Grain Farming and Chicken Farming

DSCN6981_FotorSince I haven’t blogged for a over week, I thought I’d share some pictures of what has been happening on the farm lately!

The corn is being planted right now; this year Dad is planting the back fields to corn. The picture above is of Dad, Nathaniel, and Gabrielle loading fertilizer into the corn planter before Dad headed out to plant one evening. I love to help with the farm work, but when there is not anything for me to do, I enjoy taking photos 😉 I love the different colors in the above photo– the blue rainy sky with streaks of sun light; the white birches against the dark woods; and, best of all, the Allis Chalmers tractors ready for an evening in the fields!


In this picture, my brother is disking the back field to make it ready for planting corn. I think disking is probably the funnest of all spring farm work.


Our second flock of meat chickens arrived last Thursday. This flock has been easier to care for than the first flock was, mainly because the temperatures are warmer.


The first flock of meat chickens is already 5 weeks old! I like the chickens best when they are at this age, because they are easier to care for. (Their bedding is harder to change though.) Next week we have to call the guy who butchers chickens and set a day to take these chickens to him. It will be a busy time because the week after we butcher this flock, we have a new flock arriving. At least there are two of us to do all the work 🙂


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Meat Chicks Update + Coop Tour


Last Saturday Gabrielle and I moved the chickies out of the pool and onto the floor. Because we are getting another flock in about two weeks, we moved this present flock onto the newer side of the coop because we wanted to keep the older side for brooding. The older side of the coop is more insulated and will keep the chicks warmer during their first week; the newer side (with the new floor) is better suited for the older chicks.

It didn’t take long to set up the new pen and move the chickens; after they had settled in, we cleaned the pool and swept the floors. The coop still looks messy–there are feed bags, blocks of wood, the grates, drivers, and tools– but I thought I’d show you pictures of the coop now because otherwise I might never do it!

When Dad and I were talking over the plans for the coop this spring, I really wanted something more permanent. But we soon realized that that wasn’t going to work this year. The coop needs to be sheltered and warm for the spring months, and then in the summer months it needs to be more open. With this in mind, we knew that we would have to redo parts of the coop during the summer. For the spring months we built a plywood front  with a door on each side. We also built an overhang that shelters the front from the rain and a little from the wind. This has worked well, and it should be fairly easy to take down when the time comes.

Like I have mentioned before, there are two sides in the coop; we built a divider with a small door to separate the pens. Dad wired the coop, so we have outlets and lights- pretty ritzy! hehe 😉



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Meat Bird Chicks


This morning Gabrielle and I got our first batch of meat bird chickies! The chicks are doing good; eating, chirping, and bumping each other over in their hurry to get to and fro.       The weather is quite cold and windy, but so far we have been able to keep the coop warm and the pool temperature at ninety degrees. The pool is keeping its heat well, but the coop isn’t since it is not insulated. We’ll just have to keep a close eye on the chicks, because if they get cold, they will trample each other for space under the heat lamps.

We have been working hard the past week to get the coop ready for the chicks. Gabrielle and I have learned a lot (it feels like that, at least!) from Dad as we have watched and helped him build a front for the coop, walls inside it, as well as wiring for outlets and lights. Last night Dad and I finished the side of the coop that the chicks are now on; all that is left (for now) is to complete the dividing wall on the opposite side of the coop.


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March Snowstorm




“No, thank you, I prefer to have my breakfast as usual- in my house.” Moses meowed.


The snowstorm that hit the midwest moved in over our farm last night.  The snow is still coming down, and blowing too, so it is hard to tell how much snow we have actually gotten. Maybe 6-8 inches though. As usual, we have a very tall drift in front of the garage; I think we’ll wait to shovel it out until Dad gets home from work 🙂

We had plans today for getting together with a friend this afternoon to plant vegetable seeds and re-watch Iditarod videos, but because of the snow, that has been canceled 😥   Instead, we will work on schoolwork, and maybe I’ll finally get a chance to make a rhubarb pie!


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Fleece Pillow for the General


General got a pillow for his dog house this week. The straw that had been in his house was clinging to him and then it would fall off wherever he laid down– usually on the mat before the front door! There was very little straw left in the doghouse because of this, so we thought we should make him a pillow and see if he liked it.



I selected two fabrics for making the case, but General preferred the brown fleece over the blue minky. The case was a simple rectangle that was large enough for two old pillows stacked on top of each other.


I don’t know if General likes the pillow or not, (I think when he chews it up I’ll know he likes it) but the cats do 😐 Even though they have a nice house of their own, they seem to like his doghouse better.

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