Week 27….Freedom

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So I’m a little behind in my blog posting for each week….I’m attempting to catch up. This theme came out offer the 4th of July week. Most people in out photography project chose photos of events that were taking place over the holiday in celebration of the 4th of July holiday.

I went another route. Every day that our chickens can freely roam the yard is a day they seem to celebrate. They eagerly peck at the walls of the coop and start ‘yelling’ at me the moment they see me….they want out! there are bugs to eat and earth to turn….there are dust baths to be had and any number of small adventures….

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I love our chickens! They make me smile just about every day.

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W

20140724-080144-28904105.jpge have high hopes to start hatching eggs soon! That will be a whole new adventure! We have yet to get a hen to willingly go broody….but my fingers are crossed! With 13 hens running around you would think one would want to be a mama!

Ebed House…the continuing saga….

Well, just incase you might have missed it…we don’t have it all together around here. In fact it’s the total opposite. We are visiting family out of town and I realized just what a mess we look like!

It is a major accomplishment that ALL of the rabbits have been moved outdoors! Outdoors means out of the basement. It is the middle of summer….it should not have taken this long, but it did and we are rejoicing that the basement is animal free, bleached and on its way back to some sort of ‘normal’

We have 14 chickens! Yep 13 hens of laying age and 1 rooster. We are currently getting 1 egg a day! Do the math….something is wrong! I have researched, we have treated for all kinds of fun mites and bugs….I have scrubbed that coop….my brother and I have wrangled bird, soaked and lathered each leg in hopes of killing leg mites and easing a little pain. All with no change to the egg count. So they are all being treated for worms. YUCK! Just YUCK! If there continues to be no change we will butcher them all and start over next spring….

Back to the rabbits……we lost 5 last week. They up and died! One at a time, all from the same litter. What on earth? After much research I have come to the conclusion that their diet was a bit out of whack. They were getting too many greens and not enough roughage. Their little tummies need that roughage to keep them happy and healthy.

We have been growing barley fodder for the animals….my one success….or so I thought! We thought we were feeding our animals a GMO free barley. However, the label was never really all that clear and then I opened the last bag a few weeks ago to find all kinds of junk in with the seed. Let’s just say that brought the fodder to a screeching halt…..and that was two weeks ago. I tossed my hands in the air at that point and put the bunnies back on pellets….because they have likely been getting GMOs this whole time anyway!

The garden just makes me sad….there isn’t a whole lot that we could change there….that one is all nature! And then there are the bees. Mike checked the hive before we left to visit family. Out of three hives only one still has it’s queen. So a friend is checking on ordering two more queens….but man! Just Man o man…

And yet none of it is wasted. There are lessons to learn. We are new at this whole thing and I think for two kids who grew up in the suburbs that we are doing relatively well. Yesterday Pearl had 9 kits! Today I am praising The Lord for small joys and every new life. Oh, and that mom and babies are all outside!!

Getting the garden in…

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Well, we got the garden in a few weeks ago, and I just haven’t posted about it yet. Last year we fenced a 60×120 area and put 10 fruit trees in on one end. Sadly, Mike thinks we lost 3-4 trees due to the harsh winter we just had. You can see the posts behind Mike, the fence is about 8 feet tall in an attempt to keep the deer out. This year we put in a 23×23 garden plot on the other end! So we didn’t just plant we had all the soil prep and border building to do.

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Have I stated how amazing my husband is? This man never grew up keeping a large garden, but this was a project that he jumped into. I knew my hands were full with rabbits and chicken and children so when he mentioned adding a garden I sort of sighed and told him that it would be his project.

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See the chickens in the background? They were even helping by digging at the compost! Stuff went flinging….they are amazing to watch. I can’t believe how quickly they can tun a pile of compost.

The deal is that Mike did the research and is largely in charge of getting things growing while I will help weed from time to time and when harvest comes I’m the one who will ‘put up’ all the food. So I’ve already been gearing up for the falls canning extravaganza with a group of other gals in the same boat. Many hands make light work!

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Did you notice the watering system? Yep, he is amazing! This guy’s skills I’m telling you I’m a blessed woman!

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Just a little side note….Mike built me a garden bed for some of the beautiful flowers I came home with from the Friends School Sale in May. (The sale runs every Mother’s Day weekend on the Minnesota state fair grounds it’s crazy amazing) I was able to get all of my plants in one weekend…and then the chickens came by…..

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Yep, CooCoo Cachoo….our resident crazy Maran took over one corner of the flower bed with an intense dirt bath! She must have needed it! Sad to say the poppies my mom sent home with me didn’t make it.