Hatchling Number Two!

White Silkie!

Number two Silkie hatched the day before and sat overnight in the incubator to dry off.  I was worried about how strong this one was going to be as he took a long time hatching and I ended up helping by removing some of his shell for him.  I say him generically as I will not know for a long time whether the chicks are make of female.  This one seems to be in direct contrast of colors from the first chick.  Looks as though I have a beautiful white silkie here.  It should be fun to watch if the colors change as it gets older.

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Hatchlings!

Silkie

Yesterday was the first day of many to come that we get to experience one of lifes most precious mysteries.  Birth!  Early in the day we received a big surprise by seeing one of our many eggs due to begin hatching today, begin a day early.  We were extremely busy preparing a friends home for a large Annual Memorial Day party by cleaning up from LAST YEARS party. LOL  I am serious, tho. 😛

Upon our return home around 9pm the Silkie had hatched out!  I placed the lone chick in the large brooder box and it  happily chirpped like crazy for quite a while before settling down for the night.  Another egg this morning has pipped it’s shell, so I hope we will get to see another hatch today.  It is all very exciting!

Self-Sufficiency

Boer Goats, Fin and Merino Sheep, and Chickens and Meat Rabbits.  These are the things I am trying to acquire.  Why you ask?  Well, I am trying become more self-sustaining.  I want to know where my food has been, what is has been fed, how it has been handled and cared for.  I am trying to get a large plot of my five acres turned into a vegatable and fruit garden. I am trying to learn how to make perserves and canning my food.  I would also like to turn some of my basement into a cold cellar.  I have been researching boar goats for my freezer for a while now and am finding it an easy prospect to raise them.  I will be receiving a lamb this summer so that I can breed her this winter for lambing in the spring, for fleece and lamb meat.  I have got chickens hatching next week and more meat chicks to pick up this week from another farm.  All to be butchered for freezing this winter.    I am still researching meat rabbits for which I have a contact an hour away that does so commercially that I will be getting in touch with soon.  $$$$  It all comes down to $$$$  I need it to start saving it.  How ironic can this cycle be?!    I will be taking a class through my Cornell Cooperative Extension on the 17th of May for pasture management and Famacha(sp?) training.  I am also enrolled in an online course through Langston University for Meat Goat Operations Certification.  I have realized that I cannot obtain the Ag Tax Deduction due to the limitations it has with in NY State.  I cannot earn 50,000$ in under 10 acres of land with this kind of livestock.  So, I will be selling only for local markets to help reduce the costs of raising the meat we keep for ourselves.  It cannot be considered a business, sadly.  I am meeting tons of folks who are willing to share their knowledge and time so that I can learn from them and choose my own path.  It is pretty cool.  There is so much I would love to dive right into, but $ will always hold me back from that.  Always two steps behind.  Oh well.  I will figure out a way to start but it will just not be my ideal way of going.  Who’s ideals are ever really truely met with immediate satisfaction?  No one that I know of.    So this is my small part to help my family and local community reduce its foot print on this land.  There are so many reasons for pursueing this lifestyle but this is one of them.

