November 04, 2015

Annie's first egg!

some multi coloured (and multi sized!) eggs, all from my ladies!

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of naming livestock. It's just not my thing since I know that livestock is meant to end up butchered some day.

My parents on the other hand...

To be perfectly fair though, I guess laying birds could be an exception to this rule since they are expected to stick around longer than other forms of livestock... this is how my birds (all of the originals, the 5 new comers don't have names yet) got names. I'll have to clean them up a bit and get some photos, but for now you'll just have to imagine the crazy names they could have (they're not that crazy).

But the importance of the name thing is that Annie laid her first egg yesterday!

Annie is one of the 6 Ameraucanas chicks (they were about 4 or 6 days old) that I bought when I went to Thunder Bay to pick up my 6 laying pullets. One of the six didn't survive past the first couple months, and the other 4 turned out to be roosters (I still have them all too! I just can't give them up!). Annie (named by my dad) was attacked by the brown laying hens when she was pretty young and has been a very small chicken ever since (named Annie short for Anorexic by my dad... good name dad...).

When she was still fairly young (probably only a few months old) I was pretty worried about her, she was staying very small, stayed on the roost in the coop frequently through the day, and had a bit of a discharge from her beak. I never managed to find out what the problem was, but for a couple weeks I would put her alone in the chicken tractor for an hour or so in the morning and again in the evening and feed her scrambled eggs with pumpkin seeds and apple cider vinegar in her water. I don't know if this worked magic but she perked right up and after only a couple days of this she was out and about with the other chickens more, eventually she seemed 100%.

I think a result of the extra pampering turned her into a very friendly chicken. The roosters and laying pullets are still pretty skittish (as are the 5 new comers!) but that's ok with me... after all they are livestock, not pets... but Annie, she's like a pet. Before the fox had come and they were all free in the yard during the day when you went out, she came running and would stand at your feet looking up, almost literally saying "pick me up!"

Me and Annie

She's definitely a favourite for me, when the fox went through I was so relieved that she didn't get grabbed (apparently on the day I lost 3 in one go she went missing when Louise (one of my Orringtons) went missing but came strolling down the highway a little while later! I'm so glad I was at work an missed it all or I would have been out there all day looking for the little bugger!) I'll admit, this one is more like a pet... but now with the added bonus that she'll be paying some rent!

So don't be surprised if (when it drops to -40 this winter!) you come to my house and find her chilling in the living room with me.

October 26, 2015

Autumn Welcome Back!

Ok so I'll be the first to admit that I still suck severely at blogging. But in my defense the last time you heard from me I posted a photo of me haying and if you don't know me, that means I'm 110% focused on getting that hay off the field (and -10% dedicated to the rest of my life... true story!)... and from there things sorta spiraled out of control... here's what's been happening for the last 3 months!

(ps. I did this to the tractor at one point... that's the wheel back there)
When I made that last post I had gone to look at a cute little house a couple kilometers down the road from home. Over the past 3 months I've submitted and offer, and secured financing for said house and should be moved in a month from now (more info to come as things unfold, promise!)!

A friend visited from Toronto and we attended the annual folk music festival in Ear Falls (north of home) called Trout Forest Music Fest. This was the second year Kyle flew all the way from Toronto to attend the small festival (but it's fair to say he's hooked!) and the boyfriends first time ever to attend (he seems pretty hooked too!).

Here's a few photos to get you up to speed!
I attended a Volkswagen Festival in southern Manitoba with the boyfriend and a couple of his friends.

Mum had a pretty good first year in her new gardens at the new house.

 I harvested some honey from my hives!! (I didn't get much but I learned a lot and am ready for next season!!)

 I lost some chickens :( (I started with 13, and was down to 8... but I bought some more and am back up to 13!)... here's the old gang before the fox struck
 ... no worries though, the foxes made a dent in my chicken population, so I made a dent in the fox population.
(no, I won't show you what I did to him next...)


 My birthday happened!!

And I taught myself how to crochet! (blanket in the making! I'll share the super simple granny square pattern that I've been using and show how things go and when I attach them to become an actual blanket!)

So now you're basically caught up with me!

Coming up will be winter preparations, moving, a trip to Hawaii and hopefully me not failing at this blog updating thing!

July 27, 2015

Lovin' Summer...

I hope wherever you are you're enjoying the same beautiful weather that I am! Updates on the next rainy day!!

July 15, 2015

The Honey will FLOW!!

If you follow my tumblr blog you'll know that my Honey Flow frames arrived at the beginning of the month. In my region the big honey flow starts right around that time and since I'd had a swarm at the end of June I wasn't sure if I'd have a chance to try the frames out this year.
Cutting the box
I had one more super left over after assembling my current hives and making a home for the swarm so I figured, what the heck? I went for it.

On Monday my resident handyman (read: dad) helped me make the necessary cuts in my last super and we dropped the frames in!
Finished cuts!

My super seems to be a little smaller than the one in the instructions so I (may regret this decision later) decided to not screw the frames into place. They're almost snuggly fit in and I'm sure the bees won't mind.

The weather managed to smarten up last night for a few hours giving me time to visit all my hives, cut off a couple queen cells (I'm not ready to deal with queen rearing just yet!!!) and install the Flow Frame super on my strongest hive (the one that didn't swarm).

Like a knob though... I forgot to take a picture of my three super frame with the flow frames in it so I'll have to stop by after work and give you a quick snap of that!

putting the doors in place

July 06, 2015

Sunday Breakfast: Diabeties Edition!

What a weekend we had! Saturday was nice and HOT and Sunday was less nice and RAINY!

I spent my Saturday helping my dad bring a tractor home and then horseback riding with my mum. Max was a champ.... Zaira was a brat.

Sunday everyone (except myself) slept in (chickens don't let you sleep in... but I didn't mind!) so the Sunday breakfast was more of a brunch.... actually it was really more of a lunch... but it was well worth the wait!

These waffles are not for the faint of heart, that's for sure! The actual waffle itself is not overly sweet (if you ignore the cup of chocolate chips that goes into it...), making the chocolate sauce necessary, while the frozen yogurt and cherry pie filling makes it healthy.... I swear!

... ok so one serving (and I mean a while 4 section huge waffle with 3 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt, cherry pie filling and chocolate sauce.... no one could manage a whole waffle, not even me!!) clocks in at about 920 calories... but it tastes SO GOOD!

You have been warned.

Oh lordy...

Black Forest Waffles

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I didn't have any... and I didn't have any regular sized ones so I ended up using Hershey's Kisses... the slightly smaller ones that you can find in the baking section with the other chocolate chips... they worked just fine!!)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups your favourite milk (I used 2% cow this time but almond or coconut or goat or whatever you have on hand works!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  1. Preheat the your waffle cooker according to your own waffle cooker's directions
  2. In a medium to large sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla together in a large liquid measuring cup.  
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and stir just until combined.
  5. Add the melted butter and stir to combine
  6. Deposit batter on hot waffle iron according to how big your waffles are (I got 4 large waffles out of this recipe)
Top with vanilla frozen yogurt (or ice cream, or whipped cream...), cherry pie filling and chocolate sauce and attempt to eat it all!