Summer Afternoon in the Sun

Today in southern Ohio was absolutely gorgeous! A smidge warmer than I personally prefer, but an absolutely gorgeous day nonetheless! What better way to spend it than outside?

My neighbor Mr.M was nice enough to stop by and look at a broken fence post to see about fixing it. We were not successful in our attempt to repair it today, so regrouping and tackling it tomorrow. Hopefully it all goes smoothly.

After running to the local farm store for a few small things, Miss M stopped over to ride her gelding. I decided to saddle Bart up and join her. It was a pretty nice ride. I took him through the poles a couple times at the trot, which he did well, but when I asked for the canter, he made many mistakes. He was not wanting to switch leads fast enough to stay where he needed to be. Tomorrow maybe we will work on some figure eights or something to help him change his leads.

I worked another horse, for a client, and she did pretty well. Got some good pointers from her neighbor and finished the workout on a good note.

The second client horse got worked next, and considering it was only about her tenth or so ride, she did pretty well. Her owner came to watch tonight and was happy with our progress. We are working on staying in a circle at trot and giving to pressure. She is a smart mare and fortunately she seems to pick things up quickly.

Once all the horses were worked, I decided to roto tiller between the rows in my garden. It did not take me nearly as long as I thought. A little hand weeding tomorrow and I will be happy with it.

The chickens are growing, the turkeys are growing, and I have a hen sitting on 6-7 eggs. My goal is to hatch out a dozen with the hopes of 6 pullets from my original stock. I am only hatching the blue colored eggs.

I am so looking forward to the next couple days on the farm. Hoping to get the garden fenced in over the weekend, as well as maybe let the turkeys and the Brahmas out of the brood box for the first time. Always exciting things gong on at the farm!

Stay tuned in the next few weeks to follow the progress of the garden and the chickens!

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Working in the Chicken Coop

The past couple weeks I have been picking away at little jobs that have been adding up in the chicken coop. A good friend, Mr. J, suggested a new roost idea as well as moving the brood box and he even helped me hang the new nest boxes! The brood box is now under the window, with a poop tray under the new roosts that are now above the brood box. Mr.J, also looked into fixing my water system and even went with me to get the necessary parts and put the first one together!

It was interesting standing in my local farm store discussing fittings and bushings with their maintenance man who was kind enough to follow along with my idea and helped me get the correct pieces to make it work. Today I finished the second waterer all by myself! Once I was shown how to do it, it was not a difficult project, but I would not have figured it out by myself. So I now have 2 waterers put together, one that works beautifully, the other I will test as soon as the Cement has a good chance to dry thoroughly.

Mr.J and I were talking and I mentioned how nice it would be to have a cabinet to keep a few things in the chicken coop. One of which was lightbulbs, the chickens go through lightbulbs like crazy, because they break them. Now I have a place to put them! Mr.J sent this home with my Dad and I hung it a few days later!

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This little cabinet has a small latch on the top to keep the door closed. It is the perfect size for my coop! It is a perfect place to keep my antiseptic spray medication, lightbubs and I put my PVC Primer and Cement in there today so if I need it to work on the water system it is right where I left it.

I have another idea for a roost that I hope to implement within the next few weeks. I am also planning to let a hen sit on a few eggs starting this week! I thought I had enough chickens but I decided I did not!

I enjoy all the time I get to spend with my chickens and my little flock! The diversity among Guineas, chickens, ducks and even turkeys is amazing. Hopefully I can let the Brahamas and the Turkeys out in a couple weeks to be introduced to the larger birds.

Garden Time!

Friday my wonderful Grandpa was nice enough to come down and help me with my garden. When I got home from work, he was dragging it by hand with a manure rake. I quickly took it from him and after a field trip to look at a hayfield and a round baler, I finished raking the garden. It worked up very nice thanks to him and dad plowing and discing the area.

Grandpa showed me how to make rows with his push tool that I do not even know the name of. Grandpa made the first few rows and showed me how to plan the corn that I selected. I planted 4 rows of corn and still had some left! But Grandpa decided that 4 rows would be enough. Then he put the seeds for the green beans into the seeder and then the peas. So I have 1 row of white half runners and 2 rows of peas.

After that Grandma showed me how to hill in the garden for watermelon, cantalope, squash and cucumbers. We would have done the tomatoes also, but I forgot to get them. So I had to do them on my own yesterday, but I did it! I got a total of 12 tomato plants, 6 better boy, and I got 6 of what I thought were Rutgers, but they are something else, so that could be interesting come harvesting time.

My original plan with the tomatoes was 6 plants for eating fresh tomatoes from the garden and 6 plants for juicing tomatoes. My mom requested 12 quarts of tomato juice and Grandma said 6 plants should be enough to get that.

I am really curious to see how my plants do for my first attempt. Time will tell, just got to wait, be prepared to weed and water as necessary and hope it works out well. I am excited to be able to eat veggies that I raised myself! And I cannot wait to learn to can, green beans and tomato juice. I know it will be a little more work, but I am looking forward to learning how to do this!

 

Peeps are Growing!

I deleted the wrong pictures this evening, I will have to take more tomorrow of the chicks that have grown! All of them grew a large amount within the past 2 weeks.

