A Week Of Photos From The Red Double Wide – 8/8/15

What an crazy week!  4-H stuff, birthday celebrations, new chicks, and trying to freeze the insane amount of zucchini and green beans coming from the garden are the things that took up most of my time.  We ordered homeschool curriculum for the girls as well, and that got me very excited to start school in a few weeks!

We ended the week with Jo’s 11th birthday party, and she is over the top excited about her present.  We told her she could find and adopt a puppy.  She has been wanting one of her own for YEARS, and being the responsible young lady that she is we figure it’s a good time for a potentially life changing new addition.  Now, the task of finding the RIGHT puppy!

Here is our week in photos….

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Jo made a poster for the Cornish Cross chicken she is taking to the fair.  She took it to the 4-H meeting and did a demonstration about these chickens.  This was all her idea!

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Mary did her 4-H demonstration on chocolate covered fruit.  The strawberries were the most popular!

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Photo By: Jo

More beautiful sunsets this week!

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4 Golden Buff, 4 White Leghorn, and 4 Golden Laced Wyandotte arrived on Wednesday morning.  All healthy and happy and cute, cute, cute!  I always forget how ever so tiny they are.

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I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of baking all our bread again.

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I’m going to start grating zucchini in my sleep….

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I became very impatient and HAD to pick one of my watermelon.  It has got to be ripe by now, right?

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NOPE……darn it!  (the chickens enjoyed it very much though)

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So excited to see hundreds of busy honey bees in my corn rows!

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Have a great week everyone!

Raising Ranger Broilers (Meat Chickens) – Part One

raising ranger broilers

Two summers ago we raised several Cornish Cross Meat Chickens.  Meat chickens were a brand new adventure for us and even though we lost a couple and taking them to the fair was a disaster, we had fun, and they tasted GREAT!  I blogged about the whole experience and you can read each weeks post starting here.

This year my girls wanted to take meat chickens to the fair again but didn’t want to take Cornish Cross.  I did some research and Ranger Broilers seemed to be the next obvious choice.  They are bred to be a fast growing meat chicken just like the Cornish Cross, but they are good foragers; unlike the Cornish Cross that like to sit in front of the feeder and stuff themselves.  I am excited about comparing these two breeds.

raising ranger broilers

We ordered 15 chicks from Meyer Hatchery and they arrived June 11th.  When we got them home we realized that they had sent us an extra chick.  A few days later, I began to suspect that the extra chick was a Cornish Cross.  A few days after that I was sure of it, now I can compare the two breeds while they grow!!

All 16 chicks were active, cute, and very entertaining.  All of us agree these are the quietest chicks we’ve ever had.
ranger broilers 2 weeksAt 2 weeks they are still pretty cute but that doesn’t last for long.

Ranger Broilers 3 weeks

As you can see the Cornish Cross sticks out like a green bean in a fruit salad…..ok, that was bad, but I was trying to come up with something other than “he sticks out like a sore thumb” and well, that’s the only “appropriate” one I could think of.

3 weeks

We weighed them at 4 weeks.

4 weeks

The Ranger broilers weighed in at an average of 2 pounds 6 ounces, and the Cornish Cross weighed 2 pounds 10 ounces.   At 4 weeks they have eaten about 60 lbs. of feed.  As soon as I think they are big enough we will let them out for at least a couple hours every day so they can forage for grass and bugs.  So far, other than growing just a bit slower than the Cornish Cross the only difference between the two breeds is that the Rangers seem to be more curious and friendly.

I’ll post an update in a few weeks and then a final post after we butcher them at the end of August.  Thanks for following along!

This post was shared at: Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

 

The Mystery Chickens

Chocolate 4 months

Back in April the girls picked out 4 bantam chicks at the feed store.  Oh what cute little fluff balls they were!  (click here to see pics)  Those chicks are now four months old and will be going to the fair next month.  I didn’t want more than one rooster and that’s what we ended up with.  He is a very handsome (obnoxious) little guy and the three little pullets are just adorable and sweet.  The only problem we have is we’re not sure what breeds they are.  So I’m going to share some pictures and if anyone out there knows what breed they are the girls and I would LOVE to here from you.  I did do a little research and I have a few guesses but I would like to know for sure.  It would be great to have the correct breeds to write on the entry forms for the fair!

