Showing posts with label chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chickens. Show all posts

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Farm Girl Sewing and Garden Updates

This week went by in flash. These three kids keep me on my toes for sure, but I don't mind. I am loving this new busy full life of ours. 

I did however get to steal away a few hours in my sewing room during nap time. I was determined to sew something for Deirdre since as I was sorting out seasonal clothes and I saw that she grew out of two of the dresses I've made for her- which really saddens me. 

But thankfully Mommy can sew more and I had some very cute fabric on hand to sew something for my farm girl. I especially love this fabric because we own a Dominique hen, who is black with white polka dots. The result was the above dress. I used Oliver and S's free pop-over sundress pattern. You can find the link to the pattern here.

I think I can now say that I am past being a beginner sewer. However this dress was easy. It took me two hours from cutting to finish. I highly recommend it as a beginner project. It is even easier than a pillowcase dress. I even sewed in some ribbon to the dress yoke for some added flare. 

Above you can also see our new family rhythm watercolor chart. The kids helped me paint it. So far it is working wonderfully for us. I was inspired by Becca's chart here on her blog, Chocolate Eyes. 

I hope you all had a great week too. Below is an update on our fairy garden. It is coming along nicely. Now all we have to do is keep the deer out! 


PS: Does anyone know of any good summer craft swaps going on? I'd love to join one. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Deep Wound

Nala, the black one on top, I raised her from a chick. 

Adult Nala- She was the friendliest with the kids.

Tonight, inexplicably, my favorite pet hen died in my arms. She was fine this morning and afternoon. Then as I went to put her up three hours later, I found her laying in her coop very weak. An hour later, after I brought her inside the house and began to treat her, she had passed. 

I usually take death well with my animals. We have had predators get them and it always saddens me but I just accept it as part of life and move on. But I've never lost one and not known why. It just sorta eats me up, especially since Nala was just so so sweet. 

So I had big things to share tonight about our fun weekend and some homeschool developments, but right now I just don't have the heart. I miss my sweet hen

Until next time, 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Predators, broody mamas, and duck eggs... Oh My!

Petunia my lone Embden goose
My chickens (from L to R) Faline Dominique, Simba Brahma Roo, Nala Dominique, and Precious Americauna.

Well I usually do not post more than once a day, but after all the excitement with my animals this week, I needed to write a quick update!

This year Craig and I took another stab at raising pet chickens. We got 4 day-old chicks in the mail this past April. One chick died, and the others thrived. Then steadily over the next two months we expanded to include 5 chickens (one Brahma rooster, two Dominiques, a leghorn, and an Americauna),  a pair of Muscovy ducks, a pair of Embden geese, and three rabbits. 

We lost one goose and most recently my leghorn to predators- despite our best attempts to protect them. We replaced our goose Henry with a Chinese goose. However, Henry II since then has been respectfully culled, as we intended from the get go. (I will write another post on that later but basically we as a family would like to be closer to the process of how we obtain meat in order to be more conscious consumers).

But with planned and unplanned loss, unexpected life springs! Just this past week both my Muscovy duck hen and Americauna hen have gone broody!! While my duck, Strawberry, did not set sadly- my Americauna hen, Precious, has and seems to be a great Momma. 

Duck eggs

Our duck eggs, all 5, are in an incubator and we will candle them in another four days to see if they are developing. As for the 15 eggs Precious laid, she is happily taking care of them on her own. I hope she keeps it up too because we only have on incubator and the duck eggs have to be at a higher temperature. 

Needless to say it has been an exciting and exhausting week. I find it so so funny that Precious went broody first. Not only is she my youngest and smallest hen, but until now she had never laid an egg. Since it got cold, all my hens stopped laying so I just assumed she'd start in the spring- since she is much younger then my Dominiques. Well, I guess she was saving up. 

Now that I think back on her behavior this week and today it does make sense that she was broody. Not only did she have an egg waiting for me in her cage, but once I let her out she immediately went to the brush pile she loves and skipped her food! 

