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Showing posts from March, 2015

Easter Hatch-A-Long Update #3

After I wrote the blog post on Tuesday, I “attacked” my room, and while doing that, Mom suggested to adjust the metal shelving units, so I could put the Cooler Bators on the, so I’d have more room. It was an easy but noisy job, using a hammer to raise up those metal shelves, but now that it’s all done, I’m glad I did it. Makes it much neater, and I don’t have to bend over to check on the status of temperature, humidity, eggs pipping, chicks, etc. Later that evening, I finally transferred all the eggs for the Easter Hatch-A-Long to the two Cooler Bators, and the 4th batch of eggs back into the Genesis 1588 incubator.
These are the numbers of what went to “lockdown”: 89 total eggs out of 93 set! 40 in the new white Cooler Bator : 19  (of 21 set) brown Catskill Homesteader eggs - Dad’s Coop (one “iffy”) 16 (of 17 set) green CH eggs - PA coop 5 (of 6 set) small brown CH eggs - PA coop
49 in the red Cooler Bator: 8 of 8 SFH - some I wasn’t sure if they’d quit late, but wanted to give them…

Easter Hatch-A-Long Update #2

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As you know from my other blog posts, I've been super busy here, mostly with hatching chicks, setting more eggs, selling chicks, taking care of the ones I kept & for those who ordered pullets. Plus, repairing fences, as the Swedish Flower Hens have been escaping & trying to dig up their future "grass paddocks" . I also made another hatcher, as I set too many eggs for them to all fit in the 1st hatcher. But, when I tested it out last night, I discovered the digital thermostat didn't work properly due to a missing screw that was to hold in the wire for the temperature senser.  So, we went downtown & asked an employee at Dubbens Hardware if they had a screw that would fit. After trying several, he said, "I'm sorry, it's not going to work." He thought for a minute, then said, "Let my just try one more thing." He got out a pair of needle-nosed plyers, help up the little "jaws", screwed in the screw & it worked! Prais…

Hobby Farm Journal - 3-29-15

Though it started out at only 5*F, it did warm up to high 30’s with the sun shining, so it actually felt like a spring day by the afternoon! When we came home from the gathering of the saints, I checked to see if any of the “Swedes” had escaped. I didn’t see any out, but a few minutes later, Mom noticed one wandering about. I had just enough time before supper to put her back in, as she always know she’s been a “bad girl” & will walk right back in their yard when I open the gate. The warm sunshine felt so good, I knew I wanted to work out there, and the SFH’s  fence obviously needed some repair. Armed with a pair of wire cutters and container of zip ties, I attached a “skirt” of recycled chicken wire to the bottom of the fence where there were gaps. I also discovered another gap underneath the coop between the board & the ground, just big enough for one of the girls to squeeze out of. I also did the same to a section of fence near the pine tree that had large gaps due to the …

Busy Week Summary

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We’ve had such a busy week, that I haven’t had to chance to write in my personal journal, let alone this blog. But, here’s a “brief” summary of what’s been going on. We’ve been having warmer weather, including temps in the mid 40’s! But, just when it starts to get muddy and looking like spring, we have cold temps again, plus snow flurries. Saturday saw a high of maybe 30*F, and it got down to 5* overnight, like that’s what it is out there now at 6am on 3/29.
Since my last blog entry, 22 of the 46 chicks went to new homes, but I still have 24 left, including all 8 from the first hatch of 2015. I’ll probably grow them out for a few more weeks, possibly until they’re 10 weeks old & I can tell who’s male and who’s female. They are eating their fermented chick starter like crazy, enough that I usually have to refill their feeder 2x a day. But, they’re also growing like they should, much better than some of the chicks in the past. I still have both the nipple waterer and regular chick …

First Day of Spring!

