Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Mille's

Here are some updated pics of cupcake, his spots and coloring have really started to shine after his last moult.

Here are the two mille POL (point of lay) hens that I bought a couple weeks ago.  I was so happy when I saw how pretty they were. They are Sprinkles and Poppyseed Muffin.  The first pic is Sprinkles and the second two pics are of Poppy.

This is a pic from last summer of my nice holding one of her pet bantam cochins, Lily. On the ground you can see Cupcake.  He was always such a cutie!! 

Bantam Chick Pics

DH made me go to TSC to get feed even though he knew I'd been avoiding it like the plague as it's chick season.  Long story short, I have 6 bantam chicks.  lol

This is a mille fleur d'uccle chick, I got two of these so my total is now 5 mille fleur d'uccles

This is a really sleepy golden seabright chick.  I got two of these.  Total is now 2 lol

Not quite sure what type of bantam he is, either a cochin or a bantam brahma.  Either way it's the tank of the group.

This is Tiny, I know, creative.  Can you guess why she's called that?  lol.  This is the absolute smallest chick I have ever seen in my life!  She is almost a week old in this pic.  I'm thinking she is an OEGB but which kind????????  I sent pics to Mt. Healthy- the hatchery that supplied my local TSC and am waiting for them to tell me what she and the cochin/brahma is.

Size comparison.  Tiny and the bantam cochin/brahma?

Can you see why I couldn't leave them there?  I was really worried about Tiny because the teenage girls they have working at TSC were completely CLUELESS and didn't care that some of the chicks were dying in the stock tank.  I suggested they put some sugar in the water but they said that they had already put antibiotics in it. 

Funky Flemmy Pics

These are some pics of the two odd colored doe popples I picked up in March (I think).  I love their coloring although it will never be considered show quality.

Here are some of my Sandy Flemmies who are getting so big!!!

Well, Gotta Run!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes are an awesome perennial that can get over 9' tall.  I've read that this plant is usually somewhere between 4-9' tall.  It is native to the eastern parts of the United States (where I live).  They are related to sunflowers and have really pretty yellow flowers.   Like sunflowers, they may need staking in really windy areas (like my place).  I'm planting mine along the south facing length of the rabbit shed to provide some summertime shade for the buns.

People can eat the underground tubers which others say taste like water chestnuts if eaten fresh and potatoes if cooked.   I've read that they are sometimes called fartichokes- thinking this is fairly self-explanatory. 

Rabbits can eat all parts of this plant, which makes me really excited!  I'm hoping to (eventually) grow enough to make a significant dent in the rabbits feed bills.  Be aware that this can be a really invasive plant and almost impossible to get rid of.  Make sure it's planted where you want it to be in 20 years. 

These are fairly expensive tubers and I was lucky enough to be given some from a homesteading friend- TYTYTY Farmerwilly2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rabbit Barn


We got the rabbit barn done today!!!!  I am SO HAPPY!!!!  We bought a 12' x 20' shelter logic garage in a  box.  We did this because both ends can be opened up almost completely and will allow maximum airflow during the summers.  These shelters are a major pain in the butt to put up, but as this is our second attempt, things went much smoother and only took 2 days.  I highly suggest that if you build one of these, do what we did on our second attempt- anchor the shelter to 4" x 4" x 10' cants and then anchor the cants to the ground.  We got it done just in time for a big storm to roll through and I really think the cants helped in stabilizing and weighing down the structure.  I am so lucky that I married a guy who understands these things!!

We also built cages and moved 13 rabbits into the barn.   They didn't seem freaked out or anything which makes me even happier.  

We have two batches of chicks in the barn.  They are not very happy about the new surroundings, but I'm hoping they settle down soon.  The older batch seems okay, but the younger group is not happy at all!!!  I guess the old saying is true:  You can't ever make everyone happy. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crashyitis or Chicken Addict

Hello, my name is Jasmine and I am an addict. *insert* helllooooo Jasmine.

Went to TSC and came home with 12 more chicks- 4 black australorps, 4 black jersey giants, and 4 silkies (probably white).
So the chick count is now:
13 Cuckoo Marans
8 sex-link packing peanuts
4 BA's
4 BJG's
4 silkies
7 Barred Rocks
and about 40 or so that I hatched out (I have 6 left that I'm keeping)
Oh and I'll be getting White Leghorns from the school hatching.
Oh and if Chickenista's black copper marans ever come off of strike I will hopefully get some hatching eggs.
Oh, and I'll probably have to order 15 mille de fleur d'uccle pullets from a hatchery as I can't even begin to find any locally.

Let's see if I can approximate how many I have now:

5 Black Australorp hens
4 BA chicks
2 Barred rock hens
7 BR chicks
7 white sex-linkishs
1 white leghorn hen
1 Cuckoo Marans hen
1 Cuckoo Marans roo
13 CM pullet
4 bantam cochins (2 hens and 2 roos- not matching colors OF COURSE)
1 mille de fleur d'uccle roo (need hens)
2 Buff Orpington hens
1 BO roo
4 Black Jersey Giant chicks
4 Silkie chicks
7 dual layer mutts, some of which are mixed with cochin bantams (feathered feet)
14 red sex-link hens
1 Welsummer red hen

OMG I have 79 chickens, and I'm not done yet, lololol

=Expecting around 15 white leghorns from the school
=Gonna have to order 15 mille de fleur d'uccles when I can find a hatchery that only sells pullets. These should only count as a half a chicken as they are so small, lol
=want to get matching colors for the bantam cochins so looking at 8 more of them
=I NEED black copper marans, lol

Attack Flemish!!!!!