Hectic lifestyle

I am trying to recover from this weekend but I am not doing such a good job at it as I havn’t stopped moving yet.  T.’s birthday was fun and am still trying to gather all the pictures from everyone so I acn publish some of them.  That night after everyone left, I gave instructions to my friend on the care of the animals while we were gone and cleaned up.  Then we began military style almost of preparing all the food for our weekend trip to Harrisburg PA.  Sandwiches made, veggies cut, fruits diced, water bottled, etc…  This went on until very late and finally everything was packed in to the coolers and bags and ready to walk out the door at 5:30am.  We actually managed to wake and get out the door a little later than that but were still making good time.  Both boys actually made it there without any fussing!  Three and half hours later and we arrived at an enormous farm show complex with bags and water and tickets ready in hand.  We filed in through the lines and found seats way up in nose bleed section for the day.  The seats…were six inches in width.  I don’t know about you, but one of my cheeks is bigger than that.  Oh well, we managed.  T. started to get soar in his back and S. was not feeling well.  At lunch time those two left to check-in at the hotel and T. played at a park for the rest of the day.  Going into the show details would be painfully boring and a real pain to recall so I will resist the urge.  That night we returned to the hotel and ate our prepared dinner and read the fourth book of Artimes Fowl: Opal Deception, as T. had just recieved this for his birthday, then promptly all passed out.  Except me.  I pretty much stayed up with a few flickers of actual sleep thrown in.  Suns up!  Rise and Shine!  6:30am we were ready for the door and fed.  At 7:00am we were waiting in line with 300+ poeple to get better seats till 8am when the doors open.  7:30am we are standing outside freezing as there is rain coming soon and no sun left in the sky and now there are approx. 1,000 poeple in line.  By 8:00am we are finally left in and make a mad dash for the check-in location with approx. 3000+ poeple in tow.  We were very lucky to be able to sit about four rows from the front.  Then T. proceeded to fall asleep till a little after noon.  Through clapping, screaming, pounding, music, cheers, lectures over the microphones… he slept.  Across three seats, with me holding him up so he wouldn’t land on the floor or the poeple in front of us.  My arms were killing me. LOL  Finally he awoke and we had a break with lunch and  a little walk around the retail area.  The entire time we are there I have been searching the seats one at a time for my dear friends that were supposed to be there.  Still not one glimpse of them have I seen.  After break, T. was fidgety and kept himself busy with his toys and eating tons of snacks we brought with us.  Some pretty interesting stuff was going on but not something T. would understand.  B. got some of it and maintained his focus the entire weekend which was pretty impressive!  I would love to tap into his head to see if he got anything out of it.  All I got from  him was “I want a horse.” after the first days sessions. hehe  Second break for the day and another walk was in order.  I filled out some forms for horsenality stuff and prize tickets.  Then we returned to our seats.  As soon as I sit down I notice two of the folks I am looking for just entering the retail area, so I run to see them and we chatted and caught up.  These particular folks made it possible for me to be here this weekend, as I had lost my tickets and they gave me the extras they had ordered.  I see them every week so I will have a chance to see what they thought about the content of the show later this week.  I returned to my seat and once again! I saw a group of folks I had been dying to see for over a year now.  I ran once more down to the retail area and had huge group hugs. I was on the verge of tears from seeing them.  Gayla and her daughter live in Cortland and have beautiful draft horses that I am in love with and Debra and Dave the founders of my passion for Parelli and natural every thing for horses!  They are the folks I received my dear Flash from.  His original rescuers and rehabilitators!  I was so happy I could have exploded.  The weekend would have been considered nice if I hadn’t seen them but since I did get chance to see them my weekend gets a much higher rating of wonderful!!!!  We spoke for a long time and got together again for quite a while.  It was really great and I miss them so much.  After all was done we clapped our goodbyes and thank yous to the presenters and made another mad dash to the car.  Rain was threatening to pour on us as did earlier in the day.  Three of us promptly passed out and S. drove home.  After about two hours I revived and soon found us stuck on well over 40 mile back up if not double the amount for over an hour and a half.  We finally got to an area we could get off the highway and took our time going home.    We arrived home at 9:00pm rather than 7:30pm as anticapated but we were home!  I was surprised at how well the boys did this weekend.  I am glad tohave gotten there and to have actaully been able to have paid most of my attention to the program.  I slept till 6:30am till I woke to bring S. to work then promptly went home to receive my newest member of the family, the poodle, who was not so white as I had left him. LOL Then I proceeded to drive an hour up to Ithaca to pick up 40 Strawberry plants. On my way back I stopped off at the Alphabet Soup Store so the boys could look at all the cool toys and books. They had fun and left peaceably until we got to the car.  T. started screaming due to his legos he brought with him fell over.  Not really a crisis tho.  We have been home since trying to get ready for our friend Sander from Montreal, Canada to arrive this evening.  I have a meeting tonight for Small Group Ministry for Parents and had to arrange childcare for which I totally forgot about; Funny tho, as the topic for tonight is overcommitment.  Who Me?  Then I must pick up my friend from the bus station and set up his sleeping arrangments and visit some before passing out!  I am not too busy now-a-days am I? LOL  What a crazy weekend!  But I wouldn’t change it for the world!

A Roaring Success!!

At least I think so!  T’s Birthday party was absolutely fabulous!  We had such a great Reptile and Mammal show, even though it was a little later than planned.  The friends were fantastic!  The ice cream was fun and delicious and surprisingly the cake was yummy!!  I am exhausted by not just the party but the preperations for our trip that occurred after everyone had left the party.  So I will leave you all hanging for now with a simple but ever so grateful THANK YOU!!!!

More to come this week hopefully with pictures!