Our chickens

November 15, 2010

Kristin

I simply couldn’t resist.

First Frost

November 8, 2010

Caleb

garlic shoot

Frost has not stopped all garden activity

It’s been about a week since our first major frost of autumn, marking the end of most, but not all, activity in the garden.  The frost was pretty late, I think, even for as far south as we are—so we counted ourselves lucky.

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It’s Blue!

October 9, 2010

Matt

The Ameraucana's first blue egg (click to view larger)

This afternoon, I was pleased to discover that our Ameraucana chicken laid her first egg, and as expected, it’s blue!

As you may recall, in posts dating back to July (Chicken Drama I and II), we’ve been having trouble creating harmony between our only surviving chicken from the original three, Marcia, and our three newest chickens (the kids). After a few days of the four of them living together, it became clear that the Ameraucana (the grey one) was receiving the brunt of Marcia’s negative attention. Even after we separated Marcia from the other three, the Ameraucana’s younger “siblings” continued to pester her; as a result, we separated her from Marcia and the younger two for almost a month. (more…)

Lucy’s Birthday Shindig

October 6, 2010

Caleb

This past weekend we hosted a farm-themed gathering to celebrate Lucy’s first birthday. We went to Fluvanna County’s “Old Farm Day” and enjoyed refreshments back at the homestead.  Don’t worry; we took pictures.  In addition to plenty of Lucy pictures, we took a couple photos (1, 2) of some machines to see if people could guess what they do.  We think we know.

In other news, things are wrapping up pretty well in the garden.  I planted an oat cover crop and a clover cover crop over parts of the garden.   The clover should give the soil a charge of nitrogen and organic matter, and the oat crop will hopefully provide a bit of cover for garlic that we’ll be planting soon.  I hope to get the rest of the beds planted in the next week so there’s at least a little growth before winter kill.  We expect the three younger chickens we have to start laying in a couple of weeks.  With days shortening like they are, laying will probably not be an everyday thing.

First egg!

June 29, 2010

Kristin

Chicken supplies, $461. First egg in our farming project, priceless.

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles! Our one lone chicken, a Red Star who I call Marcia B., laid our first egg today! As excited as Caleb and I were to find the egg in the nest box this evening, it was also a little bittersweet, knowing that the 3 chickens that were killed last week could have been laying this week.  (more…)

Three chickens dead

June 27, 2010

Caleb

In the midst of their routine morning care of the chickens, Matt and Whitney found three of our four chickens dead on Wednesday of last week.  The three chicken corpses were found mostly intact in the coop nestbox.  The coop had been under attack for a couple of weeks prior to the incident, as Matt reported.  We thought that we had reinforced the coop structure enough (more…)

Remember the Thomas Farm Coop!

June 16, 2010

Matt

Thomas Farm Project Nation, we have a problem! Starting last week (as noted by this tweet), our chicken coop has been under attack from an unknown assailant. Over the course of almost every evening, our little nemesis has pushed and pulled at the plastic panels that protect our egg-bearing, feathery friends. (more…)

Our Four Little Friends

April 15, 2010

Matt

Our Four Chickens

Our four chickens in their coop

We’ve been talking about this for over a year now, and this past Sunday it finally happened: we procured chickens. Four chickens, to be exact. Caleb and Kristin made the trip out to Eden Farms and brought home four little birds. Caleb was looking for some variety (and suffered from a bit of indecision), so each chicken is a different variety (Barred Rock. Rhode Island Red, Red Star, and Black Star).

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Reduce. REUSE. Recycle.

March 27, 2010

Kristin

Whitney feeding chickens

Whitney feeding chickens

Today the five of us went on a tour of another “farm”, owned by two viola friends of Whitney’s named Molly and Linda.  One of our goals this year is to visit at least 5 farming families, to get ideas and both provide and receive encouragement.  This is the third family we’ve visited.  The first visit was to the Myers-Benners, distant relatives of Caleb’s, and the second was to Wendy and Jerry Custer, our chicken contact.  (As an aside, if you know of any other farming families in the central Virginia area that we could visit, let us know! We’ll bring a yummy dessert!)

A common thread through out each of these families is their ingenuity and ability to re-purpose all sorts of things! (more…)

Broccoli Sprouts! Chickens! Soil Samples!

February 28, 2010

Kristin

a small broccoli sproutOur broccoli sprouted this week, and we transplanted it from the vermiculite to potting soil. Here are some pictures.  We’re excited to see our first crop go from seed to sprout!  Next step – transplanting it to the ground once it thaws!

Also, today we went and visited Wendy & Jerry Custer, a family in our county that breeds chickens, to get an idea of how many chickens we want and what breeds.  We’re interested in getting at least 4 chickens.  Our top choices are (more…)

Meat! Glorious Meat!

February 25, 2010

Kristin

I think I’m the only person in the house that feels so jubilant about meat.  In truth, if we want to live in a truly sustainable way concerning protein, we wouldn’t be eating meat at all because of the sheer amount of resources most meat uses in comparison to other vegetarian sources of protein.  However, my food allergies to soy, wheat and dairy limit our use of vegetarian proteins.  Thus, as long as we’re eating meat, we want to make sure we do it in a sustainable way for our local community, the planet and our health.  And, since I’m the one who prevents us from going vegetarian, I volunteered to look into the pros and cons of various meat sources in our area. (more…)