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Actually, It’s not spring here yet, as we had at least 4 more inches of snow yesterday morning, with an overnight low of 0*F! Yes, it did warm up once the sun came out, but it was still pretty chilly. Today, which according to the calender is the “First Day of Spring”, we are due for another 1 inch today, with only a high of 33*F. Saturday they’re calling of snow and rain, with a high of 45*F - which is more like spring temperatures around here. But we can’t get too excited, as Sunday & Monday they’re forecasting it to be highs of around 28* and a low of 7*, which doesn’t seem like typical spring weather to me. Yes, 28* at night, but not a high of 28* during the day! But even though it’s not spring here weather-wise, it’s spring in our hearts and all the baby chicks sure helps! Oh, they are so adorable, Mom & I just want to pick them up and snuggle with them. I love all the chipmunk ones, but the solid-colored ones are adorable too.

Yesterday morning, when I checked on them,…

Easter Hatch-A-Long - 3rd 2015 Hatch

I did set eggs for the Easter Hatch-a-long on 3/12 around 1:30pm, but later at 2:45 switched out some of the eggs, so they "cooled off" while doing that. I don't know how many eggs I collected for the hatch, but probably somewhere around 9 - 10 dozen! Unfortunately, I only have a Genesis 1588 incubater and one Cooler Bator that was already full of eggs in lockdown. So, I double-stacked the auto-turner again, plus added a few to hand turn along the two of the edges. So far the auto-turner is doing better than the last double-stack hatch, as the rubber band around the motor/turner arm is keeping everything in place!
I honestly don't know exactly how many eggs I have in there, but it's really full! I originally counted 93 eggs, but when I swapped out eggs, I'm not sure if it was an "equal exchange". Candling is going to be interesting, though the Cooler Bator is almost empty, just a few late hatchers who are gaining strength. Perhaps after I clean it …

Chick Hatching Diary #5

Welcome back to the “Chick Hatching Diary. This will be the Final Episode for the 2nd 2015 Hatch. But, don't worry we'll have more for the Easter Hatch-a-long!
The following chicks were zipping or had pipped when I went to bed on 3/16 and found them fully hatched on 3/17 at 4:30am: #30 - (4970) - brown, tan, cream chipmunk with black ‘freckles’ on its face, single comb; Dad’s coop light brown egg #31 - (4971) - reddish brown and tan head, black/dark brown body, single comb; Dad’s coop brown egg #32 - (4972) - light blue with yellow face & belly, ‘freckles’, small rose comb - PA coop medium-sized light brown egg (though it was SFH x CH pullet’s egg - but seeing that all the chicks were black or blue, with small combs - it must have been another hen) #33 - (4973) - darker blue with yellow wing tips, small comb - PA coop medium-sized light brown egg
#34 - (4974) - yellow with black spot on its head, single comb; hatched around 5:30am on 3/17  from Dad’s coop light brown egg …

Chick Hatching Diary #4

While I slept, the chicks continued to hatch, so that in the morning of 3/16, I found 3 more chicks.
#20 (4959) multi-colored brown chipmunk, with “freckles” on head, small comb - from SFH x CH green egg #21 (4960) black with dark brown face, large white neck spot, single comb - from PA coop (SFHxCH pullet’s?) (The other chick that hatched with lots of blood & gunk later died - PA coop brown egg)
I then left for work at the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, and on our way home, we did some errands. By the time I checked the hatcher again, it was 6 pm. From that time until bedtime, there was plenty of activity and hatching.
#22 - (4961) reddish brown head with small black “freckles”, and a dark chipmunk body, single comb & muff; hatched from a Dad’s coop brown egg #23 - (4962) yellow/ brown chipmunk, small comb; from SFH x CH green egg. #24 - (4963) brown chipmunk with distinct V-shape on head - from SFH x CH green egg. #25 - (4964) silvery gray chipmunk with light blond …

Chick Hatching Diary #3

Woke up Sunday morning (3/15) at 5 am to two more chicks, both of which are from brown CH eggs laid by hens in the Bielefelder breeding group. The 12th chick (wing band # 4951) is light yellow with a single comb; most likely the chick of the FR/DOM x RS hen. The 13th chick (4952)  is a beautiful golden yellow with a faint headspot and single comb.
Around 9:30am, two more hatched: The 14th chick from a green CH egg laid by one of the PA coop girls; I’m pretty sure it’s there, as the shell was empty, but I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I’m mistaken, but that empty shell looked fresh & wet, and I heard more loud peeping. It may just be hiding, or if it’s identical to the others, I may have seen it but not realized it. I’ll have to wait until it’s time to remove the chicks from the hatcher to know if #14 really exists or now! (Update: #14 is a silvery gray chick, very light, where it almost looks white; a very unique color! It has a rose comb & muff. (wb # 4953) I’d say it’s probabl…

