A zoo in the garage!

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Anxiously watching the weather channel we saw that hurricane Irma's forecast track changed and we were right in it's path!  We were rushing like everyone else, getting supplies and boarding up the widows. But while my family was thinking of getting the house secure I was thinking of getting my chickens secure! I was worried that the chicken coop and goat house were going to be swept up! I was trying to convince my parents that we should put all of the animals in the house with us but that was a definitely a no. Then our Dad said that we should move the animals in the garage! His idea made more sense once he explained it, " We'll move the trampoline in the garage and put the chickens on top and put fencing around the bottom and put the goats in the bottom" so we did. The day before Irma hit we got everything set up, then the morning of the hurricane we put everyone in. We also had the smaller chickens that couldn't go by the big chickens to shelter, so we put the whole coop in the garage, and the bunnies too! During the storm we had a zoo in our garage! The eye of hurricane Irma passed right over our house but when the storm ended we looked out in the garage and the animals were all ok! The hens even laid eggs on the trampoline. We posted the video on our Face book page and channel 10 news aired it! So thankful that both our animals and our house were ok! We lost a lot of giant oak trees and a tornado even hit in front of our house! Hopefully, that's the last time our garage needs to become a zoo!       

There's a Chick!!!!

On 4/31/17 I peeked into the nesting box where the broody chicken was. I looked at the egg and there was a hole and for a split second I thought that she cracked it but then I saw a little beak pop out and I was so happy! After I told everyone they came to see it and when I showed them I heard a very loud "PEEP"! It was so amazing! So after we took pictures and videos of it we left it alone. I came back 20 minutes later to see how it was doing and it made amazing progress.  I thought it was going to take a brake for a few hours because it usually takes 16 hours to hatch and it had only been about 30 minutes. I started walking away but then my sister Chloe bumped into me and said she wanted to see it. We walked back, opened the door and saw April (the broody hen) attacking it so we were trying to hold April back and we thought what now?  We thought we can't possibly hold April back for 16 hours but then the chick got a big burst of energy and popped out of the shell! Then April started screaming and attacking it! So while Chloe was holding her back I got a bin with a heat lamp and shavings ready, then we carried it to the bin and put it down. It had so much energy and started crawling around. It usually takes a few hours for the fuzz to dry but not with this chick, it dried off in 15 minutes! Today the adorable little chick is running around peeping. We decided to name it after its dad, and Chick Norris's real name is Oliver so it is either Oliver or Olive. The chick is a Cuckoo Marans but darker and has fuzzy feet like a lite brahma bantam and has a cute face like one too! However, we are not sure what its going to look like when its older! I'll find out and tell you in a week or two whether its a boy or a girl! You can watch the video on our facebook page www.facebook.com/fallenoakfarms.com

Broody chicken!

A chicken being "broody"  means it wants to be a mother. So she will sit on her eggs or even another chicken's eggs and try to hatch them. This can be good or bad depending if you want chicks or not. When chickens go broody they will sit in their nesting box and lay a few eggs but after a couple of days she will stop laying eggs. It's really easy to know if your chicken is broody or not, if she sits in the nesting box 24/7, yells and hisses, puffs up at anything that moves then your chicken is certainly broody.

If your chicken is broody and you want chicks you need to have a rooster, if there isn't a roster then you cant have chicks. But you can order fertilized eggs online and put them under her and she will be more than happy to hatch them. Your chicken must be very committed to hatching the eggs because she has to sit on the eggs for 21 days! (that's how many days it takes for the eggs to hatch.) My hen April is a gold laced cochin and she is currently broody but our roster doesn't like her, which means her eggs aren't fertilized.  Our rooster does like our Cuckoo Marans so I gave her fertilized egg to April. She has been sitting on it for a few days but I don't know if it is going to hatch. Hopefully it will! Check back in about 18 more days and I'll let you know what happens!

Jams and Preserves Mmmmmm!!!

I love jams and preserves! It tastes like heaven! We make jam every year, but this year we decided to change it up a bit and do preserves and jam. The difference between them is that preserves have less sugar and no pectin (gelatin) and it tastes more like fruit. In preserves for every one pound of fruit there's only 1/2 pound of sugar. We have made extra jam and preserves so that we could share it with the people who came for Farm Yoga (which was hard because it was so good!) I sold it for $3 for preserves and $5 for jam.  We made strawberry and peach! And all you need to make preserves is fruit sugar and lemons. Make sure to starilize your jars very good!  

