Monday, June 29, 2009

Raising Chickens by Lucy Ricardo

I LOVE Lucy! Who doesn't? Do you remember the episode where the Ricardos have moved out to the country and Ricky is upset about all the bills, so they decide to raise chickens? Back in 1957, Lucy says that eggs are 75 cents a dozen. Eggs are not much more than that now! I have taken her advice and brought home some chicks! (I decided on way less than she did!)

I have wanted chickens for about 10 years, so since we are now out in the country and on a farm, no less! - it is time to raise some chickens! We bought 12 layers and 6 broilers. We are also raising 12 layers for some friends. Chicks are SO cute! They'll nod off right in their food dish. We picked them up about a week and half ago and already have had to move them twice into bigger boxes.

They were only 1 day old when I picked them up - all fuzz! After just a few days, their wing feathers have grown in and they have the start of tail feathers. They can already fly up to the top of the box and roost on the edge! Some of them love to be held and others love to peck at the hand that feeds them.

We are going to be using the old boiler room for the giant chicken barn that used to exist on this farm. It was big enough for 80,000 chickens! The boiler room is cinder-block and about 13'x12'. It leaks and is missing the door and window. It was being used as storage for junk wood and snakes! My boys worked for weeks cleaning it out (it was only work when they couldn't find any snakes that particular day!) and our friends that are keeping chickens here (the W Family) came and put up a door and screened in the window! The only thing left to do is repair the very leaky roof and put up a run, build nesting boxes and roosts, fill the cracks in the walls and run the electricity!
If we don't get the Poultry Palace up and running soon, I guess I can always just keep the chicks in my living room!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A very Expensive FREE sink!

There's no such thing as a FREE puppy - or sink! This beautiful mint-green pedestal sink was a lovely item I picked up for FREE from a Freecycler. My wonderful Hubby said, "I'll just replace the sink tonight and we can slowly work on the rest of the bathroom later."

This is what the original bathroom looks like. It was very small and very stinky. The old vanity was taking up so much room and we thought it was the source of the foul smell.

Once the sink came out, he discovered the floor was rotten. Then the walls, then the sub-floor! He got so excited about finding all that mold and rot that he stayed up all night pulling stuff out! We are now down to studs on the walls and exposed joists under the sub-floor. Two of the four joists are missing big sections so there is no support! It's amazing we never fell right through!

This is the gutted bathroom. You can see the light on the bottom right of the picture....that is the basement under the bathroom!

We knew when we bought our old farmhouse that things would need replacing/remodeling/renewing. I was hoping that we could ease into the bigger projects!

Well, my FREE sink is going to cost us about $750.00! Let's just hope the kids don't come home with a free puppy any time soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome to the Funny Farm!

I have never blogged before, but it looked like fun! I have friends who blog and feeling quite inspired, I thought I would give it a go! I might be crazy, I might be just fine, but either way, here we go - welcome to the funny farm!

My plan is to blog about what I learn while making our new "old" farm NEW again! I will try to describe experiences in renovating our old farm house and what it is like for a city girl to try her hand and raising animals, veggies, kids and weeds!

A little background so you'll know where I'm coming from. Twenty years ago, my very southern husband married a military-raised northern girl. Fortunately for me, he LOVES the north! The time came when we knew it was time to go back home. My home. By Providence, he quickly found a job and we put our house in the city on the market. We packed up and headed NORTH. Eventually the old house sold and eventually we found just the right place to plant some roots - literally! Again, by Providence we bought an old chicken farm, that had once been a dairy farm, that has not been in operation for quite a number of years. It is 45 acres, mostly wooded with a very large farm house. It had everything on our want list! Providence again!

We moved into our new home in October of 2008, just in time to try out our woodstoves. Having lived in the south all my married life and most of my youth, the opportunity to operate a woodstove, let alone three of them, had RARELY arrisen. I would now get the chance to keep this southern acclimated body to a temp in which I become accustomed. NOPE! I found that it is not as easy as it looks. It took me about three months to get the hang of it. Fortunately for me, there was still PLENTY of winter left to master this newly acquired skill.

Once spring hit, the desire to grow things became overwhelming. Because we moved from the city and had the yard the size of a postage stamp, we had no need of a lawn cutting apparatus bigger than a weed whacker and a push mower. Therefore, I began growing WEEDS. LOTS of them! I discovered that I am great at growing weeds.

So far, I have lots of "deck" flowers. That is flowers on my "deck" - go figure! I have NOTHING in my garden - save for the weeds.

My experience with animals, since having children 15 years ago, is with several batches of plastic fish and some sea-monkeys. Until recently the sea-monkeys were doing great, but they somehow have met their untimely demise. Well, I needed to move on to bigger and better things. At least, better-suited for a farm. I ordered chickens. We have 12 layers and 6 broilers on order and they should be arriving by Friday.

So truly begins the farm life for me. I guess I am now commited, happily of course! I can't wait to get started....