Meet Chocolate…..better known as Little Pecker.

Chocolate 4 months This is Tiny, she is so very sweet.

Tiny 4 months

This is Rayven, she is very gentle and just beautiful!

Rayven 4 months

This is Peep, she is loud and can fly farther than any of our chickens!

Peep 4 months

Thanks in advance for any feed back!!

 

This post was shared at:  The Clever Chicks Blog Hop Homestead Barn Hop

 

 

 

April 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Bantam Chick (Chocolate)

April was incredibly busy, but full of amazing cuteness. 😀

We started off the month with our spring break.  I figured it was a good time to bring home our first batch of chicks for this year.  The girls want to take bantams to the fair in August so they picked out four bantam chicks at the feed store.

PeepThis batch of chicks brought with them a lot of firsts for us.  Our first bantams, our first brooder in the house, and our first time using a EcoGlow Brooder instead of a heat lamp.  This was also our first time picking chicks that we didn’t know the sex or the breed.  The only thing we were sure of was that they were CUTE!

Bantam Chick (Chocolate)I will miss the day when my youngest kiddo outgrows bringing me dandelion bouquets. 🙂

DandelionWe bought 10 blueberry bushes. We weren’t ready for them, but they were too cheap to pass up. (I LOVE blueberries!)

Blueberry Bushes
Yes, he’s bringing me a tire. He packs it around when he can’t find a ball.

JoWe enjoyed some great weather during April.

Maple Tree in SpringDaffodilsThe photo bombing dog strikes again…..

Spring with a photo bomberOur old mower was unable to be revived this spring so Digger and Jade brought home a new one. (well, new to us)  It was great to find something local that we needed just in time that’s in great shape for a fair price!  Little Chef was super excited to get a new mower; she does lots of the mowing.

Lawn Mower
Photo by Little Chef

Last years green onions starting to bloom.  I thought they were beautiful.

OnionsWe got the garden cleaned up which was no easy task considering we neglected it last fall and then digger tilled it, pretty or not.  🙂

Tilling the gardenWe had a wonderful Easter celebrating our Lords resurrection with family, friends and great food!

Easter EggsThe girls and I got to take a trip to Newport, Oregon with my mom and a few of my siblings.  This was the view from our beach house!

Newport, ORWe visited the aquarium and the science center while we where there too.  What fun places!  This was perfect for Jo as she’s doing a report at school on Orcas.  🙂

Jo  OrcaLittle Chef LOVED the music room at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Little Chef in the music roomJo’s cat Boots had four kittens in mid April. This one has been named Sky.  Jo has been in kitty heaven!!

SkyThe super cute chicks at the beginning of this post grew quite a bit over the month and aren’t as cute any more.  They have graduated from being in the house and have been moved to the shop.  This is a picture of their first trip outside.  They now spend a few hours outside in the little pen each day.

bantam chicksHappy May Day Everyone!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

This Post was shared at: From The Farm Blog HopClever Chicks Blog HopThe Homestead Barn HopTuesday With a TwistThe Backyard Farming ConnectionThe HomeAcre Hop

March 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

spring

My favorite time of year!

spring The animals are LOVING the warmer weather.

cat

chickenMy chickens egg yolks went from yellow to dark orange as soon as the new grass popped up and the bugs came out!

Spring!

Guess What

lilacCompost in the gardenUncle Tom came over and dumped the compost pile into the garden.  Hopefully this will help amend our poor soil on the east side of the garden.  Why do we have poor soil only on the east side of the garden?  Well, it has something to do with a retired go-cart track.  Read more about that here.

EcoGlow20Another great thing about spring is CHICKS!  This came in the mail today, so we are off to pick up some chicks tomorrow!!  Today is also the first day of our spring break and I’m looking forward to getting LOTS done in and out of the house this week.

So glad y’all stopped by.  Happy spring everyone!!

This post was shared at: The Homestead Barn HopThe Backyard Farming ConnectionTuesday With a Twist The HomeAcre HopFrom The Farm Blog HopSimple SaturdaysClever Chicks Blog Hop

July 2013 – A Month of Photos From the Red Double Wide

Garden 6

July was a month of bbq’s with great friends, many 4-H meetings, baby chicks, HOT weather, gardening, and allergies!  Despite the sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes it was a wonderful, busy month.

