Monday, August 29, 2016

Creepy Crawlies on the Farm

Recently we took the plunge and added some bugs to our farm. Worms, to be precise. We have red wrigglers, which honestly don't seem to be flourishing and that's been a little difficult to figure out just what we're doing wrong. So I'm not going to show you those, as there's just not much to see yet.

But the mealworms are doing fantastic! As gross as it is, I love these little nasties! They're so easy to take care of and propagate, and our numbers have probably more than tripled since we first started.
Watching them grow throughout their life cycle has been so interesting! And the kids really enjoy them too!

Soon we'll be able to start feeding these wonderfully nutritious snacks to our chickens and quail. They're going to love them! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bunny Farming

After selling most of the bunnies from our spring kindlings, we finally started building our new rabbit hutches.

We chose a nice, shady location on the west side of our chicken barn.

Having an idea in our heads, we got started, just building as we went with no clear plans.

We had lots of little helpers!

This was a perfect spot for the rabbits.
Protected from the scorching sun and crazy winds we have out here.

Some of our helpers liked to visit the nearby horses instead of working.

Installing the floor wire.

It's coming along great!

Our quality control team made sure it was kid-safe!

And here it is mostly complete, with some inhabitants. They seem to really like it, though I'm sure they miss all the space they had in the greenhouse. It was just far too hot for them in there.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cordelia and Her Drake

After our duck population dwindled down to just one Rouen hen, I decided we better get some more so she wouldn't be so lonely. I found an ad on Craigslist for a couple of ducks in need of a new home.

Meet Cordelia, a Cayuga mix:

And her drake, a white Pekin:

Unfortunately, we lost sweet Cordelia to a possum attack, but thankfully we'd incubated some of her eggs shortly after acquiring her. We have some beautiful ducklings from her, to now keep the Pekin drake company, as he was quite sad without his Cordelia. Here they are:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Incubator Overview

Our incubator is Rite Farm Products' Model #3600 Complete Pro Digital Incubator Kit. It was just under $100 and has proved to be pretty reliable. I do use an additional thermometer and hygrometer to make sure my levels are just right.

One of our first bigger hatches was a combination hatch with quail, chicken, and duck eggs. We had decent results, but it was difficult to give the ducks as much moisture as they needed, without drowning the other eggs. Check out the video on that hatch:

Here lately though, I've been sticking to just uncubating quail, and I generally get
around a 70% hatch rate with them.

Our Quail Project

Our jumbo Coturnix quail project is sure doing well! These guys have grown up so fast and we're inundated with SO many eggs every day. The extra eggs make a great supplemental feed for the chickens!

The big indoor/outdoor pen is working out okay, though with them being on the ground, the eggs tend to get dirty if they're not gathered immediately.

We try to fill up the incubator at least once a month. Getting our numbers up to a comfortable level where we can regularly butcher the quail is our goal. So far it's working great!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Farm Update

Day to day life has definitely got me busy and just a bit too occupied for blogging. So here's a quick rundown of all the things we've got going on right now....

Above and below: Built new rabbit hutches. Love them!

Below: Ducklings are getting big! 

First cucumber!

Baby I loves the sweet and gentle Barred Rocks.

Refrigerator pickles! Yummm.

First time processing and eating our quail. It was very easy and pretty tasty too!

Love our homegrown v-6.

Lots of predator problems lately! We have to reset our traps constantly!

Cleared out the "spa room" all the way down to the bones.

Getting back into my old hobby of making miniature leather saddles.

More baby quail!

First haircut for this little one.

Mealworms are doing fantastic!

First eggs from the black copper marans are so dark and pretty!

Baby bunnies!

Pallet furniture. Love this table for the family room.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bunny Lovin'

We're down to just 5 baby bunnies, having already sold the rest. They sure are/were cute and I can't wait to do it all over again. But FIRST I'll be building new cages for my breeders and making sure I have everything ready.