Farm Animals

7 Things I’ve Learned About White Leghorn Chickens. 

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We have 6 chickens all together which are 3 different breeds in pairs, and since my mother in law didn’t buy them sexed it’s been a complete guessing game as to which are boys or girls.

When we first got them I knew exactly nothing about raising chicks. So I began asking questions and Googling like a mad woman. I had the basics of care down and all went well with that, but trying to find anything anywhere about sexing chickens was insane.

We compared size, and color, How their feet looked. Yet nothing seemed to be for certain.

The two white leghorns (which in the beginning I thought were Cornish rocks.) are definitely our favorites of the flock. They are so tame and sweet! But we’ve struggled to figure out the sex of these birds.

Here are a few important things I’ve learned about White Leghorns while searching…

  1. This breed often has larger combs whether male or female so using this method to attempt sexing early on is useless.
  2. I don’t know about all leghorns but with our two they seemed bigger than the rest at first and a bit mean, then the others passed them up in size and they mellowed out.
  3. The white leghorn rooster’s comb should stand tall while the hens tend to flop to one side. Both sexes combs can be bright red unlike other chicken breeds.
  4. The bright red color in the hens comb is said to be a sign she’s soon to begin laying!
  5. They have white ear lobes which means the hens will lay white eggs! If they are red they aren’t Leghorns and would lay brown eggs.
  6. By 5 months you should easily be able to tell the hens from the roos by their feathers. Roosters will have larger pointy hackle feathers (the feathers around the neck) and have curling of the tail feathers and also saddle feathers coming down over the back sides which also should be thin and pointy instead of rounded at the end.
  7. I could really see myself keeping one as a pet and becoming a crazy chicken lady for the rest of my life!

In the Wild

When some are lost…

Today I was reminded of the most uncomfortable moments in life, when your heart is breaking in two and there isn’t a thing in the world you could do to change it.

We’ve had robins nesting in the corner of our shed for weeks, and they had been feeding the baby/ies for a good while now, that is until today when it was all ruined by a huge rat snake who slithered up to the top and ate a whole baby head first!

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This was so hurtful to see especially watching the parents fly back and forth trying to do anything they could to get rid of the snake yet nothing is exactly what they could do.

Nothing.

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I can’t help but think of the times when I myself was feeling the exact same way, mainly when I lost my grandmother to a “medical mishap”. I found myself painfully wanting to do something… anything I could to help her. To make her better. To chase away the death that was coming for her. But in the end as with the robins, nothing is all I could do.

Nothing. At all.

Just to sit and watch while she was slowly taken away from me. And cry just like the robins today.

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I’ve had other similar experiences to this having had two miscarriages… The empty feelings of what would have been yet never on this earth would be, my babies. So small yet loved as if they’d already been born.

I know that feeling, too well.

I know birds are just birds right? and this is the circle of life, but it just makes you hurt for them still and to want to help them even though you can’t. I guess the good lesson for our son is to see and know this… That while it’s a sad situation life will and must go on. God made everything in perfect balance. Some are lost but others are gained. Everything takes care of everything in the most perfect way that He planned. In the wild yes but for people it’s still hard to understand the reason why…

Why do we have to lose family? God only knows. But for the animal kingdom there is a purpose, to feed and be fed. To survive. Instinctively.

A sad post for today but a bit of a good funny to end… We have been allowing our chickens to free range in the yard and the garbage man came and ran back to his truck cause he was afraid of our guard flock! I laughed so hard at that even though I didn’t get to see it for myself. My husband had to go out so they’d come to him and the guy finally picked up the garbage. Still wish I coulda seen it myself! Poor guy running from 6 little chickens. Our two Rhode Island Reds are a bit intimidating but it’s still pretty funny to picture a grown man running from chickens. I’m glad I had something to make up for a sad beginning to our day. Gotta thank God for little things.

Simple Living

Just Another Daydream: A list of loves and fails.

Sometimes I struggle to decide what I really want in life, it seems like others have their stuff together and have at least one thing they are good at and stick with it… but for me it’s always been a bunch of half baked ideas that never actually make it past the preparation stage. I have a lot of varying interests and my mind is often scattered between them all.