We started off the month by celebrating the 4th of July with a family trip to the beautiful San Juan Islands.  It was a great trip and so wonderful to see family that we hadn’t seen for a while.  Visiting the beach was also wonderful!

Two days after we got home from our little vacation our meat chicks arrived!

3 Days OldThey are the girls 4-H projects.  To read more about our meat chickens click here.

chick Collage

Butterfly
Front yard visitor
Spinich & Raspberries
First harvest from the garden

We have an AWESOME group of people from our church that came out and joined us for a taco feed and go-kart party.  Our go-cart track goes through our hay field and it’s about three-fourths of a mile long.  As you can see from the picture this is not a clean sport!  Everyone was sooooooo dirty but it was a blast!

Go-Karts

Garden 5
My weed filled garden! The corn is taller than me now. 🙂
Garden 2
Squash plant
Garden 6
Baby Tomatoes
Painting
The girls painting the new chicken pen for their 4-H meat chickens.
Chicken pen - 1
The finished pen!
Harvest
My dad getting ready for harvest….I can’t believe it’s that time of year already!

Hope all of you had a great July!  In August I’m looking forward to our county fair and preserving the harvest from my garden.

Raising Cornish Cross Chickens – Week 3

18 Days Old

On to week 3!  Click here to read about Week 1 and Week 2 of our meat chicken raising experience.

They are still growing fast and their feathers are filling in a bit more.  We have moved them outdoors and changed their feed from chick starter to a flock raiser.  They are still fun to watch jump and run around, and every once in a while they make a “big chicken” noise. 🙂

16 Days OldNot so cute anymore.

18 Days OldFor this picture on day 18 I tried to pick out the biggest one and the littlest one. The one standing in the back weighed 11.4 oz. and the bigger one sitting down weighed 18.4 oz.  What a huge difference considering they hatched the same day and arrived at our house all looking identical.  From everything I’ve read the small one is a female and the big one a male.  That explains why the roosters are more expensive from the hatchery.  The male kept plopping down and trying to sleep, the little female was more active and alert.

20 Days OldWe built them a bigger pen so they can be moved around on the lawn and always have grass to eat.  The girls painted it and I thought it turned out cute!

Chicken pen - 1They love having more room!

3 Weeks Old - 4

3 Weeks OldWell, so far so good!  We still have 10 healthy growing chickens.  I’m glad they are outside now and not in the shop, (they were getting a little crowded and allot STINKY!).

Here is the link to Week 4

Raising Cornish Cross Chickens – Week 2

12 Days Old

If you missed Week 1 on Raising Cornish Cross Chickens click here, to read why we chose this breed and how our first week went, plus lots of cute chick pics!

We have not suffered any casualties as of yet and they are growing remarkably FAST!  They are about to outgrow the brooder and will need more space soon.  My mom took five of them to finish raising them at her house, so that helped to make some extra room.  I’m hoping they will have enough space until they are 3 weeks old and can go in an outside pen during the day.  I want them to be able to free range as much as possible once they are big enough.  It’s been so warm we haven’t used the heat lamp since they were 11 days old.  They are such messy little things we have to check their water every few hours because it gets full of bedding and poop very quickly.  I seem to remember the same thing with my egg laying chickens when they were little.

Here are pics of week 2:

10 Days OldSome of them are a little bigger then others, which is what I expected when I ordered a “strait run” (some male some female).  I got a strait run so they would vary in weight and we could pick the right chickens at the right weight for my girls 4-H projects.

12 Days OldAs you can see they are starting to out grow some of their cuteness!  Oh well, I didn’t get them to be cute…..right?

14 Days OldWe enjoy watching and laughing at them running at each other and flapping their wings. They are pretty comical!

Here is a little cost break down so far:
Each chick cost: $3.83; so for our 10 chicks it cost – $38.30
The chick starter cost $10.45 for a 25# bag. After 2 weeks there is still some feed left and  I subtracted what my moms chicks ate and ended up with $6.10 feed cost for 2 weeks.
We also bought a bale of pine shavings for $7.95 and I figured we have used about a dollars worth so far.

This comes to $45.40 for the first 2 weeks for 10 chicks.

