Monday, July 3, 2017

June Phone Pictures

We tried to let the chickens out of the coop to let them free range for a little bit, hoping that they would go back into the coop at sunset by themselves. Everything we have read said that their natural instinct is to go back, but they didn't. Anthony had to catch them and put them back in and we decided maybe free range isn't for us :)

James' "faith" seeds from an object lesson in primary. When we first got them we accidentally put waaaay too much water in the cup and I wasn't sure it was going to grow, but it did!

When James has an appointment in Lake Mary, we usually go to the zoo afterwards since it is only 15 minutes away. Our first trip of the summer was the best, it wasn't too crowded or too hot. Since then, there are usually way too many kids for James to want to play at the splash pad and it is too hot to really walk around much.

We found a painted rock!

And another one!

We always have to visit the sulcata exhibit to see what our tortoise will look like one day. So cool!

We happened to get there right when they were doing a show about venomous snakes. It was really neat to get to see them up close.

One day I took the boys to chuck-e-cheese and let them spend what was left on their cards from when grandma took them. Rett's favorite is to drive the Batman car, but he can't reach the pedal so James offered to do it. It was so sweet (not usual at all!) that I had to get a picture of it. I'm not sure when I will get to see that again!

I had to make a stop at Walgreens and they were giving away their left over red noses. It made James into a clown ninja!

We happened to be by one of our favorite pet stores that always has cool animals to look at, so we stopped in. I saw a sign on this cage that said, "skinny pigs" and I had no idea what that was. You couldn't see anything in the cage, because they were hiding in their little hut, so I lifted it up to see. Oh. my. goodness. So ugly!!!!!! Why????

More chicken pictures. Because we are chicken people.

We were walking around by the pond talking about what parts of the yard we want to clear and I noticed these trees. They have fused and grown together, and I thought it was so cool. I looked it up online and they are called "Marriage trees".

We started getting a weekly delivery from a local dairy of raw milk, eggs, and a box of vegetables. It is kind of fun looking at what we got and figuring out what vegetables they are. Now every week I feel like I've been challenged to cook and eat all the veggies for that week before we get a new delivery. It definitely has helped us eat healthier. The chickens love it because they get all the scraps!

Even though we already had dinner, Rett really wanted some eggs. I didn't want to make them, so James volunteered to do it for him. James has gotten really good at cracking the eggs and stirring them in the pan. He insists that he can cook them better than we can. Fine by me!

James' top tooth is so loose and wiggly. Sometimes it starts bleeding and he won't even realize it and he will just be talking to you with a bloody mouth. 

Blueberry was getting beaten up by all the other chickens in the coop, so we took her out and put her in a container in the house to let her heal. It is such a small container that we try to let her out during the day for a few minutes just to give her some space. Except she doesn't like it! She will stay right next to you and jump up on you instead of walking around looking for bugs. None of our other chickens have been like this. She is definitely our favorite :)

James holding a silkie:

Rett asked for an apple and only took one bite of it, but it didn't really bother me because I knew the chickens would love it!

James and Rett invented a game where they cover themselves with a blanket so that they are "ghosts" and then they crash into each other. Boys.

We finally got to go blackberry picking, Anthony has been wanting to go since they opened for the season. We picked two pounds and they were gone by the end of the week. So good.

The rain doesn't bother these two. They just get their boots and umbrellas and get ridiculously wet and dirty.

I tried making butter for the first time with some cream we bought from the dairy. It was pretty fun! Look at how thick the cream is:

Getting clumpy:

This part is like magic to me. It is clumpy and then all of a sudden buttermilk appears!

The buttermilk that was left over after I took the butter out:

You have to rinse the butter, so this is the ball of butter on the sink before I rinsed it. What a cool process!

Our quail and our chickens both laid their very first egg on the same day. It was so exciting!!! I didn't think the chickens were old enough to lay eggs yet, so we haven't gotten the nesting boxes in there yet. This one was just on the ground when I walked into the coop. Making the nesting boxes and getting them in there is now top priority. We want more eggs!

I ordered a bunch of quail eggs for hatching a new batch, mainly because I wanted more unique colored birds. I thought I would have a lot of extra chicks to sell, but we ended up with the worse hatching rate we have ever had! Only about 30% hatched, we usually have 50%. I'm not sure what was wrong, if was the incubator or something we did, or if it was the eggs. 

It is fun having little chicks again in the house, James is loving it. His favorite one he calls "ninja chick" because it has a black bands around his eyes like a raccoon.

Tortoise came out to play too:

Here they all are! There are 26 of them. Look at their cool colors! My favorite is the grayish ones and the almost red ones. I've seen pictures of their parents and they are really beautiful.

While I was busy doing something else, James decided to put his toy airplane in the tub with the chicks. I happened to be walking by while the boys were off doing something else and did a double take. They look like they are ready for a long flight!

The feeder we use for the quails food has a round red bottom with holes on the side for the food (see in the picture above) and it has a spot in the middle for a reserve tank of food to screw in. The chicks were going through so much food, I decided to put the reserve tank on. The next morning, James noticed some funny shadows inside the cylinder with the food and sure enough, this chick had burrowed through the holes, all the way inside the reserve tank. I didn't know if I was annoyed or impressed!


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