I got a little excited today.  For one, I found this:

 

That, my friends, means our little Americauna:

 

 

Has started to lay again!  Now, she looks pretty pitiful, and at first we thought it was due solely to overmating.  However, we soon realized she was molting.  This happens NATURALLY to chickens once a year, although not always, depending upon the number of sunlight hours.  She hasn’t been laying for 6-8 weeks, which is NORMAL.  Now, you buy eggs at the store, and they have a light on them 24/7 in order to get as many eggs as possible until they collapse from exhaustion and get made into soup.  Her eggs are HUGE and khaki green in color.  We had to wash it thoroughly, and therefore, it is in the fridge instead of with the other eggs in the basket on the counter.  Don’t worry, we’re adding straw to the coop today.  I have also discovered chicken feathers sell well for crafts.  This one success story on ebay (from a vegan Rabbi author of several reincarnation books-talk about multi-discipline) sells his feathers for over $1 each.  I will find a better price, but I now save those dropped in good to descent condition in my new basket:

 

 

 

This is called a Choctaw pouch, and it very simple and fun to make.  This was my first, and as the book left half of the pattern out (I did eventually figure out the correct way to do it), I knew I couldn’t sell it, so it’s not in the best of condition.  The rim and handle are sad (what you would expect from a walmart basket), but the spokes are supposed to double up towards the top like that.  I can easily make this in many sizes without any calculations really.  I hope it sells well once I start making them for that.

 

Below are some pics from this morning.  Recently, I have noticed I am sleepy earlier and earlier, and rise earlier and earlier.  Yes, I found it aggravating, until my husband told me how it was getting me ready for gardening season…he’s right.  I am very grateful for this now.  Currently, our morning routine is far more active than in the summer: break water for livestock, transfer out chicken water, open/close cattle alley, etc…

 

 

We have a new meat steer.  He is the one to the right below.  Sorry, the lighting was bad.  Fargo, the one on the left, measured in around 800 pounds.  He is 1.5 years old.  The new meat steer, nameless of course, is 7 months old and is half hereford, half an jus, and estimated around 400-500 pounds (he won’t let us measure him yet).  An jus can get 2200-3100 pounds.  We’ll run out of meat in about 3 months, we estimate, but we will slaughter him around 1200 pounds as there is simply no need for that much.  At 1200 pounds, we will roughly get 400 pounds of meat.  We’ll half it with someone and eat for a year off one steer!

He is kinda cute.  He was dragging down the mother as he was still nursing, so they wanted rid of him.  He was NOT happy and broke through a fence.  It’s been about 2 days, and the fence is repaired, and he is calmer.  He and Fargo are pretty good buds, so slaughter time will be difficult (see the post-“Goodbye Butty”)

Baby is awfully interested in the chickens.

 

That big fluffy orange one is the girl of the two chicks we first hatched months ago.  She’s a full fledged part of George’s harem now, and should start laying soon.  Her brother became a severe problem and was eaten when Daniel and Ana were here.  (he was overmating and mean to the hens, so then George chased him away and then mated the same poor hen again to mark his territory…sigh!)

This is easier than transferring out the water constantly.  But they still have water in the coop at night.

 

 

 

We have one rooster we call baby George.  I like him.  I may keep him as a pet if George lets me.  He follows me around and lets anybody just go and pick him up.  He was always my favorite as a chick too.  George is desperately wanting to be noticed as he keeps making his “come here and see what I found” call.  Betsy and Booger are due in April/May…hopefully.

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