Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big day out

The "babies", two turkey poults and 9 chicks that I hatched in my incubator, are growing bored of the brooder box. Whenever the screen is lifted they have a "play day".

So, with a warm spring day upon us I took them outside to the "tractor box".

They are 15 days old in these pictures. Another two weeks and they should be ready to go outside full time, weather permitting.

I wonder how many of the 9 will end up being hens?

Chicken Math

My ever growing chicken flock was explained to me as....Chicken Math!!

Chicken Math is when you go to the feedstore to pick up your order, and they tell you that they have 25, even though you only ordered 20. There wasn't anyone else who ordered this type of chick, so they can all go with you, if you'd like to pay for those extra 5.

And you say "Sure. Why not? I'm already getting 20....and they don't have anywhere else to go. What's 5 more?"

Oh Goodness!!!!

I'm not calling them "the babies", I'm calling them "the piggies!!" I've cleaned their brooder box out three times in barely 24 hours! It is a bit small......Let the box hunt begin!!!

Meet Daisy Mae and RibEye

We brought home two leppy calves on April 18th. Other parts of the country would call them doggies, some would call them orphans. Either way, they are the new additions to the Nakamura Farm.

We drove 45 minutes down the freeway to "go look", money in hand. I knew we were coming home with em. I insisted on two, because our last cow got lonely, all by himself.

The horse trailer has a seriously flat tire, and Mike wasn't sure our poor old truck would make it there and back. It ONLY has 250,000 miles on it! What do you mean it won't make it?? Poor thing needs some TLC.

Anywho, we threw a tarp in the back of the Explorer, again "just in case". Just in case they are small enough to "hog tie" and put in the back seat. Oh goodness!

We get to the TS Dunphy Ranch, outside of Carlin, and are shown to the barn. You know how all baby animals are cute?? It is especially true for calves! Those big eyes, long eyelashes, how could you not want to touch them? Even if you "don't like cows". (I confess, that's me. But it's always been the free-ranging cows, on BLM land, that tear down my fences and make life a general head ache).
This is Miss Daisy Mae. Had to give her a nice farm girl name. We're talking of keeping her for Shawn's 4-H project, and a possible breeding heifer. We'll see how she grows, since we didn't get the pleasure of meeting her parents.

And this is RibEye. A possibility for Shawn's 4-H future, but most likely he'll fill the freezer in a year's time.

Twice a day we mix up three of these 4 pint bottles, AND have extra on hand, in a jug, for refills while in the pen. When they first came to us they were eating maybe one and a half bottles a piece. Now they are gulping down three and half bottles worth a feeding! Doesn't help that we're in the middle of a cold snap. But man oh man!

The two little guys just after getting them settled. Not so sure about that interesting ride hog-tied in the back of the SUV, and the horses trying to check them out over the panels.

At first Shawn was all for getting up at 6 am (just a bit earlier than usual) to help feed the babies. I'm afraid the novelty of it all has worn off and I'm stuck to morning feedings by myself most of the time.

Hungry little gal!

Shawn and RibEye.

Switching bottles....getting it all figured out again.....

Daisy is full now. And still a bit unsure about not being in a cozy barn anymore.

Now she's being camera shy........

Perhaps it's time to lie down for a bit.

RibEye's not quite ready to be done, and he's just sure that those warm things attatched to my hand (fingers) will give a bit of milk.

Mikey laughs at me, but those bottles get heavy and slippery! Just so happens that we have an apron with a nice, big pocket, perfect for putting those bottles in!
It leaves my hands free to carry the calf bucket (it has a nipple on one side, an odd thing really), AND my jug of extra milk, just in case they are still a bit hungry. Very handy that they are now chugging down about three and half bottles worth each!!

It makes me feel like a "momma cow" when the bottles are full. Gives a person a bit of a "full udder" waddle.....LOL I wonder what the passerbys think when they see me waddling over to the horse shed!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Incubation Saga

I'd like to tell you the saga of my first hatch!

We came home from helping a friend with his horse (a whole different saga!) at about 5 pm on Saturday the 10th. This is what I saw!
20 eggs had made it this far.

There were 5 pips. We were invited to a friend's house for dinner and hanging out. Do I go? Stay? I knew it could take a while for the hatching process, but I wanted to park myself over the 'bator and watch. Mikey convinced me to go.

