Sunday, February 21, 2016

Chick Fever!

It's been a while since I've posted, but there hasn't been a whole lot going on around the Duffield farm.

Free Range = Death
I've had one chicken die since Leenie and it was over something stupid. One day, five of them decided it would be a sweet idea to fly out over the fence and free range for the day. Four of them survived the adventure. I found one of my newer Easter Eggers dead on the side of the coop. The best I can figure is that she got her foot stuck in the logs and freaked out and died from a heart attack. She was a healthy weight and had no signs of a predator attack. I keep telling them that free range is not all that it is cracked up to be...GRRR

Coop Revamp Plans
I have plans to revamp the run this spring as soon as the ground thaws and dries up. I am going to make the run go around back the coop and then make it covered so no one can fly out of it anymore. I also am planning on butchering all of the birds with the exception of the ducks and 3-4 chickens. The chickens I am saving are my favorites and have never been sick, but I am keeping them separate in their own little coop.

I also will need to completely clean the coop out and disinfect the entire thing this spring. I am getting a truck topper as a temporary shelter for my ducks to live in while the disinfecting is taking place. All of the straw, poop, sawdust, etc will need to be removed. I will also need to pressure wash the entire coop from top to bottom to ensure all poop and chicken dust is cleaned off and then I need to douse the place in disinfectant. It will need to sit for a week empty so the disinfectant can completely dry before I can put birds back into it. While that's drying, the run will be changed around and fixed up for my newest additions to my flock.

I might even get out there and butcher a few birds today, but that depends on how motivated I feel after coffee....hehehe.

New Chicks!!!!
I purchased 15 chicks from Cackle Hatchery in Missouri and they arrived on Friday. They are Light Brown Leghorns, so come July/August, my egg business should be back up and running at full speed! Cackle sent 2 extra chicks in case some died in transit to Browns Valley, but thankfully everyone survived, so I have 17 healthy baby girls. Leghorns are known for their excellent production of large white eggs- just like the ones you buy in the grocery store!

I currently have 2 White Leghorn hens and they consistently lay an egg per day each. So, if these little babies are anything like those ladies, I will have eggs coming out of my ears this summer.

I haven't even thought about planning my garden yet. I should probably start thinking about that. Last year I made the mistake of letting Eric pick out pepper plants and I planted 49 and we had a crazy amount of peppers. I don't think I will plant any this year as we have several jars in the pantry. I might have to plant one plant so we can make bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos...but that's about it. Those cherry tomatoes I planted last year were the bomb diggity, so I will need to plant more of those.  My brussel sprouts and cabbage got eaten by those stupid cabbage bugs last year, so I might try those again and I would like to try to get more carrots. Maybe I could specialize in cool carrots this year to sell. I need to do some thinking!

We are still well on our way to being debt free next summer. Unfortunately though, we have to pay in $1400 to taxes this year which fricken SUCKS, but whatever. Crap happens and thanks to the Dave Ramsey plan, we are prepared for this kind of set back. Seriously, everyone needs to go through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University. We have learned so much. After I get done blogging, I'm going to get to work on our March budget. Budgeting works, We were able to put about $2500 towards debt this month. This is awesome.

Trip to Duluth
Eric and I went to Duluth for a little mini vacation last weekend and that was a nice little getaway. We went on lots of dates. We like getting back up to Duluth every year. This year marked our 5 year anniversary of when we met. We tried a few new things and enjoyed hanging out with each other.

Well, that's all for now folks!

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