 How in the world can I organize my mind and focus on what really matters to me most?

Homesteading has been one of these crazy interests I’ve had for a few years now but in reality I don’t even like the outdoors that much and I’m always thinking about things to do or pinning them to my Pinterest boards knowing well enough they will never happen either due to lack of funds or skill or both. I swear sometimes I just feel like I love the idea of something but it’s not really “Me” My imagination has been this way since I was young, never actually fulfilling any of my so called dreams or hobbies, also being an introverted, stuck inside my own head kind of person makes planning an easy fun activity but exhausting when the time comes to fulfill those plans.

I don’t even know why I try sometimes because it’s just going to fail.

A Simple life isn’t synonymous with an easy one! But it can be easier with the right mindset.

I need to learn to be more realistic with what I expect of myself and not compare my life with all the blogs and pages of my interests.

Finding yourself is hard especially when you don’t stand out from the crowd nor do you wish to.

I don’t hate being different but I want to be true to myself and not try to do things that I’m not actually good at.

Things I love to do:

  • Being a Mom
  • Cook
  • Clean (Not always, but sometimes a loved activity.)
  • Read
  • Write
  • Take pictures
  • Study the Bible
  • Take walks
  • Watch and listen to and feed birds
  • Give advice/help others when I can
  • Listen to music… (Sometimes)
  • Nintendo… (Never have time for.)

Things I thought I’d like doing but failed miserably at:

  • Homesteading
  • Gardening
  • Sewing/crochet
  • selling my photography
  • Auto mechanics (old high school dream)
  • Starting my own business
  • Owning a pizza shop (far out there dream that would never happen)
  • Getting organized!
  • Driving

 

What are some of your interests?

Do they match up with what you actually do?

Hopefully I’m not alone!

Simple Living

Aren’t Raspberries Beautiful?

Our oldest son is a major berry fan, he can clean out a whole carton in a day easily and still want more, I love that we have raspberries growing wild here so he can pick as many as he likes as they keep popping out. I don’t make pies or anything because it’s much healthier for him to just eat them as is. Here are a few pics from today’s berry haul in…

Just one of the many sweet, simple  things to thank the good Lord for giving us. 

I also wanted to share my early birthday present from my hubby, it’s a new quilt! isn’t too heavy for summer and it’s so pretty. 

The best part is it was under $20.00!

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Holidays/Events

Celebrating the 4th of July

We usually celebrate the 4th of July by having hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and then letting off a few fireworks with family, but this year was quite a bit different. We decided to take the kids for a drive to have a picnic and then to Dairy Queen for ice cream the day before, which turned out great! A lot of people were out either fishing, camping, or just visiting for the day.

Then of course we had to hit the gift shops. One is called The Trading Post and they have this awesome rock chimney with a huge rock shaped like West Virginia!

I picked up a bag of horehound candy and a sweet fall sign before we left!

On the 4th we ended up heading the other direction, hubby wanted to pick up some fishing lures but all his stores were closed for the holiday so we ended up doing some grocery shopping instead! I know not fun right but at least it wasn’t crowded, I think maybe two other people came in to shop while we were there… too bad it can’t be that way every time!
Either way we had a good but extremely simple Independence Day. I hope you all had a safe and wonderful holiday!

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In the Wild

Not Just Another Green Leaf But A House. 

Yesterday evening while I was taking my 15-month-old for a walk. I had snatched a leaf for him to hold onto while we looked around a bit. Then I happened to notice the top part of the edge was bent over. And there he was a cute little green butterfly cocoon!

I’ve always been a bit of a bug geek, I don’t know a lot about them but I’ve always been an observer and a fan from a very young age. Now I am thankful for the internet where I can easily find whatever has me curious at the moment. I did not know which butterfly this exact one would turn into, but with a quick search I found it to be a very common species here. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail which is a fairly large and beautiful black and yellow butterfly.

http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/transformations-which-caterpillar-becomes-which-butterfly

After finding him I hated that I had disturbed his bed but it was too late so I tucked him into an open jar safe from birds and I guess we will see what happens!  I love viewing God’s work up close! Here are a few more pics for your enjoyment. 🙂