We got home at 2 am (!!!) and the first thing I did was run over the 'bator and peek in.

There was one already hatched! And one working on it.

These were my first two babies.

"What the heck just happened?"

And then a gold colored chick joined them.

They were really kicking around the other eggs, making hard to count who had pipped and who was zipping and getting closer to hatching.

So I warmed up this little tub and paper towel and put them in it, so they could dry up with out playing bumper cars with the other eggs.

It didn't last long. They jumped out and continued staggering around, getting their "sea legs".

I finally went to bed at 5 am, only to wake up at 7 to let the dogs out to potty. And then I was up for good at 8:30. There ended up being 12 out of 20, so a 60% hatch rate for my first hatch. A 50% rate is considered good for a newbie, so I am overjoyed!

I moved them to the brooder box in the kitchen to finish drying and fluffing out.

I love how they sleep, flat out, exhausted! That's how I felt too.

We ended up with gold ones, reddish ones, and "chipmunk" one, with stripes down their backs.

This little dude is our favorite, and will most likely have a 4-H future ahead of him (or her). Shawn is almost 9, the age for joining 4-H, and a chicken project only makes sense.

I started saving eggs once the Roo bird disappeared. I read that hens can stay fertile for up to 2 or 3 weeks without a rooster in the flock. There are now 9 eggs in the incubator for a try at round 2. Mikey thinks I've lost my marbles!

Do you think he would notice if I ordered some Turkey eggs to hatch? :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mrs. T

Mrs. Turkey, formerly known as Christmas, has gotten herself a repreeve from the freezer. She's laying eggs! One of two broad breasted bronze turkeys we purchased last year, she (obviously) turned out to be a girl. Mr. T, aka Thanksgiving, guessed it. Thanksgiving dinner.

She is laying an egg every other day. And they are beautiful. Look at the size of that yolk!
Mikey swears they are richer in flavor than chicken eggs, but I think I would need an egg of each side by side to tell for sure.
My hens lay some pretty good sized eggs, jumbo or larger would be the comparison to store eggs. But Mrs. T's eggs are huge. I love the speckles.
Last night she decided she's had enough of the cold weather and wanted to come in for a bit.
She stayed in the porch all night. She loves being around people, so she was a happy girl tucked away. I'm sure being near all the food sacks helped her comfort levels a bit, too!
I propped open the porch door this morning (to the left of the shavings bag, just out of the picture) and thus far she has made no move to exit her new dwelling. But she has left lots of gooey presents all over the floor! I'm sure when I mix up the chicken feed (in that green labeled bucket next to her) that she will gladly exit.
While it's cute, and I don't mind too much, I hope she doesn't want to make this a nightly habit! She did survive the winter snow and freezing temps outside. She decided to use the dog kennel box we gave her as a nest box and doesn't bed down in there. Does her egg-ly duties and moves on. She deserved a nice comfy night, but my porch is a mess!

Wash Day


Monday -Washday
Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and
Vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility
Through the week ahead.

Tuesday -Ironing Day
Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles
Of prejudice I have collected through the years
So that I may see the beauty in others.

Wednesday -Mending Day
O God, help me mend my ways so I will not
Set a bad example for others.

Thursday -Cleaning Day
Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults
I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.

Friday -Shopping Day
O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others
In need of love.

Saturday -Cooking Day
Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly
Love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.

Sunday -The Lord's Day
O God, I have prepared my house for you. Please
Come into my heart so I may spend the day and the
Rest of my life in your presence.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beverly Hills...

That's where I want to be. Have you heard the very catchy song by Weezer? It makes me think of this sign. Beverly Hills, Nevada. Hehehehe.

Beverly Hills, Nevada is about 20 minutes down the freeway from my house. In between Wells and Elko.

Notice the bullet holes in the exit sign? Cracks me up!
This is one side of the freeway exit that is Beverly Hills. Lovely rolling ranches. Quiet. Peacful.
This lovely little Mountain Retreat was for sale a while back. Not sure how much they wanted for it. Log cabin, 40 acres, nice little quakie draw, the deer come down. Probably some Elk too.
This is the other side of the freeway exit. There is a ranch or two tucked back against those mountains. Lots of wide open space.

I've never been to Beverly Hills, CA, but honestly don't think I ever care to go there. It doesn't hold a candle to Beverly Hills, NV!