Friday, July 31, 2009


NoNAIS Bumper Sticker
Today a friend posted about a visit they received to their farm, they are not registered with this program. Here is part of what she had to say:

We just had a man come to the door *AFTER* he walked our property and counted our animals. I was busy with kiddos, so didn't hear his truck and we don't have a big dog to bark anymore He insisted that he speak with us about our animals, and wanted to verify our records. We were expected to show tags, vax, and transport records on all of them

He didn't give me a card (should have asked, didn't think until after he was gone). I insisted that he was not welcome on the property and that he leave. He wanted to know what feed is used for the animals, he wanted to know details about age of each animal, etc.

He insisted that it is for the health of my animals and a good idea Even the chickens were part of his counts.

This happened in an area that registration is supposed to be voluntary, but it seems the government is attempting to go door to door if they have to, to try and intimidate those who have not yet done so.

It is time to call your local representatives and tell them you do not want this horrible legislation to continue. Check out No NAIS to find out more. We all need to fight this, even if you don't sell animals or own animals.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Praise and Prayers needed

The toddlers appear to be healing very well, the younger is 2 today and her pain seems to have let up quite a bit. I spoke with my bosses boss (Bob) today and he felt that a compromise is doable, however we are both aware that this will be an uphill battle to convince my boss and his (Bob) boss. Please pray, it will take a small miracle to get this through. He proposed working from home 3 days a week, I am very pleased with his response and I am praying that he will be able to get agreement from them tomorrow. (My boss will/should be back in town tomorrow).

DH or for the purposes of this post, since he said not to mention it (lol) HD (lol) got a 8 inch cut on his head from the chicken coop roof yesterday and we are praying that it will not be anything more serious than a little scar.

The hens did a wonderful job last week and surpassed expectations and laid at full capacity (110 eggs). I have practically sold and bartered all and hope the other layers begin laying soon. I am really happy with how they have been doing, though they seem to be taking a little break this week.

Treva is due to calve any day now and I am praying that it will be uneventful, this is our first Jersey birth and sometimes they can have trouble with things like milk fever etc. Please keep her and her baby in your prayers.

I want to thank you all for the outpouring of support and prayers that you have given my family. We are really touched that so many have taken the time to remember us, the emails and comments were a welcomed surprise.

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Monday, July 27, 2009


Friday morning I got a call from Dh, he was frantic and told me I needed to come home right away. The toddlers had been burned (the details were sketchy) and he was not sure what to do. He'd called the nurse at the local doctor and she told him to get then in a cold bath, they were doing that when he called me. Since we only have 1 vehicle at the moment I was the only way to the hospital as he couldn't leave the others home alone if he called 911. I raced home as fast as I could, but the reality is that the soonest I could get there is an hour. When I got there I understood why he was so frantic, it was gruesome. The younger toddler had sustained the brunt of the burn and her skin had peeled and blistered. The older toddler had a darkened area on his chest and on his arm. We decided that she definitely needed to be seen immediately.

In retrospect we probably should have just headed to Wichita but instead dh scooped her up and took her the the emergency room in town. The band aid station (as I now call them) was not equipped to handle a 2nd degree burn and they sent him to Wichita. He picked us up (we're on the way) and an hour later we were there. The band aid station was useful in that they gave her some Tylenol with codeine to help with the pain. She was much more comfortable and the doctors applied several aquacels and wrapped her in gauze from waist to her knees. I thank you all for your prayers, they have both done well over the weekend and we are expecting them to heal very well.

I had been debating weather I should talk to my job about working from home and was in mid email when I got the call. I had been waffling on what I should do and by the end of the weekend it became crystal clear. Please pray that management will be receptive.

To answer the pressing question on every one's mind, the older toddler put a bottle of water in the microwave and it exploded when he took it out. We will be investing in a newer microwave with a keypad lock to prevent these kinds of accidents. But, no they are/were not allowed to use the microwave, ever.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


Of the days and nights you spent curled up by my boys and girls. Of the nights you barked relentlessly outside my window. Of the many cars and trucks you tried to follow. Of the times you sat waiting patiently for our return. Of all these things and more we will remember you.

