The chicks are a week old

Time to catch you up on the eggs we incubated.

This is what we saw last Monday morning!

It is amazing watching them work at getting out of that shell. Some took
only 30  minutes or so while others took 12 hours.

When we had these 8 hatched out it was time to clear them out and make room.
Off the the brooder they went!

We had a total of 11 chicks hatch out of the 25 we set. Not the 
greatest, but not too bad for our first time either.

They are a week old now and all are doing great!


Mini PVC hoop house for our Square Foot Garden!

It's finished!!

I wanted to extend our growing season in our 14' x 4' Square Foot Garden (SFG) this year.
I had seen this method used in the book and on several sites online. We used 1/2" PVC and metal conduit brackets.

You can see the 10' PVC pipes bend nicely to form the support.

See that metal bracket, that's what you want to hold the PVC in place.

We used a coupler to join 2 10' pieces then cut it to length. For us that was 14'.
This is used as a ridge beam to help stabilize the structure.

You can also see in these pictures we needed to replace some of our dividers.
One had cracked and some were never installed in the beginning.

Dale drilled a hole through the ridge piece and the top of each hoop. A nut and bolt were used to attach them.

We also ran one 10' PVC pipe on the center of each side.
This will be used to anchor the plastic to later.

Here it is all ready for the plastic!

For the plastic we used 3 mil sheeting found at Menards. It was 12' wide which worked great.
You can see we did put in the rest of the dividers as well.

To attach the plastic we used spring clamps. This makes it easy to open it up and work in.

To close up the ends I did a bit of folding and clamping. Kind of like wrapping a present.

When I put the plastic on today it was cloudy and about 70° out. I put a digital thermometer inside to see
how warm things were getting. After about 6 hours it was at 99° already! I opened up one side to vent it a bit as I don't need it that warm. There are several things planted and coming up. Four squares of peas, 4 sq Chioggia beets,4 sq daikon radish, 4 sq baby choi cabbage, 4 sq of a variety of lettuces and 4 sq or two spinach varieties. There is asparagus planted there from 2 years ago and it's up 3-4" as well! I think I might harvest a few spears this year!!

I keep you updated on how the hoop house is working and how it holds up to our winds.


Winner winner... chicken dinner.. err chicken clock anyway!

Do you enter blog giveaways?? Have you ever won something??

I have won a few times in the past, usually scrapbook or stamping stuff (my other hobbies).

This week I won something from the Inside Storey blog.

You know all those great books on farming and stuff that Storey publishes! Well they have a blog too!

They partnered up with My Pet Chicken and have had giveaways everyday for a couple weeks now.

Here is what I won!

The mail carrier delivered it today!

Thanks Storey and My Pet Chicken!


Here a chick there a chick...

Our laying flock has some new additions. Most of them are still pretty young yet and won't be joining the ladies in the coop for awhile. I wanted to add some color and heritage breeds to the commercial hybrids we had.

So without further ado...

I present the newest young ladies of the flock.

Some common backyard breeds here except for the Black Laced Red Wyandotte. I was hoping to find some Buckeye chicks as well, but no such luck this time.

The Blue Andalusian is listed as threatened on the American Livestock Breed Conservancy list.   The New Hampshire is listed as breed to watch and the Wyandottes are recovering in numbers.

The two above pictured Penedesenca hens will be joining the big girl's coop pretty soon. They are almost 4 months old already and may start laying soon.

We have had an unusually cold spring here. The last two days the wind chill has been 29ยบ. The rest of the week looks to be warmer. If it is, I will get these two older pullets outside and start introducing them to the rest of the flock.

Our broilers are 4 1/2 weeks old now and mostly feathered out. They eat like pigs and smell like them too. Only 4 more weeks and they will be headed to the freezer.

You can see one is playing daredevil and sitting atop the feeder. These are our homemade feeders. They work great. Just a 5 gallon bucket and lid, large flower pot saucer and a few bolts. Cut some openings around the bottom of the pail so the feed can come out and you're set!

We candled the eggs in the incubator and see some development there! Keeping our fingers crossed that we have some make it to hatch.


Something I ordered online arrived today...

It was fragile, so it was packed in peanuts.

I really hate packing peanuts.

The item/s will be a gift for someone soon.

They will be getting the gift of peanuts as well.    : )

Have a great day!!

PS. We have more chicks here. Will post pictures of the new pullets soon.

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