Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Baby Chicks Have Arrived

Yeah...they are here!

 They arrived safely Tuesday on the afternoon truck to the post office.  My mother and family friend, Sondra, came up for a visit and we went to lunch downtown at the Lamplight Grill.  We went to the post office about 1pm and the clerk in back was just getting ready to dial my number to let me know the chicks had arrived!

We made a stop at Meijer so I could get some peanut oil.  My mother bought me a Whirley popcorn popper and I like to pop my corn in peanut oil.  When I got back to the car, mom already had one of the chicks out of the box, cuddled in a towel because the other chickens were pecking at it! LOL! Yes chickens peck at each other a lot! Bulling can be bad if a bunch are pecking on the same bird. You don't want any blood to show up because that would get worse and lead to cannibalism.

They now have lots of room to run around and get away from anyone pecking at them.  That is one of the reasons you want to have lots of room for your chickens to live in, you want them to be able to get away from someone pecking at them. 

I'll point out which breeds the chicks are.  I posted previously about the breeds I had ordered.

She will be the Buff Laced Polish. 

She will be the Light Brown Leghorn.  She will look very similar in coloring to Queen Ann.  The chick even has the same Cleopatra eyes!

This will be the Silver Cuckoo Marans.  This chick reminds me so much of a penguin!

She is the Silver Laced Polish.  I love the extra tuft of fluff the polish breeds have on their heads, this will turn into their big crest of feathers.

 They are so much fun to watch.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chicken update

I thought I would share a bunch of chicken pictures.  Bert and the girls were free ranging last weekend...

Bert and the girls
They really like to explore.  They do stay close to their coop, but they ventured down the driveway one night last week and could be seen from the front porch.  That only lasted for a few minutes then they scurried back to familiar territory.

They have been enjoying some of the treats I share from the garden.  They really like corn on the cob!  That cob is pecked clean!

Laverne and Queen Ann
They like it when I toss cherry tomatoes out of the garden for them.

Queen Ann and Laverne
Laverne, Lucille and Queen Ann
They seem to be doing well.  I like to let them out to roam, it gives the girls more space to get away from Bert if he doesn't like something they do and disciplines them.  I have started on the permanent coop, so we'll see how long that takes!  At least the weather is getting cooler and will be nicer to work in.  Baby chicks arriving next week...can't wait!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Teacup cabinet

I made a teacup cabinet a couple weeks ago.  I had a built in corner cabinet at our house in Grand Rapids, and didn't have anyplace in the new house to put my teacups and other nick nacks.  So I decided to make one.

I used the top of an old barn door that used to be on the corn crib carport and some boards from an old hay feeder that was built in front of the big barn.

I put a grove down the back of each shelf so that when you lean the saucer against the back it has something to catch it and keep it upright.  I bolted it to the wall with six 3 1/2" screws.

Now I have a wonderful display cabinet for my teacup collection. (with room to grow!)  I finally got my tealights in the mail, that is why this post is so late.  I was waiting for them so I could take a picture in the dark to show you how the tealights make my teacups glow.

I love it!

Saturday, September 10, 2016


I harvested my popcorn I grew in the garden!  Most of the ears didn't produce many kernels, but I think I got enough to make popcorn for movie night!

So excited that I grew it myself!  Now I have to figure out how to pop it on my glass top stove.  I can't swirl the pan around on top of it.  I might have to get a special pot for popcorn popping. 
When I went out to the garden to collect the ears, I found a praying mantis on the corn stalks. Of course I didn't have my camera with me to take a picture.  I was pleased to see her in my garden though, I hope she gets to eat lots of bugs!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Seckel Pears

Last weekend I canned some Seckel Pears.  We have three pears trees on the property.  Two of the trees are close to the house and the pears had a lot of spots and wormy looking areas!  The chickens have been enjoying the ones that fall on the ground!  The other tree is at the edge of our property next to the field and had nice pretty little pears.  My guess is that the tree got a good spraying when the crops in the field were sprayed!  

I found a recipe online that cans them in a cinnamon vanilla syrup!  Doesn't that sound yummy!  The larger pears i cut in half and scooped out the core with a melon baller.

The tiny ones I just canned whole.  I was able to do 5 pints and 4 half pints.

I love using these shrink wrap labels I found at the hardware store.  Next year I'm going to figure out how to spray the other pear and apple trees so I will have a nice crop to enjoy.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

new chicks update

I wanted to share the different breeds of chickens I ordered.  They will be arriving the week of September 19th.  That is actually there "hatch date".  They should arrive on the 20th, if they don't go through the nightmare travels throughout Michigan that the first batch went through.

I ordered two from the Polish breed.  They have no origins with the country, but they do have a wonderful full crest of feathers on their heads.

The first is a Buff Laced Polish.  Buff being the color, laced is the white around the edge of the feathers.  Isn't she stunning!  I just love the polish breed. To me they are the drag queens of the chicken world.  So much extra pizzazz!  Unfortunately that crest makes for a very blind sighted bird!

The second Polish breed is a Silver Laced Polish.  Another beautiful coloration of the breed.  I do plan on making sure their crest is trimmed so their eyesight is not as impaired.  If you were going to keep these breeds for show you would not want to trim the crest, but for my eclectic backyard flock, trimming will be fine.

Next we have a Light Brown Leghorn.  Leghorn breeds are the standard breed used in commercial egg factories.  Think...Warner Brothers...Foghorn Leghorn!! 
 There are a lot of color varieties of this breed, the light brown being one of them.  She reminds me a little of the coloration on Queen Ann, the Cream Legbar.

Last we have the Silver Cuckoo Marans.  I really wanted a Marans breed, they have the dark chocolate colored eggs.  Some will have darker egg shells than others, but I wanted one of these to add to the eclectic colors for my egg collection (when that starts!!)  Silver Cuckoo is just one of the many colors varieties this breed comes in. 

I know your already wondering about names for these future residence of Chicken Peck Farm!  We will just have to do another blog/facebook posting after they arrive and start to show a little personality!
The current flock is doing well.  They really enjoy the moments that they get to run free in the yard when I am home. I am also pleased to say that Laverne has finally roosted on her own.  She does not reach the main roost with the rest of the flock but she makes it up to the loser roost!  This is a huge accomplishment. Every night I would have to go out when I closed up the coop and lift Lavern onto the roost.  Its a huge step her her independence that she figured out how to get to the other roost!
I am going next Saturday to the feed store to get Layer feed!  The girls (and Bert) are of the age to start layer feed to help with egg development! Eggs will be coming soon!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gimme a beet!

....from the immortal words of Janet, Ms Jackson if your nasty!  I canned beets this weekend, and yes I was playing Janet and her bothers tune, Beat it, also!  
My Bulls Blood beets did very well.  I didn't think I would end up with much because I thought my soil was going to be too hard, but they turned out quite well.

I was very excited that my Chioggia beet also did well.  These have red and white rings inside and they say the red does not bleed as bad as the all red variety.  However after they were done you don't really see the color variations anymore. 

It will be interesting when I open the first one.  My Detroit Golden beets and Albino beets did produce. I got three Detriot Golden and one Albino!  So I put them together in a half pint jar! 

I used a shrink wrap label on the jars after they done.  I like how easy they were to use, plus they will come right off when you have emptied the contents.  I have to see if they carry half pint labels too. 

I'm so happy with how they turned we'll see what they taste like in a few weeks.  That will be the true test!