Your sweet little face and big dog spirit. The rabbits you chased and the chickens you protected. We know now that you never stopped protecting the family, even till the end. We love you and miss you dearly, sweet puppy and friend.

Last night we were taking care of the animals when we heard a small band of coyotes howling and yipping :( Sammy was never one to back down from a fight and certainly never one to let trouble near the family. When it was just the one coyote, he was able to keep it at bay, but he wouldn't have stood a chance with a group.

Dh got the shot gun and crossed the street to see if he could get them but they had already moved along. When he went to the gas station this morning many of the other farmers were also complaining that the coyotes seem to be running rampant this year :(

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spaced out

I'm having one of those weeks where I constantly find myself spaced out, the length of time varies, as do the topics racing in my mind. I always seem to have had a lovely time though and am usually quite sad to leave and get back to the reality of the day's work. It's amazing how much more fun I'm having, oh to have the life in my head become the reality :) I'm working on it.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


We are standing in faith that this is the path that God wants for us but jeez this waiting is exhausting. Money is . . . super duper tight, at this point I am avoiding even the free section on craigslist as I can't afford to use the gas to pick up whatever it is, that I probably don't need but always wanted, lol. Some day we will be caught up and maybe then we'll have a chance to breathe again, that'll be nice.

Dh has begun baking bread daily (it is SO good!!!!). Go figure, he had never baked bread before, I give him a recipe and he adapts it and makes it better. It is taking a lot of will power not to overindulge and blow my daily and weekly points. I'm going to be flying solo come the end of the month as my WW 3 month subscription comes to an end, self control will be key.

I have been more active that I have been in the past and am more helpful around the farm, I even went out and took card of the unsuspecting garden. We had a bunch of plants show up that were from last years pig pen and I have now transformed that area into the new garden spot. It is a great location. The grape vine is the only problem :( I'll have to put some thought into how I will get it moved over. We know that they are some watermelon among the vines, but the others are still a bit of a mystery cantaloupe, the mystery has been solved. :) I spoke with a friend who suggested that the mystery fruit might be cantaloupe and low and behold when I searched for an image of the plant it was the same one growing wild in my garden :) Luckily the kids, pigs and chickens LOVE cantaloupe!!!

Well I am working my way to the end of the week and frankly it can't be here fast enough. I pray that we will get caught up by the end of next week as this week we are receiving Dh's final paycheck. Wallyworld stopped our health insurance effective his last day of work :( Pray we will stay healthy till we get alternative coverage.

The car is still stuck in the mud thanks to the delightful storms. And finally Sammy is still not back home and I'm beginning to feel like he never will return. I'm not ok with that possibility (reality) at this point so I will go check the grain bins later and maybe a few of the holes around the property.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Total Slacker

I know, I've been a total slacker last week, I promise it is not to happen again. I got all caught up with my "job" and actually did some work, I could have been happily been blogging, lol. The good news is that the excessive temperatures have passed and the hens have been laying 17-18 eggs a day :) Dh, the children and I actually left the house and went to a birthday party, our goddaughter turned 1 this weekend. :) We have started skinning and gutting the whole chicken, a huge step in our poultry processing :) We have finally completed all of the meat birds that we got. We are missing them though, they were a great bunch and they always made us laugh. :)

On a sad note Sammy, our wonderful dog, has been missing since Sunday. He usually greats us in the morning and he was no where around, thinking he might be off chasing rabbits we left for the party. When we returned, we expected him to greet us but again he was a no show. It broke my heart as dh rode AR's bike around the property looking for a body or something . . . anything to explain his disappearance. We have begun calling for him every time we step outside, but he is yet to come running. We continue to pray that he will come home and that he is safe. He has been the best dog and can never be replaced. :(

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Production is on the rise :)

