northernhomesteader


Snowy Spring…
April 6, 2012, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Chicks, Coop, Egg, Eggs, Farming, Gardening, Homesteading, Livestock, Organic, Pig, Rooster | Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday, April 5th in Alberta…many folks are planting their gardens and starting to mow lawns…. We get half a foot of snow! It’s not cold, just hordes of snow….

20120406-183933.jpg

Looks like it’s an inside day for the animals…. Petunia the pig will go outside in almost -30, but will not motor around her pot belly self in the snow this deep, even in my walking tracks. I have to plow the snow away for her to roam with the tractor. Spoiled brat!

20120406-184029.jpg

Chickens came out, took a look around at this crazy April morning and declared today an inside day! Perhaps chicken-games and safety meetings all day today.

Happy Easter all!

20120406-184137.jpg

Advertisements


Wordless Wednesday – Hello Chicks!
March 7, 2012, 7:46 am
Filed under: Animals, Chicken, Chicks, Coop, Egg, Eggs, Farming, Homesteading, Livestock, Poultry, Rooster | Tags: , , ,

Well…one of our little Silkie hens decided to be broodie over the winter…here is what she helped bring into the world (with a couple of our Isa Browns acting as caring aunts and proud Daddy Flounder looking on…):

20120307-074431.jpg

20120307-074447.jpg



Wordless Wednesday – Hen meeting
February 22, 2012, 2:28 pm
Filed under: Animals, Chicken, Chicks, Coop, Egg, Eggs, Farming, Homesteading, Livestock, Organic, Poultry | Tags: , ,

20120222-142653.jpg

Did somebody call a safety meeting?

20120222-142708.jpg



Chickens behind the wire…
February 19, 2012, 7:47 am
Filed under: Animals, Chicken, Chicks, Coop, Egg, Eggs, Farming, Homesteading, Livestock, Organic, Poultry, Predator | Tags: , , , , ,

20120219-074730.jpg

Thanks Heritage Breed Farms inspiring this quick post….

How do you keep your chickens in…or their enemies out?

We’ve used the 48″ Paige wire fencing on 8 ft long posts spaced every 8 ft for our main chicken yard, which is approx 1/2 acre or so. We also have a small chicken wire on t-bar pen for quarantine/new bird introductions.

Only the occasional fly over…and then pacing on the outside to try to figure out how to get back in….

This year we plan to also use the electrified chicken netting so that we may move the chickens to other areas for weed and pest control, etc.

All of that aside, the chickens do tend to stay close to where we are or where the house is…so for us the fence is more of a predator deterrent than a chicken containment system.



To do or not to do….where on the list should it go?

20120205-092226.jpg
Thank you for this great post over at Not Dabbling in Normal You’ve inspired me to consider the lists in our lives a little more deeply.

Do you have a “to do” list…or does your spouse have a “honey do list” for you? Do you use multiple lists or different areas in your life? Perhaps one for groceries, one for repairs, one for homestead upgrades, one for hobby wants/needs, etc?

I would be lost without my lists, and my wife would definitely also be lost without hers. I am a techy-type, so prefer to keep my lists on my iPhone’s “notes” app or as calendar entries on my Mac. Tanya prefers the large coiled scribbler method. In fact, I am actually writing this blog post in the Notes app…after having added the “lists” idea to my list of blog post ideas….

We most definitely have a number of different areas to build and manage lists from We were able to knock a few off the various lists in 2011, including:

-clear land
-build coop
-get chickens
-get rooster
-get feather plucker
-learn to process chickens
-fencing and fencing and fencing (this one is definitely not complletely finished yet…)
-get pigs
-get rabbits (well..only one doe so far…so that item is also still on the list….)
-provide heat sources for the aforementioned critters…and also keep their various water dishes in a liquid state throughout the winter
-learn how to and make yogurt

Plenty of items on 2012’s list, including:

-get more rabbits
-build rabbitry and rabbit arks
-put in garden
-more fencing and cross fencing
-begin compost piles from all the critters “night soil”
-look at worm bins (as our 2011 worm bin didn’t work out too well!)
-dig a well
-determine and implement alternative heat sources
-explore solar and/or wind power options
-dig a dug out/pond
-consider ducks
-consider goats
-learn how to and then dehydrate food
-learn how to and then can food
-learn how to and then preserve meat through smoking, etc

Should be another fun year!



Got eggs?
February 3, 2012, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Chicks, Egg, Eggs, Homesteading, Organic | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Have a great weekend!

 

Happy eggs!

 

Time to make some omelets!



King of the Coop

Care to meet one of the newer additions to our little farm family?  This is Flounder, our rescue Ameraucana Cross Rooster.
Why is his name Flounder?  That is an excellent question!  Perhaps his previous owner was a big fan of Disney’s Little Mermaid?  I just don’t see the resemblance between this rooster and a fish of any stripe….  However, Flounder certainly made a “splash” with our feathered ladies when he arrived!
Back at the end of September 2011 I spotted an advertisement for someone who needed to re-home one of their roosters.  This particular rooster was not doing very well in their coop due to a bigger, tougher, and meaner bird who was the dominant male and not afraid to show it.  My wife and eldest daughter went to visit, and came home a few short hours later with our first rooster…traveling in style inside of a spacious dog crate in the back of the SUV….
When Flounder was introduced to the ladies he went straight to work.  It started with fluffing and flapping, then there was some strutting and stretching, and after a short while…crowing!  Yes indeed, our little acreage now has sound effects!  The ladies were all suitably impressed, and for the first few days they all jostled to be the closest chicken to their new man.  Once the revised pecking order was in place, all was well and Flounder was clearly the king of this coop.
Did I mention the crowing?  Somehow we had imagined that roosters only liked to crow in the morning, as a way to welcome the sunrise and say “Hello” to the brand new day.   A rather romantically bucolic notion, don’t you think?   Apparently Flounder did not receive that memo.  Don’t get me wrong, he does like to crow in the early morning.  He also likes to crow in the late morning.  Noon warrants a crow, as does early afternoon and late afternoon.  Evening…you guessed it, also a good time to crow.  Even bed time after lights out is occasionally serenaded with rooster song….  In hindsight, I wonder if Flounder was really being bullied in that other coop…or if his previous owner simply didn’t appreciate the coop-tunes!
Ah well…such is life on the homestead, and to be honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way.  In fact since Flounder has joined us, he has been very busy doing his roosterly-duties, and this when combined with one very dedicated broody Silkie hen…means that we now have a few hen-hatched, hen-raised chicks in the coop!  How do you like that?  Thanks Flounder, good job!




%d bloggers like this: