Spring Has Hit the Ground Running...Finally!!

| 5/30/2012 2:15:56 PM

Tags: chickens, pigs, Cub Cadets, gardening, Jessica Wilhelm,

Winter has finally decided to leave and spring has pretty much hit the ground running!  It seems like everything has happened all at once.  Memorial Day has passed and another school year is in the books for the girls.  We have been keeping busy and loving every minute of it.  There’s so much to tell, I might as well get started.

Helping Chads Cousin Plant Field Corn

The move to the new coop was awesome to say the least.  They love it. I think if they could talk they would have been singing a chorus of Hallelujah!!  It took them a little bit to figure out the roosts but eventually there was a constant battle to sit on the top roost.  They have settled down now and share nicely, at least while we are there.  I can also report that Harv is a Harv and not Harvina.  He is Chad’s absolute favorite and has a lifetime interest in the coop.  In addition to Harv we managed to get 4 roosters out of the barred rocks that were to be hens.  Then gentleman that I purchase my chickens from may have sale for them instead of having to butcher them when they get older.  As much as I like chicken in my freezer I would like to see them find a home.  In anticipation of the exit of these 4 guys, I bought 4 pullets that are 18 weeks old.  When we introduced them to our chickens I thought we were going to have a fight on our hands but Harv put everyone in their place (I think the pep talks that Chad gives him about being in charge have helped).  These mature ladies enjoy roosting above the window though and on the top of the door and scared the living daylights out of me when I went in one evening after their bedtime.  Bedtime is 7:30 pm on the dot.  Everything has to be done before then or Harv gets bent out of shape.  He doesn’t get aggressive he just follows your every move. There again if they could talk, I would imagine that he would be saying “you’re late, let’s move, move, move.”  Needless to say we love our chickens.  I’m even taking a Speckled Sussex hen to pet day for Rory’s class!

The Coop All Dolled Up with Flowers 

Hemlock Roosts in the Coop

Butchering day also arrived.  Chad spent 2 evenings watching YouTube videos trying to find the best way to kill the chicken without it being traumatic to them or us.  Everything went off without a hitch and we are planning our next B-day at the end of June.  The girls were very helpful and didn’t mind plucking feathers.  I think the vote is unanimous though that my ingenious husband searches the web a little bit and builds a chicken plucker!!  We are also going to get the cones or make something similar to put the chickens in when they are being killed.  I held them so that they wouldn’t flap around and break their wings but believe me, they are strong.  My arms hurt for a couple days.  It was worth every minute of work nevertheless.  The meat is delicious and it is incredibly satisfying knowing what we fed our broilers and how they were treated.

amber cook
6/20/2012 6:19:28 AM

Look up herbs that keep flies away, it seems it have helped when I planed an immense amount of basil all around my yard especially in front of my entrances of my house

jessica wilhelm
5/31/2012 3:46:02 PM

Thanks Dave!!! I will definitely check them out. I'm about ready to scream with these flies. None of my homemade fly traps are working.

nebraska dave
5/31/2012 2:10:23 PM

You will have to copy and paste the links as html is not allowed in a comment. :0)

nebraska dave
5/31/2012 2:09:16 PM

Jessica, Here's a couple of GRIT blog entries on fly control and catching flies. If you want more information just type "flies" in the GRIT search engine and read to your heart's content. http://www.grit.com/Red-Pine-Mountain/Fly-Control-on-an-Organic-Farm.aspx http://www.grit.com/daily-commute/fly-traps.aspx It sounds like a typical spring business on the homestead with garden planting. I didn't know that there was a class for garden tractor pulling contests. I think it's great to have something that the whole family can enjoy and can get excited about. I certainly had to laugh about the girls excitement over the turnips. My grandson is the same about broccoli. I try to encourage him to eat it often. Oh, by the way there's been some recent posts about plowing with pigs that you might enjoy. The one that best shows what kind of results you can get is from Confessions of a cracked egg. http://www.grit.com/confessions-of-a-cracked-egg/plowing-with-pigs-woodland-edition.aspx Have a great tractor pulling/garden planting/pig raising day on the homestead.

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