Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Hayride!

Hayride on Thanksgiving! Right before everyone else piled on us. I'm finally in a few pictures!

My family!

Here's the family in front of my chicken coops on Thanksgiving. I think we're looking good!

I'm in the back row, second from the right (behind my niece Katherine in the yellow shirt). I point myself out since I'm never in any of my pictures!

Finally.... a lavender silkie!

After much anxious bidding, waiting and incubating, I finally have four lavender silkies! As if I didn't have enough going on the last week (HA!), I've had eggs hatching like crazy! Nine little silkies hatched during the week, but I lost three. Silkies are teeny tiny and fragile. I've also bought them as chicks and had no idea how difficult they are to hatch! Wow! The six that survived are growing and chirping away in my dining room under a heat lamp and will be fine in the long run. I took my seven Columbian Rocks out to the farm on Saturday since they were jumping out of their mail bin. They are in the coop with the other babies. I may let them out tomorrow to mingle with the rest of the flock!

Yesterday the real test came.... the hatch of the lavender (potentially!) silkies. I had a 25% chance of getting a full lavender silkie. I also had 14 Olive Eggers ready to hatch. Can't wait to get Olive Eggs! They all started hatching last night. I now have 12 Olive Eggers and 10 Silkies. And... drum roll.... 4 are lavender! Woo hoo!!! If you're not into chickens, and I mean really into them, the thought of lavender silkies probably means little to you. But if you are, you know the excitement I'm feeling right now! I gave the children strict warnings to leave them alone. No stressing the beauties out! Having chicks on the dining room table is a magnet for every child in the neighborhood.

Behold... my latest batch of chicks.

The first set of silkies.

The lavender silkies (3) and the rest are lavender splits (carrying one lavender gene)

My Olive Eggers

I still have eggs in the incubator so we'll see what we have in the morning. Unfortunately we lost one of our favorite hens this weekend. I found feathers everywhere in front of the chicken coops and ran into check on everyone. My little Blackjack was nowhere to be found. I don't know how she got out but I can only assume the dogs got to her. Poor baby.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it's done. Thanksgiving! Hope yours was as wonderful as mine! We had our whole family out to the farm (and that's a lot of people!). I was in a mad rush to finish painting the chicken coops and get things ready for all of our visitors. And I did! Barely....

Introducing... Rainbow Egg Row!

There's actually one more coop that's not pictured. It's far down on the right and is painted a beautiful coral. I'm really pleased with how they turned out! My children love sitting in the chicken run with their babies!

Unless they're swinging on one of the porch swings on the coops....

We had beautiful weather here in South Carolina for the holiday. The week leading up to Thanksgiving was in the 70's every day. Thanksgiving Day was sunny and in the high 60's. Perfect! We had a big meal, a croquet tournament, hayride, played with the animals, oyster roast and music around the campfire.

We lost my father-in-law a few years ago. He loved to play croquet so now we have a big croquet tournament every year in his memory.

Singing songs around the campfire. That handsome man with the guitar is my very amazing spouse! We just celebrated our anniversary yesterday. And today is my son's birthday. So that makes three celebrations in four days. Busy but fun! Happy Anniversary, honey!

Didn't I say a few posts ago that Lambchop is a big lover? Here he is at the campfire with my nephew and my daughter. He's a bit big for a lapdog but he refuses to acknowledge it!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know there are more pictures floating around out there taken by my family members. Hopefully I can get some more. I got busy socializing and forgot about my camera!

I hope all of you had a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicks and a present

The leaves are starting to change! Seems a little late this year (probably thanks to that horrible, hot, humid, miserable summer we had) but at last, the leaves are taking on the beautiful hues of red and orange.

My latest batch of baby chicks made the big move to the farm a few days ago and are happily living in one of the little coops. Under a heat lamp of course! They have grown so much just in the last two days! I have 35 babies (30 Easter Eggers and 5 Ameraucanas) in there which puts my total chicken total to .... not sure but I think around 120 or so. They are almost two weeks old now!

Hi, Mom!

Bear and Lambchop greeted me this morning with a gift. Bear proudly dropped this lovely gift at my feet. Lambchop picked it up. They chased each other and then spent the next hour fighting over it. And what is this amazing gift? A beautiful, smelly, disgusting piece of fur from some random dead animal. Jealous, aren't you? Not being a dog, I don't quite understand the fascination with an ugly piece of hide, but the dogs were beyond excitement. They've also brought me a skull and a vertebrae in the last few days. Makes a mom proud.

