Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Care & Keeping of Newborn Chicks

Our Chicken Coop
With the chicks hatching anytime this weekend I have begun to research how we can keep them comfortable and happy their first few weeks here in this world. Here is a little bit of what I have found out, what we have done and what the farmer suggests. Enjoy!

Chicks spend 21 days in the incubator. Ducks spend about 28 days. 

Before they're born- Prepare:

  • Get a brooder box. You can do like us and find a box or container or buy one in the stores. 
  • Get bedding. Now I don't mean getting a pillow or anything crazy like that. Just get some wood shavings and put in there. Wood Shavings can be bought at like pet stores or somewhere like Tractor Supply.
  • Food is a must for a growing baby! So buy chick starter to start them out on. For ducks it's a little different. You have to add Niacin into their diet so they will have strong leg muscles to hold themselves up. 
  • Temperature. You need to have a thermometer and a heat lamp. Between 35 degrees Celsius and 27 degrees Celsius is the perfect temp for their initial growth and development. 
  • Water. Our babies need plenty of water for their health so keep it coming and keep it clean! 

The First Days & Weeks:

  • Watch the chicks behavior. If the babies are eating, sleeping and pooping then they're normal. Watch for anything that seems odd. 
  • You can hold them! The Farmer used to get onto me for wanting to snuggle them but actually, you can hold them and it helps them socialize! BUT don't keep the out of the brooder too long to the point that they're cold and also, don't hold them too tightly or be rough with them. 
  • Let them stretch their legs. If you have a bunch of babies, give them a bigger area to run around like maybe a small pen with enough room for everybody to roam around and play. 

At Three Weeks:

  • Field Trip! Let the babies go outside and with you watchign them closely, let them walk around and introduce themselves to the great outdoors! But be sure to bring them back in after a fun day of playing! 

At Six to Eight Weeks:

  • Your babies are ready to graduate to their new home! The coop! Our babies will be headed too their little coop then once they're fully grown they can move to the "Hen House" as we will call it. 

While doing my research I found a few interesting things in forums and stuff. Here's my findings:

  • If in the brooder they will pile one on top of the other -- actually this can lead to suffocating the ones on the bottom, in the extreme case.  When too hot, yes, they will pant with open mouth -- they also hold their wings a little away from their body, as if airing out their "armpits."
  • Try to minimize any touch to your chicks on the first few days of arrival, as hard as it may be. This is because your chicks are in a completely new environment, and they should first get used to their surroundings before human contact.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Communication is Key

Sometimes loneliness is God's cry for time with you. 

The house was completely still and silent on yesterday morning. The occasional sound of a bird chirping outside was all I could hear.
It was so nice and peaceful. 

The farmer had left for the day and the house was all mine. But it was a little eerie. 

Loneliness began to creep in slowly. 

Why was I getting so lonely? This was nice. It was quiet. It was still. It was peaceful. This was a rare moment that I needed to enjoy, but I couldn't. 

So I called the farmer which ended up in a worse mess than I could've ever imagined. He thought I was angry with him, which wasn't the case. He got upset and came back home from his family's home to check on me. Which wasn't what I needed to be honest. 

I know that sounds awful but let me explain first. 

I curled up into the bathtub before the farmer got there and something "spoke" to me. Something told me that I needed to pray about it. I began to pray when I heard the farmer come in and run to the bathroom and beat on the door. "Baby! You alright?" I just laid there. I was worn down completely. 

So I'm beginning to think that the feeling of loneliness is God's way of getting us to speak to Him. Because it has been a little while. I've been slacking on my prayers. So here I am telling you that I have to slow down. All these changes have kept me so busy that I have fallen down on my communication with God. Communication is key to all relationships. 

From now on, when times get rough and I get lonely, I will begin using the time to spend time with God. Telling him how I feel and just talking to him to keep me company. 

I think that's a good idea. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Our first week of marriage

Marriage is the strangest thing. It is giving up everything that you've ever known to share with another human being. The farmer and I were talking the other day about how things are actually kind of peaceful and nice around our house. We don't have nearly the amount of issues as everyone said we would. But we have had some interesting run ins. Like for example, I have 3 new bras on their way here. Why does that matter? Because my favorite bra got caught up in "Abbie Lynn Boykin's" digestive tract. Yes, that's right, in our first week of marriage I am down one bra.

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Tour of the Farmhouse

Bella peeking under the bathroom door :) 
So many people are curious as to how the farmhouse looks, we are still working on it but here are some photos of our farmhouse. Our plans for the future include: Installing a chicken coop in the side yard, putting up a wooden swing in the side yard, redoing the cabinets in the kitchen, buying a garden tub for the master bathroom and small remodels throughout the house.  But until then, here is our home! 

A Wedding & A Honeymoon

So, it's official. The farmer and I got married Saturday! SO now I can officially tell you that I have moved to the farmhouse and will be living on the farm. That means, I will be writing more and telling all about my adventures around the farm.

But since I have only spent one night there in the house I can only really tell you about our honeymoon. It has been so wild! But we ended up where we want to be. We had reservations at a small local hotel. Okay, motel. It doesn't deserve to be called a hotel. Anyway, for those of you who don't know, I am an assistant head housekeeper at a Days Inn. When the head housekeeper isn't there I check the rooms and make sure they're ready for guests.

So anyway, we check in and take our bags to the room. At first glance it seemed clean, a little dated but clean. So I went into room inspector mode.. and found something I hadn't prepared myself for.