Sunday, August 31, 2014

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Sixth 2014 Hatching Plus a Bonus Seventh

Once again, we had a hen go broody; and so we put her in the piano room with her eggs, and voila, by God's mercies, she hatched out 8 more chicks! And here they are with their mama:

Our Sixth Chick Hatching of 2014

I took that picture and made the video below just last Thursday, and very sadly on Friday morning, I found one of the chicks had died. It's always hard to know what happened when you just find them laying there -- we did have some pretty boisterous storms come through Thursday night with some very loud thunder claps, and so maybe there was some panic in the cage area; or perhaps the chick was just ill; or maybe it got bit by something. But, the Lord is the owner of the chickens, so He can certainly do what He wills with them, although we always ask for help to take care of the gifts and provisions He graciously and mercifully grants.


One night, I heard some odd thumping going on outside. I tracked down the sound, and it was coming from under our 3-point shredder implement! Huh?

Here's a picture of the shredder:

3-Point Shredder Implement

Well, I looked under, and there was a hen walking around with eggs all over the place. And then.....I saw a young skunk too! I was able to grab the hen, and eventually shoo out the skunk, ready to shoot it, but it got away. We pulled out all of the eggs from under the shredder, not sure exactly what to do, although I believe we were just going to put the hen in a cage area in the summer kitchen with her eggs. And then I was hatching as I held it! Oh wow....ok, so we took it and all of the eggs, and indeed put the hen and the eggs in the summer kitchen.

And, well, that little chick made it! And here it is with it's mommy:

Our Bonus Seventh Chick Hatching of 2014

Some days later, another chick started hatching too, although it was taking a long time; and so, I helped it a little, and it did finish hatching out, but never really could stand up to walk at all (it was able to stay upright unlike Tiny from the third hatching, but just not stand). We tried keeping it alive with goat milk, hoping it would get stronger, but sadly, it died a couple of days later.

But, even this single chick that made it was a nice surprise, especially given the circumstance of its incubation and what was happening while it was beginning to hatch!

Here's the video of the sixth hatching, with all eight chicks at the time, and the seventh hatching:

We are very grateful to God again for granting these new chicks, and the general continued health and safety He has granted!

-- David

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Little Rattled

Recently one morning on my way to feed Penelope our pig, I suddenly strolled up on a snake in the middle of the road. Yep, it was a rattler! Well, Sue brought out the shotgun to me, and that was that.

And here it is after the fact:

Rattlesnake Shot with Shotgun
More Rattlesnake Shot with Shotgun

And the souvenir rattle:

Rattlesnake Rattle Souvenir

Sue got to carry it back, while it was still moving (they do that even without a head), and then I cut it up into 6-inch pieces for the chickens, although I think the ants had more of it than they.

Yes, rattlesnakes are one of the things we have to keep any eye out for, and I'm thankful to the Lord for His mercies in granting I see it before walking right up on it!

-- David

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: I Plead the Fifth 2014 Chick Hatching

Well, once again, one of our Australorp hens got broody, and we put her in our mini-chicken tractor. Three weeks later....nothing. But, she kept setting, so we put another clutch of eggs under her, saying a prayer that maybe at least one would hatch so she would not be inclined to set another three weeks (although I was planning on trying to break her broodiness if that happened). But, indeed God did grant she hatch out some chicks -- four more, all healthy, and still healthy, thanks to the Lord's graces!

Here are a few pictures:

Fifth Set of 2014 Chicks Hatchlings
More of the Fifth Set of 2014 Chicks Hatchlings
Still More of Fifth Set of 2014 Chicks Hatchlings

And their video:

You may wonder why we do so many of these "Perpetuation" posts, like for every hatching, but for us, each time some new animals are born or hatched out, besides the wonderful and joyous miracle they are, they are also part of our living provisions, and we consider each occurrence -- even each chick -- to be a kind gift from God.

Again, we are thankful to Him for these new chicks and their continued good health and growth!

-- David

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hogs, Hogs on the Range - Update II

Since the last blog post about extending the pig pen to give them a little more of a range area, I've been able to slowly put together enough fence sections to be able to enclose in a little area for our pig Penelope!

Here they are in place:

Portable Cinder Block, Cattle Panel Pig Fencing First Closed-In Range Area
Another View of the New Pig Range Area

And then two sections wired together:

Portable Cinder Block, Cattle Panel Pig Fencing Tied Together

This is our pig Penelope, enjoying her mud pit!

Duroc Pig Penelope in Her Mud Pit

And this is a little video of me coaxing her out into the new yard for the first time, and her starting to wander and root around:

We're thankful to the Lord for granting the provisions and physical strength (those sections are a little heavy :) ) to extend the pig area!

-- David

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2014 Fourth Chick Hatching

The Lord has continued to be gracious in granting us broody hens, and here is the next hatching! We believe she hatched out 8 and we lost one early, but the other 7 are still going strong!

Fourth Hatching of 2014 Chicks

Here is a video of them a few weeks ago, and from a few days ago, in the chicken pen area where I moved them, and where the 2nd and 3rd group are as well:

We are always very grateful to God for His granting continued hatchings and healthy chickens!

-- David

Monday, July 21, 2014

Garden - Spring 2014 - Update I

It's been a couple of months since our last garden update, and so we thought we'd show the latest from the garden!

Here is some of the first produce the Lord granted!

