Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Turk-peeps and Farm Notes and STORM!

Yikes! I'm typing as fast as I can... we are having a big storm roll in and I need to sign off quick! But not before I post a few pix of Runner, our turkey hen, and her chicks!

Looks like 9 lived.. but we lost one. We saved one of the 9 that hatched butt first. Normally they pip out right by their little faces...they use their beaks to break thru. However this little guy some how had the shell stuck to the top of his head! It was very cute.

Runner probably broke the shell and that's how he got all turned around. We were afraid he might smother and his little face was all smooshed....so we carefully took the shell off.. but kept the membrane intact.. then we wet the membrane and carefully peeled it off... and he's fine!

Here is the first one that popped out...ain't she a looker?:

And here is most of the crew... and the "momma," Runner. Obviously she didn't lay the chicken eggs but I put them under her when she decided to set a nest. She has one of her own eggs and if she stays on the nest until Friday it might just hatch. You can see there are still a few eggs that haven't hatched and we'll have to take them up if they don't hatch tomorrow.

Why didn't all the eggs hatch? Well, lots of reasons - maybe they weren't fertile, maybe they didn't have the required constant temperature or humidity, maybe the chicks developed but couldn't pip out, or maybe they had some kind of bacteria in them and died/never developed. And as always.. in farming you learn the hard lesson that not every body makes it.

Normally a hen will stay on the nest for a day or two trying to get the rest to hatch -- ducks seem to try longer -- then they just need to take care of the live little ones and at some point just move off the nest. Generally we don't interfere in the course of nature.. but last year we pipped two turkey poults out of their shell and they lived! It was amazing...and we were glad that we did.

Quick farm notes as the storm rolls closer:
* Yesterday we planted about 50 lbs of taters!
* Everything planted in the ground so far is popping up..but not the more sensitive seeds in flats
* Maples, forsythia, pears, ornamental cherries are blooming (bee notes); fed bees again.
* Shoveled yards and yards of turkey poop but wow those coops are clean now!
* Little skip poppers are eating grain; neighbor kids will come over and give their shots in a day or so; Gilly may be going to his new home soon... oh geez.. I can't resist one more cute goat shot:
Would you look at the legs on these two! Gilly is on the left, Ginger on the right.

Happy Monday! Quick I have to close some windows!!
ps thanks everyone for their comments over the weekend - hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I'll get caught up tomorrow.


wickett6029 said...

The chicks are adorable! (runner did a great job!)....I'm planning on getting some next year, along with a chicken tractor (built by moi).....now I have chicken lust. I'm in the process of moving out in the country, and hopefully will be in by the end of this month.

oh, and I. LOVE. GOATS.

::trots off for another cup of coffee::

Mimi said...

Cute chick!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

I LOVE chicks!!! They are totally hopping around and are cute as bugs. You can't see in this pic but she has feathers on her feet...just like our light brahma rooster.

Wickett: whatever you do.. build a bigger tractor/hen house then you could ever imagine... chickens are totally like crack... you always want more. I kinda think of the hens as the land version of a school of tropical fish... they are so much fun to watch.

Glad you're moving out to the country! You'll love it.... a lot of work but such a great lifestyle. Here is a hint for when you build your tractor... check out Home Depots "cull" lumber bin... they have cut pieces and odd onesie-twosies for $0.51 each!

Does everyone know that a "chicken tractor" isn't a piece of farm machinery that the hens drive around?? Altho that's what I thought for a long time...

A chicken tractor is an enclosed living space (covered with wire mess and usually easy to move about the yard) that keeps the hens safe from predators and such and to keep them contained. A great tool for the chicken keeping. Great job!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

The chicks are just precious! And those goats are SO pretty! I free range my chickens - but I won a copy of Chicken Tractor by Patricia Foreman on the Chicken Whisperers radio show, and loaned it to a gal that moved in down the road. They built the cutest danged chicken tractor I've ever seen! Chicken tractors are great if you only have a handful of chickens.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

We use our chicken tractors for the younger birds... either when they are right size for a crow to snack on... or if we aren't going to be around the 'supervise.' Normally tho our hens are out there free ranging because its FREE!

I also love the idea of putting the tractor in one spot and letting them scratch up the ground as part of garden prep.

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