Warm winter day

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It's hard to say who is more silly, Max, or Flav

This morning it was above freezing, and the sun was shining. It was beautiful out, one of those days that refreshes your spirit and reminds you, hold on, spring is coming. It gives you the energy and motivation to keep plowing on so to speak, until the good weather comes again.

Kevin had to plow the barnyard because we are getting a delivery of hay tomorrow morning and there was enough snow to possibly cause trouble for the hay truck. And it's a lot easier for everyone to get around with it plowed.

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Who is that peeking out?

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It's Butternut!

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Buckwheat says "what is he doing out there?"

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Wrambler and Flavious

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Max waiting to come back in

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We certainly didn't get as much snow as expected, but enough to warrant a clean up. I got to my doctors appointment on Thursday and got a good report, which made me very happy. I just have to watch my lifting a while longer.

We decided to go into the city on Thursday too, and did a little shopping. Kevin bought a ton of solar yard lights since they were on sale. We put a bunch of them out in our yard in the spring, and he decided it would be a good idea to light the paths on some of our trails so we can walk them in the spring and summer. I think we are really going to enjoy that.

I've been working on my chick order for this year. I'm ordering some speciality breeds this year so I've got to get my order in earlier than I will if we decide to buy meat birds to raise this year. These chickens will be for laying and for fun. We currently have 2 Cochin's and three Rhode Island Reds. I've kept many different breeds of chickens and most recently we had several breeds of Bantams. We sold all of them and just kept our laying hens last year. This year I'd like to increase our layer breeds, but still have a little fun. I've decided on Cuckoo Marans and Silver Gray Dorklings. I'm also considering getting a few Ameraucana's just for fun. We've had them before.

However, I am so torn between the two breeds of turkeys I am interested in, I've considered getting a few of each, but I'm not sure about that. I love the look of the Royal Palm turkeys, but am really attracted to the so called "good nature, and nurturing skills" of the Narragansett turkeys. The Royal Palm are also noted to be good foragers which is another good thing since these birds will be on pasture.

Narragansett Turkey Tom
Narraganset

Royal Palm Tom Turkeys (males)
Royal Palm
Both photos from http://www.cacklehatchery.com/turkeypage.html

Both breeds are listed on Slow food USA ark of taste website as heritage breeds needing preservation.

The other thing is, they can reproduce naturally, unlike my Bronze turkeys. Hmmm what to do?

Last night at 5 PM when Kevin came back from splitting wood, we went for a ride on some of our trails to get out together for a bit. We were out until after 6 - and there was still some light! Hard to believe not that long ago it was dark at 4 PM. The sky was a beautiful pink, and it was just a perfect late winter evening out. It was a great evening for picture taking.

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Snow in the yard

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Deer Norman - Feb. 5 still holding antlers - he's got 6 more days to beat our record for the longest they have held their antlers here.

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Here we are!

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This is one of the fawns

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Mushroom

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One of our trails Kevin plowed

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The sky was gorgeous!

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Looking towards our big pond at the house

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The maples

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We saw another porcupine too! The warmer temps are getting them moving around.

Kevin is out logging for a couple more hours today. It's clouded over this afternoon, but it's still warm outside.

I'm off to start working on the lasagna for dinner tonight.

Comments

Chai Chai said…
You have beautiful property, and his is what it looks like in the Winter!

The Commander would love to have a tractor like you guys have.

Can you answer a few questions about turkeys? We would like to get some this year as well and are considering the same two breeds.

Do turkeys put themselves away at night like chickens?

If not how do you house them, in the barn or do they get their own shed?
luckybunny said…
Thank you so much! That little tractor does a lot around here, we managed for a long time without it but it sure is nice to have now. I hope you guys are able to get one in the future :)

Excellent! We've kept Bronze and Bourbon reds. I really like the heritage breeds a lot better. I'm leaning towards the Naragansett - because of being good mothers and apparently gentle. But they are both great, and the Blue Slate is also a good option.

Our turkeys do go away at night - however if I put them away. Otherwise, they find somewhere to roost outside. By putting them away I don't mean physically, all I do is take a scoop of feed and they follow me to their little barn and go right inside, then I close the door - it's really easy! They'll do this easily for food. Otherwise they just naturally try to roost outside - but one of my old toms would put himself in his house at night on his own. So it depends, also how you raise them, they will learn what you teach them.

Don't keep them with chickens if you have them, not inside, they can be awfully nasty to chickens. We actually built a small shed, I have pictures of the plan somewhere. The plan we used was for a small pig shed for piglets, and it works great, took a couple hours to put together. We've been using it for 5 years now and it still works! I'll post some pictures for you so you can see.

The only reason we don't keep them in the barn is because we don't have a pen for them yet, and with them loose they'd make a mess. Otherwise they could be in there too.

When I buy more this spring we'll keep them in a seperate outdoor shed too. One reason I'm leaning away from the Royal Palm - they are good flyers, that can be good and also bad. Ours are loose now in our pasture and never leave, although they can fly very well. You definately want a breed that's going to stay where you put them without causing you any trouble you don't need. I can't wait to hear what you decide!
Chai Chai said…
Thank you for sharing the information. The Royal Palm's are so attractive that I was leaning toward them but the flying may be a problem.

I think we will do a small shed like you, looks like we need to build more buildings!
ah, the pups are so fuzzy and i want to givee them a gigantic hug! we have a new holland too. no chains though. love it that you see porcupines! when i was a kid i used to read thorton burgess stories and they really were good at teaching kids about the animals. loved those books! great pics! love your turkeys and reading the comments.
Lots of good photos.

You and your hubby sound alot like us.

I didn't know porcupines climbed trees....
Leigh said…
You get some of the best animal shots! And all that snow. Gosh, how long will it take for it all to melt.

I have no input on the turkeys. Both being heritage breeds and being able to reproduce is a big plus for both breeds. I wouldn't mind eventually having a few turkeys, but DH isn't convinced. I'll be interested in what you finally decide.

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