My little Scarecrow

Annaliese's class performed a cute little play for Halloween called "The Littlest Pumpkin". Annaliese was the Scarecrow and actually said a lot of lines. Kindergarteners are so cute!

Looking at her face in these pictures, it's hard to say if she's actually enjoying the performance! But she said her lines and didn't run off the stage crying which made me a happy parent!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kindergarten Field Trip

Right before Halloween, my daughter's Kindergarten class came to Huckleberry Farm for a field trip. 21 kids + 2 teachers + 1 Grandmother + 2 parents + lots of animals = FUN!

First off, a little sing along with Farmer Cole.

Of course we sang Old MacDonald! Right at the part about the sound a chick makes, my rooster, Butterscotch, conveniently started crowing his head off. My husband said, "Just like we planned it. Good job, Butterscotch!" The children thought that was hilarious!

Colin tried to keep Lambchop occupied.

A quick lesson on goats and then some fun feeding of treats. The goats were in Heaven!

Some of the children liked that part better than others!

And then it was on to the donkeys!

Oh, Blue! He loved the kids! Being deaf and half-blind has its advantages!

We gathered to read a story about a hen and her big egg before heading off to see and hold the chickens. The children loved seeing eggs in the nest boxes!

Then it was time for a game of Hot Potato. Farmer Cole played the guitar and we used one of our huge Sweet Potatoes to pass. A few of the kids got knocked over by the big potato but they all laughed so it's okay!

All the children were very well-behaved, asked great questions and showed respect to the animals. We loved having them out and can't wait to do it again!

Bear is here.

Bear has arrived at Huckleberry Farm. Sweet and loving and not quite the stinker that Lambchop is! The Humane Society said he is 1 yr and 4 months old but he seems older to us. Or he's just a particularly calm dog. He's a doll!

And this one? The spotty, chew-everything, bounce around with flip floppy ears Lambchop? Yes, he's a rascal but how can you not love him? We did have a little talk over the weekend about his size. He constantly tried to crawl up in my lap and this is no small dog! Lambchop sports some humongous paws. No telling how big he'll be when he's full-grown. Or how much havoc he will wreak!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Busy, busy!

Where have I been? Lambchop's craziness has not killed me! Or the sheep for that matter. It's just been a hectic maze of fun, work and activities.

Bear arrived safely. Bear spent the whole way home from the Humane Society leaning over my husband's head as he drove with both his paws on my husband's shoulders. I was alternating between laughing my head off and hanging this same head out the window due to Bear's smell. He was a little stinky. Probably nerves! Once at the farm, he jumped out, sniffed the other dogs and spent the rest of the week following one of us around at all times. Bear is a lover and not prone to the antics that Lambchop has been. A great addition to our family!

I have a new chicken coop (#4!). For some unknown and crazy reason, I decided to paint all the coops to look like Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC. I probably picked the hardest one to start with and picked a light blue paint with black trim. Rain held me up for a few days last week but even so, I think I have spent 3 days painting the trim black, going back and fixing my mistakes with the blue, screwing that up and having to go back with black, and on and on. But today I painted the front porch and I don't care if there are boo boos. It's done and (as I keep telling myself) it's a chicken coop. Shouldn't it look a little messy? I have three more to go. Deep breath....

We have had my daughter's Kindergarten class out for a field trip (pics to come!) and her 6th birthday party (no pics to come as I forgot to take any.... bad mommy!). Both events were a huge success. My chickens, donkeys, and goats received much love and treats and all the kids had a great and informative time. Can't wait to do it again!

We had our first frost. And we Fell Back. Love this time of year! Unfortunately we had our first frost the night before the birthday party which resulted in my beautiful flowering vines and roses to go from gorgeous to brown overnight. Oh, well. Mother Nature waits for no one. Not even me.

I currently have 35 chicks living happily on my dining room table. We have 30 Easter Egger girls and 5 French Copper Marans that hatched in the incubator over the weekend. If you peek in my laundry room tonight, you will see two completely packed incubators rocking beautifully along. Hoping, hoping, hoping for a lavendar silkie to hatch in a few weeks!

Life on the farm rolls along as it should. We have several little goats that look like they are about to give birth any day. The chickens are all growing and laying and crowing and singing. The sheep continue to ignore us. Geese fly by in straight V formation on their way to somewhere warmer. And I lift my face to the sun and thank the Lord for giving me the chance to live this life every day. I guess I've been too busy being thankful to post. Not a bad thing in my book!

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