First Garden Produce 2014
More First Garden Produce 2014

And here, we'll show you around the gardens from early in July. In our 2014 wheat blog post, I mentioned that we had planted turnip seeds back last year, and that nothing had grown. Well, a couple of months ago or more, God granted somewhere around 7 1/2 inches of rain in a few day period; and lo and behold, a bunch of turnips sprouted! Here you can see them (again, early July) in Garden 2, along with the green beans on the right:

Green Beans & Turnips, Early July 2014

And more turnips in the raised beds. The ants started getting to those, so I have since pulled them and fed them to our pig (they were really small):

Turnips in Raised Garden Beds, Early July 2014

Again from early July, the zucchini:

Zucchini, Early July 2014

The corn:

Corn, Early July 2014


Tomatoes, Early July 2014

And in the hugelkultur bed:

Tomatoes in Hugelkultur Bed, Early July 2014

The following from just yesterday. We've been eating the greens from our turnips in salads and sandwiches, and we hope to start to preserve them by lacto-fermentation, which would be our first attempt at that with turnips:

Beans & Turnips, 3rd Week in July

Also, I mentioned in the previous garden blog post that I thought I might try planting okra. I believe I planted them the next day, and none germinated. And so, I tried again, and here are a few that have started!

New Okra, 3rd Week in July

And here are the tomatoes:

Tomatoes, 3rd Week in July

And again, in the hugelkultur bed:

Tomatoes in Hugelkultur Bed, 3rd Week in July

The corn:

Corn, 3rd Week in July

And zucchini. We're getting to the time with them where the inner leaves start to die and any further growth starts occurring farther from the root. We've had a lot of flowers, but not a lot of actual fruits, which to me is interesting (apparently other folks here have had some similar issues), but of course, we are thankful for what the Lord has granted:

Zucchini, 3rd Week in July

And here's another okra:

More New Okra, 3rd Week in July

And here is a lot of the produce being lacto-preserved:

Lacto-Fermented Preserved Garden 2014 Produce

As always, we are so very grateful for the food the Lord is granting us through the gardens; the rains he has brought, with His direct watering, and allowing us to have water stored to water the gardens; and the mulch garden beds, which has allowed for a lot less watering and allowed me to water areas of the gardens without having to monitor the watering minute by minute.

-- David

Friday, July 11, 2014

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: The Goat Kids of 2014

I know it's been a bit since our last post, but it's been extraordinarily busy around here, with seasonal chores to attend to; and so, thanks for your patience!

Back in November, it was time to start the goat mating process once again (with a 150-day gestation period, this usually puts the kidding to after freezing temperatures). We have two bucks, and we separate our older does with our buck Shatner:

Nubian Buck Shatner

And the next generation does with Rocky (posing with my brother Kevin when he was visiting back in April):

Nubian Buck Rocky

And lo, after 5 months, by God's graces, many kids were born! Here are a few pictures of the lot of them. Nine does gave birth to 17 in all -- 9 bucklings and 8 doelings, although we sadly lost two of the bucklings in the first few days:

2014 Goat Kids
More 2014 Goat Kids
Some More 2014 Goat Kids
Yet More 2014 Goat Kids
Further More 2014 Goat Kids

Here's a kid relaxing with a chicken in one of the sheds:

Goat Kid & The Chicken in a Shed

Besides the losing of the two bucklings, this goat season was also interesting in a couple of other ways. First, we lost our Nubian nanny Betsy during the winter, although not from the cold because it wasn't cold when she died. She had had a lump on her throat for several years that sort of just sat there; but it did seem to change a couple of weeks before she died -- got spongier; so maybe something happened with that. Here is Betsy and her kids from last year:

Our Nanny Goat Betsy and Her Kids from 2013

And secondly, our nanny Minnie, who was our first born on the land from Winnie, died two days after giving birth from what appeared to be complications in the birth. Here is Minnie from last year with her kids as well:

Our Nanny Goat Minnie and Her Kids from 2013

It was quite sad to lose them both, but we always pray we have the proper attitude toward the things the Lord has provided to us for our use.

Here is where Betsy and Minnie were first introduced back in 2008.

And so, with Minnie dieing, we had two orphans on our hands again (here is where we had orphans the first time). That's Pearl (in honor of Minnie -- think Hee Haw) in the back, and Tiger (because he sort of has tiger-looking colors) in front:

Orphan Goat Kids Pearl & Tiger

This is Sue and Kev feeding them:

Bottle Feeding Orphan Goat Kids

Kev also helped me move goat sheds back when we separated nannies from Shatner and Rocky:

Moving Goat Sheds in the Spring

The Lord had graciously granted a very nice gentleman to be interested in buying our entire kid herd last year, and he was interested again this year, and here we are prepping the area to load them up:

Preparing Animal Trailer for Loading the Goat Kids

And finally, here is the kids of 2014 video. It's a little long, but it includes introducing each of them and their sires to you, bottle feeding the orphans, letting them eat (including the smaller amount of wheat we ended up receiving this year) and roam around our inner field and barn area, and when we said goodbye to them after getting them loaded in the trailer:

As always, we are very grateful to God for granting the kid crop of this year; the health and safety He granted for them; the trials He brings in order to glorify Himself and we pray mold us in His image; and now for the provisions of the very healthy milk, which is really why we keep goats in the first place.

-- David