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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Turtle, turtle, turtle

..saw this little big guy while out the other day..he was huge. I have never even seen a snapping turtle around these parts before. He was trying to literally jump off a bridge..so I talked him down and picked him up on the other side of the bridge?..he must have weighed 25 pounds.  The other shot was of some added security around our place. A* was away and even with the security cameras I worry…every little bit helps. Stupid camera deleted 2 set of blog pictures on me..no garden shots but I did take a picture of a random tree.

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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Animals, fun

 

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Flooring Begins Anew

..still to rainy to cut and plane the wood outside so I located the joists and we marked the floor to make nailing of the new flooring easier. We also had a number of smaller pieces cut and ready to go from last fall so I placed some of them and fine tuned the cuts to the floor markings. We are going for a rustic look..especially since we don’t have the equipment, time or the inclination to do a professional job. It has been 7 months (wowie) since we finished the bedroom and the floor and finish have stood up really well. There are some claw indentations in the finish of the floor but I think they add to the softwood floors rustic look..at this point anyway. I am really antsy to get started on that wood for the rest of the place but I am REALLY antsy just to have all that flooring done and out of my yard in the raw form.

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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Construction

 

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I’ve got wood!

Well the 50 railway ties, 50 2×4’s and 10 floor boards (4×8) arrived. Just in time for 4×1 days of scheduled rain. It is not like the shed and landscaping was at the top of the list for things to do but the rain trumps most of the projects at this point. I guess it is not all bad, this was I get to start planning more projects. Plus I need gravel now that I think of it.

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Ok, a closer shot..these railway ties were really railway ties too..I might just make a railway..I look great in a conductors hat.
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Construction

 

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Inside brooder again

..we lost 2 chicks last night..I think it was from the hen but I am going to be more diligent this time with the inside brooder. I went to a bigger container which I put inside another bin of the same size. In between I have a thick wool blanket which insulates from outside temperatures. I have given them some electrolytes with the water in the fancy chick waterer I made from a small water bottle. I bought a ceramic light fixture and wired it with some spare lamp plug wire I had, drilled a hole in a piece of extra wood from the flooring cut to the width of the inner bin ridge then attached it with some screws. Inside the bin I needed a central hotspot for heat. With only a 13 watt cfl bulb for heat it needed concentration so I cut a hole to fit inside a smaller box with an entryway cut in. Then I cut a hole in the side of the bin for the cord and temperature gauge and drilled some holes on top for ventalation…The temperature went from 20c to 27 in about 15 minutes and when the chicks got in it went from 27c to 30.9 in 10 minutes..but then again I think a chick is on the remote gauge for the temperature reader inside the box. I love these temperature gauges..simple but so effective. Hopefully this all works out. I am happy with the simple design and it uses around 300 watts in power a day..hopefully my 2×75 watt panels will keep up…the battery bank has seemed to be doing fine so far..we never really put the bank through ANY kind of tests like this.

Hehe..5 years ago I would have thought that last sentence was crazy. Its is only 300 watts..2100 watt a day lower for a 100 watt bulb which is recommended for growing chickens indoors, great for offgrid chick rearing as far as energy consumption is concerned..I could not find any references online for brooding with a cfl bulb so cross your fingers..and obviously this would not work for more chicks then can crowd around a lightbulb to sleep..the cfl does not burn a chick like a 100w bulb will..so they can get fairly close..I am not sure if I referenced the age of the chicks but I don’t think this setup would work for chicks under a week old..they need even higher temperatures..another massive bonus, the wool really dampens the noise of the chirping chicks…

I will report back with some temperature readings once the chicks get out of the hotspot and can get an accurate temperature reading…the shots of the chicks are the only way that I can see inside the hotspot, that is how I look at them…also this is a longer post for a phone then I am comfortable with editing or correcting spelling errors..go with it.

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Construction, Fowl

 

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the trials and tribulations of raising chicks

..WHY..why wouldn’t the hen adopt my chicks? They are so cute but this is an emotional roller-coaster ride. We got up this morning and 2 of the chicks were dead. I think it had to do with the hen attacking them the other day..neither of these 2 seemed the same after they were rejected. I went to bed last night and 1 seemed in trouble..not eating, not even staying in the warm area.  Then in the morning..gone. One of the cute little no feathers on the neck chicks. Sad.

Other than that I really hate raising these chicks. they stink..they are up ALL night and they need constant care. I think I can safely say that this will be the last time chickens are ever in my house. I just hope this is the last of the losses. ..I just don’t have the setup to raise chicks by hand..power issues, small space and constantly out doing chores does not add up to a winning combination.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Fowl

 

Rejected!

..momma woke up the morning after we put the chicks under her and decided to attack every chick. When we went to check the chicks were all huddled in the corner and she would occasionally waltz over to savage one of them. So we need to keep them inside with us. Boooo..this would have been way easier if she accepted them. Blurg. I swear it seems like whatever can go wrong with chickens usually does..momma hen was eliminated from the ‘Hen of the Year’ competetion too..we might have to give it to A* now..the funny thing is that A* was reading that in old times when an egg needed to be incubated after momma hen got off the nest a well endowed woman would keep the egg between her breasts until ready to hatch..the other day A* was saying she was going to do this with the unhatched eggs..she didn’t do it though. On second thought ‘Hen of the Year’ is cancelled until further notice.

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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Fowl

 

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Shed Work

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The shed is now mostly empty..YEAH!image
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You can see my wicked awesome brace that I did up in Jan..it has held up very well considering the fact that I was moving quickly! The shed is 16×12 and I am going to build a middle brace for it to replace the old crappy middle brace. Before I do that I need to put down a floor to make sure nothing buckles again..and before I do that I need to seal up a couple of holes that mice can get in through.

..you can see the gap in the roof..

because we needed wood and the truck is out of order we are going to order some stuff in..the usual: 10 pieces of floor sheathing, 50 2×4’s, 45 (8x8x6) Railway ties, a 32×12 deck..you know..the usual. We are not going to get to this right away ( any of it ) but we figured we would get it here and start when we get the chance…we are not 100% on the deck but we are awaiting the price…and then we will see! The wood all arrives next week…then the fun begins!

 
 
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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Construction

 

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