Winter is coming for a short visit and Oh Henry lives up to his name

Finally winter is coming for a visit but doesn’t look like it will be staying long.  Currently we have about 1/2 inch of snow on the ground and 22 degrees but by Sunday they say the temps will be in the single digits at night and high teens in the day.  Next week we’re supposed to warm up again though so will enjoy the change for a bit.

This week has been filled with a lot of ups and downs.  We received chicks from Ideal and thought everything was fine until around day 4 and they started dropping like flies.  It makes me sad to see little creatures dying and feeling helpless I called IDEAL Poultry to discuss the matter.  In their opinion the chicks must have gotten chilled in transport then warmed again.  This basically destroys their internal organs so they are once again shipping replacements and with 50 instead of 25 plus adding heat packs. I will tell you I have never dealt with a company with such great customer service. I strongly urge you to patronize them if you’re in need of poultry.

Our brooder was wearing me out with constantly having to keep an eye out for temperature fluctuations so I designed a new one and my dear hubby and I built it.  I am happy to say its day 2 and I have nervously checked the temp at least 500 times and its spot on!  The remaining chicks are very happy in it and the 50 due to arrive tomorrow will too I am sure.

It’s really a very simple design.  Build a box 3 foot square 9″ high and for the bottom attach a metal plate (we used old highway signs I picked up at the dump the other day  (when I hauled them in posts and all hubby was questioning it but ha! they were useful!!!) Attach leg to sides,  then add boards around the bottom to hold heat in from below that is supplied with an oil lamp, add a cover that will keep the heat contained then put 1/2 inch to 1 inch of sawdust down to disperse heat and cover with either straw or hay.  It is currently a toasty 95 in the middle and 80 on the sides.  To raise or lower temp you just raise or lower the lamp.  Not a difficult thing to do and non electric.  Sure beats having to maintain a brooder very 2 hours with my first design.

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Once again  Oh Henry was up to his curious (or is it obnoxious) self and found himself in yet another predicament. He managed to get himself stuck AROUND and IN a bucket.  His curiosity will be the end of him one day. Thank goodness he is calm when he gets himself into the predicaments and comes to us to get him out.

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Of course this week was especially busy for Henry.  He decided that going into the outhouse, getting the toilet paper and decorating the entire front yard would be a great idea.  Of course when I yelled “Oh Henry” he dropped the roll and before I could get my phone that was in the cabin, He ate all the evidence!  His newest trick is to on the rabbit cages so the rabbits can get out and then somehow he folds himself into the cages and eats all the food. I really must find some goat proof latches.

Daylight hours are growing and so is the workload.  Hoping to get caught up on my crochet orders over the next few days while its cold outside. After this mini cold snap I will begin getting ready for birch tapping and cooking syrup down so if your interested in Birch syrup message me and get your order in early as I am sure it will go fast.  This syrup will not have any fillers as thickeners in it.  It will be 100% organic condensed Birch syrup.  If you have never had Birch syrup on your pancakes you will find it is amazing!!!

Spring will be here before you know it and its hard to believe in just 2 months we will be celebrating our first anniversary here on Two Moose Farm.  Its been a busy year and I pray God continues to bless us all with good health and guide us on our path to total self-sufficiency.  May you all be blessed  in your endeavors.

9 thoughts on “Winter is coming for a short visit and Oh Henry lives up to his name”

  1. I love reading about your life in Alaska. I am very envious, as this is the exact lifestyle my husband and I want for our children. Keep the post coming and thank you for sharing.

  2. So great to hear you have a good brooding pen figured out for new baby chicks, so hopefully the Post Office people won’t leave the babies in the cold again. Henry is definitely goofy, though provides entertainment for you all. The Birch Syrup sounds interesting. Am excited and waiting to hear how the baby chick’s coming soon in their new brooder.

  3. We did Birch syrup back in the early 2000’s and indeed it was a lot of work cooking gallons and ending up with many small bottles, but as you said the taste was worth it.

  4. I will try Ideal Poultry. I’ve used McMurray but Ideal seems to have better pricing. Placed my order for Black Austrolorps, Americana, and Buff Orppingtons this year. Always had Rhode Island and Barred Rocks in the past so it will be a year of experimenting!

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