Monday, January 28, 2013

more chicks!

I have been offered a couple new chicks by another hen aficionado.  The deal is that I have to come over for coffee.

She drives a hard bargain.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Blood

Our flock started in April of 2011, so this year we will be replacing Alice, Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum and also the Rhode Island Red & Barred Rock we acquired this year.  I want to focus on high egg production, dual purpose &/or broody tendencies.  (With 2 bantam frizzle cochin roosters I am hoping for chicks)

With these traits in mind I put 2 Welsummer and 2 Iowa Blue chicks on hold at the Kiowa Country Corner.  This feed store is just under an hour away, but they have much more variety than the local feed chain (although I will end up checking out the chicks there too)  And comparing an enjoyable two hour drive with a $35 overnight shipping fee to get them via mail and I'm sold.

The Welsummer, like the Cuckoo Marans lay dark brown eggs.  I had never heard of Iowa Blue, but read that they are likely to brood, and are smaller in stature - more in line with the bantam roosters.

I will see what else is available when I get there.  I don't expect to come home with only 4 chicks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stock Show

Colorado is an interesting place.  For one reason the cowboy is not dead here.  Cowboy boots and hats can be worn without a drop of irony.  It is here that the Western National Stock Show has taken over each January for over a century.

But although the animals were interesting (the best petting zoo EVER).  But most fascinating was the realization that this subculture has been sold a lifestyle "look" just as much as any other.  I somehow expected the folks involved in ranching would be like the stoic Norwegian dairy farmers that Garrison Keillor talks about on Prairie Home Companion.

 Instead it was all glitter and perfectly manicured nails.  Plaid shirts and boots that had never seen the inside of a livestock pen.  It was new country pop music and christian rock.

It was explained to me that the stock show is like prom to the far flung ranching families, and Taylor Swift wannabes.

We'll stick with the Denver County Fair instead.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Looking back

2012 goals

I call a redo!

Not done, moved to 2013 list:
System for indoor winter greens
Make bacon & ham
Have chimney swept
Cord of wood
1/4-1/2 locally raised pig
Pink pearl apple tree

Didn't do, but found an alternative
Successfully grow broccoli - but will grow more cauliflower and kohlrabi this year

 Decided not to do:
Blackberries on south property line - put up a fence instead

Done, but added to 2013 list to do again:
12 meat chickens in freezer
Apricot tree planted - but it died
Peach tree planted - but it died

Done, but realized the error of my planning:
Build attractive garden beds in back parking area - hard to water and keep an eye on

Done and crossed off list:
New chicken coop
Pear tree planted
Plum tree planted


Our duck pair was killed last night.  But it is a personal responsibility as the hutch door had not been relocked after feeding it seems.

Monday, January 7, 2013

starting a trend

I am trying to plant 3 pots of one item every week so today Mesha planted Dwarf Blue Scotch Curled Kale (whew!) in the greenhouse window.  The seed is from 2009, but what is the worst that could happen?  I am going to buy as little seed as possible - which may mean that that I will have to avoid any and all garden stores or areas.  I could use some flowers, esp. night blooming and some field corn, but I bet I can trade/barter for the seeds I want.   I figure if I get in the habit of planting weekly now - the actual growing season will be smoother.

I traded some eggs for spent grains this morning.  Happy chickens.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year gifts

A friend of ours dropped off a goodie bag for us today.  This is the same friend who has delivered "steaming poo" to us more than once, so she knows us well.  In the Pottery Barn bag (irony?) were 3 kinds of homemade jam, some apple butter, rendered duck fat and best of all a bear of honey from their own hives.  It was all I could do not to run to my room doing my best Gollum impression ("my precious!").