The oldest pullets are Americana, they are 10 weeks today, and they spent their first day out of the brooder Saturday. It took them a couple days to venture outside of the henhouse itself, all but one or two that were more adventurous. It has been a few days and they are all enjoying their time outside playing and eating bugs, grass etc.

The next oldest are the Light Bramas. They are about 6 weeks, give or take a little. Most of their feathers are now in. My mom did a very good job petting them and they enjoy being handled and petted. Several have names including ‘Polly.’ Polly has quite the personality, she is the boss of the others in that group. So far everyone is stil getting along between them and the turkeys. The exciting news with them is they now occupy the brooder in the henhouse, not the living room!

That brings me to the youngest birds, my white turkeys. They have almost all of their wing feathers. They are close to a month old, and are about the same size as their chicken companions.

It is a bit of a change, not having any live poultry in the house to check on as I walk by. Mom is happy to have the mess out of the house and the chicks happily where the mess is easier to clean up.

I have enjoyed watching the babies! The Americanas this weekend have been rather entertaining. Even today one was out hopping and flapping trying to fly a little. There are several new colors in my flock and I am excited to watch them mature the rest of the way. I cannot get over how nicely they are getting along with the older hens, even Roy is being good and the Guineas do not bother them. I was a little worried about turning them loose, but my older poultry are doing very well. The littler chickens are even drinking out of my waterer, which with some help from Mr.J we got the 2nd one put together. I am excited to see how things go the next few weeks as the chicks learn to roost and the pecking order is established amongst the girls. Springtime on the farm is always enjoyable with little ones!

Daily Prompt: Uniform

When I think about uniforms, the first thing that comes to mind is the Christian Acadamy that I went to for a portion of my elementary school. Unfortunately I did not enjoy much of my time there, but I did learn a lot and to this day I retain much of it and that was nearly 20 years ago.

We were told that the uniforms made us all equal, that we would see each other as the same. Uniforms do not make that statement. All that I remember is how uncomfortable they were as I was not built for their cut and style. We may have all had the same wardrobe, but there were many differences in all of us. There were still clicks, popular kids, athletes, book worms, teachers pet etc etc. The uniforms did not change that.

I was not one of the popular kids, nor was I athletic, so I focused on doing the best work I could and keeping my grades as high as possible. I did not feel as though I fit in well, so I was more of a keep to myself book worm than anything. It was still an experience that helped to make me what I am. WIthout the few years I spent in that school, I would not have had the study habits or test taking abilities that I needed to get through high school and college as I did.

I remember the uniform pants, that were too long waisted and funny fitting on me. I have never been much of a dress wearer, but nearly everyday that year, I wore a skirt because of the pants being that uncomfortable as my body changed and grew. That may be why to this day I am choosy about the jeans and slacks that I wear. Never really thought about that before.

I remember the dress shirts had ‘Peter Pan’ type collars, and I thought it looked kind of cute on the younger kids, but I hated the way the blouses looked on me. I stuck mostly to the polo type shirts.

Oh the childhood memories that are brought up at the craziest of things, something as simple as the word uniform brings back many memories. My favorite Spanish teacher for one, studying Astronomy and Ohio History, the hardest teacher I had, that turned out to teach me more than I think any of the others did. Wish I could tell her now how much I appreciate her, but I do not even know where to start looking. You never know the impact or influence you have on someone, especially when it does not even seem like it.

via Daily Prompt: Uniform

Celebrating Spring

My Grandpa has been after me to purchase turkeys to feed out for Thanksgiving and CHristmas dinner. I did some research about when to buy for optimal maturity etc etc. They were on sale yesterday at the local farm store, and I could not resist.

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The white and black chicks are my Mom’s Light Brama pullets purchased as an early Mother’s day gift. My how they have grown! They were fast friends with the 4 new turkeys! I enjoyed just listening to them chatter last night. They are settling in and getting along nicely.

The older Ameracanas are hopefully going to get to be free ranging within the next week or two! So excited I cannot wait for that!

Been a rough couple of weeks around here, and instead of focusing on the patience trying and frustrating things going on, I am trying to focus on the bright side of things. I have so much to be thankful and this latest picture is just another reminder of that!

God has been so good to me especially the past few weeks. He opened up doors for hayfields for this year! It is looking like I will have enough that I do not have to purchase hay again next year.

Several doors are opening in the horse world for me including horses to train, shows to judge and my colt even had a great out this past weekend! Exciting opportunities, meeting new people, working with new people and horses, expanding my horse knowledge and experience!

My Grandparents came and helped me get the garden ready to plant which I am hoping to begin in a few days. The ground is ready! That is a whole other experience for the first time. I am eager to see how the plants do, what grows well and what I struggle with.

One of my friends posted today and it was an awesome reminder that no matter what storms come in our lives, whatever challenges we face, praise God through it! My wonderful Pastor tells us all the time to “Put a praise on it!” That is what I am trying to do. God has a plan, and my frustration is part of it. I am looking forward to what he brings me to next!

Hopefully this encourages you today, to praise Him regardless of what is going on, or what happens yesterday, today, tomorrow. God is right there through it, giving us thing to rejoice about, even if it is something as simple as turkeys being on sale at the farm store!