3/30/12

Friday Farm Fotos: Fuzzy Bottom Maternity Ward


They're heee-ere!!

Well, not all of them- in fact, not even half of the eggs have hatched yet,
but it looks like we will have a bumper crop of Spring Chickies for 2012.



Before the hatching even began, we almost had a terrible tragedy...
I heard one of the hens making a unusual squawking sound, like they do when they're scared or very upset, so I went up to the coop to investigate.
To my horror, I saw a huge black snake in the nest box with it's mouth wrapped around
one of the soon-to-be hatching eggs! 
Without thinking I quickly moved into Chikie Protector mode... I squeezed Mr. Snake's head until he gently laid the precious egg back down, then I lifted him out of the box and introduced him to the business end of my garden hoe.

I'm just glad I was at home when it happened, or Mr. Snake wouldn't have stopped until all the eggs in that box were gone...





A couple of days later, the first chick hatched..... *squeal*




Then came the second one....





 In the meantime- while we were waiting for all these hatchings to slowly take place,
somebody had to get a bath....






Then there were more....


How many we have once they're all hatched is anybody's guess... there are still at least a couple dozen more to go. In the meantime, I get to "Oooh" and "Ahhh" over each one... and I also get to be the first to hold them! *tiny squeal*

Have a happy Fuzzy-Bottomed Friday, everyone!

3/23/12

Friday Farm Fotos: Broody hens and a Big Bee Welcoming Committee


Lily gets filled in on the latest hen house gossip.


Some of you may remember back a couple of years ago when Dad helped us get started in beekeeping with two hives of our very own...  sadly, one hive didn't make it through the first year, and then last spring we were heartbroken when we found out the second hive- which had been the stronger of the two- was gone as well.
Last Saturday, Hubby was working in his little shop behind the barn and since it was 80 degrees that afternoon, he had his doors wide open to help keep cool. He started noticing honey bees flying inside the door and gathering around our beekeeping supply box and the empty hives in the corner. He finally called for me to come and help him try to get the bees out of his building, and I told him I thought they might be looking for a home.
Hubby was a little skeptical at first, but he went along with my idea to set out one of the hive boxes and see what happened... we watched closely the rest of the evening and even Sunday morning but didn't see much activity. But once we arrived back home from church Sunday morning we looked up the hill and couldn't believe our eyes- the sky was black with a swarm of bees trying to get into the hive. An hour later, they had all but moved in and started cleaning house! They were literally throwing the old comb and dead bees out the front of the hive... and I told Hubby it looked like we were back in the honey bee business!


We have no idea where these bees came from, but we are very glad to have some again. I am feeding them sugar water every day to help them get off to a good start, and I hope they like it here so much they decide to stay around for a long time. (If you want to see a short video from a couple of years ago of me "feeding" sugar water to a honey bee, click here.)



************************************************


It's that time of year again.....


Right now I have five (yes, five) broody silkie hens on the nest...
and you know what that means- chicks will be coming soon.
*SQUEEEEAL*
Sometimes when I look at these determined little hens, I can't help but wonder-
what on earth do they think about while they sit on those eggs for hours on end?



Sometimes they are shy and don't want to face the world, so they just turn their fuzzy bottom to it.
Either that or they're just mooning my camera.


And sometimes they let you know what they think of your camera (and you) 
with a swift peck on the hand.




Maybe we should be asking the Daddy what he thinks about all those babies on the way....


I don't know about you, but he looks a little bewildered to me.
Like he's wondering how he's going to pay for all those diapers.....

Happy Friday, everyone!

3/16/12

Friday Farm Fotos: Changes

I've not been doin' so good on this here blawg thing lately....

For some reason the days are rolling along so fast right now and since the Daylight Savings change I've been losing track of time even worse than before... it's dark for almost 2 hours after I get up in the mornings, but now it's daylight for a long time after the supper dishes are cleaned up! *JEEZ*

There have been some changes around here lately; some sad, some happy.... and some letting go of things that were before and moving forward.
A few weeks ago Hubby looked at me out of the blue and said, "I don't know if I'm going to be able to put up hay this year."
This took me totally by surprise since he was so excited about all of his new hay equipment just a couple of years ago.... but I understood where he was coming from since this statement was made after we left the doctors' office for the last time and he issued Hubby a pretty stern warning about taking it easy from now on.

So the tractor shed has gone from looking like this:





















To looking like this.























Gone are the big tractors and all the heavy equipment- now a cute little tractor sits in their place, complete with a front loader to make our life easier.

(This means I can clean out the barns now without having to use a wheelbarrow! *squeeal*)






And since we'll be buying our hay this year we will stack it next to this tractor in the last stall of this shed instead of storing it in the barn.... this was decided upon after we found out a skunk thought the barn was a no-tell motel and checked in for a couple of nights on top of some bales of hay and ruined them.




That's enough for today... I don't want to spring too much change on you at one time.
I'll save the rest until later. (insert evil laugh)



But just in case you're wondering, Lily is still spoiled.
I don't see that changing any time soon....



Happy Friday, everyone!