Last week Kansas continued to have a very severe heat wave, things looked bleak for the layers. As I mentioned, I started the hens on a new regimen to try to get their production back on track. They had been laying 3 eggs a day and are now up to 12 as of yesterday. We are on well water and while ice is nice, we discovered that our brood prefers their water in a puddle. They get really excited when we come out with the hose and wait for it to form a nice puddle and drink to their hearts content. My theory for this is that they are receiving a double benefit, 1. they are getting the cold water from the well and 2. they are able to cool their feet, which makes them feel cooler. We switched them to the higher protein feed for the energy boost and boy o boy did it help. Even the rooster is friskier, lol. A while ago a friend mentioned that you have to feed a cat if you want it to catch mice, well the same seems to hold true for chickens. You have to feed them to get them to free range, screwy ain't it, lol. They have been venturing out far and wide and enjoying the fruits of the land, they have dug nice spots to sit in the shade of the trees by the coop. There is an energy that they had been missing and now they are up to 1/2 production and we're working to get them back to full. I'll keep you posted. :)

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Interview by phone

The phone interview is a wonderful way to kill 2 birds with one stone. Today I was able to save my dh the trip (and the dragging of 6 kids) to an interview that was over in less than 20 minutes :) It's a good day, lets hope my job doesn't ruin it, lol. :)

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Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm still Here

Sorry I've been awol for a bit. Lots going on right now and we don't have the internet at home. I will do more of an update as soon as I get a minute at work. Thank you for checking up on me :)

UPDATE: At 7:05pm can you believe I am still at work, UGH!!! You'd think they'd pay me better for this. :( I am leaving in the next 20 minutes.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

A few good things

If you missed Phelan's comment, Lot is a daddy again :) He is 2 for 2 heifers, he has 2 more due this year. We would love to keep him but keeping a registered Dexter bull is no longer a profitable endeavour. Here is the pic of the heifer called Louma

This week I have surpassed my 10% weight loss goal and I feel great. I don't think I've ever eaten this much and lost weight. I also seem to eat a lot more ice cream, but that might have to do with the summer heat. I am enjoying using weight watchers (I am surprised by that), it has been a really good experience. I like that the focus is not about being on a diet but making healthier choices. The filling food list is a great resource for putting together meals. I am 36% along on my road to losing 100lbs, I am really excited.

Of course changing ones diet is only part of the plan. I have been doing (though not as regularly as I should) T-Tapp and it really is a great 15 minute workout. Man is it a great sweat. I am hoping to try running as soon as I get a routine together. When I weighted in today I actually felt like going for a run I was so happy. That was a really odd concept for me, I am not sure when the thought of working out in any form sounded fun. :)

Dh is adjusting to the idea of not having a job to go to. We are really excited about this new business and the weeks that we have to wait to get it started will be difficult to contain our anxiety. Thank you for your continued prayers. Oh and so far I have not seen a whole lot of improvement on egg production so keep the hens in your prayers too, we have a standing ordering that will need to be filled on Wednesday or Thursday that they are slacking on, lol.

Speaking of chickens, Kellogg started back his attempts to attack so he will be featured in today's dinner. I was really pleased with the processing, I did it by myself. The kids really liked his plumage and plucked many feathers. I chickened out (pun not intended) on reaching in an getting out the innards but did go for a bone in breast and man were his legs and thighs dark. I am definitely going to be moving away from the CornishX meat birds and the Rhode Island Red roosters will be our new meat variety. I have 14 that I will be getting nice and fat. I will miss the meat birds though when they are all gone, they were funny little birds and we enjoyed having them around. I think even Sammy will miss them. Actually all of the barn animals will too, oh well, ce la vie.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Yesterday Sarah Palin stepped down as the Governor of Alaska. Personally all of the things she had to say seemed perfectly reasonable and I was surprised when I heard there would be more to come. Sure she has said some things that made me scratch my head and there are other times I wish she had a bit more polish, but then I remember that she's real. She's a real person with flaws, not trying to get my vote by lying to me pretending to be something she's not. She isn't just conservative in the way she talks, she is conservative in the way she chooses to live her life. She just happens to have a great sense of style and apparently she's distractingly beautiful. Whatever the reasons, I wish her and her family the best. God Bless.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Laying Hens and Heat issue

Nutrition and management of heat-stressed pullets and laying hens

D. Balnavea1 and J. Brake a1 c1

a1 Department of Poultry Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7608, USA
Article author query
balnave d
brake j

Maximum daily temperatures in excess of 30°C are common in many table egg-producing regions of the world. Such temperatures require the application of specialized management and nutrition if laying hens are to produce eggs near their genetic potential. Environmentally-modified buildings have been shown to be especially advantageous for commercial layers that are housed in high density cage facilities. Directing air movement onto floor-housed birds has also been found to maximize heat loss and was beneficial as long as the air temperature did not exceed body temperature. This latter procedure was especially useful where sporadic incidences of heat stress were common.

