Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Poultry Houses

Stage 1 Chicken Brooder

Stage 2 Chicken Brooder

Just out of the Brooder

Insulated Chicken Dog House

Tekfoil Hoop Coop

Half Barn Shelter

Monday, April 26, 2010

Honey for a Burn?

Here is the burn after honey.  See where the blister was, it looks allot better now.

Curious got burned on the chicken warming light when he was trying to get some baby chicks out to play with. It was a pretty bad burn with a blister right where the light touched his skin. I had him lay down with a wet towel and ice pack on it until it cooled down allot. I could not find my medical supplies (still packed) or any of my burn treatment stuff. So I looked up online how to treat a burn naturally. I found the Home Remedy Reference Center's list of Burn Remedies. I read down the list until I found a treatment requiring what I had on hand, honey. I spread honey on the burn and folded up a paper towel to cover it, then taped it down with regular scotch tape. Kind of a make shift bandage, but Curious is up and walking around and acting like he has no complaints. So far so good.

About an hour later.... Curious just said "my shirt is all sticky.  Do you know why? Because I took off my bandage and it had honey all over it."  I told him "You were not suppose to take it off without my help."  He says "Why is my burn still there?  It thought it was all better because I did not feel it."  Sounds like it worked.

The honey sealed in the wound from the air so it did not sting.  As the honey dried it created a coating over the wound, which is still there.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple Beauty

If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents.
- ROBERT BROWNING, Fra Lippo Lippi
Simple Beauty is my current focus.  There is so much around in the spring to enjoy and be happy about.  I have a working camera now, the joy!  It is my goal to create, enjoy and find simple beauty all around me.  Here are some of the Simple Beauties I found around my home.

What is more simple and beautiful then a sleeping angle.  Here is my son sound asleep.  Notice the sun on his cheeks, he has been spending his days exploring our yard.  Today we filled the duck pool and the wading pool.  After some fun splashing in the water, and warming up in the sun, the little guy was all tuckered out.

Daffodils are my favorite! Not only did we find the perfect home, with the perfect yard, in the perfect neighborhood... But imagine my surprise when tons of daffodils started popping up in my front yard.  This truly is my dream home.

Got to love fresh eggs in a nest.  Normally the ducks and the chickens do not get along.  But what bird can resist a nest full of clean straw.  Here you see one welsummer chicken egg and one duck egg.

I took allot of photos our our poultry.  But these ducks just photograph so well, they belong on my beauty list for today.  Puff is the male on the right and Peel-a-boo is the female on the left.  Peek-a-boo has a feather that gets in the way of her eye, thus her name, and the reason her eye can only be seen a bit.  They are white crested ducks.

Apricot blossoms and blue sky, not much more beautiful then that.  I have two apricot trees on the yard, one in the front yard and one in the back yard.  Unfortunately both have been attacked by borers so parts of the trees are dying. But I was glad to see the parts of the tree that are still alive and in full blossom.

I hope to have more beauty to show you tomorrow.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Broody Broad Breasted Turkey!

Posted on BackyardChickens Forum.

I have been reading through other posts about Broody Broad Breasted Turkeys. Sigh... I wish I could make this easier for my turkey. I noticed some patterns from the past posts. These broody turkeys really steal our hearts, we really love them and want to help them hatch a brood. I have tried everything I can think of and now I may have to give up on my quest, sigh.

We got our turkey as a poult with a bunch of chicks. Because she was the biggest she instantly became Mama bird with all the chicks trying to crowd under her. Even though she was Mama bird she cried like a little baby for her humans and loved to be petted and held. To this day she loves human attention. My son will chase after her tackle her to the ground and she will sit and happily be pet for as long as the kids want to pet her. How could you not love such a bird!

She is more intelligent and different then my chickens. She notices every time we take eggs, hers or the chickens. As soon as she saw the pattern that all of her eggs were being taken she stopped laying, and only would lay if she found a really good hiding place where she thought we would leave her eggs alone. Even though she was not laying her own eggs she went broody and started sitting the chickens eggs.

When we had a wild baby duckling in our yard get separated from its mother she immediately sat down over it to protect it. She is very motherly. The duckling got reunited with its mother, but until it did she was happy to be a substitute mother.

We purchased her some baby chicks, and put her alone with the baby chicks. She was upset and wanted nothing to do with the baby chicks, and felt cagey for being locked up with them. When we let her out she wanted nothing more to do with them ever.

Next we bought her fertile chicken eggs. One by one they were crushed and ruined. I thought they were being attacked by the other chickens because they knew these were not their eggs.

Finally we advertised a want add for a Tom turkey. We bought a "Tom" turkey for her in hopes that he could help her hatch a brood. Imagine our surprise when the Tom turned out to be yet another broody broad breasted turkey sitting on a nest of eggs. Only after this did I do some reading, and find out that a Tom would not be able to mate with her properly.

Next we started looking into heritage turkeys. I hatched a plan of purchasing fertile turkey eggs and switching them out for her eggs and letting her hatch some heritage turkey eggs. Then I read some posts about broad breasted turkeys crushing eggs. So now I am thinking that plan wont even work.

Maybe I could get some heritage turkey poults and let her mate with them in a year when they are old enough. But even then, wont there be a scare of her crushing the eggs?

My husband says I should give up I have tried all I could. And that is very logical. But watching her be broody over non fertile eggs is sad .


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Researching and Planning on Rabbits for Survival Meat

Below is a post I just posted in a Yahoo group about raising rabbits in a colony.

I have just been enjoying myself going through all the groups posted links and photos. Great info there. Thank you.

We have free range chickens and are in the process of planning on adding in rabbits to our little place for a survival meat source. I think we have moved-on to where we can butcher animals and not be totally squeamish. This year we changed from Wellsummer chickens to Orpington Chickens. The chickens are rather cute and fluffy, we will see if "cute and fluffy" makes it harder to butcher when they are old enough.

My kids have been planning and plotting on how to get me to be willing to keep rabbits. When I finally told them I would agree to rabbits if they agreed to one thing they would not like. They all said "you mean we will have to eat them? WE AGREEE!" lol... so I guess my kids say they will be willing to eat their rabbits. Time will tell.

We just purchased an e-book called "Raising Rabbits to Survive." It was rather informative. All this talk about torching metal cages to sterilise them though is not what I had in mind. In fact one lone bunny per small square cage is not what I had in mind. While I am willing to eat my animals I am not willing for them to be unhappy. I hate looking at rabbits in cages. But watching my chickens scratch and explore the yard makes me happy.

I am excited to find this group. And I am gathering info in order to convince my husband that we can in fact own rabbits and have them happy in a colony. His concerns at this time are burrowing and poop management. So far I have read that digging down the fence six inches stops burrowing, and poop management is as easy as scattering wood chips over poop, then shoveling out piles. Oh and snakes, we have some snakes on our place. So the Kits would have to be extra protected from snakes.

Has anyone here tried the equivalent of a chicken tractor for rabbits? We live on a half an acre, which might not seem like much, but we just moved in and are ELATED to have our little patch of dirt. There is quite a field of grass that I would like to tractor my bunnies on to help keep their feed costs down. I read somewhere about making a bunny tractor with 4" spacing in the wire. If you know anything about this I would love to hear more.

Looking forward to any replies,