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1st snow

1st snow today, I like seeing the 1st snow, it's fresh and crisp and cold. Which made being at the range quite cold...


Lost 2 hens

We've lost 2 chickens, one of the older Americaunas and one of the adult Morans. Damn! The Morans are the broody ones.

We have a coyote hanging around, I just went after him with a .22 rifle, but I had the safety on and the shot was not clean.

Time to keep the birds contained... And maybe work on making the fence higher.


Sticky Paws Honey Wheat: started

L started this kit of beer last night: Sticky Paws Honey Wheat.

It smells great and I'm looking forward to drinking in in 4 weeks or so..
Since it's cooler here now, I've put a small heating pad on low under the primary fermenter to keep it warm and hopefully the yeast active...

Cost with shipping: $50.22

Some stats:
ABV:  7.1
Color:  10
Final Gravity:  1.01
IBU:  14
Original Gravity:  1.064
Ready In:  6 Weeks


Time to make room

With the 6 new chickens, the coop is a bit crowded, so we decided to butcher the older birds. The 2 Delewares were butchered yesterday, they were very fat birds, lots of fat around the organs and other places. Makes me wonder if the one that did die if it died due to this. The fat might also be because: 1) its approaching winter so they are putting on stores of fat. And: 2) I switched the whole flock to a chick food (too hard to keep them separate) and the hens put on extra fat due to this chick food diet. Now the flock is back on egg layer ration.


Flat Tire Ale: review

So we tried a bottle of the BoomChugaLug beer today, it's very good, very good.
A lot better, a lot more flavor than the canned kits.
We want to try more recipes now...


Winter is coming...

This am, when i turned on the hose to water the chickens, slush came out. I've also seen small, fuzzy bear caterpillars crawling around.

I am also experiencing a new rush of some type of flea, not sure where they are  coming from, but they are all over my arms and making me itch like crazy...

I am replacing the covering for the back deck this week before the rains hit.


Flat Tire Ale: started

We bought a clone recipe kit for 'Fat Tire' ale called 'Flat tire'. It's from a company back east called BoomChugAlug.com. Price with shipping was $42. We just made it up, we'll be able to bottle it in 2 weeks if the fermentation goes well.

Link to the beer kit: Flat Tire Amber Ale

The stats:
ABV:  5.5%
Color:  11 SRM
IBU:  18
Original Gravity:  1.054
Final Gravity:  1.012
Ready In:  6 Weeks


Chick update

Well, the 1st chick (puffball) is abut half grown and I found a little egg in the coop yesterday. Looks like she is laying eggs! woohoo!

We lost one of the new chicks, the chick sized bowls of water were empty/knocked over and once jumped up onto the edge of the bucket of water, fell in, and drowned. Q feels bad about this since he was watching the chicks while we were out of town.


6 new chicks!

The other Maran and an older Americauna have hatched out 6 chicks. 4 Marans and 2 Americanaus. Woohoo!


Another broody hen

So, Puffball is about 7" tall and growing. Looks like it's a hen.

And now the other maran hen is broody. Woohoo!


Allergies... wave 2

Allergies kicking back up. L says the Queen Annes Lace is blooming.. ugh..
Meds to the rescue!


The hive swarmed

Well, L caught the hive swarming so I went out and caught it, 4 times... It was about 15' up an apple tree, so I had to stand on the top of 6' the ladder to get to it. I was trying to put them into a waxed cardboard nuk.
And the swarm went back to the tree.
So I got a bucket, shook the bees into the bucket and put them into the nuk.
And they went back to the tree.
So I tried again, climbing to the very top to try to pull the =m down.
And they went back.
So I got L to hold the ladder while I sawed off the branch they were on and then shook them into a medium hive body/bottom with the sugar feeder on top. That worked. They stayed in the medium.
I'll leave them there for a week then move the hive to the hive compound.

I added a medium last weekend, moved a few frames to the new box, I looked for queen cells, but did not see any in the lower boxes. Guess I should have pulled all the frames out. I should have split it then. oh well. At least I caught them.


New beer kit provider

Just found these guys beer kits on amazon, gotta try some.

Another batch of Mangrove Jack's M20 Bavarian Wheat Beer

We like this kit, it does a decent tasting beer for a decent cost. It is a 6 gallon batch so it makes quite a few bottles. I forget how many, I'll add a comment once we bottle in 10 days.


Broody hen update - 1 chick!

I saw a chick last night! It was hanging out with the broody hen in the coop, I put out some food and water for it, hopefully it survived the night. I’ll check later today.