Big Changes

Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted. There’s been big changes

First, my computer died. The video card failed and since it’s part of the logic board, that means the whole thing is fried. Unfortunately, I can’t just swap out the video card. 😦   So, I’ve been bogarting Mr. Hen House’s laptop when I can.

Then I picked up a nice, long term contract gig. Which means 40 hours/week minimum. The extended (and unpaid) time off is over! While I’m happy to be getting a steady paycheck for the next several months, it does bite into the blogging time so I’m reworking my schedule to post once a week, most likely Sunday mornings.

On to the much more interesting chicken things! So those two roosters we picked up by accident from the Rumney auction… we took one to be processed. The processor doesn’t have a website, so I can’t link, but if anyone in New Hampshire is near Freedom and needs a processor for their chickens, email me.

I watched… mixed feelings. I called this rooster “dinner” to help keep emotional distance, and intellectually I know where chicken dinner comes from, but for all that I like to call myself an Iowa farmgirl the truth of the matter is I am the city cousin. I’ve never participated in butchering any creature nor do I cook. (Mr. Hen House banned me from the kitchen.) So I am very ambivalent about it. Something I need to work on. I will say he was humane and quick. Very articulate and great with his son. Knew what he was doing and gave a great tip when looking at chicken in the store — buy only chicken that is labeled it was fed a vegetarian diet. You’d think that was a no-brainer for chickens, but no, it’s not. Apparently the big corporate chicken farms feed their meat birds all kind of chicken body scraps to save money. Ugh. Learn something every day. (I was going to link to some web pages, but way too gross for me… I’ll leave you to research on your own if you want to!)

The rooster we’re keeping is named Guapo. Our thought is early next year, we’ll get a straight run of 6 to 12 chicks and at about 3 to 4 months, pick 2 or 3 good looking hens and sell and/or process the rest. We can then raise some beautiful blue lace red wyandottes for sale or food. We’ll see how that goes and maybe take the breeding up a notch. Baby steps.

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Guapo in his temporary outside cage.

Mr. Hen House is building a separate living space for Guapo in the hoop house. I don’t want him to hanging with the girls, tearing up their backs, so he’ll only have close personal company when we’re looking to breed.

The rest of the girls are doing fine and I finally found all the clutches. I need to invest in egg cartons! They’re doing great, which is a relief. Winona is still not well and I think she’s blind. I tried to euthanize her myself and just couldn’t. Mr. Hen House may end up doing it. She’s my only failure.

The guineas, Penny, Marcia, and Kelly, are doing very well. I think we have 2 boys and one girl — which gives us one matched pair and a third wheel. I’ll keep watching to make sure I’m right before I look into getting a female for the third wheel.

They are so funny! I like them MUCH better now that they are outside all the time. They’ve crawled on the roof, explored the perch Mr. Hen House made, and are becoming quite the little uglies! Photos are below.

Next on the list is winterizing the coop. We’re going to attempt to move it into the hoop house so the girls can spend the winter with Guapo (separated by fencing!). They should all be reasonably warm, although I will need to monitor the moisture. Too much humidity may breed disease. But, we are exploring the possibility of putting the girls in the hoop house without the coop. We need to ensure it’s safe enough from predators. We’ll see what falls out.

And the feeding and watering system need to be completed so I don’t need to monitor everyday. I could do it while I was off, but now that I’m working, it’s difficult.

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Guineas on the roof!

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Enjoying the perch!

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Becoming brilliantly ugly!

Show some love! Visit www.EggCartons.com by clicking on the link or the graphic below and pick up some cool products for your girls.

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