Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Homestead is Begining to Become more of a Farm!

We have lived in our house for four years now. For a while now I have wondered about poultry. Chickens in fact.

You see where this is going now don't you?
Well, obviously bringing Milo home was always the priority, other endeavors were on the backburner. But now that he is home and we are more settled in that department (although with plenty of work ahead I tell ya) I finally convinced the hubby on chickens.

A friend of a friend had an old smaller coop she gave me for free, which although falling apart and small, was the perfect means for "brooding" the chicks. Hubby is in the process of making my permanent coop.

Six weeks ago I got my first round of girls. :)

Sophia, Stella, and Blanche

Only a week later my little Stella (Barred Rock) was killed my a friend's dog. :( I was devenstated. (She's pictured just to the right of the red one above). I determined that to ease the pain of the loss I should get two more....

Bonnie and Dottie
The girls are getting bigger now (each about six weeks old) and I cant believe how enthralled I've become with them! Seriously, its insane how happy these chickens make me.

I have since discovered that at least two of the chickens are not the breed I had wanted from Wilco (they keep multiple breeds together in the same bins, so I understand accidents happen), and one is looking to be a rooster then a hen (which sexing is only guaranteed at 90% from most feed stores).

So lets meet the girls, shall we?

My favorite hen, Sophia. Identified wrongly as a Sicilian Buttercup, but I believe to be a Welsummer.
Dottie, a Silver Laced Wyandotte. She already looks different then this photo, taken a week ago.
Dottie, misidentified as a Buckeye, I believe to be a Rhode Island Red
And Blanche, renamed Blaine as I believe this chicken to be a Rooster. This chicken may become dinner if the sex identifies true.
Blaine/Blanche is a Black Australorp, beautiful birds. I was contacted last week from a friend about her coworker who had a chicken randomly show up at her house. She couldn't track down the owners and couldn't care for her herself so was trying to rehome her. Lone and behold, she is a Black Australorp hen, so I was happy to give her a home since my other Australorp may be leaving the coop.

I've named her Audrey and she currently resides in my horse trailer, as it cant transport horses right now....Not too much longer until the coop should be finished and all the girls can live together. :)

Stay next adventure may be in Swine.

My Poor Beautiful Trailer...

While I have SO many things to update about on here, first and foremost on my mind is the incident with my trailer this last weekend.

A friend and I were hauling to Lynden again for the second reining show of the NWRA series this summer. After a long and grueling day with loading, traffic, and minor stops along the way (bad luck in all areas) we got only an hour away from the show grounds and POP! The trailer starts to shake and wants to sway. It jumps and jumbles and we limp to the side of the freeway as straight and easy in the slow down as possible. Of course, we were in the far left lane trying to avoid a swerving semi driver (seriously, he was all over the road).

We see the right rear trailer tire has blown out and crumbled my beautiful diamond plated fender along the way. Now we had the awful task of trying to get to the right side of the road to replace the mangled tire, which was not fun at all. We managed, thank god the horses were fine, so scrapes and not even acting startled, although Milo seemed entirely over the whole trailer ride thing.

Of course, it was past nine pm, we had a heck of a time getting ahold of the show grounds and after the day we had had, decided to limp back to Monroe (where my friend's barn is) rather then press on and possibly have further issues farther away from home.

And the tire needed air, naturally. Guess what? Google said the closest gas station was 23 miles away since we were in the rural north. The first gas station we limp to doesn't have an air pump. Finally we get to one, get the tire aired, and arrive back at the barn, at midnight. I called Wes along the way of course, and just asked for him to come retrieve us and take us home. At this point I was so over the idea of even trying to stay focused enough to show the weekend (and still had to even arrive there), with a mangled trailer (illegal too without a fender flare). My friend had picked me up with her truck and we used my trailer. So hubby came the next day with my truck and we made it home, at four pm the next day. What an ordeal.

Now my trailer is disabled until I can replace all five tires (which I intend to do as these were ten year old tires anyway), electrical rewired, and a fender flare replaced. Why Circle J doesn't sell their own trailer parts is beyond me so now the task is to try and find one....or build one.

What sucks too is I was being so proactive (anal) about the trailer and it's safety. In April I had it thoroughly checked for everything knowing I would use it a lot this summer. Before we left for the weekend I checked the PSI in all four tires, ensured we had first aid kits and tools, and felt so prepared. And yet... it just shows you cant prevent everything. :(

Thankfully we are all ok, but it still stings a bit.