Random Shots

- We successfully hatched seven chicks that were "incubated" by our broody duck mama. Yes, our duck hatched chicken eggs. Brandi said Abigail is quite the chick mommy now. (More on this later.)

- On Halloween trick-or-treaters drive from house to house in our neighborhood, since it would take forever to walk. Guess they'll do anything for candy.

- Our remaining two duck hens (from the ones we hatched back in June) are getting used to flying around the property.

- Duck tastes like dark meat chicken. For real.

- I hope to heat the house this winter using nothing but wood. Last winter I think we heated the house with 80 percent wood, 10 percent gas, and 10 percent electric. Hopefully we can conquer that 20 percent this year. We'll see.

Cluck Cluck

Some of you bumpkins out there might be familiar with Mother Earth News and Grit magazine. Shortly after Brandi and I became hillbillies (in May of '09), we had our rural neighbors driving up to our little farm in their golf carts giving us handfuls of old homesteading magazines including Mother and Grit. We were hooked from the get go!

Now I've been honored to be accepted as a regular blogger for Community Chickens, an online magazine from the publishers of the aforementioned publications. The blog is called Community Cluckers. Feel free to check out my first contribution, For Love Of Poultry.

Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Winter's Coming

winter

I've been gearing up for winter. I've been cutting firewood, collecting kindling, and thinking about getting our chimney cleaned. :-) Last year we felt winter like never before, but it was nice being so in-touch with the rhythms of nature. (Our wood-burning stove is worth its weight in gold!) I can't believe summer is long gone.

Daniel's Quotation

Brandi said her and the kids went for a walk today and nine-year-old Daniel pointed to a sweeping field and said, "Look at that beautiful field! I'm so glad we live in the country."

That made me very happy. Our little farm and our entire beautiful rural neighborhood are like an endless kingdom to our little imaginative children.

Brandi & Bouncer Two Pack

Bouncer gives Brandi "the caring paw," as we like to call it:
paw

Brandi holding Bouncer's neck:
paw2

Quack Too

Here's a photo of Brandi learning how to gut a duck. That guy who's with her was our volunteer helper who was learning how to process ducks right along with us. He knew a wee bit more than we did, and that made him very helpful.

duckgut

Here's a bonus photo of the truck someone in my church gave me. Yes, it was given to me. I'm very thankful.

truck

Quack

Yesterday was a notable day on our little farm. With a little help from someone slightly more experienced than us, we slaughtered six ducks. Those ducks were all hatched, raised, and slaughtered on our homestead. That's quite a good feeling. And it was the first time we had processed any meat on our farm (we've previously processed our birds off-site). The last duck we processed -- a hen -- was all me, baby! I chased it down, killed it, skinned it, gutted it, hosed it, and then put it in the fridge. I think the whole process of slaughtering that one bird took me about half an hour. Hopefully I can post a few photos sometime.