Of course this doesn’t include the cost of a brooder, heat lamp, heat lamp bulbs, waterer, or feeder.  We are using all the supplies from last years egg laying chicks.  So if you were raising chickens for the first time you would have to add in these expenses.  As you can see, the first year is the most expensive!

So far we are still pleased with our decision to raise Cornish Cross!

Here is the link for Week 3

Raising Cornish Cross Chickens – Week 1

6 Days Old

Why are we raising Cornish Cross chickens?

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what breed of meat chicken to raise this summer. I did lots of reading about the good, the great, the bad and the ugly aspects of raising the hybrid Cornish Cross chickens.  There are so many opinions out there and I didn’t want to make an uninformed decision, especially since a couple of these chickens are to be my girls first 4-H market projects.  I finally came to the conclusion that I need to form my own opinion and I can’t do that until I have had hands on experience raising them.  So I decided to start with Cornish Cross vs. a heritage breed.  They are the most cost effective breed to raise, and if it goes well we will continue to raise Cornish Cross.  If not, we will try a different breed next year.

For the next 8 weeks (that’s how long it takes for them to be ready to butcher) I will be sharing our meat chicken raising experience with you.  I will be posting pictures and giving updates weekly on our little adventure!

Here is Week 1 of Raising Cornish Cross Chickens:

We ordered our chicks from McMurray Hatchery to arrive on the week of July 8th.  This will make our chickens 6 weeks old for our County Fair, and hopefully the correct weight which needs to be between 4 and 7 lbs for my girls to be able to sell their chicken at the livestock sale.  I had never ordered from McMurray Hatchery before, but they had the right breed available at the right time.  The ordering process was easy; they kept us informed of shipping (with emails and texts) and their website was very informative.

Early on the morning of July 8th we got a call from the post office that our live birds had arrived.  Of course I wasn’t exactly prepared (I’m such a procrastinator).  I very quickly cleaned up our brooder  “play pen”, washed up the chick feeders and waters and headed to town.  We first went to the feed store to buy bedding and chick starter, then picked up the peeping box from the post office.  When we got in the car I bent the lid back and was pleased to find 15 live peeps!

15 Cornish Cross chicks arrived safe and sound.
15 Cornish Cross chicks arrived safe and sound.

They were all active and looked healthy.  As quickly as we could, we prepared their pen and got them settled in…..sooooo cute!  Am I really going to be able to eat these guys in a couple months??

Cornish Cross Chicks 2 Here’s the pics of this weeks growth:

2 days old

4 Days Old6 Days Old8 Days OldWe have had a fun week watching these little birds grow. (Notice the growth of their feathers in these consecutive pics!)  Contrary to what I have read these little guys seem to be hearty, active, and very curious.   So far I have no regrets picking this breed.  We will see what happens in the next few weeks!

Click here to read about Week 2

“Chicken People”

I have a confession to make, I used to think “chicken people” were weird.  What’s all the fuss about?  Aren’t chickens dirty, stinky, noisy and dumb?  Who has the time or money to mess with chickens when you can easily buy all the chicken and poop free eggs in a quick trip to the store?  And all chicken people seem to do is talk and brag about their chickens…

Oooooops!!

I now find myself driving my husband nuts running in and out of his shop showing him eggs and telling him stories about my wonderful, funny hens.  Then I text my family and friends pictures and brag about all the nice big brown eggs they are laying.  Oh, and by the way,  MY hens aren’t dirty, stinky, noisy or dumb; and there is no comparing a farm fresh egg (even with a little poop) to a store bought egg!!

So maybe “chicken people” ARE weird, but what’s wrong with being a little weird if you are having a good time and supplying your family with good wholesome food….Right?

As long as I’m admitting that I’m a “weird chicken person” and my family is sick of hearing about my hens, I guess I have to do all my bragging on my blog.  So here are a few pictures of my girls…and my other girls (wow, I have a lot of girls).  I guess weird chicken people also take TONS of pictures of their chickens (and their kids). 😉

 

9 day old Golden Buff chick.

Look how fast their feathers grow!

 

 

 

 

1 month old chick

 

 

 

 

 

15 weeks old

 

 

 

 

Here they are being very cautious on their first trip into the harvested garden.

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Thanks for letting me share.

 

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