Nutritional manipulation of the diet also offers advantages, especially in overcoming problems of reduced appetite. This principle has been shown to apply to both growing pullets and adult layers. Recent research has confirmed that optimum production during lay depends on the adult hen having an adequate gut capacity and sufficient nutrition during rearing. Egg production during moderate heat stress can be improved by increasing the intake of protein relative to energy but energy requirements will likely increase in severe heat stress. Dietary supplementation with ascorbic acid and vitamin E and a supply of cool drinking water have also been reported to improve production during lay but the response to the latter treatment varied with genotype.

(Received January 12 2005)

(Accepted January 23 2005)

Key Words: heat stress; growing pullets; laying hens; heat loss; dietary manipulation


c1 *Corresponding author:

I found the article above while swagbucking info on the effects of heat on egg production. We started the layers on ice water, they all just stand around their "water cooler" now, lol. I will try the higher protein feed next, funny story about that. I spoke with 2 of the ladies I bought chickens from and they both said they were using the higher protein feed because they have a mix of babies and adults and so it is easier just to buy one feed. I read another article that said not to use the higher protein stuff but given how hot the days have been I think my girl will need the extra boost of energy if I plan on getting any eggs. I'll keep you posted.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bungee Cord

The bungee cord is a great invention and a useful tool on a farm. It should be noted however that they should be replaced every year. We have been using bungee cords on our gates since we moved here. It was easy to operate even one handed. This morning dh came home to find the gates open and the cows sitting by the chicken coop. In a way it was almost like daring him to try to stop them from escaping. When he got to the gate he found the bungee cord broken and on the ground. He locked them in with another and we left to make deliveries in town. Please pray that they love it and refer us to everyone they know ;)

Anyway, I got my tags done on the way home and given that it was the hottest part of the day we thought nothing of not seeing the cows immediately. That is until I suggested we go over there, that's when I saw it. The bungee cord was just hanging on the gate as if they had taken it off and left it there. They weren't by the chicken coop this time, they were split up, with Judd and Treva in the neighbor's corn behind us and Lot and Quinn across the street in the wheat field. NOT GOOD!!

I drove down the side street where they were and Quinn and Lot began to take off into the field, I was getting stressed. Dh got out and they turned back to the road. They walked for a bit and crossed the street once they saw Treva and Judd. Dh continued to follow them through the neighbours corn and as he'd get a couple moving along, 1 would fall back and stop. He'd go and get that one and it would start all over again. I am thankful that he stayed calm the whole time. In fact he dropped Treva and Judd off by the barn as the boys ran off toward the east pasture. I walked Treva and Judd into the third corral. Not five minutes later dh was bringing the boys back in. Treva and Judd walked out of the third corral and I walked the boys into it and locked them in.

Treva and Judd are now happily in the barn and promise not to cause any further problems. :) Quinn has already made his way to Buttercup via the small opening between Corral 2 and 3, much to the dismay of Lot who is 2 inches taller and many more inches wider, lol. I have talk to them both and explained that they will meet the butcher sooner rather than later if they break my fence or gates. I'll let you know if they listened.

The chickens are laying rather slowly right now :( I am a bit discouraged. I know that the heat is a factor and I received a lovely tip via email from someone in Wichita:
I was just reading your blog and I thought I would let you know what I do to combat heat stress in my flock. I always give them watermelon as a snack because chilled it helps cool them down and contains a lot of water. I also freeze gallon milk containers as well as juice and 2 liter pop bottles, it doesn't do much for the air temp unless it is in the hen house but they will gather around them to cool off. This seems to help.

I am thankful for any tips on keeping my girls cool so that they can lay well again :) Feel free to send me tips on anything you can think of, I enjoy learning from other. :) I will also post tips for everyone in a series of posts.

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