I was checking nestboxes today after feeding and watering. I've been working on handling all four of CindyLu's popples at least 2x per day. Anyways, I stick my hand in her nestbox and got lunged at by a 2 week old popple!!!! He/she did it 3 times before I picked him/her up and cuddled and then (as usual) I got it to go to sleep on it's back. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen!!!! I also gave it a lecture reminding it that it is a flemish and flemish's are friendly and that if it didn't want to become a barbeque it had better learn to mind it's manners!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I have to say that I am rather impressed with Ideal Hatchery.  I went on their waiting list for cuckoo marans pullets and within a week I had 13 adorable cuckoo marans chicks in my brooder at my house.  It's now been a week and besides the 2 that got squished in transit, all are doing really well.  Ideal refunded my money when I called and told them what happened.  Oh, and they sent 8 sex-link cockerel "packing peanuts" to keep the marans warm.  My original hens came from Ideal via my local feedstore, and I have a horrible time convincing people that my adult hens are not for sale.  I really hope that the cuckoo's lay the gorgeous dark brown eggs that my adult cuckoo hen is laying (every day no less).   I have a 1 yr old rooster who is just absolutely gorgeous and will begin breeding cuckoo marans next year, provided the new pullets lay the nice extremely dark eggs. 

Went to the mall a few days ago cuz I got a tip that the petstore had "weird" chickens.  All they had left was 7 barred rock chicks that were a month old for $3 each!!  I told her I would take all the pullets.  The lady asked me if I knew how to sex them and I taught her how to sex the chicks.  She then asked if I would be willing to take the cockerels for free.  I said sure!!  Now I have 4 barred rock pullets and 2 barred rock hens that are 2 yrs old.  I also will raise the cockerels and keep the best for breeding next year.  I'm so excited!!  I really like my barred rock hens, they are sweet and friendly.

I adopted a gorgeous buff orpington rooster.  He isn't the friendliest thing in the world, but he isn't outright mean either.  He will be paired with two buff hens I will be getting from mom as soon as I get a breeding pen built. 

All in all it's been a great week! 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flemish Pictures

This is Cindy Lu and one of last years litters of popples.  This pic shows only a third of her cage.  The nestbox in the back is 2' x 2'.  Her overall cage is 3'w x 6'h x 9'l.

Here is Cindy Lu chillin out next to a gallon of frozen water.

Side view of her cage. 

Gratuitous popple pic

Chicken Pictures

This is Alora and her pet chicken, Cupcake.

Archie and Ethel, the Toulouse Geese

This is some of my chickens and Ethel, I think.

Flemish Giant Rabbits

I raise and sell Flemish Giant Rabbits. Currently I only have the Sandy color but hope to get many other colors in the future. I really LOVE this breed. These are the largest rabbits in the world. They can weigh over 20 lbs!! My male is named Grinch and he is two years old. He is the one I'm holding in the picture above. My oldest doe is Cindy Lu who is almost 2 years old. I also have a doe named Horton who is a bit over a year old. Then there are my two junior does- Thing 1 and Thing 2 who are 7 months old. I also have 14 newly weaned popples. Alot of people call baby rabbits popples due to the way they "pop" all over the place.

Flemish Giant Rabbits

Flemish Giants are the largest rabbits in the world. Many weigh over 20 lbs and there have been reports of some weighing up to 28 lbs! Even though they are extremely large, they are the sweetest, most gentle rabbits in the world! Mine have never bit anyone, love attention, follow us around like puppydogs, and are calm. They are not hyper little beasties that delight in nipping fingers or running away from people.

Flemish Giant Rabbits require very large cages due to their size. Mine are in cages that are 3'w x 6'h x 9'l. They have a hard time with wire floors. I line the bottoms of my cages with flakes of hay to make it much easier on their feet. Hay works well as (for me) it is cheap and allows urine to fall through. Every week I replace the hay. They hay then goes into the chicken coop and the chickens eat the hay seeds. Then hay is used as a mulch in the gardens. Rabbit poop is EXCELLENT to use on your gardens.

Flemish Giants also greatly benefit from having fresh hay in their pen at all times. This is different hay than the floor liner. This hay is put into a hay trough so they can't poop/pee on it. I feed mine an 18% protein pellet in addition to hay and fresh greens/weeds daily. Mine LOVE their frozen watermelon and cantaloupe every day in the summer. Flemish Giants do very well outside in the winter, but have a hard time with summer heat. This is why mine get the frozen fruits around noon every day that it's hot out. They also benefit from bottles of frozen water placed in their cages for them to snuggle up against when it's hot out.

Slate Hill Farm

Slate Hill Farm started as a dream of ours many years ago. We currently raise Flemish Giant Rabbits and many breeds of chickens. We recently moved to our current home and can't wait to start gardening!!!! I am really into organic gardening and permaculture.

We have three dogs- Angel, Puck and Thisbe. Angel is a rott/dobe mix that is now being called a rotterman and she is 10 years old and can still walk the back of the couch. I attribute this to rawfeeding and whole prey model of rawfeeding. Puck is an 8 year old Chihuahua mix who is really grumpy right now as we got Thisbe who is a Chihuahua and is 4 months old. Puck hates Thisbe with a passion, of course it may be because she likes to jump on his head! We are trying to train her out of this. Thisbe and Angel love to play together, which is hilarious to watch. This always ends with Angel giving Thisbe a thorough bath.

We have a pet common snapping turtle named Charlie. He is 3 years old and we have had him since he was the size of a quarter. He now weighs about 5 lbs. He loves to get baths in the kitchen sink and realllllly loves it when I scrub his shell with a toothbrush. We have contracted with a friend to have a pond dug so that he can have lots of room to swim in. We plan to stock the pond with different types of fish for both him and us.