Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!!

I just wanted to stop by on this busy, busy weekend and give you a quick update.  The greenhouse was finished on Tuesday afternoon.  Wednesday I planted tomatoes and Thursday I planted a few peppers and parsley.  I can't wait to get some more seeds going!!!  Here is a picture of the greenhouse!!!

I also wanted to show you how pretty farm fresh eggs can be once they are dyed.  My little man and his cousin dyed them at my parents house yesterday.

I hope you all have a great weekend and I will have another post early in the week!!!

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Black Fox Homestead


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More than just Chickens

The past few days have been focused on additions to our little "farm", but these ones don't need to be fed or watered.  The first addition was that we went out to my friend's nursery and picked up 6 fruit trees.  My husband received these as payment for doing some welding for her.  We ended up with 3 -Oregon Peach Trees, 1 - Honey Crisp Apple Tree, 1 - Gala Apple Tree, and 1 - Bartlett Pear Tree.  We are very excited to get these in the ground ... it will be a nice addition to our current trees (2 Bartlett Pear Trees, 1 Plum Tree, and 2 Apple Trees) ... hopefully in 10 years we will have a nice little orchard going.

Our new trees.

Our little man also helped this weekend dig up my dead Bluebird Hibiscus Tree that was in between the walk ways up to the house and planted a new one in this space.  I'm hoping that this one survives ... they are so pretty.  It would be a great addition out my kitchen window.

Little Man digging up my dead tree.

Our last addition over the last few days was that my husband and father-in-law started construction of my greenhouse!!!  I am very excited ... I can't wait for it to be up so that I can start planting.  It is 10 x 12 feet, which should be a nice size.

Construction of the Greenhouse.

I hope everyone else has had as exciting last couple of days as we have here.  I will post more pictures as spring progresses and we get plants started and our little "farm" cleaned up!

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Thursday, March 21, 2013


The chicks from Hatch #2 are mostly 3 weeks old at this point and are learning how their wings are working.  We had our first one fly out of the brooder today while I had it open (it was only out for a second and decided it wanted to be with its friends.

We also have several that are starting to fly to the top of the waterer and hang out, the bad part about this is cleaning the water gets a thousand times worse (from chicken poop) ... I know from previous years!

I thought I would also share some pictures of the chicks growing ... its amazing how different they all are (all are Olive Eggers, Easter Eggers or RIR x French Black Copper Marans).  I hope you enjoy seeing their journey ... hopefully next weeks pictures are of them in their outside coop!

P.S. The eggs in the incubator are on day 7 ... I think I'm going to candle them today and see how many seem to be fertilized (their are 35 eggs in there - I'm hoping a third are fertilized!!!), and I will keep you all posted.

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coop #3 (able to house the chickens, however needs to be finished!)


Coops #1 and #2

The coop (#3) is not completely done, however, it was secure so that the chickens could move in.  This morning my husband had to install the feeder for them, construct nest boxes, and is currently working on picking up the area (I will have to post some more pictures once it doesn't look like a construction zone out there).  But for now, the birds are safe and secure and thats what really matters (the mess is just annoying!).
Roost in the Coop #3
For the last week or so the only thing my husband has been worried about is getting Coop #3 ready to move the French Black Copper Marans into.  We need to get them seperated out so that we can start breeding straight French Black Copper Marans (the hens were in with the Easter Egger Rooster, and the Rooster was in with the Rhode Island Red hens) ... so last night all the French Black Copper Marans got moved into their new home together.

Zeke and one of his French Black Copper Marans

Also, yesterday when we were out transferring the chickens to the new coop I collected eggs ... and after 6 months of our one chicken not laying we finally had a white egg in the coop (she is the only chicken we have that lays a white egg!).  So here it is on top ... its a tiny little egg.


I guess I should give you a couple pictures of Hatch #2 ... they are growing like weeds.  I also found out yesterday that Hatch #1 ended up having 3 hens and 3 roosters ... I guess a 50/50 split seems realistic! :)

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week and I will try to post again later in the week if I get a chance!!!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Signs of Spring

I finally feel like spring maybe around the corner ... the birds are enjoying their free range, the fish are biting at the lake, and plants are actually starting to come back.  I'm hoping this will be the inspiration I need to get a greenhouse this weekend and to get some vegetables going.

One of our big girls (RIR) out free ranging.
Zeke, our French Black Copper Marans Rooster with two of the RIRs (please disregard the items that need to be picked up in our yard - thank goodness spring is here!)
Ohhh yeah, I said the fish were biting!

I don't really have much to report this week ... the hubby was out of town working over the weekend and I spent it doing household chores and lots of baking.  Then I had my father-in-law up for dinner on his birthday on Monday.  I do have some pictures of the week to share of our growing babies.

RIR x French Black Copper Marans

Speaking of babies, I am about ready to put our next batch of eggs in the incubator.  They should be going in on Friday and then the 21 days of waiting!  This batch will all be the RIR x French Black Copper Marans ... the few that hatched last time are so cute.

A picture of the eggs getting ready for the incubator.

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

1 week old already

I can't believe that Hatch #2 is already a week old ... they are growing so fast I can't believe it.  Some are already starting to get their feathers in their wings.  They will be ready to go oustide in no time!

The chicks all run to the back of the brooder tub when I open the top (We have to have a top on them or our wonderful cat would be having a hearty snack).

They will come up and check you out once you are there for a little while.

Anyways, there is a little update on the chicks ... hope you are all having a great week so far!

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hatch #2 Overview (so far)

So, our second batch went into the incubator on Friday, February 8th with approximately 38 eggs in it.  About 2 weeks in I pulled 13 eggs out which were showing no signs of fertilization.  Monday, February 25 I locked down the incubator and hoped for the best.  I had a hard time trying to get the temperature stabilized on Monday which had me worried about my hatch rate.  Tuesday we waited and by noon on Wednesday we could hear peeping through the egg shells inside the incubator!  We have our first pip on Wednesday afternoon and our first chick arrived about 9:30 pm Wednesday night ... and then nothing ... went to bed at 11 pm and still nothing ... woke up at 4 am nothing, nothing, nothing ... then my husband got up for work at 5:30 and came back in and told me that chick #1 had a friend!!!  By the time I woke up at 7 am Thursday morning we had 5 chicks in the incubator.  A wonderful start!

The first chicks that hatched.
Then Thursday was an eventful day ... it seemed like every time we checked there was a newly hatched chicken ... first it was 6, then 8, 10, 13, and I think when I went to bed I counted around 18 (hard to count when they are all moving around inside the tiny incubator).  This morning we decided to pull the chicks that were dry and fluffy out of the incubator and put them in the brooding tub ... I knew this could be bad for the eggs left, but the chicks were stepping on each other and needed room. 

My son was obsessed with Egg #8

The yellow one on the bottom is Egg #8.
I started putting the chicks that were in the incubator into the tub we were transferring them to the brooder in and my heart sank ... as I removed some I saw one just laying there.  I told my husband "I think we have a dead chick", and no sooner did I get the words out of my mouth it started to move ... my husband quickly said "I think it just hatched" ... so quickly we got the rest of the 18 we were moving out of the incubator and left the newly hatched one along with 2 others that looked like they could use a little extra time in there.  I'm hoping that it will make it ... I have checked on it several times and it seems to be doing ok.

As a recap of the 25 eggs that we locked-down as of 10am Friday morning I have 18 chicks in the brooding tub and 3 chicks in the incubator along with 4 eggs that haven't done anything (yet).

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