Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's in a Name?

I need a name for my farm. I can't do pedigrees for my pedigreed rabbits until I have one. Please help me. This farm (when it was a much bigger farm) had a name. It was called Chistlehurst. I know this because I have been given some very old photos of this property. Chistlehurst is an area in England and it doesn't speak to me. Here are details and parameters:

1. It can't be animal specific because we have sheep, rabbits and chickens.
2. We both eat and use the products of our animals so it can't be called something fibre farm because that implies only harvesting wool... Besides, chickens don't have fibre.
3. We sell pure bred Buff Orpington chickens, pure bred but unregistered Icelandic lambs, meat rabbits and angora rabbits.
4. We also sell rabbit meat, wool, lamb and eggs.
5. It needs to be a mobile name because I do not own this property and my farm will likely move one day so it needs to not be area specific.
6. It has to not already be taken.

I liked the name Green Willow Pastures but no one else did. I like names that have to do with birds or trees - mostly trees. I like the name Ravenscroft or Ravenstoft but both of those are names of farms I know. Names of other farms I like are Daisyhill, Rainshadow, Green Croft Gardens, Tideview, Pineridge... I do not like the name 'Andrea's Farm'...heh

Anyways, please help!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Box of Cheepers

Look what came in the mail today!

27 chicks from Rochester Hatchery. And really, they came in the mail. The Post Office called early this morning and before 7:30 I was at their back door getting my box of cheepers. All 27 survived their trip from Northern Alberta.

A racoon killed Marigold, our Buff Orpington rooster in February. We were very sad. And all my arrangements buying broody type hens last year (5 silky hens of whom 3 remain - Zeus ate one and the raccoons killed the biggest hen 6 weeks before Marigold got killed) so that I never had to have laying chicks in my house ever again came to nought. No fertile eggs. Who cares if they go broody? The day after his death I ordered these chicks (his replacement).

Actually its not entirely true that they wouldn't be fertile. In the fall I got myself 2 Rhode Island Red pullets and 2 Plymouth Bard Rock pullets just to have a few very dependable egg laying types. However one of the Plymouth Bard Rock hens turned out to be a rooster. But that only gives me mutt chicks and not pure bred Buff Orpingtons like I wanted. This young rooster is the meanest dang rooster I've ever had. He has attacked me several times. Luckily I was wearing full winter gear. He's gonna go before I wear bare legs outside... The other day I picked up my pet chicken - the only one left of my original Silver Laced Wyandottes. She squawked and he came running. Then later he followed me around and flew at me. I kicked him away but he kept coming back. His days are numbered.

These wee cuties are Buff Orpingtons (one of them will be our new Marigold - our third rooster named Marigold) and Buff Brahmas - a breed I've long wanted to have. They have feathers on their feet and they are known for being good brooders and exceptionally good mothers. Let this be the end of indoor brooding.... please....

Later I have some new Silver Laced Wyandottes and Americauna's coming. I will likely keep a rooster from the Wyandottes as well. They are a rare breed and they have a spot in my heart because of our first 4 girls and Roostie the rooster who were our introduction this time round in to backyard chickens.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Couldn't Stand It...

The inside workings of the hot water tap on our tub went - we couldn't turn it off. But we just used the stops because I didn't feel like calling our landlord and arranging to have someone come and fix it. And then the stop broke and I had to turn the hot water off at the tank and we had no hot water at all. So I called the landlord. They are always great about fixing things right away - better than any other landlord I've ever had. She called back within 5 minutes to tell me that the guy would be there in a hour to an hour and a half.

Okay. Great, right? Except for the guy is a good friend of my landlord and sure to report on the condition of my house.... So not great because 50 chicks were in residence in my basement who should have been outside a week earlier and my whole house reeked of a chicken coop. Dean was gone to work. So I woke up Layne (it was his day off) and Drew and we began the panic evacuation of 50 stinky chicks and the transformation of my basement from chick brooder to ordinary basement.

In 90 minutes we arranged the chicken tractor, put down shavings to absorb the moisture, moved 50 chicks who are getting quite heavy into it, and covered it with a tarp. Then we peeled the sodden cardboard and newspaper and chicken poop off of the floor - several loads in boxes and a laundry basket. Then we swept and swept and swept. And vacuumed up cobwebs now extremely obvious because they were coated in chick dust.

The last load was cleared out, the last remnants swept up, basement 'stuff' moved back into place, the vacuum cleaners carried back upstairs and I was just adjusting the tarp over the chicken tractor when the guy drove up....

It was a good excuse to get them out of there. And they have survived the cool, damp temperatures just fine.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Is spring really 11 days away? Hard to believe when this is the view from my South facing window. See my poor sheep in their snow and ice encrusted pasture?

If, while looking out that same south facing window, you looked down, this is what you would see. I have 148 tomato seedlings sprouted on all my south facing window sills.... And more planted. They aren't all for me but at least 60 of them are. (Amy, click on the photo and look at the label and you will see that the one in the middle says 'Cherokee Purple' - still growing the seeds you gave me for Christmas:)

Here are my peppers just poking their heads out of the soil to the warm of my friend's plant heat pad and the light of my grow light.

And these are flower seedlings for flower baskets and gardens for Eryn's wedding... ah the preparations....

In the meantime, my garden looks like this. Still half the tomato stakes in the ground from last year because of the sudden and very hard freeze that never let up... well, gives me something to do this spring, anyways....

But what is on everyone's mind who lives in this old house is when can these guys go outside? 50 of them for Eryn's wedding dinner. Normally they would go outside today at 4 weeks old. But the ground is either wet and muddy or covered in snow - no space for these stinky critters. Hopefully next week we'll be able to get them out of the basement....