We continue to battle illness here, but homestead life doesn’t just stop because everyone is sick, so there is still some productivity going on.
Our hatch this week surprised us by starting a day early. Friday was day 21, but Thursday afternoon my daughter, Sunshine, was sitting near the incubators and called to me…”Mooommmmmmm! I think I hear cheeping!” We all hurried over in excited anticipation and sure enough, we found that there were a few eggs that had external pips on the shell. Then the waiting began….it is always so hard to wait. 🙂
By Saturday night 35 chicks had hatched!
They are all very light colors. The rooster is white, so it looks like that came through strongly. There are a couple we think will be blue, and several chipmunk stripes, but even the chipmunks are light. There are only about 4 that look to be darker colors.
We have them in two brooders, using our ecoglow 2Os to heat them.
We moved Lily and her one chick back into the bantam coop. The chick is about 8 weeks old, so it was time to get them re-integrated after hatching and brooding.
I have continued to work on the hoody cardigan for Mr. Smiles. I am about halfway done with the bands, which is the last thing before adding buttons and being done. So I expect to finish this week. There are some cute pockets that can be added, but I am running short on yarn and Mr. Smiles wont use them anyway, they would just be decorative.
Sunshine made these kitchen towels to go with the dishcloths and scrubbies I showed you a couple of weeks ago.
Because our property doesn’t have anywhere we can graze the livestock we have to feed hay year-round. Since hay prices are much better in the summer and fall we like to buy a full year’s worth of hay then to save us money and make the farm more efficient financially. But that means we need storage space for that hay. Our barn has two hay lofts, one on each side over the stalls. You can see them in this picture (we are enjoying the panoramic setting on our phone cameras that makes it easy to get these types of pics). On the left is the sheep stall with a hay loft, on the right is the secondary stall and chicken pens with a hay loft over them. And in the center are the lambing jugs, one of which is full of hay right now.
The two lofts give enough space for about 100 bales of hay, which is about enough to feed 3 adults and a couple of babies through the year (sheep and goats). We often have more than that, and thus have to store the extra hay in random places. So we decided to extend the loft across the center of the barn. The new section does not go all the way to the back wall. We wanted to still be able to use that window for air circulation in the summer, and that is the cat feeding area, so we didn’t take the loft all the way back. We went about 3/4 of the way and put up a railing to keep the hay from falling off the back.
We still need to add some lights under the new loft to light the jug areas for birthing, and we need to build the ladder (we usually monkey our way up the sides of the stalls and jugs to get up there, it would be nice to have an actual built-in ladder).
With this new section we should be able to store another 25-30 bales, which will help a lot with us not having to store hay in random places.