October 2015 in Review

Hello All!

Well, I’ve been thinking about starting to do these monthly reviews. That way I can recap on what happened and what I posted for anyone who missed it! It also helps me paint a better picture of what’s going on around here. I’m also going to link up to a lot of my posted articles, so you can just click on highlighted text to go to them if you haven’t read them already!

Book Reviews This Month: 

The One-Straw Revolution by Mansanobu Fukuoka

Folks This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin

I also dropped “10 Non-fiction Books for Homesteaders” which has some great titles in it!

The Quails:

Well, we had an exciting month with the quail eggs coming in and incubating. It was our first attempt at incubation ever and I think it went decently well considering the power outage.

The eggs arrived at the beginning of the month and went immediately into our DIY Incubator. We had a few starts and stops with the incubator before hand, but it all worked out by the time the eggs arrived. We were pleasantly surprised to find that none of the eggs were damaged in shipping and they all seemed to be in great condition. I couldn’t even put them all in the incubator because the seller sent extras!

Around Day #6 or so we got some Bad News and our well pump went out. During the time that the well pump was being fixed our house breaker was flipped and we were without power for 3 hours or so. During this time we weren’t thinking about the eggs and we came in to find them at about 82F. We got them back up and running, but the damage was done. Post-hatch egg-topsy concluded that the majority of the eggs died around that time. They were very minimally formed and completely rotten.

On Day #20 we had our first egg hatch!

12049293_10208197791611251_219651539379133907_n

The next day we had a second hatch!

12063626_10208201520544472_4880951574652812215_n

By Day #25 we had 6 coturnix quail total. As of this moment (a couple days later) they are doing just fine.

12187783_10208218948620163_7570126365345878959_n

We were actually pretty worried about a few of them. The last four decided to all start doing the “splayed leg” thing, but once I moved them into the brooder box with the paper shreds, they got along just fine. They had paper towel in the incubator, but I guess it wasn’t enough traction for them.

Now we welcome quails to our homestead! Most likely we will be getting more eggs to hatch after the chickens are done. We wanted at least 12 quails and we have room for 15, so 6 didn’t really hit the mark. We’ll try again and hope for no power outages. Overall, we had 9 quails fully formed and 6 made it. One pipped and couldn’t get out of the shell and the other two were almost fully formed in the eggs, but didn’t hatch.

The Chickens:

Earlier this month I announced that “Chickens Are In the Works” and that we would be having eggs shipped in to incubate. The eggs arrived about 3 days ago and it was a mess. Although the eggs were packaged well, the box had obviously been dropped. Out of the 18 eggs only 13 remained uncracked, but will have no idea if they were internally damaged until Day #14 of incubation when I candle them.

12190784_10208218956860369_3016524293694530384_n

I ordered 6 eggs from three different breeds. As you can see here we have 6 Rhode Island Red, 3 Ameraucana (bummer) and 4 Plymouth Barred Rocks. I hope all the Ameraucana hatch since they were my desired breed. However, having more Barred Rocks and RIR’s is helpful since their egg production is pretty good. I’m also hoping we don’t end up with a whole batch of roosters, that would just be the icing on the cake.

At the moment I have an insurance claim with USPS going through on the eggs since they were damaged. Once that comes through, if the snow hasn’t started flying, I will go ahead and order more eggs from somewhere. The sellers of these eggs were really helpful and offered me a discount on my next order, so I might order from them again and hope the post office doesn’t play football with my package again.

Opinion Topics:

This month I also dropped a couple of articles that were opinion-based. The first “Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Right” is an attack on perfection and the idea that one must be perfect to even start a project. The other “Inflexible and Unyielding” talks about the perceived image that one must fill in order to be accepted by the farming community. Both are interesting if I do say so myself.

Life:

This past month has been pretty rocky honestly. Between the loss of the well pump (and a $1200 bill), the loss of over half the quail eggs, and the broken chicken eggs, it seems like the homestead is working against us. On top of that my Dad was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer (I haven’t announced this yet). With all this stress going on, Justin and I have been fighting one another constantly. It took a minute, but we did manage to get it under control. It’s still a daily struggle, but we’re trying to remember that we’re not mad at one another, just mad at the situation.

Then, a couple days ago, I gave myself a terrible nosebleed somehow (I suspect the pellet stove) and now my entire right nasal passage is swelled shut and not going away. I’m not really sure what I did to it, but the swelling has not changed since it happened, so I’ll probably go see someone about it.

We did managed to sit down and make future plans for the homestead this month. Now that we have the first summer under our belts and understand our land a bit more, we’ve set some goals and plans into action that will help us achieve the dream around here. It’s a 5 year plan, but we set some immediate goals for this winter and next summer. In the next year we plan to have a functioning flock of chickens and quails and possibly a dairy goat, although the goat is a bit of a long shot. We will also be experimenting in personal grain production and probably switching our garden to mostly raised beds. We realized that as much as the “organic” look is fun to look at, it’s a pain in the ass to upkeep. With raised beds and square garden areas, it’s much easier to mow and weed without worrying about taking out vegetable plants. It will be an expensive project (I don’t have any way to pick up free wood) but I think it will make our garden easier to handle and it will look nice too.

Well, that’s our month in review! It’s been a crazy one, but we’re through it now. Hopefully things start going better and we can get that stupid well pump paid off quickly!

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Ben

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s