My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Sunday, December 10, 2023

December Day Ten

Another pottering type of day today - busy enough but not doing anything I'd set out to do!!
For some reason I thought it would be fun to sew up a couple of chicken blocks...because I didn't think they'd take too long...
Even cuter when they have their little feet —
This pattern is from Lori Holt's book, Farmgirl Vintage 2.

Back in April when I went to Scrub Stitching retreat, Sylvia made us some sweet (and handy) little magnetic needle keeps which I thought I'd have a play at making. Just a matter of finding a suitable magnet now.

This is what happened next - can you guess?
I think the half roll of cellotape gives it away - we had children come out to visit. 
Gandad had help to get the cows in for milking. You can just make out a small boy on his bike. George was extra helpful and important!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Saturday, December 9, 2023

December Day Nine

After a busy week, it was nice to have a quiet day to escape into The Palace aka the my sewing room. 
I got a bit of a production line going on the little Christmas decorations I started the other day —
And now there are six —
I used a tutorial by Irina of nordiccrafter. I have a few more hexies prepped to make some more, when I get back to them.
I bought a Lily plant recently; I had no idea what colour it was. Now I know - quite unusual and striking —
And to continue with Mamahen's adventures after last night's post, tonight at lock-up time she decided to abandon her babies and hang out at Emma's kennel hoping for a dog biscuit or two instead.
No luck there I'm afraid girl. I got her moving and thought she looked very 'fluffy-bum-ish' waddling back to the hen house for the night.
Thank you to those who sent their best wishes for the MOML's health. He had a nice couple of days away resting and sleeping. There will be some follow-up work to do with the Dr but he is feeling better now (and insisted on doing both of today's milkings by himself).

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Friday, December 8, 2023

December Day Eight

Looking through my photos and posts, I see that I haven't told you about my baby chickens. 
Some may remember that from time to time I buy 2-3 day old chickens and I raise them. I also have one particular hen that goes broody frequently and this time round, I tracked down a clutch of fertile eggs to put under her.
She was very diligent and sat on her clutch until they hatched, and then continued on to be a very good mum.
We started with 10 eggs. She destroyed one of them on about Day 2. One died while hatching, and one egg didn't hatch at all. So I've ended up with 7 babies.
This old dog kennel is a great spot for situations like this. It is located in The Pullet Palace which our son-in-law built for me when I had my last batch of baby chickens. It is well netted and entirely enclosed so they are safe and I can keep track of them all.
It's been fun watching them grow.  You can see the ones in the photo below were starting to swap out their baby fluff for their first lot of feathers.
And getting a little more gangly. I was being quite the control freak at the start. Shutting the rest of the flock outside (once they'd laid all their eggs!) and letting this family out of The Pullet Palace into the Chook Yard to scratch around. 
I have spent the whole time I have had Mama Hen (I inherited her) encouraging her NOT to be broody. She lays hard out for 3-4 weeks, then just wants to sit on them - with no rooster, the eggs will never hatch. I usually put her in the Naughty Box, just a cage where she can't really nest, for a few days and then she's fine again. Until the next time. 
Now I feel like Mama Hen is living her very best life - she's been so looking forward to having her own family. However I'm not sure if I will raise my babies this way again....Mrs Mama Hen has never been able to be handled and she has brought up her babies to be the same - I've not been able to get near them!!

After a while I gave in and let them out into the big wide world. Mama Hen once again guarded them really well and they haven't come to any harm. Not long after I snapped the photo below, she swarmed on that hen off to the side and shooed her away!
The other issue I have is that when I buy my newly hatched chicks they are ALL female. I always knew I would end up with some roosters this way but I'm starting to suspect that FIVE of them are roosters...grrrr.
And I do not want Five roosters and only Two new hens. 
I'll wait until I am completely sure and then see if I can give them away. YD also had the thought that we could establish a rooster colony in an area on the farm we are replanting. We'll see.

These guys here went through the stage of having a rooster-looking fight over in this corner, several days in a row. Wings outstretched, feet kicking and a real face off.
So far I am suspecting the black chick, three whites and one grey are roosters. Their combs are suspiciously rooster-like. I'm hoping I'm wrong; I'm not really an expert at this!
They seem to like this hay bale for sitting on. They head here every day when I let them out.
Another face-off starting to happen on the bale!
They hatched October 13th so are 8 weeks old now.
OK, bed time now, I'm hoping for some sewing tomorrow,
'til then,
happy stitches,