Sunday, March 27, 2016

Time for a move...

I've been having troubles with Blogger (I'm positively sure it's user error on my part). And when I have troubles I consult my local computer expert (my handsome 17 year old high schooler who IS a computer wiz). But he is more familiar with WordPress since they use this host at school. So I'm going to try WordPress for a time but I might be back. Here's the addy just in case:

https://chickenfriedhappiness.wordpress.com

In the meantime, we have piglet babies, and we have 50 chickens (which my husband isn't too thrilled about.....they poop on the driveway) and our family got A MILK COW!!!! And the gardening season is just about to take off (well, "take off" is a bit of an exaggeration. It's just March and it's still Montana). So LOTS of events to share and talk about!!!!!

See you over there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I think I'm sick....

I've been fighting it for a couple of days.

Coughing.

Body aches (I thought the aches were from the workout we did yesterday: clean squats and handstand push -ups 21-18-15-12-9-6-3. But now I'm not so sure.)

No energy.

I think I'll just get dinner for the masses and go to bed.

More tomorrow......maybe.....bleck

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Scaredy cat....ummm.... chicken


This is what the inside of our coop looks like right now. The new little pullets are roaming around the bottom of the coop scratching and playing hide and seek with each other while the older hens (and husband roo) are outside in the chicken yard (complaining loudly that it's "so unfair" they are locked up!)


While up above our heads a lonely hen is hovering in the rafters. She talks and squawks and flutters and attempts to fly down and out where her sisters are but balks at the very last second and makes her way back up to the safety of the high beams instead.


I think the activity of the adolescent chicks on the floor of the coop is making her fearful. She's afraid of all that movement and fun and loud music and cigarette smoking that's coming from the teenage birds below her.



She's so afraid that she can't even bring herself to leave the safety of the rafters.



I don't blame her. These little girls are pretty scary. 

If she doesn't come down by tomorrow, I'll climb up there and return her to her sisters, the scaredy cat.



Saturday, April 4, 2015

It's early and the house is quiet. We have a big day of outside work planned: preparing the pig palace, cleaning up the yard around the house, cleaning out the chicken coop. Well, maybe not the chicken coop. We really have to get the pig palace ready for the piglets. They won't be arriving for another 2 weeks but I'll feel better knowing that we are ready. It's homemade biscuits and pork sausage gravy for breakfast. A perfect meal for fueling hungry boys.
The weather guys are calling for 40% chance rain. (Which translates to 60% no rain, I hope. We have a lot to do!) The sun will be up soon and will dry out the earth and beckon us out into the warmth.

But for now I'm letting the worker bees sleep. It's chilly and damp and dark outside; perfect for snuggling into pillows and burrowing under covers. They'll be up soon enough.
I'd better get on those biscuits.
As soon as I have another cup of coffee.....


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Avian Influenza


We recently received this notice from our local 4H group. 
It sounds pretty ominous.
Hopefully it will be short lived in our area. 
The interesting thing is that a quick internet search shows 
no other reports of this highly 
contagious (for birds not humans) bird flu. Weird.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2015

MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK:          

Avian Influenza Reported in a Captive Gyrfalcon from Columbia Falls

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in a gyrfalcon from Columbia Falls. This is the first case of HPAI reported in the state.
No human health issues have been reported for this strain, to date, and no mortalities in domestic poultry in Montana have been detected.

Key facts about Avian Influenza:

  • Avian influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds that can cause high mortality rates in domestic flocks
  • Avian influenza viruses rarely cause clinical signs in wild waterfowl, although raptors and wild game birds (pheasants, quail, turkey, grouse) may be more susceptible to HPAI.
  • MFWP recommends that falconers avoid hunting avian species, particularly waterfowl during HPAI outbreaks.  Game bird farmers are advised to follow the same precautions as outlined for domestic poultry (http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov).
  • The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) recommends that poultry producers practice good biosecurity including limiting contact between domestic and wild birds, limiting visitor access to domestic poultry. 
  • Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans and the meat from these animals is safe for human consumption; however, it is recommended that people follow proper sanitary precautions when handling birds.  Wear latex or rubber gloves when cleaning birds, washing hands with soapy water after cleaning, clean and disinfect equipment and surfaces that came in contact with the bird, and cook wild birds thoroughly before eating the meat.  The US Department of Agriculture recommends following sanitary handling procedures and cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Domestic poultry owners should take precautions to keep wild birds out of flocks.



The back of the chicken coop has a small yard that we usually use for teenage chicks we are transitioning from the brooder tub to the coop. It has netting over the top to discourage hawks other airborne predators. Because of the recent outbreak of Avian Influenza we have to be on the alert for wild birds mixing with our domestic flock. So our chickens are a captive lot. They are used to free ranging.




It won't be forever. 
Just for a short time I hope. 





They are not happy.
But they are safe. 


It's snowing......

OK, so it's snowing. I'm pretty sure it's not going to stick. It's still early in the year. Actually, spring is only 13 days old. And she's just throwing a little temper-tantrum.





I'm not going to freak out. But I am disappointed. I was hoping for an early planting season.


So in honor of (one of) the last (small, short) bit of snow we'll see for the spring of 2015, (please God), I am going to start some melon and tomatoes seeds in milk jug flats. 

But as it often happens, my plans were hijacked by a few desperate hombres.
Hungry Hombres.....


And pizza was on the menu.


The world's best pizza dough (I'm looking for the post where I spelled out the recipe.....more on that 
when I find it!)





Pre- baked said pizza dough.











Homemade pesto from last summer's basil mixed with mayo.



(Ohmygoodness.....we have several zip-locked bags of this amazing pesto hidden in the freezer for times such as these. When the family needs a reminder that summer is indeed not a figment of our imaginations, I just pull out a frozen cube of mystic green pesto and we are transported back to warm summer breezes and long sunny days. Just the scent of basil alone is magic filling the kitchen with promises of summer.)



Shredded cheddar.





Baked at 400 for 10 mins again......(to melt the cheese)




Happiness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring storm in April



We had a big storm blow through just before sunset.




You can see the leading edge here. 





These pictures don't really do justice to the wind 
and the speed of the clouds as they jetted across the Southern sky.





The edge is a cold front blowing into warmer clouds. 





This would be the making of a tornado if we saw this in Texas. 





But here in Montana, these are just clouds bringing much needed rain. 








It ended almost faster than it started. 





Going.....



Going....






Gone....