Chick Hatching Diary #2

About 9:10am on 3/14/15, the 6th chick hatched from a SFH x CH khahi green egg. To my surprise, it looks all yellow! My guess based on who’s in the SFH ccop, is that it was Peach’s egg, who’s has FR, EE in her background, and is a golden brown with a little black on her neck & tail feathers. Pretty plain, but wanted to see what offspring she’s produce, hopefully bigger sized, since she’s a good-sized hen herself.
It was pretty “quiet” in the hatcher, except for the 6 chicks peeping to each other in between their naps. Then, at 1 pm, two chicks hatched about the same time. The 7th chick was from another green CH egg from the PA coop, which contained another cute little “chipmunk”, who when all dried has very distinct stripes of creamy white and yellow with dark “chocolate” brown. So adorable! The 8th chick hatched from one of Susan’s green eggs, who’s a CH hen in the Bielefelder breeding group. It was very wet and then went into “hiding” for quite awhile. By the time it was dry, i…

Chick Hatching Diary Part 1

My ears must kick into “mother mode” when I have chicks hatching, because I don’t sleep as deeply and often wake up in the middle of the night to check on their progress. This time is was around 12:45am, and everything was mostly “quiet” inside the hatcher. Chick #1 was drying off nicely, lying on top of the other unhatched eggs. It has jet black fuzz, a small comb, and hatched from a khaki green egg laid by one of the CH hens in the PA coop. There were a few other pips in the other eggs, but no further action. … At 5 am my alarm went off, and I could hear loud peeping coming from the hatcher, like there was more than just one chick in there. Sure enough, two more chicks had hatched during the early morning. Chick #2 hatched from a blue/green CH egg laid by a hen in the SFH breeding group. It looked to be all “blue”, and since “Blueberry” is in there, I’d assume that would be her chick. As the chick moved around a little on top of the other eggs, I noticed it had yellow legs and whit…

What a Great Friday the 13th!

My step-cousin who used to take me to work on Mondays and Fridays, got another job, so now Dad is taking me to work. I only have my permit, and learning to drive hasn't been a priority for the past several years. But I plan on making that one of my "projects" for this year. Anyways, after we took two coworkers to their homes (they also needed rides to & from work), Dad & I picked up the chicken compost, unloaded it and put it away in the chicken yard. There was an abundance, so the chickens will be happy to have lots of treats this week.  Shortly after Dad left for work, Joel came home with the 1 ton of grass pellets, because he wanted to do it Friday rather than "tie up" Saturday morning. So, Mom, Joel & I unloaded & stacked the grass pellets inside the shed. Joel told me that the hay used to make these pellets was "medium grade" and better than most hay they use, so it did have some feed value to it. Not that I plan on purposefuly f…

Hobby Farm Journal - 3-12-15

Well, a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his paths. I didn’t get everything done on my list today, but such is life! I was going to do my morning “critter chores”, as I call them, then come back inside and eat breakfast. But, the phone rang and it was about the grass pellets, letting us know they’d be ready on Friday or Saturday. We thought Saturday would be the best, as I work away from home on Fridays. But then remembered that a friend was going to use Joel’s truck on Saturday, so we had to call him and find out what time he needed it by. Got those details figured out, ate breakfast, then I did critter chores. When I came back inside, I put some of my frozen pre-made meals I’d made for my work lunch in the crockpot with extra frozen veggies. Then, it was time to put the 3rd batch of eggs in the now empty incubator, so there will be chicks hatching before Easter weekend. Do you know how hard it is to select which eggs to incubate when you want to set them all, but the incubat…