Monday, August 10, 2009

Carmen's new additions to our flock!

During fair week Carmen was gifted a young pair of Modern Game birds. She has been spending a lot of time with them lately. We will begin their cottage construction next week. They won't be outside in winter months, but during warmer seasons they enjoy the outdoors. The male will need his comb and other facial skin dubbed soon, so he can be shown. This is as big as these 2 get, so cute!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bantam Chickens

So you have seen our bantam coop, it houses 7 little birds right now. A Black Silkie hen, a Mille Fleur Bearded Belgian D'Uccle hen, a Buff Brahma hen, a White Rock pullet, a Partridge Brahma pullet, a White Rock rooster, and a Partridge Brahma cockerel. Right now they are all getting along quite nicely, we hope this continues, and all the kids are in love big time.

The bantam coop...remodel in progress

Our bantam coop got a fresh coat of paint, I believe Sprinkles of Summer is the color. It now matches our big coop and our house. The inside has only been partially repainted, it is hard to get too much done when they still want in to lay eggs and such. I moved the roost higher, hung the feeder, cut a piece of vinyl flooring to fit the floor, put a hasp and lock on the back doors, put hook and eyes on both sides of the egg door, and changed the egg door handle. I put the old egg door knob on the chicken door, like a door knob. There are a few more things I would like to do. I need to add a little strip of trim to the inside left back door to keep out drafts in winter, finish painting inside, glue down the vinyl floor piece I put in, and caulk the seam where the floor meets the walls, and add some vinyl flooring to the floor of the nest boxes, and a strip of trim to the front edge of the nest boxes. So, next weekend I will do those things.

The boys built a fancy run for me out of 1"x1" opening welded wire that is 33" tall, they used 1"x2" welded wire for the roof of the run approx 9 feet long by 4 ft wide, and 2"x3" coated welded wire for the floor. We are hoping this should be fairly predator proof. They cut a door in the run the size of the chicken door of the little coop, screwed screw eyes into the front of the coop in 6 places and ran long I bolts through the screw eyes to hold the run securely to the coop. They used J clips and put a gate in to cover the hole they cut for the chicken door, should we ever want to use the enclosure free standing. They also cut a bigger opening in one of the 9ft sides with wire cutters, carefully bending down every sharp wire with pliers. Then they cut another piece of wire and made a gate out of it, so the kids can very comfortably get in and out of the run to visit with the little bantams. That reminds me, I do need to get a few clips to hold those 2 gates shut, right now they are just wired closed.

Anyhow, we are having a lot of fun with this tiny pint sized coop, so hope you like our progress. I should have taken a before and after pic..

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday 85th Great Grandma

My grandmother turned 85 this summer. We happened to all have the Sunday before her birthday free, so I made a few phone calls and by the time Sunday rolled around, one of my aunt's organized a small get together to celebrate. My grandmother was totally mesmerized by the twinnies and Emilia. Francesca shares the same birthday as my grandmother and coincidentally was named after my grandmother's middle name. Although my grandmother has no memory of the day, I think she enjoyed the attention.

Sugar cookies made from our eggs

YUM! Lexi is coming home from a week at camp today, so we baked her a batch of sugar cookies as a welcome home! It was our intention that he whole family would go to pick her up and make it a weekend event, but Carmen was invited to a friend's birthday party, so the boys all went to pick up Lexi and the girls all stayed here.

Carmen went to a birthday party today

We made an outfit for Carmen's friend's birthday today. It was fun to make. Carmen was in a hurry to get out the door to the party, and we were in a hurry, but I made her model it before we gave it away, wet hair and all! So, Francesca modeled the matching hair band. Conveniently, we stole the basic outfit pattern from a pattern our friend Anne(Thanks Anne!) gave us last weekend when we were at her house for a butchering how-to party (don't worry I won't share pics.) Anyhow we added ruffles to the bottom of the shorts, cut the shorts a bit long ,and added a cuff to the shirt sleeves and ruffle to the shirt waist. Voila...a cute outfit. Bonne, do you recognize this fabric?

EGGCITING(sorry could not resist it) NEWS AT OUR HOUSE!

Our Barred Rocks have started laying! We got the first egg on July 25th as we gathered our birds for the fair. Hopefully soon we will be finding 15+eggs a day between the Barred rocks, Dark Brown Leghorn, the Black Australorps, and the bantam coop.

Here are pics of eggs from the first 2 weeks. It is hard to believe that these are all from the same breed and age of chicken. The really big one we cracked open today to make sugar cookies, it had 2 yolks! It must be hard to get the egg laying skill down to a daily habit. I am really hoping that the girls get all the kinks worked out and next month we are over flowing with fresh eggs!

Open Class Fair projects

The kids collectively had 22 Open Class projects. Carmen had 6, Lexi had 4, Anthony had 3, Vincent had 3, Isabella had 2, Francesca had 2, and Gianina had 2. This is one of my favorite parts of the fair, you don't have to be in 4H, you don't have to sign up months in advance-you just show up on a specified day with your items and make sure they make it to the right category.