Imagine my surprise when I go out to get her tonight and find this there (when it was empty this morning)!! So here is hoping we get some chick and duckling in the next 20-35 days or so. I am excited and learning so much by all of this. Raising poultry sure is fun. 

Precious' eggs

Sunday, July 24, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual birthed by Amanda Soule aka SouleMama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . .

Deirdre loving her chicken Faline. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blackberry Picking

We have been busy these past two days. Sadly my husband's work schedule is pretty crazy and unreliable right now. Since he works night shifts we usually spend our days together as a family. He also never has the weekend off, so our weekend usually is on Monday and Tuesday (his usual days off). But since his restaurant has doubled in size after its renovation- without hiring more staff to compensate- he and his fellow employees are having to working a lot. Last week also two people called in sick during the day last minute, so he had to go in and work doubles. Truly I am grateful for his job and his wonderful boss Julia, but I will be happy when this period is over. I am struggling with getting all my housework done and poor baby Jonas is teething again, which means I get even less done. Ah well that is ok. One day at a time. My blessings are plentiful and the Lord will give us all extra strength and peace. 

On a happy note, he did get Monday off this week and we were able to go to my hometown Virginia Beach for some blackberry picking (click on the link to see the farm's website that we went to)! The berries were just in season and delicious. We are now in the process of making schnapps, preserves, and cobbler. So much fun! 

At any rate, I will try my best to return to this space as frequently as I have been, but forgive if I lapse. We all know how life happens! 

Daily Verse or Quote: "Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion." -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight" by Snow Lion Publications.

I cannot help laughing in this photo. The chick has imprinted on me and now follows me around everywhere.  In this photo she hopped up onto my lap and climbed up me while I was blogging. Then she nestled down and fell asleep on my shoulder. Precious! Still no name yet!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Geese, Ducks, and Rabbits oh-my!

Our nameless Americauna chick, suggestions?

I think the title of this post pretty much sums up what I am going to say :) Today Deirdre and I took a mommy-daughter day trip to West Point. The local tack and feed store there was hosting a poultry swap and we wanted to go check it out! After learning a little bit more about chicken's pecking order and seeing how unhappy Snow White was, we wanted to get her a little friend close to her age. 

Chickens, especially young ones, are social flock animals. When one is isolated, it causes undue stress and weight loss.  I tried 'look but don't touch' with Snow White and my other chickens, but it did not work and they continued to peck her badly. So we have to wait to introduce her once she is full grown and can peck back. In the meantime however she was not happy,and since we want her to be happy and lay eggs, we needed to get her a friend chick close to her age. After learning that the feed store where we got Snow White had no more chicks this season, we started looking elsewhere for a friend. Then this swap popped up, so off we went! 

It only took about an hour to get to West Point. It was just so beautiful there. Deirdre aptly commented "Mommy its so beautiful here. God did a really good job on this one". Sadly I forgot to take photos! I was just so enamored with all of the animals. 

The store was easy enough to find and it was packed! It was at the first stall, yeah that's right I did not make it past the first stall, where I saw the Americauna chicks. My mind was made up then and there. You see while I now have Dominique hens, we at first wanted Easter Eggers. Our Hatchery however did not have any left when it came time for me to order. Plus I was very happy with my Dominiques, they are so sweet! 

So instead of leaving with one Americauna chick, we got A pair of geese, a pair of ducks, a new doe meat rabbit, and our one Americauna chick. Craig had been commenting on how he wanted a turkey or goose to raise for Christmas, and he even tried to catch a baby duck at work. So when I brought these babies home, he wasn't shocked. He was actually pleasantly surprised, especially by the sweet geese and meat rabbit. Well, heck he liked them all. So now we are making plans for all of our new editions! Right now they are playing in our baby pool on the back porch and loving it! 