 

Peaches were picked right off the trees at Sweeties Peaches in Dade City, Fl!

Peaches were picked right off the trees at Sweeties Peaches in Dade City, Fl!

Chickens

I love Chickens!!! I think everyone should have Chickens. They're not only adorable but they are good for a lot of things (And could even make you money. I sell my eggs to neighbors!) Chickens provide you with eggs, compost, you can show them, they eat bugs out of your garden, give you companionship and the list goes on...and on...and on. If you compare a chicken's egg that has been fed organic feed and a free ranged chicken you can easily  see the difference. The organic egg will be more sturdy and bright orange but the egg  you buy from  the store will be flat and bland. Also, the organic eggs have richer and more flavorful taste. Did you know the eggs in the store can be up to 3 months old?! So I think I made my case-get chickens!!

Edible Flowers

Imagine walking into your garden and smelling the flowers, picking one and then eating it!  There are many varieties of flowers that you can eat, their called edible flowers.  Of course, not all flowers are edible but there are more than you'd probably think.  A few include; marigolds, pansies, bachelor buttons, sunflowers and probably the most common nasturtiums. They're fun to grow and if you put it on your plate it's sure to impress your guests.  Flavors of edible flowers range from peppery to even vanilla. Nasturtiums are great on salads to add a bit of peppery flavor. Have you ever gone to a fancy restaurant and they put an orchid on your food?  Well you should pick it up and try it!

 

 

yoga on the farm

When I heard my mom talk about Farm Yoga I thought she was crazy! But when I heard more about it I thought it made a lot of sense. It is pretty relaxing when you actually do it (unless you have crazy goats of course).  Yoga 1,000's of years ago was started with animal poses and nature. It makes sense to do it on a farm.  So now we have classes that are starting on Saturday, hope to see you there! (kid's yoga coming soon too!)  

Christmas on the Farm!

I am so excited to decorate for Christmas. You can always find unique places to add decoration, like a fence post or barn door. When you decorate you can't go over board... well unless you use tacky Christmas decorations :) . Even if you don't live on a farm you can always do rustic décor. Don't forget to add decorations to your driveway where you and friends will see them first.  But remember to take your decorations down past January when it isn't Christmas anymore (don't be that person)  :)

We make snowmen out of the fallen oak trees on our farm. A couple of the hurricanes this past summer gave us a few trees to bring a whole family of snowmen to life!  If you'd like one for your yard just send us an email.  Happy Decorating And Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Even the goats get their cottage decorated!

Even the goats get their cottage decorated!

Chick Norris

Chick Norris has an interesting story, and here it is. We ordered a small batch of chicks on August 4/2016. We got 6 chicks and they were all different breeds; Americana, Milly Fluer D'uccle, Coco Murrain, Gold laced Wyandot, Gold laced cochin, and Chick Norris a lite brahma bantam. About 4 weeks after we got them my sister Chloe and I let them outside in the grass. While we were talking a big hawk swooped down and took Chick Norris, and as you should know a hawk is the fastest bird. The hawk flew with the chick in its claws. As I sat there in awe my sister Chloe sprung up and chased that hawk. She wasn't about to let that Hawk have her baby. The hawk dropped Chick Norris and flew away. Chloe grabbed her chick and made sure it was ok. He had a few punctures and he was a little bloody but he was all good.  His real name is Oliver but after that incident we had to re name him Chick Norris. And now he protects his girls from the hawk and coc-a-doodle-doos all morning long! 

Sweet Potatoes!

Hi everyone. I'm so excited to start my own blog. I may only be 11 but I can't wait to share with you all the things I've learned about gardening, raising chickens, goats and sharing some great recipes! I hope you'll like reading my blog and learn some great tips!

 

We just  harvested our sweet potatoes. It was so much fun for my sister and I to dig them up. It was like a treasure hunt.  We harvested over 15 lbs!  All that came from just one organic sweet potato from the Fresh Market that my mom bought and I cut in half and grew!  If you want to grow your own make sure you get an organic potato.  Non organic potatoes have a growth inhibitor on them so that they don't grow roots while their sitting in the grocery store...YUCK I don't want to eat that!  Just one of the reasons my family and I love growing our own veggies!