 2-3 miles from here killed several this weekend including a coral snake. Yikes!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.

BTW: My vacation starts at 6PM on April 9th. You can bet where I'll be...