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Welsummer Rooster

My Welsummer rooster Cray. He’s just recently finished his molt. Isn’t he gorgeous?

I’ve been raising chickens since about 2002. I grew up with chickens when I was really little, and it took me about 30 years to be able to get back to it. But with the exception of the year we moved from Colorado to Washington, I’ve kept chickens for the last 14 years. This was BEFORE the proliferation of back yard chicken raising blogs, websites and books. I bought a copy of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, my husband built a coup (which was also a dog house/pen – they shared a dividing wall – which helped keep the chickens safe from predators but also safe from the dogs at night). I talked a bit about all of this here.

It’s really only been in the last few years that I’ve raised chickens with more of an eye to getting them to pay for themselves by selling the eggs. Here is a brain dump of factoids I’ve learned about raising chickens over the last 14 years, all in one place. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20140510_084748watermark

Soaps and toiletries side. First market of the year in May.

Well, June is turning out to be a busy month. I started with the Downtown Walla Walla Farmers market on Saturdays in May. Then on the 4th of June I added the Milton-Freewater afternoon market on Wednesdays and the twilight market on 2nd Street in Walla Walla on Thursdays. Sales have been great. But doing three markets a week is a lot harder than doing two. Especially when my booth at the Walla Walla Thursday market was on the sunny side of the street, on heated black asphalt until the sun dips behind the buildings at about 6:00 pm. Read the rest of this entry »

duckeggsFinally! We found our first duck egg on the morning of the 20th. I had hoped they would start laying around the 9th, but the information you read on when ducks start laying is always given as a range. It depends on the size of the duck and the time of year. For our Ancona ducks, it turned out to be almost exactly 5 months (they were born on April 22nd or 23rd). The next day, we found two eggs. And so far, that’s it in terms of who’s laying, but we have gotten two eggs every day since then. Read the rest of this entry »

NewEggs

Some from old hens, some from new.

I successfully incubated and raised up 15 new hens this year, and I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to start laying eggs. I have two customers who buy three dozen eggs a week from me, and in an effort to keep them supplied so I don’t lose them as customers in the winter (once the farmers market ends and I don’t have another outlet to sell eggs), I’ve hardly had any eggs for myself these last few months. So it was with real joy that I found my first “pullet” egg on August 9th. I had expected, based on previous experience, to find new eggs sometime around the 19th, so a few of the girls are ahead of schedule. Read the rest of this entry »

Thor

This was taken looking in the side rear view mirror. That’s Loki (still alive – but getting uglier by the day), in the background. Thor LOVED to go in the truck.

When my husband and I first got married, we moved to Parker Arizona for my husband’s new job. Parker is on the Arizona/California border below Lake Havasu. We lived there for 2 1/2 years. From about May 15th to October 15th, it was over 100 degrees EVERY DAY.

My husband happened to work right next door to the tribal animal control office, and so over the course of that 2 1/2 years, we ended up adopting three dogs. One was a great dane/lab mix named Thor. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of owning or being around a Dane, you know that they are the sweetest dogs around. Thor was super sweet. He was also not super smart. And being 120 lbs and the darkest colored of all of our dogs, he suffered the most in the heat. He’d be standing there panting in the shade, and my husband or I would say in our “Thorbie” voice, “Gosh it’s hot”. We swore that he got about 10% smarter when we moved to cooler weather in Colorado. Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomed just in time for my birthday. Zone 6 baby. Just sayin’.
FirstDaffodills
Getting LOTS more eggs now. I have 15 laying hens, and with the exception of the Buttercup, who has likely got a stash somewhere that I haven’t found, and the crazy Red Star who roosts in and lays under the blue spruce (despite my repeated objections), all are laying IN THE NEST BOXES.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alternative title: Garden Porn. Grin. Yummy recipe for kohlrabi at the end.

I LOVE this time of year. The time when all the hard work finally starts to pay off. Every day, you find a new long-awaited treasure in the garden…or the chicken coop. It’s kind of like having Easter in August. Here are a few of the recent finds. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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