Goodbye little duckies….

Don’t you just hate it when your last blog entry is full of happy and excitement only to have to turn around and blog about something sad?  Well, I’m gonna try to not do that.  Although I do have something sad to blog about I am going to end this post with happy news! In my last entry I was so excited about our sweet little ducks.  It is with great sadness that I have to say sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning something (probably a raccoon)  killed 2 of the Khaki Campbell’s and severely injured one of the Ancona’s.   I am absolutely heartbroken.  We have had chickens now for several years with no sickness or injuries or death.  So this is really hitting me hard.  And the fact that they were just babies makes it even harder. Sweet Pea has now become a “house duck”.  Her right-wing has been completely chewed off up to the bone.  Her right leg was torn a  bit also.  Then the muscle under her left-wing is exposed.  It wasn’t until later Saturday afternoon we noticed her throat had been torn too.  Luckily no major organs or arteries were hit.  She has been so sweet and loving to us.  We are spoiling her rotten, after all, she does deserve it!  I have already decided she will have a small indoor cage and will get to go play outside supervised when we go outside when she heals.

This picture was taken right after we brought her in and cleaned her up.  We washed her off and have been using Vetericyn Wound Spray on her open wounds to help prevent infection.  She has been eating and drinking like a champ.  Although she has really been staying off her leg today.  I am hoping and praying that she will be ok.

So that’s the sad/bad news.  Let’s get on to happy news!

We are going to be moving (yes, again!) in the late Summer or Early Fall.  I am beyond excited!  Two acres.  Two acres of open canvas for us to work with.  I’ve been making sketches and diagrams of the property.  I’m kind of like a kid in a candy store right now.  Here is a small peak into the property:

I am so excited because we are going to be back in the town we call “home”.  It is literally minutes away from where we both work.  And we can have all our animals and settle in for a long while!  The owner of the property knows we are wanting 5+ years and is happy about that.  It’s a win-win!  I’m really tired of working on property only to have it fall through our hands.  That’s not going to happen this time!  🙂

 Bobbi

And then there were Nine…..

We did it.  We finally bit the bullet and got ducks.  We have contemplated it now for about 2 years.  I’m so glad we got them.  They are the sweetest creatures ever!  We now have 4- 3 week old Khaki Campbell’s and 5- 6 week old Ancona’s.  We have had them now for about 2 weeks and i’m already questioning why we didn’t do this sooner!

The Khaki Campbells are excellent layers.  They typically lay 300 eggs a year.  (Remember, we got 4 and we think they are all hens).  And the Ancona Ducks are a rare breed that lay around 210-280 eggs a year.  We think these may all be hens as well.  So, what does that mean?  A lot of eggs coming our way!  Of course once we got home I did the duck math and realized that we are going to be up to our ears in eggs between the chickens and the ducks.  I can see a “FREE EGG” sign in the yard in our future!  LOL

Once we move onto the new property we plan on making them a small pond.  Right now they have a very cute kiddie pool, but they definitely need something more.  I can’t wait to make our own little Duck Dynasty 😉  The ducks will be as spoiled as the chickens.  I am sure of this!

So, if you are like we were and you are thinking about getting ducks…DO IT!  You wont regret it!

Dinner time!

I’m looking forward to sharing our duck adventures!

Rabbits and Worms

It’s been so long since I have blogged.  I have thought about it almost daily but have had so much going on.  We ended up having to move from the property we rented.  It went into foreclosure so we quickly found another lovely spot to land.  We are very happy here and are getting the “homesteading bug” back again!  Between packing to move, moving, unpacking and life’s daily twists and turns it’s been kind of hard to snap a picture and post about what we are doing!  We have been doing a ton though and I will be blogging about all of it soon!  From chicken coops to garden planning to goat yards!

I’m excited about a new project we are working on!  We have needed a rabbit hutch for some time now.  I dropped by Chris’ work earlier this week and he surprised me (really surprised me!) with the starts of a new rabbit home!  I am so excited and I am sure Peter Pan the rabbit and Eliza are going to LOVE it!

007

They will each have a ladder that leads up to a “second story” that will have a nice window to look out.  Spoiled!  Right now we are waiting on our local hardware store to get their hardware cloth in so we can put that on, put on the roof and put the rabbits in!  Right now we have them sitting in there in their wire cages.  I can’t wait to get them out of those things!  They will each have a little over a foot more to romp around in.

008

Chris was able to use all scrap wood that was going to go into the burn pile at work.  The only thing that cost us any money was the brackets/hinges and the hardware cloth.  This hutch will have cost us well under $50 to make!

Rabbit poo is such a wonderful, valuable source of fertilizer for the garden.  We have used it on many plants that we thought weren’t going to make it.  It’s amazing how they just bounced back and grew so big and tall after!  Because of that I had a thought.  Why not compost UNDER the rabbit hutch?  What would be a good way to do that?  WORMS!  Worms are a wonderful, magical little creature who literally seem to poop out gold for us gardeners!  So why not vermicompost under the rabbit hutch?  Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Red Wigglers

If you don’t know about vermicomposting or have always wondered about it but don’t know how it works, check out THIS LINK to treehugger.com and read up on it.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is and how much of a reward you get in return!

I look forward to doing more updates on this project, so keep an eye out to see what happens next!

My little beekeeper

Last night Chris and Maggie wanted to check in on the bees.  So they got suited up!

Beekeepers 09-11 001

 

Maggie is smoking the bees…….

Beekeepers 09-11 016

Taking a look inside

Beekeepers 09-11 006 

Lot’s of interesting things going on in the hive

Beekeepers 09-11 007 

Beekeepers 09-11 013

 

Look at all the bees working hard!  Making and storing honey for the winter….can’t wait until we get to eat some more!

Beekeepers 09-11 014

I love that Maggie loves to help her daddy with the bees. 

Beekeepers 09-11 004

Beekeepers 09-11 009

Growing Up

    Today is Maggie’s first day of school.  First grade.  It’s amazing how time flies by so quickly.
baby maggie 1
                                                                                                                                        
   She sure has grown and makes me proud every single day. 
Homesteading August 2011 004I feel so blessed to be her mama.                                                                                                                                            
Homesteading August 2011 003 
I love this kid!

Homesteading August 2011 008

Homegrown Chamomile

Homesteading August 2011 003I love chamomile tea! So much so that growing chamomile was on the top of my priority list of things to grown!  We got a late start getting it as the nursery didn’t have any until a few weeks after I inquired about it.  So thankful they went the extra mile and got some in!

I went out a few weeks ago and picked a bunch of it. Dried it and put it away for my winter stash.  Unfortunately, Maggie woke up this morning with a headache and just feeling kinda poopy, so she asked for her pillow, her Winnie The Pooh movie and a cup of chamomile tea.  I gladly obliged! 

Maggie perked up after she thought about the tea and said, “hey mom!  The flowers we grew made the tea and our bees made the honey!  That’s why this tastes so good!” 

So even though I was bummed the first of my winter stash was gone, I was so happy to provide something that I made, something I grew to make my baby feel better!

The flowers you see in the picture above were picked earlier this week and are in the process of drying now.  Looking forward to harvesting a lot more to get us through the winter!