From left to right: Raspberry, Strawberry, Petunia, and Charles

Laying her head in my hand sweetly! 

Snow White: the white leghorn

Brownie: the New Zealand doe

Duffy: The Dutch Doe and my nemesis due to her being an escape artist! 

Cicero aka Fluffy: the Lionhead Buck

My big babies! Faline, Nala, and Simba.

And, I finished the Oliver and S bucket hat! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Coop

Finally at long last we have a secure coop for our brood. After last year's debacle with the local feral cat colony, we knew this year that we need a secure coop. 

Our new coop is very nice. It is cedar and has two levels, nesting boxes, an easy clean tray, and a small run underneath. Needless to say the brood is happy to be out of the old bunny cage at night. Now all we need to put in is a roosting pole. 

Simba (our Buff Brahma) is excited and HUGE! He is only 10weeks old. He might look mean but he is a sweetheart and purrs when you hold him. 

Our garden is also busting out right now. We have already had a large crop of lettuce, spinach, arugula, and strawberries  Now we're just getting in cherry tomatoes. The squash, cantaloupe, peppers, and watermelon are going crazy! 

So at any rate, we are busy over here and soaking up the summer these past two mild days.  We have had dinner on the porch two nights in a row and are loving it. Enjoy your weekend and the outdoors!

One garden bed- we have two additional ones. 
The First Crepe Myrtle Bloom of the summer! They smell divine!
Cicero (Our Lionhead buck) also likes the coop. We house our chickens and rabbits together. They all cuddle together at night. Its quite adorable.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our family grew by 5!!

No this is NOT an April Fool's joke. The Kleemann Family has grown by five over the past month. That means we have 4 humans, 4 chicks, and 2 rabbits (plus the wild rabbit that keeps hopping into our hutch and stealing food!) to feed now. So in total that makes 10 and we love it! Well Craig says he will love it once the chicks stop "free-loading" and start producing eggs or meat! But , I will say that the new bunny he did totally on his own without my suggestion. Who would have thought that when he despised our first bunny for so long? It turns out that when Cicero got his hutch outside, he became a MUCH happier bunny. *note my sarcasm*

So this might explain why I have not blogged this week. I have been busy, sick, and taking care of baby chicks, whom I now love almost as dearly as my own children. They also think that I am their mother and when I hold them all close they think I am brooding them and fall asleep within seconds. As a little girl I had a pet chicken named Henrietta. She lived to be 9 years old and when she was 7 years old I got her a rooster named Henry. I did this because she was so lonely that she would cluck and coo to her shadow. Poor Henrietta! So I have raised poultry before and love them. Last year we attempted to raise them as well but we soon learned that there was a rabid feral cat colony in our neighborhood. Needless to say it did not end well for our chickens but it also did not end well for the cats in the long run either. So the problem was taken care of and we are a year wiser with a better housing plan!

Officially Deirdre is their mother and has named the chicks Simba, Nala, Faline, and Bambi. (3 Dominique Pullets and 1 Buff Brahma She is in charge of giving them their water and food. While Deirdre has LOTS of help and is a bit over zealous in their feeding, it has been a fun week watching her sense of responsibility grow. 

Jonas loves the chicks as well, maybe a bit too much. He just giggles insanely when he sees them. He now knows to touch them gently after a close call the first time he meet Faline. Today he softly poked the fur of one and he just had the biggest most proud smile on his face. Jonas is also super close to walking. He has taken his first few steps this week and now free stands for minutes at a time. The most interesting development with him is his "golem scoot". I have no other words to explain it. Its like his half walking-crawl which literally looks like how Golem walked around in the Lord of the Rings movies. I can barely contain my laughter right now as I try to describe this for you. I will video tape it tomorrow to show you just how funny it is. 

I also found my camera thanks to my guardian angel friend Danette so I can post new photos of our new babies. So thank you Danette, you are such a blessing in more ways than one! 

Daily Verse: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2