Monday, May 28, 2012

Antique finds

The older I get, the more I like old things. I have always liked old houses and the charm that often comes with them. Many people like older homes for the same reason. The little nooks and crannies that have served countless functions and the warmth of wood floors and old banisters. Since I have become a homesteader and prepper, I have found a new respect for things that are a little less modern and can still be useful.

Recently we went to an antique store that I wanted to check out. The cool thing about antique stores is you never know what you will find. Although we found several things to put on the wish list, we settled on two objects that were once used daily and we plan on putting to use again.

The first is an ice pick. We often buy bags of ice to keep in the freezer or if we are filling ice trays we will dump them in a bowl for ease of use. Of course when you do this the ice can and will melt together. A knife will serve the same purpose to chip the ice apart but my husband wanted an ice pick and they are just cool.

My personal pick was a mixer. It's simple and still works. I had wanted to buy a new one before we moved here but never got around to it. And yes, they do still make them. This one is in really good condition and except for a little wear on the handle looks brand new. I wanted a manual mixer mainly as a preparation item. Of course as we try to change how we live and hopefully get to a point where we aren't using as much electricity, it could come in quite handy.

We tried it out and it worked really well. Of course the kids thought it was cool because it was a novelty. They both gave it a try and liked it though. Often we think we have to go out and buy new stuff even when it's based on old designs. Sometimes we just have to remember that the old stuff is out there waiting on us to find it. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Last spring we ordered our first chicks. We got a total of 20 chicks which was a mix of Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks. Now, we are down to eight hens and four roosters from the original twenty. We decided that we wanted to try our hand at breeding them so we could replenish our flock. We bought a Little Giant Still Air incubator but unfortunately it does not come with an egg turner so we had to do that by hand. You can buy an egg turner to go with it so we may have to get that later.

Our first chick hatched a week ago and it has been fairly steady ever since. So far we have 19 chicks total but we have lost four so far. We aren't sure why as they did not exhibit any signs of illness but so far the other chicks seem to be doing fine.

We bred the Rocks first so this is a picture of the very first one starting to make its debut. It takes several hours to a day or so for them to hatch.

If you have never had the opportunity to see a chick hatch, I have to tell you it is one of the coolest things ever! Of course I think seeing any life come into the world is an amazing thing.

So here it is when it first comes out of the egg. Of course they are all wet and have to remain in the incubator for a few hours so they can dry and fluff out before you move them over to the incubator. It takes a little while for them to get their legs under them and they tend to flop around a good bit while they are trying to figure things out. It doesn't take them long though before they are running around all over the place.

And here is the little ball of fluff all dried out. The older chicks are starting to get their feathers now and are getting quite playful. They are attempting to fly and like to try and roost on top of the feeder and water dispenser. Overall I think our first attempt at incubating has been pretty we just have to wait on the geese!