New Birdie Babies!

How was your holiday weekend? Ours was quite the rollercoaster ride, starting with a visit to the emergency room on Friday evening.  I was putting away my favorite mixing bowl, a Fire King Chanticleer style (with the awesome rooster and fruit pattern) and it started to topple. So of course, I attempted to catch it, and I did, sort of – at least, I caught a few of the several hundred pieces of shrapnel it had transformed into. Bah. There were stitches and opiate-based painkillers administered by the very kind ER staff, and I’m not quite as inhibited with typing and other tasks now that I’ve ditched the gauze topping on my non-stick bandage pads.

So that’s how our holiday weekend started! Fortunately, the weekend brightened a bit on Saturday afternoon, when we went and picked up some Cornish Cross meat chicks. A local hatchery had some available, and so we went for it, after hemming and hawing about whether we were going to raise meat birds this year or not. We only purchased enough for our own family – we’re going to see how we do with this batch before we consider raising them for public sale.  We really want to raise our own chicken, not only for the purposes of self-sufficiency and insuring clean, humane conditions for the birds, but also because so much supermarket meat and poultry is infested with superbugs – antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We are also still interested in raising some pigs for our family, as well, but that was outside the scope of this weekend’s available time and resources!

We did splurge a bit, however. These five little ducklings came home with us. Four are definitely Cayuga; the fifth came out of a Cayuga egg, but the breeder isn’t certain what happened, because it looks more like a Rouen. An oddball duckling, who might get rejected by others as unacceptable, you say? Well, of course it came home with us! They will join our existing flock of Indian Runners and Khaki Campbells when they have grown large enough. The Cayuga is a beautiful breed – it is entirely black, with a green iridescent sheen to its feathers. At the start of the season, it lays eggs that are almost black, they are so dark. (Goth Eggs?) As the season progresses, the eggs grow lighter in hue. We are excited to have these little cuties as new residents on the farm.

Saturday evening, our neighbors up front were having quite a shindig, with the emphasis apparently on “dig”, because they were doing some mudding in a Jeep Wrangler all over their five acres, and even into our driveway. They kept at it until the wee hours of the morning, as there is no noise ordinance in our little township. (Of course, that means if I want to start my megaphone yodeling lessons at 6:00 a.m. this Saturday, I’m well within my rights, too.) Since we were unable to sleep anyway, we got to work on making our own cheese press. Let’s be honest: George got to work on the cheese press, and I watched, as this wasn’t much of a two-person job. He made us a very nifty press and we’ve used it once already to produce some rounds of soft/semi-soft cheese. I plan to put it to work again, perhaps as soon as tomorrow evening.

For now, I need to scoot, in order to prepare for our dog Loki’s surgery that he’s having this evening. He’s getting his teeth cleaned, but he needs to be put under anesthetic to have the procedure done properly/thoroughly. We also need to have his swollen lymph node checked – here’s to hoping it’s nothing more than an infected tooth that is causing the swelling, and the dental cleaning takes care of the problem.  Wish us luck!

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