Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Ducks Finally Have Names!

Last weekend was fabulous. I had nearly a four day weekend (I only worked three hours on Friday) and then had Monday off because of Native American Day.

The chickens started the habit of burying their eggs in the straw for me to find. They especially have been fond of burying them in their straw hut. I got pretty tired of crawling around on my hands and knees (kneeling in chicken crap) to find my breakfast. So on Monday, I took all the straw out and off of the floor so the naughty chickens can't lay in it. Ever since I did that, I've been finding most of the eggs in the nest boxes.

I still only have one leghorn laying eggs. I wish the other one would hurry up. The white eggs are so cute and small! I have been averaging 6-7 eggs per day and I currently have a little over two dozen sitting in my fridge. It's a good thing I love omelets! I haven't sold any eggs yet, but I should probably get on it.

Sally, BBQ, Fluffy, and Fibby have been laying massive eggs. If you bought them in the store, they would be classified as jumbo eggs. I still haven't figured out what I would sell those for per dozen, but I am quite content with eating the huge ones myself. I got one egg this week from Sally that had a MASSIVE yolk. Atta girl!
This yolk was huge!

This is the fermented feed that I like to feed the ladies. They love it!

I finally decided on names for my two ducks....Kim(belina) and Karen....named after the two best friends a girl could ask for. My nickname for my human named Kim is Kimbelina- so that's where that came from. 

My favorite manwhore, Francis, has been tearing up a couple of my chickens. He gets a little rough when he is loving up the ladies, so I bought a couple of chicken saddles for his two favorite hens- Fibby and BBQ. They look quite fancy in their pink, flower-patterned saddles. It looks like they are wearing capes!
Fibby and her new saddle!

I had yesterday off of work to clean my house. My dad and his buddies are here to hunt pheasants and with as much cat hair and messes that the kitties make, it takes me several hours to get the house clean. The only thing my vacuum cleaner sucks is.... at life!!! So thankfully, my wonderful in-laws let me use their vacuum every once in a while. My vacuum cleaner doesn't believe in sucking up cat hair. Candy's vacuum cleaner would suck up a small child if you let it. I love that thing! I'm working on convincing the husband to let me buy a $600 vacuum just like it. He's not convinced it's amazing but I have yet to see him use one.... :)

Last night, Dad's buddy Bob was so kind to take us out to supper. We went to a little bar in the next town over that has pretty good steaks for a small town bar. It was SO good! I'm so grateful for his generosity!  He said he's trying to butter and love me up so I let them stay at my house every time they go hunting...hahaha! I'm glad to have them stay here because it is fun to host guests. I love cooking and doing things to prep for guests. Yesterday I made them some really healthy muffins to take with to snack on in the field. Jack is absolutely in love with Bob's dog Gus. It is so fun watching him play!
Jack and Gus having fun

Yesterday, I attempted to make biscuits by biffed them because I added baking soda instead of baking powder....They tasted like CRAP! Plus, they had an aftertaste that would NOT leave my mouth....Easy chicken food and dog snacks, I guess.... So this morning I made a new batch and they are pretty tasty. I plan to make biscuits and sausage gravy for them this morning. I was up before 6 baking in the kitchen. I love being a little Leighbie homemaker!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

White Eggs!

We were busy last weekend. Eric was kind enough to rig up a light in my coop so I can see the chickens at night when I put them to bed. He also helped me set up a little hide-out inside the coop with straw bales to keep the chickies warm in the winter. The birds love their giant nest...I keep finding eggs buried in it.
The finished product.

BBQ is checking out the new hide-out.

We just basically stacked bales together. The purpose is to keep wind out and to insulate a place so the chickens can huddle and keep warm.

This little lady found a comfy place to rest behind their hideout. She's so cute!

I have two white chickens that I couldn't figure out what breed they were. I'd sit there and research at night and have a hard time falling asleep because I couldn't find a description that matched them. Finally this week, I found a white egg in my coop! That confirmed it! They are leghorns. There are only like three breeds of chickens that lay white eggs and leghorns are one. I couldn't decide whether my birds were young leghorns or if they were white rocks. White rocks lay brown eggs- so that took care of it for me. I'm excited to have chickens that lay white eggs, and the best part is is that these birds are supposed to be excellent layers of large white eggs. They will lay me lots of eggs in their peak laying years.
My first Leghorn egg!

So many pretty colors!

My new barred rocks that I brought home 2 weeks ago are great layers too. I have found a lot of smaller pinkish/brown colored eggs and I hadn't had any of those until I got my new chickens. Trading my ducks for these chickens was a great idea! One of the poor girls is molting- she's losing her feathers so she can grow new ones. It happens once per year in the fall- usually starting after they are 18 months old. She looks terrible. She's missing a big patch of feathers on her butt and on her chest. Her little hiney is all red too from irritation. It must be miserable molting like that!

I hung out inside my coop this morning and watched my birds. I found a bunch of eggs in their little hut and watched two birds lay me some eggs. I found 5 eggs this morning. They are way too much fun to watch. I brought them some cucumbers, eggs, and peels to snack on. It's really fun to see all the food they eat. I started fermenting their feed, too and they LOVE that! The fermenting helps more vitamins to develop in the feed- there are other health benefits but I can't think of them right now. To ferment, I added water to their feed and let it sit a few days. It comes out as mush and has like an oatmeal consistency. The girls love, love, love it.

Having some snacks!

Francis is a manwhore. He keeps trying to hump the ladies....I watched him chase the ladies around this morning, but they weren't having it. Lol! Other than that, he is doing pretty well. He does NOT like when I pick up one of the girls...He gets all butt hurt over it and clucks at me to put them down. It's good to know he's so protective of the ladies.

I cleaned out the rest of the garden this weekend. I finished blanching my brussel sprouts and I canned Eric some more sliced jalapenos. I think it's safe to put my canner away for the year...Unless I buy a bunch of potatoes. Those are awesome canned! :)

It's a three-day weekend for me today and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I've been laying around eating like a heifer...but it is quite relaxing. Eric has an incentive going for me- if I lay off the carbs all weekend, he will buy me a pedicure. I'm totally taking him up on that offer.

I've been cleaning the house a bunch too because my dad and his buddy are coming down to hunt next weekend, so I want to keep the house nice and acceptable looking. It will be fun having dad around. I am probably going to do a lot of cooking and this week, I'll make cookies or something for them. :)

I got a job as a mental health practitioner for an agency near my county. I will be on call every other weekend and when people go to the ER for being suicidal, I will go and complete an assessment on them to determine the severity and make referrals to placement for them. It's much more up my alley than being an EMT would have been. I'm looking forward to starting. My boss and the people there are pretty cool. The lady who interviewed me tried hard to get me to work for them about a year ago. I had been offered a lead position and then later they wanted to interview me for a supervisor position, but by that time, I had already accepted the position working for the state. I can have best of both worlds now!

Jack has been super clingy lately....He's so cute though, so I'll excuse it! Lily has been peeing outside the litter box again and I'm once again on a mission to fixing the problem. She gets bladder inflammation and that's what causes her to pee outside the box. I've tried everything, and now I'm switching them all to primarily wet food twice per day to push more fluids on her. I hope this helps.

Lily, Arnold, and I chillin' on my day off.

Jack is such a Daddy's boy.