And then there was soap!

It has been a dream of mine to make soap. I bought a book probably 10 years ago about it and was too intimidated by the lye and all of the abstract ingredients like jojoba oil and kukui nut oil that I couldn’t find at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. A couple years ago when Scott and I combined our libraries we both had books on soap making. He had never made soap either but had always wanted to. After some studying and now with the easy access to these ingredients online we finally decided to make soap! Supplies were ordered last weekend and came quick enough to be able to make soap this weekend.
We started by combing the water and lye and then letting it sit until it cooled to the proper temperature. Then we combined the oils and added the lye mixture to the oil mixture. We finished by adding some ground oatmeal and local honey. We both really enjoyed doing it and are excited to play around with different combinations and add things from our garden like flower petals, flower seeds, aloe gel, different herbs, our honey and eventually our goats milk!
The bars have to cure for 6 weeks before they are ready to use and we didn’t take any pics during the process but we will next time 🙂

Time to clip wings!

Good morning! As we run out to an emergency work meeting squeezed in before a funeral this morning we are doing the rounds with watering and feeding all the animals. From the rabbit barn I hear some very loud squawks and figure the goats are playing. They run so fast around the corral and chase the ducks when they play. When I go to look all the animals in the pen are staring at the intruder. In the center stands a beautiful black and green Muscovy. One of our Muscovy ducks from the front yard flew over the 6 foot wrought iron fence to check out what’s going on in the corral. I guess we should have listened to Tanners requests to clip their wings. He’s been asking us for about a month to do it.

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In a panic I run inside to get Scott but can’t stop giggling because it really was a funny sight. Scott tries to catch the duck and the thing takes flight. What a beautiful sight it was so smooth and graceful. It’s also the duck Tanner fell in love with on day 1 so I’m terrified it will land in the busy street we live on or in our backyard with our 4 bird dogs. But it decided to land in our neighbors yard. If you remember we’ve already had to chase a rabbit out of these people’s front yard. I’m sure they think we are nuts! Eventually we wrangle this duck who thankfully doesn’t have much flying endurance yet and are able to return it to its front yard home minus a couple flight feathers. The clipping was similar to a hair cut and it didn’t seem to bother the duck at all.

Quail updates!

We now have 42 quail! The 60 eggs that Pete incubated for us had the first hatch of 11 then ours hatched 26 and the next day Pete got 15 more! 10 of them didn’t make it as much as I tried to get them to eat and drink they just had no interest in it. Most of the ones we lost came from the batch of 60 which weren’t that healthy when they hatched. They were all supposed to be jumbo brown coturnix quail but 2 turned out to be Texas a&m quail which are all white like this little guy
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They start out all yellow and when their flight feathers come in they become white. Speaking of flight feathers its amazing how fast they grow! The flight feathers are already coming in! One of them jump/flew out of the brooder the other day and again today when I was cleaning the brooder. I usually let the dogs hang out with me during this but I’m glad I didn’t this time! The other thing from the batch of 60 is that they weren’t all jumbos like they were supposed to be. 20130915-133243.jpg
I’m not sure if you can really see the difference in sizes in this picture but they are about half the size of the jumbos. I’m pretty disappointed with this breeder and won’t be leaving very good feedback for them.
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But we did get Goldie out of that clutch and that might have made it all worth it! Isn’t she so cute! She looks like she has a pretty little yellow mask on her eyes. And she is the loudest singer of them all (I’m not really sure if this is a good thing especially since she will stay in Tanner’s room as his newest pet) but she sure is cute! Well we’re not really sure if she’s a she but we can hope 🙂
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Baby birds!

Yesterday we had our first clutch of 50 quail eggs hatch at our friends house. There were actually 60 eggs to start with because they packed extra. 11 of the eggs hatched and they aren’t in the best of shape. A couple of the babies have splayed legs and more than likely won’t make it. There are 3 that look pretty bad but the other 9 look like they’ll be ok. When they hatch like this it’s usually because their parents were malnourished. That can probably account for the low hatch rate as well.

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Starting around 7pm last night our clutch of 104 began hatching. We just took them out after letting them dry in the incubator and counted 26 with 1 doing very poorly. We put that one down so it wouldn’t continue to suffer. So now we have 36 baby quail out of 164 eggs. Not the greatest hatch rate but a very manageable number! I left the unhatched eggs in the incubator and will give them another day or two to see if any more hatch.

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Aren’t they so cute!!!

Lockdown!

The quail went into lockdown on Friday night which means I take them out of their egg turner and lay them on the floor of the incubator. I increased their humidity and now I’m not allowed to open the incubator again until they hatch and dry off. No matter what! Lockdown! Lol! Well hopefully some of them hatch.

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Let’s talk about what a creepy week we’ve had. It started Wednesday when the plum trees started getting torn down. Then Friday the smoke from the Rim Fire rolled in. Now there is a haze of smoke in the sky mixed in with the clouds just hovering over us. Yesterday evening the sun turned blood red. And this morning we woke up to hundreds of shot guns. Welcome September 1 the start of dove hunting season! I don’t think we’ll be working in the field until the shotguns stop. They are hunting in the fields right behind ours! What a strange week we’ve had.